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11/21/09 at Bear Branch Park, The Woodlands TX
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 NXN Qualifiers


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Meet's own site
Boerne Champion boys, Southlake Carroll girls
Ryan Dohner 15:38.9 surprise, Sarah Andrews 18:14.8 convincingly
NXN Qualifiers - WINNERS TABLE w/Results
Tom Connor Photos - Boys Championship - Girls Championship - Awards

NXN South champs Sarah Andrews TX and Ryan Dohner TX.  Photos by Tom Connor
  • Texas 4A boys champs Boerne Champion (RC Boerne XC) prevailed, 61-81, over Texas 5A champs The Woodlands (The Woodlands TC), with Cedar Park TX (Cedar Park CC) close 3rd at 84 points.
  • In a battle of top Texas girls squads, Southlake Carroll (Carroll XC)  77 took the girls championship title over Kingwood TX (Kingwood XC), 77 to 91, with Kingwood Park TX (K-Park XC) very close at 94 points.
  • Klein Oak (Panther TC) sr Ryan Dohner stunned favorite Craig Lutz (Marcus XC) with a 15:38.9 Boys Championship win in muddy conditions.  Lutz ended up third (16:01.6), as Cedar Park sr Parker Stinson (15:51.8) hung closest to Dohner for the runner-up slot.
  • The Woodlands' Sarah Andrews rolls to a convincing win in the Girls Championship, 18:14.8 to runner-up Rachel Johnson's (Plano/Metroplex Striders) 18:46.2

Surprise: Dohner, SL Carroll girls; no surprise: Andrews, Boerne boys

Lead story by SteveU, DyeStat senior editor

The endless drizzle and mud, and the home state’s dominance of the team and individual leaders, were the predominant themes at Saturday’s NXN South Regional at Bear Branch Park in The Woodlands, Texas.  But those were to be expected.  The majority of meets in the Houston area this fall have been rain- and mud-plagued … and the list of top entrants was more Texas-loaded than ever, with almost no top teams from other states and just a smattering of top individuals.

But as to which Texans left the water-logged complex with invitations to Portland – there were some definite surprises mixed in with the prevailing favorites.  Who, for example, would have expected Ryan Dohner – an excellent runner but without a win at this level – to upset US#2 Craig Lutz?  Saturday, however, was the perfect time for the Klein Oak (Panther TC) sr to rebound from the sting of his self-proclaimed “worst race ever” – 11th in last week’s 5A meet – and get himself into pressure-free mode.  Similarly, Cedar Park (Cedar Park CC) sr Parker Stinson stopped “thinking too much” and both took it to Lutz from the get-go. 

Meanwhile, Lutz seemed to not have his usual verve and was not up to the aggression by his rivals.  When Dohner pushed hard, mid-race, the Marcus junior (Marcus XC Club) was not focused and energized after that to respond.  “After that, I was running to qualify,” he said.  Dohner would pull away from Stinson later for a winning 15:38.9 in the slop, raising his index and pinkie fingers high in the final 50 meters.  Stinson finished in 15:51.8 and Lutz in 16:01.6.  Stony Point TX jr Mark Pinales (unatt.) in 16:04.2 and Arlington Lamar sr Jeffery Arnier (unatt.) in 16:08.2 were the other NXN Finals qualifiers as none of the top five overall were from qualifying teams.

Meanwhile, SO#3 Southlake Carroll TX (Carroll XC Club) coach Justin Leonard thought his girls team had done pretty well as he was waiting for the announcements, maybe even sneaking in for second.  They did even better than that, pulling off the second big surprise of the day with their Girls Championship victory.  Jessica Harper led the way with her 11th-place finish (3rd in scoring), but what happened further down the line was the key.  “We had two girls who were our 6th and 7th runners all year move up to our 3rd and 4th today.  When our #2 fell (Sarah Roe), a lot of our other girls saw it and really stepped up.”

Left in SLC’s wake:  SO#1 Kingwood TX (Kingwood XC Club) with 91 points, SO#4 Kingwood Park TX (K-Park XC) with 94, and SO#2 College Park TX (Park XC Club) with 117.  Kingwood’s finish was still sweet, earning their first NXN bid since 2004-2005.  Coach Christie Burleson was an assistant for those first two teams to Portland.  Her assistant now is her father, Zoe Simpson, who won 7 state titles as boys head coach in the 80s and 90s.

Less surprising, both individually and team-wise, were the performances by The Woodlands (The Woodlands C-C Club) sr Sarah Andrews for the girls and Boerne Champion (RC Bourne XC) for the boys.  Andrews, admitting the longer 5k distance (Texas normally races 3200m) was more to her liking, had her most dominating performance of the year, stretching out the field early and powering home solo in 18:14.8.  Plano TX jr Rachel Johnson (Metroplex Striders) was just three seconds behind Andrews in the shorter 5A state race; Saturday, the gap was 31.4 seconds. 

