KERNERSVILLE — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association state championships in cross country for both men and women return to Kernersville for the fourth straight year on Saturday.
The races will be run at the Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex, formerly known as Beeson Park.
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 1-A men, 3-A women and 1-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 2-A men, 4-A women and 2-A women starting at thirty-minute intervals, the last race to start at 4:30.
Raleigh Broughton is the two-time defending men’s 4-A team champion and a Wake County school has won each of the last six state team titles in that classification. Lake Norman, Winston-Salem Mount Tabor, Broughton and Pinecrest won regional titles in men's competition last weekend.
Cary Green Hope has won the last four state 4-A women's championships and won the Mideast Regional last week to join Providence, Pfafftown Reagan and Pinecrest as regional women's team champs. Megan Sullivan of Broughton took top individual honors in the 4-A Mideast and is seeking her second consecutive state championship.
In the 3-A classification, Cardinal Gibbons has won the last two men's state titles, which broke a two-year hold on the state crown by Chapel Hill, while Gibbons has earned the last three 3- A women's team titles.
The Cardinal Gibbons men won the Mideast 3-A Regional, and other men's regional champs included Asheville, Weddington and West Carteret. In women's competition at the 3-A level, West Carteret, Gibbons, Waxhaw Marvin Ridge and Asheville A.C. Reynolds took top team honors to advance to the state meet.
On the individual side, East Henderson’s Tanis Baldwin is the defending 3-A men’s champ and won the West Regional by almost a full minute over the field. Mary Grace Doggett of Gibbons won the individual title in the Mideast Regional and is back to defend her state 3-A women’s championship.
Carrboro has won the last four women's 2-A championships and Grace Morken of Carrboro led her team to victory in the last three finals. Even though Morken has graduated, Carrboro still dominated its 2-A Mideast Regional. Newport Croatan, West Davidson, and East Lincoln were also regional champs.
North Lincoln is the two-time defending men's state 2-A champ, while Durham North Carolina School of Science and Math, Franklin, Central Academy in Union County and Croatan won in their respective regionals.
Kernersville Bishop McGuinness captured the 1-A men's state crown in 2012, the sixth different champion in that classification in the last six years. Bishop McGuinness won the Midwest Regional last weekend while Pamlico, Research Triangle and Community School of Davidson also earned regional crowns.
McGuinness also took the state 1-A women’s title last year after having won in 2008, while Lake Norman Charter took top honors two years ago. Women’s regional winners last weekend included Ocracoke, Franklin Academy, McGuinness and Community School of Davidson.
The town of Kernersville is a host city sponsor for the cross country championships.
Event: NCHSAA Cross Country Championships
Date: November 2, 2013
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 fourth consecutive year that that event has been hosted at Beeson Park.