2011 Cross Country
Awesome to see a Nor Cal kid win but what happened to JC? I remember when Noureddine Morceli ran for Riverside and ran the 4 miles in like 17-18 minutes. Seems like while high school depth has improved (still nowhere near the 70-80's) JC has died. So these kids just quit when they go to college? Its a shame...
I think the depth of sport may not be the same because there are so many other options (athletically and more) available to high school students these days. The pool of potential xc runners is smaller. That said, the training information available to coaches and athletes is outstanding.I think a lot of students shy away from JCs because of a perceived stigma about attending a JC. It should be seen as a great option for some students.Anybody else wants to chime in on this?
Morceli was a one of a kind as there haven't been too many runners from the JC ranks that have run 17-18? minutes for 4 miles. This years winning team from American River could probably complete against any JC team in history of the CCCAA.
Since they went to a mandatory 4 miles in 1967 there have only been 2 race winners in CCCAA history to run under 19 minutes, Noureddine Morceli won in 18:48 in 1989 and Edgar De Oliveira from Cuyamaca won in 18:58 in 1993. There has never been a winner at 4 miles in the CCCAA in 17 anything. It funny how the older we get the faster we were.
In 1978 in Hart Park at the Metro Confrence Championships I saw a lead pack of Angel Cabrillo, Ron Cornell and Nick Carr go thru the two mile mark in 8:52. The second pack included Carmillo Rios and the Kester brothers (I think one of the brothers won Arcadia the year before)among others at 9:02. Several guys went sub 19:00 in that race and a ton broke 20:00. The next year at Metros Alfredo Rosas and Carr went low 18:00s at some Park in Long Beach. The JC's ran a ton of races in those days (duals and invites)and the State Meets were held on stupidly hilly tracks like Crystal Spings, Griffith Park and Balboa Park. The State Meets are the best indictors of how fast some of those guys were. Jeff Nelson ran at Brubank College and I think he was lo 19:00 on a sandy course in Grffith park that made Mt SAC look like a road race.
Jef Nelson ran at Glendale College.
I don't think American River could "compete with any previous champion," but they are good.Numerous runners who went on to have great careers and went on to run in the Onlympic Trials competed in JC. I think of West Valley and Hartnell in the 90's were amazing up here in the Nor Cal. Numerous 2:15 marathoners came from those programs. And they were lucky to come close to the Southern Section colleges like Riverside, Glendale, etc.JC has faded, I think mostly due to the pressure for kids to get into a 4 year school. Now if you are somewhat smart and you don't go to a top school you are a failure. Obviously that is not true, it is a stepping stone athletically and academically. It is a good alternative if you want to keep running or can't afford high tuition. I guess you just have to deal with today's stigma.
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