Monday, January 20, 2014

What is the best Track and Field Invitational?

And why?  


Andrew said...

Gotta be Arcadia - history, talent, national scope, pure numbers, number of PRs set there. Would love to be able to go one day for my first time.

NorCal - I really like Dan Gabor. It's got the talent, its an early season meet that draws really well, it's huge, it has heats for all talent and experience levels that makes sure no one is too far back, and it's got some history. Great meet, Amador Valley High!

Jack said...

Arcadia for us West Coasters. But you can't leave out the Relay Meets: Penn, Drake, Stanford.

On the pro and collegiate level the distance races at Stanford are legeonday and any race at Hayward Field is beyond spectacular.

But let's talk High School Nor Cal. My top 5 top to bottom:

CCS Top 8
I'm sad this is just CCS and not a best of Nor Cal but this is far and away THE best meet in Northern California. The quality of field produces races that rival Arcadia. No other meet compares.

West Coast Relays:
Yup, I am counting Fresno in the top half of the state. They are you know! Buchanan has the best facilities I have ever seen and they're doing even more to upgrade. The meet is outstanding as well. My only quelm is it's run in the middle of the day heat. If there were night races for distances like Dan Gabor, Stanford, etc. this would be #1.

Dan Gabor
Best early season meet out there. I'd rather see it a few weeks later as it's so damn cold but maybe it will be a good thing if the heat sticks around. It's well run and you win t-shirts. What's not to love?

This meet is great, and in an amazing venue but you get the feeling you're at a golf club and not a member. High School brings in the ticket sales or no one would go. Texas found that out, 100,000-ish fans at their meet. All parents. It's the same for xc. It's mostly HS races but you're the side show. So until they figure that out it's down the list. The HS distance races shoul be in the early evening. And the 3k is odd to me. Go 3200 or go 5k. Not having all the events too... Odd.

Saint Francis
I was torn with #5 as I was about to put Avis Kelley (held in Gilroy) but the last two years it has declined a bit giving the edge to the Saint Francis Invite. Love the relays, especially things like the co-ed races. The 800 is traditionally a hot one. My only quelm once again is the mile and 3k... I don't mind the mile, but the 3k is just out of sync. If you stick with the 3k (tradition/history) than why change from the 1500? If this race had a 4x800 it would be perfect. The only odd thing is the tree on the inside of the track and the really odd and annoying four foot fence 6 inches inside Lane one on the home turn. And let's not forget the best part of this meet: the BBQ lunch.

T Schlong said...

Woody Wilson @ UCDavis

Anonymous said...

As an athlete, I love Dan Gabor because it has the spirit of a big-time meet, but at the same time there's not nearly as much pressure to succeed as at Stanford or Arcadia. Both of those meets are still fantastic, but Gabor has the ability to be relaxed and very fun.

Anonymous said...

I will agree as CCS Top 8 as the #1, but how did nobody mention the Dublin Distance Fiesta? Dublin Distance Fiesta is a very similar meet to Dan Gabor, and Dan Gabor is great too, but I'd have to see Dublin Distance Fiesta is even better. I love how they give out the sombreros for the overall winner.

Anonymous said...

I have my own, but I'll go with the favorite of the kids.

Dublin Distance Fiesta. Because it's very well organized, has the music, and they love trying to get a Sombrero or at least a t-shirt.

Woody Wilson in the old format during the evening. It gave the impression of a big time meet and was good for P.R.'s running in the evening. (Don't care for the new daytime format.)

Sacramento Track Classic. Same as above. Kids love running in the big stadium, good early season competition.

Sacramento Meet of Champions, especially when ran at Hughes Stadium, Sac City College.

West Valley Invitational at Harrison Stadium, Oroville. This is one of the best kept secrets in the north state. Kids like it because it is ran on one of the best Mondo tracks around, is a great facility, and the meet brings over 50 schools from NCS, NS, SJS, and Nevada.

Anonymous said...

Dublin distance fiesta is one of the best meets I have ever attended and competed in. Distance carnivals allow athletes of any talent have a chance to race for glory. The DMRs are always great to watch.

Coach Tim said...

Jack wrote:
Stanford - This meet is great, and in an amazing venue but you get the feeling you're at a golf club and not a member. High School brings in the ticket sales or no one would go...It's mostly HS races but you're the side show.

I can't agree more. It's a great meet, and I think it's good for the athletes to experience a really well-managed meet, but I totally agree about feeling out of place. There's a growing number of quality meets in the area, and soon maybe we won't need Stanford to do us any favors anymore.

Negativity aside, I am also a big fan of CCS Top 8, especially when run at City College. I'm always excited to have athletes qualify and get to have the experience of running there.

Peter Brewer said...

For me it's not the meet, but what the meet offers. There are lots of top-end meets that cater to the superior individuals. I'm looking for meets that get as many (if not all) of my kids into competition as possible. And of course, I'd like a meet to be reasonably well run and have awards available outside of just the tip-top athletes. And it has to offer the events I want to have my athletes compete it, as well as allow for full team entries in all divisions. So here goes:

top attractions for a meet:
has a 4 x hurdle event
has a 4 x 800 relay
has field event relays
has full events for varsity and frsoh-soph

This limits this to a toss-up between the Martinez Relays and the Castro Valley invite.

On separate notes: The Gabor has the outstanding distance portion. Stanford is fun if you have the horses to compete. Mt. SAC has no qualifying standard for the 4 x 100 and 4 x mile, so anyone can come and at least chug around in the back of the pack while soaking up the atmosphere.

Albert Caruana said...

For me, I want a meet that will be organized and stick as close to the time schedule that is posted. I also appreciate when a few of my athletes get a chance to win an award. Meets like the San Rafael Twilight Relays and the two distance events are fun for the kids so that is always an added bonus. The Stanford Invite definitely has it's detractors but it gives the kids the feel of a big time meet plus they can watch collegiate and open athletes compete.

Nils said...

If you want to give kudos to organization and sticking to schedule, the Dublin Distance Fiesta is the best that I've seen. Clearly a lot of effort put into the "choreography" of getting people on and off the track, while still allowing the runners to have fun.

Anonymous said...

I love Dublin for the distance kids. It is fun that if people are seeded correctly anyone has a chance to win. The only problem with this meet and Dan Gabor is coaches lying to be in slower heats so they win. Ironically those same coaches probably lie with over-exaggerating to get them in the big meets too.

That said... While Dublin is a great meet it is not a Track and FIELD meet, it is only Distance so that in my opinion excludes it from a top spot as it hosts only 4 events.

My only criticism of Dublin is that the "music" is played on speakers from the finish line and you can only hear it when you run by. Why do they not put it on the speakers used to announce at football games and for the pre-game? Or are the speakers not that good?

Popular Posts