Akron was a much better venue for the OATCCC indoor state meet.

1. Unlike Spire, parking/exiting the facility was never a disaster.

2. The meet ran seamlessly because every Akron track and XC athlete was there to work some part of the process.

3. Unlike Spire, there were never needless restrictions on coaches being on the field. (Coaches are rightfully allowed on the field at every other Spire meet. Why does this one need to be any different?)

4. And obviously, Akron is a much better location for a "state" meet given its relative centrality compared to Geneva. Why again did this meet ever move?
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
1. Unlike Spire, parking/exiting the facility was never a disaster.

2. The meet ran seamlessly because every Akron track and XC athlete was there to work some part of the process.

3. Unlike Spire, there were never needless restrictions on coaches being on the field. (Coaches are rightfully allowed on the field at every other Spire meet. Why does this one need to be any different?)

4. And obviously, Akron is a much better location for a "state" meet given its relative centrality compared to Geneva. Why again did this meet ever move?
Can’t remember if there was an availability issue with Akron, but the other major reason I can think of for it moving is that SPIRE is 8 lanes on the curve and 10 on the straightaway. Akron only has 6 lanes on the curve. Thus, SPIRE allows for more qualifiers without extending the length of the meet which is something of great interest to the OATCCC and something that is at the heart of their quest to convince the OHSAA to add a 4th division. SPIRE also offers more seating than Akron.

More qualifiers with no extra time added to meet = additional revenue at a negligible amount of additional expense. It costs $10 per individual per event and $20 per relay. 6 extra individuals per event = $60, x 13 individual events = $780, x 2 genders = $1560, x 2 divisions = $3120. That doesn't include additional spectator revenue and any extra coaches who get their OATCCC membership just for the meet as result of the additional qualifiers. There’s also $20 per relay which equates to an extra $120 per relay event, x 3 relays = $360, x 2 genders = $720, x 2 divisions = $1440. Added to the $3120 from the individual events, and you get potentially $4560 of extra entry fee revenue from allowing 24 qualifiers instead of 18, but you have to be able to accommodate them without having to revamp the entire meet schedule and structure. Some of that additional revenue would likely have to be paid out to the timing company to cover data entry and whatnot for the additional entrants, but most of the remainder can end up in the OATCCC’s coffers. There is no significant increase to the length of the meet, and the amount of awards purchased remains the same.

I've come to view the state indoor meet as the OATCCC's test lab where they have a chance to tinker with certain concepts they wish to propose to the OHSAA (such as the triple jump or the expansion of the number of qualifiers to state) and develop them to where they can prove to the OHSAA that those concepts can work during the outdoor season.

Of the two venues, I prefer Akron even if it means only 18 entrants per event, but one can't dismiss the financial benefits of selecting a facility that allows for more competitors and spectators. Yes, it would be nice if the facility wasn't also hosting a Pennsylvania swim meet at the same time to make more parking available. In a perfect world, OSU eventually builds a facility comparable to SPIRE, and the meet is held there.
 
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psycho_dad

Well-known member
I don't care where it's at, but it might be the most boring meet I've ever attended. The meet time schedule seems extended to me from 10 or so years ago. It's a great venue...run the meet better.
 

JAVMAN83

Well-known member
Can’t remember if there was any availability issues with Akron, but the other major reason I can think of for it moving is that SPIRE is 8 lanes on the curve and 10 on the straightaway. Akron only has 6 lanes on the curve. Thus, SPIRE allows for more qualifiers without extending the length of the meet which is something of great interest to the OATCCC and something that is at the heart of their quest to convince the OHSAA to add a 4th division. SPIRE also offers more seating than Akron.

