Welcome to the proud tradition of Seven Lakes Cross Country. You have become a part of one of the most successful high school Boys and Girls team in the state of Texas. Parents have been instrumental in helping to build and maintain the success of the Seven Lakes Cross Country program. There are many things you can do to help contribute to the success of the teams this year. Some of those are simple, some are a little time consuming or just hard work, and there are even a few things you should notdo. Hopefully this will help guide you to a great Cross Country experience.
Please do not hesitate to contact your respective Head Coach with any concerns you may have. Email usually works best for short responses, phone calls work best for long responses.
In addition, we would love for you to receive all the information that you may need each week to stay informed about team activities. Each week we send home a newsletter entitled The Running Spartan with your son or daughter. This newsletter includes the results of the meet from the previous weekend, directions to the upcoming meet, any changes in the schedule and other information we feel is pertinent. It is very important that you, as a parent, read this newsletter each week as it contains information that you need to know. These newsletters will be emailed to you as well.
The Seven Lakes Cross Country Boys Team has an outstanding tradition of success over the past 15 years. 6 District Team Champions, 5 District Individual Champions, 44 All District performances, 3 Regional Runner Up Teams, 3 Region Team Champions, 2 Region Individual Champions, 10 All Region performances, 14 State Meets, 9 All State performances, 1 Team State Runner Up, 1 Team State champions.
The Seven Lakes Cross Country Girls’ Team has an outstanding tradition of success over the past 15 years. 6 District Team Champions, 3 District Individual Champions, 58 All District performances, 5 Regional Runner Up Teams, 3 Region Team Champions, 2 Region Individual Champions, 11 All Region performances, 14 State Meets, 3 All State performances.
The 2020 teams are set to continue this tradition, This is the tradition of Seven Cross Country – a commitment to excellence forged by self-discipline, dedication, and consistent hard work.
PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS
The philosophical foundation of the program correlates directly with the philosophy of the Katy Independent School District Athletic Department. This philosophy “is to maintain a broad based program that will afford all students with athletic interests and abilities an opportunity for safe and healthful participation in the sport of their choice. The philosophy is based on the concept that there is a need for rugged physical development and fitness for every youngster, as well as a variance of interest, abilities, and desires.”
OBJECTIVES OF THE K.I.S.D. ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT AND SLHS XC PROGRAM
The purpose of the Seven Lakes Cross Country program is to do more than provide competition between two individuals and/or two schools. It is to teach fair play, sportsmanship, the understanding and appreciation of teamwork, the teaching of discipline, and that to quit means failure and hard work means eventual success (properly defined). We will attempt to accomplish this general objective through the following goals.
1. Keep as many athletes as possible in a good environment.
2. Instill good habits, sound morals, exemplary citizenship, and a high standard of sportsmanship in each athlete involved in Seven Lakes Cross Country
3. Encourage students to grow physically, mentally, morally, and socially.
4. Instill in youngsters an appreciation for optimum health and physical fitness. The importance of proper rest, good eating habits, and cleanliness will be stressed at every opportunity.
5. Develop the program in such a manner that the end result will be one of unity, harmony, and success. Mass participation will be emphasized and encouraged among all ability levels.
6. Instill in all athletes the desire to represent Seven Lakes High School and the Seven Lakes community in a manner that will make school administrators, teachers, parents, and other citizens proud of them.
As a member of the Seven Lakes Cross Country team each athlete is expected to:
1. Maintain good academic standing – pass all classes. Students who earn below 70 may not participate in meets. They do still practice. If failing grades become habitual the athlete will be dismissed from the team.
2. Keep a detailed Training Log on a daily basis. On a weekly log sheet, he will log workouts, record updates and announcements, and communicate with coaches. This will be graded and is a part of the 6 weeks average.
3. Be a positive example to teammates, parents, and the community wherever they may go. Be selective in their social activities.
4. Maintain good training procedures including proper nutrition, hydration, rest, and injury management. The use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs is contrary to sound training and sound living and will result in swift disciplinary action as allowed through the Katy ISD athletic handbook.
5. Attend and participate in all practices and meets including those scheduled on school holidays. Athletes are not excused for work, Driver’s license, hair appointments, etc. If an athlete does miss a workout for any reason, it is the athlete’s responsibility to leave an e-mail or message for a coach at the office number explaining the reason for the absence. All missed workouts should be explained BEFORE they occur!
6. Properly care for equipment loaned to them. Missing equipment items will be paid for.
7. Be familiar with the rules and tactics of Cross Country.
8. Keep parents informed of all team activities.
9. Report on time to all team functions. Arrival at the practice start time is not on time. We have a saying in Seven Lakes Cross Country, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, you’re rude.” Be ready to run at the start time.
10. Report all injuries to your coaches for referral to the trainers. Athletes/Parents please let the coach and trainers know you are injured before you go to a doctor.
