December 19, 2008 - Chapel Hill, NC

The National Scholastic Sports Foundation is pleased to announce the move of its Great American Cross-Country Festival back to Cary, NC. Credited as one of the nation's foremost high school cross-country events, the Great American Cross-Country Festival returns to Cary after a three year hiatus in Hoover, Alabama.

Jim Spier, Executive Director of the NSSF said today, "Though we will miss the fine people of Hoover, AL who did a superb job of supporting helping to put on the meet, we are ecstatic to be back in Cary, NC. The Town of Cary and the Raleigh CVB have been super with their cooperation and support."

Those sentiments are echoed by A.J. Holzherr, Director of Business Development for the NSSF. "We are excited about renewing our partnership with the Town of Cary and the Raleigh CVB in presenting championship cross country in Wake County, North Carolina," Holzherr commented.

The event, held in Cary from 2003 to 2005 attracts over 2,000 high school and collegiate runners to Wake Med Soccer Park which also hosts the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional Championship. That event, managed by the NSSF, qualifies teams and individual runners for the Nike Cross Nationals Finals in Portland, Oregon each December.

"Locating the GACCF event on the same course as the NXN SE Regions makes strategic sense," Holzherr continued. "As one of the top 5 High School Cross Country events in the nation, individuals and teams at GACCF will have an opportunity to test the Wake Med course prior to the nationals qualifier."

While the GACCF's high school Races of Champions are the key features of weekend, the NSSF anticipates a record participation of collegiate teams for the Friday evening college races as well. Expectations are high that teams who competed at the event in Cary previously will return and all indications point in that direction.

According to Spier and Holzherr, there is also excitement about a new collegiate event for 2009. Saturday's line up will include a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Challenge. "Two of our Board members recently attended the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association's Annual Convention in Phoenix, Spier said. "The reception from coaches to the HBCU Challenge at GACCF was very well received and we expect the inaugural race to be highly competitive."

The Great American Cross-Country Festival will be held October 2-3, 2009 at the Wake Med facility. Full details will be available early in 2009.

The NSSF is a not-for-profit organization which raises funds to support the development of the sports of track and field and cross-country and provides travel and equipment grants to athletes and teams in those sports. For more information please visit their website at or contact us at