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South Region
The Woodlands TX -  November 17, 2007

Early Preview

Analysis of early entries (before Nov. 11 final deadline ) for NTN South regional championships.

by John Sullivan, DyeStat South Region Editor

Ranked Powers Include NTN and Course Veterans

The early entries for the first NTN South Championships are in the books, and it’s shaping up to be a heck of a competition!  Club teams that are signed up include athletes from all olf the top 10 boys squads in the latest DyeStat South rankings and 9 of the 10 girls crews.  In addition, several more were ranked at some point during season.

NTN veterans among the boys teams

Four different boys teams have been ranked #1 in the South this season, and who knows what the remaining state meets may bring.  Two of the teams, the current #1 The Woodlands TX (athletes entered as Woodlands TC) and #5 Southlake Carroll TX (Carroll XC) have twice had clubs make the trip to Portland for the NTN National meet, with Woodlands posting a 7th-place finish in 2004, while Carroll’s best was 11th last year.

#2 Cedar Park TX (Cedar Park RC) had a big win on this same course at the Nike South Invite held four weeks ago against most of these same runners, which propelled them to #1 at that time.  And #3 Georgetown TX (Georgetown XC Club) beat Cedar Park at District just two weeks ago to nab the top spot, before both trailed The Woodlands at this past Saturday’s region meet.  The field also includes clubs made up of athletes from state champ #7 Tulsa Union OK, and projected winners from Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas - all with upcoming state meets this weekend.  Teams like Panther TC (members from #6 Klein Oak TX) will also be looking to make their mark, after placing a non-advancing 4th in a tough Texas state region behind the top three ranked teams.

Girls squads also NTN battle-tested

With clubs made up of athletes from 9 of the top 10 teams in the DyeStat South rankings, it will be anyone’s game.  Two contenders have runners with prior NTN Nationals experience – current #1 Kingwood TX (Kingwood RC) finished 7th in 2004 and 16th in 2005, while #6 Southlake Carroll TX (Carroll XC) has had a club make the trip all 3 years, a claim only 3 other girls teams around the country can make (along with 2 boys clubs).  Carroll placed 3rd the last two years after an 8th at the inaugural edition. 

Both the Cinco Ranch RC and Keller RC squads consist of athletes whose school teams spent time at #1 in the region this year.  And the race will be held on familiar ground, as nearly all the club athletes raced on the course earlier this year at the Nike South Invite, if not also in previous years.  In addition, The Woodlands XC Club and the College Park RC will be competing in their hometown.

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