Race day is HERE for GAXC Festival and HBCU Challenge!
The countdown is OVER for the 2018 Great American Cross Country Festival and Cedric Walker HBCU Challenge, and race day is HERE. We are excited to once again welcome more than 2,600 prep and collegiate runners to WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., Saturday, October 6, for a festive day of stellar XC competition! We are also thrilled to have Nike as our main sponsor once again and that the meet will serve for the 3rd straight year as the Official NXN Southeast Pre-Regional.
Three returning 2017 GAXC Nike Race of Champions titlists are in the house today, including the boys of Loudoun Valley, Va.!! The Vikings captured last year’s title with 62 points and went on to win the NXN Southeast and National titles, setting the lowest boys' score in meet history in Portland. We will also see defending Nike Girls ROC individual champ Kelsey Chmiel of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., as well as the 3-time defending girls' team champs from Blacksburg, Va.
Meanwhile, the question in the HBCU Challenge men's race is will North Carolina A&T State (4 straight titles) and Trey Simon of Morehouse (2 straight titles) again top the winners' stand? For the women, however, there will be a new champion as the team and individual winners from Hampton University are elsewhere this week.
Finally, college/university men’s 8,000-meter and women’s 5,000-meter competition is now part of the Festival again for the first time since 2012. These will be run together with the HBCU Challenge 8k and 5k races, but scored separately.
Joining us this year in the Nike tent will be superstar distance Shelby Houlihan (photo at right, courtesy of Nike), signing autographs and meeting athletes and fans! Shelby has had an amazing breakout year: She captured both the USATF 1,500m and 5,000m titles, ran the world’s second-fastest 1,500 time for 2018 (3:57.34), and set an American record at 5,000 (14:34.45)!
The NSAF is very grateful for our Title Sponsor - Nike - as well our our Official Sports Fuel Provider, Gatorade. We also thank all of the other generous supporters for whom our races have been named: The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, the Town of Cary, Primo Water, Roll Recovery and the Bone and Joint Surgery Clinic. Finally, we welcome our partner ElliptiGO, which has supported us at other events but is joining us at GAXC for the first time, and our new partners from Camp Gladiator!
Incredible joint Project clinic set for Phoenix
Our NSAF Project Javelin Gold and Project Triple Jump clinics have been known for not just the outstanding NSAF coaching staff that serves on a year-round basis, but also the legendary guest coaches who have joined us. Now, this coming November at the ALTIS training facilities in Phoenix, Ariz., we will be hosting a joint clinic that will set a new standard for the mentors working with our young Project athletes and any others who wish to participate.
Click on image at right to expand to full PDF!
2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Thomas Rohler and 2-time Olympic finalist Raymond Hecht, both from Germany, will be on hand to work with our javelin throwers. Meanwhile, 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Kenny Harrison and former World-Record holder Willie Banks will be present to mentor our triple jumpers. This, of course, will be in addition to NSAF javelin coaches Tom Pukstys, Barry Krammes and Kim Hamilton, and TJ coaches Peter Pratt and Macka Jones.
And, on top of this, to have the chance to train at the outstanding ALTIS facilties in Phoenix in November makes for a perfect marriage of great coaching, great facilities and great athletes! We hope you'll join us!
NSAF/NBN stars highlight Youth Olympic Team
The Youth track and field athletes from the USA that will represent Team Americas in the upcoming 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires have been announced and it’s a group loaded with standouts with NSAF credentials. The NSAF will be on-site next week, providing daily reports, photos and more!
- Skylar Ciccolini, Javelin, Mifflin County (Lewistown), PA senior – NSAF Project Javelin and Team NSAF Bahamas, US#1 177-0
- Malcolm Clemons, Long Jump, St. Mary’s (Berkeley), CA junior – NSAF Project Triple Jump, US#1 24-11
- Meghan Hunter, 400m, Provo HS, UT senior, Team NSAF Bahamas, US#5 52.59
- Charles O. McBride II, High Jump, Apex HS, NC senior, Team NSAF Bahamas, US#1 7-2.5
- Athing Mu, 800m, Trenton Central HS, NJ junior, NBN indoor/outdoor 800 champ, US#1 2:04.51
- Nicholas Ramey, 400m, Brookwood HS (Snellville), GA senior, Team NSAF Bahamas, NBNI 400 runner-up, US#2 46.20
- Grace Stark, 100m hurdles, Lakeland HS (White Lake), MI senior, NBNO 100H champ, US#1 13.16
Note: Rank is among prep returnees for 2018-19.
These seven will join other Under-18 athletes from The Americas (Canada, Mexico, South and Central America) to form a team that will compete against other continents. This is the 3rd Youth Olympics, following competitions in Singapore (2010) and Nanjing, China (2014), and includes many other Olympic sports besides track and field.