Recommendations for cross country state meet?

psycho_dad

Well-known member
Why are we not hearing from psycho_dad about his huge donation he will be making to his alma mater, BG, in order to get the standards needed to hold the State Meet?? From what I hear, it is a site which could rival Terre Haute in terms of XC specific facility. By the way, made my first appearance to Terra Haute this past weekend. So nice to see people running around and cheering on the kids with little to no crowd control. Seems to be cross country fans can control themselves without the 120? or so officials needed at our State Meet.
BGSU will never get money from me after getting rid of men's track and field. I could care less about that place. I do think it could be an ideal place to build a great CC complex. They also could care less about recruiting my children. My daughter would hold every school record from 1500 - 5000 including steeple chase. Not worth their effort. Really did not reach out to many alums kids from my era.
 

ENA2

Member
This really depends on what you call coaching.
If having the ability to communicate to you kids during a race is a big part of "coaching" then I would think that keeping fans at a distance is nice. At our regionals, districts and large Invites, it is difficult to do this with all the crowd interference/crowedness. I don't have the ability to "coach" during a race...the kids move by too fast for me to get anymore than "move up Bobby" or "look for Tracy" as they go by. I do seem to coach OK during practice and up to the start of races when I have their attention. (also right after a race is a great time for some coaching -teaching)

Tallmage coaches did a nice job... as they usually do, but the reason their team moved up like they did was due to the coaching that happened From August first until the gun went off for the state meet...and probably a lot more the week before that state meet. Once that gun goes off, I think you have to trust the coaching you have done and then just root for your kids. During the race, we are all more or less cheerleaders. There were times when I wish I could call "time-out" and coach a little, but the only thing caoches can do is maybe remind a kid about what you already told him. Tallmage coaches were at certain points telling their kids to "move up" here or "relax" there, but so were the coaches of every last place team and those who's team were leading at 800 meters and faded. The six teams that won state titles raced the way they were coached to all season.
NOTE: I have seen some coaches who don't even go out on the course at the state meet Win State Titles... I have seen coaches coach (encourage) their kids so much during that race that the kids are done before the 3200. For both examples, the kids were probably coached to do what they did prior to the gun going off.
 

CatchKokopelli

New member
This really depends on what you call coaching.
If having the ability to communicate to you kids during a race is a big part of "coaching" then I would think that keeping fans at a distance is nice. At our regionals, districts and large Invites, it is difficult to do this with all the crowd interference/crowedness. I don't have the ability to "coach" during a race...the kids move by too fast for me to get anymore than "move up Bobby" or "look for Tracy" as they go by. I do seem to coach OK during practice and up to the start of races when I have their attention. (also right after a race is a great time for some coaching -teaching)

Tallmage coaches did a nice job... as they usually do, but the reason their team moved up like they did was due to the coaching that happened From August first until the gun went off for the state meet...and probably a lot more the week before that state meet. Once that gun goes off, I think you have to trust the coaching you have done and then just root for your kids. During the race, we are all more or less cheerleaders. There were times when I wish I could call "time-out" and coach a little, but the only thing caoches can do is maybe remind a kid about what you already told him. Tallmage coaches were at certain points telling their kids to "move up" here or "relax" there, but so were the coaches of every last place team and those who's team were leading at 800 meters and faded. The six teams that won state titles raced the way they were coached to all season.
NOTE: I have seen some coaches who don't even go out on the course at the state meet Win State Titles... I have seen coaches coach (encourage) their kids so much during that race that the kids are done before the 3200. For both examples, the kids were probably coached to do what they did prior to the gun going off.
I think you are right - the coaching started August 1, reaffirming critical points in races, etc.

When all goes well there isn't much to say besides - keep doing what you are doing..

I have seen programs remind athletes of the critical points, but on a couple occasions seen a coach let the 6th runner know that someone has gone down, fallen back, etc. My argument is simple, if something happens at some part in the race I am able to call/text my assistants and make sure they and our athletes are aware of something that needs done. Assuming race day is not important and that coaching day of was ignorant in my opinion (not directed to ENA2).

I hope we can find a couple courses to compare against each other and find what is best for (1) athletes, (2) coaches, (3) spectators, (4) OHSAA.
 

said_aouita

Active member
I know there are other timing companies in Central Ohio that would appreciate an opportunity to bid on a State Meet.

