More than one hundred Radford High School student-athletes and parents are demanding answers from the Radford city school board and the superintendent.
Why? Because the cross-country team has been told it can no longer run anywhere on city streets.
Radford school superintendent Dr. Becky Greer said in a note that Radford had great trails and parks and the cross country teams would practice there from now on for safety reasons.
On Thursday, the Radford High School cross-country team was running in Bissett Park, just across the street from the school. This bobcat crew won last year's Group A state cross-country title.
Many of the runners say their success is all about training on tough terrain and that includes running on super hilly roads to build endurance. They want to know why they can't keep doing that.
In an email, we asked school district officials for an on-camera interview to ask why the cross-country team was banned from running on city streets, and what were the specific reasons?
Superintendent Greer turned down the interview. Instead, she emailed a statement which read, ''Radford is blessed with great trails for the cross country practice venue, as well as other nearby state park[s] and other sites. For safety reasons, we have moved the practice venue to those locations. It is safer for our athletes."
Radford police said there are no reports of Radford high school student-athletes being involved in any accidents on city property in the past two years.
Part of the new training route means busing the RHS cross-country team 30 minutes away to a private farm in Pulaski County.
Parents say their kids were told about a month ago that they could no longer run on city streets or in neighborhoods.
One dad said he's been trying to get answers.
"I went to the superintendent and at that point it's a complete roadblock," said Mark Schafer. ''We have a letter signed by 55 parents on the team and we ask it at the end of the letter, 'please let us know if our state championship team can continue to train as they have in the past?"
A check of other area school districts shows those coaches or athletic directors have the authority to make decisions about safety and student-athletes.
The Radford city school board took that authority away from the cross-country coach and Radford High's athletic director, and decided on its own to ban student-athletes from running on city streets or sidewalks.
There is a school board public meeting next Tuesday, September 10th at 6 p.m. at the School Administrative Offices.