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 return to Kernersville for the fifth straight year on Saturday.
         The races will be run at the Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex.
         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 3-A men’s championship at 10 am, followed by the 2-A men, 3-A women and 2-A women at thirty-minute intervals. After a break, the program will gear back up at 3 pm with the 4-A men, followed by 1-A men, 4-A women and 1-A women starting at thirty-minute intervals, the last race to start at 4:30.
         Raleigh Broughton is the three-time defending men’s 4-A team champion and a Wake County school has won each of the last seven state team titles in that classification. Broughton had seven of the top 11 individual runners last weekend en route to winning its regional championship.  Charlotte Providence, Winston-Salem Mount Tabor and Hope Mills South View also captured regional team crowns.
          Cary Green Hope has been rolling on the women’s side, having won the last five state 4-A championships, and had a very impressive performance in the regionals, scoring 31 points. Charlotte Myers Park, Pfafftown Reagan and South View also won 4-A women’s regionals  
          In the 3-A classification, Weddington broke through in 2013 to snap the Cardinal Gibbons hold on the men's state titles after two straight. Chapel Hill had won the team title the two years prior to that, in 2009 and 2010.  Weddington won its regional this year, as did Asheville, Cardinal Gibbons and Northern Nash.
          Gibbons has earned the last four 3-A women's team titles and placed four runners out of the top six in the Midwest Regional, en route to winning that team title.  Asheville A.C. Reynolds, Waxhaw Marvin Ridge and West Carteret were the other 3-A regional champions.
          Durham North Carolina School of Science and Math won the 2-A men’s championship last year, with North Lincoln capturing state crowns in 2011 and ’12.  NCSSM earned top honors in its regional, along with Frankllin, Central Academy of Union County and Elizabeth City Northeastern.
           Carrboro had won the four women's 2-A team championships in succession before East Lincoln snapped the Jaguars’ string last year. Both East Lincoln and Carrboro won their respective regionals last weekend along with West Stanly and Newport Croatan.  Senior Maysa Araba of Carrboro is the defending individual champion and has qualified to defend her crown.
            Kernersville Bishop McGuinness captured the 1-A men's state crown in 2012, the sixth different champion in that classification in a six-year period, and then won it again last year.   The regional winners for 1-A in men’s cross country included Community School of Davidson, Misenheimer Gray Sgone Day, and Research Triangle, while Ocracoke and Lejeune were deadlocked for the East crown.
            Defending state individual champ Zack Boone of Mitchell earned a spot in the state meet by winning the West Regional.
            Bishop McGuinness also has won the last two state 1-A women’s titles last year and also captured top honors back in 2008 as well, and the Villains won their regional. Other 1-A women’s regional team champs were Community School of Davidson, Franklin Academy and Ocracoke.
            Malia Ellington of Community School of Davidson, last year’s individual champ at 1-A, won her regional by almost 17 seconds.
            The town of Kernersville is a host city sponsor for the cross country championships.
NCHSAA FastFacts
Event: NCHSAA Cross Country Championships
Date: November 1, 2014
Time: The first race starts at 10 am and the final race will begin at 4:30 pm.
Site: Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex, 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 fifth consecutive year that that event has been hosted at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex.