Class 5 Sectional 2 - Ridiculously stacked
05/19/2015 12:43:39 AM
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Even before the unfortunate injuries to Mugeche, Pudenz, and Thompson, the Class 5/Sectional 2 was stacked in the distances. Now, you could basically run the State Meet at Washington Saturday in the 800 and 1600. The 800 will feature Griffin Bailey at 1:54.8 (2nd fastest Class 5 time); Kevin Ganahl 1:54.9 (3rd fastest); Dustin Davidson 1:55.23(4th); Dylan Quisenberry 1:55.5 (6th, but is last year's State Champ and has been injured);Alex Haines 1:56.1 (7th); Trevor Rogan 1:57.4 (11th). The 1600 is even more ridiculous where the top 6 in Class 5: Davidson, Ganahl, Haines, Baily, Devin Meyrer, and Quisenberry (he is actually currently ranked 7th but ran 4:11 last year) will square off for 4 spots although Meyrer may just run the 3200. The 3200 is a little more sane with Austin Hindman (ranked 1st in Class 5) will compete against Meyrer (2nd), Haines (6th) and Bailey (8th but will probably go 1600 and 800). With the MSHSAA "regional representation" policy still in place this means that several of the State's top middle distance runners could be watching from the stands in 2 weeks while runners with significantly slower times get to compete based on luck of the draw. The policy makes even less sense now because the new class allignment means 80 percent of the Class 5 schools are from St. Louis and Kansas City anyway. MSHSAA does a lot of good things but I don't understand their refusal to either adopt state qualifying standards or take the top 3 from each sectional and the next 4 fastest times.
Even before the unfortunate injuries to Mugeche, Pudenz, and Thompson, the Class 5/Sectional 2 was stacked in the distances. Now, you could basically run the State Meet at Washington Saturday in the 800 and 1600. The 800 will feature Griffin Bailey at 1:54.8 (2nd fastest Class 5 time); Kevin Ganahl 1:54.9 (3rd fastest); Dustin Davidson 1:55.23(4th); Dylan Quisenberry 1:55.5 (6th, but is last year's State Champ and has been injured);Alex Haines 1:56.1 (7th); Trevor Rogan 1:57.4 (11th).

The 1600 is even more ridiculous where the top 6 in Class 5: Davidson, Ganahl, Haines, Baily, Devin Meyrer, and Quisenberry (he is actually currently ranked 7th but ran 4:11 last year) will square off for 4 spots although Meyrer may just run the 3200. The 3200 is a little more sane with Austin Hindman (ranked 1st in Class 5) will compete against Meyrer (2nd), Haines (6th) and Bailey (8th but will probably go 1600 and 800).

With the MSHSAA "regional representation" policy still in place this means that several of the State's top middle distance runners could be watching from the stands in 2 weeks while runners with significantly slower times get to compete based on luck of the draw. The policy makes even less sense now because the new class allignment means 80 percent of the Class 5 schools are from St. Louis and Kansas City anyway. MSHSAA does a lot of good things but I don't understand their refusal to either adopt state qualifying standards or take the top 3 from each sectional and the next 4 fastest times.
05/19/2015 1:40:42 AM
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In the 800, both District 2 and District 8 had 5 guys under 2:00. Only one other district had more than one runner under 2:00 at districts. In the 1600, of the current Class 5 top 10 times, 5 are not entered and the other 5 come from Section 1.
In the 800, both District 2 and District 8 had 5 guys under 2:00. Only one other district had more than one runner under 2:00 at districts.

