PORTLAND 9/19/06 -- Have you ever caught yourself dreaming about what it'd be like to compete on Nike Team Nationals weekend?
Ever wondered how your team would fare when compared against the very best teams in the country?
Ever fantasized about how much fun and challenging it would be to tackle the European-style 5,000-meter NTN championship course?
Stop all the dreaming, all the wondering and all the fantasizing. ... Your chance has come.
In a benchmark announcement that creates opportunity for cross-country teams from all across America, footwear giant Nike announced plans to host an inaugural NTN Open Championship in conjunction with the blockbuster Nike Team Nationals event in Portland on Saturday, December 2nd. The NTN Open is a chance for any registered team that has not qualified for the Nike Team Nationals event to become a meaningful part of the NTN meet-day festivities and compete against other leading teams along the Portland Meadows race course.
The Open Championships will be comprised of two 30-team races: One for boys and one for girls.
"With the unprecedented excitement levels and national interest surrounding the first two Nike Team Nationals events, we wanted to find ways to bring the 'championship weekend' environment to more teams from across the U.S.," said John Truax, a Nike executive and co-founder of the NTN event.
"With this addition, teams can come to Portland to race on the very same day and along the very same course as the very best teams in the nation. We want the fun to grow and we want more people at the party."
Participating teams will be able to compare their times and performances against those teams in the featured Nike Team Nationals boys and girls races to get an idea of how strong their squad truly is on a national scale.
For others, partaking in the NTN Open Championship can be an opportunity to become familiar with the NTN course -- a potentially valuable tool for any young team perhaps one year away from qualifying for NTN. For all, it will be a chance to close their seasons on a high note in the most festive team setting available for our sport.
This Olympic Development-style event is open to all cross-country clubs whose team members attend the same high school. Only full scoring teams (between 5 and 7 runners) will be allowed to enter. Space in the NTN Open Championship is limited to 30 teams per gender. The absolute deadline for registering is Monday, November the 6th at 8 a.m. EST.
Teams can register at: http://secure.nationalscholastic.org/niketeam/register/