Ed's Ramblings: 50 Years of State XC Championships Completed

After the unexpected postponement of the State Championships, the meet was finally held, and it was a great one.  The postponement of this meet marked the first time in the 50-year history of the meet that the meet was not held on its originally planned date.  However, it was not the first time that the meet was held on a weekday.  Many of the meet's first years were held on a weekday afternoon.  

Having officially finished the 50th meet, I thought I would update a few of the records.  At the State Meet, the SCTCCCA was selling a program that had many, many records, including the top ten runners by classification, the winningest teams, dual individual winners, and most individual state champions, as well as a host of statistics about all of our meets including the number of individuals and teams that have completed the state championships.

State Championships: 50 Years of Memories | State meet coverage

The first milestone was incredible. Ava Dobson of St. Joseph's has won her third State Championship with an amazing state best breaking time of 16:58.  The previous state best was 17:36 set by Kate Niehaus of Spring Valley on the last year we ran at Hilton Field course at Fort Jackson in 2003.  Ava becomes the first female to run under 17 minutes at the State Championships.  Ava also ties Kate with having two top 10 State Meet performances.

Coen Roberts of Greer ran 15:04 and was the only winner to break into the top 10 performances.  His time places him sixth on the all-time winning performances.

Ed's Ramblings: 1970-2019 - 50 Years of XC in S.C. 

Two girls also joined the limited ranks of four-time State Champions.  Woodruff's Maggie Rhodes won her fourth straight meet.  Daniel's Mari Cagle Lockhart returned to the top spot after winning in 2015, 2016 and 2017.  This brings the total number of four or more Individual State Champions in the history of the meet to six.  Mari Cagle also helped Daniel High School maintain its lead on the number of individual state champs to 10.

Three coaches joined the State Meet history by winning their first Girl's State Championship -  Max Mayo of Hilton Head, David Smith of Greer Middle College, and Todd Prochaska of J.L. Mann.  Three coaches also joined the winning ranks in their first boy's championships - Josh Harbet of Dixie, Todd Roberts of Greer and Katherine Rosenblum of May River.  Congratulations to these six coaches.

Two new schools also joined the winning ranks for the first time in each gender.  In the girl's meet J.L. Mann and Greer Middle College and in the boy's meet, Greer High and May River, bringing the number of different schools that have won the girls State Championships to 32 and the boys to 52.

These are just a few of the updates to the records.  If you would like a copy of the program that we put together so that you can see where your school fits into the total 50-year history of the state meet we would be glad to get you one.  The cost is $5 plus $1 for mailing.  Email me at ehsed1@gmail.com and I will tell you how to get yours.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author.  It is the hope that these thoughts, though maybe controversial, will open dialog between coaches, athletes, meet directors, and the S.C. High School League to find insightful and meaningful ideas to promote improvements in the sports of track and cross country.