Meddles opts for Foot Locker after qualifying for Nike Nationals
Sierra Lutheran High School’s Wade Meddles has opted to try to qualify for a more difficult national competition even though he has already earned a spot in another national event.
Meddles won the NIAA 2A State title in cross country earlier this month in leading the Douglas County school to the state team title. Since then Sierra Lutheran has fielded a team of seven runners that has continued to compete as the Falcon XC Club.
On Saturday, the team competed at the Nike Cross Country National Southwest Championship in Tempe, Ariz. Teams from Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada competed.
Many of the teams competing were state champions. There were 192 runners and 24 teams in the competition.
Meddles was in 34th after the first mile, worked his way up to 10th at the second mile and finished third in 15 minutes, 26 seconds, only six seconds out of first. Also for the Falcon team, Michael Kubel finished 112th , covering the three-mile course in 17:01, Nathanael Williams finished in 17:47, Preston Lyons finished in 18:23, Jason Deterding was 186th in 19:22, Nathan Conover finished in 20:06 and Ryan Jackson finished in 20:57. The team finished in 22nd. The team will next be compete at the Footlocker West Regionals at Mt. San Antionio College in Walnute, Calif., on December 6.
With his third place finish, Meddles qualified for the Nike Nationals to be held in Portland. But the Nike Nationals are also held on December 6.
The team decided unless it qualified for the Nike Nationals that all of its runners, including Meddles, would run at the Foot Locker event.
“If Wade were a senior, it would have been different, but he’s got another year and I want him to get a chance to run Mt. SAC,” Sierra Lutheran and Falcon XC coach Dave Marson said.
Meddles never wavered in his decision. He filled out the paperwork which he was asked to do as one of the national qualifiers. He didn’t bother to answer questions like “What size uniform?” And “What is the nearest airport from your home?” Those answers weren’t necessary. At the top of the one-page form he wrote: Declined and then underlined it, twice.
Race officials were surprised and the Nike representative was a bit chagrined that Meddles would turn down an all expenses paid trip to Portland, in lieu of a chance to be one of the 10 qualifiers at the Foot Locker West Regional for the Foot Locker Nationals. Competition for those 10 spots will be intense, with the top runners from all the Western states competing. The unnamed Nike representative grumbled: “He won’t make it.”
But showing what kind of character Meddles has, he’s made the decision to give it a try.