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  #1  
Old 07-30-18, 05:40 PM
runohio runohio is offline
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Cross Country Team Success

KEEPING TRACK - Cross Country Team Success by Rod O'Donnell - http://runohio.com/index.php/feature...y-team-success

www.runohio.com
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  #2  
Old 07-31-18, 01:18 AM
madman madman is offline
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All the attributes Rod O'Donnell identifies that these teams have in common are certainly desireable, but I don't think it is by chance that all of these teams are also large Div I schools with students from predominantly affluent families.

There are 231 schools with male enrollments large enough for Div I. Enrollments rankings and median household incomes for the schools mentioned in the article?

Hudson - 82nd largest, $112,740
Hilliard Davidson - 53rd largest, $85,100
Medina - 20th largest, $73,289
St Xavier - 2nd largest, median income ? (tuition ~$15k/yr)
Mason - 1st largest, $89,569

I am not trying to make the case that a large enrollment and high median household income causes XC success, but I do believe that they provide resources that increase the likelihood of success.

I am more impressed with the level of success of Woodridge with an enrollment of 265 that puts them in the middle of DII enrollments and a median household income of $51,586.

I guess my point is that if I really wanted to know what program attributes controlled by a coach lead to success, I might focus more attention on programs with a long term high rate of success and that tend to the small end of a division and exist within more modest socieo-economic settings.

It may well be that the factors identified within the article are the same in these environments as in their larger more affluent peers, but it would be good to confirm that.

The best program in the state might be at a small DI urban school and we would never know it by looking at State Meet results.
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  #3  
Old 07-31-18, 05:19 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is online now
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I agree with all of these points. I think that they are true of the strong programs, regardless of socioeconomic status. I think all of these attributes basically describe Woodridge, and Woodridge is more of a blue collar community, much like Coventry, actually. These points are all intriguing to me, because Coventry's program right now stands at a crossroads. Our boys program has improved a lot since 5 years ago. the number of boys coming out for our program has increased steadily to 15 ish, might be closer to 20 this season. We have gotten our boys team qualifying to regionals the past 3 years, although we have yet to place a team at regionals above the 25 percentile. But still, its improved.

However, our boys team has kind of plateaued the last couple seasons, where we have kind of struggled to get any faster. Im not entirely sure what our next steps are as a team, but I kind of prefer building long term: focus on improvements that will benefit the team in the long run as opposed to just the next couple of seasons. Im just not sure what next steps are going to be feasible for our program. I have studied programs like SVSM, and Woodridge, so I have an understanding of how the elite teams in our division operate. But those programs have been elite for decades now. I don't know the process of how they initially built their programs, so it does me little good to study them.
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  #4  
Old 07-31-18, 06:58 PM
EuclidandViren EuclidandViren is offline
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Agree

I would like the list to include the girls teams also.

Centerville, Mason, Hilliard, Brunswick, Beavercreek, Troy, Ursuline are the top teams the last so many years.

I would like to agree with this for almost all sports in Ohio except the big 3 sports that foster minorities the most: football, basketball, and track. I would say that for the most part all sports are dominated by rich, privileged, upper social demographics in Ohio for D1. You can also look at the MAC for the middle class to upper middle class farmers in the Western portion of the state dominated the smaller classes in many sports.


On that subject. Can anyone beat Centerville girls this year? 4 in a row and not much talk about them on this forum. They have the best team coming back for the 4th year in a row. Can they beat Colerain's record of 4 consecutive titles?

What about a little love for the girls teams?
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  #5  
Old 08-01-18, 11:41 AM
Percidae Percidae is offline
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I find this topic fascinating. My view after having watched a program be built from the ground up over the past decade... To be consistently respecatble you need numbers. How do you get and retain good numbers from year to year? Make it a fun and enriching experience for everyone on the team, not just the top 7. Once you have numbers, there will be cream that rises to the top that will provide the awards some look to as a way of measuring program success. However, I feel that these awards are a by-product a solid program and should not be the main focus. If the main focus is the award, then too much attention will be given to a select few putting at risk the long term foundation of the program which is... numbers.
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  #6  
Old 08-01-18, 03:30 PM
mathking mathking is offline
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Coach OíDonnellís attributes are necessary but not sufficient. You can have all of those and not be great, or have down years. You could be good but end up in a tough region while your teams are really good and not make it to the state meet. As was pointed out, size does matter. Bigger isnít always better but bigger schools have a better chance of having a good number of good athletes. As madman pointed out. Socioeconomics matters. The biggest reason it matters is simply allowing kids the chance to compete. At my sonís school in Columbus, there are a lot of parents who canít pick kids up after practices, and there are no activity buses for the high school kids. As a result, there are a lot of small athletic teams. A similarly sized (small D2 girls, large D3 boys) school with most parents able to get their kids Home would have no trouble fielding teams .There are a lot of factors in play, and we tend to overlook or underestimate the ones that we arenít looking for. One of these is luck. Getting a great athlete or a bunch of good athletes at the same time is partially a matter of luck. Good coaches are able to make the most of these opportunities.

