Here is the deal. There is nothing that says you have to run your top guys at your conference meet. But if they do not run at the conference meet, they are not allowed to run at another meet that same weekend. Hense why Cortland got in trouble last year for indoor SUNYAC's, Two of their runners ran at USA cross country champs, down at VanCortland park the same weekend as SUNYAC's and didnt run at SUNYAC's.
Secondly if a runner is left off the teams roster for the meet, then a committee votes on whether that athlete is allowed to run in the meet or not. The committee is made up of coaches from that conference though, so it is coaches from teams you are running against that decide whether that athlete can run or not. I personally think that is bullcrap, because like this weekend when McGrath was left off, the other coaches you know are thinking, "Hey he is one of their top runners, if we dont let him run then we have a better chance to beat them" That is just not right, like people have been saying, fine the coach to no end, but dont punish the runner for an error that can only be made by the coach.
Thirdly, good luck to all running at regionals this weekend. I am excited to watch the race, there are three or four teams fighting for those two auto bids and then hopefully the region gets another two or three at large bids.