Cross Country is starting!
There has been a lot of talk around the Memphis area lately as we start off the cross-country season. For the second year in a row, the HOKA One 3200M is on the docket as one of the go to meets for the early season of cross country.
This Saturday the HOKA One Postal National Flagship event kicks off around 6pm with several heats of the 3200M for both boys and girls. Christian Brothers High School is he host again for this event. These Postal Nationals have a history dating back to 1957. The one in Memphis is only in its second year but is headed towards its own history with the number of entries growing exponentially.
One of the highlights of this Postal National is the fact that later in the evening, the event kicks off the Elite Level Mile race for men and women. The Women's Murphey Mile starts at 9:00pm and the Men's Murphey Mile at 9:15pm. With a full field of elite men and women competing to get the title of the fastest mile on Tennessee soil, not to mention prize money, the competition will no doubt be as exciting as it can get! Last year Craig Engels and Kate Van Buskirk won the events while setting all time best Tennessee soil records. This year's event looks to provide even more competition and really, if you're reading this, how can you not be excited about this!!
Of course, with these elite athletes at the event, the high school competitors will be out there looking to impress as well. We expect some of the fastest cross-country runners to make their marks at this event. It's a 3200M race on the track as they are getting themselves into cross country shape - so this is a great way for the athletes and the coaches to get a good baseline on how well they are running at this point.
On the girl's high school side, we'll be looking to see how Lydia Tankersley (Houston), Allison Newman (St. George's) and Madeline Harreld (Houston) will be coming out and starting their competitive season at this track race. The girl's winner last year crossed the line in 11:04 and that 5:32 pace is going to be hard to match, but with this solid a group, we could see some sparks for sure!
The boys side is certainly going to showcase some of the top local runners as well. Houston's Bradley Turner, Christian Brothers Campbell Constatine, Davis Rangi of Evangelical Christian, Alex Warr of MUS, Jack Lange of St. George's, and a slew of other speedsters look to test their conditioning this Saturday. The boy's winner last year made in across the finish by holding a strong 4:58 pace and a 9:55 final time. This is set up to be a very exciting finish and just what you want to see under the lights on a nice and warm Saturday evening!
So, if you are wanting to get a bit of a preview of the talent in the Memphis area for the upcoming cross-country season, I'd say get yourself out to the CBHS track Saturday night, find a good spot in the stands and be ready for the competition. Oh, and speaking about the stands... during the elite race, race director Nick Dwyer will certainly encourage everyone to get up onto their feet, crowd the track, and get a close up look as the super-fast elite racers race to the finish! I'm telling you, this is one exciting group of races to watch and you don't want to miss any of it!
See you... on the CBHS track Saturday night!