In the 1600, of the current Class 5 top 10 times, 5 are not entered and the other 5 come from Section 1.
05/19/2015 9:21:03 AM
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Every system has its strengths and weaknesses and you have to have some method to reduce the participants as everyone can’t go to state. Yes the 5th best in the state in an event might not get to go in some cases but where would they finish if they did go…….probably 5th not 1st. Although track somewhat levels the playing field (no pun intended) to compare times across meets it still doesn’t account for varying weather conditions. Just speaking for myself if I didn’t get to go to state because I lost to someone head to head would set better with me then hearing the next day that someone running in perfect conditions on the other side of the state gets to go and not me when I just ran in drizzling rain and gusty winds.
Every system has its strengths and weaknesses and you have to have some method to reduce the participants as everyone can't go to state. Yes the 5th best in the state in an event might not get to go in some cases but where would they finish if they did go…….probably 5th not 1st. Although track somewhat levels the playing field (no pun intended) to compare times across meets it still doesn't account for varying weather conditions. Just speaking for myself if I didn't get to go to state because I lost to someone head to head would set better with me then hearing the next day that someone running in perfect conditions on the other side of the state gets to go and not me when I just ran in drizzling rain and gusty winds.
05/19/2015 2:19:47 PM
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@CoachAWJ Agreed. We had this discussion after watching the Class 4 District 1, 3200m run. Dugan ran sub 9:40 and won't the chance to compete at State. I would like MSHSAA to consider letting anyone who meets the district qualifying standard AT THE DISTRICT MEET to advance to the sectional race. Then back that up with allowing the top 3 from each sectional to advance and the NEXT 4 fastest times. Would help open up opportunities in some competitive sectionals and districts, allow for geographic representation, and keep the field at 16 in every event.
@CoachAWJ Agreed. We had this discussion after watching the Class 4 District 1, 3200m run. Dugan ran sub 9:40 and won't the chance to compete at State. I would like MSHSAA to consider letting anyone who meets the district qualifying standard AT THE DISTRICT MEET to advance to the sectional race. Then back that up with allowing the top 3 from each sectional to advance and the NEXT 4 fastest times. Would help open up opportunities in some competitive sectionals and districts, allow for geographic representation, and keep the field at 16 in every event.
05/19/2015 2:30:35 PM
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Coach: Great idea OR if you want to avoid putting too many bodies on the track in one race(this can be a problem in the 800) you could take the top 2 from each District and the next 4 best times.
Coach:
Great idea OR if you want to avoid putting too many bodies on the track in one race(this can be a problem in the 800) you could take the top 2 from each District and the next 4 best times.
05/19/2015 2:38:50 PM
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You are absolutely correct in how loaded that sectional is along with the disparity between others throughout the state. Regarding the regional representation, I believe while it's important, what's more important is having the best athletes in the state representing Missouri at the state meet. After looking at the milesplit feature of elite performances from this past weekend, it was interesting to see the significant differences district by district. On our way back from one of the several "Districts of Death" our staff discussed having districts and sectionals as they are, but allowing an athlete who fails to finish in the top 4 at districts/sectionals to move on if they meet the "district standard" set at the beginning of the season by MSHSAA. For those kids that only have that one event, especially in a distance race, it would make for less tactics, which can be fun, but promote a bit more of an honest race effort as well. I realize that it creates a bigger field in a variety of events, but would be an interesting way to get the best kids to the state meet and still hold to the regional representation.
You are absolutely correct in how loaded that sectional is along with the disparity between others throughout the state. Regarding the regional representation, I believe while it's important, what's more important is having the best athletes in the state representing Missouri at the state meet. After looking at the milesplit feature of elite performances from this past weekend, it was interesting to see the significant differences district by district. On our way back from one of the several "Districts of Death" our staff discussed having districts and sectionals as they are, but allowing an athlete who fails to finish in the top 4 at districts/sectionals to move on if they meet the "district standard" set at the beginning of the season by MSHSAA. For those kids that only have that one event, especially in a distance race, it would make for less tactics, which can be fun, but promote a bit more of an honest race effort as well. I realize that it creates a bigger field in a variety of events, but would be an interesting way to get the best kids to the state meet and still hold to the regional representation.
05/19/2015 2:57:21 PM
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I have always favored some hybrid combination of some athletes from each region + additional athletes based on performance. In swimming state qualifying is 100% based on times achieved; if 100% of the athletes in an event are from St. Louis (or KC or Springfield) then so be it. That is not realistic in track (and certainly ridiculous in cross-country), but there should be some way to make sure that we get at least the vast majority of the best athletes to the state meet. That being said, I have also noticed that the best athletes tend to step up and compete. Higher expectations mean harder training mean superior performances. I will be anxious to see how Raytown South responds being in a smaller, "easier" class now. We have historically been one of the smallest schools in the biggest class in track, but our athletes have frequently (not always) risen to the challenge. Now that it is less of a challenge to get to state, it will be interesting to see if we work as hard. Honestly, to some extent, we have already had some kids slacking off. Whether that is due to reclassification or other factors is difficult to determine. Sean Nunn Raytown South
I have always favored some hybrid combination of some athletes from each region + additional athletes based on performance. In swimming state qualifying is 100% based on times achieved; if 100% of the athletes in an event are from St. Louis (or KC or Springfield) then so be it. That is not realistic in track (and certainly ridiculous in cross-country), but there should be some way to make sure that we get at least the vast majority of the best athletes to the state meet.

