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Guide to Cross Country

What is Cross Country?

Cross Country is a team running sport that takes place in the fall on a measured course over varied surfaces and terrain. High School runners (Varsity and Junior Varsity) run a race measuring 5K or 3.1 miles, while junior high runners run a 2 mile course. Our home course is at the Donegal JH. Other courses may be parks, school grounds, or golf courses.


How do they know where to go?

Cross Country courses are marked with flags that tell what direction to go. After passing a flag the runner looks ahead to the next flag. To help the runners know the course better and where the next flag is we walk the course before our race when we arrive at the race site.
Flag directions are:
Red Flag- Runners go around the flag on the right to make a left turn
Yellow Flag- Runners go around the flag on the left to make a right turn
Blue Flag- Runners go straight ahead, they can go on either side of the flag


How Cross Country is Scored
.

A Cross Country meet is scored by each team adding up the places of its top 5 finishers. As in golf, the low score wins. For example, a team that scores 26 points places ahead of a team that scores 29 points.

Donegal LL Team A
1
2
4
3
5
7
6
8
10
9
Total 26
Total 29
Donegal Wins!!

The teams 6 th and 7 th and 8 th runners can also figure in the scoring if they place ahead of other teams' top 5 finishers. When that is the case they become displacers by pushing up their opponents score.

Donegal LL Team A
2
1
3
4
6
5
8
7
9
13
(10, 11,12)  
Total 28
Total 30
Donegal Wins!!

Only the 6 th, 7 th, and 8 th runners can be displacers, regardless of how many runners finish in front of the other teams' 5 th runner.

Who Competes?

All runners have a chance to compete.  At Donegal we do not make any cuts.  Varsity is considered each teams top 8 runners.*  Junior Varsity is all other high school runners.  Junior High is any runners that are in grades 7-9.  9th graders may also compete at the Varsity level.  It is the decision of the coach, school, and parents, and that runner.
*In some invitationals and at districts and states Varsity is top 7 runners.

 Donegal Cross Country is in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.  There are 22 varsity teams of both boys and girls in the league.  In the Lancaster-Lebanon League for Cross Country there are two divisions (sections), A-large schools, and B-smaller schools.  The 22 teams are divided in half by school enrollment.  We are in the 2nd section or division B.  Dual meets in the League run as follows:

Race Times

4:15             Junior High Boys and Girls Race
4:40             Girls Varsity Race or Boys Varsity Race
5:10            Girls Varsity Race or Boys Varsity Race
5:40             Junior Varsity Race( if needed)

* Each home team reserves the right to contact other coaches if there is a schedule change.  Often there may not be a JV race run, those runners may race at the same time as Varsity.