There is a new state qualifying format in Class 4A cross country. For the first time, the largest schools in the state will qualify for the state meet this season the same way the three other classifications do – at area qualifying meets. Prior to the change, 4A teams and individuals advanced to state strictly on the basis of performance at region championship meets.
“I think it’s a good thing for the quality of the state meet,” said long-time Spring Valley coach John Jones. “There were many cases in the past when deserving teams that were in tough regions did not make it to state. Now, cross country has caught up with track. We’ve had qualifying meets in track the past few seasons and that has improved the quality of the state meet.”
The only difference in 4A is that there will be three qualifiers on the Saturday prior to the state finals – Upper State, Lower State and Midlands or mid-state. Spring Valley will host the mid-state event at Sandhills Research Park. The rest of the classifications keep the two meet qualifying system in place – Upper and Lower State.