The year 2020 was tough on everyone. Tourism and travel took a backseat as residents all over were encouraged to stay home. For cross country athletes, the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course offered a much-needed source of normalcy during a time of uncertainty. While the season was shortened due to COVID-19, it did still happen and made a world of difference for athletes’ morale. As the season came to an end, there was so much hope for the next year. A complete season full of sportsmanship, personal records and spectators.
On August 14, 2021, runners from all over the state gathered on the course for the 2021 Valley Kickoff hosted by Terre Haute South Vigo High School. The grass was greener. The excitement in the air was palpable. Family and friends crowded around the course, cheering on their runners. Terre Haute was once again, Cross Country Town USA.
The Course took this last year of uncertainty to further improve the facilities. This is, after all, the greatest cross country course in the nation. A new medical building was built on site in preparation for the 2021 season. This addition to the course emphasizes the Course’s commitment to the health and progress of their athletes.
So, what makes LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course so special, besides the love for their athletes and impressive resume of national meets? The Course was responsible for giving Terre Haute the coveted title of Cross Country Town USA in 2009 after hosting six successful seasons. It has since held the title for over 10 years and has become a destination for athletes of all ages and skills.
The Course gained popularity and recognition due to its unique geography. A simple straightaway, twice the size of an average cross country straightaway, at the start feeds into rolling hills, offering a welcome challenge to athletes. No other course in the country matches LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course’s ability to showcase the action for spectators. Spectators who came back in full force to witness legendary meets at the course, including the IHSAA Sectionals on October 9, the IHSAA Cross Country State Meet on October 30, and looking ahead to the Nike Cross Regional Midwest Championships which will take place on November 14.
LaVern Gibson will host the Nike Cross Regional Midwest Championships as the season comes to an incredible end. The Course is proud to have hosted the last 14 meets of the season and looks forward to welcoming athletes from all over the country to this last meet. What better way to close out a historic return to cross country than with the Nike Cross Regional Midwest Championships. Gates open up at 8:00 am and tickets are $5 a person. For more information on this meet, visit the Course website. Pull on your team’s sweatshirt, grab a hot chocolate and cheer your heart out. We’ll be seeing you in Cross Country Town USA.