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Thread: Is Sarah Baxter the most dominant XC runner in CA history?

  1. #1
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    Is Sarah Baxter the most dominant XC runner in CA history?

    I will admit that I still can't figure out how she seems to win so easily. It doesn't seem like she has great natural speed or a fierce kick, yet she is just so dominant! She just has the ability to pull away in the 2nd mile and never look back.

    Bottom Line...she has still never lost an XC race! Jordan Hasay was 10th at Footlocker her sophomore year, Amber Trotter was unbelievable her senior year and Christine Bab**** was in a class of her own over the mile distance. Yet no one I have seen has simply WON so much.

    Despite being the defending National Champion, repeating is gonna be a tall order, even for her... Hagen Reedy really pushed her at Woodbridge. I watched Amy Eloise Neal at Stanford, she is in incredible shape and has thrown down some nasty times this season. Of course there is still that 4:11 1500 girl Mary Cain!!

  2. #2
    Vistamar XC,

    Really fun post. Thanks!

    In this case, how would you define "dominant"? Dominant as in unbeatable, or dominant as in winning by large margin?

    One thing to keep in mind in that although she was unbeaten as a freshmen (and I thought she was as good as Aisling Cuffe, if not maybe even better) , she did not run after state. Still, your post thread specifically states "in CA history" so that tag could still apply in the minds of some.

    Last year, it's very hard to argue she was the best out there and capped it with a win against the strongest/deepest prep field in prep history.

    This year brings new challenges. Am amazed at how strong she looks thus far. She's spurted up half a foot, but has fortunately grown into a physically stronger athlete along the way. That said, there are a few major gems out there across the country in 2012 (and you named a few of the best). She be fun for the fans!

    We'll see what the future holds. (And you are very correct about Hagen Reedy -- she is something very special as well)

    Amber Trotter might have been the most dominant when at her best when it comes to winning by amazing margins.

    Pretty sure that Simi Valley coach Roger Evans' mission for the season is not to have her win by extra-large margins, but to keep her healthy, keep her progressing on her improvement curve, have it be a fun overall team process for her and her teammates, and prepare her for her post-high school running.

    She's also a phenomenal young girl in terms of how she conducts herself. A fun, great kid.

    Enjoy the season!
    "Cross-country is an individual sport. Succeeding in cross-country is a team sport!"

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    I mean dominant as in she never loses. Her margins of victory are pretty large also. Hagen Reedy came the closest only losing by 3 seconds although She was down by about 8-10 for most of the race and closed in a lot the last 200 meters.

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    Jordan Hassay was an incredible athlete to watch and for several years looked absolutely ridiculous on cross country courses. She also came along at just the right time, when the internet explosion was happening, to develop a cult-like following. She won many races before the gun went off because the rest of the competition saw her standing there and knew that she would not be beat.
    I think that Sarah Baxter is almost exactly the same way, probably because her smaller blonde stature is very similar. She just destroyed courses and competition her first year and that set a tone of "unbeatableness."

    Having seen Amber Trotter run the record at Mt. SAC and destroy everyone at Clovis, I think she would have to be the most "dominant" runner. I think she also has the record for the largest margin of victory at Footlocker/Kinney nationals. For that one year Amber Trotter was unbelievably good. She dominated all the girls and most of the boys too!
    Keith Chann
    Chemistry teacher
    XC Fan
    Rubidoux High School

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    Ambert Trotter in 2001 was unreal and many of her times won't be duplicated for a long time, if ever. Here is one example, the NCS course at Hayward HS. Check out her time and how far behind the 2nd place person is behind her time.
    http://cifncs.org/sports/cross_count...%20Hayward.pdf
    Albert Caruana
    Crystal Springs Uplands School

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    Umm...ever heard of Jordan Hasay?

  7. #7

    Amber Trotter

    Regarding Amber Trotter, I would be hesitant, actually I would just not, put her in the conversation as best ever because it sets a very dangerous precedent. Amber Trotter was ravaged by an eating disorder her senior year which, sadly, not only contributed greatly to her insane times, but also destroyed her running career. I saw her at Footlocker Western Regionals her senior year and have never been so afraid for a young person's health. Her spine and hip bones protruded in a grotesque manner. Having coached girls for 16 years I think it is irresponsible to laud anyone who achieved great performance success through something so dangerous. In the years following Amber's run we saw several other girls burst onto the scene with dominating performances who also turned out to have eating disorders. Eating disorders are significant psychological and physiological disorders, and in the world of running all too common because of the significant performance boost that can be gained through weight loss. As such, performances by those engaging in such behavior should be underplayed or given the "proverbial asterisk" we like to give records tied to performance-enhancing drugs. For the sake of the kids we coach (boys and girls) we should be cautious when referring to the exploits of such athletes and use the opportunity to educate our athletes on the dangers of eating disorders.

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    I'd place my vote for Julia Stamps. She still holds the fastest time at the State Championships (16:43 in '96). If Baxter takes that down, then all hail to Queen Sarah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MotelRowe View Post
    I'd place my vote for Julia Stamps. She still holds the fastest time at the State Championships (16:43 in '96). If Baxter takes that down, then all hail to Queen Sarah.
    I agree and she was also on the seen as an 8th grader if i'm not mistaken.

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    My take is that while I appreciate the intent behind what you are saying, and certainly agree with a lot of what you are saying, I feel like that perspective, the way you put it, goes a little too far. This is why: I think a large percentage of girls struggle with these issues and the extent to which they do are points on a continuum ... some struggle a little or for a short period of time and others, on the other end of the spectrum, have extreme issues that define or even ruin a career. If you judge Amber that way, then you almost have to find some subjective point where you decide you are going to let someone off the hook or put them on the hook. I certainly agree with you that you have to educate and make people aware of examples of athletes that would cause great concern if they were allowed to be role models. But beyond the extreme there is a lot of gray area along the spectrum.

    Hmm... maybe i can put that a different, better way. There are some girls' records and all-time performances that seem "clearly" to have been achieved in an unhealthy manner and others that seem completely healthy. But so much more is in that gray area that I hesitate to put exact judgments on either end of the spectrum as well.

    I don't know, I don't like the "asterisk" thought and comparison to PEDs. That sort of implies ill intent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Chavez View Post
    Regarding Amber Trotter, I would be hesitant, actually I would just not, put her in the conversation as best ever because it sets a very dangerous precedent.

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