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How a Season Works, Including Junior Olympics — Whisper Running | Sport Psychology

I have been answering excellent questions pertaining to the cross-country season ahead, so I figured it would be appropriate to share some of these answers on a broader scale

Most of the races are day races, with the exception of the Junior Olympic races on November 13, 20, and December 11. The races on Nov 13 & 20 are in Tacoma, and most families drive up on Friday and the kids race on Saturday. For Ultimook, some families stay the night near Tillamook, but I believe most families opt for the making the race/event a single-day affair.

Here are the start times for the races, and more info can be found in the “Meet Info” on each race within our schedule:

  • Sat, Sept 4: Ultimook: 9:30am

  • Fri, Sept 10: Run-A-Ree): 6:20pm

  • Sat, Sept 11: Ash Creek: 9:25am

  • Fri, Sept 24: Nike: 6:30pm

  • Sat, Oct 2: Harrier Classic: 12:10pm

  • Sun, Oct 31: PDXC MS Championships: 1-3pm

  • Sat, Nov 13, 20, Dec 11: Junior Olympics: 9am-1pm (they run in age divisions, so this is a longer day)

The online Calendar was updated a few weeks ago and includes meet information such as race start times, locations, etc. I will go through each of the races to confirm accuracy, but I get all of our information from what the coaches provide on If you come across anything that doesn’t match, or if you have more questions, please ask.

Runners should arrive at the race venue 75-minutes before the start of their race, taking into consideration drive and parking time.

How Junior Olympics works:

  • Association Race: Age groups are U8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18 and divided by gender. Anyone can race. The top-5 teams and top-30 individuals qualify for the Regional Race. Our Association (#310) is the Pacific NW division, which consists of western Washington teams.

    • Teams consist of 5-7 runners (top-5 runners for each team score), so if runners 4-7 finish outside of the top-30, they still advance to Regionals if the team was in the top-5. If we have 10 runners, 7 will be placed on a team, and 3 will run individually. The top-7 runners (of the 10) will advance to Regionals. If we have 12 runners, we will likely divide into two teams for that age division to maximize the opportunity for multiple teams to advance to Regionals.

  • Regional Race: Runners who met the qualification standards for this race may participate. The top-5 teams and top-35 individuals qualify for the National Race. Our Region consists of teams from Oregon, Washington, and I believe a few in Idaho. We will always aim to qualify as many teams as possible to maximize the opportunities for the kids.

  • National Race: I usually arrive on Thursday and depart on Monday, but most families travel Friday-Sunday. Pre-covid, the race was on Saturday, but in 2020, because they wanted to space things out due to covid, the races were on both Saturday and Sunday. At this time, I do not know what the format will be this year, but once I find out, I will update the Calendar.

As far as the size of our team, this is a very interesting year. Many of our runners have moved onto high school, and with covid impacting sport participation, our middle school team will be smaller this year than in years past. Mind you, we have one of the largest teams in our Association – we took 71 runners to the first JO meet in 2019. I would imagine by mid-October, we will have 40-60 on the team.

Please keep the questions coming and I will update this post.

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