State cross-country championship splits, with portion relocating to Cedar City due to pandemic

Cross-country runners compete in the boys varsity race at the Cedar Invitational, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Due to ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Utah High School Activities Association’s state cross-country championships will be staged in a different venue this year. Cedar High School will be the site of the 4A, 2A, and 1A state races on Oct. 21, officials have announced.

The state championships for the other three classifications – 6A, 5A and 3A – will take place the following day at Soldier Hollow near Midway, in northern Utah’s Wasatch County.

The decision to split the state meet into two different venues is a break from tradition, as the event has for many years been held at Salt Lake City’s Highland High School and adjoining Sugarhouse Park.

Danny Lewis, activities director at Cedar High School, said the Oct. 21 state meet will start with the 2A girls race at 1 p.m. and end after 6 p.m. with the 4A boys (see full schedule below).

The course starts between the baseball diamond and the soccer field, with runners making a total of three laps around the perimeter of the school property, finishing up on the track inside the football stadium.

Course map for the Utah High School Activities Association’s cross-country state championship races scheduled for Oct. 21, 2020 at Cedar High School, Cedar City, Utah | Image courtesy of UHSAA, St. George News / Cedar City News (Click to enlarge)

According to UHSAA rules, athletes are not permitted to practice on or even walk the course within the two-week period prior to the state meet.

As for spectators, they will be required to wear masks and are encouraged to socially distance themselves around the edges of the course. There will be no admission fee charged to watch the races. Flags and barricades will be set up to keep crowds away from what are usually high-traffic areas, such as the finish line.

For more information about the state meets, click here to read the UHSAA’s document regarding safety guidelines and other details.

The Oct. 21 state meet race schedule is as follows:

  • 2A girls – 1 p.m.
  • 2A boys – 1:30 p.m.
  • 1A girls – 3 p.m.
  • 1A boys – 3:30 p.m.
  • 4A girls – 5 p.m.
  • 4A boys – 5:30 p.m.

Leading up to the state meet being in Cedar City this year, the eight 4A schools in Region 9 will also be competing Oct. 10 at Canyon View High School for the region cross-country championships, starting at 9 a.m.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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