According to an announcement today from the Kansas State High School Activities Association, boys and girls will run the same distance for cross country races beginning this season at regional and state events.
The girls have been running 4K and the boys 5K, but now both will be running the 5K distance. Schools may set their own distances for invitational meets, however, and it should be noted junior high girls will not be changing to the 5K distance.
“In recent years there has been ongoing discussion regarding a potential change in distance for KSHSAA high school girls cross country,” a press release from KSHSAA noted. “Surveys of coaches and athletic directors have reflected increasing support to increase the girls’ race distance from 4K to 5K in KSHSAA postseason competition. During the October 2014 KSHSAA Regional Administrator meetings, this was a topic of conversation in part, due to a letter from the U.S. Office of Civil Rights notifying KSHSAA of a complaint OCR received.
“As the 2014-15 school year progressed, the discussion continued and the KSHSAA received notice of increasing support from athletic directors and cross country coaches, to increase the girls distance from 4K to 5K for postseason competition. Given these considerations, at its June meeting, the KSHSAA Executive Board voted to increase the distance for regional and state meet girls races to 5K, effective with the 2015 season.”