Am I the only one that doesn't like the Out and Back format of Clark County? The first mile and the finish seem coachable, but the rest, where teams change meet place, looks all but impossible. It is hard to criticize when we don't have the best alternatives, but I prefer the layout of the State meet. Parking sucks, but as for runners - this doesn't appear coaching/spectator friendly in my opinion.
How much coaching is really necessary, the final two miles of the state meet? The Springfield fairgrounds in a way adds back that Scioto Downs feel, where around the 2 mile mark (when heading out the stadium) there was no coaches or fans, just silence.

*e- coaches at Springfield can get runners first half mile splits easily enough, to tell runners if they are out too fast or slow. That's about all the coaching necessary on race day....imo.
 
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madman

Active member
I agree with previous posters who have said that what happens once the gun goes off is the result of coaching you have done prior to that point. Once the gun goes off coaches are primarily well-informed spectators. Our words of encouragement may elicit some incremental performance boost, but that's also true of encouragement from mom, dad, pops, nana, aunt Betty, their friends, etc. There is no single factor that makes a great coach, but I don't think I would put mobility to be at # spots on an XC course to be in the top 10.

Teach your athletes about racing all season. Work on strategies/tactics in invitationals and even some workouts. Sink the core concepts deep like the footings for a pier that will be battered in hurricanes. In the midst of the chaos that is a XC race and the pain/discomfort that goes with it, last minute instructions/exhortations are going to have minimal influence. The notion that there are magical words of wisdom that you must give your athletes in the middle of the race to elicit their best performance is wishful thinking.

That being said, I think as a matter of courtesy and respect for all the time/effort coaches have invested in their athletes it would be perfectly reasonable to have a few places along the course (coaches' boxes) with restricted access where athletes could know and potentially expect to hear from their coach would be a reasonable compromise.
 

grange45

Member
I agree with previous posters who have said that what happens once the gun goes off is the result of coaching you have done prior to that point. Once the gun goes off coaches are primarily well-informed spectators. Our words of encouragement may elicit some incremental performance boost, but that's also true of encouragement from mom, dad, pops, nana, aunt Betty, their friends, etc. There is no single factor that makes a great coach, but I don't think I would put mobility to be at # spots on an XC course to be in the top 10.

Teach your athletes about racing all season. Work on strategies/tactics in invitationals and even some workouts. Sink the core concepts deep like the footings for a pier that will be battered in hurricanes. In the midst of the chaos that is a XC race and the pain/discomfort that goes with it, last minute instructions/exhortations are going to have minimal influence. The notion that there are magical words of wisdom that you must give your athletes in the middle of the race to elicit their best performance is wishful thinking.

That being said, I think as a matter of courtesy and respect for all the time/effort coaches have invested in their athletes it would be perfectly reasonable to have a few places along the course (coaches' boxes) with restricted access where athletes could know and potentially expect to hear from their coach would be a reasonable compromise.
Sorry I disagree. You view a coach as a informed spectator at the state meet but the coach is still coaching no matter how big or small in your eyes. I have seen 5th and 6th runners on teams step up during the state race due to their coach coaching them during the race and putting the right inspiration in their head. I’m not saying it’s always the coach but I have literally seen a kid get a fire in their eye and take it to the next level because of what a coach said them during the race.

There is a need for coaches to be near their athletes during big events like this. I don’t know why this has turned into an argument. Football, soccer, etc have their coaches on the sidelines for this very reason.
 

KevinL

Member
Got this email today from our district rep from the meeting last week.

"Congrats to all who competed in the state cross country meet and to the teams and individuals that placed. National Trail is a good spectator venue and a fast course. We are experiencing internal problems with them as parking goes, or they set up a Christmas display route without notifying the OHSAA. Keep in mind any good locations that may handle a meet of this magnitude and let me know or Diane Krumpak, our president. "
 
I agree with you Madman about it being wishful thinking, especially at state as the quality of the coaching during the year mostly dictates the outcome.
 

Supertramp

New member
There are several stories of the famous Mark Wetmore of Colorado not even really watching his athletes on race day.

I read those stories, and I really want to aspire towards that kind of confidence and zen.

But then the race starts, and I find myself screaming like a complete buffoon.
 
Got this email today from our district rep from the meeting last week.

