Troy meet

5x26

Active member
For the girls a full minute to a minute thirty faster across the board than what nearly any of them have run this year or in many cases ever. I feel bad for these athletes who now have PR's that will never be reached again, and for the long list of athletes who lost legit school records from this. What a shame.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
For the girls a full minute to a minute thirty faster across the board than what nearly any of them have run this year or in many cases ever. I feel bad for these athletes who now have PR's that will never be reached again, and for the long list of athletes who lost legit school records from this. What a shame.
Why should this be considered a shame? Was the course short?

If you're going to make the effort to slam a meet, please give us something more damning to the sport than kids ran fast times.
 
The atmosphere was incredible, the final half mile was on the track, a completely flat course besides the little 5-second climb from flood plain to up top the levee. For many athletes, probably the best weather of the year. Competition was strong.

Kids run fast in fast situations. Tons of blazing times at Hot Summer Bash, Wooster, Riverside Night Lights, Seneca, etc. over the past few weeks. I'm sure there will be crazy times at Saturday Night Lights and Les Eisenhart and Berlin and other places in the coming weeks if conditions allow.

Yesterday was by far the best racing conditions, atmosphere, and competition our kids have had yet this season. Lots of guys ran big season bests at Milford and Trinity, too. Maybe it was just a good day to be fast? Maybe its that time of year when people start dropping time. Or maybe we should all forget about times in XC regardliess of the course.
 

CC Track Fan

Well-known member
Atmosphere alone doesn't create that type of time drops (race winner dropping 85 seconds is not very common) . Not saying for sure that it was short but all signs point toward it being short. Good chance most of those kids will not touch those times again this year. I don't think it is a shame but some kids will not understand why the next few weeks they are running so much "slower".
 

5x26

Active member
Well it's still my opinon, it sucks to run a meet you will never duplicate the time and take well earned records from other kids.

"If" by chance it was because maybe now kids just got fast, I really look forward to seeing their times continue to drop. Bella Butler from Oakwood is the fastest kid in SW Ohio right now I have absolutely zero doubts about that. The Troy winner is a great runner as well. But she didn't go from running 40-50 seconds behind Sam Erbach in 2 straight meets on the same track to running 30 seconds faster in the next one when Sam also got faster and she is absolutely NOT faster than Butler but times say she is. Same night, same weather, same "electric" atmosphere just a different course. It's no skin off our back. We run D2, none of my kid's records went down, but we know kids and coaches who were at Troy last night, most recognized the times were not legit or indicative of ability. Funny some are trying to legitimize it. Whatever. It's cool. I genuinely hope it is where these kids are, and I look forward to them dropping more and more times and seeing where they land head to head at districts and or regionals.
 

Supertramp

Active member
Was it not the Regional Troy course? I was surprised to see some of those quick times myself since that has not traditionally been a fast course.
 

Running Man 101

Well-known member
Troy can be really fast if the weather has been good and it's not muddy.

I recall the early season meet being different than Regionals. More running on the floor plan, but it's been awhile.
 

4Runner

New member
It just doesn’t account for those kind of time drops almost across the board. Kids who are already running good times don’t (almost) all drop 60+ seconds on the same night. I just know my kids wouldn’t feel good about a time they may very well not hit again for the rest of the season, and being honest with themselves they would know that
 

4Runner

New member
It’ll all work it’s way out by the end of the season anyway when they are all on the same course. The times were just a bit eyebrow raising. If those kids continue to improve at that rate it’ll be one heck of a post season.
 

madman

Well-known member
If a coach is allowing kids to evaluate themselves based only on the time in a meet, that program is in trouble in a way that discussions on a message board are never going to solve.

Telling someone you think their course is short is akin to calling their significant other ugly. They most likely aren't going to see things your way, and you are only going to anger them. You're not going to convince them.

There is no agreed method for measuring a cross country course at any level. If you tried to apply the methods used for measuring a road course, most people don't have the necessary equipment nor the training to use it. The measuring wheels you pick up at Home Depot aren't intend to be used measure things 5000 meters long. Have 10 coaches bring their 10 wheels to a course and have them measure it. You will get 10 different measurements, some remarkably different. Have 10 coaches use the same wheel on a straight course over grass and you will get 10 different measurements. Add in some lumps, hills, roots, turns, etc. and the differences only increase

Don't even get started with using GPS on a course with significant turns, hills, trees, etc.

Are times useless? Not at all, but they aren't much good without some sort of basis for comparision.