More qualifiers with no extra time added to meet = additional revenue at a negligible amount of additional expense. It costs $10 per individual per event and $20 per relay. 6 extra individuals per event is $60 x 13 individual events is $780 x 2 genders is $1560 x 2 divisions is $3120 plus additional spectator revenue and any extra coaches who get their OATCCC membership. There’s also $20 per relay or an extra $120 per relay event x 3 relays is $360 x 2 genders is $720 x 2 divisions is $1440. Added to the $3120 from the individual events, and you get potentially $4560 from extra entry fee revenue of having 24 qualifiers instead of 18. Some of that probably goes to the timing company to cover data entry and whatnot but most of the remainder can end up in the OATCCC’s coffers.

Of the two venues, I prefer Akron even if it means only 18 entrants per event, but I can see the financial benefits of selecting a facility that allows for more competitors and spectators.

In a perfect world, OSU eventually builds a facility comparable to SPIRE, and the meet is held there.
I would agree. French Field House is an outdated facility. Given the rich history of track & field at "The Ohio State University", they could well afford to put in a state-of-the-art 200m banked facility with a 300m warm-up perimeter track. If Michigan can do it, OSU can do it. However, my 4 decades of experience of observing OSU's coaching cradle shows me that the university is not serious about track & field...only football.
 

SOTT

Active member
As an Akron grad and former track/cross country athlete there, I’m certainly biased towards Akron, but I generally agree that it’s a better venue. The number of workers they get due to the fact (as mentioned above) that the athletes are working the meet is a huge plus. Those athletes are generally working an event they are intimately familiar with as well, which helps.

Spire can hold more athletes AND more spectators, so that’s a plus. I don’t think they do a terrible job.
 

CC Track Fan

Active member
Outdoor needs to run the 4x200 like it's done indoors. Much more interesting.
I agree the four turn stagger is crazy. The outside lane is running most of the race with noone in sight. I watched a meet in St. Mary's with their 10 lane track the lane 10 team was nearly halfway down the backstretch of the track at the start.
 

Supertramp

Member
1. Unlike Spire, parking/exiting the facility was never a disaster.

2. The meet ran seamlessly because every Akron track and XC athlete was there to work some part of the process.

3. Unlike Spire, there were never needless restrictions on coaches being on the field. (Coaches are rightfully allowed on the field at every other Spire meet. Why does this one need to be any different?)

4. And obviously, Akron is a much better location for a "state" meet given its relative centrality compared to Geneva. Why again did this meet ever move?
1.) Spire has much more parking than Akron. The only issue this year was two events at the same time, and construction in the parking lot. I thought how long I waited to park was reasonable given the event.

2.) Fair point. Although I think the meet seemed pretty seamless. They stuck to the time schedule.

3.) I agree. I do not understand how a meet ran by the coaches association does not allow more access to coaches.

But in their defense, it does become somewhat of a zoo once you start letting more people on. There were plenty of athletes on the field who were not actually warming up. Once you start letting more people on, more people start to sneak on.

But, that just means they need to be stricter with passes.

4.) This is the #1 issue with Spire. You quite literally could not be further away from Cincinnati and still be in Ohio.

(But move the Cross-County state meet to Cedarville and we'll call it even OATCCC/OHSAA ;) )

But at the end of the day, if we are talking purely about the facility itself, SPIRE is hands down the best facility in the state of Ohio. State of the art.

Frankly, if very well might be the best facility in the Midwest (Indiana, Michigan, and Vanderbilt are the closest facilities that you can compare in my opinion, I may be missing others)
 
1.) Spire has much more parking than Akron. The only issue this year was two events at the same time, and construction in the parking lot. I thought how long I waited to park was reasonable given the event.
The Spire parking lot has been "under construction" ever since the facility opened.
 

galesxc

Member
I personally find it offensive that I am barred from the track area and cannot instruct/encourage our track athletes... especially our young, inexperienced kids. I thought about borrowing a SP field event pass while the WT was in progress (and vice-versa) but didn't want to set a bad example for our guys.

