TEMPE, Ariz. — It’s all a matter of timing. And putting team before self.
Wade Meddles from Minden, who won the Class 2A state cross country championship, placed third in the championship race at the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional on Saturday. As one of the top five individual finishers on nonqualifying teams, he earned a spot in the NXN Finals in Portland, Ore.
The problem is the NXN Finals are set for Dec. 6, the same date as the Footlocker West Regional at Mt. SAC in Walnut, Calif. And Meddles can’t be in two places at once.
Meddles and his six Sierra Lutheran teammates, running as the Falcon Cross Club, all are entered to run at Footlocker on Dec. 6. According to Meddles’ coach, Dave Marson, the decision was made before the race.
Unless the team qualified to go to Portland, it was Mt. SAC and Footlocker for all.
The Falcon Cross Club finished 22nd. Only the top two teams earned a trip to Portland.
“If Wade were a senior, it would have been different, but he’s got another year, and I want him to get a chance to run Mt. SAC,” Marson said.
Nick Hartle, a freshman at Centennial who was sixth at the Class 4A state meet, decided to bypass the championship race at the Southwest Regional and enter the freshman-sophomore race instead.
He won in a time of 16 minutes, 33 seconds over the 3.1-mile course. Arbor View sophomore Greg Marschik, running unattached in the same race, finished 14th.
Other Southern Nevada runners competed but had less success.
Centennial’s Nathan Williams ran in the same race with Meddles. He finished 49th in the field of just less than 200 in a time of 16:20.
Brittany Williams, Nathan’s sister, and her Centennial Hills RC teammates were the lone Southern Nevada team in either championship race.
They finished 24th. Brittany Williams was the first Centennial runner to finish, placing 116th in a field of 187.
Arbor View’s Katie Carrell, running unattached, was the first Nevada finisher in 102th place.