The fields for the 18th Westerville Cross Country Classic on Saturday at North will be as deep as ever, but the course has been overhauled dramatically for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The fields for the 18th Westerville Cross Country Classic on Saturday at North will be as deep as ever, but the course has been overhauled dramatically for the first time in nearly 20 years.

"We took into consideration suggestions from other teams that had attended and tried to incorporate that into the new course," North athletics director Jeff Will said.

North boys coach David Weaner did the majority of the design, with one of his objectives being to make the course more accessible to fans. The one- and two-mile markers will be completely open to spectators.

"Previously those markers were off the course," Weaner said. "We wanted to make sure they were in view of everybody."

North plans eventually to have the course certified by USA Track & Field, which would allow it to hold adult open races to raise money for the school's scholarship fund.

The new design begins in the northeast corner of the campus by the junior varsity baseball field. Runners will head west 300 yards toward Heritage Middle School.

The course will drop southeast in front of Heritage, turning east by the main parking lot before a left turn north along the west side of the football stadium. Runners will round the north end of the stadium, heading southeast above the varsity baseball field and around the softball field before a left turn to run north by the land lab and the start line.

The course again loops west and travels along the west side of the football stadium.

In the third mile, it cuts through the football practice fields, heads south outside the band practice field and then heads west below the softball field and northwest around the baseball field before entering the northwest end of the stadium for the finish on the track.

Weaner said the new layout is a "full 3.1" miles, but expects that with more straightaways it will be quicker course.

"I'm expecting us to have some faster times," he said.

Schedule

Below is the schedule for the Westerville Cross Country Classic on Saturday at North:

9:30 a.m. Girls Division I

10:15 a.m. Girls Division II/III

11 a.m. Boys Division I

11:45 a.m. Boys Division II/III

12:30 p.m. Girls open

1:15 p.m. Boys open