• BMS Cross Country BMS
    Cross Country Team
    **  BEARDEN CROSS COUNTRY 2020  ** 

    Goals: Introduce students to the sport of cross country running and help each runner improve his/her speed and endurance over the course of the season. Learn that running is fun! This program is for runners or runners-to-be of all levels.

    Season: 19 August through 10 October (regional) or 24 October (state)

    Training: Two formal practices each week from 3:45-5:15 pm Wednesday and Friday. All practices start at school; meet by the track. All Wednesday and Friday practices will be at Bearden Middle School.  As the season goes on, we may start Wednesday practices at BMS and end at the West-Side YMCA, but we’ll have to see if that is feasible. Any deviations from this practice schedule will be announced over the school PA prior to the end of school and e-mailed to the cross country distribution list.  Additional optional workouts will be announced to full team when scheduled, usually Monday evenings and Sunday afternoons, but time and place will vary.  There will be optional course preview runs the Sunday before each meet. First official practice will be Wednesday August 19th – meet at tent by the track at 3:45.  Runners will improve faster if they run more than twice per week.

    Races: Six Cross Country races are planned for the fall season. Races are approximately two miles long. The first meet is Saturday 9/5; the 2nd is Thursday 9/10.  Other meets are Tuesdays beginning September 15th and continuing through the 5th meet on September 29th.  The regional championship is on Saturday October 10th.  Assuming we qualify, the State Championship on Saturday October 24th will be our 7th and final meet. Meet times will vary, but they’ll be late afternoon/early evening. Plan to arrive, ready to run, at least 30-40 minutes before the start of the race (30 minutes is cutting it close). Parking is a pain, so carpooling and arriving early is recommended.  There will be lots of changes relative to past seasons.  I’ll pass on more info on those changes later. 


    Meet locations (some of these could change):  

    1. Sat 9/5 at Knoxville Livestock Ctr (Strawberry Plains),  
    2. Thu 9/10 at Cove Lake State Park (Caryville),  
    3. Tues 9/15 at Walters State (Sevierville),  
    4. Tues 9/24 at Leisure Pools – Forks of the River,  
    5. Tues 9/29 at Johnson Univ. 
    6. Sat  10/10 Regional champs at Victor Ashe Park, and  

    (7. Sat 10/24 State champs at Victor Ashe Park.)

    Transportation: Participants provide their own transportation to and from practices and races.

    Requirements: Athletes are expected to attend 2 scheduled practices each week and participate in scheduled races during the season. Any deviations should be discussed with a coach ahead of time, but we are willing to work with kids to allow doubling up with other activities (i.e., other sports, Science Olympiad). 


    COVID:  COVID will cause us to modify our normal plans somewhat, and we’ll be adjusting as we go. 

    • All runners and volunteers will need to wear masks during group times when we cannot maintain as much spacing as we need.  Masks will not be required while running.   
    • Runners who attended school will presumably have had a temperature check for school and be cleared to participate.  Online learners can participate, but parents will need to check temperature before coming to practice.  If your runner does not feel well, he/she should not even think about coming to practice. 
    • All runners should bring a full water bottle to practice every day.  We run in the heat, and water is essential.  We will not have a group water cooler that everyone touches. 
    • Runners will need to maintain distancing as much as possible.   We typically have plenty of space to spread out. 


    We need two things to officially register your runner on the team:

    1. A completed registration form. You can fill it out online:  


    2. Fees: $65.00 cash or check ($35 if you have singlet from last season). Covers program administration, insurance, entry fees for all meets, and team race singlet. Make checks payable to Chris Welsh (not to Bearden Middle School or Knox County Schools).  Cash OK, but I'm not set up to take credit cards.  Talk to me if fees are a significant issue with being able to participate. 


    Your runner can come to practice before the form and fees are turned in, but don’t delay on getting them in. 


    Shoes and attire: Your runner will also need comfortable running shoes and shorts.  We often deal with a lot of hot weather, so plan running attire accordingly.  If buying running shoes, wherever you happen to go, ask if they have a team discount.  Many of the local running stores do.  Runner's Market in Bearden (at Western Plaza; 4443 Kingston Pike) has always been very supportive of the Bearden team. 


