VA State Meet Course
11/09/2017 9:04:46 PM
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Joined: Nov 2014
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On the eve of state meet weekend, where kids have not been able to preview the course due to the rain that has been received over the course of the past few days, I have a question. Why is the meet at Great Meadows? The only real positive that I can see for it being there is the ample parking the facility has. Other than that, what is positive? Fans and parents are not allowed to follow the runners through the course, you are only allowed on a friggen hill and you can only see your kid if you have a nice pair of high powered binos. If it rains, you get the situation the kids are in this week. People might say, well there are a couple of invites over the season....well they use another course....so if you have never run on the state meet course, you are going in blind. What about running at The Oatlands course? There is already a meet there way bigger than the state meet, so they have the parking. Thoughts?????
On the eve of state meet weekend, where kids have not been able to preview the course due to the rain that has been received over the course of the past few days, I have a question.

Why is the meet at Great Meadows?

The only real positive that I can see for it being there is the ample parking the facility has.

Other than that, what is positive? Fans and parents are not allowed to follow the runners through the course, you are only allowed on a friggen hill and you can only see your kid if you have a nice pair of high powered binos.

If it rains, you get the situation the kids are in this week. People might say, well there are a couple of invites over the season....well they use another course....so if you have never run on the state meet course, you are going in blind.

What about running at The Oatlands course? There is already a meet there way bigger than the state meet, so they have the parking.

Thoughts?????
11/09/2017 11:47:45 PM
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@frankrizzo Well for starters, if you move the meet you lose close to 30 years of history... Secondly, it is a true XC course. It has multiple surfaces, isn't too fast and isn't too hilly. You can PR on the state course but it also isn't ridiculous like Third Battle or MileStat Invites. Meet management's job is to keep the course safe and fair. You have to realize that they close it to practices not only to keep it safe but also fair for both days. If they open it for practice one day then they have to do it for both! Yes you can preview just over half of the state course at Octoberfest and Great Meadow but I understand wanting to get on the infield... it is a public place and you in theory could go up there prior to the meet and see it... the only caveat though is that they close it down 2 weeks before states to keep the course in great condition. If you ever move this meet I am afraid people will not take it as seriously as they do now. I know for a fact that Davis, Wall, and Farrey take their roles as meet directors very seriously. They meticulously mark, flag, measure, and maintain this course for an entire month leading into the championships. I get that it sucks not getting to preview it but no one did, the playing field is level. - Nolan
@frankrizzo Well for starters, if you move the meet you lose close to 30 years of history...

Secondly, it is a true XC course. It has multiple surfaces, isn't too fast and isn't too hilly. You can PR on the state course but it also isn't ridiculous like Third Battle or MileStat Invites.

Meet management's job is to keep the course safe and fair. You have to realize that they close it to practices not only to keep it safe but also fair for both days. If they open it for practice one day then they have to do it for both!

Yes you can preview just over half of the state course at Octoberfest and Great Meadow but I understand wanting to get on the infield... it is a public place and you in theory could go up there prior to the meet and see it... the only caveat though is that they close it down 2 weeks before states to keep the course in great condition.

If you ever move this meet I am afraid people will not take it as seriously as they do now. I know for a fact that Davis, Wall, and Farrey take their roles as meet directors very seriously. They meticulously mark, flag, measure, and maintain this course for an entire month leading into the championships.

I get that it sucks not getting to preview it but no one did, the playing field is level.

* Nolan
11/10/2017 8:48:33 AM
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Joined: Nov 2014
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@vamilesplit Easy, Nolan...I am simply asking a question. I understand that if conditions warrant you need to preserve the course and have to be fair to both days of the meet. But what happens if the Friday meet tears the you know what out of the course? What is done for the Saturday races to make it fair and safe? I do realize that the meet directors do work very hard on making sure the course is marked, flagged and what not so the meet is top notch. I am simply asking is there a better place, more fan friendly course to run the most important race of the season? As to your comment on "throwing away 30 years of history". What about the history of the meet before the VHSL went from 3 to 6 divisions? The whole dynamic of the meet changed. I guess it could be worse....Michigan, traditionally a very strong distance state, has their state meet at Michigan International Speedway and all of their divisions run on one day.
@vamilesplit Easy, Nolan...I am simply asking a question.

I understand that if conditions warrant you need to preserve the course and have to be fair to both days of the meet. But what happens if the Friday meet tears the you know what out of the course? What is done for the Saturday races to make it fair and safe?

I do realize that the meet directors do work very hard on making sure the course is marked, flagged and what not so the meet is top notch. I am simply asking is there a better place, more fan friendly course to run the most important race of the season?

As to your comment on "throwing away 30 years of history". What about the history of the meet before the VHSL went from 3 to 6 divisions? The whole dynamic of the meet changed.

