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2018 GAXC Festival is HERE!

October 6, 2018 -- The Great American Cross Country Festival and the co-current Cedric Walker HBCU Challenge, set for Saturday, October 6, 2018, is HERE! We are excited not only about the usual outstanding prep XC competition, but also the revival of open collegiate/university competition to the Festival.


GAXC Festival and HBCU Challenge RACE ASSIGNMENTS (updated Oct. 5)

Once again, the GAXC will serve as an the Official NXN Southeast Pre-Regional Meet. Last year marked our second GAXC with new presenting sponsor Nike after the meet was cancelled due to a severe storm in 2015. Nike was a previous sponsor of the Festival, back in the 2000s.

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.

We are thrilled that the Shelby Houlihan, the record-setting Olympic distance runner from the Nike Bowerman Track Club, will be joining us Saturday to meet and greet athletes and fans, and to sign autographs at the Nike tent! Shelby, a 2016 Olympian in the 5,000m, won 4 USATF titles this past year, set an American record for 5,000m and became one of the world's best distance runners in 2018! Read more about her HERE!

Also, the Nike Apparel Tent will have all kinds of cool and exciting apparel and accessories all weekend! The tent will be open during packet pickup and the course run-through Friday afternoon, October 5 from 1pm to 5pm, then again on race-day Saturday, October 6 from 7am to 2pm. Check it out HERE!

The GAXC Festival started in 1999, was purchased by the NSAF in 2002, and has been hosted at WakeMed Soccer Park since 2009. The past few years we have had 13 boys' and girls' varsity and junior varsity 5,000m races, highlighted by the Nike Race of Champions events and the Cedric Walker HBCU Challenge men's 8k and women's 5k championship races.

2018 QuickStart

More meet info

Super 2017 at WakeMed for GAXC, HBCU Harriers!

The 2017 Great American Cross Country Festival -- in the 2nd year of its partnership with Nike and as the NXN Southeast Pre-Regional Meet -- and the Cedric Walker HBCU Challenge commanded the day at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. the first Saturday of October.

Results | Recap Story | Meet Preview | Pre-Meet stories on Kingwood HS | Nike athletes Courtney Frerichs and Craig Engels | HBCU Guest Starter Quanera Hayes


At left, 2-time World Champs gold medalist Quanera Hayes was our HBCU Challenge special guest starter. At right, Nike athletes sub-4 miler Craig Engels and World Champs steeplechase silver medalist and Olympian Courtney Frerichs delighted hundreds of athletes signing autographs all day long.

The festive day was special in so many ways. To wit:

Blazing individual and team efforts were the order of the day in all 14 races. The best of the best:

Top GAXC Performances


Top HBCU Performances



Another reason to celebrate the 2017 GAXC was our special guests from Kingwood HS in Texas. The NSAF invited both Mustang varsity teams to Cary after learning of their displacement from their school following Hurricane Harvey in September. As a non-profit foundation, the NSAF can provide travel grants to teams in special circumstances.

The Kingwood boys finished 8th and the girls 13th in the Nike ROC races. Check out our interviews with Coaches Tate Symons and Jeremy Dye and with many of the varsity athletes. The Mustangs also developed a special connection with the girls of Seneca HS in NJ after they and their Coach Karen O'Neil presented Kingwood with a $500 donation thanks to their own fundraising effort.

Finally, a HUGE THANK YOU from the NSAF to our title sponsor - Nike - as well as the other generous supporters for whom our races were named: The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, the Town of Cary, Primo Water, Roll Recovery, Agogie and the Bone and Joint Surgery Clinic.

We also greatly appreciated two of our newest sponsors; Gatorade, which provided recovery drinks and other product at the meet; and CyroMAX, which handed out sorely needed ice packs at the finish line -- which runners took big advantage of as the temperatures rose!




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