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Clarkston Cross Country

Dress for the weather! We run in sunshine, windy, rain, snow (it has), in any weather. Make sure to put your bib # on the outside of any clothing. If it stays rainy the course can get muddy. You may want to use old shoes and have a towel and change of clothes in the car. 

Race Day Instructions:

Save the date! The 2023 Elementary Cross Country Race will be on Friday, October 20. Register online before the race for a smooth race day experience. For more information about the race, visit the Elementary Race tab on our website.

Sashabaw Middle School and Clarkston Junior High will be starting practice on the first full day of school (Tuesday, August 29).  Have a sports physical completed BEFORE you start practice. See below for physical information.

New runners, feel free to join us and try us out for a couple weeks. No, we do not make you run 10 miles the first day of practice. We slowly build up throughout the season. At each meet, there are separate races for all abilities. It does not matter what your time was in the mile last year. Our team is a very entertaining crew with some who like to race, some who want to get in shape, and some who are just out to talk with their friends and meet new people. Practices vary with endurance training, speed training, game activities, and strengthening exercises.

Check out the links above for more information about what is cross country, our schedule, and other useful tidbits.


How to Sign Up 

The cost to join the cross country team is $175 for the season. We are a club sport sponsored by Clarkston Community Education. Unfortunately, this means the community ed fee does NOT apply towards the athletic pay to participate fee for all other school sports. Example, you also plan to play volleyball (which is an official school sport) in the winter. You would need to also pay the Clarkston Athletic pay to participate fee for volleyball when volleyball season starts.

The following needs to be completed to register for cross country:

  1. Pay and complete the Community Education registration and fee. This is done through Independence Township Parks and Recreation. You can register in person, by phone or online. Visit the township parks and rec website at to register online. Search for community ed then cross country.
  2. Complete the online athletic Contract.  Note: You do not need to pay the Clarkston Athletic pay-to-participate fee. You only pay the Clarkston Athletic pay-to-participate fee if/when you sign up for an official athletic department school sport. 
  3. Complete a physical and turn in a copy to your coach. You can download a copy of the physical form here.

Online registration opens near the beginning of August for the fall cross country season. However you will want to print off and schedule a physical with your family doctor sooner. 



Physicals for this school year must be dated AFTER April 15. Most likely that physical you did for the spring track season or other spring sport is not valid for this school year. Can't get an appointment at your doctor that fits your schedule? Pine Knob Urgent Care (Sashabaw Rd) offers sports physicals for $20 (last we checked).  Bring a copy of the physical form. Walk in at any time they are open or you can schedule an appointment using their website.  Call 248-274-9910 for info. 


Stay Informed

There are 3 ways to keep up with the team:

  • View the weekly newsletter detailing the events for the week. Usually updated Saturday/Sunday.
  • Sign up for text messages using the remind service. We use this method to communicate late breaking news. Maybe a practice had to be canceled last minute or while at a meet we need to send out info, etc.
    SMS Remind Sign Up:
    CJHS Remind Sign Up:
  • Occasionally you may also see an email blast. We use this method to communicate information that did not make it into the newsletter or reminders about events or pleas for help. You do not need to sign up. We use the email address you entered when you completed the online athletic contract.




  • Sashabaw Runners
    Have a gym bag with running shoes and clothes you can run in. Bring a water bottle. Have a gym lock to lock your bag in the gym locker after you change. After school (2:25) go to the lockerroom to change and then meet in LGI C. Parents need to pick up their runners at 4:30 in front of SMS.
  • CJHS Runners
    After school (2:35) go straight to coach Rykse's room (Room 404). After a brief study hall, we then go to the lockerroom to change for practice. Have a gym bag with running shoes and clothes you can run in. Bring a water bottle. Have a gym lock to lock your bag in the gym locker after you change. Parents need to pick up their runners at 4:45 in front of CJHS.
  • Clarkston Virtual Students
    Students who attend Clarkston Virtual are eligible to participate on the cross country team. For practices, you will need to arrange transportation to SMS (6th & 7th graders) or CJHS (8th graders) so you arrive at the end of the school day and meet the team at the meeting spot (see above). SMS virtual students use the 7th grade loop, CJHS virtual students use main driveway loop or the Middle Lake Rd parking lot loop. Note, the loops at the end of the day get busy. The first week prepare to adjust when you arrive based on traffic. Email your coach when you register so we know to expect you. For our home meets, you will need to arrange transportation to CHS to meet us there. See the weekly newsletters for when you should arrive by. For our weekday away meets, arrange transportation to your school to meet us at least 15 minutes prior to when the bus is scheduled to leave (see weekly newsletter for times). For our weekend meets, everyone is responsible for arranging their own transportation to the meet. 


