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Thread: CIF Playoff Bulletin

  1. #21
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    When CIF-SS goes back to Mt. SAC I hope that all of the coaches demand that the course be changed to 3.0 miles so that the kids will all have a real time. It would be very easy to just back up on the airstrip.
    Keith Chann
    Chemistry teacher
    XC Fan
    Rubidoux High School

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Gonzalez View Post
    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.

    So Rich clearly has a better memory than I do… I realize now I was mistaken, when I talked to Will about the course, he stated that it was initially GPS at 3.06 but that they made a change that morning and he felt it shortened the course a bit to 3.05ish. So in my original post, I should have written down 3.05-3.06 but I misspoke. Now, I’m sure there are many reasons why the course is longer than 3.0 or shorter than 3.1 but that was not my statement. My statement was that I would like to see it be one of those for the reasons I used and I stand by that! I also accept that we are not all going to agree on it. BUT… let me clear up a few things that I have read so far. I don’t compare courses that are not comparable… i.e. Mt. Sac and any course that doesn’t have hills. I think regardless of the conditions, you can compare a flat course to another flat course. The other thing I would like to clear up is that I first and foremost always tell my athletes to race the competition. With that said, we are talking about teenagers who are on social media ALL the time and see post on sites like milesplit and Prepcaltrack about this time and that time and they know that the major recognition goes to the kid with the fastest PR… So expecting them to not care is foolish… Speaking of the distance again and my earlier argument. I had two kids (one non-varsity and one varsity) among others who ran their PR on that course that day. The boy who was a non-varsity athlete ran (adjusted now) 16:59. He was beyond excited this morning when I told him!! The girl (a varsity athlete) ran (adjusted) 18:57 breaking 19 for the first time and was equally excited (especially since she didn't get to run at league finals due to an injury). My point is, time does matter to kids! What joy they would have felt to cross the line with that time on the clock….I’m not saying the clock should dominate your existence… I’m saying that intrinsic rewards work… I feel (my feeling which doesn’t mean that anyone else is wrong… just my opinion) that is a major motivator to kids (time)… I don’t believe for a second that we should tell kids it doesn’t. What is one of the first things a college recruiter is going to look at… there time on various highly contested courses… What decides how much scholarship money you will receive… time… again, I believe in competition first and time takes care of itself and I also teach my athletes that the time doesn’t always show the effort they gave… but to a lower level athlete, running a PR (improving their best from the previous year is everything to them)… again, in my opinion…

    Now I would rather have a course be long than short (nothing sucks more than finding out that your time doesn't count as a 3 mile PR… for those of us that care about such things) because at least you can convert the time to 3 miles in those cases. BUT, no one likes a converted time... again, there is a level of satisfaction that comes (to any athlete, but especially to a teenager) of crossing the line with the time they hoped for on the clock. Now, I understand the arguments about it being about qualifying to finals or state... but really? That is NOT the only reason kids run! As Doug stated, what about the team that doesn't move on... or the athlete? What a great consolation prize! As a coach, what better way can you tell your kids… “Hey our season is over, but you ran your absolute best, so there is nothing else we could have done”…

    Would this matter on a slower course? Would this matter at Mt. Sac? I guess that depends on the coach or the athlete… Personally, times at Mt. Sac to me is based on its current distance (would have been nice when the course first opened to have been 3 miles… but it’s too late now). You know Mt. Sac based on its history… Same with Woodward… But a Woodbridge, Dana Hills, or even a Riverside course… you know them because of how fast you can run on them… and you know what… at the end of the season, when you are peaked and ready to run fast… why not let an athlete be rewarded with a PR… They earned it by sacrificing all season long… they earned it by not being in peak shape in September… Why can’t they get a fast time at finals or prelims (depending on the kid)? Why can’t they look up at the clock and see a huge PR? Why do we have to run distances that are not distances that kids recognize? Is that what is best for the athlete? Let’s run 3.25 or 2.92 or 2.93 or 3.06…. WHY?? Why is it so hard to make it 3.0? Sorry, I don’t get it? I have designed tons of courses and my goal was always 3.0 (and yes, I had to make adjustments to do so).

    Yes, it doesn’t matter to some… but it does matter to others… I am willing to bet in matters to more athletes than it doesn’t… In the end, I’m happier with 3.06 than I would ever be with anything with a 2 in front of it!! Again, just my opinion...
    Last edited by Tony DiMarco; 11-02-2016 at 08:12 PM.

