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Ages: 7 to 14 (age as of December 31, 2021)

Start Date: Tuesday, August 24th at 6pm (first practice)

Regular Season End Date: Sunday, October 31st or November 7th

Expected Post Season End Date: Saturday, November 20th

Registration Fee: $160 (1st Child) $144 (Each additional Child)



We’re ready for another great season of CSA Cross Country.  Practice will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 to 7:30 pm, starting August 24th.  We’ll participate in probably 7 or 8 local league meets on Sunday afternoons beginning as early as September 12th.  Our last regular season meet will most likely be October 31st or November 1st.  Many of us may participate in “post season” which I expect would be the Cross Country Coaches National Youth Championship in Paris, Kentucky on November 20th.


Our “home base” for practice will be Rocky Hill Middle School (RHMS).  As you drive up Brick Haven Way towards RHMS, make a right into the second parking lot, and you'll find us all the way at the end, at the bottom of the hill.  We’ll practice on the RHMS and Clarksburg High School campuses – utilizing the athletic fields generally; specific 2, 3, and 4 kilometer courses throughout the campuses; and possibly the CHS track on occasion.  If we don’t have a Sunday meet, there’s a good chance we’ll hold a Sunday practice at an offsite fun location.


Please note, as we move into October and begin running out of daylight, we’ll progressively move the start of practice from 6:00 to 5:00.  We’ll go for just an hour during the last week or two of the regular season as it will be dark by 6:00.


The CSA Cross Country registration fee is $160.00 for the 2021 season.  In addition to registration, all athletes will need a uniform (singlet top $30, and shorts $20).  Warm-ups (jacket and pants) and spirit wear is optional.  Shortly before the start of the season, a link will be sent to families to order their uniform through the Athletic House online store.  If last year’s uniform still fits -- that’s great!  Also, we wear the same uniform as CSA Track & Field, so track and field athletes won’t need to purchase a new singlet top and shorts if they still fit.




  • 7 to 14 (age as of December 31, 2021)
  • 6 year-olds who will turn 7 by December 31, 2021 are eligible.  14 year-olds who will turn 15 before December 31, 2021 are not eligible.


Not too familiar with Cross Country?


It could refer to skiing, but usually – at least in this country – we’re talking about cross country running.  It’s both a team sport, and an individual sport.  You’ll find cross country offered in virtually every high school throughout the United States, as well as most colleges and universities.  In fact, a kid can earn an athletic scholarship for cross country just like they might for soccer, football or any other high school sport.


Nobody actually runs across the country as it might sound.  Cross country teams and individuals do, however, run races on open-air courses over natural terrain such as grass and trails – rather than the track or road.  These are the official race distances for each age group:


Year Born

Age Group

Race Distance



4 kilometers (2.49 miles)



4 kilometers (2.49 miles)



3 kilometers (1.86 miles)



3 kilometers (1.86 miles)



3 kilometers (1.86 miles)



3 kilometers (1.86 miles)



2 kilometers (1.24 miles)



2 kilometers (1.24 miles)


Few would consider cross country to be a contact sport.  The terrain is softer, and therefore safer in many ways, than the road or track.  Team scoring is similar to golf in that the lowest score wins.  And there’s certainly the opportunity to compete.


Here are a few great cross country movies to get you in the spirit:


McFarland, USA (2015) PG | 2h 9min | Biography, Drama, Sport | 20 February 2015 (USA) Jim White moves his family after losing his last job as a football coach. He sees that some of the students are worth starting a cross-country team and turns seven students with no hope into one of the best cross-country teams.


Remember the Goal (2016) PG | 1h 28min | Drama | 26 August 2016 (USA) A new female coach fresh out of college takes over the cross country program at an all-girls private Christian school and tries to lead them to their first state title.


Overcomer (2019) PG | 1h 59min | Drama, Family, Sport | 23 August 2019 (USA) A high-school basketball coach volunteers to coach a troubled teen in long-distance running.




