In recent history, the 2A cross-country committee has been working to change scoring for both the regional and state competitions from a run 6 score 3 to a run 6 score 4 format. Three times this has come before the CHSAA legislative council, the group responsible for approving amendments to by-laws. Shining Mountain has taken an active role in working to ensure this change does not take place.
To provide you with some contextual background, there is no 1A classification for cross-country in the State of Colorado. That means schools ranging in size from 20 or 30 students to 286 students compete against one another. It is nearly impossible for the small schools in the state to find a 4th runner that can become an effective scorer and as such this change would take away their chances at a team state championship. Likewise, the proposed change would result in many schools failing to qualify for state through the regional meets. As this would become more prevalent, schools would discontinue their cross-country programs.
Our approach in opposing this change has been to focus on what is best for the student athletes at small schools while not negatively impacting the larger schools in the 2A classification. Our own cross-country coach, Tyler Haughness, has been instrumental in compiling statistics and information as well as speaking at Legislative Council sessions. Through my membership on the CHSAA board of directors I spoke to many athletic directors and superintendents from larger schools and districts to build up support against the change. We were joined by 3 other outspoken opponents at the January legislative council session.
I’m happy to report that this measure has once again been defeated by substantial margin. The CHSAA legislative council has done well to defend the small school student athlete and their opportunity to compete for team championships.