High school cross country: State meets feature supreme talent

Six teams from the Beehive State are ranked in the national top 50; three of them are 4A girls squads

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  • sports fan Provo, UT
    Oct. 19, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    springville not qualifying was huge, it completely changed the face of this years meet. The lowest they ever finished at a meet this year was 4th and that was the grass relays where they were behind AF (ranked 2nd nationally) Davis (also nationally ranked) and Mt. View (nationally ranked majority of the season) the uhsaa needs to adopt a system more like the NCAA in order to preserve the pure competitiveness of the sport. Every team has a bad race for springville it came at the worst possible time in the most competitive region the state has ever seen.

  • DaCougz Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 19, 2011 8:50 a.m.

    I honestly think the current system is fair and adequate. The beauty of cross country is that all runners line up as equals and the first one to finish wins.

    This is the first year I've seen a potential state podium contender not qualify out of their region. Region 8 received 5 spots this year and was simply very deep. Most years even with sick runners and a less than expected result, Springville would have qualified.

    Hope everyoen can get to the state meet today. Perfect weather.

  • ascott Logan, UT
    Oct. 19, 2011 6:31 a.m.

    good luck today, runners!

  • Just Me SLC, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 5:44 p.m.

    You have to run in a minimal # of meets to run @ region.

  • RowdyRoyal Roy, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    If the runners got sick, there is nothing you can do. Being a runner, sickness is part of it. Should there be a ranking? You bet ya, some regions are deeper than others. I experienced this at the college level, who ever won our region was the favorite to battle for the national title. Other regions were weaker, but were able to put the same amount of teams in the national meet as our region.

    Saying that, a ranking system would need the coaches to send rankings in every week to their region head. That region head would then need to send the coaches rankings to the division (1A-5A) head. It may need to go one more step to a state head. That all cost more money than running one meet per region costs.

    Does there need to be a fix? Yes. Will there be one? No.

  • Pingdew Herriman, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    Yeah, the 4A results are definitely not very accurate. I have done quite a bit of nerd stuff and came up with some rankings for the 4A boys. Here is what I have:

    #1) Mountain View
    #2) Herriman
    #3) Orem
    #4) Bonneville
    #5) Sky View
    #6) Springville (didn't make it to state as previously mentioned)
    #7) Timpanogos

    Springville was good but I don't think they were #2, even when they were healthy. Bonneville and Sky View did a good job of hiding from the better 4A teams and have been underrated all season.

    In a perfect world, there would be other ways to qualify for state. This is the first time I have ever seen a team of Springville caliber not be in the top 4 at region. It would take major problems for a champion contending team to not be top 4 in a region. I understand Region 8 was the best region in the state but I haven't ever seen a better proposal. The points system has merit but I would be afraid of everyone going to the same meets every week.

  • RD1025 Springville, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 1:46 p.m.

    That is why most states have rules that set a minimum number of meets an athlete must run in to be eligible for their region or district meets. This is to protect the athlete and integrity of the sport from those who would prostitute their program just to get a trophy. It's not much fun to be that athlete who is bumped off of varsity by someone who only put in a minimal amount of time for that sport. If a soccer player only missed a few meets during the season that wouldn't have much of an effect on the rankings, and no one would care about that situation. But when someone shows up for the first time at region to help that team win, what are we then telling the other athletes? The bottom line is...who are we in this for?

  • RED23 Head in the Clouds, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 12:50 p.m.

    How can you accurately rank a team that has soccer players running cross country as well? Those athletes are not available for every meet, and are often some of the best runners. Just something to think about...

  • RD1025 Springville, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    From what I understand the coaches have suggested a ranking system based on team performance or placement at the meets they run in. Times wouldn't have anything to do with it, because the courses are all different. But it wouldn't take much to rank teams on head-to-head competition, as most teams all run against each other in the big meets. Have a representative from each region submit their top ten for the week, and then average them together. Not a perfect system, but at least something would be in place to protect the athletes.

  • RED23 Head in the Clouds, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    Re: RD1025
    We all would love a system that was more like the Track State qualifying system, but every way you look at it there is no "fair" way. Every Cross Country course is so vastly different that you can't possibly set a state qualifying time. What are your ideas for changing the system?
    All of us XC fans would love more coverage, but lets face it, most people just don't get it. I'm just glad that the Deseret News will even mention it and give those hard working athletes and teams a little recognition. The state XC meet is one of my favorite athletic competitions.

  • RD1025 Springville, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    Looks like a little research needed to be done on boys 4A. Mt View is the team to beat, but Maple Mtn and Westlake won't even be in the top ten. Orem, Bonneville, and Herriman will likely be the challengers. Though the number two team in 4A didn't qualify for state because 3 of their top 5 runners were sick at their region meet. Too bad Utah has an outdated system for qualifying for state. Cross Country is the only sport in Utah that only allows one chance for making it to state. Maybe its time to listen to the coaches who have been pushing for a system that protects a good team or individuals who might only have one bad race the whole season, but it comes at their region meet. We parents can't do much about this, but maybe others can.