Cross Country


A high school cross country race is typically 3.1 miles (5K) over trail and road, in varied conditions.

A TEAM SPORT: A cross country meet is scored by each team adding up the places of its top 5 finishers. Each athlete’s point total is arrived at by simply counting their place. For example, if an athlete finishes in 8th place in a race he/she scores eight points for their team. The team with the lowest score wins the race. Although only five runners score for a given team, on the varsity level seven runners may compete. The sixth and seventh runners serve not only as insurance but may also add to the score of opposing teams by finishing ahead, or displacing, those teams’ scoring athletes. Because five to seven athletes score in cross country, the team dynamic plays a crucial role in the success of the team. This means that every second matters, every place matters! Watch any high school cross country race and you’ll find hundreds of inspiring stories. This scoring makes cross country the ultimate team sport. No one or two people can carry a team - every runner has to perform well for the team to succeed. Each team is only as good as its weakest link. With this in mind it becomes imperative to foster the team dynamic in practice and in meets. Athletes must learn to work together and constantly encourage each other to race, practice, and conduct themselves to the best of their abilities.

AN INDIVIDUAL SPORT: Despite the importance of the team, cross country is oftentimes very individual. Although others may encourage you in races and practices, ultimately it is only you who will do the work – and succeed, or give up – and fail. There are no time outs or substitutions in cross country; that is one of its beauties. Individually you will make tremendous leaps. There will, of course, be physical gains, but the more important benefits will be on the mental side. Cross country will teach you the value of hard work and patience. It will develop your mental toughness. Nobody sits on the bench in cross country. If you are healthy and have attended practice regularly you will compete in meets. It makes no difference if you are the fastest athlete or the fiftieth fastest; you will compete.


The official season runs from the third week in August to the first week of November for athletes that make it to State. We meet for practices in the back gym Monday through Friday and Saturday mornings. There are Wednesday league meets and Saturday invitationals. The season concludes with the Kingco and District Championships in late October and the State meet in early November. Most of the team participates in optional summer training to prepare for the season and have fun over the summer!