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Cook County judge rules CPS cross country runners can compete in IHSA sectionals

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CHICAGO — A Cook County judge has ruled that cross country runners in Chicago Public Schools can compete in sectionals on Saturday.

Cross country runners from CPS asked the Illinois High School Association to allow them to run in this weekend's state sectional meets. An emergency hearing was held Friday evening. The IHSA originally rejected the runners' appeal Friday morning.

They were ineligible to run in the regionals last weekend because of the strike. But they will now run this weekend.

The judge said he was tired of adults determine whether a child gets to have a childhood. He call the IHSA policy ambiguous and vague and not good enough to prevent these kids from competing tomorrow.

“We genuinely thought there was no chance after the appeal was denied,” runner Ian Bacon said. “We didn't think there was any possibility we'd be able to run sectionals but here we are now.”

IHSA released a statement late Friday from its executive director Craig Anderson saying:

The Illinois High School Association will conduct its IHSA Boys & Girls Cross Country Sectionals as planned on November 2, and will include all runners impacted by the Chicago Public Schools strike per the Temporary Restraining Order granted this evening by the Honorable Neil H. Cohen. The CPS teams will compete at the Sectional site correlated with their Regional. We prepped our Sectional hosts for this potential outcome this afternoon, and have been working this evening to get them the information necessary to expand their meets. We will have meaningful discussion with our Board of Directors, staff, and legal representation throughout the weekend as we determine our next steps.

The board did waive the eight-game minimum for football playoff qualification,  meaning football teams that qualified for the playoffs will be able to take part in their first-round games this weekend.

The CPS girls swimming and diving city championship begins Saturday and ends Sunday. Boys soccer, as well as girls volleyball and tennis weren't so lucky. Those seasons ended during the strike.

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