I am rambling, so I guess the point I want to make is yes, look at what good programs do. But donít assume that the top team in the state is necessarily the one doing the best job. Donít assume that what one school does will work for you. Donít simply assume that your success is because of what youíre doing and not in spite of what youíre doing. Donít assume that a year with less reward, as Percidae puts it, was a worse job by you as a coach. Be willing to evaluate what youíre doing and change it is you think a change is needed.
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  #7  
Old 08-01-18, 06:00 PM
Newton's Third Newton's Third is offline
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I have found this discussion of what determines success in high school cross-country very interesting. I thought it would be fun to see which programs have the longest streaks of arguable success within their respective divisions. Rather than using state championship berths I decided to use top 10 finishes to reduce the chances of programs qualifying from a weak regional. Top 7 or 8 might be better parameters but 10 seemed like a round number and still a very successful season. Every team that finished in the top 10 in 2017 have an active streak of at least 1, with some many more. All streaks listed below are active. I included Granville in division 1 since that is where they were last season but most of their streak was in division 2. Tusc. Valley also had a top 10 finish in division 3 and one in division 2. I am not claiming this to be the best measure of success but something fun to look at and it definitely defines some sort of consistency and success for those with long streaks. Minster’s girls are in another category in comparison to all others since only one or two of their streak is below a top 5 finish and most in the top 3.

Division 1 Boys active streaks of top 10 finishes Mason=1, Mass. Jackson=1, Whitmer=1, Centerville=1, Pickerington North=1, Hilliard Davidson=2, Hudson=3, Medina=3, St. Xavier=9, St. Ignatius=11.

Division 2 Boys active streaks of top 10 finishes Sheridan=1, SVSM=1, Shelby=1, Buckeye Valley=1, Unioto=1, Rocky River=2, Heath=2, Woodridge=3, Bay=3, Lexington=4.

Division 3 Boys active streaks of top 10 finishes East Canton=1, MacDonald=1, Columbus Academy=1, Grandview Heights=1, Gilmour Academy=1, Mt. Gilead=2, Sum. Country Day=2, Lee. Fairfield=3, Fort Loramie=3, Liberty Center=5.

Division 1 Girls active streaks of top 10 finishes Hudson=1, Hilliard Davidson=1. Springboro=1, Lakota East=1, Ursaline Academy=2, Beavercreek=2, Olentangy Liberty=4, Brunswick=5, Centerville=6, Granville=9.

Division 2 Girls active streaks of top 10 finishes Fairfield Union=1, Hawken=1, Ash. Edgewood=1, Minerva=2, Defiance=2, Tusc. Valley=2, Chagrin Falls=4, Tippecanoe=5, Lexington=6, SVSM=10.

Division 3 Girls active streaks of top 10 finishes Mt. Gilead=1, Fort Loramie=1, Archbold=1, West Liberty Salem=1, Fredericktown=1, Pettisville=2, Gilmour Academy=2, Columbus Grove=2, McDonald=4, Minster=18.
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  #8  
Old 08-01-18, 06:58 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newton's Third View Post
I have found this discussion of what determines success in high school cross-country very interesting. I thought it would be fun to see which programs have the longest streaks of arguable success within their respective divisions. Rather than using state championship berths I decided to use top 10 finishes to reduce the chances of programs qualifying from a weak regional. Top 7 or 8 might be better parameters but 10 seemed like a round number and still a very successful season. Every team that finished in the top 10 in 2017 have an active streak of at least 1, with some many more. All streaks listed below are active. I included Granville in division 1 since that is where they were last season but most of their streak was in division 2. Tusc. Valley also had a top 10 finish in division 3 and one in division 2. I am not claiming this to be the best measure of success but something fun to look at and it definitely defines some sort of consistency and success for those with long streaks. Minster’s girls are in another category in comparison to all others since only one or two of their streak is below a top 5 finish and most in the top 3.

