GACC/HBCU cancelled after State of Emergency declared (UPDATED)

by Steve Underwood

The NSAF regrets to announce that the 2015 Great American Cross Country Festival and HBCU Challenge has been cancelled.

"The safety of the athletes is paramount," said Meet and NSAF Executive Director Jim Spier.  "It became increasingly clear that the forecast for the next few days is dire.  The Governor declared a State of Emergency this afternoon and we had to cancel.

"We will be happy to credit any entry fees which have been paid towards the 2016 Great American Cross Country Festival," he added.

The weather system that prompted the cancellation is not directly related to Hurricane Joaquin, which was updated to Category 4 earlier today and may possibly strike the North Carolina coast (or other Atlantic Coast states) Sunday or beyond.

Historians of the GACC may recall the flooding that occured on the course back in 2000, the 2nd year of the event (prior to the NSAF owning GACC).  This video (from serves as a reminder. But this is the most severe weather challenge the event has faced.

Defending New Balance Race of Champions individual winners Andrew Hunter and Libby Davidson, as well as defending girls' team champions Blacksburg (VA) were among the national class competitors slated to compete this weekend. Also among the entries were the 9-time champion Saratoga Springs, NY girls; USATF Junior and Pan-American 1,500 meter champion Kate Murphy; and many other nationally and regionally ranked individuals and teams.

In the HBCU Challenge, the defending champs from North Carolina A&T State (men) and Alabama State (women) were entered, as were 2014 runner-ups Hampton University (women) and Morehouse College (men).

The NSAF is sorry the event can't be held this weekend, but wish for the safety of everyone in the NSAF/GACC/HBCU family -- athletes, coaches, familes, fans and meet officials -- in getting through the weather of this weekend and during the hurricane looming ahead. We look forward to seeing everyone at New Balance Nationals Indoor, New Balance Nationals Outdoor and the next GACC Festival and HBCU Challenge in 2016!

Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Our Partners