I guess it could be worse....Michigan, traditionally a very strong distance state, has their state meet at Michigan International Speedway and all of their divisions run on one day.
11/10/2017 9:06:37 AM
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I do wish we could run all our races on one day. I miss getting to see the other schools run. Being division 3, I won't get to see the majority of the top teams and individuals in the state unless I make the 2 hour drive two days in a row. Reason #231 why we should go back to 3 divisions!
I do wish we could run all our races on one day. I miss getting to see the other schools run. Being division 3, I won't get to see the majority of the top teams and individuals in the state unless I make the 2 hour drive two days in a row. Reason #231 why we should go back to 3 divisions!
11/10/2017 1:23:54 PM
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Can anyone comment on the conditions of the state course today? Thanks
Can anyone comment on the conditions of the state course today? Thanks
11/10/2017 9:04:47 PM
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@vamilesplit I understand that weather will dictate the course closure and that will happen anywhere. At the end of the day it is important not to tear up the course by having every team walking and running on it when its wet. That isn't something Great Meadows specific as most meets would do the same thing to protect it before a state championship. I like the course at Great Meadows as previously stated its a fair course with a great start and finish along with enough hills to keep you honest but not too much to make it impossible to run fast. I just have a few basic problems with it, namely the fact that spectators are not allowed on the infield which is ridiculous at a state meet. This is the pinnacle of the season and the athletes are deprived of the best experience by not allowing parents and teammates to be lining the course cheering for them. Along with that the meet should not be held on a Friday for the same reason, it isn't right for parents and teammates to choose between missing work/school or missing a child/friend and teammate race. It is great that the course hasn't changed for 30 years and there is history but at the end of the day times are fairly meaningless when you really get down to it for a November cross country race. Times have already proven that they can change year to year based on how short the grass is cut nevermind the fact that one year it could be freezing and rainy or perfect conditions. You will never be able to compare things exactly but in cross country you don't need to. Even from race to race things will change and it won't be a great comparison to even go from day one to day two. Also the officials do a great job of getting the course in top condition, but all of those guys would do a great job anywhere they were in charge of the state meet. I can't imagine that they wouldn't take the state championship seriously just because it is not at Great Meadows.
@vamilesplit
I understand that weather will dictate the course closure and that will happen anywhere. At the end of the day it is important not to tear up the course by having every team walking and running on it when its wet. That isn't something Great Meadows specific as most meets would do the same thing to protect it before a state championship.
I like the course at Great Meadows as previously stated its a fair course with a great start and finish along with enough hills to keep you honest but not too much to make it impossible to run fast.
I just have a few basic problems with it, namely the fact that spectators are not allowed on the infield which is ridiculous at a state meet.
This is the pinnacle of the season and the athletes are deprived of the best experience by not allowing parents and teammates to be lining the course cheering for them.
Along with that the meet should not be held on a Friday for the same reason, it isn't right for parents and teammates to choose between missing work/school or missing a child/friend and teammate race.
It is great that the course hasn't changed for 30 years and there is history but at the end of the day times are fairly meaningless when you really get down to it for a November cross country race. Times have already proven that they can change year to year based on how short the grass is cut nevermind the fact that one year it could be freezing and rainy or perfect conditions. You will never be able to compare things exactly but in cross country you don't need to. Even from race to race things will change and it won't be a great comparison to even go from day one to day two.
Also the officials do a great job of getting the course in top condition, but all of those guys would do a great job anywhere they were in charge of the state meet. I can't imagine that they wouldn't take the state championship seriously just because it is not at Great Meadows.
11/13/2017 8:37:46 AM
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Granted that the quality of the course should always be the primary consideration, as a parent and spectator (not coach or athlete), I like the Great Meadow course. While you may need a pair of binoculars, you can view practically the entire race. If I am going to drive 3 and 1/2 hours to watch my daughter compete, I would much rather be able to view the entire race and cheer her on by the fence as she finishes rather than only see a minute or so at the start, have to run to a different spot to catch another 30 seconds or so and then catch the last minute or two of the race from the finish line. We have never run at Oatlands so I have no idea how much of the course can be seen, but I would think with the distances individuals are traveling to watch their athletes compete, it is important to be able to view as much of the race as possible.
Granted that the quality of the course should always be the primary consideration, as a parent and spectator (not coach or athlete), I like the Great Meadow course. While you may need a pair of binoculars, you can view practically the entire race. If I am going to drive 3 and 1/2 hours to watch my daughter compete, I would much rather be able to view the entire race and cheer her on by the fence as she finishes rather than only see a minute or so at the start, have to run to a different spot to catch another 30 seconds or so and then catch the last minute or two of the race from the finish line. We have never run at Oatlands so I have no idea how much of the course can be seen, but I would think with the distances individuals are traveling to watch their athletes compete, it is important to be able to view as much of the race as possible.

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