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GREENSBORO -- Top athletes from across the state of North Carolina will compete in a busy weekend of track as the North Carolina High School Athletic Association begins its state track and field championships.
The weekend of competition will feature 1-A championships for both men and women on Friday, and then on Saturday the 3-A championships will be held, all at the Irwin Belk Track on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University.
The 2-A and 4-A meets will be held next weekend.
Action in the field events will begin at 11 am and running events will start at noon on Friday, while Saturdayís schedule opens with field events at 10 am and running events at 11 am. It will be the 89th annual menís championships and the 38th annual renewal of the womenís event.
Winston-Salem Prep was the 1-A womenís team champion a year ago while Hendersonville took the menís title, and both of those schools won regional titles over the weekend. In menís competition, Hendersonvile, Winston-Salem Prep, Princeton and Pamlico captured regional crowns while it was Swain County, Winston-Salem Prep, North Carolina School of Science and Math and Hampstead Topsail winning in womenís competition.
Mooresville is the two-time defending state champion among the 3-A men while Jacksonville took the 3-A womenís crown in 2008. Mooresville won its regional last weekend and joins Waxhaw Marvin Ridge, Greensboro Dudley and West Carteret as regional champions on the menís side. Dudley also won its regional womenís title along with Winston-Salem Parkland, Asheville T.C. Roberson and Jacksonville White Oak.
The Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Greensboro Sports Commission are serving as the host city sponsors for the event.
Event: NCHSAA Track and Field Championships, 1-A and 3-A classifications
Date: May 15-16, 2009, with 1-A men and women on May 15 and 3-A men and women on May 16
Site: Irwin Belk Track, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro
First Held: 1913 for men, 1972 for women
Qualifiers: The top four finishers in each event, including relays, qualified from the regional level to the state championship meet
Defending champions: women: 1-A, Winston-Salem Prep; 3-A, Jacksonville; men: 1-A. Hendersonville; 3-A, Mooresville.
Of Interest: the oldest menís track and field record still on the NCHSAA books is the 1975 record-setting shot put of Mike Salzano of Northern Durham at 61 feet, four and one-half inches.
Host City Sponsors: Greensboro Sports Commission, Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau