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5th Annual HBCU Challenge takes off Oct. 5
Posted By: Steve Underwood on September 29, 2013

Press Release

Student-athletes from 16 Historically Black Colleges and Universities will toe the line for the 5th Annual Robert Shumake HBCU Challenge, taking place Saturday, October 5th at the Wake Med Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. The event is produced by the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation (NSAF).

The men’s 8-kilometer (4.97 miles) race begins at 9:30 a.m., followed by the women’s 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) race at 10:05 a.m. The winning male and female teams each receive a $1,500 scholarship donation for their schools from the Shumake family foundation and the top two teams will be awarded trophies and watches. The individual male and female champions are presented with the LaVerne Sweat and Dr. Leroy Walker awards, respectively, and medals will be given to the top 25 finishers in each race. With 4-time winner Norfolk State not entered in 2013, the men’s race is guaranteed to see new team and individual champions. On the women’s side, however, 3-time defending champ Hampton will be trying to make it four straight.

Eleven schools from the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAA) and five more from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) are entered for both races. The CIAA schools are Bowie State University, Chowan University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Lincoln University, Livingstone College, Saint Augustine’s University, Shaw University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, and Winston-Salem State University. The MEAC entrants are Hampton University, Howard University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, and South Carolina State University. Wake Technical Community College is also in the field, and there are additional individuals entered as well.

The Challenge is part of the NSAF’s Great American Cross Country Festival, which also includes 13 high school races, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and concluding at 2:00 p.m.

Robert S. Shumake is the CEO of Inheritance Capital Group and also the founder of the Robert S. Shumake Scholarship Relays. He has spoken of how student-athletes can apply the principals of track and field and cross-country to building a successful career and how events such as the Challenge can “also offer opportunities off the field for socializing, networking and exchanging ideas,” in addition to showcasing exceptional athletes.

Also, all of participating schools’ sports information directors will have an Allstate agent on premise to participate in the HBCU Quotes for Education Initiative. Allstate and the Tom Joyner Foundation are working with HBCU students, alumni and supporters across the country to raise scholarship funds as part of the fifth annual Allstate Quotes for Education program. For every person who receives an insurance quote from a participating Allstate agent and mentions Quotes for Education, Allstate will donate $10 to the foundation for general scholarship funds to assist students attending HBCUs. Participants in this program can also vote for the HBCU of their choice to receive an additional $50,000 donation for scholarships.

In addition to the HBCU races and the other high school races, the Festival will also include a bounce-house for kids, concessions, and other entertainment. There is no other cross-country event in the nation that creates this kind of opportunity to HBCU student-athletes, as well as their families, friends, and supporters.

For more information on the HBCU Challenge, go to http://www.nationalscholastic.org/hbcu. A meet preview for the Challenge will be published Wednesday, Oct. 2 at nationalscholastic.org.

The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire youth to live healthy and active lifestyles, and to prepare them for success.

HBCU Challenge
National Scholastic Athletics Foundation
Chapel Hill, NC
Contact: steve.underwood@nationalscholastic.org
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