Southern Regional High School’s Braddock Qualifies for National Cross-Country Championships

By David Biggy | Dec 04, 2019
Photo by: David Biggy

Stafford Township — Jackson Braddock learned a valuable lesson during the NJSIAA Cross-Country Meet of Champions on Nov. 23, and a week later he applied what he had learned to qualify for the Nike Cross National Championships in Portland, Ore.

“My mindset going into this race was I knew it would go out very fast, so I didn’t want to get stuck out there with the top guys and get burnt out by the middle of the race,” Braddock said an interview with MileSplit NY after he placed fifth overall during the Nike Cross Nationals Regional Qualifier on Nov. 30. “I kind of hung back and started making moves later in the race. My state race last week, I went out too hard, and I ended up kind of crashing. So that taught me a lesson to kind of hang back a little more and be more patient.”

The Southern Regional High School junior qualified for the national meet by completing the course at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., in 15 minutes, 57.6 seconds, just 2.1 seconds behind Christian Brothers Academy’s Shaw Powell, whom Braddock beat for the Shore Conference title earlier this season.

William Chaffin, representing Patriot Athletics Club, won the regional race in 15:49.6, while LaSalle Academy’s Jack McLoughlin placed second in 15:50.9, and unaffiliated runner Lisandro Berry-Gaviria finished third in 15:51.2. Braddock finished ahead of Evan Reynolds, representing Hawks Track Club, by three seconds.

“I was in fifth, and I knew the other guy was fighting with me for fifth or sixth, and I just went to my arms and gave everything I had to get that last qualifying spot,” Braddock said. “The hill is brutal, and I knew if I made it through the hill and didn’t keel over at the top, then I’d have a good chance of qualifying.”

The Nike Cross Nationals is comprised of eight regional qualifying meets and the National Finals in Portland. The boys’ championship race over the tree-lined terrain of Glendoveer Golf Course is slated for 11:30 a.m. PST on Saturday, Dec. 7. —D.B.

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