(A) low score
wins, and (B) what is called displacement . Let's take a
look. Up to this
point we have given examples of the scoring of varsity races
in which only the top twelve runners on each team in a
competition compete. In other words, a varsity dual meet has
a maximum of 24 runners, a triangular meet has 36 runners.
What happens at the lower levels--like girls junior varsity
in which any number of runners can compete? Scoring is
essentially the same as at the varsity level. Low score wins
and the first five finishers are counted in the score while
the 6th and 7th runners may displace. In fact, the only
difference at the lower levels is that once the 7th runner
from a given team crosses the finish line, no more runners
from that team may displace runners from the opposing
team(s) and thereby affect the score of the opposing team.
Let's try another example with Poway. Let's say that
the Mt. Carmel girls' junior varsity takes the first 11
places in the race. Poway takes 12, 13, and 14. Mt. Carmel
15 and 16. Poway takes 17 and 18. (Remember, once five
runners from each team have finished, the scoring is
completed.) On the first inspection, it would appear that
Poway's score is 74: the sum of 12, 13, 14, 17, 18. But once
Mt. Carmel's 7th girl crosses the finish line, no more Mt.
Carmel finishers can displace Poway girls. In short, so long
as Poway has a minimum of 5 girls, each of those girls is
automatically awarded the next five places after the 7th Mt.
Carmel girl. This is called a sweep, in this case for Mt.
Carmel and, in terms of scoring can occur at the varsity
level as well as at lower levels. The actual scoring in this
instance is shown in the example below.

**Scoring****Low Score
Wins:**
As in golf, the object in cross country is to compete for
the lowest score possible. In other words, a team that
scores 35 points places ahead of a team that scores 40
points. This means that when two or more teams are
competing, the first place team has the lowest score, the
second place team has the second lowest score, the third
place team has the third lowest score and so on.**Scores Are
Based on the Top Five Finishers****
-- **Although seven to twelve athletes from each team
compete at the varsity level and as many athletes as a team
has compete at lower levels--e.g., girls junior varsity,
boys junior varsity-- only the first five finishers are
counted in determining a team's score. For instance, let's
say Mt. Carmel's first five finishers place 1, 3, 4, 5, and
8 in a meet against Poway. Poway's first five finishers, in
turn, place 2, 6, 7, 9, 11. This will illustrate 2
points:**A. Low
Score Wins:**

**Mt.
Carmel**
**Poway**
**21**
**35****Mt. Carmel
Wins!****B.
Displacement****
-- **In looking at the scoring above, it may have occurred
to you that the 10th finisher does not show up in the
scoring. What happened to him? First, it is clear that he
was a Mt. Carmel runner because if he ran for Poway, he
would have been their 5th finisher and earned them 10 points
instead of 11. Second, it logically follows that although he
does not figure directly in the scoring, he does figure
indirectly in that he caused Poway to lose by 1 point more
than it would have without him, i.e., he has displaced a
Poway runner. Obviously, in close meets displacing can make
the difference between winning and losing; hence the 6th and
7th athletes on the same team are just as important as the
1st. While it is exciting and helpful to have a star or two
on a cross country team, cross country is still a team
sport.**A Lock, Or
3 in the Box**
-- If you think about it, you probably recognize that as
runners are crossing the finish line in a cross country meet
between two schools (not in an invitational), there is a
point at which one team will clearly win if it has a number
of its runners across the finish line before the other
school's runners have finished. The magic number is 3. In
any dual (or double dual) meet, a team that takes the first
three places (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) has a lock on winning the
race because even if its 4th and 5th finishers are, at the
very worst, 11th and 12th (remember, each team has seven
runners who can score or displace) in the race, the opposing
team cannot possibly score lower. Take a look:

**Mt.
Carmel**
**Poway**
**29**
**35****Mt. Carmel
wins by 1 point!****Coaches
Note:**
As you can see this score was close. In the event a race end
in a tie the winner is determined by the position of the #6
runner from both teams. The team with the highest sixth
place runner is declared the winner.**But
Lower Division Races Have More Than One Team?**

**Mt.
Carmel**
**Poway**
**15**
**35****Mt. Carmel
wins by the lowest cross country score possible and Poway
loses by the highest cross country possible.****What About
Invitationals****
-- **In an invitational and similar cross country
competitions--e.g., CIF finals--a great many teams run
against each other in a given race. Once again, however,
it's still low score that wins, and only the first five
finishers for a given team count in the scoring. Further, at
the varsity level, each team may still enter only its top
seven runners in a varsity race. Therefore, at the varsity
level, scoring in an invitational is exactly like scoring in
a dual or triangular meet. Some invitational run their races
on a grade level format--seniors vs. seniors, juniors vs.
juniors, etc.**Dual and
Tri-Meets**
-- Mt. Carmel competes in the Palomar League of the North
County Conference. Our dual or tri-meets will usually have 4
races (depending on how many athletes the other schools
have) in the following order. Girls JV, Girls Varsity, Boys
Varsity, Boys Frosh/Soph-JV Combined race,,. Meets start at
3:15 PM and races usually run 25 minutes apart.**Results**--Race
results take time to compile. Meet officials receive place
cards and use them to calculate team scores and individual
times. These results are made available as soon as possible
after each race.**Awards**--No
awards are given at dual meets, only invitationals. At
invitational meets awards are usually given for individuals
and team performance's. Individual awards may be given in a
finish chute, after each race is completed, or at the end of
the meet.**Who We
Compete Against:****CIF
Section **-- San Diego
**League
**-- Palomar**Schools in the Palomar**

Torrey Pines
Poway
Westview
Canyon Crest
Rancho Bernardo
Mt.
Carmel