Many area high school cross country teams will be participating in the 2021 OHSAA Cross Country Invitational Saturday, August 21st at Fortress Obetz and Memorial Park.
Schedule of races: Section A Girls Scored 5K Team Race Division 1 Schools 10am Section B Boys Scored 5K Team Race Division 1 Schools 10:35am Section C Girls Open 5K Race Division 1 & 2 Schools 11:10am Section D Boys Open 5K Race Division 1 & 2 Schools 11:45am Section E Girls Open 2.5 Mile Race All School Divisions 12:20pm Section F Boys Open 2.5 Mile Race All School Divisions 12:40pm Section G Girls Scored 5K Team & Division 3 Open Runners Division 2 and 3 Schools 1pm
Section H Boys Scored 5K Team & Division 3 Open Runners Division 2 and 3 Schools 1:35pm
Each school is limited to a maximum of 50 boys and 50 girls entrant participants throughout the entire day. Schools with less than 5 competitors may enter the team scored races (running as individual competitors)
Division 1 Schools participating in Sections A & B races are limited to 10 participants per school
Division 2 Schools participating in Sections G & H races are limited to 10 participants per school
Division 3 Schools participating in Sections G & H races are not unlimited in number of participants
Sections G & H will be separately team scored between Division 2 and Division 3 teams
Sections C & D are limited to a maximum of 10 runners per school Sections E & F are limited to a maximum of 30 runners per school
The Ohio High School Athletic Association released a memo to administrators via twitter Friday to push ahead with practices for fall sports beginning Saturday, August 1st.
That means low/non‐contact sports and contact sports will be permitted to begin official practices tomorrow (August 1) as had been previously announced. Additional details on the fall sports seasons are below.
“It is important to keep athletic activity moving forward,” said Dan Leffingwell, president of the OHSAA Board of Directors and superintendent of the Noble Local Schools in Sarahsville. “And with that, we believe our member schools provide our student‐athletes with the safest possible environment to return to play and that our school programs are the best avenue to help students learn lifelong lessons and provide social, emotional and physical benefits that other programs cannot. Moving forward allows those students to continue to be engaged with their school coaches and teammates. Membership data also supports this decision.
“If we were to delay, our students will find opportunities to compete in sports through non‐school programs that may not be focused on safety and are not education‐based,” Leffingwell said. “Should data on COVID‐19 change and/or the Governor’s Office makes changes to our plan, we have flexibility that would allow us to look at implementing other models for our seasons.” Low/Non‐Contact Sports (Golf, Girls Tennis, Volleyball)
Official practices may begin on Saturday, August 1st.
School vs. school scrimmages and/or contests will follow per their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations.
Golf – 1 scrimmage permitted any time during the season; first contest August 5th
Girls Tennis – 1 scrimmage permitted after practice begins and prior to first match; first contest August 7th
Volleyball – 5 scrimmages and 1 preview permitted after practice begins; first contest August 21st
Official practices begin on Saturday August 1st with the normal acclimatization period in place.
No school vs. school scrimmages are permitted
School vs school contest will follow their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations with a target date of the week of Monday, August 24th (Note: This sate is subject to change and subject to the approval from the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health and with the stipulation that COVID-19 testing will not be required).
OTHER CONTACT SPORTS (SOCCER, FIELD HOCKEY, CROSS COUNTRY):
Practices will begin on Saturday August 1st with the normal acclimatization period in place for cross country.
No school vs. school scrimmages are permitted in soccer or field hockey
School vs school contest will follow their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations with a target date of the week of Friday, August 21st, for soccer and field hockey and Monday, August 24th for cross country. (Note: This sate is subject to change and subject to the approval from the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health and with the stipulation that COVID-19 testing will not be required).
If contact sports are not approved for school vs. school competition by Friday, September 4th, fall contact sports and remaining winter and spring sports will move to a condensed schedule that will take place between mid-December and the end of June. Fall non-contact sports would move forward as scheduled.
If the fall seasons begin and , for some reason, are stopped but then resume, the OHSAA has plans to move to a modified fall sports season.
If contact sports are approved for school vs. school competition, the OHSAA is prepared to set COVID-19-related requirements for schools to follow for competitions as requested by the Governor’s Office. The OHSAA will govern and issue consequences for the violation of these requirements as prescribed in OHSAA Bylaw 11, Penalties.
Conversations with the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health continue regarding the status of field hockey and/or cross country being placed into the low/non-contact category. The membership will be updated if that changes for either or both sports.
The OHSAA continues with conversations with the Governor’s Office on its plans to ensure we are in concert.
Fortress Obetz opened in 2017 on the former site of the Columbus Motor Speedway. The racing that will now take place there in early November represents one of the largest high school cross country events in the country, with more than 11,000 fans.
Of significance, much of the course will be visible from the 6,500-seat grandstands, which will lead to a greater experience for fans and participants.
“We can’t wait for our student-athletes and Ohio’s entire cross country community to experience the state championships at Fortress Obetz,” said Snodgrass. “This facility is so impressive, from the course layout for the competitors to being more spectator friendly for the fans and we are thrilled to sign a five-year agreement. We would like to thank National Trail Raceway for hosting the state championships for the last nine years and doing an outstanding job as our host.”
Fortress Obetz was built to host sporting events, concerts, festivals and more. It was the home of the Ohio Machine professional lacrosse team from 2017-19. The facility has five video boards, concessions, restrooms and a huge parking lot.
“The Village of Obetz is extremely proud and excited to partner with the OHSAA,” said Steve Adams, National Director of Athletic Operations and Facilities Promotion. “We feel our Memorial Park and the Fortress is perfectly suited for the OHSAA Cross Country State Tournament. We have created a safe and challenging course for the runners and kept the spectator experience in mind as well.”
The grandstand includes 1,100 flip-down seats, 2,000 bench-back seats and 3,400 bleacher seats.
Scioto Downs, located just south of Columbus, hosted the OHSAA cross country state championships from 1985 through 2010 before the facility added a casino. National Trail Raceway in Hebron, 20 miles east of Columbus, hosted the state championships from 2011 through 2019.