I had a State Meeting for Track and Cross Country last Sunday. The question of the “so-called” individual sports having a class system like the team sports in Indiana came up again. The individual sports like track, cross country, golf, and tennis are still lumped together. These sports are losing high school participation each year because young athletes are migrating to sports where there is a chance of winning a state championship if you are in a small school. During the year, many of these sports do play in a class system for invitationals or big meets but not in the state series.What does the IHSAA say the reason for this is? Their answer is: It is a philosophy we have for a sport where you can still get to the state as an individual even if your team doesn’t make it. How about this example? Last year, Linton High School did not field a boys cross country team. Their reason was that 2 of their top boys decided to go out for football because their football team had a good chance of winning the state. As it turned out, they were correct! Both of these athetes got a state championship ring, and it was believed that neither of these athletes played one significant minute during the entire season. But, forever they can say they were a state champ. These 2 young men were great runners, but they knew their cross country team could not compete against any of the large school on a state-wide basis. The Curt Ecksteins of Oldenburg are the rare exceptions for getting an individual state championship!