The high school cross country season in Bossier Parish starts Saturday morning with the annual Border Dash hosted by Parkway at South Bossier Park.
Because of COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines, teams will leave the starting line in waves.
The Airline, Caddo Magnet, Loyola College Prep, Northwood and Parkway girls and boys teams will be in Race 1 starting at 7 a.m. There will be two girls waves and three boys. After the first wave starts, the other waves will follow in 90-second intervals.
The Benton, Byrd, Cedar Creek, Haughton and Ruston girls and boys teams are in Race 2 starting at 8:30. Race 3 starting at 10 will have boys teams only from from Captain Shreve, Choudrant, D’Arbonne Woods, Haynesville and North DeSoto.
As with other fall sports, the event will have a different look because of the COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions.
Athletes must wait until five minutes before their starting time to report to their staging area. They must wear masks in the staging area, removing them only after the conclusion of race instructions and immediately before the start of the race. All runners will be chip-timed.
There will be no awards ceremony. The top-10 girls and boys finishers will receive awards mailed to the schools.
“We are excited to be putting on the first xc race of the season in North Louisiana but it’s definitely different with the COVID regulations,” Parkway head coach wrote in an email.
Parkway swept the boys and girls team titles last year. Senior Joslyn Crosby finished third and went on to win the District 1-5A title.
Defending champion Ansley Long of Cedar Creek is also back. She also is the reigning Class 1A state champion.
Benton sophomore Isabelle Russell, last year’s District 1-5A runner-up, is another runner to watch in the girls division.
In the boys division, Ruston returns several runners from last season’s Class 5A runner-up team. Dyllon Nimmers placed seventh in the 2019 state meet.
Benton’s Jacob Marcinkus, Byrd’s Trent Wells and Parkways Madison Langley are among other boys that could post high finishes. Wells was fourth last year and Langley ninth.
Marcinkus was eighth in the District 1-5A meet last year.