Cross Country is a sport of variables – we run over a variety of surfaces over a variety of distances in several competitive formats.
On this year’s schedule, our race distances will range from 2.93 miles at Mt Sac to 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) at Woodward Park in Fresno, we’ll race over dirt, grass and pavement, and the courses will range from completely flat at our inter-squad meet and the Apache Invite to severe hills at Mt Sac. Because of these variations, runners do not have a single cross country PR (personal record) but rather talk about their PR’s for various courses, so you’ll hear: “What’s your Woodbridge PR? “What’s your PR at Mt Sac?”
We will also compete in a variety of formats. The classic Cross Country format is to keep score by finishing place with the lowest score winning. We will use this format in all of the Baseline League and post-season/CIF meets. For the Varsity races, each school fields a team of seven runners, of which the first five finishers are the scoring runners, with the points earned equal to the finishing place. So if GHS runners finish 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th and 30th, our score would be 51 (1+5+10+15+20=51). If a team’s sixth and seventh runners finish better than another team’s top five, they are called displacers because while they themselves don’t count in the score, they make the other teams score higher by “displacing” their scoring runners. At Baseline League meets, there ia a JV division. All of our athletes will compete in these races, but only the top seven finishers are counted for the final score totals. Post season/CIF meets have only a varsity division.
The Saturday meets will have a variety of formats. At most of our meets, we will have seven athletes in the Varsity race, while the balance of the team will compete by class (i.e., Freshmen, Juniors, etc.), with the team score determined by the total time of the of top five, or by place, or by a combination of both.
All of this variation can make watching a cross country meet a challenge. Spectators and teammates are allowed to be anywhere alongside the course, so you’ll be wise to seek out other parents, teammates and coaches to find out the best viewing locations at the various places we compete.