COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – High school cross country runners in Ohio will get a chance to compete for a State Championship at one of the premier venues in the country.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Wednesday that they are moving the cross country state championships to Fortress Obetz. It’s a 50-acre multi-purpose sports complex located on the southeast side of Columbus.
Fortress Obetz opened in 2017 on the former site of the Columbus Motor Speedway. The previous site was held at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio.
Every November, cross country runners will compete at one of the largest events in the country, with more than 11,000 fans. A major advantage for fans at Fortress Obetz will be the 6,500-seat grandstands, which overlooks much of the course.
“We can’t wait for our student-athletes and Ohio’s entire cross country community to experience the state championships at Fortress Obetz,” said Jerry Snodgrass, OHSAA Executive Director. “This facility is so impressive, from the course layout for the competitors to being more spectator friendly for the fans and we are thrilled to sign a five-year agreement. We would like to thank National Trail Raceway for hosting the state championships for the last nine years and doing an outstanding job as our host.”
Fortress Obetz has been used for sporting events, concerts, and festivals over the last several decades. The facility has five video boards, concessions, restrooms and a massive parking lot.
“The Village of Obetz is extremely proud and excited to partner with the OHSAA,” said Steve Adams, National Director of Athletic Operations and Facilities Promotion. “We feel our Memorial Park and the Fortress is perfectly suited for the OHSAA Cross Country State Tournament. We have created a safe and challenging course for the runners and kept the spectator experience in mind as well.”