The Competitive Season - Cross Country 2023
Developmental & Youth Meets
Click on the date / link to view Meet Information page. Additional meet information pages will be added as we get closer to the event. Also see our Meet Results / Club Records page.
Sep 16 - Alpha Crush Running Club XC Meet, Milton High School (Saturday afternoon)
Sep 22 - Wingfoot XC Classic, Cartersville, GA (Friday evening)
Oct 7 - Etowah Youth Track Club XC Meet, Boling Park, Canton, GA (Saturday afternoon)
Oct 14 - Georgia Middle School and Club State Championship, Cochran, GA (Saturday afternoon; 8th grade and under can compete in the Club division which Alpha Crush participates in)
Oct 21 - Carrollton Trojan Elite Meet, Carrollton Elementary School (Saturday morning)
Oct 28 - Peachtree City Flash Meet, ONE Church, 2130 Redwine Rd, Fayetteville, GA 30215 (Saturday morning)
USATF Junior Olympics
An age-verified USATF membership is required for entry into the Junior Olympic championships.
Advancements: See below, and our meet information pages, for details on how athletes and teams advance from Association to Region to National competition.
Association to Region: Typically, the Top 30 individuals and top 5 teams advance from Association Championships. But, per USATF Rule 306.3(a), these numbers may be adjusted by the Association chair and Regional coordinator respectively for the purpose of accommodating their local situations. For example, in the past few years the top 45 individuals and top 7 teams have advanced.
Region to National: By rule, top 30 individuals and top 5 teams advance.
Nov 11 - USATF Georgia Association Cross Country Championships, Carrollton Elementary School, GA
Nov 18 - USATF Region 4 Cross Country Championships, Holloway Park, Lakeland, Florida
Dec 9 - USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park, Louisville, KY
Cross Country Race Distances
For USATF Developmental Meets and USATF Junior Olympics, distance is based on the athletes age as of December 31st of current year.
00-08 - 2K
09-10 - 3K
11-12 - 3K
13-14 - 4K
15-18 - 5K (but, in our developmental meets, they normally run 4K)
For middle school meets
Distance is typically 3000m or 2-miles (3218m)
We compete in the following types of meets:
What do we mean by the "competitive season?" After all, in the middle school and developmental meets we compete against other teams and athletes.
We refer to the series of USA Track and Field (USATF) Junior Olympic meets as the competitive season. There are prerequisites and qualifying standards (described below.)
In the competitive season the "pressure" increases a bit, but not too much.
Remember that athletes are not required to compete, though we encourage them to do so!
The USA Track and Field (USATF) Junior Olympic series has prerequisites and qualifying standards.
Our Development and Middle School Meets are separate from the USATF meets; there is no relationship between Developmental, Middle School and USATF.
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 memberships and meet entries.
Parents are responsible for:
Completing and verifying the meet entries on our meet entry page
Providing age-verification documents when necessary for Junior Olympic competition
The dates, locations and information about each meet can be found on each meet's information page on this web site.
USATF Junior Olympics / Qualifying Standards
See our Meet Results page for the history of where and when these Junior Olympics meets have been contested, the number of athletes in each age division, and their finishing times and places.
USATF Georgia Association Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships
The Association Championships (sometimes referred to as the "state" championships) comprise youth athletes from all over Georgia who are members of USATF.
Requirement: USATF age-verified membership.
Qualifying standards: No qualification needed, no qualifying times needed.
The following USATF meets have qualifying standards for entry per USATF Rule 306.3.
USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships
The Region 4 Championships comprise youth athletes from Georgia, Florida and South Carolina who qualified by advancing from their respective Association Championships. The meet location rotates from year-to-year through the states in the region.
Typically, the Top 30 individuals and top 5 teams advance from Association Championships. But, per USATF Rule 306.3(a), these numbers may be adjusted by the Association chair and Regional coordinator respectively for the purpose of accommodating their local situations. The normal is Top 30 / Top 5, but Region Coordinator has discretion to change qualifiers based on Association participation (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina).
USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships
The National Championships comprise youth athletes from all over the United States who qualified by advancing from their respective Region Championships. The meet location alternates from year-to-year, west coast, central, east coast.
USATF Rule 306.3(d) Advancement to the National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championship shall be by Association Championship to Regional Championship to National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championship. Qualifiers for the National Championship shall be the top 30 individuals by age division and the top five (5) scoring teams.
USATF Rule 306.3(e) The number of qualifiers from Regional meets is fixed and no alternates may advance. Individuals finishing in the top 30 places and who are also members of the qualifying teams are not displaced so that additional finishers beyond thirtieth may not advance. Any team may advance if it has five or more individuals placing in the top 30 in the Regional meet. No team finishing beyond fifth place may advance based solely upon any of the first five teams' choosing not to advance.
Per USATF Rule 300.1(c) Athletes must be at least seven (7) years of age on December 31 of the current year to compete at the Youth Athletics or Junior Olympic National Championship.
Commitment to participate
This applies particularly to the USATF Junior Olympic meets -- Association, Region and National.
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 athletes 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.
Team A/B/C composition can be changed the day of the event, prior to each race.
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.
What is the "Declaration Roster"
Athletes from a club listed on Athletic.net on or before the Association Championships meet entry deadline comprise the roster of athletes eligible to compete on the club's team (minimum of 5, maximum of 8) in the Association championships as well as the Region and National Championships. This is known as the declaration roster.
Just because you are a member of Alpha Crush Running Club does not make you eligible to compete. You must have an age-verified USATF membership to be eligible to be entered on the Athletic.net roster. The "roster" of athletes kept on a piece of paper, in a spreadsheet, or in a Coach's head are used for club administrative purposes, but not for team advancement in USATF competition.
Per USATF Rule 306.3(c) All members of the same club listed on the team declaration roster [in Athletic.net] 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.
Athletes on the declaration roster do not have to compete in the Association championships to be eligible to compete in the Region and National competition.
Athletes on the declaration roster do not have to compete in the Association or Region championships to be eligible to compete in the National competition.
Of course, the rules about individual advancement and team advancement still apply.
A note about USATF advancement
Step 1, you must declare (via your athlete's Edit URL) your intention to compete in the next round of competition to be considered and/or entered into the meet.
If you do not tell us (via Edit URL) you are interested in competing, we will not include you in the planning.
The earlier you make your declaration, the better, as it helps us provide information to other team members on who plan is going to compete.
When will you know if you are selected for advancement?
Individual qualifiers can always advance to the next round. Tell us via the Edit URL and you are in.
Team advancement for declaration roster athletes is a bit trickier, as how we plan to enter you is impacted by interest from among the roster athletes...the more that want to compete in the next round leaves fewer spots open for those athletes. We also need to give time for the individual qualifiers to declare their intentions, as that affects planning, too. Bottom line ... we'll let you know as soon as we can, but no promises on when that will be (other than before the meet entry deadline.)
A note about USATF "individual advancement"
The term "Advancement" applies to USATF Association and USATF Region meets.
In USATF competition, athletes that finish in, for example, the Top 30 in a given age division advance to the next round of competition. This is known as "individual advancement."
Regardless of how the team places, individuals who qualify can advance to the next round.
A note about USATF "team advancement"
The term "Advancement" applies to USATF Association and USATF Region meets.
In USATF competition, teams (A/B/C) that finish in, for example, the Top 7 in a given age division advance to the next round of competition. This is known as "team advancement."
Athletes on the declaration roster are eligible for team advancement.
In each age division / gender 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 of competition is meet-dependent.
Eligible Athletes come from the Declaration Roster
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 declaration roster.
It does not have to be the same runners who ran in previous rounds.
Even if only 5 athletes run in previous meet, up to 8 can be selected for subsequent meet.
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 be on the declaration roster to be eligible to compete in the next round of competition.
