Parents and Athletes Guide to Cross Country

History of the Clear Lake Girls Cross Country Program:

Clear Lake High School has been one of the most successful programs in Texas. This program has won twenty-eight district championships, eight region championships, and five state championships. My goal is to return this program to that level.

What Is Cross Country and How Are Meets Scored?

Simply put, cross country is a footrace on varied terrain. Different meets have varied limits on the exact number of competitors, but most (including the UIL) follow this simple formula: a minimum of five and maximum of seven athletes compete to form a team. If a team has fewer than five athletes, those runners are removed from the team scoring. Scoring is done by taking each team's top five runners and adding up the total. The lowest score wins. A team’s sixth and seventh runner do not score for their team but can add points to other teams by finishing in front of the opposition's top five.

Example:
Team #1 finishes: 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 14th, 20th for a score of 36
Team #2 finishes: 1st, 2nd, 5th, 9th, 23rd, 35th, 38th for a score of 40
Team #1 Wins

Some meets allow more than seven runners to compete in each division. Usually this is for JV, but some meets allow this for varsity as well. Every runner after number seven is completely taken out of the team scoring. They will be in the results, but not scored for team purposes.

Team Rules for Athletes and Parents

1. If you are going to miss practice I need to know ahead of time. A simple message on my phone or email will suffice.
2. Cutting workouts will not be tolerated. If you are sick or injured, let me know.
3. Swearing, intentionally skipping assigned races, and leaving meets without prior approval will result in severe consequences. You will not be part of this program if you are unable to follow team rules.
4. You may choose two meets from which to leave with a parent or guardian, if you have your paperwork in early. Otherwise, you must ride the bus home. Riding the bus is a fun way to socialize and bond with your teammates. If you have a class or some other activity, then I will approve of your leaving with a parent, but not of you driving yourself.

Consequences for Violating Team Rules

1. First offense will result in 100 meters of bear crawls.
2. Second offense will result in suspension from one meet.
3. Third offense will result in dismissal from the team.

Practices

Practices are at 6:00 AM Monday – Friday and after school Monday and Wednesday from 2:45-4:00, unless otherwise noted. This is rain or shine. In case of rain, we will practice indoors if the temperature is below 60 degrees outside. If you have a question about whether or not we have practice, call your team captains. They will call me if they are unsure.

If you are unable to make the AM practices, you will not be able to participate in cross country at Clear Lake. These are our main workouts and are essential for progression. If, for some reason, you miss an AM practice, you may make it up after school. I realize that sometimes alarms malfunction, cars break down, etc... but I need to know. Having a big project or homework assignment due is not an excuse. You must learn to manage your time well and be responsible.

Cross Country Training

Consistent and progressively harder training is essential to improvement in cross country. Your daughters will often come home tired and hungry. Our girls will be training 25-50 miles a week. This means they will be burning a lot of calories that need to be replenished. A healthy diet is essential. Weight is an issue with running and a factor in performance, but this issue must be dealt with on an individual basis. Every girl has a different ideal weight based on her frame and genetics. Also, your weight your freshman year will not be the same as your junior or senior year. Run your miles, eat healthy, and your body will settle into its ideal weight.

Hydration is another important factor in performance. Most of the girls do not drink enough water. This is especially an issue in the hotter months of the summer and early fall.

Meet Day Procedures

1. No flip-flops, sun shoes, shower shoes, etc… Come to meets in your running shoes, ready to compete.
2. Eat a healthy breakfast.
3. We will wear proper attire, including team shirt and shorts or warm up pants.
4. 40 minutes before the race, team captains will round up their group and begin the warm-up.
5. Parents, please keep your distance the last 15 minutes before the race (when the girls get to the line). This is a time for the girls to focus on their race and be with each other.
6. After the race, the girls will cool down together as a team, regardless of individual performance.
7. We will support/cheer on our teammates in other races.