Kinetic team gets acclimated at Nike Cross Nationals
The Kinetic team arrived in Portland, Ore., Wednesday night at 8:30 and are being housed with every other team at an Embassy Suites hotel near the Nike campus in Beaverton. The hotel hangs banners from every team off the balconies lining the lobby. The team is running as the Kinetic Running Club because the Nike Cross Nationals is a club event rather than a school event.
The members of Kinetic are seniors Amanda Burroughs and Sydney King, junior Margaret McDonald, sophomores Madi Carr, Taylor Driscoll and Keelin Hollowood and eighth-grader Estella Smith. Senior Sam Place is also here running as an individual.
On Thursday, the girls went to the Nike campus to register and pick up their uniforms and other souvenirs. Inside the Tiger Woods building, Nike has set aside a room for the athletes to hang out in. The room has refreshments, games, computer terminals and, of course, lots of Nike merchandise.
Next door, in the courtyard of the Mia Hamm building, Nike employees took part in a tailgate party in preparation for this weekend's Oregon vs. Oregon State football game. In attendance was University of Oregon alum and Nike founder Phil Knight. The campus is really something to see. The lawns look like carpet and the hedges ringing the campus appear to be perfectly level. The team ran on the track at the campus for their daily workout.
The girls returned to the campus in the afternoon for the opening ceremonies and a dinner with some of the Nike athletes. In the past, the team has eaten with Kara Goucher and Bernard Legat, among others. Nike does a wonderful job making the runners feel special.
Today, Kinetic will head to the Portland Meadows race track. The track they will be racing on on Saturday is set up in the infield of the Portland Meadows thoroughbred track. The team will get their first look at this year's course and begin to strategize their race.
Depending on the poll, the runners from Saratoga are ranked in the top 3 in the country. This is the fourth time the team from Saratoga has competed in the National Championships and have finished first, second and fourth in their previous appearances.
Brien Hollowood is the father of Keelin Hollowood of the Kinetic Running Club.