Some would call it a good problem to have, others would call it the most unfair problem to have. Both are right in our mind.
The Loudoun Valley Vikings have yet another tough decision to make this upcoming post-season. As they are slated to attempt to defend their NXN National Team Title they will have to decide whether to send Sam Affolder and Jacob Hunter to Foot Locker or NXR.
For those unfamiliar, here is why this is such an unfair issue.
Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) has regional qualifying where only the top two teams advance to Nationals. The regional for our region (Southeast) is the same day and just hours apart from the Foot Locker South Regional. Thus you must choose in our region between one or the other.
Loudoun Valley has basically completely shut out the idea of splitting the team at NXR as to not risk the chances of making it out to Portland. So that leaves us with the question if they should.
Only the top ten move on from Foot Locker and currently Sam ranks 12th while Jacob ranks 46th in FLS. Don't let those numbers confuse you though because both would have great shots at making the cut since many of those athletes are from Texas and others will be at NXR. Basically if you can run 15:05 or faster, you're in.
In the NXR Race, even without that 1-3 punch it looks like Valley would still be the team to beat. The two teams they'd have to beat would be Bolles (FL) and Weddington (NC) who finished second and fourth behind them at Great American. The same race that did not have Sam in it.
If you take Hunter out of the race the team scores now have Bolles winning with Valley in second and Weddington third with the scores 108 - 110 - 123. We wouldn't count Valley out though since the meet would be smaller and thus value their stellar depth more.
So if you were coaching them, would you risk it?