Coached a hs team in the 90's. Went to a tri meet and one of my boy runners, a sophomore told me after that a kid from one of the other teams punched him repeatedly once they were in the woods and kept yelling "c'mon". so I say something to the coach and he blows it off like it was just jostling. Two years later, my runner has had a growth spurt. Not good for xc, but good for taking care of himself. He went from about 125 lbs. to about 160 lbs. and he was in to lifting. Now he's a senior and we run at the same course against the same team. My runner asks me what to do I say to him "No referees in the woods. you are on your own. If he starts something, make sure he regrets it"
30 minutes later, the head coach who dismissed it all two years ago, now is pulling me over and asking me to explain what happened. Ha, I said. you dismissed it as jostling, and now your kid messes with someone who set him straight. Let him suck it up and learn a lesson.
Then I turned to the team and told them to get on the bus.