Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has announced the Nike Team Nationals New York and Northeast Regional Qualifiers will be held at Dutchess County’s Bowdoin Park in the Town of Poughkeepsie on Saturday, November 24th. Races will begin at 9am with the last race to be run at 2:30pm. The Nike Team Nationals is the only national cross country team championship to offer cross country clubs composed of the best high-school-age athletes an opportunity to compete in a team setting. The event is a part of the larger Nike Nationals championship series which includes the Nike Outdoor Nationals and Nike Indoor Nationals.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “Bowdoin Park has always been recognized as a quality cross country competition venue. Nike’s selection of Bowdoin Park as the site for their New York and Northeast Regional Qualifiers propels our park’s stature to a whole new level. We are very pleased to welcome Nike and cross country teams from across the Northeast to Dutchess County.”
The Nike Team Nationals Regional Qualifiers will bring together the best high school boys and girls teams in New York State and the Northeast region. Teams from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and New Jersey will gather together to crown a Northeast Regional Champion, while New York State teams will run a separate race.
The top two New York boys and girls teams along with the top two boys and girls teams from the Northeast race will then travel to Portland, Oregon to race on December 1st on the famed Portland Meadows race track against the champions from seven other Regional Qualifying events to crown a United States High School Champion.
Thousands of athletes, fans, families and spectators are expected to descend on the hills of Bowdoin Park for the races. Local fans will be able to cheer on Arlington High School boys and girls teams who are in the top ten ranked teams in New York State. Bowdoin Park will take on a entirely new look for the event with banners, signs, tents, food concessions, games for the kids, retail vendors and race flagging.
Race fans can even meet World Champion Bernard (Kip) Lagat who will be in attendance for the races. There will be a special talk and autograph session held on Friday, November 23rd at the Best Western hotel on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie at 5pm. Lagat is one of the most accomplished distance runners of all time. He is the first athlete ever to win gold in both the 1500m/5000m at a World Championships, doing so this summer in Osaka. He is the 2000 Olympic 1500m bronze medalist, 2004 Olympic 1500m silver medalist and 2004 Indoor 3000m world champion. He is the second fastest 1500m runner of all time having run 3:26.34. He has also run 12:59 for 5000m. Kip, a native of Kenyan, became a US citizen in 2005.
“Events like this are what we were striving for when we first crafted our Comprehensive Parks Plans. We have been able to showcase Dutchess County parks as terrific places for family- oriented events such as our annual summer concerts and now the Nike Team National Regional Qualifiers,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.
For more information about the Nike Team National Regional Qualifier events, log on to www.niketeamnationals.com.