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Making a wrong turn for cross country

Earlier this week, I wrote an article about the results of the District Cross Country Meet held at Farmington, and  I was wrong in reporting the runners who qualified for the State Meet were the two top teams along with the first 15 runners from the rest of the field. The actual ruling is that only the first 15 runners placing in the meet qualify for State, regardless if any of those 15 were on the first or second place teams.

I drew my conclusion for such a statement from one of the district meet’s officials whom I had asked to clarify for me just who would qualify. Whether he misinterpreted the rule or wasn’t sure himself, or whether I misunderstood him in his answer, either way it ended up that I printed the wrong information.

First, let me give the correct version of the district meet’s results. Farmington had only two runners finish in the Top 15 and therefore will not be eligible to place as a team at State, since a team can only place if they have at least five runners in the meet.

In the boys race, Farmington runners Derrick Scales, Anthony White and Alex Rhodes all ran a very good race but they were not in the Top 15, neither was Corey Pratte from North County nor Ryan Oberlie from Ste. Genevieve.

On the girls’ side, Farmington’s Katherine Sitzes and Taylin Persons and North County’s Taylor Weible were noted incorrectly as qualifying, since they were not in the Top 15 of their race, either. 

My mistake was in not looking up the information myself. When you add to that the confusion that comes from covering other sports which have similar qualification rules and the ever-changing MSHSAA, which has changed some of those qualifying rules over the past years, all put together, I drew the wrong conclusion.

To all of the above runners and the Farmington boys’ team, I apologize. If anyone was misled by the article I wrote, I especially apologize to you, the reader. I’m pretty sure that the runners and coaches knew the correct situation and went home from the meet understanding their status, but that does not excuse my mistake.

For those runners who will be going to State, congratulations, and for those who did not qualify, congratulations for your past season and for your endurance, determination and effort, which most of us on the sideline highly admire.

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