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Joe Wiley
12-01-2013, 09:47 AM
I'll start this off by saying this isn't meant to call any other teams' or individual's performance into question, nor can it take away the sting of losing yesterday.

Using this calculator, http://www.runsmartproject.com/calculator/ , the following time "penalty" based on weather is suggested.

D1 boys (09:40 55 degrees = ideal)
D2 boys (10:10 57 degrees = ideal)
D3 boys (12:20 65 degrees = ~ .88% penalty)
D4 boys (11:15 62 degrees = ~ .44% penalty)
D5 boys (13:25 67 degrees = ~ 1.22% penalty)

If this calculator is correct, that puts Jurupa Hills' weather adjusted team time at 78:28 (instead of the 79:13 actual time) and Brea-Olinda's at 78:22 (instead of the 79:06 actual time). Now before you say that sounds absurd keep this in mind: the differential in team time from last week's CIF SS Finals of the top 5 D3 teams versus Arcadia (which had a consistent performance the past 2 weekends) was an additional 46.8 seconds at the state meet versus CIF SS Finals. The calculator above would have predicted a 45 second differential based on the 10 degree difference in temperature of the races.

I realize "it is what it is" and the NXN invite process is not going to be adjusted based on weather, as that would be somewhat absurd. Further, I would think after being handed a defeat by Jurupa Hills that the Brea-Olinda boys would feel pretty deflated (as I do) and would be unlikely to put forth an incredible showing at NXN as a team. However, Jurupa Hills is no doubt riding a high right now and one could bet that they would go into NXN and turn some heads. They are the ones that I think are being dealt an unlucky hand more than any other boys team.

It shouldn't be such a big deal, but the potential exposure at NXN can't be discounted. Look at Estevan De La Rosa; without him going to NXN last year and getting 2nd place he would not have gotten the sort of attention he did after that race. Similarly, a junior like Michael Teran from Jurupa Hills could put forth a big effort and get attention from colleges he otherwise likely won't. The national stage is not something kids have a chance at very often, if ever.

It's difficult to change any sort of tradition, so I don't expect that to happen, but I must say it's really nice the way the state meet is formatted for T&F, where the top kids and teams compete against one another regardless of division. Adding one more post-season meet to the XC calendar so it matches the post-season of the T&F calendar isn't likely an option, but it would sure be nice to not have to wonder "what if?". Picking teams to advance to the next level based on team-time or a power-merge is less than ideal and it's not what competition is about. Certainly if we "power-merged" Ohio State versus Michigan yesterday the computer wouldn't have spit out a 42-41 score, nor would we have ever seen Penn, the #9 seed out of 10 in their region, make the final four back in '79.

I'm sure this has come up before. What is the general consensus of why we don't have a XC state meet for all the marbles?

Lastly, I'm going to study up on baseball as much as possible over the off-season; clearly that is how former baseball coach Scott Nielsen's Jurupa team was able to pull off the game-winning inside-the-(woodward)-park home-run yesterday in the bottom of the 9th.

Hal Harkness
12-01-2013, 01:04 PM
Simply, there is a limit to the extent the process can be micro managed. Since the division starting schedule at the State Meet rotates each year, weather is weather, cold is cold, warm is warm and rain/mud is rain/mud and the conditions faced by a given team this year can be the complete opposite next year. Data from one year is just that.

Albert Caruana
12-01-2013, 02:23 PM
I think the time has come for the strong consideration of adding an open division in Cross Country. We already have such a division in Basketball. Every year we have similar arguments come up since the best teams do not always race against each other head to head in the qualifying meet for NXN. The other factor that needs to be acknowledged is that the teams from the north are usually competing against much larger teams which kind of defeats the purpose of divisions and fair competition. Did you know De La Salle would be a Division III team in SS but compete in Division I because they are one of the larger schools in NCS?

So the solution appears to be the addition of an open division and then use the same CBED numbers for all school in all the other divisions. You would have an open division and then Divisions I, II, III, IV and V. For comparing purposes, the division breakdown used this year in the SS was as follows:
Division I-2530 and above
Division II-2529-2050
Division III-2049-1251
Division IV-1250-501
Division V-500 and below

The teams that think they have a shot at NXN can petition to the open division and everybody else would stay in their own respective divisions.

