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Philadelphia CYO Cross Country
August 13, 2023
Meeting Notes
St. Anastasia

-There are a multitude of problems with Belmont Plateau.
-two people were shot on the Plateau at the end of June
-car break-ins have become more numerous and more frequent.
-at least one break-in at every meet last year
-Parks and Rec charge $10-18K per year and we have the “privilege” of running
at Belmont
-no support
-must pay for security and more companies are refusing to work at Belmont inadequate parking (525 spots)
-no bathrooms, only Port-a-Potties that are disgusting by Sunday afternoon
-dirt bikers that have no laws keeping them out of our way
-horses and their riders on the Plateau
-mountain bikers using the trails
-the group in the parking lot smoking weed, playing inappropriate music
-zero police support
-problems have existed for many years but are growing worse exponentially
-have expressed concern about the location for at least 8-10 years
-as meet director and commissioner, I can no longer justify putting our kids, parents, families and coaches in jeopardy.  If something were to happen, I would be liable because I know that it is no longer safe. I do not feel safe going there and I will no longer run at Belmont.

-advantages to Belmont
-somewhat central location (Montgomery County would be closer to the central

-have been asking for other possible locations for years.
-every suggestion (and then some) has been scouted out
-looked at township parks, county parks, state parks, national parks, elementary
schools, high schools, colleges, universities, private schools, public schools,
parochial schools and a few others.  Most do not meet our requirements.
-750-1000 parking spots
-dedicated handicapped parking
-real bathrooms
-large area for start/finish lines
-area for tent city
-access to major highways
-preferably a central location
-in an area that is well supported by the police and EMTs.

-after looking at many options, the one that checks off the most boxes is Bensalem HS.
There is a permit request for the high school that must go before the school board for approval this week.
-there are over 825 parking spots in the side lot alone,
-the back lot is handicapped only
-real bathrooms in the stadium
-concession stand
-5 minutes from the turnpike and 10 minutes from 95
-2 minutes from the police station
-high school athletic trainer would be on site
-large area for start/finish/tents
-Bensalem is not centrally located.  However, teams would not have to ride into Philly to attend a
meet.  I would be willing to give up the central location for safety.  This announcement was greeted with cheers.

-this decision was not made lightly or hastily.  The committee has approached this subject
for several years. The reason for the “quick” decision was the two shootings on the Plateau.

-it is likely that we will lose some kids because parents who have been lucky to have a short drive to Belmont and are unwilling to travel to Bensalem but that is their choice.  We are likely to pick up some athletes who were intimidated by Belmont or whose parents did not want to travel into the city for the meet for safety reasons.

-rosters were bad last year
-missing information
-Birthdates wrong
-multiple teams on one roster
-on your roster can be athletes who are registered members of your parish or who attend your parish school
-if there are other parishes listed, it is the coach’s responsibility to provide proof of why they
are eligible.
-a copy of the charter listing all the schools eligible to attend a regional school
-a copy of the small school merger
-a letter from the pastor giving his permission for kids to run on the team is
NOT acceptable.
-fees must be turned in with the roster.
-2 copies of each roster are to be turned in.
-coaches eligibility affidavit must be turned in.
-roster should be on 11 x 14 paper
-novice, minor and cadet girls are on one roster in alphabetical order.  Boys are on another roster.
-subnovice girls are on one roster and the boys are on a second roster
-hard copies of the roster and fees will be turned in at the first meet
-the data collection form must be emailed to Joe Hutton ( and Mary Ellen Malloy ( by Friday, September 8 at 10 AM

-tentative dates are September 17, 24. October 1, 8, 15, 22 with champs on October 29.  This is dependent upon approval by the school board. The first race begins at 1:00 PM.  The course walk will be at noon on September 17.

The fees will remain the same as last year.  That is $20 for each subnovice and $25 for each novice, minor and cadet.  All checks should be made payable to “Philadelphia CYO Cross Country.”

-Nationals will be held in Louisville, Kentucky this year.  There is a possibility that the regional qualifier may be eliminated for this year.  I will not know for certain until some time in September.  If the regional qualifier is necessary, it will be on Sunday, November 5 in Delaware, probably at the same course that was used last year.  ALL runners are eligible to compete in the qualifying round with a chance to go to nationals.
-will keep you posted on updates

Chain of Command
-complaints will not be taken from parents anymore
-if a parent has a problem, they are to see the coach and meet management will communicate with the coach directly
-last year there were over 1800 kids in the program.  It becomes problematic dealing with an excess of 1000 parents.  Most of the problems can be dealt with directly by the coaches.