GLVC Announces Plan to Proceed for Cross Country Fall Season

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GLVC Announces Plan to Proceed for Cross Country Fall Season

Published: September 1, 2020.

The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) announced Tuesday its Plan to Proceed for competition this fall in the sports of men's and women's cross country. The comprehensive plan, which received unanimous support from the league's coaches, athletics directors, presidents and chancellors, and athletics trainers, was shared with GLVC cross country student-athletes during a one-hour Zoom call Monday evening.
 
After the GLVC announced July 27 that cross country would be the lone fall sport to not be postponed until the spring semester, the Conference office has worked closely with league coaches to develop an extensive plan for a healthy, safe, and fair competition this fall.
 
"The key stakeholders in the GLVC were all supportive of providing our cross country student-athletes with some type of meaningful competition opportunities this season, following the cancellation of the NCAA Fall Championships since their sport could not logistically move to the spring," said GLVC Commissioner, Jim Naumovich. "I am grateful to our coaches for their work to create a competitive schedule of events while keeping the health and safety of all the teams as the No. 1 priority. Our athletic trainers will also continue to play a significant role in the successful implementation of this unique cross country season. Their efforts are also appreciated."
 
Deemed a medium-contact risk sport by the NCAA Sport Science Institute (SSI), as opposed to high-contact risk sports such as football, soccer and volleyball, cross country is held to different testing requirements, which include surveillance PCR testing for 25 to 50 percent of student-athletes and "inner bubble" personnel every two weeks if physical distancing, masking, and other protective features are not maintained, plus additional testing for symptomatic and high contact risk individuals. Coupled with the GLVC COVID-19 Guiding Principles and Recommendations put forth by the GLVC Sports Medicine/Athletic Training Task Force, it was determined that the 2020 GLVC Cross Country season should include a new scheduling structure, increased safety protocols, and strict meet restrictions to ensure a consistent league-wide approach to competition this year.
 
Notable adjustments to the schedule include Conference-only competition between all 15 member institutions, a four-meet season schedule, a limit on the number of runners per race, and a new qualifying method for split races per gender at the GLVC Championships.
 
The season is set to begin Sept. 25-26 with GLVC Triangular competition, consisting of five three-team pods, which allows teams to travel to and from the site of competition on the same day.  Start times for all races will be pushed from the morning to the afternoon. The distance of each GLVC Triangular will be determined by all three participating teams in the pod, while Indianapolis (Pod 1), Illinois Springfield (2), Lindenwood (3), Southwest Baptist (4), and Truman State (5) will serve as hosts for the opening weekend.
 
Following an off week, teams will compete at two sites for GLVC Divisionals on Oct. 9-10. The seven-team East Division race will be hosted by Illinois Springfield, while the eight-team West Division meet will be conducted at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, with Lindenwood serving as host. The 6,000-meter women's race and 8,000-meter men's meet will serve as a qualifier for the GLVC Championships. The top four schools from each race will advance to the "A" race at the GLVC Championships, while the remaining seven schools will compete in the "B" race.
 
Conference action returns to Principia on Oct. 24 for the GLVC Championships at the same 6K and 8K distances. The GLVC Open will serve as the season finale on Nov. 7.
 
In addition to following the guidelines put forth by NCAA SSI and the recommendations established by the GLVC Sports Medicine/Athletic Training Task Force, several health and safety protocols have also been implemented, including:

  • No GLVC race will exceed 80 runners this season.
  • Strict adherence to the six universal GLVC Cross Country Safety Zones throughout the season.
  • Entire school travel party must pass temperature screening prior to departure from campus.
  • Entire school travel party must have a documented negative test result during the week of the GLVC Championships.
  • Each school must travel one Athletic Trainer to all GLVC events.
  • Athletic Trainer will be the sole school representative in the finish line chute allowed to have contact with their runners.
  • No spectators are allowed at any GLVC event.

The GLVC has also committed to ensuring proper social distancing and safety guidelines are followed by implementing staggered arrival times for teams, tiered access for meet management and personnel, team and participant check-in, team sanitization, expanded team camps, start line and finish line, the elimination of the GLVC Championship banquet on Friday, Oct. 23 and post-race awards ceremony, and all on-site apparel sales.
 
For a complete look at the 2020 GLVC Cross Country schedule and comprehensive Plan to Proceed, click the link above.
 
In addition, the sixth annual Lewis Conference Crossover scheduled for Oct. 10 has been canceled due to the restructuring of the schedule. We look forward to hosting the event again in 2021.



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