What is it?
Cross Country is a running sport for all ages. It is different from other running sports in that races take place over natural terrain. Courses may include, but are not limited to grass, trails, hills, dirt, mud, gravel, puddles, bark, crushed lime, tree roots, and trees.
What distance is run?
In Hamilton County, middle schools run 3000 meters (1.89 miles). In Indiana, high schools run 5000 meters (3.1 miles).
What's a good time?
For 3000 meters a good time differs by gender. For boys anything under 11:30 is a good time. In the past we have had five runners on one team with times under 10:30. For girls anything under 12:30 is considered good. During the 2003 season our number one girl ran 10:47 to become the first female to break 11:00 in our school's history. We have since added a second girl to break that mark.
With all of this said, a good time is difficult to judge. Not all of us are granted great running talent. The best way to judge a good time is to base it on your training and improvement. For example, we've seen students drop six and seven minutes off of their first time trial and not break 13:00. That is viewed as great success! (an additional note; 2004 saw an individual drop 9:30 off her time) Times are important for individual runners to use as a measuring stick with themselves.
How are races grouped?
All races are grouped by gender. Any student in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade can compete in our races. Boys race against boys and girls race against girls. At Fall Creek Valley Invitational races are further divided into grade level races. For example there is a race for sixth grade boys as well as for eighth grade girls.
What's a finish chute?
A finishing chute is setup at the finish line of a race. It is usually about twenty yards in length and trimmed with flags. It's designed to help keep finishers in correct order until names, finish places, ribbons, and scores are being tallied.
Why craft sticks?
Craft sticks are handed out to finishing athletes with their place number written on it. We collect the sticks as finishers move to the end of the chute.
How are meets scored?
Meets are scored a little differently than most sports. Teams are trying to score as LOW a score as possible. Fifteen (15) points is the lowest a team may score. Runners are awarded points based on their finishing place. The first place runner scores one point (1). The second place runner scores two points (2). The seventh place runner scores seven (7) points. Hopefully you're seeing the scoring trend. There are some catches to all of this, though. Teams are allowed to score only seven runners. Once a team has had its seven scorers cross the line no other runners on that team will score points. The first five runners compile the team's score, but their sixth and seventh runners still act as "pushers" by holding point values from other teams. Runners will be recognized for finishing in those spots, but no score will be assigned to them. Look at an example below.