Larry Leeds

I think I have asked this before, but I will ask it again. At region cross country meets, after the varsity runners are done with their races, there is a junior varsity race. I have asked several people: why do they have a junior varsity race?

No one I talked to on Thursday really knew the answer, and not many of them really liked the junior varsity race.

Cross country is the only sport sponsored by the High School Activities Association that has junior varsity competition in the postseason. The junior varsity runners only compete at the region meet.

The only reason I can think of as to why this is done is because people want to see more races than just the two varsity races at the region meet - especially if you need to drive a long distance.

Runners have all season to make the varsity squad...just like basketball players, wrestlers, track and field athletes, football players and volleyball players.

The only other sports I can think of that has junior varsity competition in the postseason are club baseball and club softball - and neither of those sports are state sanctioned.


Larry Leeds was born and raised in South Dakota, graduating from Colman High School in 1974. He continued his education at USD/Springfield and Dakota State University and received a bachelor's degree in physical education and history in 1979. He later obtained a journalism degree from South Dakota State University.

Before coming to Madison, Leeds worked at weekly papers in Flandreau, St. James, Minn., Redfield and Hayti (Hamlin County Publishing with Castlewood and Estelline).

He has a passion for all sports, especially high school sports and amateur baseball, because these teams are filled with players who want to be playing the game.

His favorite teams are the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Twins and Timberwolves, and New York Yankees.

Leeds is also a NASCAR fan whose favorite drivers are Dave Blaney and his son Ryan.