The Competitive Season - Cross Country 2014
See also: Meet Entry - 2014 Cross Country
The Competitive Season
What do we mean by the "competitive" season? After all, in the middle school and developmental meets we compete against other teams...what's different?
Well, the competitive season has prerequisites, qualifying standards and a commitment to participate. Continue reading for details.
So, the "pressure" increases a bit, but not too much. During the competitive season the coaches don’t get any meaner or scarier than they already are (except on Halloween!) Sure, the quality of competition and number of good runners will increase (so the competitive part is real) but we still want everyone to remember to have fun!
Finally, you are not required to compete; but, if you do, we want you to commit to participate (see below.)
Unless otherwise noted, the Alpha Crush team registration fee covers the cost of membership fees and meet entry fees (but not travel expenses, massages or snacks.)
Alpha Crush does all the administrative work regarding USATF/AAU memberships and meet entries.
Parents are responsible for:
Completing or verifying the upcoming meet entries
Providing age-verification documents when necessary
The dates, locations and information about each meet can be found on each meet's information page on this web site.
Prerequisite: USA Track & Field (USATF) Membership
The following meets require an age-verified USATF membership:
USATF Association Junior Olympic Championships
USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic Championships
USATF National Junior Olympic Championships
Commitment to participate
This applies to the USATF Developmental, Association, Region and National meets.
Since cross country is a team sport and is scored as such, it is important for Alpha Crush to field as many teams in each age division as possible. Per USATF Rule 304.5, a team can be composed of from 5 to a maximum of 8 members. We can have up to 8 athletes on a team with an unlimited number of teams (Team A, Team B, etc); but, we need a minimum of 5 to form a team in an age division. Teams A/B/C/etc are defined at meet *entry* time, not by the order of finish in the event. If you are declared at meet entry time as a Team C member and you finish before all Team A and Team B members, you still score for Team C. We form teams in each age division based on performance in prior meets, time trials and observation at practice. We put the faster athletes on team A, the next fastest on team B, etc.
If you say "yes" on our meet entry form, we expect you to compete. If you're the 5th athlete on a 5-person team and you do not show up, you eliminate the entire team from team competition.
Of course, we understand if unforeseen circumstances prevent you from competing.
If we do not have enough athletes (5) to form a team within an age division, each athlete still runs, they just do not score team points. They are still eligible for individual award medals.
A note about USATF "team" advancement
The term "Advancement" applies to USATF Association and USATF Region meets.
In each age division we can have up to 8 athletes on a team with an unlimited number of teams, e.g team A, B, C, etc. Only the top 5 runners on a team are scored. The scoring is based on the order they finish. The finishing place for the 5 finishers are totaled and the team with the lowest score wins.
The number of teams that advance to the next round is meet-dependent (see details below.)
When it comes time in the next round to determine the makeup of the team, we can choose any 8 athletes from the same age division on the club roster. It does not have to be the same 8 runners who ran previously. An athlete can be on Team C in the qualifying meet and on Team A in the subsequent meet. Performance in previous meets (how fast they run) typically determines team placement in subsequent meets. The athlete must have been entered in the previous meet to be eligible to compete in the next round of competition. If we had two teams entered in a particular age division, we can advance up to 16 athletes. However, if you are advancing due to qualification as a team, and not as an individual, to compete in the next round you must be part of a 5-8 person team. Suppose we had two teams qualify, but only 10 athletes are able to attend the next meet. Sure, we could make two teams of 5 runners each, but that would be too risky, since if one runner drops out or can't compete, the team would not have the required minimum runners. What we would do, instead, is create an 8 person team with the fastest runners and the remaining 2 would not be able to compete.
An athlete can compete in the Region championships as a team member (not as an individual) even if they do not compete in the Association championships provided they were declared (i.e. "entered") into the Association meet. This means the athlete would need to have a paid entry in the Association championships to be eligible to compete in the Region championships as a team member. Athletes cannot compete as an individual in the Region championships if they did not compete in the Association championships. This same "Association to Region" pattern applies to the "Region to National" championships.
USATF Rule 305.3(c)
All members of the same club listed on the team declaration roster [in Coach O] at the Association finals are eligible to compete on the club's team (minimum of 5, maximum of 8) in the next round of Qualifications up to and including the National Championships as long as the team qualifies.
In order to declare a team, a club must enter a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 8 athletes by the entry deadline.
The composition of the team at each round can change if you submit a change form at the registration at packet pickup at least 2 hours prior to the race and any athlete changed must be listed on the declaration roster [in Coach O].
USATF Rule 254 - APPAREL
The jersey or singlet worn by the members of a team in cross country shall be basically identical for each member in color and style, and must be clearly visible throughout the race, i.e., worn as the outer garment if other apparel items are worn underneath by one or more team members. Because of the nature of cross country running, the preferences of individual athletes in certain weather situations will allow other apparel items to vary widely without penalty.
Individuals not complying with paragraph 1 may be disqualified from scoring for a team.
Competitive Meets / Qualifying Standards
USATF GA Association Junior Olympic Cross Country Preview - Nov 1st - Fayetteville, GA
Requirement: None, open to all. USATF membership not needed.
Qualifying standards: No qualification needed, no qualifying times needed.
Advancement: Not applicable.
USATF GA Association Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships - Nov 15th - Fayetteville, GA
Requirement: USATF age-verified membership.
Qualifying standards: No qualification needed, no qualifying times needed.
Advancement: Top 30 individuals and top 5 teams advance to USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships per USATF Rule 305.3(a).
The following meets have qualifying standards for entry per USATF Rule 305.3.
USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships - Nov 22nd - Myrtle Beach, SC
Requirement: Entry in USATF GA Association Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships.
Athletes must be entered in the Association meet to be eligible to compete in the Region meet.
Qualifying standards: Top 30 individuals and top 5 teams advance from USATF GA Association Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships per USATF Rule 305.3(a).
Note: Per USATF Rule 305.3(a), these numbers may be adjusted by the Association chair and Regional coordinator respectively for the purpose of accommodating their local situations.
3045 individuals and top 58 teams advance to USATF Region National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships per USATF Rule 305.3(a).
11/13/2014 - Advancement numbers adjusted.
USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships - Dec 13th - Myrtle Beach, SC
Requirement: Entry in USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships.
Athletes must be entered in the Region meet to be eligible to compete in the National meet.
Qualifying standards: Top 30 individuals and top 5 teams advance from USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships per USATF Rule 305.3(d).
Note: Per USATF Rule 305.3(e), the number of qualifiers from Regional meets is fixed and no alternates may advance.