FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ilana Finley – Nike, Inc.
NTN ReadIEs FOR 4TH Annual Championship with New Regional Qualifying Format
Regional Meets, Not Rankings, Will Dictate Which Teams Race For The National Title
BEAVERTON, ORE, March 19, 2007 – Talk is cheap, rankings are subjective. LET’S RACE!
That might be the slogan of the Nike Team Nationals in its fourth year. Nike announced today that regional championship meets will replace the rankings process for selection of teams to NTN.
Nike Team Nationals, the highly successful national cross country team Championship held in Portland the past three years, will expand to regional meets in 2007. The top teams in the regional meets will qualify for the highly popular meet at Portland Meadows racetrack the first Saturday in December 2007.
The change in format is part of a continued effort to provide the highest platform for team cross country competition. Much like the NCAA model for hosting cross country national championships, the NTN regional qualifying process allows for the purest possible stage for XC competition.
“The best thing about the sport of running is that there is no room for subjectivity,” said Brian O’Connor, Nike’s Global Brand Marketing Manager for Running. “In cross country the team score decides, and the fastest team to cross the line on a given day is the winner. A regional qualifying format means we can make sure this happens.”
In another change, New York will be in a region by itself after dominating the first three years of NTN.
Here is the schedule of the new NTN regional meets:
As in the past, each region will have two automatic bids to NTN, determined by the first two finishers in the regional championship, except for California, whose two automatic bids will be selected by the NTN committee. In addition, there will be four national at large invitations selected by the NTN committee, increasing this year’s field to 22-teams that will compete in the national meet. The 2007 Nike Team Nationals will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2007 at the Portland Meadows race track. Nike Team Nationals stands as the only national XC team championship offering XC clubs composed of the best high-school-age athletes and younger an opportunity to compete against each other in a team setting.