Nike Team Nationals

Foot Locker - NTN update
Foot Locker and Nike near agreement for continued Nike sponsorship of Foot Locker. NTN regional editors named.

by John Dye

The high school cross country championship picture is coming into focus with talks between Nike and Foot Locker this summer. The two major corporate sponsors of high school cross country are near agreement for continuation of the Nike sponsorship of the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. An official announcement is expected soon.

Nike and Foot Locker are also discussing resolution of the conflict that arises from Nike Team Nationals (NTN) and the Foot Locker West regional being held on the same day (December 4), potentially forcing some Western runners to choose between running with their team at NTN or trying to qualify for Foot Locker nationals by being one of the top eight at the West regional.

Meanwhile, preparations continue for the inaugural NTN in Portland. DyeStat has named regional editors to coordinate news from each of the eight NTN regions. These editors, along with Marc Bloom and John Dye, will also form the NTN rankings committee, which will issue the NTN Regional Rankings each week during the season. Rankings will be released in an email newsletter, on the official NTN web site, and on DyeStat. The top two teams in each region will be invited to the nationals. Four more teams will be selected at large from the teams placing third and fourth in the NTN Regional Rankings, making a total of 20 boys teams and 20 girls teams in the championship races. Invitations will be announced throughout November as each region's season concludes with the last state meet. Travel expenses of eight runners and an adult escort will be paid by Nike. A full weekend of activities is planned Dec 2-5 in Portland, which is also hosting the USATF club championships the same weekend at Portland Meadows race course (NTN races are Saturday morning and club championships Saturday afternoon.).

NTN officials have also been reviewing sanctioning and eligibility rules of the various state athletic associations. Nike youth running director Josh Rowe stressed that the meet will operate within the rules of state associations. All teams invited will be expected to adhere to any applicable state association rules, even if it means they cannot accept the NTN invitation.

USATF is sanctioning NTN, and teams will run as registered USATF clubs.

The NTN regional editors are:

NORTHEAST - Don Rich SOUTHEAST - Ricky Quintana
SOUTH - John Sullivan MIDWEST - Scott Bush
HEARTLAND - Anthony Bozarth SOUTHWEST - Mike Elder and Adam Kedge
NORTHWEST - Julian Aguirre CALIFORNIA - Rich Gonzalez and Mike Kennedy



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