The postseason of prep cross country has arrived.
A season that started in the heat of August has three weekends remaining and harriers from the immediate area hope to be racing for all three of those weekends.
The quest to reach the OHSAA State Cross Country Championship, which is slated for Saturday, Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, gets under way Saturday at Cambridge High School with district action.
The meet begins at 11 a.m. and the last race is slated to go off at 2:20 p.m.
The boys will race first this year. The Division III race is the first to hear the sounding of the pistol. The races will be spaced out by 40 minutes.
Once again this year, the Division II field has been broken into two separate districts. The first girls' race (Division III) is set to go off at 1 p.m.
The districts - I and II - were determined by geography according to next week's regional.
The teams in District I qualify for the regional at Pickerington, while the District II squads are dispatched for regional action at Boardman High School near Youngstown.
Competing in District I are: Cambridge, Indian Valley, John Glenn, Maysville, Meadowbrook, Morgan, Philo, River View, St. Clairsville, Union Local and West Holmes.
The District II field includes: Buckeye Local, Carrollton, Claymont, Dover, East Liverpool, Harrison Central, Indian Creek, Martins Ferry (boys), Minerva, Sandy Valley and Tusky Valley.
The Division III schools have just one district and it qualifies to the regional at North High School in Pickerington.
That field is comprised of Barnesville, Bellaire, Caldwell, East Richland Christian (girls), Martins Ferry (girls), Fort Frye, Garaway, Hiland, Malvern, Newcomerstown, Ridgewood, River, Shadyside, St. John Central, Strasburg, Tusky Central Catholic and West Muskingum.
Regardless of gender or division, the top four teams and top 16 individuals will qualify for the regional meet next weekend.
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org