"Congrats to all who competed in the state cross country meet and to the teams and individuals that placed. National Trail is a good spectator venue and a fast course. We are experiencing internal problems with them as parking goes, or they set up a Christmas display route without notifying the OHSAA. Keep in mind any good locations that may handle a meet of this magnitude and let me know or Diane Krumpak, our president. "
Good news they are looking. Seems there are maybe only 3 sites that have been brought up that they would seem to consider Clark County, Cerderville and BGSU.
 

CatchKokopelli

New member
Good news they are looking. Seems there are maybe only 3 sites that have been brought up that they would seem to consider Clark County, Cerderville and BGSU.
Hartford Fairgrounds held a night meet this past year. Parking isn't a concern. The course can be changed to fit the meet's needs. The approach is unfortunately on a 2 lane highway.
 
"There are six UIL divisions in Texas "
I just read an article about a State Champion team in Texas. They have 6 divisions in XC, that is crazy!!
28.7 million (2018) Texas
11.69 million (2018) Ohio
I guess they do have more than twice the amount of people we do.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
I lived in Georgia for about 4 years and they had 7 divisions as I remember. Only the largest division was any good. There were 3 different state track meets with 2 divisions each at 2 sites and 3 at one. I can't remember exactly how it worked, but one of the divisions was split into Private and Public.

It was all odd to me.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
Here's what I know about Washington:
The broad strokes, 7.5 million people, 5 classifications for XC and 6 for track & field. Read on if you wish.

The state's population as of 2018 was 7,536,000 which is ranked 13th. The population has doubled since 1977. Seattle is the largest city at 724,000 and obviously growing. Herein lies the problem though: 60% of the state's population lives in the Seattle Metro area, yet the state is ranked 18th in land area, so there are some extremely rural and remote areas that make the most sparsely populated areas of Ohio seem congested.

Classifications are based on total enrollment in grades 9-11 (single-gendered schools have their enrollments doubled for an accurate basis of comparison). The state proposed adding a reduction factor for free and reduced lunches. They also proposed adding a 30% cap on a multiplier for private schools. I don't know if either proposals ever were brought to a vote, but a newspaper article discussing the proposals erroneously stated that Ohio enacted an enrollment adjustment based on free and reduced lunches. We obviously examined the possibility of doing so, but it failed along with the "tradition factor."

Washington had 5 classifications for XC this past fall (1B/2B, 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A) and 6 for track and field (1B, 2B, 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A). I don't now all the specifics, but Washington allows schools to "opt-up" to compete in larger divisions. The primary reason cited for why schools "opt-up" is to keep leagues together since league membership is often based on classification. There are only about 65-70 schools in each classification.

Also, it appears for track and field that Washington has a district-state tournament format. I got curious when my brother told me his local HS won the 4A state title in track & field last spring. I haven't looked at the XC set-up too closely. There are 9 districts in Washington. After each district learns how many qualifiers will advance to state from its district meet, district boards can opt to combine their meets into 1 meet for a given classification to increase the number of qualifiers from that meet. For example, say the Class 1B meet in District 8 will get 3 individuals per event advancing to state while the Class 1B meet in District 9 only has enough schools to yield 1 qualifier per event. The 2 districts can combine to make 1 Class 1B meet and get 4 qualifiers per event. That might create additional travel for the schools but relieves the district boards of the expense of operating 2 separate district meets for that classification.

Washington also has performance standards that an athlete can be met during district finals to qualify to state if they place outside of the number of automatic qualifying spots that the meet has been allocated. However, the performance standards are not easy to meet. The standards are based on the average 6th place performance from the previous 5 years at that classification's state meet. They drop the high and low from those 5 years and average the middle 3 performances to calculate the at-large standard. However, the good news is every athlete knows exactly what that standard is heading into the district meet. At-larges are accepted up to a max field size of 24 entrants. IIRC, the Class 1B, 2B, and 1A meets were all held in Chaney at Eastern Washington U. last spring. 2A, 3A, and 4A were held at a HS in Tacoma. Also, if you qualify to the next level in an event, you must run that event unless the meet medical staff determines that you are unable to compete. If you decide to scratch an event before the meet, your school administration must notify the next entrant in line to fill the spot.

