Photo by Sam Chandler.
With a crushed gravel trail and an abundance of space, Veterans Park hosts high school cross-country meets during the fall and community races throughout the year.
Veterans Park in Hoover will play host to the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships Dec. 10.
According to Connie Tolbert-McClinton, chairwoman of the event’s local organizing committee, 3,400 to 3,900 runners between ages 8 and 18 are expected to compete. Tolbert-McClinton said that USATF Alabama, the host association, anticipates runners from 50 states.
The meet will feature 10 races, with the first set to begin at 9 a.m.
Race distances will vary by age. The youngest division will run 2K; the 9- to 10- and 11- to 12-year-old divisions will run 3K; the 13- to 14-year-old division will run 4K, and the 15- to 18-year-old division will run 5K.
Each race is scheduled to start 30 minutes apart, with the girls section of each age group running before the age-corresponding boys section. Award presentations are 45 minutes after the start of each race. The top 25 individuals per event and top three teams per age division will receive awards.
Tolbert-McClinton said that Veterans Park last hosted the event in 2010. She said the meet will allow Hoover to showcase its beauty to competitors from other parts of the country, especially those unfamiliar with the landscape of central Alabama.
The meet is open to both teams and individuals. Individual registration is $20. Online registration ends Dec. 2 at 11:59 p.m. (EST).
For more information, including volunteer details, go to usatf.org/events.