Meet of Champions
10/11/2019 8:10:12 AM
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Has there ever been any thought to doing a true Middle School race at this event? For the first year, you could do it mixed gendered. If so, my team would be interested in participating, especially if it was 2 mile or 3200 (nice time to set PRs with better weather conditions and a nice fast course to close out the year right).
Has there ever been any thought to doing a true Middle School race at this event? For the first year, you could do it mixed gendered. If so, my team would be interested in participating, especially if it was 2 mile or 3200 (nice time to set PRs with better weather conditions and a nice fast course to close out the year right).
11/16/2019 8:37:11 PM
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There are middle school races at the venue the weekend prior for USATF GA Association (age group). Used to be same day.
There are middle school races at the venue the weekend prior for USATF GA Association (age group). Used to be same day.
11/17/2019 9:47:25 AM
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@Hdblaha Those races can not really be considered MS races as the USAFT age groups would split up most MS teams into different races. The races would even be of different distances. It would however be difficult to keep a MS team together seeing the MS State championship is a month before this event. I would like to see the MS year end around the same time as the HS year, but that brings a lot of challenges to schools that have a limited budget and are coached by the same coaches. Our kids at the MS level deserve to run in better conditions, have better instruction, but until we the running community voice our concerns to the powers that be, it will not happen. The state has little or no governing body and,as a whole, neither do the the individual school systems. Our sport is thrown into the," That is the way we have always done it" category. Until that changes we will not develop into the great XC state that we can be. Our youth clubs do a great job, but they do not reach the masses that are out there. I do not believe that the Georgia Parks and Recreation department even has a program for XC like they do in Track. Could go on forever, but let me close with this. If you look at the "power schools" in XC, you will find great youth and Middle School programs. That is where it starts, speak up and make a difference locally. Thoughts?
@Hdblaha
Those races can not really be considered MS races as the USAFT age groups would split up most MS teams into different races. The races would even be of different distances.
It would however be difficult to keep a MS team together seeing the MS State championship is a month before this event. I would like to see the MS year end around the same time as the HS year, but that brings a lot of challenges to schools that have a limited budget and are coached by the same coaches. Our kids at the MS level deserve to run in better conditions, have better instruction, but until we the running community voice our concerns to the powers that be, it will not happen. The state has little or no governing body and,as a whole, neither do the the individual school systems. Our sport is thrown into the," That is the way we have always done it" category. Until that changes we will not develop into the great XC state that we can be. Our youth clubs do a great job, but they do not reach the masses that are out there. I do not believe that the Georgia Parks and Recreation department even has a program for XC like they do in Track.
Could go on forever, but let me close with this. If you look at the "power schools" in XC, you will find great youth and Middle School programs. That is where it starts, speak up and make a difference locally.
Thoughts?
11/17/2019 9:29:19 PM
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I'll take the bait... So first let me say that I am ALL: a HS Coach (24 years), Father of 2 boys that ran MS XC and a part of a program that has a Feeder program, so I'll express my views as one of experience. [b]As a HS Coach:[/b] I REALLY enjoyed the MOC this year as a HS only event. It was nice to not have the youngsters there. The meet area seemed less congested. All of the athletes got very good running conditions and we were all in and out pretty quickly. [b]As a Parent of MS XC runners:[/b] The MS season is about the right length. There are some MS athletes that can and probably should race this late in the season, one of my boys did and has decent success. But with the USATF meet the week before and an Open event, all MS's could have come and enjoyed the event as well. I agree that it'd be nice to hae better weather, but the MS coaches control what meets they attendand know what times their teams race. That is 100% in their control. Don't like a meet, create and run your own. We did. [b]As a program with a Feeder program:[/b] Our "MS" program has about 70 kids that run each year. Most of which really enjoy the sport and that's what we want. The goal of our program is to educate them about the sport, without over running them and keep them interested so they continue when the reach the HS level. If we push our kids into a long season, they may not be as enthusiastic when they get older. It's inevitable that we will lose some kids to other sports as they get older, but we don't want to push them away from it because we over run them in meets. Instead think of it as dangling a carrot in front of them that they cannot reach until a year+ later. If you allow the kids to run in such events at a young age, what else is there for them later on? Just because we do something at the HS level, doesn't mean it needs to be available for all ages. That's one Coach's, Parent's and Program Director's opinion, take it for what it is you are certainly entitled to yours.
I'll take the bait...

So first let me say that I am ALL: a HS Coach (24 years), Father of 2 boys that ran MS XC and a part of a program that has a Feeder program, so I'll express my views as one of experience.

As a HS Coach: I REALLY enjoyed the MOC this year as a HS only event. It was nice to not have the youngsters there. The meet area seemed less congested. All of the athletes got very good running conditions and we were all in and out pretty quickly.