I love the SPIRE facility and the opportunity it permits for more kids to participate. I suspect the larger spectator seating area is also an important factor. As long as ingress and egress are limited to a single file line, traffic is going to be a problem, construction or not... second event or not. I don't think we want vehicles backed up into the I-90 traffic lanes as they were about 1:30pm.

Akron is also a wonderful facility. I prefer its relative proximity and Akron folks run the most efficient meets I've ever experienced. I don't recall similar traffic issues at Akron, but maybe I'm just getting old...
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
I personally find it offensive that I am barred from the track area and cannot instruct/encourage our track athletes... especially our young, inexperienced kids. I thought about borrowing a SP field event pass while the WT was in progress (and vice-versa) but didn't want to set a bad example for our guys.

I love the SPIRE facility and the opportunity it permits for more kids to participate. I suspect the larger spectator seating area is also an important factor. As long as ingress and egress are limited to a single file line, traffic is going to be a problem, construction or not... second event or not. I don't think we want vehicles backed up into the I-90 traffic lanes as they were about 1:30pm.

Akron is also a wonderful facility. I prefer its relative proximity and Akron folks run the most efficient meets I've ever experienced. I don't recall similar traffic issues at Akron, but maybe I'm just getting old...
Akron's location is such that traffic is coming from all directions and parking at various points in all directions from the facility. In the case of SPIRE, nearly all traffic is coming from 1 direction and parking in 1 location.

Incidentally, there was a swim meet going at SPIRE last year as well. It may not have seemed like as big of a deal though since DI was in the morning last year.

I've never had a bad experience at Akron, but SPIRE doesn't do a bad job either. That said, I wonder if the quality of field is hurt by the holding the meet at SPIRE. Did travel distance cause any kids to opt not to compete at SPIRE, and would those kids have opted to compete at Akron? To me, that does matter because if this is your premier indoor meet of the season, and you want it held at that level of esteem, then you want to have the best field possible as opposed to having to fill out some of the events with entrants whose performances would have a hard time scoring at a 12 to 16-team outdoor invitational.
 

mathking

Active member
I think that the spectator seating is much better at Spire than Akron and the bathroom facilities are more numerous. I have had parking issues at both places, but with Akron it is less aggravating since you generally are not stuck on the highway. They actually could greatly improve Spire just by wrapping the drive all the way around so that ingress and egress are eased. Akron's location is much better for a state meet contest, but the added length to the meet from 24 vs. 18 entrants might mean going back to 18. I can make good arguments either way. While on the whole I would prefer Akron, I don't think Spire is terrible.

I do strongly agree with GalesXC about field access. I actually had multiple field event passes (we had five field kids in five different events, but for various reasons only one of our field event coaches could make it, so I was actually coaching three kids.), but I couldn't even stand on the outside edge of the track in the HJ area, behind the rope line after the HJ was completed. That was seriously frustrating. I would like it if they at least gave teams a lanyard or two (maybe with their team's running events printed?) with a couple of designated coaching boxes on the infield to allow coaching of athletes who are running. But hey, this event is run by our association. So we can ask them to make that change.
 
Our kids seemed to enjoy the experience racing at Spire this weekend, and once you are inside the building, you'd be hard pressed to find a nicer indoor track facility. I love that there is both ample seating for fans and the big banquet room upstairs for athletes to camp/stretch etc and still look out over the meet.

While I wish there was more field access for coaches, I told our kids that it was a good simulation of what to expect in June at Jessie Owens. At outdoor state, I can't be on the infield. At our regional meet outdoors, I can't either. All of my coaching happens outside of the track area, and I sit in the stands like everybody else. I like that the kids get a taste of that here.

My only complaints are parking and geography, but those might be a fair trade for a nice facility like this. I thought the meet itself was very well run.
 

galesxc

Member
I've never had a bad experience at Akron, but SPIRE doesn't do a bad job either. That said, I wonder if the quality of field is hurt by the holding the meet at SPIRE. Did travel distance cause any kids to opt not to compete at SPIRE, and would those kids have opted to compete at Akron? To me, that does matter because if this is your premier indoor meet of the season, and you want it held at that level of esteem, then you want to have the best field possible as opposed to having to fill out some of the events with entrants whose performances would have a hard time scoring at a 12 to 16-team outdoor invitational.
A few comments to extend the conversation...