We can advance up to 8 athletes for each qualifying team. For example, if we had two teams qualify for advancement, we can select up to 16 (2 x 8) athletes for the next round.
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 (see Commitment to Participate in this document.)
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 (unless we follow Strategy 2.1 outlined in this document.)
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 are on the declaration roster prior to the Association meet. This same "Association to Region" pattern applies to the "Region to National" championships.
A note about "individual advancement" in conjunction with "team advancement"
Individual qualifiers are always eligible to compete in the next round of competition.
For every team that qualifies, any 8 athletes from the declaration roster can be selected to fill the team for the next round of competition.
Example: Assume we have 5 individual qualifiers and a 1st place team in a round of competition
This allows us to enter between 1 and 13 (5 + 8) in the next round of competition (with certain limitations.)
Strategy 1 - Build the fastest possible team
In this strategy, for the next round, we fill the 8 person team with the fastest athletes in the club for that age division. Typically, we start with the individual qualifiers and use declaration roster athletes as needed.
Any individual qualifiers that are "left over" run as individuals in the next round
Using this strategy, 8 athletes would compete in the next round.
The team would be comprised of the 5 individual qualifiers plus 3 from the declaration roster
This strategy gives our athletes the best possible chance at a high finish in the round of competition. It rewards them for their hard work throughout the season.
Strategy 1.1 - Only let individual qualifiers advance to next round
This is an option we have, but have never followed.
In this situation, we don't worry about forming teams; instead, we just advance the individual qualifiers who have declared they will compete in the next round.
Strategy 2 - Send as many athletes as possible
In this strategy, for the next round, we fill the 8 person team with as many athletes as we can who did not qualify as individuals
All individual qualifiers would run as individuals in the next round
Using this strategy, 13 athletes would compete in the next round.
We would select 8 athletes from the declaration roster that did not qualify individually; they would run as Team A
We would enter the remaining 5 individual qualifiers.
These remaining 5 would need to be entered as two Teams, B & C, with, for example, 3 on Team B and 2 on Team C. Since we only qualified to have one team and because 5 athletes comprise a team, we would not be able to place 5 on Team B, as that would be against the rules and affect scoring. By placing the 5 athletes on two teams, they would run as individuals, which is allowed.
This strategy is not "the best" for our club, as it does not give us the best opportunity for a high finish in the round of competition.
Strategy 2.1 - "Pay extra" to enter non-individual qualifiers
Scenario - We have non-individual qualifiers that want to compete but we don't have enough of them interested in travel to get the minimum of 5 athletes.
In this strategy, for the next round, we enter the athletes interested in going plus we add "random" athletes from the roster to get us to the required minimum of 5 athletes.
For example, for a National event, if only one non-individual qualifier wanted to go, we would need to pay 1 x $10 + (4 x $20), or $90 total, for that one athlete to compete. So, it's not ideal for us as a team to do this, but it does allow the athlete to compete.
Strategy 3 - Send as many athletes as possible without compromising ability of team to advance
This allows "some" of Strategy 2 but also keeps 6 (at least) of our faster athletes on the team. Only the first 5 athletes score, but we want a strong 6th athlete "just in case."
USATF Rules of Interest
USATF Rule 7.9(b) Team Scoring
Ties between two or more teams shall be resolved in favor of the team whose last scoring member finishes nearer to first place. [This means our 5th scorer breaks the tie.]
USATF Rule 306.3(c)
All members of the same club listed on the team declaration roster [in Athletic.net] 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 Athletic.net].
USATF Rule 255 - 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.
Note: Do not confuse Rule 255 [Cross Country] with Rule 302.3(d) [Track]:
Track Relays: All participants shall wear a top of the same color. At Regional and National Championships, all participants shall wear a top of a same color as well as shorts of a same color. The Games Committee shall assign an individual to review colors of team uniforms in the clerking area.
Below is the list of Meets and Other Events (group runs, team party, etc.) See full team calendar.