Division 1 Boys active streaks of top 10 finishes Mason=1, Mass. Jackson=1, Whitmer=1, Centerville=1, Pickerington North=1, Hilliard Davidson=2, Hudson=3, Medina=3, St. Xavier=9, St. Ignatius=11.

Division 2 Boys active streaks of top 10 finishes Sheridan=1, SVSM=1, Shelby=1, Buckeye Valley=1, Unioto=1, Rocky River=2, Heath=2, Woodridge=3, Bay=3, Lexington=4.

Division 3 Boys active streaks of top 10 finishes East Canton=1, MacDonald=1, Columbus Academy=1, Grandview Heights=1, Gilmour Academy=1, Mt. Gilead=2, Sum. Country Day=2, Lee. Fairfield=3, Fort Loramie=3, Liberty Center=5.

Division 1 Girls active streaks of top 10 finishes Hudson=1, Hilliard Davidson=1. Springboro=1, Lakota East=1, Ursaline Academy=2, Beavercreek=2, Olentangy Liberty=4, Brunswick=5, Centerville=6, Granville=9.

Division 2 Girls active streaks of top 10 finishes Fairfield Union=1, Hawken=1, Ash. Edgewood=1, Minerva=2, Defiance=2, Tusc. Valley=2, Chagrin Falls=4, Tippecanoe=5, Lexington=6, SVSM=10.

Division 3 Girls active streaks of top 10 finishes Mt. Gilead=1, Fort Loramie=1, Archbold=1, West Liberty Salem=1, Fredericktown=1, Pettisville=2, Gilmour Academy=2, Columbus Grove=2, McDonald=4, Minster=18.
Perhaps a better measure would be number of top ten finishes by a team in the last 5 years, the last 10 years, or the last 20 years.
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  #9  
Old 08-01-18, 07:07 PM
Newton's Third Newton's Third is offline
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I agree. I chose active consecutive years because there cannot be even a small let down or you start over. One thing is sure. No matter how you measure it Minster girls are exceptional in D3.
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  #10  
Old 08-01-18, 07:59 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newton's Third View Post
I agree. I chose active consecutive years because there cannot be even a small let down or you start over. One thing is sure. No matter how you measure it Minster girls are exceptional in D3.
It poorly measures just how exceptional SVSM and Woodridge are in d2 boys however.
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  #11  
Old 08-03-18, 12:24 PM
crossrunner1 crossrunner1 is offline
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Lightbulb Many leagues have similar enrollment and median household incomes

Many leagues have similar enrollment size and Median household incomes but certain teams continue to win over the others and this can be true for districts/regionals and state. The largest schools do have an advantage because they have more runners and schools that are large that pay tuition would have the biggest advantage because they have more motivated ambitions in the households. The real question is; why do certain teams continue to have success year in and year out?
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  #12  
Old 08-08-18, 09:40 AM
EuclidandViren EuclidandViren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoventryTrackXCguy View Post
Perhaps a better measure would be number of top ten finishes by a team in the last 5 years, the last 10 years, or the last 20 years.
100% agree. Overall top 10 performances the last 20 years would put a more accurate measure on a good quality program.

If you look straight up at Minster- they look good on paper. But if you look how they race against D2 and D1 teams, they don't run that great the last decade. In my opinion it is 100% not peaking of Minster at that point of the season. But last year Minster ran at the Centerville Night Race and finished #10 overall. If you put them in the southwest girls regional and they won't finish top 10 many years. Minster does a tremendous job with their numbers and school size. But they are an anomaly with their no soccer, school pride, no soccer, German heritage, no soccer, coaching, upper middle class city with no soccer.

How many upper middle class cities in Ohio do not support soccer?

Last edited by EuclidandViren; 08-09-18 at 08:57 AM..
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  #13  
Old 08-08-18, 08:45 PM
jakeburg jakeburg is offline
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Ahem.
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  #14  
Old 08-10-18, 07:42 PM
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Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EuclidandViren View Post
100% agree. Overall top 10 performances the last 20 years would put a more accurate measure on a good quality program.

