Meet Info

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Where are Cross Country meets held?

Cross Country meets are typically held on a college campus or a city/county park or a golf course. Most high schools do not have a course on the school property so they are not able to accommodate a Cross Country meet.

How many teams compete in a Cross Country meet?

A Cross Country meet can have as few as 2-3 teams or as many as 50-100 teams. The host of the meet will determine the number of teams based upon the course, surrounding area for team tents, and volunteers to support the meet. The Fulton County Championship meet will only include schools from Fulton County (may include private schools). The Region meet will only include schools from our Region.

What meets are most important?

All meets are important but there are three that are especially important: the Fulton County Championship, the Region meet, and the State Meet (assuming we qualify). At the Fulton County Championship meet, there will be an “Overall” winner awarded to one of the schools in Fulton County. The calculation for this Overall award includes results from all 4 races (Varsity Boys, Varsity Girls, JV Boys, and JV Girls). So, a school must have excellent JV teams in addition to Varsity teams to win this award. The Region Meet is important because it determines what schools qualify for the State Meet. The top 4 teams in the Varsity races at the Region Meet qualify to participate in the State Meet. In addition, a runner may qualify to participate in the State Meet as an individual (regardless of whether or not the team qualifies) by placing in the top 6 in the varsity race at the Region Meet. The State Meet is very exciting as it determines the final ranking of the teams for the season. To place in the top 10 at State is considered extremely successful.

How long is a Cross Country race?

A standard cross-country race for high school is 5,000 meters (5K) which is 3.1 miles.

What is the difference between Cross Country and Track?

Cross Country is held during the fall season and has only one event, a 5K race. The course for a Cross Country race will be on trails through woods, fields, or golf courses. The surface is usually grass, dirt or crushed gravel. It is not a hard surface. Track is during the spring season and has many field events, as well as running events of various distances. Track meets are held on the running track around the track football field. Many XC runners choose to run track in the spring, unless committed to another school activity.

What is Varsity vs. JV vs. Open? How are runners determined for each race?

There are usually 4 – 6 races within a meet. These races are the Varsity Girls, Varsity Boys, JV Girls, and JV Boys, and sometimes Open Girls and Open Boys. Some meets may also offer additional races for middle schools and/or club teams. Some younger siblings of Roswell runners participate in Junior Hornets and/or AlphaCrush. Each Varsity team (girls and boys) consists of the top 7 runners for most meets. There are some meets where the Varsity team consists of 10 runners. The JV team (girls and boys) consists of the rest of the runners on the team or depending on the meet, a specific number of runners (top JV). Meets with Open races will have all remaining runners that did not run Varsity or top JV. The coaches decide each week which runners will be running in the Varsity races, and will post it for the runners and will email the parents before the meet. Varsity selection is determined by performance on the team, not by age or grade level. It is usually sent out just a couple of days before each meet because the runners on the Varsity and top JV teams can change from week to week based on the last week’s results, injuries, etc.

How are Cross Country Meets scored?

The top 5 runners in each race score points for their school. The place that a runner gets in a race is the same number of points he/she scores for their school. This means the lower the score, the better. Then these 5 individual scores are added together for the team score. For example, if the top 5 runners out of our 7 Varsity runners come in 1st, 4th, 6th, 13th, and 20th, then our team score for that race would be 44 (1+4+6+13+20). A perfect score is 15 (1+2+3+4+5). This rarely happens. If there is a tie between teams, the 6th runner is the tie-breaker! This means even if a runner does not place in the first 5 for our team, they can still be VERY important in the scoring. We may have a very “deep” team with all 7 being close in time for Varsity or 10 being close for JV. Runners for Roswell who don’t place in our top 5 may well place before other team’s top 5, thereby increasing our opponent’s score. So the more runners we have close behind our top 5 creates a higher score for the competition and a lower, better score for us.

