December 4, 2010 by staff 

NXN, Best high school runners in the country will compete for individual championships and national team on Saturday at the seventh annual Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon

The pack includes girl’s junior championship Willis Cali Roper, who finished fourth in the NXN South Regional Champs Bear Branch Sports November 20th in The Woodlands, The Woodlands and vice-champion of champion Southlake Carroll point.

The boy’s championship squad includes senior Brian Gohlke College Park, who finished second in the NXN South and woodlands, which received a bye as a whole after finishing third behind Marcus and Lewisville Southlake Carroll.

Automatically qualify for NXN include the best two teams of five individuals not on those teams in each kind of eight regional meetings across the country, most of California. Four berths whole team were awarded Monday.

This represents 45 individuals and 22 teams of seven – for a grand total of 199 runners – in each race.

Gohlke and Roper are both making their first trip to Portland Meadows to the respective races of five kilometers.

“I think (Roper) can certainly get in the top 30,” Willis said Coach Dana Fossmo. “It would be a good goal. She looks forward to the experience and, hopefully, it’s another step to becoming what it can be in high school.”

(Gohlke) wants to be in the top 10, maybe top five, and “College Park coach Mike Gibson said.” His aspirations are to go out with the leaders and the confidence of his fitness level. ”

The Lady Highlanders first seven consists of seniors Anna Lyon and Margo and Colleen Murray, junior Hannah Novelli, sophomores Ashley Guidot and Katie Willard, and freshman Madi McLellan. They will run out of the box 15, nearly smack-dab in the middle of the field.

Is the appearance of the team NXN second time in three years. Last year, the graduate from Sarah Andrews-qualified as an individual.

Roper was assigned to the case 3 with the other four qualifiers NXN South Texas Rachel Johnson (Map), Karis Jochen (AM & Consolidated) and Hillary Montgomery (Klein), and Arkansas Maggie Montoya.

“It would be a comfort zone for her,” said Fossmo. “I warned her not to get too fast. She likes to go ahead and just be there. It will be cold and wet, so I think that in a race like this, it should be a little cautious at the start and push her the last mile.

“I want her to feel great at the end instead of feeling tired and defeated in the end, what happens to the magnitude of the race and conditions. She can relax and take in everything, let the race happen before its term and a pace comfortable with it. ”

The Highlanders, who runs the box 24 in the boy’s championship, finished two points behind Carroll NXN South. Margin of Marcus’ victory was 10 points.

The Woodlands boys top “seven is composed of seniors Andrew Scheffey and Phil Schneider, junior Jake Hendrick, Conner Moncrief, Chris Vargas and Eric Vibrock and sophomore Brigham Hedges.

The Highlanders finished third in last year NXN, their best ever showing at the event. This will be the fifth consecutive team travels to Portland.

Gohlke and south of the other four qualifiers, all of Texas – Yonas Tesfai (Houston Westbury), Kevyn Hoyos (Lewisville Hebron), Travis Barclay (Boerne Champion) and Daniel Vertiz (San Antonio Reagan) – will start from box 17. NXN South champion Craig Lutz, Marcus, qualified with his team. Lutz won the individual title at last year NXN.

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