Cross Country Guidelines
to Participation & Lettering

Representing West XC

Being a member of the Cross Country team at SM West should be viewed as a privilege, not a right. That privilege is earned and maintained by the way each athlete conducts themselves both with the team and away from the team. Every individual who is in good standing with the team and academically eligible is able to participate at each of our meets throughout the season.  The coaching staff does reserve the right to suspend or dismiss any person whose conduct, attitude, commitment or effort reflects badly on themselves, the team and/or our school and is a distraction to the success of the team.

Pre-Season Prerequisites:

  1. Academic Eligibility: You must have passed (D or better) at least five classes the previous semester and be passing at least five classes this semester to be eligible to participate in a school sport. You are a student-athlete, which means being a member of the team is a privilege you earn by making your academics a priority.
  2. Pre-Participation Physical Evaluation Form (PPE) and Concussion/Head Injury Policy: This annual physical needs to be conducted sometime after May 1 of this calendar year. The doctor who performs the exam will need to have signed the PPE form which can be picked up in the main office or online from our team website by clicking here. You may see your own physician for this, or another convenient and relatively inexpensive option is to go to the Minute Clinic at an area CVS. You can download and print a copy of these forms from the following link:     
  3. Athletic Participation Packet: This packet, which must be read and filled out online on Skyward by BOTH THE STUDENT ATHLETE AND THIER PARENT/ GUARDIAN includes the following pages.  Instructions for accessing the form can be found by clicking here.
    1. Athletic Disclosure Statement
    2. Transportation Guidelines
    3. Transportation Release Form
    4. KSHSAA & District Guidelines Guidelines
    5. Insurance Inquiry Inquiry
    6. Tobacco/Alcohol/Drug Policy & Contract
    7. Medical Treatment & Consent Release
      • Once completed, the forms will be effective until the end of the current academic year.
  4. 400/500 Mile Clubs: Not a requirement for participation, but definitely a requirement for success!  The 400/500 Mile Clubs began the summer of 2006 as an incentive for being committed to getting in shape during summer team conditioning. Girls must run 400/boys 500 miles between June 1st and the morning of Time Trials held at the end of our second full week of practice in August. Those who accomplish this feat receive our version of cycling’s “yellow jersey” – a gold t-shirt with the 400/500 Mile Club logo on the front and the Club motto on the back:

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”     – T.S. Eliot

During Season

Including our team Time Trials, the regular season is made up of at total of 7 meets, culminating with the Sunflower League Meet at Rim Rock Farm outside of Lawrence.

  1. Academic Eligibility: Students must maintain passing grades in at least 5 class throughout the season. If, after mid-terms, a student is carrying a “D” or lower they will be required to have their teachers sign a grade check slip each Friday for the remainder of the grading term AND turn this into the Activities Secretary by the end of the school day each Friday. Failure to turn in a completed grade check will make you ineligible for the next week’s meet even if you are passing enough classes.
  2. Attendance: Being part of this team (or any other team, club etc.) at SMW is a commitment and a big part of that is simply showing up and being present (in body and mind!).  Practices generally run from 3:00-5:30 M-F with meets on Sat. mornings.  Being part of the team means being with us all of those times and that is our expectation for everyone on the team.
    1. If you are absent from any practice during the week you will still attend that week’s meet, but your participation in the races will be up to the discretion of the coaches.
    2. After a total of 5 absences or 3 unexcused absences you will be dismissed from the team.  Not all excuses are equal and just because you inform us of an absence does not mean it will necessarily be excused.
    3. In order for any absence to be excused YOU must communicate with Coach Onnen AHEAD of time!  This is YOUR responsibility.  Do not ask a team member, manager, asst. coach… to do it for you.
    4. Valid reasons for absences do NOT include staying after to get help in a class, attend another activity etc.  This may mean you have to make choices about what you can or can’t be involved in and may have to utilize time before school/during seminar to seek extra help in classes.
    5. Commitment, responsibility, time management, communication and learning to make choices about what/how much you take on based on your resources (time, energy…)  are great life lessons to learn and will serve you well, not only as a member of this team, but also in the classroom and beyond.


  1. Regional Meet: The top 10 boys/girls on the team (7 runners and 3 alternates) will advance to the Regional Meet.
  2. State Meet: The top 3 teams out of 8 at each Regional site advance to the State Meet the following week, but it is also possible to qualify as an individual. In order to qualify individually, you must be in the top ten at Regionals or be one of the top 5 individuals not on a qualifying team.
  3. Awards:
    1. Certificate of Participation: earn 20 pts*
    2. Class Numerals: earn 40 pts*
    3. Varsity Letter + XC Pin/bars: earn 60 pts*
    4. Academic All-State: Presented to any Jr./Sr. who places in the top 25 at State and has at least 3.75 unweighted GPA.
    5. PACESetter Award: We believe, and try to teach, that character is important – even more so than athletic prowess. This award recognizes individuals who have had a profound impact on the culture of our team because they embody what “PACE” stands for – they have Prepared to Perform up to their Potential and have set an example for others through their Attitude, Commitment and Effort. Beyond that, however, they have in turn elevated their teammates to a higher level and as a result have left a legacy that will be felt even after they graduate. In my mind, their contributions to the team are best described by the following quote:

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others is eternal.”

Point System for Post-Season Honors

  • Certificate of Participation: 20 pts.
  • Class Numerals: 40 pts.
  • XC Pin/Bar + Varsity Letter: 60 pts.

Points toward Post-Season Honors are earned from 4 different categories (for more information on how points are earned in each category, refer to the attached file):

  1. Summer Mileage
  2. In-Season Race Performance
  3. Performance Time Standards
  4. Percent Improvement