Thoughts?

Hal Harkness
12-01-2013, 02:35 PM
How can I say this without offending anyone? NXN is a wonderful activity, but reconfiguring our state meet for NXN consideration just isn't going to happen. NXN is a non NFHS event and we are not responsible for whatever process they use for selecting teams from California. There were over 235 boys and girls teams at Woodward Park yesterday, how many go to NXN, are you serious?

Joe Wiley
12-01-2013, 02:43 PM
Simply, there is a limit to the extent the process can be micro managed. Since the division starting schedule at the State Meet rotates each year, weather is weather, cold is cold, warm is warm and rain/mud is rain/mud and the conditions faced by a given team this year can be the complete opposite next year. Data from one year is just that.

I'm not proposing micro-management via some silly calculator. Just saying the format of the T&F state meet, where there are no divisions, is sure nice because it leaves no doubts. When Foot Locker was the only game in town it didn't matter because qualifying was independent of the state meet (right?), but that has changed with NXN (i think). Aside from NXN, which is really secondary here, facing the best competition possible makes the kids better as they have to dig deeper within themselves; I think that's what sport is about to a large extent.

So what is it about our state's XC schedule that has our final meet so much later than most other states? If prelims were pushed back an extra week or two it would be feasible to have four rounds of post-season competitions, as in T&F, instead of just three.

Albert Caruana
12-01-2013, 02:50 PM
Take away the NXN factor and you still have the unfairly matched divisional races. With the addition of an open division, you would be able to balance all the divisions and allow the best teams in the state to face each other in one race. You currently have that in basketball and football.

Joe Wiley
12-01-2013, 03:01 PM
How can I say this without offending anyone? NXN is a wonderful activity, but reconfiguring our state meet for NXN consideration just isn't going to happen. NXN is a non NFHS event and we are not responsible for whatever process they use for selecting teams from California. There were over 235 boys and girls teams at Woodward Park yesterday, how many go to NXN, are you serious?


It's not offensive to say that, and it's the sentiment of most of us coaches I assume because ultimately it's just one more meet. It's hard to deny it's relevance, though, as it gets more attention nationally than any other XC meet all year outside of hard core running fans. If NXN served as a catalyst for an evolution of the schedule that made for a higher level of competition within our state, I don't see how that would be a bad thing for the 231 boys and girls teams that competed this weekend and aren't going to NXN.

Tony DiMarco
12-01-2013, 05:16 PM
So, sitting on the side lines gives you plenty of time to think... Let me start by saying that I have all the respect in the world for those who govern our sport but I think California needs to take a hard look at how we do things again...

NXN is more than a "wonderful activity"; it is our national championships and many states take NXN very serious while others like California say "not a NFHS meet"... I cannot tell you how much my athletes enjoyed the experience last year (despite the mud) and how it opened doors for them that they would have never dreamed possible!

I found out my team was going to NXN late Saturday afternoon while other non-California qualifiers found out at their regional qualifier and got to buy NXN gear and pose as qualifiers in front of a large NXN banner! At NXN's opening ceremony, California teams had to sit there and watch (like a stepchild) the other states regional video, pictures and memories since there was either no time to come up with similar for us or CIF was unwilling to release any video or pictures from our state meet. Either way, California teams did not get to enjoy the full experience! I don’t see this as Nike’s error or problem, I see this as a California issue because California does not view NXN (most likely a money issue) as anything more than a “club team” experience. I still remember having to “hide” at NTN in 2004 when “coaches” were not allowed to coach their teams and how that took away from the experience for both athlete and coach!

JUCO has had the same experience with California in the past (I am not involved with that level anymore so I cannot comment about the current situation) as we are unwilling to move anything around to accommodate other states! I guess my first question is why? We have the best weather so why can’t we start earlier since many states cannot go later due to their adverse conditions!

I say move the state meet up a week or two and have a regional meet at Woodward Park to determine NXN qualifiers! I’m sure Nike would take care of the expenses with the park as they would make a ton off of merchandise!