The following batch of performances netted 50 pts. to win the 4A state title last spring
Javelin: 187-11, 4th and 177-3, 6th
1600: 4:12.80, 6th
Shot Put: 59-10, 2nd
Discus: 180-1, 1st
110H, 14.84, 5th
300H: 37.43, 1st
4x100: 42.99, 5th
200: 22.58, 6th

Other differences in WA: It's a 3-day state track meet, and they do not contest the 4x800. The 1600 is run on Thurs, and they run an 800 prelim on Fri. The 3200 is on Sat. It also appears that they intertwine the events for all 3 divisions, but perhaps not. Top 3 guys in the 4A 3200 broke 9:00: 8:56.02, 8:57.38, and 8:57.65. What a race that must've been! My bro's HS had a soph. girl run 4:52 to finish 2nd in the 1600 on Thurs. and 10:45 to finish 3rd in the 3200 on Sat. The top 3 girls in the 1600 were 2 sophomores and a freshman. The girl that won 3A ran 4:43 and 10:10 and was only a sophomore! In general, Washington is a pretty good state for distance running but less than stellar in sprints and field events which is no great surprise given the state's demographics.

This fall, the boys 4A team XC champion had a top 5 spread of 34 seconds ranging from 15:18 to 15:52. The boys 3A team champion had identical times for its top 5 but also had a 6th man run 15:55. The best girls team in the state won 3A with a top 5 ranging from 17:26 - 18:24. The girls 4A team champion had a more mundane but very respectable top 5 ranging from 18:36 to 19:37 (top 4 were 18:55 or faster). A total of 16 teams qualify to state in each classification. The quality falls off rather quickly in the smaller classifications as the schools rapidly decrease in size

The state XC meet was held at a golf course in Pasco. Along with Kennewick and Richland, Pasco is part of the "Tri-Cities" which are located in South Central Washington at the confluence of the Columbia, Snake, and Yakima Rivers. Next door to the golf course is a regional airport to the north and Columbia Basin College across the street to the west.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
How does the OHSAA expect Woodridge to figure out how to run at a new course? The kids just got the hang of NTR and the complete lack of challenge it provides. If Woodridge doesn't rattle of 2 or 3 more championships in the next 3 years, you all know why.
 

Supertramp

New member
My source at the OATCCC says the OHSAA is currently exploring sites. now whether that is for 2020 or 2023, I am not sure.
Yes, that much was made clear at the OATCCC Cross-Country clinic.

Dale Gabor also said they were trying to get out of the contract. Who knows if they will be able to or not.

I could endure 3 more years there as long as that Christmas display isn't up. But if that's a non-negotiable for NTR, please let us move on.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
How do you get out of the contract? What would be the compelling argument? Had this year been a disaster, I could see it. Maybe after last year you could make an argument, but even the light display garbage didn't seem to make the event damaged in some way. If there is a big downturn in attendance or revenue, then there is an argument.
 
How do you get out of the contract? What would be the compelling argument? Had this year been a disaster, I could see it. Maybe after last year you could make an argument, but even the light display garbage didn't seem to make the event damaged in some way. If there is a big downturn in attendance or revenue, then there is an argument.
I think I remember hearing that the X-Mas thing violates the contract so that could used as a reason to have the contract voided.
 

grange45

Member
I think I remember hearing that the X-Mas thing violates the contract so that could used as a reason to have the contract voided.
Correct. And also I’ve heard that NTR wants to expand the Christmas display next year which would not allow the meet to have adequate parking for the busses.
 

ccrunner609

Active member
I am sure that the OHSAA would look over a contract for an event and make sure that there was exclusivity in regards to renting the facility and not sharing it with another group on the same day.
 

CatchKokopelli

New member
We went to the Christmas exhibit. It was pretty cool. More importantly I believe what many are saying is correct - they want to expand the exhibit. As far as a contract is concerned do you think NTR cares about a contract being "cancelled" if they are the ones actively pursuing a different event that brings them major $$$?

I think at this point it is an OATCCC and OHSAA responsibility to find what is best for 1. Athletes, 2. Coaches, 3. Fans!
 

JAVMAN83

Active member
We went to the Christmas exhibit. It was pretty cool. More importantly I believe what many are saying is correct - they want to expand the exhibit. As far as a contract is concerned do you think NTR cares about a contract being "cancelled" if they are the ones actively pursuing a different event that brings them major $$$?

I think at this point it is an OATCCC and OHSAA responsibility to find what is best for 1. Athletes, 2. Coaches, 3. Fans!
I concur.
 
I drove east on I-70 this evening after dark and could see the display. From a distance it was very gaudy and might cause a seizure for a young child. There was a lot of flash and glare with an obvious approach of more is better. Adding even more to it next year must have neighbors very excited.
 
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