CLEMMONS–The North Carolina High School Athletic Association state championships in cross-country for both men and women will be held at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons 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 1-A men’s championship at 10 am, followed by the 2-A men, 1-A women and 2-A women at thirty-minute intervals. After a break, the program will gear back up at 2 pm with the 3-A men, followed by 4-A men, 3-A women and 4-A women.
In men’s competition, 3-A West Region champion Mooresville and 1-A Mideast champ Durham North Carolina School of Science and Math will attempt to repeat as state champions. The 2006 2-A champion, Cardinal Gibbons, placed third in the Mideast, while 2006 4-A champion Chapel Hill placed fourth in the Mideast.
Individually, Mideast regional champ Taylor Gilland of Chapel Hill will attempt to win back to back 4-A state titles. Western champ Ryan Hill of Hickory goes for his third straight 3-A state crown, which would be only the third time in state history one accomplished the feat.
On the women’s side, all four state champions won their respective regional titles last weekend. Hayesville will try to add to its four consecutive state 1-A crowns while T.C. Roberson will seek its fourth straight in 3-A and eighth in the last 11 years. Chapel Hill is the two-time defending 4-A women’s titlist while Cardinal Gibbons is the two-time 2-A champ.
Topsail’s Zatha Loewen and Heather Beichner of Cardinal Gibbons hope to repeat as 1-A and 2-A state champions respectively, while Caroline Kirby of T.C. Roberson has a chance to become just the second three-time state champion ever in women’s cross country in the 3-A classification. Kim Spano of North Mecklenburg, the 2006 4-A state winner, placed second in this year’s Midwest Region and has once again qualified for the state meet.
The Village Inn Golf and Conference Center and Visit Winston-Salem serve as the host city sponsors for the cross-country championships.
Visit Winston-Salem is the official destination marketing organization of the Forsyth County Tourism Development Authority.