North Carolina High School State Cross-Country Meets Before 1956

The NCHSAA began official State Cross Country Championships in 1956.

Brett Honeycutt, in researching old newspaper archives and school yearbooks, has found that some of the larger high schools in the state during the 1920s and 30s actually held "State Cross Country Championships".

The four schools who organized the meets were:

"Charlotte". Charlotte HS opened in 1909 and was renamed Central High in 1923. In 1959 it moved to a new campus and was renamed Charlotte Garinger.

"Greensboro". Greensboro HS opened in 1899, and became Greensboro Central in 1911. Then Greensboro Senior in 1929 and Greensboro Grimsley in 1962.

"High Point". High Point HS opened in 1926 and was renamed High Point Central around 1962.

"Winston-Salem". Opened as R.J. Reynolds HS in 1923 in Winston-Salem (North Carolina's largest city until 1948).

Earliest NC Cross Country State Team Champions:

1926: Greensboro   1929: Winston-Salem

1930: Winston-Salem   1931: Winston-Salem   1932: High Point   1933: High Point   1934: High Point


Earliest ever known high school cross country race in North Carolina (Dec. 4, 1926):

The following item appeared in The Charlotte Observer, on Dec. 6, 1926:

- - - - -
Special to The Charlotte Observer
CHAPEL HILL, Dec. 4. -- Clarence Phoenix, star distance man of Greensboro High School, won the first inter-high school cross-country race ever staged in North Carolina here today. The race, which was between teams from Greensboro and Fayetteville, was staged between halves of the Sanford-Charlotte football game over a course of one and eight-tenths miles.

The four man team from Greensboro defeated Fayetteville 15 to 21, low score winning, and became the first state high school cross-country champions. Phoenix covered the distance in the remarkably good time of 9 minutes 57 seconds.

1928 yearbook photo of Clarence Phoenix
1928 yearbook photo of NC's first HS
XC Champion, Clarence Phoenix

Additional info was found in a The Daily Tar Heel article:

Individual Results:
1. Clarence Phoenix, Greensboro, 9:57
2. Quate, Greensboro
3. Davie, Fayetteville
4. Benas, Fayetteville
5. Dyrick, Greensboro
6. Cade, Fayetteville
7. Howerton, Greensboro
8. Bulla, Fayetteville

The race was run during halftime of the North Carolina high school
football championship game.

UNC's Kenan Stadium did not open until the following year, and football
was played at the 2,400-seat Emerson Field, on the current site of Davis

Greensboro High beat Fayetteville High 15-21 to become the first state
champions (top 4 runners scored). They were the only two schools that
assembled cross country teams. Apparently each school entered just 4
runners, and there were only 8 finishers.


Photo of 1929 R.J. Reynolds Boys Cross Country Team
Photo of the 1929 Winston-Salem R.J. Reynolds HS Boys Team)
Source: School yearbook, page 129

From The Charlotte News' Dec. 13, 1929, newspaper:

Over a slow two-mile cross-country course, Galen Elliott's Charlotte High School harriers sped to second place in the State championships, placing behind Winston-Salem who had 25 points. Mt. Ulla, where the meet was held yesterday, was third with a score of 53. Charlotte’s boys made 48 points.

Time for the event was fourteen minutes, according to Coach Elliott, who returned here last night from the meet with his boys.

Successful Season

This run brought the season to a close and Elliott, who was all-American miler in 1925, termed the season a success. It is the first time cross-country has been introduced at Charlotte High.

(George Phillips researched Galen Elliott and learned that, competing for UNC he was 2nd in the 1927 NCAA Championships Mile with a 4:18.4y, bettering the Meet Record along with the winner from Iowa State.)

The lads of Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Mt. Ulla High School finished as follows:

1929 Team Results
1. Winston-Salem 25
2. Charlotte Central 48
3. Mt. Ulla 53

Thursday, Dec. 12, 1929
At Mt. Ulla High School 2.0-mile course (slow course, according to story) 1. Morris, Winston-Salem, 14:00 2. Crivette, Winston-Salem 3. John Hordner, Charlotte Central 4. Hunter Rogers, Charlotte Central 5. Watson, Winston-Salem 6. Coble, Mt. Ulla 7. T. Kennerry, Mt. Ulla 8. C. Kennerly, Mt. Ulla 9. Holse, Charlotte Central 10. Jacobs, Winston-Salem 11. Doran, Charlotte Central 12. Eyerly, Mt. Ulla 13. Graham, Mt. Ulla 14. Keever, Charlotte


From Nov. 23, 1930, The Charlotte News:

Twins Defeat Local Harriers

Winston-Salem, Nov. 22 - In what had been billed as a State Championship Cross Country meet, Winston-Salem High's Harriers won a whitewash decision over Charlotte High here today, 45-15.

Raleigh High School arrived late and failed to run in the race, while teams from Mt. Ulla, Greensboro and High Point failed to arrive at all.