The SWO region is clearly underrepresented, at least partially the result of the meet being held in the farthest NE corner of the State. The depth in most events would be improved with better representation from the SW. But... qualifying must also be more difficult for SWO schools since most hosts for indoor qualifying meets are located in Central and Northern Ohio ... with all available (Ohio) oversize tracks in the NE. I wonder if it would help "spread the load" (to more meets) and increase opportunity for the SW if OATCCC applied oversize track conversions...

Even with the schedule spread out a bit and with the 4x8 back in its "proper place" in the order of events, the time schedule has a significant influence on the overall depth and performance to seed in the distance races. Many quality "milers"/coaches must chose between competing in the 4x8 and the 1600M. The 4x8/800M and 4x8/3200M double are more likely, but only the most elite athletes will perform at the top of both ends of either double. The 1600M has trouble getting 24 of the top 40 to declare... although the seed times in the 8 and 32 are "state worthy", actual performances are often far off the athletes capability. I don't see a good way to fix this. I do like the Showcase option of running the 4x8 as the final event, but understand that many 4x8 guys are also in the 4x4, so that's problematic... Running the mid-distance relays last would be a real test of program depth.

We tend to emphasize the relay in this early part of the season... as a part of the effort to "build a team". It seems others seem to also emphasize the relays. All 24 auto-qualifiers declared for the D1 4x4... almost all auto-qualifiers declared in the 4x2; we were on the bubble in both. At least as far as these events go, the quality was as high as the State had to offer in 2020.
 

galesxc

Member
While I wish there was more field access for coaches, I told our kids that it was a good simulation of what to expect in June at Jessie Owens. At outdoor state, I can't be on the infield. At our regional meet outdoors, I can't either. All of my coaching happens outside of the track area, and I sit in the stands like everybody else. I like that the kids get a taste of that here.
I understand this point... but with two barely 15 year-olds in their first big-time championship competition, I would have appreciated an opportunity to better teach/prepare these guys for the outdoor championships.

What's harder for me to understand is why a "track" coach must be treated differently than a "field" coach.
 

madman

Well-known member
I think coaching access is determined by the OATCCC. If enough coaches want it changed, it will be.
 

mathking

Active member
I wonder if it would help "spread the load" (to more meets) and increase opportunity for the SW if OATCCC applied oversize track conversions...
I would strongly support this for qualifying. It is really, patently unfair not to do it.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
I know of kids that declared and did not get into events where less than 24 kids were on the start list. How do you have that and then 33 in another event? That's garbage if you ask me. Spots left open in some events and 11 extras taken in another? I understand the 11 extra, but not the 1 or 3 left open. Trying to also understand how you declare and not show. Those can't all be illness, injury or some other tragedy. Some of those are coaches declaring without asking the kid if they are going. I guess you can't mandate good manners or class.
 

galesxc

Member
I know of kids that declared and did not get into events where less than 24 kids were on the start list. How do you have that and then 33 in another event? That's garbage if you ask me. Spots left open in some events and 11 extras taken in another? I understand the 11 extra, but not the 1 or 3 left open. Trying to also understand how you declare and not show. Those can't all be illness, injury or some other tragedy. Some of those are coaches declaring without asking the kid if they are going. I guess you can't mandate good manners or class.
Some seem to declare for multiple events planning to chose which to compete on the day... I guess based on who else enters or is available to race fresh in the event(s).?.? I am not a fan and said so to another coach who responded that they "earned the spots" and had the right to take them and use/not use them as they wish. My preference would be to maximize the opportunity for as many kids as possible.
 
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