It's the start of a new era of high school cross country in Minnesota as this is the first season (2021-22) to enact the switch from a two-class system to a three-class system. This means that there are now 24 Sections for the boys and girls, and two more state meet races.
The 64 largest schools (by enrollment) will move into Class AAA, with Class AA housing the next 96 biggest schools, and Class A containing all other teams.
Along with the reclassification, only the first 6 individuals from the sections meet that wasn't part of the first or second-place teams will go to the state meet.
View the new Sections Below:
The expectation is that cross country will become a fairer (and thus more enjoyable) competition across the board. For example, the old Section 6AA for boys XC included Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Wayzata. Those schools are now split up across Section 2AAA and Section 6AAA, enabling a more fair championship season process for some of the state's elite schools.
In 2015 the Wayzata and Edina boys didn't make the state meet after finishing 3rd and 4th at their section meet. Both those teams then went on to finish 2nd and 3rd at Nike Cross Heartland, en route to a berth for Nike Cross Nationals 2015. They went on to finish 13th (Edina) and 14th (Wayzata) at NXN.
The first day of competitions for the 2021 cross country season is on August 26th and practices start on August 16th. We can't wait to see how the new class system shakes out, and how it affects competition across the state.