Transportation to Meets:

All runners must meet at the school and ride the team buses to every meet. The booster club secretary will send out “meet information“ a couple of days before each meet. This information will have details for the meet including when to arrive at school, what time the bus leaves, race schedule, Varsity runners, top JV runners if needed, directions, and an estimated time the buses will return to Roswell. The buses often leave before 6 am, as it is necessary to be at the venue early, to set up the tents, distribute bibs and shoe chips, and give the runners in the first race time to warm up. Buses typically return to RHS by 2pm.

Are meets optional?

No, meets are not optional. Every runner is expected to be available to run at each meet (with the exception of out of town meets and the state meet). Some meets limit the number of runners each school can bring. If there is enough room on the buses, injured runners are still expected to attend the meets. Cheering for others on the team is a big part of the Roswell team. It makes a big difference to the runners to have fans along the course cheering them on. If there is an out of town meet (usually in Florida), there are additional fees; therefore, these meets are optional once “invited.”

What is a PR?

PERSONAL RECORD – your best time! For most runners, it will change over the season, some more dramatically than others. It becomes a goal to constantly break your PR throughout the season.

How do runners line up to start a race?

Each team is assigned a starting box on the start line. Teams are required to start in their assigned box. The starting boxes are usually small so only a few runners from each team will get to line up on the start line. The remaining runners will line up behind those on the start line. The coaches and team captains determine who will begin on the start line.

What do runners do about food at the meets? Do they need money?

In our experience, we have found that every runner is different.  Some like to eat before they run and some don’t.  Every runner should make their own plan and pack accordingly.  Every runner should bring their own water bottle to every meet (should be hydrating) and any personal preferences for a snack. Most runners will eat a breakfast before getting on the bus. However, if their race is not until 11:30 and they load the bus at 6:00 AM, they may choose to bring something additional. Below you will find more information about DOs and DON’Ts for runners before a meet. Some meets will have a concession stand. Runners can bring money for concessions. In addition, most meets have t-shirts for sale at the meet. Some runners buy the t-shirts  (especially if they PR) and wear them to school the following Monday. T-shirts usually cost around $15 – $25.

Can my daughter/son ride home with a parent instead of taking the bus?

In order for a runner to ride home with their parent, they first need to send an electronic form (available on TeamApp) two days before the meet. In addition, the runner must “sign out” with Coach Dugan. The coaches take attendance when they load the buses in the morning and then call roll on the buses after the meet to ensure no one is left at the meet. If a runner leaves a meet without checking out with Coach Dugan, the coaches will have to go look for the runner. This can cause long delays in departing from the meet when everyone is tired. As you can imagine, runners and coaches do not like this delay. Make sure you follow the procedures correctly.

Do runners need spikes?

Some runners race in a pair of shoes called spikes. Spikes have plates on the bottom for removable metal spikes that help with traction during a race. In addition, spikes are very lightweight. Spikes are not required and some runners will wear regular training shoes for races. Runners who wear spikes during a race only wear them during the actual race. Runners will wear regular training shoes to the meet and bring their spikes in their bag and change shoes before their race. With the metal spikes on the bottom, these shoes should not be worn on pavement.  Spikes can be purchased at PT Sports and Big Peach in Marietta.

What do runners wear to meets?

Runners wear their uniform and sweats to meets. Jewelry is not allowed with the exception of a watch. Girls take note: wear hair bands – no hair clips or hard headbands. When the weather is cooler, runners are allowed to wear under garments and gloves for warmth during a race.

What should runners bring to the meets?

Bring your XC backpack with spikes (if you plan to wear them), extra shirt, dry socks, personal snacks, water bottle, ear buds (for listening to music) and money for snacks & lunch at the meet. Many runners will sleep on the bus. Blankets and pillows are allowed on bus and at meet (under the Roswell tent). Be sure to label all spirit wear and water bottles with your name. DO NOT label the singlet the Varsity/JV runners can change week-to-week, and the singlets are turned in at the end of the season to be used again next year. 

What do parents do at meets?

