Panther Cross Country 2020

Being a member of the Vista High School cross country team is a privilege! 

Head Coach: Rob Putnam, email:       Assistant Coaches: Chris Brewer, Nate Hale, Hayley Richardson


Website:                                                           Remind Texts (mandatory): to 81010,  text message:@pantherscc


Panther Cross Country Philosophy 

Develop a TEAM who strive for their best and make each other better

Teach lifetime fitness for all team members 


Team Covenant/ Rules

All team members will be expected to represent themselves, their families, their school, and this program in a proud and positive manner while attempting to do the very best that they are capable of doing.  Breaking one of these rules will result in disciplinary action, and can lead to dismissal from the program.

  1. We expect everyone to be on time, ready for practice each day, balancing their academic and other responsibilities

  2. We expect everyone to live an athlete’s lifestyle, taking care of their body, never using drugs or alcohol

  3. We expect everyone to develop a winning attitude: if you’ve got it, you’re already a winner!!



Participation Expectations


See the Schedule page on our website for all important dates, and practice times.  We usually finish by 4:30pm when at school.


Read through our UNEXCUSED ABSENCES and understand what they mean. Unexcused absences will have an effect on your standing with the team, including competitions. We have sat a runner out of a championship for missing a practice! After 4 unexcused absences you will be dismissed from the team.  Show up ready EVERY DAY.  Everyone is busy and has personal situations, but you are expected to show your commitment every day.  ALWAYS DRESS OUT.

Attendance will be recorded daily. There is a strong relationship between practice, performance, and minimizing risk of injury. Team members are expected to be at practice each and every day. We rest on Sundays and some Saturdays.  If you have an unexcused absence you may not be allowed to compete or travel with the team to the next meet.  After 4 unexcused absences you will be excused from the team.

3 Ways NOT to inform Coach that you will be missing practice. These will be considered UNEXCUSED. 

  1. Have a friend or teammate tell him, this is a huge NO, unless it is a TRUE emergency

  2. Tell him right before practice, unless it is a true EMERGENCY

  3. Tell him the next day




UNEXCUSED ABSENCES include (but are not limited to) : 

  • I have a soccer game (freshmen read below), academic team match, band competition, wrestling meeting, FFA trip on Saturday and I am choosing that instead of running in the invitational (as with all of the following, you’ll not be excused.)

  • I have a big homework project and need to miss practice. (Plan ahead. Use and organize your time wisely. Everyone on the team has big homework assignments)

  • I am taking an AP or IB class. (You’re far from being the only one, in fact we have more than most teams do!)

  • I have friends and/or relatives/ foreign exchange students in town and we have to show them around. (Show them around after practice, or even better, invite them to come run with us!)

  • I have to go to my Grandmothers house for dinner, OR its someone’s birthday dinner. (Go after practice and make sure to invite Grandma to your next meet!)

  • I’m really tired, sore and don’t feel good. (There will be days when we all feel this way. Smile, focus on your goals and be proud you compete in the toughest sport around…remember our sport is other sports punishment)

  • If you are hurting or declared injured by a professional you must still report to practice unless excused for medical reasons by Coach Putnam. Please show up in your practice gear unless told otherwise by Coach Putnam.

  • Soccer!!!      (Especially freshmen)

Soccer is a really cool game.I played for many years, and many of us have a soccer background that helped make us the athletes we are today.I know that soccer may be important to you. Since you are joining this team, . I know you can also get in shape at soccer practice, but it is not cross country and trying to participate in both can be very difficult on a young body. . If you are new to the team we  allow you to miss a weekend invite for a game, but . I want you to give cross country the same consideration and miss a soccer game if you have to. 

  • Soccer practice!!  If you choose to leave cross country practice for soccer and you're not finished with the workout, including stretching, it will count as an unexcused absence. During the school year, our practices normally conclude at 4:30 pm, so plan to stay till that time. This will also count at the end of the year when your soccer practices change their schedules because of daylight savings time. 


EXCUSED ABSENCES   will include: (Provided you clear this with Coach BEFORE practice! If possible your work-out will be rescheduled in the morning, during PE or if you can come late to practice.)

  • Family emergency (If this is a true emergency it may be difficult to let us know before practice, no worries, but parents please just be HONEST and email me ASAP.)

  • Family holidays or visits: Please clear any other family visits or trips with Coach before you go. 

  • Religious observances

  • An academic commitment that you clear with me well in advance

  • Have to meet with a teacher for extra help or make up an exam. 


  •                   Please attempt to do this before school or at lunch!

  •                   Notify coaches before hand if you know ahead of time or after practice if you come late. 

  •                   Either way you must have a teacher signature to excuse absence. You provide them with a note they will sign. 

  •                   Come to practice as soon as you can after, or arrange to get extra help at lunch. You must provide a note or email from the                 teacher proving you were with them and that you did request to do this before or after school, no note= unexcused     absence)

  • Injury/ill   Trainer and or doctor will be involved in determining proper course of treatment. 

  • Doctors/Dentist appt. (We don’t like these, because routine checkups should be scheduled in the summer or winter since you know we’ll have practice) Just bring a note from the doctor to be excused. 

  • DMV Appointment (Good job!  show me your permit or license!)

All Hail, Black and White!!!

We work hard to keep our team looking nice!  Our uniforms, sweats and general appearance at competitions are important to how people think of us.  Keep your uniform clean, and only wear it on race day, not practice or anywhere else.  Also, don’t show up in jeans, a Hawaiian shirt, or some other teams color!!  SOCKS: We will only race in BLACK socks, with a small logo if any. No obscure colored socks.

COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY!!    Talk to me.  I want all of you to be successful in life, not just this team.

Please contact me if you ever need anything, I will do everything I can!!    PANTHER TOUGH!!

-Coach Putnam and Staff