Best KS Boys distance squad ever & "The Regional of Death"
05/20/2017 2:50:34 PM
Coach
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 104
After looking at some Regional results last night I have to say I'm impressed. I think a case could be made for this year's Aquinas' boys team being the deepest distance squad ever in Kansas, and possibly the best overall. They don't have the elite times up front, but their depth is very good. PR's as of the Regional meet (according to the MileSplit database)... Gill - 1:56.28/4:19.76/9:34 Cole - 4:26.16/9:34 Grasing - 4:26.65/9:49 Marshall - 4:33.39/9:40.95 McCanna - 4:37/9:43 Some other historical teams in the conversation would be the Wyandotte team back in the late 60's, Topeka West in the 70's, and the Shawnee Mission South teams with Steve Smith (4:06) and Brent Steiner (8:46). Wyandotte '68: Carpenter 9:13 Hendee 9:23 Knight 9:24 Topeka West '75 Powell 9:21 Foltz 9:22 Vernon 9:25
After looking at some Regional results last night I have to say I'm impressed.

I think a case could be made for this year's Aquinas' boys team being the deepest distance squad ever in Kansas, and possibly the best overall. They don't have the elite times up front, but their depth is very good.

PR's as of the Regional meet (according to the MileSplit database)...
Gill - 1:56.28/4:19.76/9:34
Cole - 4:26.16/9:34
Grasing - 4:26.65/9:49
Marshall - 4:33.39/9:40.95
McCanna - 4:37/9:43

Some other historical teams in the conversation would be the Wyandotte team back in the late 60's, Topeka West in the 70's, and the Shawnee Mission South teams with Steve Smith (4:06) and Brent Steiner (8:46).

Wyandotte '68:
Carpenter 9:13
Hendee 9:23
Knight 9:24

Topeka West '75
Powell 9:21
Foltz 9:22
Vernon 9:25
05/20/2017 5:03:23 PM
Coach
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Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 450
@ksroadrunna I have never and will never be the guy that complains about regionals but I'm certainly on the side of changing the state meet qualifying process to allow the best kids to run at state. After watching several events at the Big 12 meet where Texas, KSU or OSU had 4 of 8 finalists it made me wish we had a system in KS where the top kids all got to state. Just seems lame that kids that could place miss out when kids that will get lapped advance.
@ksroadrunna
I have never and will never be the guy that complains about regionals but I'm certainly on the side of changing the state meet qualifying process to allow the best kids to run at state. After watching several events at the Big 12 meet where Texas, KSU or OSU had 4 of 8 finalists it made me wish we had a system in KS where the top kids all got to state. Just seems lame that kids that could place miss out when kids that will get lapped advance.
05/21/2017 12:39:36 AM
Coach
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Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 84
We should go back to top three automatically go to state and the next best 4 times. Of course all meets would have to be FAT timed. And wind monitored in the 100s. Or even go super regional like they did in wrestling this year. 16 teams and the top 8 advance to state. My preferred method would be to keep the top four at each regional but add in qualifying times based on the avg of the last 3 years 8th place state finishes. But that will never happen as long as we have all 6 classes at the same site.
We should go back to top three automatically go to state and the next best 4 times. Of course all meets would have to be FAT timed. And wind monitored in the 100s. Or even go super regional like they did in wrestling this year. 16 teams and the top 8 advance to state.
My preferred method would be to keep the top four at each regional but add in qualifying times based on the avg of the last 3 years 8th place state finishes. But that will never happen as long as we have all 6 classes at the same site.
05/21/2017 1:47:40 PM
Coach
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 155
I also hate the term "Regional of Death". While the distance races were competitive, there were still some events that went cheap. And, in the end, no school has a competitive advantage. We, along with other teams, have to figure out how to get better if we want to compete. We will not make excuses about it being too tough or not fair, but we will keep working our tail ends off to beat those teams. Wrigs teams are good because he is a great coach. He has set the bar high for his kids and they have responded. Until we set similar expectations, we have nothing to complain about. Our goal is to kick their rear ends though, not to complain about how good they are. My only beef with regionals is that we are crowning state championship teams. When teams cannot bring kids that will score at state, we aren't crowning a true state championship team. I hope that fact is the catalyst for change.
I also hate the term "Regional of Death". While the distance races were competitive, there were still some events that went cheap. And, in the end, no school has a competitive advantage. We, along with other teams, have to figure out how to get better if we want to compete. We will not make excuses about it being too tough or not fair, but we will keep working our tail ends off to beat those teams. Wrigs teams are good because he is a great coach. He has set the bar high for his kids and they have responded. Until we set similar expectations, we have nothing to complain about. Our goal is to kick their rear ends though, not to complain about how good they are.

