From Jim Crowhurst and the Press Democrat ========================================= You may have noticed on my site that I do next to no opinion pieces. This will be one of the few negative stories about the sport I love. What brings all this on? The NCS/Redwood Empire Championships. This meet is unlike any other I know of. This is where the top runners in the area all must gather to compete, to advance on toward State, yet the best never run against each other. Check out the heat assignments and look at what could have been. If you are unfamiliar with how this meet is run, I'll try to explain. The top 6 from the 4 leagues that compose what the NCS calls the Redwood Empire, come together to see which 7 kids in each event move on to the NCS MOC. In most of the running events, the kids are broken up into 3 balanced heats. So the 3 fastest 100 runners are all in separate heats and so on. They run the heats and then call the heat winner with the fastest time the champion. And the top 7 times go on. They even do team scoring on the meet and hand out a pennant. This is all done so that the meet can be done in one day. So, if you're in one of the three 800 heats, forget about running a tactical race. Only the winner is assured of going on. And should one sprint heat have a head wind and another a tail, oh well, thats the breaks. Ok I'm done ranting for the year. Just so you know the NCS 1A meet on Saturday will be at Montgomery High. It will also be a one day meet but they will run trials in the morning and true finals in the afternoon. This of course, is a killer for the sprinters, but at least it's not a meet on paper rather than on the track. Opps I'm ranting again. If you want to say "Hi" I'll be selling t-shirts at the 1A meet. Jim Crowhurst
Totally agree with Jim in regards to the seeding of the Redwood Empire meet. I am not sure why the best runners are separated in that fashion. There is no reason why you can't have a slow and a fast heat if you are going to have multiple heats. That way you can have fair competition for the coveted 7 spots that automatically advance to the NCS MOC.
As for the trials at the Class A Meet. The top sprinters cruise the trials so it's not that big of a deal for them. Since only 3 advance to the NCS MOC from that meet, it's necessary that the athletes with a shot to advance go head to head.
No question that for the majority of my athletes, the NCS Class A meet was their favorite meet of the season. It is very much sorely missed now that we are in CCS.