Berry College Changes Format of Clara Bowl Event to Seeded Heats
The 2014 Berry College Clara Bowl will include a college division this year. NCAA Cross Country first date of practice is dependent on the first date of competition. The first date of competition is usually around September 1. It is in the best interest of many college teams to begin team practice the first available date which in turn means competing the first available date. Berry administration prefers to host the Clara Bowl HS invitation on Labor Day weekend to help ease traffic control.
Adding two college races of longer distances to the event creates a need to readdress the previous race schedule. Our hope is to host a quality competition for as many HS runners as possible. It is difficult to be all things to all people especially in late August/early September. The new race format is our attempt to do so with the addition of two college races. Entry fees will be $100 per team ($200 per school). Entries will be unlimited. This will be a reduction in entry fees for any school bringing more than 20 entrants.
Rather than divide races by school size, we will divide races by individual seed times. In effect it will be one large race with one set of complete results. The complete results will include one winner, one second place, one third place, etc. The concept is not original:http://sub5.com/pvcxc/xcfest/xcfest.htm In a perfect world it might be nice to divide the heats equally based on previous personal bests. However, considering the difference from one course to the next and the early date of this event, coaches will be given the freedom to self-seed all entries. I hope the heats will result in great competition for every runner and somewhat equal numbers in each race. The equal numbers hope is difficult to achieve with self-seeding. My anticipation is that coaches will self-seed based on hopes for the meet for each individual entry and any perceived advantage they may see for the individual entry in question. Although this method will likely split many teams top seven runners into more than one heat, I hope the team competition is just as high if not more so as we all cheer the fifth, sixth, seventh and remaining runners along.