2017 Wings National Team Qualifying

2016 Wings National Team. February 6, 2016. Bend, OR.

2016 Wings National Team. February 6, 2016. Bend, OR.

The next USA Cross Country Championships will be held on February 4, 2017 at the River’s Edge Golf Course in Bend, OR. Once again, Wings of America will sponsor a team to represent Native America in the Junior men’s and women’s races. The organization will cover travel expenses and room and board for the fourteen young men and women selected to race in Wings uniforms. Aside from competing, the group will get the opportunity to absorb the culture of Bend and the surrounding area through a number of site visits and activities planned and paid for by Wings. To learn more about those student-athletes that were selected for the 2017 Wings National Team and the team selection process, please visit the 2017 Team Page.

Wings created this opportunity in order to showcase the talents and positive achievements of American Indian youth and provide them with a cross-cultural learning experience. The program brings Native youth together from across the nation to compete as a team in an elite field of both high school and college runners. Many program alumni have earned the attention of college coaches with their performance in this race. Wings runners have captured twenty five national junior team titles since 1988. For a printable version of the 2017 Wings National Team qualifying criteria and instructions, please click HERE.

*** “JUNIOR” ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Athletes must be 14 years or older on the day of competition (February 4, 2017) and cannot become 20 years of age during 2017.***

High-school-aged athletes looking to earn a spot on the team MUST:

1. Complete the FREE 2017 Wings National Team Selection application before December 3, 2016 (11:59pm MST). (This application is now closed. Please check back in September of 2017 for any updates regarding the registration process for the 2018 Wings Team)

2. Compete in at least one of the following races to post a qualifying mark:

  • The NB3FIT Day National XC Race (5K, HS Division)
  • Any NXR (Nike Cross Regionals) race
  • Any Footlocker regional race

See details for each race below…

The NB3FIT Day National XC Race (5K, HS Division):

Date: Sunday, November 13th 2016

Location: Santa Ana Golf Course (288 Prairie Star Rd., Bernalillo, NM 87004)

Race & registration information can be found at:


REGISTRATION FEES: “Early” (thru November 6th) $30.00 individual, “Late” (thru November 11th) $35.00 individual, “Packet Pick-up” (Saturday, November 12th) $40.00,  “Race-Day” (Sunday, November 13th) $50.00.

***If travel costs and race registration fees prohibit you from running a Wings National Team qualifying race, please scroll down for more information about Wings’ race registration and travel assistance programs for the 2017 National Team.***

Nike Cross Regionals:

Region (States Included) Race Date/Location/Registration Link Registration Deadlines (Early/Late)
Northwest (WY, WA, ID, OR, MT, AK, HI) Saturday, November 12, 2016/Eagle Island XC Course, Boise, Idaho/ https://nike.racepartner.com/northwest/ TBA
Heartland(IA, KS, MN, NE, ND, SD, WI) Sunday, November 13, 2016/Yankton Trails Park, Sioux Falls, South Dakota/https://nike.racepartner.com/heartland TBA
Midwest (IN, IL, OH, MI, MO) Sunday, November 13, 2016/LaVern Gibson XC Course, Terre Haute, Indiana/https://nike.racepartner.com/midwest TBA
Southwest (CO, UT, NM, AZ, NV) Saturday, November 19, 2016/Grande Sports Academy, Casa Grande, Arizona/https://nike.racepartner.com/southwest Late entry begins 11/09, Closed 11/15
South (AR, LA, OK, TX, MS) Saturday, November 19, 2016/Bear Branch Park, The Woodlands, Texas/https://nike.racepartner.com/south TBA
Southeast (DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, TN, KY, WV, DC) Saturday, November 26, 2016/WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, North Carolina/https://nike.racepartner.com/southeast TBA
Northeast & NY (NJ, NY, PA, CT, MA, ME, VT, RI, NH) Saturday, November 26, 2016/Bowdoin Park, Wappingers Falls, New York/https://nike.racepartner.com/Northeast   https://nike.racepartner.com/NewYork TBA

REGISTRATION FEES: NXN: “Early”: $30.00 individual, $150.00 team (MORE THAN 5 TEAM MEMBERS). “Late”: $40.00 individual, $175.00 team

***If travel costs and race registration fees prohibit you from running a Wings National Team qualifying race, please scroll down for more information about Wings’ race registration and travel assistance programs for the 2017 National Team.***

“Championship” Vs. “Open” Races- Which to register for?: Each NXN regional race has two race options for high-school-aged athletes wishing to compete. The “Championship” race is for those athletes and teams wishing to earn a berth to the NXN NATIONAL meet in December. This race tends to be faster and more competitive than the “Open” race divisions. In fact, many regions require a fast enough regular-season “seed time” to gain entry into this field. If you’ve run a fast enough seed time and you’re up for the challenge of running with the “big dogs”, Wings strongly encourages you to register for the Championship race. But please keep in mind that many likely qualifiers who chose to run the “Championship” race in years passed have struggled to run to their potential after being “swallowed up” by a large pack of fast runners. If the idea of competing with the best runners in your regions still intimidates you, perhaps you want to “run from the front” in a less-competetive division of the “Open” race. The choice is yours. Times from either race will be considered as qualifying times by Wings.

