2017 USATF Georgia HS Cross Country Meet of Champions 2017

  • Power User
    Curious on feedback from the coaches. How was the meet of champions in its 2nd year?

    Looks like there were more teams but the many of the best teams were not at full strength as some athletes didn't have the mental will or physical ability to continue their season after state.

    What is your prognosis long term for this meet? Do you feel this will become a meet where the top teams really point towards to determine the best "all class" team or will it just fill a gap on the calendar between state and Footlocker/Nike that some teams and individuals will run to one more race against good competition on a course than can often deliver a PR?
  • User
    @crossfan2861 Hard to believe it will ever be "the" meet because I think State will remain the most important meet for most teams. Still, MOC serves a useful purpose. I think Marietta girls showed themselves to be the top team this year, all class.
  • Ryan McClay
    Power User

    I agree. Hard to imagine it will ever be the premier meet in Georgia. They have it in New Jersey, but I don't even know if it's the big meet there either (I could be wrong?). If state does in fact get pushed back a week next year, we will likely see this meet decline some as most kids won't want to race state, MOC, and Nike/FL in 3 back to back weeks. Some will though.

    State can be very draining both physically because of the tough course and emotionally because of it's importance. So MOC will rarely give us a perfect picture of the best all class when teams/individuals are close. Can't argue against Milton this year, but they didn't go to MOC.

    I think it's great for what it is. One last chance (Wingfoot and Coach wood being our first two chances) for most of the best teams and individuals all class to line up and race on a fast course. Kids love prs, and plenty of them got exactly that on Saturday. I'm sure many more will pursue them again at both Nike and Footlocker before taking a break.

    My overall opinion is that it's a great thing for kids to have two PR opportunities in November since Carrollton definitely isn't one. For kids who don't have fast region courses, MOC and Nike/Footlocker are likely their only real PR opportunities when they're close to their peak and have good weather and a fast course.
  • Luke Godleski
    Power User
    So last year I did not attend the meet of champions but thought it sounded like a great idea. I had built it up in my mind to be the finals of the season and state was the semi-final. This is not the case and I'm glad it's not because honestly state is state, the ultimate goal for most teams, the meet you hang banners for in the gym. No one is going to hang a banner that says MOC champs.

    The course is nice and about 50m short just like most courses so that's not a problem. I don't think this course would work well with a JV race due to the double 1,000m loop 600m into the race.

    I was underwhelmed by the race. I felt like some squads were going all out while others were running dialed back a little, could have simply been that state was over and the athletes were on empty, I don't know. The lack of a team trophy kind of makes it hard to get fired up for your school to take the title as well; maybe that has something to do with it being a "club" race?

    If I were in charge of scheduling this meet, I would always schedule it for the Saturday before NXSE and Footlocker. I believe this would encourage teams to attend for a tune up before they go for it the following weekend. For example, this year, the meet would be this Saturday instead of last Saturday. If state is pushed back and their is only one weekend in between state and the major post season races I'm not sure what the attendance would be like.

    All this being said, I still feel like the staff did an excellent job of putting on the meet and it ran very smoothly, thanks for putting it on.
  • User

    Speaking as someone who grew up racing XC in NJ and still has a brother who coaches there, MOC is still a huge deal. What helps is NJ usually has a lot of very good teams that came from the smaller public classes and that private schools have their own state meet. So the meet isn't just a rehash of the big schools going at it two weeks in a row with a few private schools thrown in for good measure. And despite CBA's dominance most years there was another team or two that would challenge them. So the goal was always to get to the meet or, if you were good enough, to challenge the best of the best.

    Without that YE focus, GA teams have been much better then NJ teams at facing each other during the season - where we see meets like Coach Wood and Wingfoot include a vast majority of the good teams in GA run against each other. NJ teams know they will face the best at the end of the year, so even big meets such as Shore Coaches where a good percentage of the best teams are -they don't even have a championship division (they tried and very few schools entered).

    My point (despite being somewhat belabored) is - if you have a MOC, the coaching algebra changes and teams adapt. Teams know which level they will be competitive at be it region/state/MOC and plan their season around that meet. State is such a big deal because that is generally the only choice. I am sure Milton was really excited about winning state but going to NXN is the real challenge for that team. Coaches, like runners, are competitive people and will always look towards the greatest challenge. The difference on the step ladder between GA state and NXN is generally pretty huge and not relevant 99% of the time. MOC would just add a step in-between.