The first finishers, Morris, Venable and Kinney set a new North Carolina interscholastic record of thirteen minutes and 57 seconds.

The order of finishers follows:

1930 Team Results
1. Winston-Salem 15
2. Charlotte Central 45

Saturday, Nov. 22, 1930
At Winston-Salem

Note: Raleigh arrived late and did not run, and Mt. Ulla, Greensboro and 
High Point failed to show

 1 (tie). Morris, Winston-Salem 13:57
 1 (tie).Venable, Winston-Salem 13:57
 1 (tie). Kinney, Winston-Salem 13:57
 4. Sandifer, Winston-Salem
 5. Jones, Winston-Salem
 6. Barber, Charlotte Central
 7. T. Hines, Winston-Salem
 8. Carriker, Charlotte Central
 9. Lloyd, Charlotte Central
10. Sloope, Charlotte Central
11. D. Hines, Winston-Salem
12. Brown, Charlotte Central

Team Results:
1. Winston-Salem, 39
2. Greensboro, 46
3. High Point, 66
4. Charlotte, 69

Friday, Nov. 20, 1931, at Hanes Park, Winston-Salem - 2.25 miles

Top 7 Named All-State
 1. Sid Kinney, Winston-Salem, 13:10 (record)
 2. N.T. Sandifer, Winston-Salem
 3. Milford Smith, High Point
 4. Wallace Ellington, High Point
 5. Miller, Greensboro
 6. Koury, Greensboro
 7. Suttle, Greensboro
 8. Lovin, Greensboro
 9. Willard Mollingsworth, Winston-Salem
10. Thompson, Charlotte
11. Beard, Charlotte
12. Billy Patterson, Winston-Salem
13. Barber, Charlotte
14. Aldine Ebert, Winston-Salem
15. Merrill Robinson, Winston-Salem
16. Clark Hubbard, High Point
17. Ramsey, Charlotte
18. Corriker, Charlotte
19. Flint, Winston-Salem
20. Rochelle, Greensboro
21. Ralph Fowler, High Point
22. Irwin Canada, High Point
23. Edwards, Charlotte
24. Canada, High Point
25. Shaffner, Charlotte
Photo of 1931 RJ Reynolds State Cross Country Champions
1931 State Cross Country Championship Team: RJ Reynolds)

Team Results:
1. High Point, 33
2. Winston-Salem, 61
3. Salisbury, 63
4. Greensboro, 78

High Point Coach: Johnny Eidson

Friday, Dec. 2, 1932, at Hanes Park, Winston-Salem - 2.5 miles

Team Photo: High Point. 1932 State Cross Country Champions

Top 7 Named All-State
 1. Wallace Ellington, High Point, 13:45
 2. Milford Smith, High Point
 3. Holt, Old Town
 4. Carl Hubbard, High Point
 5. Holden, Winston-Salem
 6. Kinney, Winston-Salem
 7. Earnhardt, Salisbury
 8. Creech, Greensboro
 9. Harper, Greensboro
10. Earnhardt, Salisbury
11. Hubbard, High Point
12. Patterson, Winston-Salem
13. Kincaid, Salisbury
14. Melbohn, Greensboro
15. Talmadge Ellington, High Point
16. Sigmon, Salisbury
17. Goodman, Salisbury
18. Flynt, Winston-Salem
19. Thomas Davis, High Point
20. Sandifer, Winston-Salem
21. Cooke, High Point
22. Stone, Winston-Salem
23. James, Greensboro
24. Neese, Greensboro
25. Laurence, Greensboro
26. Sattewhite, Salisbury
27. Williams, Winston-Salem
28. Archer, Greensboro
29. Shultz, Old Town
30. Roberts, Salisbury
High Point Enterprise article on the meet

Old Town was a school located just northwest of Winston-Salem, east of current-day Reagan HS, and just west of the old Northwest HS, which merged with Hanes HS and Mineral Springs HS back in the early 60s to create the current day North Forsyth HS.  Old Town eventually became an elementary school.


No meet, but High Point was declared state champion. High Point Coach: Johnny Eidson.

Note: High Point did compete in the 8th National Interscholastic Championship, with 38 other schools, most state champions, from all over the country.

1933 High Point Team goes to Nationals: (a "Preview" article)
Newspaper Story in the High Point Enterprise


Nov. 23, 1934, High Point Enterprise newspaper info:

No meet, but High Point declared state champion

Only 2 teams had teams in the state, High Point and Greensboro

NOTE: Coaches Snotherly (High Point) and Coach Baucom (Greensboro) chose the All-State team after High Point defeated Greensboro. (High Point was undefeated in facing college freshmen teams throughout North Carolina and facing Greensboro).

Davis, High Point
Ellington, High Point
Harper, Greensboro
Chastain, High Point
DeBruhl, Greensboro
Cook, High Point
Dennis, High Point

NOTE: This is the only information we have available.
If you have any more of these results, please email us at

E-mail information for Thank you.

Main Cross-Country Page | Main Menu Page