Youth Cross-Country News
SEASON START AND END DATES
The club cross-country season starts Monday August 22. The season ends Saturday December 3
WHAT IS CROSS-COUNTRY
Cross-country is an outdoor distance-oriented "off-road" running sport, and in cross-country meets athletes typically race distances ranging from 1000 meters to 5000 meters (1 race per meet), depending on their age. Cross-Country is not track & field or a sprint-oriented sport. Cross-Country training and racing is typically done on grass and dirt trails (sometimes with hills), whereas track & field is done on a flat oval 6-8 lane track (and athletes usually race in 2-4 events per meet). In cross-country meets, each course is usually different (some courses are hilly while others are flatter). Whereas in track & field meets, each track is generally very similar/uniform (although the tracks may be different colors).
Practices will be held in Ann Arbor on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, through Thursday November 3.
Practices will be from 6:30 - 8 PM for the first two weeks of the season (Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays).
We will practice at County Farm Park (in Ann Arbor) on Monday nights. County Farm Park is located at 2230 Platt Rd. AA 48104. Please enter County Farm Park off the Platt Rd entrance (not Medford Rd). Please meet at the pavilion, which is just up beyond the entrance to the park. Parking is FREE.
- We will practice at Lillie Park (South) on Thursday nights. The Lillie Park (South entrance) is located at 4365 Platt Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. Please meet at the Red Pavillon at the end of the parking lot near the entrance to the woods.
Starting in week #5 (on Monday September 19) the evening practices will be shortened to 6:30 - 7:45 PM since sunset will occur before 8 PM.
As we keep losing more and more daylight throughout the season, the start time will be moved to 6-6:15 PM, in order to allow at least an hour of practice before it gets too dark. Probably starting in week #9 (Monday October 17). More on this later.
There will be no practice on Thursday November 24, due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
The last practice for the cross-country season will be Thursday December 1.
The cross-country athletes will then have the option to continue training indoors the rest of the winter with the indoor track team at a discounted price.
The indoor track season ends the 3rd week of March 2023.
The team will compete in seven (7) cross-country meets from September -through- December. One will be on Friday and the rest will be on Saturdays:
- Huron Invitational (New Boston, MI) on Saturday September 17
- Jefferson Invitational (Monroe, MI) on Friday & Saturday, September 23-24
- Moneyball Sportswear XC Invitational (Taylor, MI) on Saturday October 8
- Cross Country Coaches National Youth Qualifier (Dexter, MI) on Saturday October 29
- USATF Junior Olympics Association Cross Country Championships (Northville, MI) on Saturday November 12
- Cross Country Coaches National Youth Championships (Shelbyville, IN) on Saturday November 19
- AAU Junior Olympics National Cross Country Championships (Knoxville, TN) on Saturday December 3
Our club cross-country program is open to kids in grades 2-8, of all abilities, and to high-schoolers *not* running for their high school teams. Kids need to be at least 8 years old (or turning 8 later this year) for safety reasons. Athletes will be running up to 5 miles each night, depending on their respective age and skill level.
Parents of athletes running for middle-school teams should check with their school coaches first before joining the club. We want to avoid over-training your kids and avoid other conflicts between the club team and their middle-school teams (such as meets). School teams come first.
Athletes running for their high-school teams should never train or compete for the club under any circumstances, once the high-school season starts, until the high-school season is done. Otherwise, athletes may risk losing eligibility to train or compete with their high-school teams. Again: school teams come first.
Athletes running for their respective schools this fall can (re-)join the club later in the fall when their school seasons are done and finish the club season out and compete for the club in the November and December National Qualifier and Championship meets!!
However, the following restrictions will apply, based on the latest guidelines from the CDC, the MDHHS and the club Board of Directors:
1. Anyone who has COVID-like symptoms should not come to practice -- they should stay out of practice and get a COVID test.
Phone: 800-336-4486 ext.1214