National powers squaring off at an underutilized venue
Without a doubt, the draw of the day was the national class programs facing off against one another. Hopefully those in attendance realized what a gem Washington Park is as a cross country venue. As one that's been utilized recently and fairly frequently for collegiate competition, Wash Park offers up a stunning backdrop, especially with the changing colors of autumn, for the sport of cross country. The criterium-style course affords multiple vantage points of the racers. The crowds are generally composed of friends and families of the runners. However, it wasn't unusual to talk to someone who was out for a bike ride or a jog in the park that stopped by to see what all the commotion was about. Many of these people knew nothing about the sport and were thrilled that such an event was being held in "their park." I'm fairly certain the runners like the venue as well, and it's likely that high school cross country has found a great location for the future.