The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media


Nike Cross Nationals: America’s “Superbowl” of Running

A delve into Nike Cross Nationals and the significance of the event on the culture and community.

Every year about 20 boys and girls cross country teams compete to see who is the best team and the best runners in the United States in an event called Nike Cross Nationals, often referred to as NXN.

A qualifying NXN runner with the official logo on his bicep.

NXN is the best of the best competition in the U.S. for elite runners and is the ultimate end goal to their seasons and often their high school careers. Runners want to win with their team and individually; this year, 22 girls’ and guys’ teams ran from eight different regions through the U.S., with some running for individual glory and some hoping to bring home a national title to their high school.

Runners achieve this goal through a very strenuous but straightforward process. An individual runner must get top ten in their state meet, and teams must get top three. These individuals and teams move on to one of the eight different regional meets in which they once again must place within the top ten individuals or top three teams to go nationals. One of the greatest teams ever to achieve this feat and be highly successful is Newbury Park, a high school in California. Newbury Park won this season’s title for the second year in a row, listing them as one of the greatest teams to ever attend NXN, as stated in Logan Stanley’s article, “Newbury Park adds to legacy.”

Teams like Newbury Park tend to build high school running dynasties, winning multiple times in a decade, producing athletes like Leo and Lex Young and Colin and Aaron Sahlman, two sets of twins who run for Newbury Park. They are consistent runners because they win race after race, year after year. Newbury Park runner Aaron Sahlman won NXN this year for the boys’ race, and runner Irene Riggs won from Morgantown High school in West Virginia.

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Many runners say a great thing about NXN is that any runner can win the title, making it an equal-opportunity event that contributes significantly to the culture surrounding the sport and its athletes. 

“Cross country in itself is not a glory sport; not a lot of people come to the meets to cheer you on but then you look at NXN, and there are hundreds of people cheering you on,” junior Anton Augusto said. 

Many runners agree with this because it is a chance to be recognized on a massive platform. Cross country runners do not usually achieve the level of fame or popularity that a high school basketball or football team may receive, so it creates a unique culture that strives for success and the ultimate goal of Nike Cross Nationals.

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About the Contributor
Cole Loiacano
Cole Loiacano, Sports Print Director
Cole Loiacano is a senior and it is his second year in Tom Tom, In his free time he runs both Cross Country and Track he also enjoys discovering new music as well as traveling with friends and family.
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