Team Rules


Attendance at all regularly scheduled practices (3:30-5:30 M-F, 7:00-8:30 S) is mandatory.  An excused absence is defined as missing practice after notifying Coach Cutler that practice will be missed.  In today’s society you have numerous methods to notify me that you will be missing practice.  Three unexcused absences (no-tell no-show) and an athlete may be dismissed from the team.

E-mail –

Athletes should always check in with their group captain and check out by logging mileage and receiving a high-five.


State/Local rules for eligibility will be enforced.  In particular, remember that on a day of competition you must be in all classes unless the office has been informed of an absence prior to that day.  Coaches may limit participation for failure to complete academic responsibilities and/or violations of Student Handbook Policies.


Every athlete (teammate or competitor) participating in cross country will be shown respect at all times by members of Pella Cross Country.


To earn a Varsity Letter, an athlete must finish the season in good standing and fulfill one of the following:

  • Run on the Varsity Team at Conference, Districts/Regionals, or STATE
  • Complete a competition course in less than 18 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • Participate in Pella High Cross Country for four seasons.


Athletes must dress in modest attire.  Specifically all athletes must where shirts which coer the entire chest and abdominal areas. Guys may not cut their sleeves off to extremes.

Team Norms

All athletes complete an active warm-up (correctly and completely).

  • 800m
  • Basic Warm-Up Drills
  • Ankling, Toes-In, Toes-Out, Skips (we skip a lot)
  • Ground Work
  • Iron Cross, Scorpions, Kicks, IT Band, Swings, Hydrants, Flutters
  • Form Drills/ Strength Exercises
  • High Knees, Butt Kicks, Hops, Sideways Shuffle, Kareoke, Lunges,
  • Body Squats, RDLs, Claps, Fast Legs, Inch Worm, Spiderman, Hurdles

Give a complete effort during workouts.

  • Complete an appropriate workout.
  • Respect the level of conditioning of teammates and self.  This includes running with appropriate partner(s).
  • Do not cut runs or go on alternate routes.
  • If injured, complete alternate workouts with appropriate intensity.

Running Guidelines

Running on grass is always best.  Run on sidewalks/paths when ever possible.  When sidewalks are not present and you must run on the road, run on the left side facing traffic.  When running with teammates, run only two-wide to avoid injuries and accidents.  The wearing of IPods or any similar device is not allowed.

Static Stretching/Strength Exercises after workout

Senior Captains will lead groups in our static stretching routine before leaving practice.  Before or after static stretching 30 push-ups/dips/body-squats/calf-raises should be completed.

Hydration Recommendations

Athletes need to be properly hydrated at all times (not just practice); otherwise injuries become more frequent and maximum effort is impossible.  64 ounces of water are recommended for an average person and cross country athletes are well beyond average.  Therefore, we recommend that 80 ounces of water be consumed daily.  Gatorade/Powerade/Propel etc. are highly recommended, especially immediately after workouts.

Diet is extremely important as well if an athlete’s maximum potential is to be reached.  Consumption of pop/energy drinks/carbonated beverages are counter productive to the goals you wish to achieve.  In most cases they provide empty calories, false short-term energy, and take the place of more essential nutrition.  In addition I have seen that the sacrifice of giving up these things for a season provides even greater mental motivation for success.

Be certain that you are consuming an appropriate number of calories as you are burning a tremendous amount at this stage of your life and activity.  It is recommended that all athletes consult their doctor if a vitamin supplement is appropriate in their diet, particularly additional iron.


To participate in a contest athletes are expected to ride with the team to the meet on the bus or arrive at our home course at a time specified at a previous practice.

Appropriate bus behavior is expected at all times when traveling.  This includes remaining seated, picking up after oneself, speaking respectfully, and not throwing anything.  Bus drivers should be greeted and thanked before and after every trip.  Athletes may ride home with their parents if they are signed out.

Athletes are to complete a 45-min warmup prior to racing.  This includes a 10-min run, complete active-warm-up, restroom visit, changing of shoes if spikes are worn, and completing a mini-Bauer if approprate.  Within 20 minutes of our last teammate completing their race the entire team who raced should complete a ten minute cool-down and static stretching.

When not competing, warming up, or cooling down athletes should be present around the competition supporting their teammates.  Sleeping in camp or doing homework while races are being completed is not appropriate.

Athletes should NEVER bring non-running equipment to meets (or practice).  This includes items such as footballs, frisbees, soccer balls, tennis balls, etc.


Athletes are expected to be open and honest concerning their health, especially injuries.  Athletes should expect a certain level of soreness from training.  Faking an injury or hiding an injury are equally unacceptable.  Injured athletes are still required to attend practice to see the athletic trainer and/or complete an alternate workout unless specifically instructed.  Coaches will make individually appropriate decisions concerning injuries and competition.


Competition time primarily determines varsity participation.  However, there are considerations beyond time that can determine who runs varsity.  Following team norms, injury considerations, consistency in performance, and experience are factors that are many times considered.  It is our sincere hope that communication be open between coaches and athletes about decisions made.  Athletes are always welcome to discuss concerns or disagreements with decisions made.

Lifting Weights

Weight training is very beneficial to one’s distance running success.  Ideally we would like athletes to lift twice a week. Weight training can be completed during the school day if enrolled in Personal Fitness or before school under the supervision of Coach Haugen from 6:00am to 8:00am.