While Andrews said she would have liked a rematch with injured absentee and defending champ Chelsey Sveinsson, the 2008 NXN Finals runner-up is excited about the opportunity two weeks down the road. “I love Portland and am looking forward to the chance to go for the win.”  Also qualifying for NXN Finals – all for a second time – were Vista Ridge sr Amanda Russell (unatt.), Belton sr Regan Tindell (Belton Tiger TC), and Heritage jr Aly Nielson (Metroplex Striders).

Boerne Champion is looking forward to Portland, too.  In 2008, they were just eight points away from qualifying.  But with six seniors, this has been the Texas 4A powerhouse’s year.  They served notice they could beat the big boys in 5A with a win over The Woodlands at Nike South – but then-US#1 Cedar Park was without a full team there, so the “Bourne Supremacy” (a popular team t-shirt, despite the fact that “Boerne” is pronounced like “Bernie”) was not really established.

Saturday, it was.  To win, BC had to offset Cedar Park’s top-end power with their depth, while at the same time overpower The Woodlands at the top, so the hosts’ depth didn’t come back to get them.  In the end, it wasn’t really close.  BC beat The Woodlands at all but one spot, and had a 30-point advantage over Cedar Park in the final two runners after only losing seven points in the first three.  Boerne Champion 61, The Woodlands 81, Cedar Park 84.

“We’ve kind of had a chip on our shoulder,” said Boerne #1 Nathan Christianson, who led the effort in 7th overall.  “We had three big goals this year – to win state, qualify for NXN, and run well in Portland.  To have accomplished two of the three so far feels really good.”
Championship stories coming

NXN Qualifiers 1st and 2nd place teams are automatic qualifiers; 3rd and 4th place teams
are eligible for selection as a national at-large team. Individual qualifiers are the top 5 not on a qualifying team.
Boys Teams
1. Boerne Champion TX (RC Boerne XC) 61
2. The Woodlands TX (The Woodlands TC) 81

3. Cedar Park TX (Cedar Park CC) 84
4. Klein Oak TX (Panther TC) 154

Girls Teams
1. Southlake Carroll TX (Carroll XC) 77
2. Kingwood TX (Kingwood XC) 91

3. Kingwood Park TX (K-Park XC) 94
4. College Park TX (Park XC) 117
Boys Individuals
1. Ryan Dohner TX 15:38.9
2. Parker Stinson TX 15:51.8
3. Craig Lutz TX 16:01.6
4. Mark Pinales TX 16:04.2
5. Jeffery Arnier TX 16:08.2

Girls Individuals
1. Sarah Andrews TX 18:14.8
2. Rachel Johnson TX 18:46.2
3. Amanda Russell TX 19:02.2
4. Regan Tindell TX 19:08.9
5. Aly Nielson TX 19:26.7

Winners Table
Click event name for details
 Girls Open
 Panther TC TX 44 over Park XC Club TX 60
 Lori Bingman (Park XC) - 20:47.9
 Boys Open
 The Woodlands TC TX 44 over The Woodlands TC "B" TX 44 (6th man tiebreaker)
 Alan Sanchez (unatt.) - 17:05.2
 Girls Championship Carroll XC TX 77 over Kingwood XC TX 91
 Sarah Andrews (The Woodlands TC TX) - 18:14.8
 Boys Championship RC Boerne XC TX 61 over The Woodlands TC TX 81
 Ryan Dohner (Panther TC TX) - 15:38.9

Boerne to be the Best?  In an NXN regional that's almost all Texas, the best story is the Boerne Champion boys vs. 5A powers, girls battle of "Kingwoods," and Lutz's domination; Sveinsson's absence changes girls individual battle - SteveU Preview

Last Year  - The Woodlands TX sweeps team titles
Reed Connor TX 14:57 -- Chelsey Sveinsson TX 17:11

 Reed Connor
 Chelsey Sveinsson leads Sarah Andrews

South Region History

South Region 2004-2008
2008 4th, The Woodlands TX
 8th, Cedar Park TX
 14th, The Woodlands TX
 20th, Cinco Ranch TX
4th, The Woodlands TX
15th, Carroll Southlake TX
16th, Rogers AR
18th, Carroll Southlake TX
22nd, Keller TX 
12th, Woodlands TX
11th, Carroll TX (Southlake)
3rd, Carroll TX (Southlake)
20th, Tupelo MS
16th, Corpus Christi TX
20th, Flower Mound TX
3rd, Carroll TX (Southlake)
16th, Kingwood TX
7th, The Woodlands TX
4th, Carroll TX (Southlake)
7th, Kingwood TX
8th, Carroll TX (Southlake)


9:00 am Boy's Open race and Freshman-Sophomore Combined
9:30 am Girl's Open race and Freshman-Sophomore Combined
10:00 am Boy's Championship race (qualifier)
10:30 am Girl's Championship race ( qualifier)
11:00 am Awards

Friday, November 20, 2009 3:00-7:30pm Bear Branch Park (the course)
Saturday, Novermber 21, 2009 7:00 am Bear Branch Park (the course)