The Vikings have been building for this moment for years. Tomorrow, in Portland, Oregon Loudoun Valley will look to win the NXN Team Title. They most certainly will face tough competition from teams all over the country and will also need to run their best race of the year. Their greatest competitors will be Desert Vista and Great Oak, two teams used to this high pressure meet.
Though much of the focus will be on the competition itself there definitely will be some push back though if Loudoun Valley were to win. Let's call it how it is, there are a lot of people who will chalk it up to recruiting a super team and not focus on how special this team is.
They have come together and not only advanced to Nationals but have done so while remaining undefeated and setting a state record this November with their perfect 15 score at states. In fact they've done a lot more than come together, they have consistently improved year over year.
Peter Morris and Colton Bogucki for example have improved over two minutes in the 5K from freshman year. That combined with Jacob Hunter's improvement and really their entire team you can see that this team isn't about transfers or recruiting... its about these kids working really hard and doing everything right.
Both the Hunters (Coaches Marc and Joan) have done a great job coaching these athletes but they'd be the first ones to tell you that the kids are the ones putting in the miles. They are going to bed early and eating right for months and even years.
This weekend and their title hopes is one of the greatest stories in VA XC history and any other dialogue than just that is one that does not focus on the hard work that these kids put in.
On Saturday they will need some very strong performances from Sam Affolder (who was runner-up at NXN-SE in 14:58) and senior leaders Morris & Bogucki. The wildcard for them will definitely be Bogucki and Hunter, if these two have a great day then it will be a great outcome.
To win this NXN team title it will certainly take a full team. Buckle up because it is going to be a close one.