If you look straight up at Minster- they look good on paper. But if you look how they race against D2 and D1 teams, they don't run that great the last decade. In my opinion it is 100% not peaking of Minster at that point of the season. But last year Minster ran at the Centerville Night Race and finished #10 overall. If you put them in the southwest girls regional and they won't finish top 10 many years. Minster does a tremendous job with their numbers and school size. But they are an anomaly with their no soccer, school pride, no soccer, German heritage, no soccer, coaching, upper middle class city with no soccer.

How many upper middle class cities in Ohio do not support soccer?
Talk out of your backside much?

Baumspage has regional results back to at least '04. Minster girls raced the Troy Regional from '04 to '12. I take Minster's regional times and plug them into the DI race each of those years and rescore the races. Here's how they do:
'04 - 8th, 259 pts.
'05 - 6th, 161 pts.
'06 - 1st, 115 pts.
'07 - 6th, 187 pts.
'08 - 2nd, 125 pts. (win 6th girl tiebreaker vs. St. Ursula)
'09 - 9th, 228 pts.
'10 - 13th, 272 pts.
'11 - 14th, 375 pts. (Minster barely made it out of the DIII regional that year)
'12 - 8th, 228 pts.

Minster girls competed at Tiffin from '13 - '17. How would they do against the DI Tiffin Regional field in those years?
'13 - 4th, 166 pts.
'14 - 3rd, 101 pts.
'15 - 4th, 127 pts. (win 6th girls tiebreaker vs. Medina)
'16 - 1st, 22 pts. (DI NW Regional was no longer enhanced by the presence of the NE teams west of Cleveland)
'17 - 1st, 36 pts.
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Old 08-11-18, 04:08 PM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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Too narrow a definition of success. Two of the most successful seasons in Woodridge history ended with the girls finishing 13th. 2005 started a big run of 13 straight state appearances which is still going and 2011 with a team that had no business accomplishing as much as they did with the talent they had. I'm pretty sure there was at least one girl on that team that improved over 7 minutes for a 5k. 2012 was not an overly talented girls team either. Their success might be better than one of the boys state championship teams. It's all relative.

Marlington is a program that I would say is successful. Not many state qualifying teams to show for it, but they always seem to be very solid.

If you pooh pooh Minster's girls, you are clueless. Most successful program in state history.
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Old 08-11-18, 08:17 PM
cvctrackfan cvctrackfan is offline
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Having my daughter compete against Minster And coaching against them for 16 years there is no other team year in and year out like Minster. All the other teams in D1/D2 will come and go. And Minster will keep stacking up titles. From 1981 when they finished third to 2016-2017 when they dominated the field.
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Old 08-11-18, 09:03 PM
madman madman is offline
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I think we are getting to the point to where the discussion breaks down because we don't agree on the definition of success.

Even if we could come to a common definition of success, I think it would be an almost impossible task to identify the degree to which a coach's decisions and actions are responsible for that success versus environmental conditions over which they have little or no influence.

Furthermore, because of interactions between these environmental conditions and a coach's decisions and actions, even if we restricted our definition of success to measurable outcomes, the transferability of the same degree of success based on these decisions and actions is doubtful.

All that works well in a wealthy suburban district is unlikely to have the same impact in a poor urban district.

Everything else being equal, a small school without soccer in the fall is likely to have a stronger XC team than a small school that does have soccer in the fall.

I think John Woodin had one of the most credible and insightful minds when it comes to defining success. You may quibble with how he structured his pyramid of success, but it provides many useful concepts to consider.



Listen to him discuss the difference between winning and succeeding in his TED Talk

We should be careful not to confuse winning and success.

Last edited by madman; 08-11-18 at 09:13 PM..
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  #18  
Old 08-11-18, 10:17 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is online now
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Good post madman. I think relative to where my team stands currently, I think my best definition of success is whether our program is stronger after the season then it was before. The last 5 seasons, I think the answer was a yes, although some of those years, the improvements were not as great as I felt they could have been.
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Old 08-12-18, 09:49 AM
ccrunner609 ccrunner609 is offline
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I believe there is one block of the pyramid that is missing......Identity.

Kids have to create or have a identity (preferably as an athlete). THis identity has to be a shared part of others identities and what their identity is as part of your team.
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