March 13, 2004 at 3:27 pm #1294
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 12, 2004
NIKE ANNOUNCES HIGH SCHOOL TEAM NATIONALS
Nike today announced its sponsorship of a new national high school team cross-country championship to be held December 4 in the Portland, Oregon area. The Nike Team Nationals is a post-season invitational showcasing 20 boys teams and 20 girls teams, with more than 300 runners from all parts of the country. The races will be 5,000 meters and the specific racecourse will be determined shortly.
“The Nike Team Nationals will motivate hundreds, if not thousands, of runners nationwide to seek new levels of excellence year-round,” said Josh Rowe, Nike’s youth running manager and founder of the Nike Team Nationals. “We at Nike also hope to foster values of teamwork that are important to young runners on and off the course.”
The championship will be sanctioned by USA Track & Field, running’s national governing body. “As many high school runners will be involved and interested in this event, we hope many more athletes will be convinced to continue their running in college and beyond,” said Bill Roe, president of USATF.
Teams will compete as USATF-affiliated clubs and Nike will provide team racing uniforms. Meet management will be handled by the National Scholastic Sports Foundation (NSSF), which conducts several national high school events including this weekend’s Nike Indoor Championships in Landover, Maryland.
Teams will be chosen based on regional rankings published by The Harrier Magazine and invitations will be awarded to teams after their state meets are held. The top 2 boys teams and top 2 girls teams from each of 8 regions, plus 4 at-large selections each for boys and girls, will make up the 20-team fields for the nationals.
The Nike Team Nationals is the latest high school event in Nike’s youth sponsorship program. Others include the Great American Cross Country Festival in Cary, North Carolina; Manhattan College high school cross-country invitational in New York; and Mount San Antonio College high school cross-country invitational in Walnut, California, all held in October.
“We applaud Nike for understanding that cross-country is a team sport,” said Linda Kranick, who with her husband Art coaches the national #1-ranked Saratoga Springs girls team from upstate New York. “It’s not just one or two individuals that factor into the scoring. There’s a lot of camaraderie in cross-country and this event underscores the value of teamwork. We’re very excited about a national team competition.”
The Nike Team Nationals meet management executive committee is headed by Rowe. Other members, among the nation’s foremost authorities on high school running, are: Jim Spier and A.J. Holzherr of the NSSF, John Dye of DyeStat.com, Arcadia (CA) Invitational director Rich Gonzalez of DyeStatCal.com, The Harrier editor Marc Bloom who compiles the national team rankings, and Danny Green, who has coached The Woodlands High School of Texas for more than 30 years.
NIKE, Inc. based in Beaverton, Oregon is the world’s leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Bauer NIKE Hockey Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan®, which designs, markets, and distributes fine dress and casual shoes and accessories; and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories.
For more information on the Nike Team Nationals, visit dyestat.com or contact [email protected] (503.671.3289).
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