There already have been some other cross country meets during the young fall season, but the big kickoff race comes this Saturday morning, Sept. 11 with the longtime running of the annual Monroe Parker Invitational at Burke Lake Park.
The girls and boys varsity races will include many teams from Northern Virginia, both public and private squads. Unfortunately, some local teams skip the meet and race elsewhere that day.
Scads of spectators usually line portions of the picturesque course.
The Burke Lake Park trek is a fast and challenging test, just short of three miles, with numerous hills – including a steep climb right at the start, then a significant 200-yard downhill stretch to the finish.
The Monroe Parker meet annually has been the start of the prep cross country season for many years and teams, and it’s nice to have it back. The meet was not held during the condensed and postponed 2020 campaign, because of COVID. It was missed.
The varsity races also serve as a preview as to which teams might be district, region and state contenders during the postseason in coming weeks.
We’ll see what happens.
– Dave Facinoli