Cross Country

Bernards Boys and Girls Cross Country: 2014 Sectional Champions!!!

Natirar Park, 
site of the Skyland Conference Cross Country Championships

Natirar Park

Head Coach: David Szostak
Assistant Coach: Alyssa Maestas

Home Course: Natirar County Park
Distances Run: 5 Kilometers (Varsity and JV), 1.5-2.5 miles (Freshmen)

Bernards has a boys and girls Cross Country team.

Clearance: You must be cleared by the school in order to participate in Cross Country.  Please see the school website (click HERE) to find out more information on how to get cleared.  Please take care of this well in advance of the season so you can begin on the first day.

Practice: after school on weekdays until approximately 5pm.  On Saturdays and during the pre-season, practice is from 7:30am until approximately 10am.  We will practice at BHS but will occasionally meet at parks or running trails in the area.

Transportation: bus transportation will be provided for all meets, including home meets at Natirar.  You are expected to ride the bus to and from every meet.  In certain circumstances, you may be allowed to ride home from meets with YOUR OWN PARENT (never with anyone other than your own parent, however).  Bus transportation may also be provided to some off-site practices.  You are responsible for transportation to and from school for all practices at BHS. Athletes should have rides ready to pick them up at BHS after meets when the bus arrives back at school.

Season: the season lasts from the a Monday in mid to late August until the last meet of the year (usually the NJSIAA State Meet of Champions, typically the Saturday before Thanksgiving).  Everyone is required to practice through the first week of November (JV State Meet/Sectionals)--after that, your season will continue as long as you are in the top 7 or are an alternate.  There are practices in August before school begins and on Teacher Convention weekend, so please make sure you are available on those dates.

Gear needed:
  • A new pair of running shoes at the beginning of the season.
  • Cross Country Spikes: rubber bottom spikes
  • Warm Sweats for practice: long sleeves and long pants required on cold days.
  • Winter hat, gloves are a must on cold days
  • Running shorts, tops, socks, etc.
  • Water bottle
  • Team uniforms and warmups provided by the school and must be returned at the end of the season.
  • Recommended that you visit a running specialty shop to get properly fitted for running shoes and spikes.  Local shops include
Meets: there are 3 different types of meets.  Each race is held over a course, usually consisting of varying surfaces, including grass, dirt, gravel, or mulch trails, and sometimes paved sections.  Course maps will provided to runners but it is their responsibility to learn the various courses, and practice time will be devoted to this.
  • Dual Meets: held in September and October, usually against one or two other schools.  All boys race together in one race, all girls race together in another race.  All races are 5K in length (3.1 miles).  Dual meets decide the division championship.  Last approximately 2 hours.  Update for 2016: The division championship is decided at the Division Championship Batch Meet.  Dual meets do not count towards division championship.
  • Invitationals: usually held on Saturdays, these are larger meets with multiple races, usually 20-30 teams in a race.  Typically, there are separate races for Varsity (top 7 only), JV, and freshmen. Sometimes, these races are by grade level (called Class Meets).  Varsity and JV run 5K, freshmen 2 miles.  Team scores are kept and medals and trophies are awarded.  Usually last 4-5 hours.
  • Championships: In our county and conference championships, there are separate Varsity, JV, and freshmen races.  Championships are determined in these meets.  In the state meets (Sectionals, Groups, and Meet of Champions), only the top 7 runners race, but we usually have alternates.  Usually last about 3-4 hours.  
    • For NJSIAA State Meets, Top 5 teams and top 10 individuals advance from Sectionals to Groups, and top 3 teams and 10 individuals advance from Groups to Meet of Champions.
Scoring: Top 5 runners score points based on place, lowest point total wins.  6th and 7th runners can displace opposing team's top 5.  See video below.

Varsity Letter: in order to earn a varsity letter, an athlete must complete the season and either finish within the top 7 on the varsity team at some point during the season (in a varsity meet), run on the varsity team for an invitational or championship meet (top 7), be a runner or an alternate for the state championship meets, OR be a senior in good standing.

  • NJSIAA: North 2, Group 2
  • Skyland Conference: Valley Division
  • Somerset County
Click Here to learn more about Cross Country.

How to score a Cross Country Meet