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07/27/23 – Cross Country State Championships to Return to Kentucky Horse Park in 2023-24

July 27, 2023 2023-2024 News Releases



After a three-year stint at the Bourbon County Cross Country Course in Paris, the KHSAA Cross Country State Championships will return to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington starting in 2023-24.

“We would like to thank those who made the last three years a special experience at the Bourbon County Cross Country Course,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “In 2020, we were fortunate to help our cross country manager and several other individuals design a viable course for our state championships in a time of uncertainty around the global pandemic when our former course was not hosting events. What started as a brand-new course at the time has since evolved into a site that has consistently offered a great experience for our student-athletes. We look forward to the continued improvements the Bourbon County course has discussed for long-term growth, and we will undoubtedly revisit our site selection again in the future.

“But, the logistical needs of the upcoming year and continued growth in cross country participation need to take priority,” Tackett said. “We never like to adjust sites after our calendar is set in May, but we had little option and are thankful that the Kentucky Horse Park is now back embracing full-scale events following its own set of uncertain times. We’re excited to rekindle our longstanding relationship and return to the course in the back of this historic park that the staff was gracious enough to let us help design a few years ago. This will address many logistical needs that surround this great event as it continues to grow and evolve.”

“We are excited the KHSAA has chosen the Kentucky Horse Park as the host for its wrestling and cross country championships,” said Kentucky Horse Park President Lee Carter. “KHSAA championship events are opportunities to celebrate the hard work of so many student-athletes. Our staff is committed to providing the best atmosphere for these competitions, and we can’t wait to welcome the student-athletes, families and fans to the Park.”

Last May, the KHSAA Board of Control approved the return of the KHSAA Wrestling State Championships to Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park as an annual three-day event through 2024-25.

The 2020 KHSAA Cross Country State Championships marked the first time in more than four decades that a cross country state championship was not decided in its entirety at the Kentucky Horse Park when the state event made its debut at the Bourbon County Cross Country Course. The Class 3A meet was hosted in Louisville in both 1978 and 1979 before all classes moved to the Kentucky Horse Park in 1980, starting a lengthy run at the Park throughout several different courses until 2020.

“We would like to thank the cross country coaching staff and athletic department at Bourbon County High School, as well as the entire Bourbon County community, for their hard work and generosity over the past three years,” said KHSAA Assistant Commissioner Sarah Bridenbaugh. “That community embraced our staff and this event with open arms in order to help give kids a great experience, and we are forever grateful.”



About the Kentucky High School Athletic Association

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association was organized in 1917 and is the agency designated by the Kentucky Department of Education to manage high school athletics in the Commonwealth. The Association is a voluntary nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of 284 member schools, both public and non-public. The KHSAA awards 215 state championships to 51 teams and 164 individuals in 13 sports and six sport-activities, funds catastrophic insurance coverage for its more than 106,000 rostered member school student-athletes, provides coaching education and sports safety programs for more than 12,000 coaches and licenses and facilitates the distribution of training material for over 4,000 contest officials.


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