Class A Boys Preseason XC Rankings
08/29/2012 2:08:50 PM
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As food for thought, the first seven schools in the Class A Boys' XC rankings are either private schools or schools whose student bodies are drawn from select groups. Green Seas-Floyd at eight and McBee at nine are the first traditional public schools in the rankings. As a side note, both GSSM (7th) and McBee (14 miles apart) are in Region III-A that should make for some top performances at the Region III-A Meet hosted by McBee this year.
As food for thought, the first seven schools in the Class A Boys' XC rankings are either private schools or schools whose student bodies are drawn from select groups. Green Seas-Floyd at eight and McBee at nine are the first traditional public schools in the rankings. As a side note, both GSSM (7th) and McBee (14 miles apart) are in Region III-A that should make for some top performances at the Region III-A Meet hosted by McBee this year.
08/29/2012 2:27:19 PM
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With Landrum and Ninety Six moving to Class 2A, the public schools really take a back seat in this division now. Maybe there should be a Private School Class A race and a Public School Class A race. . . I've always thought Class A should only score the top 3 or 4 runners, too. Keep 7 on the team, but only score 3 or 4. Might get a few more schools involved. And for yet another random thought, the Greenville Tech charter schools should merge: Greer Middle, Greenville Tech and Brashier combined would be pretty good.
With Landrum and Ninety Six moving to Class 2A, the public schools really take a back seat in this division now.

Maybe there should be a Private School Class A race and a Public School Class A race. . .

I've always thought Class A should only score the top 3 or 4 runners, too. Keep 7 on the team, but only score 3 or 4. Might get a few more schools involved.

And for yet another random thought, the Greenville Tech charter schools should merge: Greer Middle, Greenville Tech and Brashier combined would be pretty good.
08/29/2012 4:26:19 PM
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I would not lower the standards or change rules that have stood the test of time for over a century. Five scoring runners as the minimium for a team is very reasonable and as a coach, I prefer the challenge. It is more a matter of expanding/changing the high school sports culture in the state. Proactive local journalism coverage helps; indeed, the best XC coverage I have seen is a local weekly paper in the Sandhills. As an illustration, forty plus years ago in the Beaver State, state track meets drew crowds in the tens of thousands while state XC meets drew about half that figure.
I would not lower the standards or change rules that have stood the test of time for over a century. Five scoring runners as the minimium for a team is very reasonable and as a coach, I prefer the challenge. It is more a matter of expanding/changing the high school sports culture in the state. Proactive local journalism coverage helps; indeed, the best XC coverage I have seen is a local weekly paper in the Sandhills. As an illustration, forty plus years ago in the Beaver State, state track meets drew crowds in the tens of thousands while state XC meets drew about half that figure.
08/30/2012 1:16:17 PM
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[quote=monnierb]I would not lower the standards or change rules that have stood the test of time for over a century. Five scoring runners as the minimium for a team is very reasonable and as a coach, I prefer the challenge. It is more a matter of expanding/changing the high school sports culture in the state. Proactive local journalism coverage helps; indeed, the best XC coverage I have seen is a local weekly paper in the Sandhills. As an illustration, forty plus years ago in the Beaver State, state track meets drew crowds in the tens of thousands while state XC meets drew about half that figure.[/quote] @monnierb More than a century? Cross country began as a sport here in South Carolina in the late 1970s. And several states score only 4 in the smallest classes. Others only run 2 miles for girls, or 4K. Cross country is variable across the nation. Having more teams participate at the state meet can only be a good thing for Class A.
monnierb wrote:
I would not lower the standards or change rules that have stood the test of time for over a century. Five scoring runners as the minimium for a team is very reasonable and as a coach, I prefer the challenge. It is more a matter of expanding/changing the high school sports culture in the state. Proactive local journalism coverage helps; indeed, the best XC coverage I have seen is a local weekly paper in the Sandhills. As an illustration, forty plus years ago in the Beaver State, state track meets drew crowds in the tens of thousands while state XC meets drew about half that figure.


