Coming into the NXN Southeast Regional Charles Hicks had a good shot at making it to Portland as an individual. His Bolles team was seeded inside the top ten, but only two make the auto qualifier. No boys team from the southeast has ever earned an at-large bid in the meet's history.
The 2A state champion and 2016 Foot Locker Nationals finalist had punched his ticket after finishing third in a new personal best of 15:05.7.
"I learned a lot from Great American and that was the reason we raced it," he told us. "All the boys had fantastic races. We had PR's all around."
It was at that point Hicks learned the news. The Bulldogs were NXN bound! Teammate Chase Rivera finished 12th.
Four guys were in the top 40 and junior Alexander Hastings was the fifth man in 70th place. It wasn't enough to beat US#1 Loudon Valley out of Virginia who scored 72 points, but it did give Bolles a score of 118 and edge Western Cary TC for the final spot.
Individually, the five fastest not on a qualifying team make it to NXN. Citrus Park Christian Trevor Foley, the 1A Cross Country Finals state champion decided to switch it up from his initial decision to run Foot Locker at the last minute. Foley gave it his all and was around his season long average of 15:20, but his 15:22.8 put him just outside the group to move on and a 10th place finish.
Trinity Prep senior and Davidson signee Trent Turbyfill was an integral part of the Saints' success over the past few seasons. Turbyfill was 60th at last year's NXNSE and helped the team to a 4th place finish. This year, he improved 43 spots to 17th. The group which ran under the name Avery Creek, were 13th overall.