What is cross country?

Cross country is a competitive team sport offered in the fall for all CPHS students. Teams consist of five or more runners who race together at the same time with other teams. High school races are typically 5 kilometers (5K or 3.1 miles); some JV or Freshman / Open divisions may be less. Cross country courses are usually run across grassy fields, wooded paths, and hills.

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. There are no cuts, no benches, and no waiting from the sideline!

Running is something that can be done by everyone for the rest of their life. We seek to inspire people to run not just for competitive fitness, but also for good health, stress relief, and to enjoy the great outdoors!

Is cross country an athletic period at CPHS?

Yes, cross country is part of Leander ISD’s athletic program, which is an integral part of the total high school experience for all students. At CPHS it’s a year-round sport (1st and 4th period) but many multi-sport athletes may be in XC for only the Fall Season depending on their Spring sport. Training and optional group runs start in early summer.

Are boys and girls on the same team?

The cross country team practices and supports each other as a co-ed team. Races and competitions are by division and are separate for boys and girls.

How many cross country teams are there?

There is a Varsity and Junior Varsity team. The top 7-10 fastest athletes compete on the Varsity team regardless of grade. There are no grade restrictions or team size limitations for the Junior Varsity team. Some invitational meets also have a Freshman only division and the UIL District meet also has a Freshman division for Freshman that are not competing in the Varsity or Junior Varsity divisions.

How is cross country scored?

A cross country meet is scored by each team adding up the places of its top 5 finishers. As in golf, the low score wins. For example, a team that scores 26 points places ahead of a team that scores 29 points, as follows:

CPHS (Top 5 finishers) Other HS (Top 5 finishers)

1 (1st place finisher) 2 (2nd place finisher)

4 (4th place finisher) 3 (3rd place finisher)

5 (5th place finisher) 7 (7th place finisher)

6 (6th place finisher) 8 (8th place finisher)

10 (10th place finisher) 9 (9th place finisher)

Score 26 (1+4+5+6+10) vs. Score 29 (CPHS Wins!)

A team’s 6th and 7th place finishers are also very important. If the score is tied after top 5 places are tallied up then the 6th place finisher is used for scoring and sometimes rolling down to the 7thplace finisher to determine the winning team.

How much practice is expected / required?

More than anything else, success in cross country takes time: time to learn; time to train; time to recover; time after school; and time on the weekend. With high school academic responsibilities, most student-athletes are extremely busy. We try to achieve a balance between all things while aspiring to do well in cross country.

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.

How long is a meet?

Cross country meets are unique from other sporting events as they are held in a variety of locations from parks, schools, open fields, golf courses, etc. It makes for a scenic time, lots of walking of courses to get to start / finish spots. The Booster Club will set up an area for the athletes’ tents and will also have a meeting place for parents, family, and friends to gather for cheering on the athletes.

Events may have specific starting times or rolling times. A rolling time means the 1st event starts at a set time and then after that division completes their race then they will start the next division. For example, A schedule might look like this:


· Elite Varsity Girls 5K

· Elite Varsity Boys 5K

· Varsity Girls 5K

· Varsity Boys 5K

· Junior Varsity Girls 5K

· Junior Varsity Boys 5K

· Open Girls 2 mile

· Open Boys 2 mile

What that means is that the Elite Girls Varsity 5K race will start at 7:00 am and this division is probably quick with girls finishing between 17 minutes and 21 minutes for the race so most likely the Elite Varsity Boys 5K race will start at approximately 7:30 am assuming all girls finish and the course officials are ready for the next division.

As you go down the races the times will get slightly longer and the start times will be pushed out accordingly.

Plan to come early and stay for all the events to cheer on everyone. Rain, sleet, snow (can’t imagine that in Texas), wind, heat, or cold the meets go on. We may get a lightening delay but they will race in the rain and mud.

Do you have to qualify to participate in a meet?

All athletes must be in good standing academically to participate in a meet. This means each student athlete must have passing grades in their classes to participate in any competitions. It is strongly recommended athletes use DEN periods and schedule tutoring or extra studying sessions to be proactive in managing their studies. The great thing about cross country is that practice is early in the morning before 1st period begins so it allows plenty of time to get ready for school, have time in XC period and DEN period or after school to stay on top of school work.

The top 7 athletes will be on Varsity for the District meet. For some invitational meets they allow up to 10 athletes to participate on Varsity.

  • The District Meet has a Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman division.
  • The Regional Meet is only for qualified Varsity teams or individuals. The top three (3) teams and the top ten (10) individuals qualify from district to the regional meet. An individual qualify may also be a team member of one of the qualifying teams.
  • The State Meet is only for qualified Varsity teams or individuals. The top four (4) teams and the top ten (10) individuals (who are not already on the advancing teams) shall qualify from regional to the state meet.

How many meets are there in season?

Typically we will have meets almost every week on a Friday or Saturday. Each team can participate in a maximum of 8 meets per UIL Guidelines for XC before the district meet. (https://www.uiltexas.org/cross-country/rules-guidelines)

Our schedule is set each year and is meant to support preparation for the end of season championship meets (Districts, Regionals, State). Our official schedule is posted on the XC team website www.cpxctrack.com or TeamApp https://cpxc.teamapp.com/.

How are parents involved in the cross country program?

We strongly encourage parent participation. Without parent support any cross country program could not do all the things that need to be done each season. We have a number of areas that we depend on parents to give their time and energy to maintain our level of success such as helping with home meets, team dinners, fundraisers, and hauling equipment to meets. We want our athletes, parents and coaches working together all year long. Parents who have been involved over the years have always walked away raving about the great experience they had.

The Cedar Park XC Booster Club is tremendous. Boosters hold several fundraisers throughout the year. Parents are highly encouraged to join the team’s booster club and register as volunteers on the Leander ISD website. All boosters are expected to take an active role by volunteering. This support makes for a successful team.

Where do I go to join the Booster Club and register?

To register you can find a link on the main website and a registration form.

What is required: Submit registration form (paper or online), pay booster fees per athlete on the team (check or online), join at least 1 committee and plan on joining in to cheer on the athletes each week. All parents are expected to volunteer and support the Cedar Park XC Invitational we host every year in September as it is our largest fundraiser for the team.

Where can I get more information?

For more information on our program and how to get involved, please see our cross country booster page here: http://www.cpxctrack.com/. Join the Booster Club and download TeamApp and register to join the CPXC team and get the latest up to date information. https://cpxc.teamapp.com/or email cedarparkxc@gmail.com.