  3. #23
    p.s. to my first post: fortunately i know most of the coaches posting here, but for the record i would never question the professionalism of said coaches, and my coaching resume pales in comparison to theirs. but i think we can all agree we get caught up in worrying about things we probably shouldn't worry as much about, and these worries are individualized as well. also, i am thankful for having colleagues that set such a high standard as for as caring for their athletes and our sport in general. again, that's my story and i'm sticking to it...

  4. #24
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    A course map is also up on the CIFSS News section of the XC page.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichEde View Post
    A course map is also up on the CIFSS News section of the XC page.
    I noticed the map on the CIFSS page RichEde mentioned is different than the one on this site, though they are similar. If anyone here can help get the one on the CIFSS site updated I think it'd be a good move. In addition, the map on the CIFSS site seems strange because the extra distance from exiting the 2nd loop to the 2-mile mark is MUCH longer than the extra distance run from the start to the loop plus the extra distance run to complete the loop. Thus, mile 1 seems significantly shorter than mile 2. The map on this site makes a lot more sense in that regard, and mile 1 and 2 seem equal.

    I feel this is actually pretty important because last year I could not find a course map at all (besides a screen shot of the YouTube video of the course) until I think I found a map on these message boards (thanks!), and it was only similar to the one given in the packet at CIF Prelims. The course was new to me, of course, but the small discrepancies actually made it difficult for me to get oriented because I was looking for certain turns that didn't exist, looking for the 1-mile mark in a slightly wrong place, etc. I also felt flustered getting information so late and it was also difficult to go over it with my athletes since there wasn't much time and races were on the course. A good course map is obviously helpful, or it wouldn't be created to begin with.

    I'm glad that modifications have been made to the course--thank you to everyone who has helped with that. Hopefully it will help with the dust. And the thorns! My shoes and calves thank you there!

    Does anyone know if the 1.5 mile mark has been adjusted or removed? Last year the 1.5 mile mark (at least that is what it was labeled) was significantly off. It's pretty obvious if you look at the data. My top runner mentioned the slow "1.5 mile" time soon after the race, so it affected him at least a little. I'd rather have no mileage markers than incorrect ones.

    As for race distance, I would vote for 3.0 or 5k if it were possible. I think the athletes care. Even if their reasoning is/were flawed, they care. At least that's my perception. Maybe they could be asked/polled. But I think knowing the course length beforehand is definitely important for athletes' expectations. Our league finals was a little warmer than the week before when we ran dual meets on the same course. Our varsity athletes ran about the same times in the warmer weather, but were quite disappointed not to have run "better" (faster) on the bigger stage. I can tell them they ran well, but that doesn't change their mind much. (I also don't want to overdo it and communicate that they should to expect to run slow in mild heat.) It's hard to change their minds after the fact. However, if I tell them BEFOREHAND that the course is OFFICIALLY about 100m / ~20-25 seconds longer than 3 miles that could help them not only hit the line and understand how well they ran, but that can help them evaluate their race and learn from it. So, again, I believe that this information being on the CIFSS site would be helpful.

    Coach Swaney

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Chann View Post

    I happen to know that the course is 3.06 miles.
    Were prelims actually 3.06 miles?

  7. #27
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    The course, as run in prelims, has been wheeled 3 times; twice by Keith Chann and once by Ken Reeves. Those measurements were 2.999, 2.999, and 4828m. 3 GPS watch measurements have come to 3.06. Pick one. Whatever it is, the course will measure the same at finals.

  8. #28
    To further clarify Rich's post, the multiple findings at 3.06 were taken by GPS and in the weeks BEFORE CIF-SS Prelims.

    On the week OF CIF Prelims, the course was wheeled multiple times to be at 3.00.

    It'll be wheeled again later this week using a calibrated Jones Counter.

    By the way, the forecast temperature high (mid-afternoon, a few hours after the meet is over) on weather.com on Saturday in Riverside in 80 degrees. Of course, the forecast high an another popular weather website is for 79 degrees. Yet a third source, has the high at 78 degrees.

    So 78 and 3.00.... or 80 and 3.06.
    "Cross-country is an individual sport. Succeeding in cross-country is a team sport!"

  9. #29
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    I GPS'ed it and had 3.0
    Brian Brierly
    Edison HS (SS)
    Head Cross Country Coach
    Track Distance Coach

  10. #30
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    Is the course the same as last year? Someone earlier said the course was changed and the result was that it was slightly longer. At prelims my returning athletes and I didn't notice any differences. If the 2 years aren't the same, was it last years that was off (short)?

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