NCHSAA Cross Country Championships Set For Saturday

KERNERSVILLE — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association state championships in cross-country for both men and women will return to Beeson Park in Kernersville for the second straight year on Saturday.

Top runners from across the state qualified from regional competition last week to the state finals in each classification. The eight cross-country championships include one in each of the NCHSAA’s four classifications for men and women.

The first race of the day will be the 2-A men’s championship at 10 am, followed by the 3-A men, 2-A women and 3-A women at thirty-minute intervals. After a break, the program will gear back up at 3 pm with the 1-A men, followed by 4-A men, 1-A women and 4-A women starting at thirty-minute intervals, the last race to start at 4:30.

Cary Green Hope is the defending men’s 4-A team champion and a Wake County school has won each of the last four state team titles in that classification. T.C. Roberson, Mount Tabor, Broughton and Pinecrest won regional titles in men's competition last weekend.

Green Hope is also the two-time defending state 4-A women's champ and won the Mideast Regional last week to join Charlotte Ardrey Kell, Pfafftown Reagan and Pinecrest as regional women's team champs.

In the 3-A classification, Chapel Hill was the men's state titlist a year ago, the Tigers' second consecutive team crown, while Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons was the women's champ. Sarah Rapp of Gibbons has won the last two 3-A individual titles and three consecutive crowns, but has graduated. Rachel Bartolomeo of Gibbons won her regional in impressive fashion.

Carrboro took both the men's and women's team championships in 2-A last year, and the Jaguars won the Mideast Regional in women's competition and were second in the men's regional. Grace Morken of Carrboro won the individual women's championship last year to lead her team to its second consecutive women's crown and has qualified to defend her title.

Robbinsville captured the 1-A men's state crown in 2010, the fifth different champion in that classification in the last five years. On the women's side, Hendersonville took the 1-A title at Beeson Park last year. Kernersville Bishop McGuinness and Lake Norman Charter swept both men's and women's team titles in their respective regionals last weekend. Kernersville Bishop McGuinness and Lake Norman Charter swept both men's and women's team titles in their respective regionals last weekend to qualify their teams to the state event.

The town of Kernersville is a host city sponsor for the cross country championships.

NCHSAA FastFacts

Event: NCHSAA Cross Country Championships

Date: November 5, 2011

Time: The first race starts at 10 am and the final race will begin at 4:30 pm.

Site: Beeson Park, Kernersville

First Held: 1956

Qualifiers: The top four teams in each classification at the regional level qualify for the state event. In addition, the top five individuals not on a qualifying team advance from the regional to the state.

Of Interest: This is the second consecutive year that that event has been hosted at Beeson Park.