That being said, I have also noticed that the best athletes tend to step up and compete. Higher expectations mean harder training mean superior performances. I will be anxious to see how Raytown South responds being in a smaller, "easier" class now. We have historically been one of the smallest schools in the biggest class in track, but our athletes have frequently (not always) risen to the challenge. Now that it is less of a challenge to get to state, it will be interesting to see if we work as hard. Honestly, to some extent, we have already had some kids slacking off. Whether that is due to reclassification or other factors is difficult to determine.

Sean Nunn
Raytown South
05/19/2015 4:40:36 PM
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@cccoach1 I will point out that at the Class 3-4-5 district meets last weekend, 477 performances met or exceeded the AQ standard. 466 of the performances advanced. The 9 that did not include 5 in the long jump, 4 from one meet, 2 in the 100, 1 in the 200 and 1 in the pole vault.
@cccoach1
I will point out that at the Class 3-4-5 district meets last weekend, 477 performances met or exceeded the AQ standard. 466 of the performances advanced. The 9 that did not include 5 in the long jump, 4 from one meet, 2 in the 100, 1 in the 200 and 1 in the pole vault.
05/19/2015 5:14:45 PM
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Those are interesting numbers. Yes, I witnessed the long jump, 100, and pole vault all first hand from our district. Seems that the numbers aren't so huge that a sectional/state meet could potentially accommodate for those elite performances. Seems that it would be a start in the right direction for having the best of the best together at state.
Those are interesting numbers. Yes, I witnessed the long jump, 100, and pole vault all first hand from our district. Seems that the numbers aren't so huge that a sectional/state meet could potentially accommodate for those elite performances. Seems that it would be a start in the right direction for having the best of the best together at state.
05/19/2015 5:23:09 PM
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I think a related topic to this is with the evolution of 5 classes do we still need a sectional meet? Would a super district (aka skip right to sectionals) be more appropriate? I know some event entries were awfully light and it seems a super district would provide the same opportunities for advancement with minimal disadvantages. Though we are not yet Kansas, the extra class has definately shown a dulition of talent into multiple classes that would facilitate this.
I think a related topic to this is with the evolution of 5 classes do we still need a sectional meet? Would a super district (aka skip right to sectionals) be more appropriate? I know some event entries were awfully light and it seems a super district would provide the same opportunities for advancement with minimal disadvantages. Though we are not yet Kansas, the extra class has definately shown a dulition of talent into multiple classes that would facilitate this.
05/19/2015 5:57:57 PM
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@CoachAWJ thanks for speaking out about this important topic! Injuries are always tragic but even more so, when they happen to the best runners. That is why we must have a system in place which insures the best runners possible get to State to compete.
@CoachAWJ thanks for speaking out about this important topic! Injuries are always tragic but even more so, when they happen to the best runners. That is why we must have a system in place which insures the best runners possible get to State to compete.
05/19/2015 6:12:01 PM
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@speced One disadvantage of a super district is that at the Class 3 and 4 level it would mandate the running of prelims and semis in 21 of 32 sprint events since there would be over 32 entries. The 800 and 1600 would all go to at least 2 heats and in one case of the 800 to 3. One thing I firmly believe is that over a course of a few years we are going to see an increase in entries, just as we saw in CC when it added a 4th class, as those schools that were once at the bottom in enrollment in their classes are now on a more equitable playing field.
@speced
One disadvantage of a super district is that at the Class 3 and 4 level it would mandate the running of prelims and semis in 21 of 32 sprint events since there would be over 32 entries. The 800 and 1600 would all go to at least 2 heats and in one case of the 800 to 3.
One thing I firmly believe is that over a course of a few years we are going to see an increase in entries, just as we saw in CC when it added a 4th class, as those schools that were once at the bottom in enrollment in their classes are now on a more equitable playing field.
05/19/2015 7:14:31 PM
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I did predict this as an issue. However, a few years from now when district plus standards begin to lower a bit due to talent being spread out or eliminated before state it may become bigger as power house programs will load more athletes in districts.
I did predict this as an issue. However, a few years from now when district plus standards begin to lower a bit due to talent being spread out or eliminated before state it may become bigger as power house programs will load more athletes in districts.
05/19/2015 11:05:02 PM
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I can tell you, as a parent of one of the boys mentioned in the original post, there will be plenty of smiles and handshakes Saturday between those guys. These kids have raced each other many times during XC and track, both indoor and outdoor, and I have met and talked with all but one. Each of them are fine athletes, but even better young men, with a healthy respect for each other as runners and individuals. Yes, there will be a kid or two who may not advance, but there won't be a single one of them who will forget the day or the friendships they've made between each other through the seasons. Character will be built Saturday for fast, hardworking young men who make the podium.....but, perhaps even more so for those who don't. That's a big win for everyone, and may be an argument for just leaving it alone. Good luck to all Missouri athletes and coaches this weekend at Sectionals and State!!
I can tell you, as a parent of one of the boys mentioned in the original post, there will be plenty of smiles and handshakes Saturday between those guys. These kids have raced each other many times during XC and track, both indoor and outdoor, and I have met and talked with all but one. Each of them are fine athletes, but even better young men, with a healthy respect for each other as runners and individuals. Yes, there will be a kid or two who may not advance, but there won't be a single one of them who will forget the day or the friendships they've made between each other through the seasons. Character will be built Saturday for fast, hardworking young men who make the podium.....but, perhaps even more so for those who don't. That's a big win for everyone, and may be an argument for just leaving it alone.

