About Cross Country

The sport of Cross Country is a competitive team sport offered in the fall for students in grades 7 through 12. Training and optional group runs start in the early summer. Teams consist of five or more runners who all race together at the same time with other teams. The top five finishers from each team are scored and their finishing places are added up for the team score. The lowest score wins. High school races are 3.1 miles long, while junior high races are usually 2 miles. The courses are mostly run across grassy fields, or wooded paths. We run at Westgate, Eastgate, Troy Dothan’s campus, Camp ALAFLO and other areas across the Wiregrass.

A great thing about Cross Country (abbreviated XC) is that everyone competes!

Everyone runs the same course, and although the first 7 runners to finish are considered the scoring team, at every meet ALL athletes get to participate at every meet.

Our philosophy:

Everyone is important, unique, and contributes
To strive for excellence is as worthy as achieving it
Everyone can reach for their personal best
We can have fun, train hard, and race well
We want to inspire a love of running

Houston Academy has qualified for state several times for both the boys and girls teams. Both boys and girls teams finished in the top 10 in 2015. In 2014, the boy’s team came in 10th while the girls team came in 12th.

How can you help your son or daughter before the season starts?

We strongly encourage our runners to follow a training regimen during the summer. Individualized programs are provided for experienced runners while younger or new runners are given more basic and appropriate programs to follow as a guide. Pre-season summer training is essential to build a fitness base for intensive workouts and races during the season. As your aspiring young runner begins the first week of training, you may wonder what to expect and how you can assist him or her as a parent in terms of recovery, eating, sleeping, and mental attitude. As a rule, we don’t recommend you change any aspect of your normal routine of home responsibilities, family meal planning, bedtime, and social guidelines. A normal consequence of beginning to train is muscle soreness, which will soon go away. If your son or daughter has not competed in sports before, this may persist up to 2 weeks. They should communicate this to us so we can adjust their training. Any athlete engaged in intensive training and competition can be subject to injury. We can prevent most injuries when our runners tell us about their aches and pains before they become disabling, so we can have then treated by one of our coaches. A nutritious, well balanced diet is essential for an athlete. Especially on race days, fatty and fried foods, and carbonated or acidic drinks should be avoided. Small portions of easily digested food eaten at least 3 hours before competition are best, but water intake should never be limited. Most athletes feel best when they race a little hungry. You should see your runners gradually starting to eat more carbohydrates.

Parent Involvement

If you as a parent are not involved in the program do not expect your child to be. We have a number of areas where we need parents to give their time and energy in order that we maintain our level of success such as helping with home meets, team dinners, hauling equipment to meets, and driving to practices not at the school. In the event of an overnight trip, we welcome chaperones to help watch the athletes at the hotel. We want our athletes, parents and coaches working together all year long.

This program is a lot of fun to be around. Please make the time to be with our team and make yourself known to the athletes, coaches and other parents. Please feel free to call upon the coaches at anytime. Without parent support any Cross Country program could not do all the things that need to be done each season. Parental support is an important contribution to having a successful season!

The Season

XC season begins in August 1st and continues through until the state meet, which will be November 12th this year. Varsity runners run no more than 10 meets while jr. high runners run 8. Before the season begins you will need to be able to run 3.1 miles. Please do not wait until the 1st day of practice to run.

Supplies needed

Uniforms are provided. Warm up gear

Good running shoes. It is important your runner has good running shoes and if possible 2 pair are even better. Your runner will be logging a lot of miles! Love 2 Run will be offering a special time for our team to be fitted and receive a discount. (more info on this to come).
Good running gear. Socks, Shorts, Shirts. Cotton shorts or shirts are not runner friendly. Something to wick away sweat, will help your runner stay comfortable while they are training and prevent chaffing.
A watch-NOT a GPS watch, but one that they will be able to time their runs. You can find these from Wal-Mart to Academy Sports ranging in prices from $25-$100.00