11. Athletes are not to practice with private sport specific coaches. We believe that private coaches are ultimately detrimental to the athlete, and more importantly, the team.
Failure to meet the team expectations may result in disciplinary action including suspension from meets and/or removal from the team. Coach Kenney and Coach Pollack reserve the right to suspend any team member for any action considered inappropriate or detrimental to the team.
If an athlete is to miss a practice for any reason, they should contact Coach Kenney or Coach Pollack in one of the previously mentioned fashions BEFORE practice.
If a team member has a conflict with another school activity, the athlete, the sponsor, and coach will discuss the situation and try to create a compromise that works for everybody. If there is a conflict with an outside school activity, Cross Country will take priority. Coach Kenney and Coach Pollack will make the final decision as it affects Cross Country.
Water/Gatorade – The absolute minimum consumed should be 128 ounces per day (that’s one gallon, or 16 eight ounce cups)! The drinking fountain rule applies for school – If you pass one, take a drink!
Proper nutrition is essential to athletic performance as well as good overall health.
· A balanced meal of complex carbohydrates, meats, vegetables, fruits, and fluids is best.
· Athletes should eat before and after every workout and race.
· All athletes should eat at least 8 servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
· What about vitamins? Done in moderation they can’t hurt. (Although they may not help)
· During the racing season athletes should not be drinking any carbonated drinks!
· “Junk food” should be eaten in moderation and must never replace the essentials of a healthy, balanced diet.
· All athletes need to consume enough calories to maintain their weight. No one should be on a “diet” or diet pills of any kind. There are some athletes; especially those who are experiencing exercise and good nutritional habits for the first time that will experience weight loss. If you suspect your athlete is not eating properly please bring this to your respective coach's attention.
· All athletes must have at least one pair of quality running shoes. Two pairs are better than one!
· All athletes must get and wear a runners watch to practice each day (one that has a stopwatch and is water-resistant).
· All athletes will be issued racing equipment at the start of each season. It is imperative that this equipment is turned in at the end of each season.
· All athletes will be held responsible for their equipment. If lost or stolen, the athlete will be required to make payment for lost equipment.
Suggestions for keeping up with equipment:
· Athletes should make sure they place their equipment in their locker with the locker locked!
· Athletes should NEVER loan equipment to someone else.
· Athletes should always have someone watching their equipment while they are competing.
Picking A Shoe:
Quality running shoes generally cost between $50 and $125. The most important factor in choosing a running shoe is comfort. If the shoe fits and is comfortable you are probably OK. If injuries are a problem or there is some bio-mechanical flaw in a person’s running form, the best option is to have your runners stride and running form evaluated. Good Time Running Company and Fleet Feet are stores that works well with us.
BECOMING A CROSS COUNTRY EXPERT
Seven Lakes Cross Country parents have an excellent reputation in the Cross Country community. Coaches from around Texas are amazed at the quality of the meets you help us put on and the knowledge and enthusiasm you bring to each race. This section is especially dedicated to those of you who are new and don’t want to go home after a meet and wonder if we won or not.
What to Bring?
Meet Schedule, lawn chairs, binoculars, water, video or still camera, stopwatch.
go into the Cross Country athlete camp … follow your son or daughter around as they get ready to race… panic when they throw up on your shoes… gather at the starting line with the athletes at the beginning of a race… place extra unnecessary pressure on athletes on meet day, or any day… think that every runner is going to have a great race every week… get in the way of the runners on the course… immediately talk to your child after a race… coach them…
support the entire team as well as all runners at a meet enthusiastically (not just our runners)… be a good sounding board for your son once their meet responsibilities are done… encourage your son to be a part of what the team is doing… understand that not everyone has a great race every week… allow them to fail; failing at something does not make a person a failure… be willing to help when needed and be willing to simply watch and cheer when not needed… feel comfortable enough to ask Coach Kenney about anything… have a great time watching an exceptional group of hard-working kids compete in the great sport of Cross Country running… bring extra water and food to meets… make sure your child is on time for the bus
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND…
After a race, a runner will possibly be more physically spent than you would anticipate. Symptoms may include rubbery knees, general weakness, the appearance of fainting, glassy eyes, nausea, and salivating (what a fun sport, huh?). These symptoms usually pass quickly. There are trainers at each meet to treat any more serious problems. Many of these can be avoided with proper hydration.
Scoring or “We came! We ran!? How did we do?”
Cross Country is a true team sport. Every person on the team has an effect on the team’s outcome. You can compare team scoring in cross country to the game of golf: low score wins. Times do not affect team scores (usually). Typically, each varsity and junior varsity team can run between seven and ten runners (sometimes more).
