Cross-country semistate eliminated, state tourney series reduced to 3 weeks
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The IHSAA Executive Committee voted 11-6 Thursday to eliminate the semistate in cross-country and reduce the state tournament from four weeks to three weeks.
The new format calls for 25 sectionals and five regionals. The top five teams and 15 individuals on non-advancing teams will advance to the next round.
Next season’s sectionals will start on Oct. 14, the regionals will follow on Oct. 21, and the state finals will be held on Oct. 28.
Sectional and regional sites will be determined this summer, according to the IHSAA.
The cross-country state tournament had lasted four weeks since 2014 with a sectional, regional, semistate and state finals being held on consecutive Saturdays.
The Indiana Association of Track and Cross-Country Coaches formally presented the plan to the IHSAA at its Dec. 15 Executive Committee meeting.
“Today was a culmination of several years of discussion around issues within the cross country tournaments,” IHSAA Commissioner Paul Neidig said in a media release. “The three-week tournament will provide more balance at the sectional level, resulting in a more competitive state tournament. The new format will advance 42 additional runners in each race at the state finals. We greatly appreciate the partnership with the state coaches association in developing this new format.”
The IHSAA did not indicate how each Executive Committee member voted.