"I raced Jacob for the first time at FSU Relays my freshman year, then at Bale-n-Trail as a sophomore, then at Footlocker Regionals, then at Nationals, and now this weekend.
Our compare athlete feature shows just how similar these two runners are. Hicks beat McLeod (who was ranked #7 in the Flo50 ranking) by less than two seconds in the 1,600 at FSU Relays and then lost by two ONE-HUNDREDTHS in the 3,200m. In cross country, McLeod had his number including the Foot Locker South Regional where he was four-tenths faster.
The two spent a lot of time with each other at Foot Locker in San Diego as members of the south team. He knew the races had been historically close and that this match up would be no different. McLeod went out fast and he hung with him.
"From the start it was myself and Jacob at the front with Joey Fitzpatrick, Nathan Jubran, and Chase Rivera in a pack behind us," Hicks explained. "As the race went on Joey and Nathan left Chase behind with another kid I've never seen before and Jacob and I kept working it."
They crossed the mile mark around 4:50 and the two mile mark at 9:58 and in the last 100m kicked it out, with Hicks inching ahead to take the win.
"Spikes and Spurs was a real wake up call and I needed it to keep myself motivated and to remind me that I can't back off," he said. "It was really rewarding to go into the race more prepared and hungry and to grab a result from it."
Hicks and his Bolles teammates won the team title with 54 points over Satellite who beat Vanguard by one point, 110-111. The Bulldogs were second at last year's 2A Cross Country Finals behind Trinity Prep while Satellite was third in 2016.