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Thread: CIF Playoff Bulletin

  1. #11
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    Coaches need to do a better job of explaining that the only course comparisons that are real are those that are on the same course, at the same time of the year and under the same conditions. The humidity can have a bigger affect on the time a kid gets in a race than whether the course was 3.0 or 3.05! Why would you compare, for example, a Mt. SAC time to a Woodbridge time? Cool Breeze to Stanford? Very different courses, very different time of the year, different weather, just different!

    I happen to know that the course is 3.06 miles.
    Keith Chann
    Chemistry teacher
    XC Fan
    Rubidoux High School

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichEde View Post
    The course is essentially the same as last year with some minor re-alignments. We'll try to get one posted at cifss.org.
    The minor changes to the course include:
    - At the small hill near the southeast corner at the parking lot, the course now goes to the left and then up the side of the hill before looping back to the north in basically a backwards "S" shape. The reason for the change is that the city put some irrigation along with wood chips around a few trees and it made the path between the trees straight up the hill too narrow. This loop is run twice so it lengthened the course from last year.

    - The course now runs ON the road along the back section of the course instead of along the side of the gravel road. The reason for this is that the City of Riverside put dirt over the top of the gravel road. Last year the course ran along the west side of the raod because there was a concern that the gravel would be very painfull to run on with cross country racing shoes. This change results in a slight decrease in distance from the course last year.

    The overall distance of the course was measured multiple times by GPS to give 3.06 miles.

    There will be an attempt to use a wheel to get a further confirmation of the length but that is not a priority since ... well see discussion above.
    Keith Chann
    Chemistry teacher
    XC Fan
    Rubidoux High School

  3. #13
    Echoing what Keith said, the course came out to be 3.06 miles. That distance was confirmed when I went to check the course on October 20th. Two days later, the course was the site for the Riverside Invitational. On that day, Tony DiMarco texted me and said he was told by meet management that day that it was 3.06 miles.

    When checking the course on the 20th, I talked with Will J. about the possibility of extending the course to 5k. We discussed it for a bit but no extension resulted.

    At some point, one should consider the desire to lay out a course that also fits well with the lay of the land. If a change to that course is 'forced' in order to get to exactly 3 miles or 5k that compromises the nice fit within the lay of the land, then it may not be worth extending it.

    As example, the Mt. SAC course could easily be extended to three miles or 5k, but doing so would take away from the very nice "fit" of its current layout. You extend that course either way or in other directions and you start messing with possible hazards such as speed bumps on the airstrip, a shorter or more congested/winding finish chute area, etc.

    Ideally, it would be great to have a three-mile course or a 5k course, but there are many courses in our state that are neither. In the end, so long as the course is at or very close to the targeted 5k (the maximum allowable distance under NFHS rules & also the competition distance found at our own state meet) and all kids run the same course, that goes a long way toward the goal.
    "Cross-country is an individual sport. Succeeding in cross-country is a team sport!"

  4. #14
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    I, too, am looking for the course map. Trying to figure out where best to shoot the finals. I hope to be able to find the right spot and shoot all of the races. Thanks

  5. #15
    Please see the PrepCalTrack mainpage for the updated course map as well as some photos taken on Monday. The recent rains helped add some "color" to the course!

    A big thumbs up to the coaches from the Riverside area who have put plenty of time in recent weeks making the course better for all participants. A nice step up from last year.

    Pray for a bit more rain and then nice weather on the mornings of meet weekend!
    "Cross-country is an individual sport. Succeeding in cross-country is a team sport!"

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony DiMarco View Post
    I am also hoping it was a joke and Keith I totally agree with you about that the distance does not matter as far as racing each other, but it does matter to the kids! They understand 3 miles (some understand 5k) and their time is very important to them because it shows them their improvement. I think it is very frustrating to an athlete to cross the line and see a time that is not their best and then hear afterwards that their "converted time" was a PR... It takes the joy and satisfaction away at that moment when they want to celebrate their accomplishment... You know, like when you receive an Olympic medal after the Olympics have ended because someone was DQ'd for PED's... Ask an Olympian and they will say they felt robbed of their moment...

    I'm just saying that I would like to see a course that is 3 miles... If that is not possible... then a 5k.... The kids understand those distances!!

    When did you hear 3.06? I was told 3.04-3.05? Thanks!
    In all seriousness, yes I hoped it would be 3.0 miles. Of course they all race the same distance, but kids hate when the times are slower and it doesn't help if we say "that's because it's 3.06." Lots of kids race faster if they think they have a chance at a pr.

    It's true that only points make a difference for xc, but if that's the only thing that matters then why do we even time the race? Mt. Sac is different because it's an iconic course that is simply measured against itself. Changing that course would mess with history.

    Rich is correct though that if trying to fix the distance results in a poor compromise of the layout, then it's probably not worth it.
    Last edited by yesstiles; 11-02-2016 at 06:16 PM.

  7. #17
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    Just wanted to add my support for coach DiMarco's thesis regarding the course distance and how it affects the athletes psyche... and coach Stiles' subsequent follow up. I suspect many feel the same.