Good luck to all Missouri athletes and coaches this weekend at Sectionals and State!!
05/19/2015 11:41:42 PM
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Mr. Bailey, first of all your son is a great athlete and will probably make it in either the 1600 or 800, maybe both. I coach an off-season team and I have coached two of the seven kids who are involved in the 800/1600/3200 scramble Saturday in Class 5/Sec. 2. I can't speak for your son, but can I think I can speak for the two athletes I've coached and tell you that there may be some visibly smiles on Saturday if they don't make it, but they will still be heartbroken. They are both seniors and injuries and other hardships kept them out of state last year. Both of them worked very hard off-season and have overcome a lot just to get to sectionals. All that said, I hope your son and the other 6 kids all qualify in at least one of the distance events Saturday.
Mr. Bailey, first of all your son is a great athlete and will probably make it in either the 1600 or 800, maybe both. I coach an off-season team and I have coached two of the seven kids who are involved in the 800/1600/3200 scramble Saturday in Class 5/Sec. 2. I can't speak for your son, but can I think I can speak for the two athletes I've coached and tell you that there may be some visibly smiles on Saturday if they don't make it, but they will still be heartbroken. They are both seniors and injuries and other hardships kept them out of state last year. Both of them worked very hard off-season and have overcome a lot just to get to sectionals. All that said, I hope your son and the other 6 kids all qualify in at least one of the distance events Saturday.
05/20/2015 12:04:06 AM
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[quote=CoachAWJ]Mr. Bailey, first of all your son is a great athlete and will probably make it in either the 1600 or 800, maybe both. I coach an off-season team and I have coached two of the seven kids who are involved in the 800/1600/3200 scramble Saturday in Class 5/Sec. 2. I can't speak for your son, but can I think I can speak for the two athletes that I've coached and tell you that there may be some visibly smiles on Saturday if they don't make it, but they will still be heartbroken. They are both seniors and injuries and other hardships kept them out of state last year. Both of them worked very hard off-season and have overcome a lot just to get to sectionals. All that said, I hope your son and the other 6 kids all qualify in at least one of the distance events Saturday.[/quote] @CoachAWJ I hope they all make it too in one event or the other! Griffin will indeed be heartbroken not to make it, but there will be other days for him and all of these kids, that's the win. None of them got here by winning every race or making every qualifier, but the fact that they are still hard at it is a testament to your kids, my kid, and all of them. You and I are not at odds in our wishes for these young men, and we're likely not at odds in our belief in the good they will learn as a result of this and every race they run in the future. I just don't think we can come up with a system in which everyone will be happy, or feel that it was fair.
CoachAWJ wrote:
Mr. Bailey, first of all your son is a great athlete and will probably make it in either the 1600 or 800, maybe both. I coach an off-season team and I have coached two of the seven kids who are involved in the 800/1600/3200 scramble Saturday in Class 5/Sec. 2. I can't speak for your son, but can I think I can speak for the two athletes that I've coached and tell you that there may be some visibly smiles on Saturday if they don't make it, but they will still be heartbroken. They are both seniors and injuries and other hardships kept them out of state last year. Both of them worked very hard off-season and have overcome a lot just to get to sectionals. All that said, I hope your son and the other 6 kids all qualify in at least one of the distance events Saturday.