@monnierb

More than a century? Cross country began as a sport here in South Carolina in the late 1970s.
And several states score only 4 in the smallest classes.
Others only run 2 miles for girls, or 4K.
Cross country is variable across the nation.
Having more teams participate at the state meet can only be a good thing for Class A.
08/31/2012 4:17:20 PM
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And Oregon in 2012 with a population of 800,000 fewer people than South Carolina has twice the depth and quality of prep distance runners than the Palmetto State. In 1969, Prefontaine's senior year in high school, Oregon had nine of the top 20 prep two milers in the country---in other words, with about one percent of the nation's population in that year, Oregon had 45% of the top high school distance runners in the U.S. It is a matter of broadening the athletic culture of a state that is generally unaware of cross country and track. When basketball reduces to four person teams, volleyball to five person teams, baseball to seven person teams, etc, I will entertain the idea of reducing the number of a scoring XC team.
And Oregon in 2012 with a population of 800,000 fewer people than South Carolina has twice the depth and quality of prep distance runners than the Palmetto State. In 1969, Prefontaine's senior year in high school, Oregon had nine of the top 20 prep two milers in the country---in other words, with about one percent of the nation's population in that year, Oregon had 45% of the top high school distance runners in the U.S. It is a matter of broadening the athletic culture of a state that is generally unaware of cross country and track. When basketball reduces to four person teams, volleyball to five person teams, baseball to seven person teams, etc, I will entertain the idea of reducing the number of a scoring XC team.
09/08/2012 5:25:49 PM
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I look forward to our school competing in "A" cross country, beginning in the 2013/2014 school year. Whale Branch Early College High School has not fielded a cross country team yet, but will field one this upcoming school year. I believe we will be very competetive and hopefully, our team will make for a more interesting "A" cross country season. In track, our distance athletes provided quite a few points to the state championship team. We'll see if that translates to performance in cross country. Good luck to all who are running this year.
I look forward to our school competing in "A" cross country, beginning in the 2013/2014 school year. Whale Branch Early College High School has not fielded a cross country team yet, but will field one this upcoming school year. I believe we will be very competetive and hopefully, our team will make for a more interesting "A" cross country season. In track, our distance athletes provided quite a few points to the state championship team. We'll see if that translates to performance in cross country. Good luck to all who are running this year.
09/09/2012 7:59:03 AM
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Good luck to Whale Branch. They are a great example to other 1A schools- far too many of them concede the distance events to schools like Christ Church and St. Joe's. WB is proof that developing those kids puts hardware in the trophy case. They run a great program!
Good luck to Whale Branch. They are a great example to other 1A schools- far too many of them concede the distance events to schools like Christ Church and St. Joe's. WB is proof that developing those kids puts hardware in the trophy case. They run a great program!
09/09/2012 2:35:16 PM
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@CoachSalley Thanks for your vote of confidence, Coach Salley. I don't train a team to lose, so I'm sure that within a couple of years we'll be very competetive. By the way, I look forward to competing against your distance folks. I have been impressed with your ability to field great distance runners.
@CoachSalley
Thanks for your vote of confidence, Coach Salley. I don't train a team to lose, so I'm sure that within a couple of years we'll be very competetive. By the way, I look forward to competing against your distance folks. I have been impressed with your ability to field great distance runners.