As a Parent of MS XC runners: The MS season is about the right length. There are some MS athletes that can and probably should race this late in the season, one of my boys did and has decent success. But with the USATF meet the week before and an Open event, all MS's could have come and enjoyed the event as well. I agree that it'd be nice to hae better weather, but the MS coaches control what meets they attendand know what times their teams race. That is 100% in their control. Don't like a meet, create and run your own. We did.

As a program with a Feeder program: Our "MS" program has about 70 kids that run each year. Most of which really enjoy the sport and that's what we want. The goal of our program is to educate them about the sport, without over running them and keep them interested so they continue when the reach the HS level. If we push our kids into a long season, they may not be as enthusiastic when they get older. It's inevitable that we will lose some kids to other sports as they get older, but we don't want to push them away from it because we over run them in meets. Instead think of it as dangling a carrot in front of them that they cannot reach until a year+ later. If you allow the kids to run in such events at a young age, what else is there for them later on? Just because we do something at the HS level, doesn't mean it needs to be available for all ages.

That's one Coach's, Parent's and Program Director's opinion, take it for what it is you are certainly entitled to yours.
11/18/2019 11:07:45 AM
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@hoyarelay Good morning. Love all of your points. I think that the MOC should continue to be run separately also. I too have done many of the same things that you have and was not trying to be negative in any way. Just voicing my opinions and thoughts. I think we need to do so more often. I have had a program under the USATF and AAU banners, coached MS, HS and run XC as well. The races that both of those organizations have run at that location were great events for youth XC. They are not however designed for MS programs and teams. The age groups in many cases are going to split those teams up into separate races. I do not wish to over run MS kids, but I do think that the season should start and end at a later date. I have witnessed far too many kids suffer from heat related injuries,and illnesses in the early part of our season. I too want these kids to grow to love our sport and continue into it during high school. Our MS program is currently growing and I can not wait to have 70 kids, as that is our goal. We have and will continue to promote that program and those goals through working with our youth teams and keeping it fun for the kids!! We are currently working on developing several MS, and youth events for next year. We had a very successful meet this year to build off of. I would love to have you and your program come to it, and I will keep you in the loop. Have a great day, coach!!
@hoyarelay
Good morning. Love all of your points. I think that the MOC should continue to be run separately also.
I too have done many of the same things that you have and was not trying to be negative in any way. Just voicing my opinions and thoughts. I think we need to do so more often.
I have had a program under the USATF and AAU banners, coached MS, HS and run XC as well. The races that both of those organizations have run at that location were great events for youth XC. They are not however designed for MS programs and teams. The age groups in many cases are going to split those teams up into separate races.
I do not wish to over run MS kids, but I do think that the season should start and end at a later date. I have witnessed far too many kids suffer from heat related injuries,and illnesses in the early part of our season. I too want these kids to grow to love our sport and continue into it during high school.
Our MS program is currently growing and I can not wait to have 70 kids, as that is our goal. We have and will continue to promote that program and those goals through working with our youth teams and keeping it fun for the kids!!
We are currently working on developing several MS, and youth events for next year. We had a very successful meet this year to build off of. I would love to have you and your program come to it, and I will keep you in the loop.
Have a great day, coach!!
11/18/2019 11:51:01 AM
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If we want kids to have positive experiences with running cross country then we need to make sure we are not putting kids in a situation/environment they are not prepared for. Yes there are times when things happen out of our control but a lot of the heat related injuries we see (at MS and HS levels) IMO are a result of coaches putting athletes in a situation they are not prepared for. If kids are not fit enough to race, then hot conditions will only make things worse. On our team we have a racing standard each athlete has to achieve. This time is not super difficult but it allows us as coaches to know that our athletes have some baseline level of fitness so when we put them in races we are confident in their ability to perform. We do not cut kids from our team but just because you are on the team does not mean you will race. MS coaches are in control of the meets they schedule but very few meets give the MS athletes the cooler races in the morning. Most of the meets run the MS athletes after the HS races when temps are the highest. Hosting your own meet is an option but not always viable depending on size of program/funding for program. For me personally, I would like to see the MS State meet end later in the season so athletes have cooler conditions to race in. I think the length of the season is good for a MS kid as I am opposed to racing them a ton in MS and having them burnout or get injured. So with that I think a later start date for MS (which who even governs the "official" start date for MS) and a later date for the MS State Meet would make more sense IMO.
If we want kids to have positive experiences with running cross country then we need to make sure we are not putting kids in a situation/environment they are not prepared for. Yes there are times when things happen out of our control but a lot of the heat related injuries we see (at MS and HS levels) IMO are a result of coaches putting athletes in a situation they are not prepared for. If kids are not fit enough to race, then hot conditions will only make things worse.