Footlocker Regionals:

Region (States Included) Race Date/Location/Registration Link Registration Deadlines (Early; Late)
Northeast (CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, DC) Saturday, November 26, 2016/Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, NY/ https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=124682 $20 through 11.10.15; $30 thru 11.22.16
South(AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV) Saturday, November 26, 2016/Mc Alpine Park, Charlotte, NC/https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=124684 $18 through 10.03.16; $23 through 11.22.16; $40 through 11.23.16
Midwest (CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI) Saturday, November 26, 2015/UW-Parkside, Kenosha, WI/ https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=124680 $15 through 10.30.16; $20 through 11.17.16; $25 through 11.23.16
West (AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY) Saturday, December 3, 2015/ Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA/ https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=124683 $17 through 11.12.16; $40 through 11.27.16


***If travel costs and race registration fees prohibit you from running a Wings National Team qualifying race, please scroll down for more information about Wings’ race registration and travel assistance programs for the 2017 National Team.***

“Age-Group” Vs. “Seeded” Races- Which to register for?:

Footlocker “seeded” races highly competitive championship races used to select some of the top individual high-school-aged runners in the nation. These races tend to go out very fast and have a large pack of quality runners up front fighting for a berth to FL nationals in San Diego. If you feel you can compete with runners of this caliber, Wings encourages all prospective athletes to rise to the occasion. However, if you feel like you perform better leading the pack with a lot of room to breathe, this may not be the race for you. Even the best runners can get “eaten up” and discouraged by the crowd in these elite-level races.

“Age-group” races at the Footlocker Regionals are filled with quality competition but are not nearly as deep as the seeded races. Winners don’t often run as fast as the top ten (or 25) in the seeded race but still clock some great times. If you want to run fast with a little more elbow room and running for a spot at Footlocker Nationals isn’t important to you, one of the age-group races may be your best bet.

For First-Year College Runners:

Native athletes who are not in high school and meet USATF “Junior” eligibility requirements can compete in an NXN Regional CITIZEN’S RACES or a Footlocker Regional OPEN RACE (if your region has one) for the same consideration. Check the “Meet Info” section of your region’s NXR or Footlocker page for more information about races for non-high school races.

Alternatively, a college athlete may wish to contact Wings’ Program Director, Dustin Martin to request the organization consider late-season 6K (girls) and 8K (boys) race times as qualifying criteria.

NB3FIT Day National XC Race VS. Nike Cross Regionals VS. Footlocker Regionals? Where should I run?

Where you choose to run your Wings National Team qualifying time at is a matter of personal preference. All races will provide an opportunity to run with a unique field and, in some races, the best runners in the country. Wings uses these races as our qualifying races for this reason. Before choosing members of our National Team, we want to be sure athletes can handle the excitement and pressure of running outside their regular season and at an elevated level of competition. Yes, you may be a hotshot on “the rez”- but can you perform in conditions you’re not used to? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you decide where to compete:

– The NB3FIT, NXR and Footlocker regional races are run over different courses on different days. Some of these courses are more difficult than others. But all (except Footlocker West) are relatively flat and fast courses on grass.

-Though the Wings National Team selection committee keeps these differences (and weather) in mind when we compare times, it is impossible to create completely accurate conversion standards to compare times between courses. With this in mind, we strongly suggest prospective National Team qualifiers research the courses beforehand. If you’re very serious about making the Wings team, your best bet is to choose the race you think you can run the fastest qualifying time at.

Contact: Dustin Martin, Program Director, @ 505-977-5057 or dustin@wingsofamerica.org with further questions


Race Registration & Travel Assistance:

Wings will assist qualified American Indian student-athletes wishing to qualify for the Wings National Team under the following terms:

Race Registration Assistance:

In order for Wings to cover NB3FIT, NXR or Footlocker Regional race registration fees, student-athletes must:

1. Have finished at least one official team race during the regular 2016 high school cross country season at (or below) the qualifying standards:

Men’s Qualifying Time:_________________________(5K)- 17:05

Women’s Qualifying Time: ______________________(5K)- 21:00

**Contact Wings program director for qualifying time in states where women run other than 5K**

2. Complete the free 2017 Wings National Team Selection application on the Wings website at least fourteen (14) days before the qualifying race they wish to run: 3. Email the Wings Program Director (dustin@wingsofamerica.org) at least fourteen (14) days before the qualifying race they wish to run to confirm their desire to be registered to compete. 4. Be able to provide proof of enrollment in a state or federally recognized Indian Tribe. 5. Provide a copy of their class schedule and a “grade check” showing they are in academic good standing (C-Average or better).

Travel & Lodging Assistance:

In addition to assisting with race registration fees, Wings will transport a limited number of student-athletes to the NXR Southwest regional race. Those traveling in Wings vehicles will be under the direct supervision of Wings personnel for the duration of the trip and must stay in accommodations arranged by the organization the night before competition. Spots in Wings vehicles traveling to NXR SW will be filled on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Student-Athletes applying for travel assistance MUST meet ALL race registration assistance criteria (above) and submit ALL required paperwork/ permissions at least seven (7) days before travel. If you hope to travel to with Wings, please contact the Wings Program Director ASAP to reserve your spot in the Wings caravan. Student-athletes from outside New Mexico and Arizona may apply for lodging assistance to help them attend the qualifying race of their choice.

Please contact the Wings Program Director ASAP if you would like to further explore this option. Contact: Dustin Martin, Program Director, @ 505-977-5057 or dustin@wingsofamerica.org with further questions