Let’s face it weather will be weather and so on and so on, but the fairness of said conditions is not! I sat around until after the D3 race last year just to make sure that Palos Verdes, Brea Olinda and St. John Bosco didn’t run faster than us (and then waited the rest of the afternoon for the “merge”)… What power did my athletes have to help themselves qualify other than we were lucky enough to have better weather (it was much warmer for the D3 race last year) and better competition! That’s not real fair to the D3 schools or even the D2 schools! What happens when the D1 race is later in the day (I would think that’s what we are looking at next year) and the “Great Oaks or Arcadia’s” don’t run faster than D2 or D3 teams and get left home… Weather has and will always play a part in selection IF we are forced to decide who attends based on a “merge”!

I’m sure I will hear a very valid reason for not moving the state meet… so that leaves us with only one other solution assuming the people in charge care enough about NXN to make any changes…

Treat XC like track… I know, I know, I’m punching myself in the face for even writing this… but here it is… Have a certain amount of teams qualify to the state meet from each section and then have an at-large standard for the rest to even out the field. One boy’s race (or two if you have an individual’s race) and one girl race plus the individual race. Can’t argue about who made NXN when everyone goes head to head! Think of all the money CIF would save on trophies and plaques… wait… they would also lose a ton of money on gate…

Now, I believe that there is little to NO chance of that happening simply because NO ONE wants to only have two or four races! So that means the only idea that works is to have CIF move everything up a week or two!

Problem solved!

Chad Scott
12-02-2013, 07:54 PM
I say move the state meet up a week or two...

Problem solved!

Just move NXN back a week or two. Why should CA have to re-arrange it's entire schedule? Yes, the ENTIRE schedule. If you move the state meet up a week, then many sections must move their Prelims and/or Finals up a week. Then every league finals must be moved up a week. Our county meet must then be moved up a week. But that conflicts with Mt. SAC weekend. So would it get moved up a week? But that would conflict with the cluster and dual league meets. So we have our County Championships in early October?

NXN serves a miniscule population. I think they do some great things for the athletes and I wish my team qualified. But I do not think that a complete overhaul of the CA championship schedule (and therefore everything that must come before it) is warranted.

You also complain that NXN chose not to show pics or videos of the CA races. That's an NXN issue. The same website that hosts the NXN website takes video of the CA meet and can use that. Plus there are independent photographers and videographers who would be more than willing to allow NXN to use their photos and videos if they asked. Had my team made it, our parents would unquestioningly allow their video and photos be used. Sounds like NXN isn't asking CA coaches for the digital media.

NXN may make any changes it deems necessary. But expecting CA or any other state to make sweeping changes to accommodate a meet that does not even fall under NFHS is simply wrong.

And I depart with a quote from Dennis Miller. "Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong."

-Chad Scott

Tony DiMarco
12-02-2013, 08:46 PM
Chad,

Correct if I am wrong, but I do believe that CIF did not allow any video from the state meet to be used? My answer to why California should make the adjustment is because asking the rest of the United States to make changes is in a word, unrealistic! JUCO has the same problem with California and they (again not sure if it is still like this) have their nationals without us!

Depending on Thanksgiving weekend, coaches do move their meets around (look at this year) so I don't think a week is asking very much in order to comply with the rest of the U.S. and allow teams to compete against each other for a NXN birth!

Let's face it, D1 and maybe D2 girls teams will under our current system be the majority of the teams who qualify to NXN which I don't think is 100% fair! I would have loved to go head to head with you guys and Bosco, Brea and Palos Verdes for the birth!

Prior to last year, I viewed the state meet as the end all for my athletes... until NXN! 2004, I had no idea what it was like but last year I got a taste of it and I have to say that for my athletes it was the greatest experience of their lives! To compete against the top teams in the nation is what most athletes and teams never get the opportunity to do unless they can raise the money to run in a out-of-state invite and even then it just doesn't compare to the experience!

Everyone's opinion on the matter of course is going to differ, but I have to say in my opinion I would love to move up our state 2-weeks and give our athletes a chance to have a week of non-racing prior to NXN so California kids can show the rest of the U.S. what we are made of! My team last year didn't run that great in Portland but my alternate who ran NXN but didn't run at Woodward ran the best of any of my athletes at NXN... Could be nothing... or maybe the week off helped? I would take one week if CIF was willing to give it (I know football started earlier this season).