Behind-the-Scenes with SCTCCCA President Eric Cummings

How has your planning been going as SCTCCCA president for qualifiers and state? 
Planning for qualifiers has been going well. The 5A Region directors have been great to work with this year. As far as state planning, this has been on going since January. I have been working with the USATF and we have all field event slots covered this year. The SCSHSL agreed to up their total of money they give to the SCTCCCA and we have spent it all on officials  and workers. Coaches will not be asked to work the state championship this year for the first time in the history of the state meet. 

Rankings | State time schedule | What's on tap

What challenges have you and qualifier directors encountered? What do you hope can be a solution in the future? 
The biggest challenges have been the rule dealing with the number of events athletes can be listed in once they compete in their four events. Coaches need to understand that once an athlete is listed in an individual event (wether they compete or not) that event counts against them. This was the biggest issue with seeding the qualifiers. A solution would be that all coaches read their rule book and attend the SCTCCCA meetings. 

How do you expect the new schedule to work with adding a fifth classification? What planning went into it and how often did it change before it was confirmed? 
The schedule is tight. If we have good weather, I do not see an issue with the one schedule. Spring Valley and the SCTCCA run off good meets. There were a lot of drafts and I know the SCHSL was still working with the association the time schedule in early April to finalize it. 

Do you see changing the schedule in the future? 
I see the schedule changing slightly year to year. I honestly would love to see a two site meet with a 16 person final in all events for all classifications. 

How is the meet handling officials this season? 
For state, I am responsible for setting up all officials. The association requested additional Funds from the SCHSL this year and the granted the increase in funds. The total cost of next weeks meet (as far as officials on site working events and timing and on track officials) is right at $16,000. This has allowed us to not have to use coaches during the meet. 

What would like athletes, coaches and parents and spectators know going into the last two weeks of the season? 
Remember sportsmanship! Be sure you're in legal uniforms, and don't leave anything on the track! 

What kind of long term plans and challenges is the SCTCCCA working on for present and future? 
We are finalizing some changes to the Bob Jenkins Track & Field Coaches Classic. We (John Jones) are in process of changing the state meet course due to Clemson planting trees. We will be setting up our speakers for the summer and looking to prep our next president. 

Looking at your second term as president, have you achieved what you hoped? Please explain. 
This is actually my THIRD term as president. I have served as either a vice president or president over the past nine years. when I stepped back in this time, my goal was to get the SCSHL to increase their payment of the state championships and to get the coaches out of working the meet. Both of those have been met. I want to have both cross country and track and field policies completely in writing (right now it is not written anywhere) as far as qualifiers and state goes.