@CoachAWJ

I hope they all make it too in one event or the other! Griffin will indeed be heartbroken not to make it, but there will be other days for him and all of these kids, that's the win. None of them got here by winning every race or making every qualifier, but the fact that they are still hard at it is a testament to your kids, my kid, and all of them. You and I are not at odds in our wishes for these young men, and we're likely not at odds in our belief in the good they will learn as a result of this and every race they run in the future. I just don't think we can come up with a system in which everyone will be happy, or feel that it was fair.
05/20/2015 12:23:27 PM
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I do not know any of the young men being discussed in the previous posts personally, but I applaud the sportsmanship they are being described as having shown. I also applaud the emphasis on character development that Mr. Bailey describes. However, I don't think that improving our qualifying system to make it more equitable would in anyway undermine the opportunity for that character development. I am not a fan of any plan that would determine qualifiers based off of achieving established marks at any point in the season, nor am I a fan of any plan that would just take the top so many performers from around the state at districts/sectionals for all the arguments already presented (varying weather conditions, etc.). However, I still have yet to read/hear a valid argument against the Sectional Plus qualifier that Coach Banta proposed and championed a couple of years ago...top 4 from each sectional plus anyone else who met the qualifying mark. We would still have MSHSAA's "regional representation" even though I have always failed to see the significance or necessity for it, and as another poster alluded to, is obsolete in Class 5 now. Case in point, we are the only Class 5 school in southeast Missouri. The nearest Class 5 school to us is nearly 100 miles away. So according to the "regional representation" argument any event in which Jackson does not qualify an athlete is not being represented by our region.
I do not know any of the young men being discussed in the previous posts personally, but I applaud the sportsmanship they are being described as having shown. I also applaud the emphasis on character development that Mr. Bailey describes. However, I don't think that improving our qualifying system to make it more equitable would in anyway undermine the opportunity for that character development. I am not a fan of any plan that would determine qualifiers based off of achieving established marks at any point in the season, nor am I a fan of any plan that would just take the top so many performers from around the state at districts/sectionals for all the arguments already presented (varying weather conditions, etc.). However, I still have yet to read/hear a valid argument against the Sectional Plus qualifier that Coach Banta proposed and championed a couple of years ago...top 4 from each sectional plus anyone else who met the qualifying mark. We would still have MSHSAA's "regional representation" even though I have always failed to see the significance or necessity for it, and as another poster alluded to, is obsolete in Class 5 now. Case in point, we are the only Class 5 school in southeast Missouri. The nearest Class 5 school to us is nearly 100 miles away. So according to the "regional representation" argument any event in which Jackson does not qualify an athlete is not being represented by our region.
05/20/2015 2:22:15 PM
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Yep, the whole regional representation thing is out the window when in both XC and Track we the neighboring school district has schools not in the district, but we have schools 100 miles away in the district. I've been in a different system, similar to Coach Banta's proposal. It is much better than this. The amount of times the weather was an actual issues, pale in comparison to the travesty of some of the people who get left out of the mix in Missouri, some even at Districts. With top athletes they are coached and should be to peak for state (or for some a contest or two beyond). Very easily a kids who is 6th in a top Sectional could be a podium finisher, top 3, or even state champion. I'm not sure why any coach would rather have their kid look at results and say if only I lived in the right location as opposed to I didn't run as fast/jump as far/high, etc.. as the others across the state. When its top whatever # plus a standard, it's a lot easier to swallow when you didn't achieve that standard as opposed to the oh well you just ran up against a stacked District/Sectional.
Yep, the whole regional representation thing is out the window when in both XC and Track we the neighboring school district has schools not in the district, but we have schools 100 miles away in the district.