    2 cents.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Chann View Post
    The minor changes to the course include:
    - At the small hill near the southeast corner at the parking lot, the course now goes to the left and then up the side of the hill before looping back to the north in basically a backwards "S" shape. The reason for the change is that the city put some irrigation along with wood chips around a few trees and it made the path between the trees straight up the hill too narrow. This loop is run twice so it lengthened the course from last year.

    - The course now runs ON the road along the back section of the course instead of along the side of the gravel road. The reason for this is that the City of Riverside put dirt over the top of the gravel road. Last year the course ran along the west side of the raod because there was a concern that the gravel would be very painfull to run on with cross country racing shoes. This change results in a slight decrease in distance from the course last year.

    The overall distance of the course was measured multiple times by GPS to give 3.06 miles.

    There will be an attempt to use a wheel to get a further confirmation of the length but that is not a priority since ... well see discussion above.
    Some of my thoughts...

    First off, Tony is 100% correct in his posts and assertions. He once again has shown why his kids work so hard for him, because he cares about them! As adults, all of us should be asking the question "what layout will be best for the athletes." Clearly a 3 mile or 5k course is a lot more logical to everyone who will be in attendance. Why have everyone leaving trying to figure out how well they actually ran time wise? Makes no sense at all.

    From what I have seen, there has been a lot of people against this course. Making it 3.06 isn't going to endear it to anyone. The ones that have worked so hard to make it viable should understand that nobody will support it long term at this distance. Why do all that work to shoot yourselves in the foot long term? Again, makes absolutely no sense.

    I understand Rich G's lay of the land comments, but I also think .06 is something that can be adjusted at the start and finish areas if it were a priority. Manipulate a turn here or there and you are at the right distance. A lot of these guys have been around long enough to know how to finalize a course to the correct distance. This to me means it isn't a priority. Why are doing things right not a priority to CIF for XC?

    Championship season is when athletes tend to be a little bit more fresh, a little more focused, a little more motivated to race their competition or give their all for their team, etc. Give them a course that is 3 miles and let them show how they have improved throughout the season! A team that doesn't make it past CIF Prelims or Finals may have the consolation that at least they PR'd and gave it their. Why take away their opportunity to PR?

    Unfortunately, this is just another example of the disconnect of management from the athletes they are here to manage. If they understood what the kids want, the number one thing most of them would say is to run a fast time for their team. Anyone know what a fast metric is for 3.06??? Anyone know how to sell that time to the club soccer girl we are trying to get to come back out next year or her parents?

    I think this is a major misstep for CIF. I think this is very wrong to do to the kids. I think the people playing it off as not a big deal are not stopping to think about the issue from a 14-18 year olds perspective, and it is that kind of disconnect that continues to lead our sport in the wrong direction. We have an awesome sport, why do we keep shooting ourselves in the foot at the administrative level? Please reconsider this for the kids. You will see a lot more smiles leaving the meet if you figure out how to make it 3 miles. Isn't that what it is all about?

    Doug
    ----------------------------
    Doug Soles
    Head XC & Track Coach
    Great Oak High School

  9. #19
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    We are basically talking about 100 meters here. Personally I do not really care either way. I get kids want to know how their times match up and all, but this is the time to try and move on to Finals and hopefully to the state meet. I have not heard much from basketball coaches having to play CIF championship games on college courts that are longer and affect those athletes a lot more than 100 meters to a xc kid. But I get it and would welcome an adjustment to make it more universal. I know my kids will get all the information that is given to me, and they can be prepared mentally for a time to come up that might be a little slower than they expected. The only major issue I have with all this conversation is that only a very small amount of people are having it. I know Rich posted the distance and all that yesterday, but very few people are voicing their concerns. I believe last year Doug brought up the issue of bringing back the coaching association type idea to have more voices heard and thus have strength in numbers. I am very thankful that the coaches at many of the Riverside schools especially Will J, John C and Brad P for all their work with trying to give us a place to have this competition at.

  10. #20
    count me among those who could care less about the distance. i hope that doesn't mean i don't care about the kids less than the esteemed coaches who've replied already.

    i'm glad i had coaches who knew when time was important, and when place was important, or when a balance of the two was important--of course, maybe this meant they didn't care about me

    why do we time races? because it gives us a piece of data to work with, but it's only a piece, and its import varies widely for each individual, from course to course, from day to day, from season to season, from x-c to track, etc. for kids who've already run the riverside course, the timing part of the data maybe extremely important; for my kids who have yet to run the course, the time is very low on the list of data i'll be looking at.

    while i completely understand--and sympathize with--that coaching urge to "control" as much data as we can, i can't imagine the mistake it would have been for matt centrowitz jr.'s coach to tell him that pr-ing would be important in the olympic final. equally mistaken would be any assertion that had i been born 20 years later, based on my pr i could have won the 2016 olympic final. i'm lucky bob larsen in the five years i was coached by him never once even mentioned the term "pr" during x-c season, and i'd bet the farm he didn't mention "pr" to meb in the 2004 games, and i doubt he was able to predict an attack by a crazy irish priest in the same race.

    for the data obsessed, it ain't that hard to do the math based on individual paces, especially if you care for your kids.

    that's my story and i'm sticking to it...

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