Each individual finishing a race is issued a card in the finish chute with that individual’s finish place written on it (These cards must be turned in to the Coach or manager) For example, the first finisher gets #1, the second #2, etc… The places of the first five runners from a team are added together to compute the team score. The sixth and seventh runners on the varsity and all the additional runners on the JV serve to “bump” an opposing team’s score higher by finishing ahead of the opposing runners.
Team A Team B
1. 2 1
2. 3 4
3. 5 6
4. 7 8
5. 12 9
Score 29 28
6. 13 10 “Bumps” Team A’s 5th runner
7. 14 11
If there is a tie in the team score, the tie is broken by comparing the finish of the sixth runner on each team. There have been state championships decided this way. EVERY RUNNER ON THE TEAM IS IMPORTANT! Whether you finish first or 800th, your performance is important, if not to the score of the meet, at the very least, to the overall attitude and work ethic of the program.
Cross Country racing on the surface appears to be simple, right? The fastest runner wins, how tough can it be? The important thing to remember is that Cross Country is a team sport. In fact no other sport emphasizes the meaning of team more. In order to have a good team all of the runners must be able to perform well. Therefore, the most important aspect of cross country tactics is pack running. The most important result of pack running other than the score is the “spread” or “gap” time. This is the time from when a team’s first runner finishes until their fifth runner finishes. Great teams have spread times of less than 20 seconds. Most good teams have gap times less than 60 seconds.
As for the rest being simple try explaining these: negative splits, positive splits, even splits, crest the hill, gut check, kick, tempo, pace awareness, competitor awareness, controlled hill climb, hard surge, break up the course, long surge, race plan, stay connected, Fartlek, Intervals, recovery run, to name just a few.
When your son and daughter decided to join this team, you joined, too. We want to encourage you to be an active part of this exciting and rewarding experience. The Seven Lakes Cross Country program has been one of the best in the state for the past 15 years. You have a great opportunity, whether you are an athlete or a parent, to continue this tradition. See you on the Cross Country course!
Cross Country Team sport involving running over varied terrain.
Dual Meet A meet between two teams. In Texaswe rarely have these.
False Start Runner leaving the starting line early. Starter will return all runners to the line for a restart.
Finish Chute The roped-off area at the finish, through which runners are directed in order to establish place in a race. (You should stay away from this area unless you are helping with the meet)
Footlocker Inv. The National Championship individual race at the end of season.
NXN The National Championship team race at the end of season.
Invitational A meet between a multiple number of teams. All of our races except District, Regionals and State are Invitationals.
Pace Rate of speed maintained over a prolonged distance. Normally we are trying to run at the same pace over the entire race.
Personal Record (PR) Best performance time on a specific course or overall for an athletes career. The best they have ever done.
Racing Flat or Spikes A lightweight shoe designed primarily for racing.
Starting box, gate, lane Designated area to which a team is assigned for the start of a race.
Surge A gradual or sudden increase in speed as a tactical move in a race.
Warm Down/Cool Down Exercises and running through which the body is physically returned to a pre-running state.
Warm Up Exercises and running through which the body is physically prepared prior to racing or working out.
Seven Lakes Cross Country
Answers to the Basics
1. When are practices during the season?
Mostly in the morning, 6:00am. You will be notified of any changes
2. When are meets?
Meets are primarily on Saturday mornings (although we do have a few Friday meets). The first meets will be Sept 11 and 12 at Pearland Dawson. Check the Schedule page for additional information. A time schedule of races is sent home each week in the newsletter. Always ask for it – they should have a copy for themselves and one for you.
3. Where are the meets?
Meets are held in parks all over the Houstonarea. The final two meets of the season are in Hunstville and Round Rock (25 miles north of Austin). All athletes are expected to attend every meet! Again see the attached schedule for locations and directions.
4. How do runners get to races?
The team always goes on a bus provided by the school. Generally, we leave school between 6:00 and 6:30am. Athletes are expected to return to school on the bus at the end of the meet. There are some exceptions to this; arrangements must be made with a coach BEFORE the meet.
5. Should the runners eat before practice and meets?
Definitely!!! This might take some experimenting to find a food they can eat that will not upset their stomach. Bagels, toast, fruit, oatmeal, or juice are good to start with.
6. Who participates in the meets?
Everyone! Cross Country is unique because there is no such thing as 2nd string. All athletes get to and are expected to participate in each meet. The top 7 runners on the team compete in the Varsity division. The next 7-20 runners compete in the Junior Varsity division. The top 7-10 freshmen will compete in the Freshmen division (The other meets will vary in entry limitations.) Everyone else will compete in the Open race.
7. What forms does my runner need in order to participate?
Every athlete that wishes to participate must have a physical, emergency red card, Acknowledgement of Rules and handbook form on file. All freshmen must also fill out a Previous Athletic Participation Form. Any person who does not have a physical on file in the training room will not be allowed to practice with the team.
Most meet results are posted on various websites. such as txmilesplit.com, runhoustontiming.com, and flashresults.com