XC Expectations


We expect our athletes to put forth 110% — not only during meets, but also at practice every day. We want each athlete to see the improvement that results from consistent hard work & determination, and to value the importance of commitment. We also want each athlete to realize that he/she has achieved success because of continued effort and dedication.

Before any student can participate in varsity cross country, they must have a current physical, register on Family ID, and be approved by the school nurse. In addition, this expectations contract must be signed and returned.  Until all forms have been submitted, athletes are not eligible for practice.



During the school year, practice will take place Monday through Friday from 3-5PM & Saturday mornings when there are not meets scheduled. Athletes are expected to be supervised between 2:16 and 2:47 with a teacher or in the cafeteria. By 3PM, athletes should be outside running their warm-up and getting ready to stretch as a team. Any athlete not outside by 3PM is required to bring a pass. Failure to produce a pass will result in the athlete being sent home for that day and their absence will be marked unexcused.

Attendance is mandatory! In order for athletes to be successful, they must attend practice consistently from beginning to end. We understand that student-athletes have busy lives and often try to juggle part time jobs, extra-curricular activities (such as clubs, the musical, and other sports) however, if an athlete chooses to participate in varsity cross country, he or she has made a commitment to the team.  Any athlete planning on being absent from practice on a regular basis due to other extracurricular activities, will not be considered for the team.  In addition, please make every attempt to schedule doctor, dentist, and hair appointments, etc… for non-practice times.

Athletes will be permitted to have three missed (unexcused) practices.  If an athlete has missed more than three unexcused practices, he or she will be asked to turn in their uniform and his/her name will be removed from the roster.

If you are absent from a practice, a note from a parent or guardian must be submitted explaining the reason for your absence (preferably in advance, when possible). Excused absences include: attendance at religious events, doctors’ appointments, & medical/family emergencies. Excessive “excused” absences are not acceptable, and may ultimately result in suspension from meets or dismissal from the team.

Attendance at practice the day before a meet is absolutely mandatory.  If an athlete does not show up to practice the day before a meet (excused OR unexcused), he or she will be removed from the line-up of that meet. In addition, athletes must attend school the day of a meet.

In order for athletes to be eligible for a meet, they must attend a minimum of 10 practices as per NYSPHSAA rules.  In order to prepare the body for running a 3.1-mile race, we believe that successful cross country athletes require much more than just 10 practices. For this reason, athletes must attend 85% or more of practices during “pre-season” in order to participate in the first meet.


Dual meets are held on weekdays (Tues or Wed) throughout the season.  All athletes will be running the full 3.0 or 3.1-mile course for dual meets.  Invitational meets are typically held on Saturdays.  At invitational meets, freshmen will run a shorter course (usually 1.5 miles).  Junior Varsity runners will run either the full 3.1-mile course or a modified course.  Our top 7 runners will compete in the Varsity race at invitational meets. Top 7 runners are determined each week by the results from dual meets and performance/attendance at practices.  Not all runners may be invited to participate in all invitational meets (based on qualifying times, performance at dual meets, and the number of spaces available).

If you are placed in a lineup to compete, and you do not show up on the day of a meet, you will be dismissed from the team (exceptions include medical with a doctor’s note or family emergencies).

Dress Code

Practices will be held outside throughout the fall sports season.  Because of the varying weather conditions, athletes are encouraged to pack a wide variety of clothing. Look at the forecast and

plan ahead. Be prepared to practice and compete in extreme heat, rain, and/or cold.  You should have the following items before the start of the season: a good pair of running shoes, a watch, athletic shorts, t-shirts, a water bottle, a rain jacket or poncho, and some cold-weather clothing (sweat shirts, sweatpants, etc…)

Athletes should also arrive at competition dressed appropriately. Warm-ups, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts should be worn until right before the start of the race.

Athletes are expected to abide by New York State Public High School Athletics Association’s rules and regulations regarding dress code at meets, including matching “undergarment” and jewelry guidelines. No jewelry is permitted to be worn at the meet site, including piercings, wristbands, or metal hair bands.  If an athlete is caught by an official, they will be disqualified for that meet and the team is issued a warning. For further information regarding these rules, please see the NYSPHSAA handbook. (p.7)


Athletes are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner during practices and meets.  Any athlete found in violation of the Goshen Central High School Student Athletic Code will be disciplined accordingly. In addition:

  • Remember that participating in extracurricular activities is a privilege. Conduct yourselves with class. Respect your teammates, coaches, opponents, and your school.
  • Bullying and/or hazing will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
  • Profanity and unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated.
  • Clean up after yourself- do not leave bottles or trash behind after practice or at meets.
  • No use of tobacco, alcohol, or other illegal drugs, including marijuana, e-cigarettes & vaping devices. (any athlete found violating this rule will be dismissed from the cross country team permanently).

Athletes that are found to be in violation of these expectations and/or the Goshen Athletics code of conduct will be warned, sent home, and ultimately removed from the team.  Students are also expected to maintain passing grades to remain academically eligible for cross country.

Varsity Letter Eligibility

Being part of a varsity team requires an increased level of commitment. At the end of the season, athletes may be awarded a varsity letter. Varsity letters will be awarded based upon attendance (practices, meets, etc…), performance (improvement, consistency), and seniority. To be eligible for a varsity letter, athletes must meet the following criteria:

  • Attendance rate of 90% or better at meets. (If there are 9 meets, athletes may not miss more than 1.)
  • No more than three unexcused absences for practice will be acceptable. (Please see above for specifics on our practice attendance policy.)
  • Athletes must complete the entire season in good standing, without any incidents of conduct unbecoming of an athlete. (No violations of the above expectations &/or the Goshen Athletics Code.)
  • A running log, attendance at summer practices, effort, rate of improvement, & scoring/medaling at meets will also be taken into consideration when determining who receives a varsity letter.
  • Athletes that have received varsity letters in previous cross country seasons are not guaranteed a varsity letter in the current season unless they meet the above stated criteria.

To download a copy of this expectations document, click here.

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