09/14/2012 2:35:16 PM
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Some proactive winter sport coaches (wrestling and basketball) highly "encourage" those athletes to run XC if they are not participating in a fall sport. That is a good thing. The top Lewisville harrier, Allan Jordan, also plays varsity football for the Lions. He was first in the chute at a tri-meet Sep 11 with Chester and Great Falls. Class A Lewisville also won that meet. I would suggest that Class 3-A Chester use computerized timing so their athletes can get more recognition. The local weekly paper in Chester County ran a feature on Jordan but I did not see any times or actual point totals. The upstate has the best regular press coverage of XC----no surprise there. The best weekly coverage of high school XC is a paper based in Chetserfield County.
Some proactive winter sport coaches (wrestling and basketball) highly "encourage" those athletes to run XC if they are not participating in a fall sport. That is a good thing.
The top Lewisville harrier, Allan Jordan, also plays varsity football for the Lions. He was first in the chute at a tri-meet Sep 11 with Chester and Great Falls. Class A Lewisville also won that meet. I would suggest that Class 3-A Chester use computerized timing so their athletes can get more recognition. The local weekly paper in Chester County ran a feature on Jordan but I did not see any times or actual point totals. The upstate has the best regular press coverage of XC----no surprise there.
The best weekly coverage of high school XC is a paper based in Chetserfield County.
09/14/2012 3:32:12 PM
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[quote=monnierb]And Oregon in 2012 with a population of 800,000 fewer people than South Carolina has twice the depth and quality of prep distance runners than the Palmetto State. In 1969, Prefontaine's senior year in high school, Oregon had nine of the top 20 prep two milers in the country---in other words, with about one percent of the nation's population in that year, Oregon had 45% of the top high school distance runners in the U.S. It is a matter of broadening the athletic culture of a state that is generally unaware of cross country and track. When basketball reduces to four person teams, volleyball to five person teams, baseball to seven person teams, etc, I will entertain the idea of reducing the number of a scoring XC team.[/quote] @monnierb Do you think the sole determing factor of top runners is a state's population? On what grounds are you basing that? Maybe you should consider: 1. [b]History:[/b] Oregon has had cross country since at least 1949. At least a quarter-century longer than South Carolina. 2. [b]Coaching:[/b] Oregon, due to U of O's success, Nike's presence, the history of the sport, and more, likely has more high quality coaches at the high school level. 3. [b]Environment:[/b] Hot here in S.C. during the summer, I believe. 4. Media exposure: Football is king here. 5. [b]Parental involvement:[/b] While it's certainly getting better, I bet most high school coaches still have to explain what cross country is to parents, how it's scored, etc., due to unfamiliarity. Which means, parents are less likely to support and encourage children to participate in the sport. 6. [b]And on your last sentence, I'll add:[/b] ...and when football reduces its numbers to 8-man or even 6-man. Oh wait, some schools do play with those numbers. Try thinking out-of-the-box instead of being so rigid in your thinking. It's about participation, not your arbitrary guideline.
monnierb wrote:
And Oregon in 2012 with a population of 800,000 fewer people than South Carolina has twice the depth and quality of prep distance runners than the Palmetto State. In 1969, Prefontaine's senior year in high school, Oregon had nine of the top 20 prep two milers in the country---in other words, with about one percent of the nation's population in that year, Oregon had 45% of the top high school distance runners in the U.S. It is a matter of broadening the athletic culture of a state that is generally unaware of cross country and track. When basketball reduces to four person teams, volleyball to five person teams, baseball to seven person teams, etc, I will entertain the idea of reducing the number of a scoring XC team.


