Nike Cross Nationals Boys: Casey Clinger wins with kick; Temecula takes team title

Nike Cross Nationals Boys: Casey Clinger wins with kick; Temecula takes team title

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Nike Cross Nationals Boys: Casey Clinger wins with kick; Temecula takes team title

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Casey Clinger from American Fork breaks the tape at Nike Cross Nationals (Photo: Nike)

Casey Clinger from American Fork breaks the tape at Nike Cross Nationals (Photo: Nike)

The Nike Cross Nationals boys title was determined 173 feet from the finish line.

Casey Clinger of American Fork in Utah pulled ahead after a series of lead changes to hold off Ben Veatch  (Carmel, Ind.) and win the national title in a time of 15:03.21.

“I give it all to my coach,” said Clinger. “He is the reason I’m here. Thanks, Coach.”

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Veatch finished second in 15:04.79. Alex Parsons (Ogden, Utah) was third in 15:05.60, followed by Jaret Carpenter (Wayzata, Minn.) in 15:09.66 and Eduardo Herrera (Madera South; Madera, Calif.) in 15:13.17.

A year ago, Veatch finished seventh and he entered this year as the top returning finisher. Clinger was eighth in 2014 after coming in 77th in 2013.

“I knew it was going to come to a kick,” Veatch said. “I just tried to trust my training at the end and push hard.”

Great Oak (Temecula, Calif.) celebrates its Nike Cross National title (Photo: Nike)

Great Oak (Temecula, Calif.) celebrates its Nike Cross National title (Photo: Nike)

Great Oak (Temecula, Calif.) won the team title a week after a record- setting performance in the California state championship meet. Temecula finished with 114 points.

Spencer Dodds finished 12th overall and was fifth among scoring runners to lead Great Oak. Cole Spencer was 18th and seventh for team points. Great Oak runners also finished at No. 11, No. 45 and No. 46.

“This has been all of our dreams during our high school career,” senior Brandon Shields said. “We’re Just amazed and so grateful that we got the chance to win. This means everything to us.”

American Fork was second with 163. Dana Point (Calif.) was third with 181 points, Orland Park (Ill.) was fourth with 196.

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