My only beef with regionals is that we are crowning state championship teams. When teams cannot bring kids that will score at state, we aren't crowning a true state championship team. I hope that fact is the catalyst for change.
05/21/2017 10:15:58 PM
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Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 7
This is an interesting discussion. There are elite athletes that will qualify in the top 4 of an event while backing off in the last 400 or so because they have 2-3 more races to run that day. If you truly want to take the best times, then the only option is to have a 2-3 day meet without districts or sectionals and run multiple qualifying heats. Kansas near Colorado may have significantly different weather than those in the KC area. A great example is Missouri the last couple of years. St. Louis had an incredibly talented group of distance runners, but could only take so many through to State. This year the KC side is deep, but the weather was much different 200+ miles away. You don't see NCAA XC taking the top times from multiple regionals. If this were the case, no course would be run with any significant hills, so Rimrock would be out as a qualifier. They would all be on the Chili Pepper Course or the flats of Indiana. A second, but less glorious option, is to only take those who have qualified times. In some years, you may not see but 1-2 runners in a group on one side of the state and 7-8 from the other. But what if they were hurt leading up to districts? Posting a quality time by peaking in March? This doesn't make sense. Keep it as is. Kids run the races for place in districts, not time. Austin Hindman of Lafayette in St. Louis ran a 8:43 3200m earlier this spring, but his district and sectional times were nowhere near this. Why? Because he had 3 other races that day (won 1600 and 4x800, second in 800 at Sectionals, won all 4 at districts). State is a 2-day event and he has said he wants to beat the longstanding 3200m state record. He could not do this is one day with his other races. My point is that a one-day race with qualifying times does not make sense unless you bring all the kids to the same sight on the same day. Keep up the discussion, it is great to hear both sides!
This is an interesting discussion. There are elite athletes that will qualify in the top 4 of an event while backing off in the last 400 or so because they have 2-3 more races to run that day. If you truly want to take the best times, then the only option is to have a 2-3 day meet without districts or sectionals and run multiple qualifying heats. Kansas near Colorado may have significantly different weather than those in the KC area. A great example is Missouri the last couple of years. St. Louis had an incredibly talented group of distance runners, but could only take so many through to State. This year the KC side is deep, but the weather was much different 200+ miles away. You don't see NCAA XC taking the top times from multiple regionals. If this were the case, no course would be run with any significant hills, so Rimrock would be out as a qualifier. They would all be on the Chili Pepper Course or the flats of Indiana.

A second, but less glorious option, is to only take those who have qualified times. In some years, you may not see but 1-2 runners in a group on one side of the state and 7-8 from the other. But what if they were hurt leading up to districts? Posting a quality time by peaking in March? This doesn't make sense.

Keep it as is. Kids run the races for place in districts, not time. Austin Hindman of Lafayette in St. Louis ran a 8:43 3200m earlier this spring, but his district and sectional times were nowhere near this. Why? Because he had 3 other races that day (won 1600 and 4x800, second in 800 at Sectionals, won all 4 at districts). State is a 2-day event and he has said he wants to beat the longstanding 3200m state record. He could not do this is one day with his other races. My point is that a one-day race with qualifying times does not make sense unless you bring all the kids to the same sight on the same day.

Keep up the discussion, it is great to hear both sides!
05/21/2017 10:46:14 PM
Coach
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 104
@cm73 Perhaps this should have been two separate threads. The main thing I wanted to highlight was how good this squad is. I do think it is unfortunate that a kid could be a potential state medalist, but not even be able to run in lthe Regional because their team is so dang good they could only enter 3 kids and they didn't make the cut!
@cm73

Perhaps this should have been two separate threads. The main thing I wanted to highlight was how good this squad is. I do think it is unfortunate that a kid could be a potential state medalist, but not even be able to run in lthe Regional because their team is so dang good they could only enter 3 kids and they didn't make the cut!

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