IHSAA to Change Cross-Country State Series Format

Addison Green, Staff Writer

In an 11-6 vote, the Indiana High School Athletic Association, IHSAA, recently decided to make the path for the Boys and Girls Cross-Country State Tournament a little shorter. IHSAA eliminated semi-state finals, converting the previously four-week tournament, up-held since 2014, into a shorter, three-week one. As a result, it is the hope that Indiana Cross-Country runners should have an easier sprint to state. 

With the new format, the runners will have a weekend, in place of semi-state finals, to rest and recover, before the state meet. This weekend off before state was crucial to girls cross-country coach Jill Rensink.

 “Cross country has a very long season for our varsity runners – they compete almost every weekend from early August through the end of October. Having an extra weekend to rest/recover and refocus before the State series will greatly benefit our team,” said Rensink. 

Teams do not know who they are competing against quite yet, as with the elimination of semi-state, sectional and regional meets are being restructured. Depending on how they are placed, this may make it harder for teams to qualify than in previous years. More information will be released as we veer closer to the season. 

Varsity runner junior Kate Barada said, “I think the changes will help our team.” Along with Rensink, Barada hopes that the new rules will improve the team’s chances in this upcoming season. Teams will be tested as IHSAA experiments with the new format this October.