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CPS cross country runners lose IHSA appeal, will not be allowed into postseason

Chicago Public Schools cross country runners lost an appeal to the Illinois High School Association board on Friday. They will not be allowed into postseason.

Runners from CPS schools including Mather and Young run in the meet at River Park.
Runners from CPS schools including Mather and Young run in the meet at River Park.
Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Chicago Public Schools cross country runners lost an appeal to the Illinois High School Association board on Friday. They will not be allowed into the postseason.

“I’m definitely super devastated and sad,” Taft senior Sydney Partyka said. “It’s disappointing but not surprising. I brought my hopes high up again and it was just another punch in the gut. But what can you do?”

CPS cross country teams were removed from the state meets due to the Chicago Teachers Union strike. They missed out on regionals last weekend.

The board heard the appeal on a conference call. Administrators from Jones, Lane, Lincoln Park, Mather, Payton, Solorio, and Taft participated.

The board voted unanimously against granting the appeal.

“The board was steadfast in following the language of the strike policy, as they have done throughout this recent CPS strike, and in past incidences involving other schools and districts on strike,” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said. “They did not believe it would be equitable to provide relief for cross country when no remedy exists for other impacted sports like boys soccer, girls volleyball and girls tennis.”

Last week a Cook County judge denied a temporary restraining order that had been sought by parents of cross country athletes at Jones. Citing student safety and the “possibility of conflict if teachers and coaches were crossing the picket line,” the judge ruled Jones’ cross country teams couldn’t compete in the regional meet during the ongoing strike.

After losing in court, CPS teams organized their own race at River Park on the Northwest Side last Saturday. More than 30 CPS runners competed.

An unidentified runner from Payton attempted to run in the Class 2A Latin girls regional race, but did not finish.