Parents of some cross country runners at schools in the Southwest Wake Athletic 4A are circulating a petition requesting that the league change its cross country format.
The league this year requires runners to participate in at least two of three specified conference meets in order to be considered for all-conference.
In recent years, the top runners at state powers such as Green Hope, Cary and Apex have not competed in some mid-week meets, but have represented their schools in invitationals on the weekends.
Schools can enter no more than 15 boys and 15 girls in the conference meets so there are large numbers of runners who will have no or limited opportunities to run in those meets. Green Hope, the 2012 N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A champion, has more than 250 students in its program.
The system also sets up a scenario where a runner who missed some early meets could win the conference championship race, but not be on the all-conference team.
All-conference has always been determined by one race, said Apex coach Roy Cooper. The runners train to do their best at the end of the season.
The schools are free to have smaller meets during the season where all of the runners can participate in addition to the three conference-wide meets.
Nationally, cross country is the sixth most popular sports for boys and girls in the United States with 201,000 girls and 239,000 boys.
Great American Festival: Some of the areas top cross country teams will run in the Great American Cross Country Festival on Saturday at Carys WakeMed Park course.
Last years national competition attracted more than 3,400 runners from 150 schools representing 19 states.
The winning time in 2012 was 14:43.6 in boys and 17:27 in girls. Now-graduated Bakri Abushouk of Cary was fifth (15:03.3) in the boys race. Cardinal Gibbons Mary Grace Doggett (18:10.5) and Sophie Ebihara (18:11.9) were Nos. 18 and 19 and are expected to compete this weekend.
The competition includes 17 races beginning at 8 a.m. The featured boys and girls races are scheduled for 10:40 and 11 a.m.
Roberson inducted: Former Zebulon High girls basketball coach Barbara Smith Roberson will be inducted into the Cabarrus County Sports of Fame on Oct. 24 at the Cabarrus County Boys and Girls Club in Concord.
Roberson coached high school teams at Laurinburg, Wakelon and Zebulon for 25 years after being a standout player at Concord High in 1952 through 1956.
She died on Aug. 10, 1993 of cancer and the gym at Zebulon High was named for her in 1994.
Joining Roberson in this years induction is the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt.
Basketball recruiting: Dave Telep, the longtime basketball recruiting analyst, has joined the San Antonio Spurs staff, but Rick Lewis of Phenom Hoop Report plans to continue Teleps annual gathering of North Carolinas top players for a one day showcase.
Teleps Carolina Challenge was held in the Triangle, but Lewis North Carolina Top 80 is scheduled for Saturday, March 29 at Olympic Park in Greensboro. The one-day event will be by invitation only.
Lewis, the father of N.C. State point guard Tyler Lewis, has had a recruiting service for four years. He also does evaluation camps.
Slowdown: Last weeks football game between Warsaw James Kenan and Princeton featured a couple of outstanding running backs, but neither Kenan senior Marcelius Sutton or Princeton junior Johnny Frazier had much running room.
Frazier had 12 carries for 75 yards in the 35-22 loss. He also had six carries for 154 yards. Sutton, an N.C. State recruit, had six carries for 25 yards.