Dear XC parents:
Thanks for letting your son come out for
the team. I am extremely proud of this team again this
My Contact Information
Please feel free to contact me at school from 8am to 3:00pm at
586-4962 or [email protected]
Please feel free to contact me at home at 898-4993.
If you lose this information, I post it on the front page of
the XC website.
schedule is online.
I must warn you that it is tentative. High school cross
country coaches donít usually send us the exact times and
locations to meets until about 10 days before each race.
I will let your sons know as soon as I find out if there are
any updates. I will also update it on the website as
soon as I find out. The times and locations for
Conference, Regional, and Sectional have not been set at this
The tentative schedule indicates what times the boys
run. If you look on the school site (not our XC site)
they will list the start of the girlís race. Girls often
run 3 hours before the boys run. I would hate for you to
show up 3 hours early to a meet, so that is why I have
included all the different race start times. Some
invitationals have 3 separate races for the boys. They
might only allow 7 or 10 runners in the Varsity, 7-10 runners
in the fresh/soph race, and any additional runner in the Open
race. I will let your sons know who is going to be in
each specific race about a week before each race. I need
to take into consideration who is healthy or running strongest
at that week of the season.
The meet schedule also shows bus departure times. We do
leave exactly on time. We never leave later than the
departure time listed. We traditionally ask our runners
to arrive about 15 minutes before the bus departs to help load
the bus and to make sure all runners are accounted for.
It isnít personal, but we will leave on time even if not all
of our runners are on the bus. The bus departure times
are scheduled so that we will arrive about 55 minutes before
the start of the first girlís race if we share a bus or the
first boy's race if we don't share a bus. The runners
will need the 55 minutes to properly warm up, use the rest
room, and get checked in at the start of the race.
The school is usually locked on Saturdays. I will open
the back door to our locker room about 30 minutes or so before
the departure time. The runners should know where this
door is located.
I have included an estimated arrival home time for our
meets. This is only an estimate based off the last 9 to
16 years of going to the meet. The estimated arrival
home varies slightly. I have included this so that you
can plan your weekend accordingly.
I have posted meet
directions to our meets.
There are different ways to get to each school, but this is
the directions our slow and big buses go.
I included estimated driving times. This is based on a
slow bus and no traffic problems.
I have not included Conference, Regional, and Sectional as
these havenít been set yet.
Food for Meets
Some invitationals we attend have well over 200 bus loads of
runners. Many of these buses depart meets at the same
time and try to go to the same restaurants. I have found
that this can delay our arrival home by 2 to 3 hours. I
value your sonsí free time, family time, and study time.
So at most of our meets we try to do a cookout for the
runners. We usually grill hamburgers, have chips,
cookies, and water bottles. As long as weather permits
and we have someone to cook the food, we will have the
cookout. At most meets, we have to wait about 30 minutes
to an hour for results and awards. We ask that our
runners warm down and eat at this time. This appears to
be the best use of their time.
Parents have volunteered over the years to bring food or have
a cookout at each of our meets. I greatly appreciate
this and I know our boys do as well.
Runners can bring their own food if they donít like what is
provided at the cookout. Half of our invitationals also
have concession stands as well.
Each sport has a boosterís representative. Boosterís
representatives donate their time and energy to advocate for
their sport and to help raise money for all our sports
programs. Boosters traditionally gives our program about
$500 a year. Our school budgets are limited and usually
cover the meet entry fees and a few hundred dollars
extra. Without boosters support, we could not do
many of the rewards and nice things for our runners.
rep. Thank you.
Neal Garrison. This is my 19th year coaching XC at
Mahomet-Seymour High School.
Brian Butcher and Andrew Walmer join us for their first year
of coaching at the high school.
Studies have shown that the high school sport with the most
injuries is girls cross country. While cross country
usually doesnít have serious injuries, they do have
injuries. Carle offers a free service for area athletes
at their Sports Clinic (just North of Lincoln Avenue in
Urbana). The hours are 6:30 am to 8:30 am Monday Ė
Friday and 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday through Thursday.
We practice right after school ends every day. Our
practices vary in length, but traditionally last until 5:15 to
I do not require morning workouts.
I do not require weekend runs.
I do not require workouts on the days we donít have school
like Labor Day. This allows you to have family time and
However, to be the best runner they can be, many of our
runners do run on their own on these days. The sport of
cross country doesnít have a lot of skill, but mainly
endurance. To get the most endurance, they will want to
run, even when we donít have a required practice. The
nice thing about running is that they can run when convenient
on the weekends. Many of our runners do still choose to
run together on these days off or in the mornings even though
no coach is present.
We run in all weather, except extreme weather like lightening.
We start the season in the high 90s and end the season in the
Encourage your son to bring long sleeve shirts, hats, gloves,
and extra dry socks now since Illinois weather can change
Running is very physically and mentally demanding. The
boys grow very close to each other as they suffer and work
hard together on a daily basis. Cross country has been
my favorite sport to coach as the athletes really bond as a
team more than any other sport I have been involved in.
One of the main things that our former runners have thought
was the most favorite memories about cross country was the
tradition of a pasta party.
These are not required of our runners, but I highly encourage
our runners to attend as they do enjoy them and it is a great
opportunity for our runners of different ability levels to get
to know each other better. I also think it is great that
the runners have a safe environment to have a party without
the pressures of drugs and alcohol that are out there at other
Over the years our parents have volunteered to host a pasta
party on Friday nights. I am very grateful to our
parents for this. Our practices are usually done about
5:45 or so Friday night. Pasta parties vary in their
start and end times, but they traditionally start shortly
after practice. What parents have provided for food has
also varied from pasta from Fazollis, to hot dogs, to chili,
As a coach I donít want to offend parents or to seem
unappreciative, but I intentionally donít go to the pasta
parties. One reason is that I donít want it to seem like
practice. I want the runners to be able to have fun with
each other without that practice feelings. The other
main reason is that I head home to spend time with my wife.
I am extremely grateful to our parents for opening up their
houses to approximately 20 runners. I know it is both a
financial burden as well as a time commitment to prepare a
house for that many guests.
I have tried to create a top times list at each of our meets
to encourage our current runners to run harder and to
acknowledge our former runners for their efforts. These
times lists can be found online.
Our runners can earn a varsity letter no matter what their
grade. Our letter policy
can be found online.
Thanks again for letting your son run in our program.