The best possible scenario is comparing races run on the same course on the same day with similar conditions. Note that Boardman this weekend wouldn't qualify for that since the conditions in the morning were much different than the conditions in the evening. If you had a day with relatively stable temps and course conditions, it would be reasonable to compare runners times in the JV, Varsity, and Open races.

What about week-to-week? I do this on a regular basis. If you have larger meets with a number of teams who run them both, you can determine the typical difference (change in median times) and get a rough idea of how different the courses ran and then evaluate how your athletes did relative to the typical difference. If conditions are vastly different, I usually restrict the comparision to the top athletes who are less affected by things mentally.

If you are fortunate enough to have a mentally tough senior, then you can use them as a reference and look at the deficit of the other runners to that reference. That falls apart of you don't have such a person, or they get sick, injured, etc.

There is no reason to call a course short since we don't have a way of accurately measuring courses anyway. I think it's fair to say race A ran ~## seconds faster than course B after you look at the differences in the times for the athletes who ran both races. You're not attributing that difference to the length of the course, the conditions of the course, the typical training modalities used in the prior week, etc. You're simply stating an observation.

You're better off trying to get athletes to accurately assess how they did without knowing their time. What's going on inside their head before and during the race is the important stuff. The time is a symptom that can be misleading. If there are common themes within the team that need to be addressed, then you can do that verbally and help them with ensuing workout designs.

Chasing after times means that your athletes are going to miss the fun of racing in the mud, on hills, etc. They will be disappointed and difficult to motivate for any meet that isn't flat, fast, and in awesome weather conditions. It destroys the best part of the sport in my opinion.
 

4Runner

New member
Wether they should or shouldn’t gauge their performance based on time alone, they are teenagers, and for most that will be their gauge of “success”. Of course there are other puzzle pieces that factor in, but as it is a timed sport, that will most likely be their primary gauge.
I LOVE this sport and certainly wish their focus would be more on the joy of racing and tackling obstacles (mud, hills, etc). Time will always be a motivating factor though.
 

Finishtiming

Active member
Weather has a lot to do with faster times. We saw it at Cedarville for the All-Ohio college meet. This was first year to hold it as a night race. Here are a couple stats that I found interesting. Cedarville is a good course that you can use a comparison from year to year since it is the exact same course very time.
Men-8K
2019 - 63 runners under 27:00 and 14 runners under 26:00, 0 under 25:00
2021 - 67 runners under 27:00 and 20 runners under 26:00, 2 under 25:00
2022 - 135 runners under 27:00 and 64 runners under 26:00, 19 under 25:00

Cannot compare the womens as they ran 5k instead of 6k this year.
 

4Runner

New member
I don’t see weather accounting for multiple 60-90 second drops for kids already running fast times. It’s a factor for sure, but not THAT large of a factor. Troy and Cedarville had the same weather yet did not have the same time drops
 

Finishtiming

Active member
I don’t see weather accounting for multiple 60-90 second drops for kids already running fast times. It’s a factor for sure, but not THAT large of a factor. Troy and Cedarville had the same weather yet did not have the same time drops
I agree with the time drops being quite large at troy I am just showing that the weather could have something to do with it as evidenced by the college all ohio meet.
 

CC Track Fan

Well-known member
Weather has a lot to do with faster times. We saw it at Cedarville for the All-Ohio college meet. This was first year to hold it as a night race. Here are a couple stats that I found interesting. Cedarville is a good course that you can use a comparison from year to year since it is the exact same course very time.
Men-8K
2019 - 63 runners under 27:00 and 14 runners under 26:00, 0 under 25:00
2021 - 67 runners under 27:00 and 20 runners under 26:00, 2 under 25:00
2022 - 135 runners under 27:00 and 64 runners under 26:00, 19 under 25:00

Cannot compare the womens as they ran 5k instead of 6k this year.
I wasn't there in '19 but heard it was a hot one but was there the last 2 years and 2021 it was extremely hot and not a cloud in the sky and Friday outside of high humidity it was near perfect weather. So went from one extreme weather to another. Yes weather is a big factor but the kids at the all-ohio meet were setting PR but were not dropping minutes off PR.
 

CC Track Fan

Well-known member
Have 10 coaches bring their 10 wheels to a course and have them measure it. You will get 10 different measurements, some remarkably different. Have 10 coaches use the same wheel on a straight course over grass and you will get 10 different measurements.
Take the average of all the times the course was wheeled you would have a pretty accurate measurement. That is why a course shouldn't be measured only once. Measure it enough times your will have a really good idea how long it is.

As for GPS. Do the same thing. If you run it enough times with quite a few different watches you will also have a really good idea how long it is.

