Tom Land

"Inferences from the State Meet" Tom Land Nov 25, 2014

Most coaches would like their team to peak for the state meet.  Gaining a precious few seconds per runner could be the difference in winning a championship and becoming an also-ran.   Debates as how to prepare runners to peak at the right time have been both numerous and, at times, heated.   Whereas I don’t pretend to have anything approaching all of the answers, I did find a way to explain about 20% of the variation in performance at the state meet.   The other 80% of the variation shall remain proprietary information for some of the best coaches.  

'Runner Development' Benchmarking Georgia HS Boys Cross Country #5 Tom Land Jul 12, 2013

Whereas it is the most important factor in winning a state cross country championship, recruiting freshmen is not the only factor.   The freshmen will need to improve over the next 2-3 years for your team to be competitive.   Of the fifty five boys who were in the top five on state championship teams in 2011 and 2012, more than half started as freshmen.  Their median freshman PR’s were a respectable, but far from fabulous, 18:00.

'Size Matters' Benchmarking Georgia HS Cross Country #4 Tom Land Jul 2, 2013

Does anyone wonder why Gwinnett schools have won the last thirteen state championships in the state’s largest classification?    One explanation could be that there is some sort of a superior gene pool there; however, a more logical explanation is that the state’s seven largest schools are all in that county.

The Sport Is Growing..Benchmarking Georgia HS Cross Country #3 Tom Land Jun 25, 2013

Cross Country participation has grown steadily every season as more and more freshman show an interest in the Sport and Middle School runners make the decision to continue the pursuit of excellence.  Freshman participation in cross country has increased an astounding 25% in the past two years....

Building A Dynasty #2 Benchmarking Georgia HS Cross Country Performance Tom Land Jun 18, 2013

Dynasty programs like Westminster (49 State Titles Combined!), St. Pius, Marist, Wesleyan and Brookwood) are programs that have won multiple state championships over the past four years.   There is usually only room for one dynasty program in each classification.   It remains to be seen which program emerges as the dynasty program in AAAAA and A-private.

Benchmarking Georgia HS Cross Country Performance #1 Tom Land Jun 10, 2013

Here is the first of a series of 7 articles on benchmarking this Summer. Article 1 deals with why does Cross Country become a numbers game with school size and recruitment rates outweighing the other factors?  Pictured above is Mill Creek's Boys squad on the Podium at Carrollton. The Hawks have a very large team.   Enjoy...

Benchmarking-Sophomore Recruiting Tom Land Jul 13, 2011

Parkview's Alec Klassen(3rd at Nike XC SE Regional- 15:19), began competing in Cross Country in 2008 as a Sophomore at Berry with an 18:44 Here is the latest article on "benchmarking" titled "Benchmarking Sophomore Recruiting"

Benchmarking Runner Development (Boys) Tom Land Jun 28, 2011

Bill Bowerman was a great developer of talent as seen w/ Steve Prefontaine in a rare pic(courtesy UofO library) Article #2 of a series on Benchmarking by Tom Land. This article deals specifically w/ benchmarking runner development.

Benchmarking Attracting Talent (Boys) Tom Land Jun 19, 2011

  What should you do if you are a new xc coach and want to win the state championship this year?   Chances are that boat sailed three years ago when your predecessor failed to attract enough freshmen onto the team.   Without exception, the 2010 championship teams had as large or larger incoming freshman class (in ’07) than any other team in their classification.