South Dakota Harriers to Race at Nike Heartland Regional Cross Country Championship

Dozens of South Dakota Harriers are entered in the Nike Heartland Regional meet on Sunday, November 14 at Yankton Trail Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the chance to compete at Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) on December 7, in Portland, Ore.

The top two boys and top two girls teams as well as the top five individual boys and girls, not on a top two team, will also earn a berth to NXN.

Nike will present five races on Sunday, including Boys and Girls, Open and Championship races for students in grades 8 through 12, as well as a Community race.  Approximately 950 high school runners from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are entered in the Open and Championship races.

On the roster from South Dakota are individuals and/or teams from Aberdeen, Brandon, Brookings, Custer, Garretson, Mitchell, Parker, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Volin, and Yankton.

Class AA State Champions Tamara Gorman (Rapid City Stevens High School freshman) and Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City Central High School junior) and Class B champion Duane Jongeling (Parker High School sophomore) will be among the harriers competing as individuals in the championship race. The Class AA Boys State Champion, Sioux Falls Roosevelt boys team will compete as a team in the Boys Championship Race.

Smoragiewicz was the only South Dakota runner entered in the 2009 Nike Heartland meet who qualified to compete in NXN where he finished as the fourth fastest sophomore and 85th overall. Smoragiewicz finished first for the boys in the 2009 and 2010 Nike Pre-Regional Meet.

Nike will host a pre-race pasta dinner for athletes, coaches, and families on Saturday night. Nike professional athlete, Lopez Lamong, 2008 Olympian and US Flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony in Beijing will be the featured speaker at the dinner.

If you go, be prepared for a full day of races filled with top harriers from the seven-state Heartland Region. The Girls Open Race begins at 10:00 am followed by the Boys Open Race at 10:40 am. The Community Race begins at 11:10 am followed by the Girls Championship Race at 12:10 pm. The races finish with the Boys Championship Race at 12:45 pm.  Awards will be presented at 1:15 pm.  The weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a 10 percentage chance of precipitation and temperatures in the mid 40s.

Additional meet information is available at the Nike Heartland website

A complete listing of entrants and box assignments are available on the MileSplit South Dakota website at Videos, photos, and results will also be uploaded following the meet