In the fall of 2020, California was one of six states not to have a competitive Cross Country season along with Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Virginia, and North Carolina. Now that the stay-at-home order has been lifted by Governor Gavin Newsom, XC teams have an opportunity to finally compete although there will be some limitations.
What is certain is that there will not be a California state meet this coming season. Even the always loaded Clovis Invitational which will take place this year on March 6th will only allow local teams to compete.
The Central Coast and North Coast Sections have already decided that they will not hold a section championship. The many leagues in those two sections can now move forward and determine what is best for their student/athletes.
At this time, the sports that are in the purple tier along with cross country that can also start are swimming and diving, tennis, golf and track and field. Cross country is also included in the Season 1 groups which will take place through April. Season 2 sports have an opportunity for section and state competitions but more on that in a future article.
In reaching out to multiple coaches in both sections, leagues are currently planning on dual meets that will take place on school grounds. Other locations may become available in the next few months but for now, school cross country courses are a sure thing and can host dual meets.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, NCS cleared the way for teams in their section to begin practicing today. With 12 counties in play in this section, meet logistics will look very differently from league to league but the priority, for now, is giving the students an opportunity to compete.
CCS has another 6 counties in play and each league is also in the midst of creating a potential schedule for all their schools. More than likely, we should be able to hear about cross country competitions starting in mid-February.
Once the meet dates are scheduled for both sections, the next step will be to determine the rules and regulations for each competition. Will fans/parents be allowed to view the races? How will athletes get transported to the venues? Will masks be required during competition or can they take them off once the completion begins? How many runners will be allowed in each race?
We will post an update as we hear more. In the meantime, best wishes to all the athletes and coaches who finally get to see some progress after sitting out the majority of the track and field season and cross country this past fall.