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Boys and girls to run same distance in cross country this fall

(WNFL)- Starting this fall, girls and boys will run the same distance at the Wisconsin high school cross country meet. The WIAA Board of Control voted today to make both races five-thousand meters each. That's after a civil rights complaint was filed, alleging that the state was discriminating against girls. The girls have run four-thousand meters at the state meet since 1993 -- only 80-percent of the boys' distance. Supporters of the change said the girls should have the same chance as the boys to test the same athletic ability. Those who wanted to leave the girls' distance at four-thousand meters said the shorter distance encourages more girls to run cross country just because it's fun -- and they don't have to be serious runners like many boys are. Schools can still set their own distances for their regular season meets. The state meet is held each year at a golf course near Wisconsin Rapids.