Cross country originated in Europe in the early 1800s. It was developed as a way for young men to train for military service. Cross country is the sport of running a long-distance race in open air over natural terrain. There are six different formats of races, those being Individual, Sprint, Team Sprint, Skiathlon, Relay and Mass
Starting in the 1830s Cross Country running became increasingly popular as a competitive sport and the first major race was held in 1837. Cross country came to Penn Yan Academy in 1954, since then the Penn Yan Cross Country team has become extremely successful.
In recent years several records have been set, for the men's team James Tette ran the 3-mile race in 15:39.9 in the 2022 season and for the women's team Joddie Decker ran the 3-mile race in 18:22.9 in the 2019 season. The coaches who brought the team to said victories are Rick Smith and Pam Garbosky-Smith.