XC Practice and FAQs

Tigard Youth Track Cross Country Head Coach: Jeff “Woody” Woodhouse

The Sport of Cross Country (XC) is a competitive and fun team & individual sport. A great thing about cross country (abbreviated XC) is that everyone competes! Everyone runs the same course, and although the first 7 runners to finish are considered the scoring team, at every meet ALL athletes get to participate. There are no cuts, and no bench to sit on and watch while others play! The Tigard Youth XC Team boils down to a few simple philosophies; (1) Everyone is important, unique, and contributes, (2) Everyone is an Athlete, (3) Each Athlete can reach for their personal best, (4) We will have fun, train hard, and race well, and (5) We want to encourage a love for running.

Cross Country Vocabulary

INVITATIONAL MEET…a multi-team meet
TOP 7…the scoring members of a Cross Country Team
COURSE…the marked and measured route of the race
STARTING BOX…designated area to which a team is assigned on the starting line FALSE START…leaving the starting line before the gun sounds
FINISH CHUTE…a rope bordered funnel past the finish line that moves runners into their single file order of finish
PACE…running speed over a particular distance
SURGE…a tactical increase in pace during the race
KICK…a burst of speed at the finish of the race
PACK…a group of runners in close proximity
PERSONAL RECORD (PR)…best ever performance for a given event
RACING FLATS…special, lightweight shoes designed for racing, rather than daily training
TRAINING FLATS…running shoes designed for long wear in daily training WARM-UP…a running and stretching routine that gradually warms up the body for intense running
COOL-DOWN…a jogging/walking routine that allows the muscles to purge themselves of lactates and the body to gradually lower its temperature to normal WORKOUT…a daily training session


Q. What are the age requirements for participation?
A. Tigard Youth Track XC is open to 11-12 (birth year 2005-2006) and older. Younger Kids with prior mid/long distance experience, please contact TYT to discuss options.

Q. Will my child(ren) compete against other children their age?
A. As in most competitive sports there are age divisions for competition. There are six distinct age divisions in USATF.

Q. How are age divisions determined for competition?
A. Age divisions are determined by USATF.
11-12 = 2005-2006 // 13-14 = 2003-2004 // 15-16 = 2001-2002

Who are the coaches?
Woody is head coach and Coach Darren is the Assistant

Start Date

Tuesday 8/22 @ 5:30 at THS Track Shed
Please bring registration paperwork on the 1st day of practice.

Practice days, times, location

Tigard HS, Meet at the Track Shed
To kick things off we go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30pm to 7pm while we have sunlight.

Q. How far will my kids run during practice?
A. The kids will start with a SPARQ conditioning warm-up, then move to a 2-4 mile run depending on current training abilities.

Q. When/Where are the XC meets?
A. Meets are around the Portland Metro area; occasionally will travel to Salem or Eugene for a meet. The meet schedule will be published as soon as it becomes available.

Q. Is my child expected to compete at all XC meets?
A. No – we encourage participation at meets but it is not required.

Q. Do parents need to remain at the field during practice?
A. No – parents can leave and return at 7:00 PM to pick up their kids.

What a meet looks like
XC is a sport which teams and individuals run a race on open-air courses over natural terrain. The course, typically 3-4 kilometers (1.8–2.5 mi) long, may include surfaces of grass and dirt passing through woodlands and open country, including hills, flat ground and sometimes gravel roads. Conditions of a meet always take place outdoors and weather can include rain, wind, sun, fog, cold, warm and even snow in some cases. Races are broken up by age group and gender starting with youngest girls first followed by the youngest boys. The first group of youngest girls start all at the same time in a “Starting Box” which is the designated area to which a team is assigned on the starting line. From there the gun sounds and all athletes begin to run the course. As the athlete finishes they are funneled into a “Finish Chute” which is an area roped off past the finish line to funnel the runners into single file order. The meets usually take place in the mornings and the time

commitment for the team is from the first race to the last race. Athletes are expected to arrive at least 1 hour prior to the first race so that we can warm up as a team and jog the course to become familiar with it prior to the race.


Registration is $100 and uniform tops are $25 and shorts are $30


Q. When do I get my uniform?
A. If you are competing in a meet you can purchase a TYT compression shirt that will be your uniform top. You may wear any pair of shorts during competition.

Q. What is the cost of a uniform?
A. Compression tops are $25 and can be purchased on the first day of practice or by using the apparel order form in the registration packet.

What an athlete needs for practice? or Meets? Special shoes?

Good Running shoes for practice (preferably brand new or recently new). Old running shoes could contribute to injury to your child due to breakdown in the midsole/outsole of the shoes. Shoes should be Running and not basketball, tennis or cross-training. Our staff can help with selecting or guiding you to the right shoes. For meets some athletes use Racing Flats which are lightweight shoes designed for meets. This is not a requirement but does provide some advantages to those athletes running at a higher performance. As for clothing please dress for the weather. If it’s warm and sunny then shorts, t-shirts, socks and shoes are perfect. As it gets cooler bringing a hooded sweatshirt or lightweight jacket works. When raining, bring something to keep your athlete as dry as possible (water resistant jackets work well). For Meet days, bring your uniform and warm up gear (hoody, sweatpants, gloves) and be able to shed your warm-up gear for the beginning of the race.