Iowa at Nike Cross Nationals


Iowa at Nike Cross Nationals

The Nike Cross Nationals (NXN), Portland, OR on December 1 brought together the top high school cross country teams in the U.S., and many of the top individuals.  [Footlocker Nationals, San Diego, CA, 12/8 includes others of the top individuals.]  Teams and individuals qualified for NXN via nine regional competitions held earlier, with Iowa qualifying through the seven state (IA, KS, MN, NE, ND, SD, WI) Heartland Regional in Sioux Falls, SD on November 11.

The West Des Moines’s Dowling Catholic (officially representing “West Des Moines” as a “club”, because of HS Federation rules) boys advanced by placing 2nd of 32 teams at Heartland Regionals.  Run in swamp-like course conditions, where 5k times were approximately 2:30 slower than normal, Dowling finished 19th of 22 at Nationals.  Individuals on the Dowling team were -  Jason Thomas (73rd of 196, 18:22), Brian Wahlig (128th, 19:04), Jeff Derocher (131st, 19:04), Spencer Clark (141st, 19:15), Ian McKenzie (164th, 19:38), Charlie Jones (173rd, 19:48), and Lukas Steffensmeier (184th, 20:13). 

Stephanie Jenks (freshman, Linn-Mar HS, Marion; competing “unattached”, again because of HS Federation rules) was the lone individual representative from Iowa at NXN Nationals.  She qualified by placing 3rd of 260 (needed to be in top 5) at NXN Heartland Regionals.  At Nationals, Stephanie was 41st of 194, 5k – 20:35.  As an 8th grader in 2011, she qualified and placed 70th, 5k – 19:01 on a dry course.

Congratulations Dowling Catholic boys and Stephanie for representing Iowa well.  We’re proud of you!!!

For complete results, webcasts of the races, and photos/videos from NXN National, go to