When the Ohio High School Athletic Association began combining boys and girls enrollments to determine postseason divisions for cross country in 2013, one of the coaches who expressed disappointed in the decision was Watterson's Matt McGowan.

When the Ohio High School Athletic Association began combining boys and girls enrollments to determine postseason divisions for cross country in 2013, one of the coaches who expressed disappointed in the decision was Watterson's Matt McGowan.

That decision, to McGowan's delight, has been reversed.

"It's a positive thing because everybody wants to be treated the same," McGowan said.

The OHSAA announced June 17 that a list of proposals from its cross country subcommittee had been approved, including one to have the postseason divisions for cross country determined the same way as every other OHSAA-sanctioned sport.

In a 2012 ruling that went into effect for the 2013 cross country season, a school's boys and girls enrollments were combined so that each school's teams always would compete in the same postseason division.

While the method reduced travel costs and eased the burden on schools that have one person serving as both the boys and girls coach, it made for a competitive disadvantage for some schools if one of their squads was forced to compete in a bigger division.

The Watterson boys team, for example, advanced to the Division II regional three times from 2009-12 but struggled the next season when it moved up to Division I after the boys and girls enrollments at the school were combined.

"The subcommittee's task was to look at several concerns that were brought to the OHSAA's attention," said Dale Gabor, who is the OHSAA's administrator for cross country and track and field. "These changes will result in a more consistent and fair tournament structure, which has been in place for other OHSAA sports. I was very pleased with the committee's thoroughness and ability to look at the issues from all sides."

The OHSAA also approved an increase in the number of state meet team qualifiers from 16 to 20 per division.