Thread: Track on Grass?
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Old 11-21-17, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Rohbino View Post
Some of what teams run a lot of in meets is going to be determined where the school is located. You're in central Ohio, mathking. Central and Northwest Ohio are probably the two flattest areas of the state from a topographic consideration. It's pretty hard to find a tough course in central Ohio. Northeast and Southeast Ohio are the hilliest areas. There aren't a lot of big schools in SE Ohio but as you know, NE Ohio has a lot of them. What seems to happen every year is that times that the NE Ohio schools are running at some of their meets are looked at and some of those teams are discounted for the state meet because they might have run a few meets with slower times. SW Ohio is probably somewhere in the middle - a mix of flatter and hillier courses.

It's probably not a bad idea for teams to schedule some meets on "track on grass" courses. It helps athletes in training for fast race conditions. I believe that teams should also seek out some more challenges, though, in order to work on strength under racing conditions. It a team only runs on flat courses or hilly courses, they're missing out on some aspect of development as a runner. This is only my opinion, of course.

Speaking of courses, does anyone know why Goodyear was eliminated as a NE district? I seem to remember some discussion of when DI was moved away and then all divisions moved away the following year. I don't remember the reasoning. For those that don't know the course, it is challenging but not overly so, has a good size uphill/downhill, various grades, and is a great spectator venue. It definitely isn't a track on grass and it's a shame that it is no longer used as a district site. Some schools might use it for smaller meets (duals if anyone still has them) and I believe that the Bill Heideman summer XC meets are still there. U of Akron hasn't used it for years. They went to Firestone Metro and then Silver Creek for the Tommy Evans Invite. More than likely parking is an issue at Goodyear. I don't remember it having an abundance of parking.
Goodyear was not a hillfest, but it was definitely a slow course. Like you said, there is the large sledding hill, and there's also a few minor climbs where the course ducks in and out of the woods, but what made that course really exhausting were the long false flats as you criss-crossed the main open area of the park. Those felt like they lasted forever.

I can only speculate that with the creation of the dedicated XC course on the piece of property north of Silvercreek, the Summit County Metroparks appears to be funneling XC meets to that venue. It could also be that the NEDAB wasn't happy with meet management and jumped at the opportunity to reconfigure the district meets in order to eliminate Goodyear as a site.
Regardless, it is a shame since Goodyear is probably the most historic XC site in NE Ohio. They hosted the sectional and district meets countless times since XC's beginning as an OHSAA sanctioned sport, and in the old days (prior to the '80s), if you ran a dual meet in the Akron area, you most likely ran it at Goodyear.
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