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MHSAA announces changes for cross country tournaments

EAST LANSING, Mich. –  The Executive Committee of the Michigan High School Athletic Association has approved a series of modifications for this fall’s cross country and girls swimming & diving tournaments as part of efforts to reduce the possible opportunity for spread of COVID-19. The Committee also approved an expanded field for Lower Peninsula Girls Golf Finals made possible by a recent Executive Order announced by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

This season’s Lower Peninsula Cross Country Tournament will begin with an additional Pre-Regional round, which will divide traditional Regionals into smaller groups in order to limit field sizes per race site. A total of 18 Pre-Regional races per each of four Divisions will qualify the four top-placing teams and seven top individuals not on those teams to nine Regionals per Division. From Regionals, the top three teams and seven individuals not on those teams will advance to each of the Finals, which will be run Friday (Division 1 & 2) and Saturday (Division 3 & 4), Nov. 6-7, at Michigan International Speedway.

To again limit field size and mixing of schools, each Division of the Lower Peninsula Finals for both girls and boys will be run over two races – teams qualifying third from Regionals and all individual qualifiers will be in one section (or heat), with teams that qualified second or first at Regionals in a second section. Two Divisions – four girls and four boys races total – will be run each day of the Lower Peninsula Finals.

The only change for the Upper Peninsula Finals this fall is the three Divisions will be run at separate sites Oct. 24 – Division 1 at Marquette’s Presque Isle Park, Division 2 at George Young Recreational Complex in Iron River, and Division 3 at Pictured Rocks Golf Course in Munising. The format for Upper Peninsula Finals is unchanged from previous years.