KERNERSVILLE -- The North Carolina High School Athletic Association state championships in cross country for both men and women return to Kernersville for the sixth 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 2-A men’s championship at 10 am, followed by the 4-A men, 2-A women and 4-A women at thirty-minute intervals. After a break, the program will gear back up at 3 pm with the 1-A men, followed by 1-A women, 3-A men and 3-A women starting at thirty-minute intervals, the last race to start at 4:30.
Raleigh Broughton is the four-time defending men’s 4-A team champion and a Wake County school has won each of the last eight state team titles in that classification. Broughton won the 4-A Mideast Regional team title and Jeremy Brown of Broughton, the defending individual state champion, took top honors at that regional event last weekend.
Wilmington Hoggard, Winston-Salem Mount Tabor and Charlotte Providence also won their respective regional events.
Cary Green Hope has been rolling on the women’s side, having won the last six state 4-A championships, and was second in the 4-A Mideast Regional. Southern Pines Pinecrest, Raleigh Leesville Road, Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons and Providence were the regional women’s team champs.
In the 3-A classification, Weddington broke through in 2013 to snap the Cardinal Gibbons hold on the men's state title, with the Crusaders winning three of the last four team crowns. Chapel Hill had won the team title the two years prior to that, in 2009 and 2010. Gibbons has also earned the last five 3-A women's team titles but has moved up into the 4-A classification.
In last weekend’s men’s 3-A regionals, Weddington was a winner along with Northern Nash, Chapel Hill and Asheville. The women’s team champions in regional competition were West Carteret, Chapel Hill, Waxhaw Marvin Ridge and Asheville A.C. Reynolds.
Anna Vess of A.C. Reynolds, the reigning 3-A individual women’s champion, qualified for the state meet again by winning her regional event.
Durham North Carolina School of Science and Math has won the 2-A men’s championship for the last two years, with North Lincoln capturing state crowns in 2011 and ’12, and NCSSM won its regional last weekend. Newport Croatan, Central Academy of Monroe and Sylva Smoky Mountain were the other men’s teams advancing after winning regional titles.
Carrboro has won four of the last five women's 2-A team championships and a Carrboro individual runner has captured five 2-A titles in a row, and the Jaguars are strong again after winning their regional event. Other team winners at the regional level were Kill Devil Hills First Flight, West Stanly and Lake Norman Charter.
Kernersville Bishop McGuinness has captured the 1-A men's state crown for three consecutive years, but when the Villains’ streak started in 2012 they were the sixth different champion in that classification in a six-year period. Regional champs were Lejeune, Raleigh Charter and Research Triangle finishing in a tie in their regional, Walkertown and Community School of Davidson.
Community School of Davidson won the 1-A women’s team state title last year, with Bishop McGuinness winning two in a row right before that, in 2012 and ’13. Lejeune, Raleigh Charter, Misenheimer Gray Stone Day and Pine Lake Prep’s women’s teams all won their regional events.
The town of Kernersville is a host city sponsor for the cross country championships.
Event: NCHSAA Cross Country Championships
Date: November 7, 2015
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 sixth consecutive year that that event has been hosted at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex, but the course has been altered there so the layout of the course will be different.