Mainland’s Kevin Antczak has accepted an at-large invitation to race in the Nike Cross Country Nationals this weekend in Oregon.
Antczak, who has already posted the fastest times in 30 years by South Jersey runners at Holmdel and VanCortlandt – the two most iconic XC courses on the East Coast – didn’t run at NXN Northeast Regionals, which were held the same day as Foot Locker Regionals.
But he was offered and accepted an invitation to NXN Nationals, which will be held at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Ore., on Saturday morning.
Antczak was 4th at Foot Locker Regionals, earning an auto bid to Nationals. Because Foot Locker Nationals are held the weekend after NXN Nationals, Antczak is able to compete in both. Foot Locker Nationals are scheduled for Dec. 14 at Balboa Park in San Diego.
The only other South Jersey boy to race at NXN since it moved to Glendoveer is Cherry Hill East’s Aaron Groff, who ran 15:48 at Glendoveer in 2015 and placed 44th. The Kingsway girls ran NXN as a team in 2017.
Nike Cross Nationals started in 2004 as Nike Team Nationals and became Nike Cross Nationals in 2008. It was held at at Portland Meadows Horse Racing Track until moving to Glendoveer Golf Course in 2014.
Nine New Jersey runners have broken 16 minutes at Glendoveer since the meet moved to the current course:
15:20 … Jack Stanley [Mendham], 2018
15:30 … Blaise Ferro [CBA], 2015
15:42 … Tim Bason [West Windsor-Plainsboro South], 2015
15:47 … Nikhil Pulimood [West Windsor-Plainsboro South], 2014
15:47 … Brian Hill [CBA], 2017
15:48 … Aaron Groff [Cherry Hill East], 2015
15:50 … Craig Corti [Wallkill Valley], 2014
15:53 … Luke Reid [CBA], 2017
15:58 … John McGovern [Somerville], 2018
Liam Murphy of Allentown, Antczak and Jack Jennings of Mendham finished 3rd, 4th and 5th at Foot Locker Northeast Regionals. All three accepted at-large bids to NXN and will race in both national meets.
It appears from the Portland Meadows venue all-time performance list that no South Jersey boys ever competed at NXN before it moved to its current home.