@monnierb

Do you think the sole determing factor of top runners is a state's population?
On what grounds are you basing that?

Maybe you should consider:
1. History: Oregon has had cross country since at least 1949. At least a quarter-century longer than South Carolina.
2. Coaching: Oregon, due to U of O's success, Nike's presence, the history of the sport, and more, likely has more high quality coaches at the high school level.
3. Environment: Hot here in S.C. during the summer, I believe.
4. Media exposure: Football is king here.
5. Parental involvement: While it's certainly getting better, I bet most high school coaches still have to explain what cross country is to parents, how it's scored, etc., due to unfamiliarity. Which means, parents are less likely to support and encourage children to participate in the sport.
6. And on your last sentence, I'll add: ...and when football reduces its numbers to 8-man or even 6-man. Oh wait, some schools do play with those numbers. Try thinking out-of-the-box instead of being so rigid in your thinking. It's about participation, not your arbitrary guideline.
09/14/2012 3:45:21 PM
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There have been many times in the past few years I have wished we could field a 3-man or 4-man XC team, but only out of selfishness when we've been weak at #5. It only takes a quick look at SCISA,1A, and 2A to see that the serious programs have no problem mixing it up at the top end. Sure, a school with 3000 kids will alway have an advantage over one with 300. But speaking as a guy from a small school, we don't want anything that puts an asterisk by our accomplishments. I think SC as a state would say the same, and you only have to look at last year's Lexington squad to see that it CAN be done here. Our sport is special--let the football guys trade editorials over whether a top-tier ACC team is better than a mid-level SEC team, or if some private school could stay within two touchdowns of a AAAA power. We'll use the stopwatch. I might feel differently if it took 22 to play in XC like it does in football, but 5 isn't bad. Developing 9-10 to make 7 so 5 can score isn't bad. If small states and small schools can field winning basketball teams (even if it's a team with 1-2 blue chippers and 3 blue-collar guys and great coaching), we can do it in cross.
There have been many times in the past few years I have wished we could field a 3-man or 4-man XC team, but only out of selfishness when we've been weak at #5. It only takes a quick look at SCISA,1A, and 2A to see that the serious programs have no problem mixing it up at the top end. Sure, a school with 3000 kids will alway have an advantage over one with 300. But speaking as a guy from a small school, we don't want anything that puts an asterisk by our accomplishments. I think SC as a state would say the same, and you only have to look at last year's Lexington squad to see that it CAN be done here. Our sport is special--let the football guys trade editorials over whether a top-tier ACC team is better than a mid-level SEC team, or if some private school could stay within two touchdowns of a AAAA power. We'll use the stopwatch. I might feel differently if it took 22 to play in XC like it does in football, but 5 isn't bad. Developing 9-10 to make 7 so 5 can score isn't bad. If small states and small schools can field winning basketball teams (even if it's a team with 1-2 blue chippers and 3 blue-collar guys and great coaching), we can do it in cross.
09/14/2012 4:28:07 PM
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@OnceARunner Like I emphasized in that same post you partially quoted, it is a matter of broadening the athletic culture in the Palmetto State. And I do what I can to that end here in Chesterfield County. Concerning the Beaver State, my high school XC and track coach (also my math teacher) from 1969-71 at Sam Barlow in Gresham, OR was Don Aaberg who ran 4:06 in the mile at the 1964 Olympic trials; he did not make the team. My teammate, Tony Sperb,set the school record in the 2 mile at the state meet in 1971, a mark that stood for nearly 40 years. His time was 9:29.2 which was 6th place at the 4-A meet. As an Oregon State alumnus (Class of 75), I would be remiss in my duties if I did not mention Coach Bernie Wagner and a high jumper by the name of Dick Fosbury. That said, I have publicly acknowledged on numerous occasions the supreme legacy of Bill Bowerman and the U of O distance runners. However, I stand firm on maintaining a scoring XC team of at least five runners.
@OnceARunner
Like I emphasized in that same post you partially quoted, it is a matter of broadening the athletic culture in the Palmetto State. And I do what I can to that end here in Chesterfield County.
Concerning the Beaver State, my high school XC and track coach (also my math teacher) from 1969-71 at Sam Barlow in Gresham, OR was Don Aaberg who ran 4:06 in the mile at the 1964 Olympic trials; he did not make the team. My teammate, Tony Sperb,set the school record in the 2 mile at the state meet in 1971, a mark that stood for nearly 40 years. His time was 9:29.2 which was 6th place at the 4-A meet.
As an Oregon State alumnus (Class of 75), I would be remiss in my duties if I did not mention Coach Bernie Wagner and a high jumper by the name of Dick Fosbury. That said, I have publicly acknowledged on numerous occasions the supreme legacy of Bill Bowerman and the U of O distance runners.
However, I stand firm on maintaining a scoring XC team of at least five runners.
09/18/2012 3:39:43 PM
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I haven't found the information easily -- and my memory sucks -- but I believe one of the Dakotas' small-school division only scores top 4. And there could be other states, too. Google is failing me...
I haven't found the information easily -- and my memory sucks -- but I believe one of the Dakotas' small-school division only scores top 4. And there could be other states, too.
Google is failing me...
09/20/2012 1:54:14 PM
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For the past few years at the Class A state XC meet, both individuals and schools have been able to compete without a state meet qualifier as the larger schools must do. Case in point are McBee girls in 2010 and 2011. And, please correct me if I am wrong, individuals in all classifications can still qualify as individuals for the state XC meets. Therefore, a maximum participation system is in place for the state meets without lowering team standards.
For the past few years at the Class A state XC meet, both individuals and schools have been able to compete without a state meet qualifier as the larger schools must do. Case in point are McBee girls in 2010 and 2011. And, please correct me if I am wrong, individuals in all classifications can still qualify as individuals for the state XC meets. Therefore, a maximum participation system is in place for the state meets without lowering team standards.

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