CARY, NC -- Numerous teams who are looking to make the trip to Cary on Saturday are hoping it's a successful one. Specifically from Virginia, the Loudoun Valley boys and Blacksburg girls are looking to not only run well but to win the entire meet and make it to NXN in Portland.
To make it to NXN, these teams will either need to place in the top two or place in the top four and receive one of the at-large bids that NXN gives out. Historically speaking, though, the Southeast region has not been one to receive NXN at-large bids and thus it will be of the utmost importance to finish inside the top two.
First up will be the girls. Blacksburg was second a year ago to Lake Braddock and is not only looking to win this year but also to make it a 6th year in a row making it to NXN. They enter as the pre-meet favorites with a South Carolina and Florida team in 2-3. If Blacksburg takes care of business they should be safe.
Also competing on the girls' side for Virginia is Oakton, Lake Braddock, Albemarle, Loudoun Valley, and West Springfield. Overall all these teams should have some great finishes as they are healthy and strong.
Next up will be the boys' race featuring US No. 1 Loudoun Valley. They enter as very strong favorites for not only this race but the national title as well. They will however face arguably the strongest boys field in NXR Southeast history with Milton (South Carolina), St. Xavier (Kentucky), Louisville Trinity (Kentucky), Green Hope (North Carolina) and Brentwood (Tennessee) all vying for one of those two auto-spots.
Also competing for the guys will be Albemarle and Blacksburg.
Virginia athletes though won't only be down here for team glory.
Some individuals will be attempting to make NXN by finishing inside the top five as well. This includes: Ahmed Hassan, Owen Richards, Yared Mekonnen, Mateo Barreto, Nolan Harris, Philip Lambert, Zach Levet, and Ryan McCracken on the guys side, among others.