The week before school begins, look for the Week 1 and Week 2 Newsletters to be posted on our website with more detailed information about those first couple of weeks. See the schedule on our website for the tentative fall cross country meets. Hope to see you soon.

The summer conditioning program is a great way to be introduced to cross country as well as condition for other sports. The program begins at the end of June and runs through the middle of August. Sessions will be held Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30-7:30 pm at Clarkston High School. See the schedule for specific dates.

Practices involve running and other games and activities. Two of the sessions will involve bike rides. Practices are held on the CHS campus as well as nearby locations. Example: Sidewalk to the library and back. Use the small parking lot behind the high school next to the stadium. Look for us to gather in the field across from the parking lot. Come dressed ready to workout and bring a water bottle. Athletes are not required to attend every session. This program is for students entering 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.

For information on how to sign up, see the Community Education webpage or register online through Independence Township Parks and Recreation. Choose the category CCE Youth Exercise and Fitness and look for Cross Country.

Tentative special days

  • Aug 10 - Short Bike Ride
  • Aug 17 - Long Bike Ride
  • Aug 22 - End of Summer Race

Summer reminders and cancellation notice
Sign up for text reminders regarding special practice sessions and possible severe weather cancellations at It is rare that we need to cancel a session but in case we do need to, sign up using the remind link to be notified when we do.

Alternate Location (long bike ride only)
For the long bike ride we will meet at Independence Elementary. Same meeting time of 6:30 but pick up is at 8:00.  

Parent Volunteers needed
For both of the bike rides, we would greatly appreciate your help.

  • Short Bike Ride: One or two parents to ride with us. Bonus, cool treat at the end. Depending on the number of participants and how busy Dairy Dream is, we might not get back until 7:45.
  • Long Bike Ride: Four-ish parent volunteers to ride with us and another to follow us in a van/truck/suv (big enough to carry a bike and passenger in case a bike breaks down).

Please email Coach Rykse if you are able to help ([email protected])

End of Summer Race
The end of summer race is a chance for you to show off all that work you put in all summer. The race is also open to any runner who did not get a chance to join us during the summer runs but did some running on their own. We will use our home cross country course (2 miles). The start and finish area is located in the same field we meet during the summer.

Thank you to all who came out and supported the cross country team on a windy chilly day. Congratulations to Clarkston Elementary winning the traveling trophy for the 6th year in a row. The second closest race ever with Clarkston just narrowly edging out Bailey Lake by less than 1% participation.

To see results of the race, choose the results tab. In the results, times are organized by race and by grade. You can view photos of the race as parents share them with us. Go to our photos page for the photo gallery. Do you have photos to share? This is one of our runner's favorite days of the season. They love seeing photos of themselves running along with the elementary students. Consider sharing your photos of the race. Use our upload link

Runnin' Gear on Dixie is a strong supporter of our cross country program. Located on Dixie in Waterford, please consider visiting them for your running needs.

Interested in finding out more about the cross country program? Check out our about page and the guide for prospective runners and parents


Come cheer on the cross country teams!

Clarkston Junior High and Sashabaw Middle School will be hosting Oxford Middle School at Clarkston High School on Tuesday, October 18. The start and finish lines are the same as the elementary race.
4:20pm      Boys Race
4:50pm      Girls Race

The Clarkston High School team hosts the final league meet at Clintonwood Park on Thursday, October 20. Start line is on the big kid soccer field and finish line is near the tennis courts.
3:30pm          Boys Varsity (top 8 runners)
4:00pm           Girls Varsity 
4:30pm           Boys Reserve (rest of team)
5:05pm           Girls Reserve