Although the meet has a new name this year, the history and purpose of it remain the same as always.
Great Outdoor Provision Co. presents the Featured Meet of Week 9:
The NCRunners Cross Country Carnival
Featuring the Frosh/Soph Invitational (the UNOFFICIAL JV State Championship)
(Schedule, Teams Entered, Meet History)
Sporting a new name but remaining the same meet, with a tradition rooted in the Tanglewood Invitational and an idea that stretches back to at least 1980, the NCRunners Elite Cross Country Carnival is simultaneously in its first year and a standard of the fall season. Formerly the 4 Runners Only Invitational, first created by Mike Esposito when Mount Tabor began hosting the state meet at Tanglewood, the meet was reborn at Beeson Park the year before the NCHSAA decided to place its cross country championship there. Co-directed by Robert Youtz, whose Bishop McGuinness parents and staff continue to provide the excellent labor and support that makes the state meet go, and Jeff George (then the coach at RJ Reynolds), the meet has grown into one of the more popular events of the season. Normally held on the weekend of Columbus Day (which would have placed it against the Wendy's Invitational last weekend), the meet was moved back one week this year in order to keep it on a date otherwise free of invitationals.
The meet combines a state meet course preview with Coach George's Frosh/Soph Invitational, billed as "the UNOFFICIAL JV State Championship." Run since the 2002 outdoor track season, the meet has proven popular among schools seeking recognition for younger runners that may not otherwise get it. It has been particularly well-supported over the years by large programs such as Green Hope, South View, and Chapel Hill, who see the opportunity for their developing runners to get a chance to shine (and compete for real medals and trophies). NCRunners is working to provide North Carolina with THREE Frosh/Soph Invitationals this school year, meaning one for each running season.
In the past, a portion of Beeson Park had been used by Glenn High School for local meets (that course was in the bottom section of the park beyond the lower parking lot). The current course in the upper portion of the park was originally designed by Youtz and George after a tip from current St. Andrews coach Bill Cason. The original course used some of the neighboring private land by permission of its owner, but when the state meet came to Kernersville it was redesigned to remain entirely on land owned by the town. Curtis Swisher, who is Town Manager of Kernersville as well as cross country coach at East Forsyth High School, completed that redesign, while Kernersville Parks & Recreation Director Ernie Pages was instrumental in guiding the construction of the course. Between them, Youtz and Swisher are primarily responsible for the marking of the course for the several meets that are run there each year, including conference and regional meets.
The course has improved dramatically from the rough path carved around the park in 2009, with improvements in grading and drainage coupled with the addition of fine gravel to improve footing in key areas. The course is mostly grass with rolling hills, one of them moderately challenging, although it does feature gravel sections and some dirt.
- From the Raleigh area and eastern North Carolina: via Google Maps
- From the Charlotte area: via Google Maps
- From the Asheville area and western NC: via Google Maps
- From Boone and Winston-Salem: via Google Maps
- From western Virginia: via Google Maps
- From central Virginia: via Google Maps
- From eastern Virginia: via Google Maps
Things to Do Outdoors in Winston-Salem
- Camping and hiking tips from Great Outdoor Provision Co.
- For fishing and wide trails for biking or running, visit Salem Lake (boating not allowed due to construction)
- Mountain biking enthusiasts should definitely check out the 7 miles of technical trails at Hobby Park
- Paddlers can find interesting runs on the Yadkin River and the Dan River
- For boating and fishing, drive south about 30 minutes to High Rock Lake