Doing both wheels and GPS will have an even better idea how long the course is.

Of course will never get exactly 5k but will get it close enough that the difference will not be quickly noticeable in everyone's times.
 

Running Man 101

Well-known member
Take the average of all the times the course was wheeled you would have a pretty accurate measurement. That is why a course shouldn't be measured only once. Measure it enough times your will have a really good idea how long it is.

As for GPS. Do the same thing. If you run it enough times with quite a few different watches you will also have a really good idea how long it is.

Doing both wheels and GPS will have an even better idea how long the course is.

Of course will never get exactly 5k but will get it close enough that the difference will not be quickly noticeable in everyone's times.
The GPS measurements are always longer than wheeled in my experience. Normally about 0.9 to 1% longer than wheel.

I can see Troy being fast Friday night. Good weather, ground was firm, kids are in shape now.

The only requirement is it cannot be more than a 5k.

Let's see how things pan out the next two weeks.

BTW, Finishtiming.com data suggests significant improvements in time.
 
The problem with courses like these is what I call the "Milesplit Effect", meaning kids look more to the watch than actually racing and beating people. Who cares if you ran 16:00 if you also finished behind runners you've been beating all year?

Coaches are victims of this too. When distrcit seedings and state rankings seem more influenced by Milesplit's ranking tool (based solely on time comparisons) than analysis of meet results, teams who never visit the "running on a pool table" courses in 60 degree twilight, no humidity conditions can be affected adversely.

Yes, it tends to work out in the end, but not posting fast times can work against teams. Which, of course, is why these meets are so popular.

You get a PR! And you get a PR! We all PR!
 

Running Man 101

Well-known member
Well it's both; a position race and time event. Positions really start to matter as we head towards conference. One of the issues I have in these big meets is run 7 score 10. If we are really trying to simulate a position race, only run 7. Then the kids know every position matters.

This is why Variety of meets is important.
 

runs4funs

Active member
Seems like this is the same thread from last year’s Celtic Clash. Which is this coming weekend, so hang onto these comments because you’ll need them again in a week!
 

4Runner

New member
Very interesting to look at the results and see that most of them are not just season bests but lifetime PR‘s.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
Seems like this is the same thread from last year’s Celtic Clash. Which is this coming weekend, so hang onto these comments because you’ll need them again in a week!
FWIW, it eventually came to light that the last year's Celtic Clash course was short due to construction on Jerome's campus. AFAIK, that construction is complete, so this year's version of the course may be different. It is supposed to be cooler this weekend though. I don't remember what it was like for this weekend last year.

Is it really that difficult for people to look past the times and focus on the head-to-head competition at some of these meets?


Incidentally, some runners I'm most familiar with hit some big PRs at Cedarville on the 5th weekend of last year during the All-Catholic Meet (1 runner's next best time for the season was 50 sec. slower). Guess we should call out the fine folks at Cedarville U. for such a shameful thing to have happened. :unsure:
 

4Runner

New member
A handful of kids running big PR‘s is not the same as it being across-the-board. It’s just not a fair comparison.
Head-to-head competition matters, but the times attached matter as well
 

EuclidandViren

Well-known member
About 150 meters short via a wheel measurement.

When you see girls never breaking 21:00 before running 19:30s and an entire team never breaking 18:00 before all running 16:30's you should be suspicious.

I would say there are 3 variables equating to faster times:
1- short course by 150 meters or about 30-35 seconds
2- fast course and run a lot on a track- about 15-30 seconds
3- cooler temperatures at night when the blood is flowing for about 15-30 seconds.

You can easily see why many kids ran 1:00-2:00 faster. How about the kid with never breaking 19:00 (running 3 years with over 15 races and running 16:58). Now you should be suspicious.
 

Running Man 101

Well-known member
About 150 meters short via a wheel measurement.

When you see girls never breaking 21:00 before running 19:30s and an entire team never breaking 18:00 before all running 16:30's you should be suspicious.

I would say there are 3 variables equating to faster times:
1- short course by 150 meters or about 30-35 seconds
2- fast course and run a lot on a track- about 15-30 seconds
3- cooler temperatures at night when the blood is flowing for about 15-30 seconds.

You can easily see why many kids ran 1:00-2:00 faster. How about the kid with never breaking 19:00 (running 3 years with over 15 races and running 16:58). Now you should be suspicious.
But that does happen.

Are you speculating on it being short or did you measure it?
 

5x26

Active member
Imagine that. I actually knew what I was talking about. 28 of the top 30 running lifetime PR’s is just not a thing. Glad it was corrected for both the runners and the various past record holders.
 
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