Kids should be able to slowly run their race distance without stopping before practice starts on August 24th.  Below are links to our home courses.  For the best view, once you pull-up a course, change the view from Map to Satellite.  Maybe the kids will want to give-them-a-go before the season starts.  Mom and Dad, you can get out there with them.  All the courses start and finish in the same spot.  For the 4k, run the 3k first, and then go right into the 1k.

Clarksburg XC 2020 1K Course (run it twice)
Clarksburg XC 2020 2K Course
Clarksburg XC 2020 3K Course


Please get a new pair of running shoes that will be worn only for cross country.  Running shoes are the only protective gear required.  Small, worn-out running shoes lead to injuries.  Kids should have a half-inch of room at the end of their shoe.  The Saucony Kinvara is a favorite – super light, fast, and has minimal heel-to-toe drop.  Stride Rite (and others) sell a kid’s version of the Kinvara.  It’s the same as the adult version, but considerably less expensive.

Stay hydrated.  Be sure to bring a water bottle to practice, as it will be hot –especially at the beginning of the season.


Use the bathroom before practice.  We generally do not have bathrooms available.  If we're lucky, RHMS or CHS might be open.




Our local youth cross country meets are held on Sunday afternoons at schools or parks throughout Montgomery, Frederick, Howard, and Carroll counties.  We’re participating in meets hosted by the Central Maryland Youth Cross Country association, whose coaches and meet directors have been hosting youth cross country meets for 20+ years.




We’re big believers in motivating the kids to succeed.


  • Meets award ribbons, usually to the top 15 finishers.  Some award medals to the top 3.
  • “Best Time Cards” will be awarded at practice.  Every kid will get one after their first meet.  Kids that get best times in ensuing races will earn additional Best Time Cards.
  • “Coyote Finish” bracelets will be awarded at practice to kids that pass someone in the last 200 meters of their race.
  • “Milestone” bracelets will be awarded at practice to kids that run certain times in their race.
  • “Barrier Breaker” shirts will be awarded at practice to kids that run a race time with the potential to place in the top 25 at nationals.


Coaching Staff


The coaching staff is very experienced, having coached many seasons of youth and high school cross country.  We’ve run cross country ourselves, and we’ve helped our own children successfully progress through youth and high school cross country, and track & field.  Most of us will have some of our own kids on the team this fall as well.


We’ve coached a national team champion (boys 7-8 year olds) and at least two national runner-up teams (girls 11-12 year olds, and boys 9-10 year olds).  We’ve coached 2 individual national champions, a few individual national runner-ups, and probably close to 30 individual kids that have finished in the top 25 at national cross country championships.


Would you like to help coach?  Even if you're not too much of a runner, we can probably find a spot for you.  Our head coach will generally come-up with a workout for each practice, and you'll help implement it.  It's not too tough.  If you think you might have an interest, please indicate so during registration.


Program Goals


We’ll train, and get fast, but we’ll also have fun.  We’ll develop the whole athlete by encouraging self-discipline, self-esteem, and high moral standards.  We believe the sport of cross country provides not only a vehicle for physical activity, but also intellectual and emotional growth through sportsmanship and competition.  We’ll provide a memorable experience that will be rewarding and challenging.


Clarksburg High School (CHS) has exceptional cross country, and track & field programs – both with great coaches.  We have good relationships with those programs and coaches, and expect CSA Cross Country to be a great “feeder” program for CHS.  We hope to see many of our youth run cross country and track in high school and beyond, and proudly represent CSA Cross Country for generations to come.


Post Season

Kids have really enjoyed and benefited from participating in post-season national championship meets.  Teams can compete with as few as 5 kids and as many as 8 of a specific age group and gender.  There are three national youth cross country championships each year.  Most likely we’ll look at the locations and the dates and pick one – either AAU (Amateur Athletic Union), USATF (USA Track & Field), or CCCNYC (Cross Country Coaches National Youth Championship).


These are the dates and locations for this year’s championships:


Nov 20 Cross Country Coaches National Youth Championships

Bourbon County Park, Paris, KY

Dec 4 AAU Cross Country National Championships

Charlotte, NC

Dec 11 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships

Bourbon County Park, Paris, KY