The 2021 cross country season gets underway Thursday with three local teams hitting the course.

Scottsboro and Skyline will run in Scottsboro’s 2.1-mile Opener meet while Pisgah will run in the White Plains Twlight Invitational.

The 2.1-mile Opener is a new Scottsboro is hosting. Luke Robinson said going with a 2.1-mile race rather than the traditional 5K, which is 3.1 miles, is “a good way to get out there and get started while you’re still training hard.”

Racing begins at 5:30 p.m. with the junior high girls race, followed by the junior high boys race at 5:50 p.m., the varsity girls race at 6:15 p.m. and the varsity boys race at 6:40 p.m.

Robinson said the shorter of this race will help his new junior high runners learn from his varsity runners at how to run this distance.

“For my newbies it allows them to look up to the older ones and see what their target times should be (in the future),” Robinson said. 

Meanwhile, Pisgah head coach Gus Hembree is eager to see his Eagles hit the course for a 5K at the White Plains Twilight Invitational.

Hembree said the course at the White Plains Sports Complex is “a nice rolling course” for the first two miles before a last mile filled with hills and “a 400 meter uphill (track) to the finish line.” He’s looking forward to seeing how this team’s times stack up with their recent time trials on Pisgah’s own hill-laden course.

“I want to see us improve on our times from our time trials and see us be more competitive,” he said.

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