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CHAPEL HILL- The North Carolina High School Athletic Association state cross-country championships will have a new home, starting with the 2010 event.
The NCHSAA Board of Directors, at its meeting earlier this month, approved Beeson Park of Kernersville as the new site for the championships. The initial agreement is for four years.
Tanglewood Park in Clemmons has hosted the championships for the previous eight years. Prior to that, Charlotte's McAlpine Park was the long-time site of the finals, with a run from 1980 to 2001.
"We are truly excited about the state cross-country championships going to Beeson Park," said Davis Whitfield, executive director of the NCHSAA. "The officials from the town of Kernersville, Visit Winston-Salem and all of those involved with their proposal have shown genuine enthusiasm and excitement for this event. We are delighted to be welcomed with open arms and look forward to successful championships."
"We also want to thank Tanglewood for the great job it did with our championships in previous years," Whitfield noted. "The student-athlete experience they provided there is something upon which Kernersville and Beeson Park can build."
Beeson Park is an athletic complex that consists of 103 acres. The park has three lighted baseball fields with a concession stand as well as five soccer fields. Of the five soccer fields, two are championship caliber fields with lights. There is also a concession stand to serve the soccer fields.
"Kernersville is excited about the opportunity to host the NCHSAA State Cross Country Championships," said Kernersville town manager Curtis Swisher. "We are honored to become only the third venue in 30 years, following McAlpine Park and Tanglewood. The event will bring runners and families from the entire state and will give us an opportunity to show everyone our facilities and our town. The course is a great layout and should produce an outstanding race. The start/finish and mile markers are all within 200 yards of each other, making it an excellent course for spectators.
"Work has already begun on the course to make sure that it is in the best shape possible come November 6," said Swisher. "We look forward to hosting the meet for the next four years and will do everything possible to make sure it is a success for all."
All four classifications, with championships for both men and women, hold their final races on the same day to culminate the season.