Cross Country FAQ's
When, how often and where does the cross country team practice?
Cross Country practice is everyday, Monday thru Friday, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. The junior varsity teams normally meet on the Saint Mary’s track (unless otherwise designated by the coaching staff), while the varsity teams normally practice at Tilden Park. Minimum Days may alter practice times, but there will be practice on these days unless the coaching staff otherwise notifies the team Saint Mary’s Cross Country practices rain or shine!
What equipment/apparel does my child need? Where can I purchase it?
Your child will need the following:
- A uniform
- A team t-shirt
- Team Sweat Top/Hoodie
- Running Shoes
The uniforms are the athletes to keep. Cross country uniforms are the same uniforms used by the track and field team so if an athlete expects to join the track team they will already have a uniform.
Team t-shirts and sweatshirts will be required for every team member. Each team member will be given a team T-shirt and sweatshirt and be billed. These are to be worn at every meet.
Cross Country athletes will also need a pair of running shoes that still have a fair amount of tread on them. Our recommendation for purchasing shoes is through Transport, located on Solano Ave. near Peralta or on College Ave. near Claremont Ave. in Berkeley or via mail through “East Bay Sports” (www.eastbay.com), or “First to the Finish” www.fttf.com
Are there “cuts” in Cross Country?
No. The only way to be cut from the cross country team is to have unexcused absences or continually be tardy.
Will my son/daughter be able to (or have to) compete in every meet?
The short answer is “probably” not. There are two different types of meets that take place during our cross country season. The first are our “league meets”. These meets occur on Thursdays beginning in September and continue until the end of October. They are contested in various East Bay parks and are against member schools from the TCAL. These meets begin at 3:30 and usually last until 5:00 or 5:30. All Saint Mary’s cross country athletes compete in these meets, unless specific event coaches designate otherwise. On these days, athletes should bring all of their necessary equipment (shoes, uniforms, sweats, etc.) as well as bottles of water and maybe energy food (energy bars, fruit, etc..). Students may be required to get out of class a bit early on these days, although the coaches will make every attempt to keep them in class as long as possible. (Note: The coaching staff usually needs a few drivers to help transport the runners to these meets. You may be asked to help at some point!)
The second types of meets are Saturday “invitationals”. Most of the athletes will have an opportunity to compete in these meets as well, although these meets are not necessarily required. Usually, coaches must enter athletes into these meets as much as 3 weeks beforehand… so it is important that athletes check the schedule and notify coaches if they unable to attend. These meets usually last all of the morning. Usually, athletes find their own transportation to these meets, although school vans are sometimes available to transport runners. Once a runner has finished their race they are free to leave (although athletes need to check in with their coach before leaving).
How/Where do I find the information I need regarding the schedule of meets, time schedule, driving directions, etc…
The cross country website contains the season schedule. On the schedule you can click on each meet and access all the meet’s information… including time schedules, transportation schedules, driving directions, etc.. For the cross country enthusiast, two websites that most California high school athletes use are www.crosscountryexpress.com and athletic.net. These sites calendar meets, provide meet information, full meet results, etc..
If I have a problem (Ex: Student needs to miss practice or a meet) who do I contact?
If any problems arise (if a team member has to miss practice or a meet, questions about not being entered into a meet, etc..) we ask that the ATHLETE speak with a COACH. Missing practice because another team member said there wasn’t practice, not showing up for a meet, etc.. is inexcusable! It is important that parents and athletes understand that when an athlete is entered into an invitational, entry fees are paid for that athlete, teams are set, etc.. So, when an athlete does not show up for the meet he/she has put an incredible strain on the coaches and his/her teammates. Thus, it is extremely important that athletes communicate to their coaches weeks in advance if they are unable to attend a meet that is on the schedule.
If parents have additional inquiries it is best to speak with or email their runner’s coach. After that, if parent’s still have questions they can contact the head coaches.
My child is complaining of soreness. What should I do?
Many newcomers to cross country should expect to have some muscle “soreness” during the first couple of weeks of practice. This is normal and usually does not require medical attention. Ice should be applied to muscle soreness in the first 72 hours. If this soreness persists it is important that athletes seek additional treatment. Saint Mary’s is fortunate to have on staff a full-time, credentialed athletic trainer. His knowledge of running-related injuries and muscle soreness is extensive. It is imperative that all cross country athletes check in with their coach and the trainer whenever they experience prolonged soreness or pain.
How can I help?
As a coaching staff, we cannot emphasize the crucial role parents can play in the success of our cross country program. In a given year, we may have as many as 60 cross country athletes on our team, which obviously presents some logistical challenges. Throughout a season, parents are needed to help drive students to competitions, bring fruit and water to certain meets, but most of all support the runners by encouraging them to keep running! Please contact our parent liaison if you’re able to help!