The Bayside Academy cross country YDL program is for 3rd–6th graders and practices at the Bayside track. This program helps introduce young runners to cross country.
Bayside’s boys and girls varsity cross country teams are historically one of the strongest teams in the classification. Since 1997, the boys have qualified a team for State 18 times with an average finish of fifth place and have finished as state runner-up for the past two years. In 2019, in addition to the state runner-up title, they finished second at the Baldwin County Championships and second at Sectionals. Since 1991, the girls have qualified for State 28 times and finished in the top four a total of 22 times.
About the Coach
Coach Joe Swagart has been a head cross country coach for 14 seasons, six of which have been spent at Bayside Academy. In Coach Swagart’s six seasons at Bayside, eight individual athletes, five boys teams, and five girls teams have qualified for state. Seven of his athletes have earned All-State honors 16 times, including an individual 3A State Champion and an individual 3A State Runner-Up. In the inaugural AHSAA All-Star XC during the summer of 2017, Coach Swagart represented the girls south team as head coach. Coach Swagart attended college at the University of South Alabama, earning a B.S. in Mathematics & Statistics in 2004 and M.Ed. in Secondary Education in 2018.