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Cross Country States Conflicts with Nike Cross Regionals

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Cross Country States Conflicts with Nike Cross Regionals

Gracie Sprankle

Gracie Sprankle

Gracie Sprankle

Sai Rayala, Editor-in-Chief

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As the fall sports season comes to an end, teams have already been busying themselves with the postseason events. Among them is the Cross Country State Championship Meet that will take place on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the National Trails Raceway in Hebron, Ohio. This race is an opportunity for the runner to peak and run their best race of the season. However, for several runners, this weekend poses a unique challenge. The very next day is the Nike Cross Regionals where 6 out of the 8 girl runners from States will also be competing.

The conflict between States and the Nike Cross Regionals is a result of the OHSAA postponing the state meet from Nov. 3 to Nov. 10. According to the OHSAA, the heavy rainfall on Oct.31 and Nov. 1 caused the course and parking areas at National Trails to be flooded. Due to the change, the two races now fall on the same weekend, impacting the runners and changing their plan.

The date change throws the runners off their training schedule and their tapering. Athletes taper their training by running fewer miles and gradually decreasing the intensity of their workouts. This allows the runners to feel fresh and ready to run their best at the state championship. By moving the race by an entire week, Coach Dewese states that it could potentially lead to runners not being in their best condition for states.

Furthermore, 6 out of the 8 girls cross county runners at States will also be competing at the Nike Cross Regionals the very next day along with 8 other girls. As soon as the runners finish their state race on Saturday, they’ll be traveling to Terre Haute, Indiana where the Nike Cross regionals will take place. There, they plan to get a good night’s sleep and wake up Sunday to race for another time. These six girls will end up having back-to-back long-distance races with relatively little rest in between – a situation that Coach Dewese says can be quite challenging.

“Most distance coaches will tell you that it is very difficult to run your best race on less than 24 hours of rest between races,” Dewese says. “In fact, most distance coaches will say that it takes at least 48 hours and sometimes longer for runners for fully recover from a race…It will be very challenging for the athletes that are competing at the state championships…to have good races on back to back days.”

It also worth keeping in mind that all the competitors at Nike Cross that are from Ohio will be at a disadvantage compared to competitors from other states. The runners from others states will have had a full week of rest after their state meet to prepare for the Nike Cross race while any runner from Ohio will not be in the same condition.

Coach Dewese believes that the mindset of the athletes will be critical in how they perform in this kind of situation.

“If they embrace the challenge of running two races back to back and approach the Nike race with a positive attitude, they will be competitive,” Dewese says.

It seems that the runners have taken heed of their coach’s words. Despite the inconvenience, the athletes maintain a positive outlook on the whole situation.

“I don’t think this will impact the team that much,” Audrey Piero, one of runners in the State meet and the Nike Cross regionals, says. “We’ve been training all year and we are confident that we can put on a good performance.”

Gracie Sprankle, another runner in both races, echoes similar words.

“We all had that moment of feeling overwhelmed at first, but now we have accepted it. Our main focus and my main focus will be peaking at state which I think is more important.” Sprankle says. “I feel good about where my training is and where the team is right now. Although I know it’s going to be hard, it will be something I’ve never done before, run two 5Ks back to back. My goals are still the same, and it will be a good challenge and fun to spend the whole weekend with the team.”

Best of luck to the all of the runners in both of the races!

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About the Writer
Sai Rayala, Editor-in-chief

Sai Rayala is a junior at Olentangy Liberty High School and this is her first year with the Patriot Press. The previous year, she was a staff writer for...

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Cross Country States Conflicts with Nike Cross Regionals