I've been in a different system, similar to Coach Banta's proposal.

It is much better than this.

The amount of times the weather was an actual issues, pale in comparison to the travesty of some of the people who get left out of the mix in Missouri, some even at Districts.

With top athletes they are coached and should be to peak for state (or for some a contest or two beyond).

Very easily a kids who is 6th in a top Sectional could be a podium finisher, top 3, or even state champion.

I'm not sure why any coach would rather have their kid look at results and say if only I lived in the right location as opposed to I didn't run as fast/jump as far/high, etc.. as the others across the state.

When its top whatever # plus a standard, it's a lot easier to swallow when you didn't achieve that standard as opposed to the oh well you just ran up against a stacked District/Sectional.
05/20/2015 3:23:03 PM
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"Very easily a kids who is 6th in a top Sectional could be a podium finisher, top 3, or even state champion." Just to comment: Since 2008 in only 19 events has the 4th at sectional became state champion - 8 of them at Class 4 (TJ twice, LJ, PV, 400, 3200, 400R, 800R). Seven year, 1008 events. Of those 19 events, I do not know how many were content to sit back in 4th and live to compete another day but I am guessing the majority. It ain't easy to win if only 4th at sectional.
"Very easily a kids who is 6th in a top Sectional could be a podium finisher, top 3, or even state champion."
Just to comment:
Since 2008 in only 19 events has the 4th at sectional became state champion - 8 of them at Class 4 (TJ twice, LJ, PV, 400, 3200, 400R, 800R). Seven year, 1008 events. Of those 19 events, I do not know how many were content to sit back in 4th and live to compete another day but I am guessing the majority.
It ain't easy to win if only 4th at sectional.
05/20/2015 3:25:03 PM
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I would contact your local representative on the executive board of directors for Mshsaa. I went through the entire process and along the way there are numerous road blocks. For example cost of communication with everyone and meetings the we coaches are not at where athletic directors get together and talk one another out of things. This lead me to send 1500 dollars in data to every AD I could contact to turn the vote in favor of sectional plus. We fell short with 62% instead of the 66%. Another issue is middle schools got to vote on rules for high school track. More often then not those schools voted against as the schools were outside the kc and stl.
I would contact your local representative on the executive board of directors for Mshsaa. I went through the entire process and along the way there are numerous road blocks. For example cost of communication with everyone and meetings the we coaches are not at where athletic directors get together and talk one another out of things. This lead me to send 1500 dollars in data to every AD I could contact to turn the vote in favor of sectional plus. We fell short with 62% instead of the 66%. Another issue is middle schools got to vote on rules for high school track. More often then not those schools voted against as the schools were outside the kc and stl.

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