Cross Country 2019
We are excited to get our inaugural CSA Cross Country season started. We’ll practice every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 to 7:30 pm, starting August 20th. We’ll participate in 7 league meets on Sunday afternoons beginning in early September. Our last regular season meet will be November 3rd.
Our “home base” for practice will be the Clarksburg High School (CHS) outdoor basketball courts. We’ll practice on the CHS and Rocky Hill Middle School campuses – utilizing the athletic fields generally; specific 2, 3, and 4 kilometer courses throughout the campuses; and possibly the CHS track on occasion.
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 season as it will be dark by 6:00.
The CSA Cross Country registration fee is $150.00 for the 2019 season. In addition to registration, all athletes will need a uniform (singlet top and shorts). Warm-up jacket and pants are optional. A link will be sent to registered athletes to order their uniform through the Athletic House online store. We’ll 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.
- Singlet Top - $30
- Shorts - $15
- Warm-up Jacket - $45
- Warm-up Pants - $40
- 7 to 14 (age as of December 31, 2019)
- 6 year-olds who will turn 7 by December 31, 2019 are eligible. 14 year-olds who will turn 15 before December 31, 2019 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
2005 13/14 4 kilometers (2.49 miles)
2006 13/14 4 kilometers (2.49 miles)
2007 11/12 3 kilometers (1.86 miles)
2008 11/12 3 kilometers (1.86 miles)
2009 9/10 3 kilometers (1.86 miles)
2010 9/10 3 kilometers (1.86 miles)
2011 7/8 2 kilometers (1.24 miles)
2012 7/8 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.
Kids should be able to slowly run their race distance without stopping before practice starts on August 20th.
- 7 and 8 year-olds will run a 2 kilometer race (1.24 miles)
- 9 and 10 year-olds will run a 3 kilometer race (1.86 miles)
- 11 and 12 year-olds also run a 3 kilometer race (1.86 miles)
- 13 and 14 year-olds will run a 4 kilometer race (2.49 miles)
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. 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.
Our local youth cross country meets are held on Sunday afternoons at high 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.
The coaching staff is very experienced with coaching both youth and high school cross country. We’ve run cross country ourselves – at the high school and college division 1 levels – and we’ve helped our own children successfully progress through youth and high school cross country. We’ll still have some of our own kids on the team this fall as well.
At the youth cross country level, 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.
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 develop into a great “feeder” program for CHS. We expect 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.
Kids have really enjoyed and benefitted 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. We may not participate in a championship meet in the first year of our CSA program, but you never know. We’re open to being convinced. J
There are three national youth cross country championships each year. When we’re ready, we’ll participate in whichever is the closest – 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 23 Cross Country Coaches National Youth Championships
National Trail Raceway, Hebron, OH
Dec 7 AAU Cross Country National Championship
Victor Ashe Park, Knoxville TN
Dec 14 USATF National Junior Olympic XC Championship