December 4, 2020
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on nearly every aspect of life in 2020 and that includes the high school cross country season. The two official high school national championships, NXN and Foot Locker, were cancelled, as runners, schools and state federations, did their best in dealing with the pandemic.
A few national meets sprung up in the absence of NXN and Foot Locker, but until now those meets have lacked a stellar individual match-up. That all changes tomorrow in Lubbock, Texas at the High School Cross Country National Invite where Sydney Thorvaldson (Wyoming) and Brynn Brown (Texas) will square off.
Both Thorvaldson and Brown have been rewriting the record books in 2020. In May, Brown turned heads by running 9:39 for 3,200, a time that only Mary Cain has run faster than. Brown has kept the momentum going during the cross country season and has been undefeated all year setting a Texas state meet record last week where she won by over 30 seconds. The Denton Guyer runner has committed to the University of North Carolina for next year.
Meanwhile, Thorvaldson has been tearing up things everywhere she has run. She won the Wyoming State meet by over 2 minutes. Then she won the XC Town USA Meet of Champions, a national class meet in Terre Haute, by 40 seconds. She’s headed to run for Arkansas next year.
It seems unlikely either Thorvaldson or Brown wins by a large margin this weekend. They’re both just that good. They have 2 of the top 3 speed ratings in the nation this year according to Tully Runners (the fastest speed rating is by Jenna Hutchins), but aren’t the only strong contenders in the field. Abby Vanderkooi of Michigan, third at Foot Lockers last year, is also in the field.
*Live results can be found here
*The meet will be streamed on Milesplit
Discussion: LCU High School National Invite – December 5th; Brynn Brown vs Sydney Thorvaldson (and others)