• BMS Cross Country BMS
    Cross Country Team
    **  BEARDEN CROSS COUNTRY 2021  ** 


    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: 13 August through 9 October (regional) or 23 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 Friday practices will start and end at Bearden Middle School. The first couple of Wednesday practices will also start and end at BMS, but as the season goes on, we may start Wednesday practices at BMS and end at the West-Side YMCA. 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 Friday August 13th – 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 9/4; the 2nd is Thursday 9/9. Other meets are Tuesdays beginning September 14th and continuing through the 5th meet on September 28th. The regional championship is on Saturday October 9th. Assuming we qualify at Regional, the State Championship on Saturday October 23rd will be our 7th and final meet. Meet times will vary, but if during the week, 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.


    Meet locations (some of these could change):

    1. Sat 9/4 at Victor Ashe Park,

    2. Thu 9/9 at Knoxville Livestock Center ~6 pm

    3. Tues 9/14 at Cove Lake State Park ~6:15 pm,

    4. Tues 9/21 at Melton Hill Park ~5 pm,

    5. Tues 9/28 at Johnson University ~6 pm.

    6. Sat 10/19 Regional champs, at Victor Ashe Park, and

    (7. Sat 10/23 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).



    · Masks will not be required while running.

    · 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: 


    Nearly all team communications will be via email, so be sure to include parent email on the registration form.

    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). 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 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 first practices to learn more.

    First official practice will be Friday August 13th, right after school at BMS. Practices start at 3:45 and end around 5:15. Please plan to pick your runner up at 5:15.

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

    Coaches: Chris Welsh, cwelsh@utk.edu  or cell (865) 964-3696 (ok to text); Ron Campbell, daycam71@gmail.com, and Betsy Cofer, elizabeth.cofer@knoxschools.org.

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