Parents should wear your Roswell spirit wear and are encouraged to cheer on their athlete, their friends and the team (we’re kind of a family!) Parents do not go as early as the buses but arrive at the meet in time to see the races that interest them. Be sure to allow ample for parking and walking to the meet start. Many meets charge $ for parking and/or admission.  Roswell will have two tents set up to use as a “base” for the team and also a meeting place for families. Parents can cheer on the runners from various points along the course and may want to bring a folding chair to use while waiting between races. Do not attempt to “run with” any runner during a race to help pace the runner. A runner will be disqualified if anyone outside of the race runs alongside a runner as it will be interpreted as helping with pacing. Be aware of the “borders” of the course and stay off the course route when runners are anywhere near, crossing only when no runners are in sight!

What if a runner has an inhaler?

If a runner has an inhaler, he/she should run the race with the inhaler. Do not keep the inhaler in your bag at the tent. The tent can often be a very long distance from where you need the inhaler. It is a difficult and stressful task for someone else to find an inhaler for the runner who needs it in the middle or end of a race.

What if a runner gets injured at practice or at a meet?

Tell the coaches as soon as possible. If practicing at Roswell, a trainer may be available and coaches will attend to athlete. If a runner gets hurt or feels too ill on the race course, do not enter course or touch runner (unless life threatening).  Let the runner decide to leave the race on their own. Entering the course can disqualify the runner.

How do I follow all of the Roswell Cross Country happenings? Can I find out race results and details?

We use TeamApp as our main communication tool.  You can find all information on this app.  In addition, you will find a link to Georgia Milesplit, which holds race information and results for all races in Georgia.

Below are some DO’s for runners before, during and after a race:

Thursday & Friday before a meet

  • DO drink plenty of fluid to hydrate your body all week long. Bring a water bottle to all your classes! It will be too late to try to hydrate on Saturday morning. Drink only hydrating fluids such as water and sports drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde. Avoid drinks with caffeine and a lot of sugar such as soft drinks.
  • DO have protein on Thursday nights!
  • DO have a high carb dinner after practice on Friday night. Pasta is a perfect choice.
  • DO put spikes in your shoes if you plan to wear spikes.
  • DO get your bag ready on Friday night so you are not rushing early Saturday morning when you are likely to forget something.
  • DO make sure all your XC items are labeled with your name (but not the singlet). 

Saturday – Before the race

  • DO decide on your personal eating preference: Maybe eat something light and at least 2 hours before your race time so your body has time to digest your food.
  • DO wear your XC uniform. There will be race officials at each meet and they require teams to have the same uniform.
  • DO NOT wear any jewelry with the exception of a watch.
  • DO NOT wear metal hair clips, hard headbands. Hair bands and ribbons okay.
  • DO make sure to bring your inhaler if you have an inhaler.
  • DO arrive to Roswell at the designated meeting time, the buses WILL NOT wait!
  • DO obtain your bib and shoe chip from coaches, verify the numbers match and securely attach.
  • DO your warm up run and stretches with the team.
  • DO make sure you are at the starting line at least 15 minutes before race time for check-in.
  • DO line up in the appropriate starting box.

Saturday – During the race

  • DO run with your inhaler if you have one.
  • DO cheer on your fellow Hornets when you are not racing. Spread out on the course so you are not all in one place.
  • DO run hard! “Pain is temporary, but pride is forever!”
  • DO expect to see your coaches at work encouraging you on the course! 

Saturday – At the Finish Line

  • DO stay in the order of finish as you move through the chute. If there are multiple runners crossing the finish line at the same time, listen to the race official who will be calling out who crossed first. There will be race volunteers to help you stay in order during the chute.
  • DO keep moving in the chute once you cross the finish line. There will be race officials helping those runners who need help through the chute but you must keep moving in the chute. Otherwise the chute will back up and interfere with runners crossing the finish line.
  • DO take a place card at the end of the chute if given. Or take off chip from shoe (help is offered).
  • DO keep walking around after your run and drink water.
  • DO help your fellow runners when they exit the chute if they need help walking.
  • DO turn in your place card to the Roswell representative collecting cards and tell them your first and last name so they can write it on the card.

Saturday – After the races

  • DO collect ALL your personal items and help clean up the tent area.
  • DO help take down tent and other equipment.
  • DO make sure to have your parent sign you out if you are riding home with your parent instead of riding the bus.