Neal Charske - Fairmont Firebird Invitational 2022

Kettering, OH
Hosted by Fairmont
Timing/Results Buckeye Timing
Registration Opens On Aug 21, 2022

Meet Information

Online Registration Instructions

Indian Riffle Park is also the location of the MidEast XC meet!!!

Run this historic course!

40th Annual

Why choose the Neal Charske Firebird Invitational?

The NEW Indian Riffle Park course features the best in XC racing. Even with the famous Indian Riffle Park Hill, and multiple woods loops, the course still gives up PRs. Runners and coaches from last year both commented that the new course yielded PRs while also providing old school cross country the way it was meant to be run. This can be attributed to the fact that the course progresses through a crowd of cheering spectators multiple times. Running through the 3-person-deep crowd lining the pond loop & hill climb propelled several runners to lifetime bests.

Arguably-The Best Spectator Course in Ohio:
Not only does the Indian Riffle course provide a fantastic racing experience, it gives fans arguably the best XC spectating in all of Ohio. Runners pass by the spectators positioned near the pond and hill three times, enabling fans in this location to see both of the hill climbs as well as the start of the race. Furthermore, with a mere 50-yard walk, the fans will see the finish clearly as both the starting line and finish line are adjacent to each other. This prime viewing location allows fans to see the race at several key points with little difficulty while also having a clear view of 1-mile and 2-mile marks at the top of the hill, marked by the race-clock tower. Additionally, the asphalt pathways of Indian Riffle park provide access for fans with limited mobility, making the course perfect for spectators of all ages.

The Famous INDIAN RIFFLE PARK HILL > location of the 1 & 2 mile marks
Centrally located just behind the starting line and finish area, the famous Indian Riffle Park hill looms. The 1-mile and 2-mile marks are both at the top of the hill in the same spot. Many fans watch the entire race from the top of the hill enabling them to see an incredible amount of the race as it unfolds. The hill is what the runners always remember about the Neal Charske Firebird Invitational.

At the top of the hill, a race-clock is perched atop a 10ft high tower that runners pass directly under at the 1 & 2 mile marks on the course. Passing under the clock gives the runners an unobstructed view of the race-clock. In fact, runners can see the clock as they approach the hill from over 150 yards away.

The tower is awesome because it makes getting 1 and 2 mile splits very easy for coaches or team managers.

Improved Opening Start
The new layout has almost a mile straight away before the first turn. The starting area is still fairly tight and funnels in rather quickly; however, with the longer straight away, runners are not hampered which in part has contributed to the faster times seen during last seasons invitational.

Making the racing experience something special, teams are introduced along with their starting boxes over the PA as they complete their final run out. Prior to the race, the teams gather at the southeast end of the starting line area. One by one, the teams are announced. Upon hearing their names, each team completes their final stride out back to their box one team at a time. This new announcement of each team was well received by the fans and runners last year as it gave the runners the feeling of taking the field of competition.

American Flags line the final 200m of the course forming a gauntlet of flags as runners sprint to the finish. Flags also mark the boundaries of the starting area giving a patriotic feel to the Neal Charske Firebird Invitational. The course is clearly marked and done up right to give the runners a great race day atmosphere.

40th Annual
Neal Charske Firebird Invitational


8:00 - 9:00 am
Schools sign in and pick up packets
(Located under Firebird XC tent by ball diamond closest to starting line)
9:00 am Varsity I Girls Silver Race 10/Score 7
9:40 am Varsity I Boys Silver Race 10/Score 7
10:10 am Varsity II Girls Blue Race 10/Score 7
10:50 am Varsity II Boys Blue Race 10/Score 7
11:20 am Open Girls Unlimited/Score 7
12:00 pm 11th/12th Boys OPEN Unlimited/Score 7
12:30 pm 9th/10th Boys OPEN Unlimited/Score 7

1:00 pm Middle School Varsity Girls Race 10/Score 7
1:30 pm Middle School Varsity Boys Race 10/Score 7
2:00 pm Middle School Open Girls Unlimited/Score 7
2:30 pm Middle School Open Boys Unlimited/Score 7

3:15 pm Kids Mile & 1 Mile Races (Meet at Finish)


*Race Assignments are based on Team Rankings the week preceding the meet.

*Coaches can request to be placed in a particular race provided that the request does not throw off the competitive balance of the race or numbers of runners competing.

*If coaches would like to make a race request, please contact Coach Hipp:


B/G Varsity I Silver: generally D1 schools or regional/state qualifying D2/3

B/G Varsity 2 Blue: generally D2/3 schools or smaller D1 programs or D1
teams that potentially will finish in the lower half of the district meet.

B Varsity Teams may be entered in the Blue Race:

*Larger programs-by email request- may be permitted to enter a B team in the Blue races so their runners can gain varsity race experience and to help spread out the field.

*B teams do not qualify to win team championship trophies in the Blue races.

$115.00 for each Boys High School Team (Varsity, JV, or both)
$115.00 for each Girls High School Team (Varsity, JV, or both)
$75.00 for each Boys Junior High Team (Varsity, JV, or both)
$75.00 for each Girls Junior High Team (Varsity, JV, or both)

There are a few openings still remaining for the 2022 Annual Neal Charske Invitational. If you wish to reserve a spot on the starting line for the 40th running of this event, please email Coach Hipp at

Meet Contracts: Also, to solidify your spot, please have your schools AD accept the meet contract:

ARBITER (Contracts) - please accept the contract ASAP!

Team Packet Pickup: Coaches can pick up their team packets with chips, bibs, course maps, racing schedule, important information, along with coaches' hospitality in tents along the fence line by the Baseball Diamond closest to the starting line area.

Coaches Hospitality Tent: Coaches can grab a drink and morning snacks in the tent next to where you will pick up race packets along the fence by the ball diamond closest to the starting line.

Team Camps: may be set up on the football field inside the asphalt track or in the grass area on the south side of Kettering Middle School South Unit. Please do not set up team camps in the Indian Riffle Park proper as the park is still open to patrons and the new course utilizes more of the shaded areas of Indian Riffle Park where team camps may interfere with racing.

Bus Parking: Buses are to drop teams off on the west parking lot of Kettering Middle School. Buses will then be directed to park in the east lot of KMS by Indian Riffle Elementary.

Address: Kettering Middle School, 3000 Glengarry Drive, Kettering, OH, 45420

Concessions: Concessions will be provided through a variety of food truck vendors, which will all be located in the KMS parking lot nearest to the football field, just off of the shuffleboard area.

Spectator Parking:
The Fairmont Firebird XC team will be charging $5 per car for entry into the meet.

Meet Entries and Additional Information:

BUCKEYE TIMING - online entry (through Milesplit Ohio), information, etc.

Meet Day Communication:
Any changes to the schedule due to weather or other meet day information that needs to get out will be sent through Remind. Information regarding the Remind access code will be sent in the week preceding the meet.