    Volunteers Needed!  The Bearden team often has 40 or more runners.  With that many, it is essential that we have parent help to avoid total chaos at practices, this season more than ever.  If you are willing to come and run with a group of kids or just help keep them on task, help with sign in/sign out or dispensing water, we would love to have you.  This year Knoxville Youth Athletics insurance requires anyone working directly with the kids to undergo a free background check.  If you can help, contact Coach Chris for a link to the background check site. 


    INTRODUCTORY MEETING:  We won’t have a formal parent meeting this year.  Parents with questions should email or text Coach Chris or plan to stop by one of the bonus runs to learn more. 

    Remember, first official practice will be Wednesday August 19th, right after school at BMS. Practices start at 3:45 and end between 5:00-5:15. Please plan to pick your runner up by 5:15.

    Knoxville Youth Athletics will be managing the overall program as they did last year. For more info, visit  

    https://knoxvilleyouthathletics.org/elementary-and-middle-school-cross-country-program/   The site has a full listing of race dates and times, direction to meet venues, and much more.  I will paste more KYA info about races below.



    Coach Chris Welsh, cwelsh@utk.edu or cell 964-3696 (ok to text)

    Coach Ron Campbell,  daycam71@gmail.com  

    Coach Elizabeth Cofer, elizabeth.cofer@knoxschools.org


    IMPORTANT - Additional Information may be found at the link below:




    This information includes vital documents that everyone needs to fill out and sign. This will be imperative before your athlete attends a meet and really should be required before athlete's attend practice even though I know some have already begun. If a family or coach has not signed prior to their first meet, they risk not being able to compete. 


    KYA COVID WAIVER (All Coaches/Athletes/Parents): https://pdf.ac/mpz7Y

    Athlete Safety Protocol Form: https://pdf.ac/A8kHx

    Coach Safety Protocol Form: https://pdf.ac/Cq7VD

    Parent Safety Protocol Form: https://pdf.ac/hPZhA


    Ensure that everyone receives the appropriate links multiple times before your first meet so that there is no excuse for not filling out.

    They can sign digitally in under a minute on a cell phone or computer. This is the preferred and easiest method of completion.

    I have attached PDF's of all forms for those without internet access. These should be turned in at packet pickup.



    Currently for the Knoxville Livestock Center Meets, we are staggering starts at 15 minute intervals to allow for smaller crowds at the meet. It also gives us space if we need to add a wave due to entries. 

    For elementary, if we need to add waves, we can also add them to the end of the schedule or insert one or two in between 15 min waves.

     Based on 2019 participation at the VAPFC, these waves are more than sufficient. 

     The wave sizes are limited to 75 right now for the first meet (will change meet to meet), we have a cap of 100 by the facility but let's see how entries shake out. If the waves are expanded to 100, it will not be done before 8/25. This will allow Knox Co teams who haven't started school yet time to gauge interest from their team. 

     Entry for the Knoxville Livestock Center Fall Classic will open on 8/18 at 8AM and all teams from last year have those invitations in their athletic.net system. If your team has not been invited, let me know: https://knoxvilleyouthathletics.org/knoxville-livestock-center-fall-classic/  

     Note about the course, be prepared for a challenge! The course is fantastic and is a true cross country course. This course features a downhill start for the first 300 meters. As all good things, what goes down, must come up! There are some great hills to challenge your athletes and we are so excited for everyone to try it out! Course Maps are attached along with other notes. 



    Parents and Athletes may pre-purchase their shirts for the program and the Knoxville Livestock Center Fall Classic! We have some KYA branded gaiters for sale as well! These will be packaged together for you at packet pickup at the meet. This will limit contact with KYA staff and families. https://knoxvilleyouthathletics.squarespace.com/ REMEMBER, PRE-ORDER ONLY THIS SEASON! No On-Site Sales.




Important Files

Contact Info

  • Coach Chris Welsh
      Phone: 766-0368 [cell 964-3696]
    BMS Faculty Representative
    Coach Elizabeth Cofer 
    Cell (423) 504-4376
    Coach Ron Campbell