On Saturday, December 1, Middlesex cross-country standout James Randon ’13 competed in the 9th annual 2012 Nike Cross Nationals held in Portland, OR. The event comprised top teams and individuals runners from eight districts in the United States, all of whom survived the tough preliminary round of competition. James finished 5th in the Northeast (held at Bowdoin Park near Poughkeepsie, NY), thereby earning a ticket to the finals at Nike World Headquarters - and to all of the fanfare that goes along with an event sponsored by an international force in sports equipment.
The 5k race course was made up in the infield and on the track of Portland Downs, and it proved to be especially slow and challenging this year because of the wet and muddy conditions. Large puddles, from rainfall on previous days, added to the other man-made obstacles (hay bales and rolling "hills"), affected the performance, even of some of the national "favorites entering the competition."
James crossed the line in 17:58, the slowest time he had run all year. (The winning time was 17:06). Even so, he captured 34th place, in a field of 197 runners, while also being the first finisher from the Northeast, outlasting many of the boys who had passed him in the qualifying round.
This event marked the end of the team's undefeated cross-country season, which included both ISL and a Division III New England Championship titles. For the second year in row, James also represented the ISL among the Boston Globe's All-Scholastic selections.