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Cornhusker Flyers Cross Country:
The Flyers were founded in 1977 by executive director and head coach John Wissler, who is also chairperson of the National Youth Track Coaches Association and youth chairman of the USA Track & Field (USATF) Nebraska Association. The Flyers are a nationally-known and respected cross country program. Many Flyer alumni have gone on to have successful collegiate cross country careers, establishing state, regional, and national reputations along the way.
Competing in their colorful uniforms, the club has achieved the reputation of "Nebraska’s national team", sending more athletes, year in and year out, to the National Junior Olympic Championships than any other club in the state. The Flyers have appeared in the last 28 national championships in such diverse locales as Bernalillo, New Mexico and Mechanicsville, Virginia.
Our Cross Country coaches
John Wissler -- The Flyers' head coach since its inception, Coach Wissler has had the
privilege of working with some of the best high school athletes in Nebraska and western Iowa, many
of whom got their start in cross country with the Flyers.
2012 Season Age Divisions and Race Lengths
Young Men/Women -- born in 1994 or 1995 -- 5,000 meters (~3.1 miles)
Note for School Athletes
Junior High/Middle School -- If you enjoy running cross country at your school, you can continue running with the Flyers after your school season ends, or during your school season with the permission of your school’s coach.
High School -- If you don't want your cross country season to end after your last school meet, and desire to compete with other talented Nebraska athletes on the same team, contact us when your season is over. High school athletes may not participate until after the state high school meet.
Meet and Practice Information
There are two basic parts of the meet season. The first part is a series of meets that are sponsored by Omaha-area high schools. These meets are usually 8th grade and under, with awards given at most of them. The second part is the Age Group and Junior Olympic competitions where you compete only against athletes of your own age. Awards are given at all of these meets, with the opportunity to advance to Regional and National competition. The number of meets each athlete enters and participates in is up to the individual, although a few meets require the athlete to place so high at a previous qualifying meet before they may enter and compete.
Most practices will be held at Seymour Smith Park, northeast of 72nd & Harrison Sts. in Omaha, meeting by the picnic tables across the road from the skeet range. There will generally be two or three practices each week, usually starting at 5:30 p.m., and maybe an occasional Sunday afternoon practice. See the Calendar for the most up-to-date practice schedule. The coaches realize that families will sometimes have schedule conflicts and there will be times when an athlete must miss practice. Our expectation is that kids will take the responsibility for running on their own when they are unable to get to club practice. Cross country is a sport which demands diligence and perseverance. Therefore, it is expected that kids run on the "off days" when there is no scheduled Flyers practice.
National Cross Country Champions
7 Individual National Champions
All newcomers are encouraged to attend enough practices to make sure cross country is something they want to do before paying the membership fee and officially joining. Please be aware that members of the summer track program qualify for a travel stipend, while new members do not.
Other Cross Country information
There are no tryouts to join the Flyers. You don't have to have championship talent to participate, just the desire to experience distance running and the willingness to work towards improvement. Our coaches will determine your current ability and fitness level and prescribe workout goals accordingly. Personal goal-setting and improvement is always emphasized over place-finish in competition. Participation in cross country improves athletic ability and endurance for other sports, including basketball, baseball, and soccer.
USATF National Junior Olympic Championships - Atlanta, Georgia - December 14, 2002
Metro Conference Championships - Chalco Hills - October 10, 2002
West Omaha Wind Invitational - Millard, Nebraska - October 15, 2000
Wayne Invitational - Wayne, Nebraska - October 3, 2000
USATF Region VIII Junior Olympic Championships - Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin - November 21, 1999