On our team we have a racing standard each athlete has to achieve. This time is not super difficult but it allows us as coaches to know that our athletes have some baseline level of fitness so when we put them in races we are confident in their ability to perform. We do not cut kids from our team but just because you are on the team does not mean you will race.

MS coaches are in control of the meets they schedule but very few meets give the MS athletes the cooler races in the morning. Most of the meets run the MS athletes after the HS races when temps are the highest. Hosting your own meet is an option but not always viable depending on size of program/funding for program.

For me personally, I would like to see the MS State meet end later in the season so athletes have cooler conditions to race in. I think the length of the season is good for a MS kid as I am opposed to racing them a ton in MS and having them burnout or get injured. So with that I think a later start date for MS (which who even governs the "official" start date for MS) and a later date for the MS State Meet would make more sense IMO.
11/18/2019 10:46:54 PM
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Quickly: Yes, I would like to see the MS State meet moved a week or two later. Burnout - Can you really burn yourself out on a two month season? I doubt many MS programs have extended season programs. Non-USATF MS track is a joke. How many MSers are running 8-9 months a year? Meets - 100% agree that MS gets the worst time slot (and often are an afterthought) at most meets. That is not a value statement (HS races more important hence get better slot), just a statement of fact. You do pick your meets, but MS parents are less willing to drive so traveling a few hours for a better meet gets pushback. Middle School is all about developing identity. The more kids you indoctrinate into being a runner, the better your pool of available talent that you will have at the high school level. If you don’t, other sports will. Give them a good experience and some measures of success and accomplishment, and you will feed your program and strengthen running in the state.
Quickly:
Yes, I would like to see the MS State meet moved a week or two later.

Burnout - Can you really burn yourself out on a two month season? I doubt many MS programs have extended season programs. Non-USATF MS track is a joke. How many MSers are running 8-9 months a year?

Meets - 100% agree that MS gets the worst time slot (and often are an afterthought) at most meets. That is not a value statement (HS races more important hence get better slot), just a statement of fact. You do pick your meets, but MS parents are less willing to drive so traveling a few hours for a better meet gets pushback.

Middle School is all about developing identity. The more kids you indoctrinate into being a runner, the better your pool of available talent that you will have at the high school level. If you don't, other sports will. Give them a good experience and some measures of success and accomplishment, and you will feed your program and strengthen running in the state.
11/19/2019 8:20:48 AM
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We had two runners not participate at MOC and came home with their chips. I am happy to mail these to someone, if you'll let me know where. Thanks!
We had two runners not participate at MOC and came home with their chips. I am happy to mail these to someone, if you'll let me know where. Thanks!
11/19/2019 9:04:15 AM
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@sinco Moving MS State back would put it right in the middle of HS Region meets. That would be my biggest concern.
@sinco

Moving MS State back would put it right in the middle of HS Region meets. That would be my biggest concern.
11/19/2019 10:53:53 AM
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[quote=sinco]Quickly: Burnout - Can you really burn yourself out on a two month season? I doubt many MS programs have extended season programs. Non-USATF MS track is a joke. How many MSers are running 8-9 months a year? [/quote] 2 month competition season but hopefully they are training for longer. I know our MS team starts meeting in June and runs together all summer so that would give them about 4.5 months of training. For me personally, I would like them to run year round but that takes planning on the part of the coach. The only way to get better at running is to run. It takes a lot of time to build aerobic fitness compared to the time it takes to lose it. Racing is important for MS athletes but balancing racing and training is important to avoid burnout. You are also dealing with athletes who are younger and keeping them engaged/focused on training is not as easy. Yes you will have your kids who are dedicated and ready to run 6-7 days a week year round in middle school and handle it. I think the burnout would come more so from a mental/engagement standpoint as opposed to a physical/training standpoint
sinco wrote:
Quickly:
Burnout - Can you really burn yourself out on a two month season? I doubt many MS programs have extended season programs. Non-USATF MS track is a joke. How many MSers are running 8-9 months a year?



2 month competition season but hopefully they are training for longer. I know our MS team starts meeting in June and runs together all summer so that would give them about 4.5 months of training. For me personally, I would like them to run year round but that takes planning on the part of the coach. The only way to get better at running is to run. It takes a lot of time to build aerobic fitness compared to the time it takes to lose it. Racing is important for MS athletes but balancing racing and training is important to avoid burnout. You are also dealing with athletes who are younger and keeping them engaged/focused on training is not as easy. Yes you will have your kids who are dedicated and ready to run 6-7 days a week year round in middle school and handle it. I think the burnout would come more so from a mental/engagement standpoint as opposed to a physical/training standpoint
11/19/2019 1:54:31 PM
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