In this humble reporter's opinion, nothing happened over the weekend to quell my enthusiasm for the concept.
I think it safe to say that in a 3-4 hour window on Saturday I saw more exciting RACES than I have in the last 10 years of the Stanford Invitational, which is a 2-day, 8-hour affair. And, just in case it's necessary, a RACE is where two or more people have a great battle, one of them breaking the other. A race is not an endless sucession of people running against the clock. That's time-trialing.
I would also say that those who point to the number of coaches who had top people who dog it in Regionals, figuring they were safe to get into the Nationals on time, may be their own worst enemies. I would hope/assume that the NCAA will look at some of the travesties that were visited upon us and say "OK, no more wild cards, period." I wouldn't want to see that, but I'd certainly be in favor in a reduction in the number thereof.
I'm also stunned that there were apparently no "honest effort" DQs, that the NCAA has traditionally been so dogmatic about handing out. If ever there were a case...
Is it easy to find fault with how the whole thing played out? Absofrigginlutely! Imbalance in fields, too many people meeting Q-standards, etc., etc. But all things that are to be expected with a radical new concept that had a very short gestation period.
I think EVERYBODY will be pleasantly surprised with the number of scorers at the NCAA's who would not have been there with the old way. We have also kept the cream of the 'marks' crop, so you can't complain the most elite were not there. The only real complainers are those big programs coaches who would have had more athletes at nationals, as they sought the team crown. Oh well, the cream will still rise to the top.
The Western Regional was the best non-NCAA Champs collegiate meet I've ever seen.
If the others didn't go so well, perhaps it is because they didn't have the announcers and crowd that Stanford did. Everyone I know who attended enjoyed the meet greatly. I'm just bummed it won't be at Stanford next year.
Well, GH, I gotta say that the Stanford Invitational probably isn't an ideal meet to compare to, because the sprints generally suck eggs.
I usually go and get my restroom on during anything over two laps anyway (except the 4x4!), so "thrilling distance race" isn't really part of my vocabulary. If the sprints ain't fast and the relays ain't smokin', the meet gets a thumbs-down.
That's much of the reason why the Texas Relays are so popular. People LOVE to see speed in this country, and that's the emphasis in Austin. Sure, the competition angle is a big part, but it's mostly about the times. No one goes home yapping about how great that 10.45-10.46 100 battle was.
You love Regionals and have pushed it since the idea first appeared. A lot of us out in the field hate the whole idea. It is a reflection of what we look for in the sport, and much like any heated debate, neither side is likely to change much.
>In this humble reporter's opinion, nothing
>happened over the weekend to quell my enthusiasm
>for the concept.
>would also say that those who point to the number
>of coaches who had top people who dog it in
>Regionals, figuring they were safe to get into
>the Nationals on time, may be their own worst
>enemies. I would hope/assume that the NCAA will
>look at some of the travesties that were visited
>upon us and say "OK, no more wild cards,
>period." I wouldn't want to see that, but I'd
>certainly be in favor in a reduction in the
Score the meet and make it count as a provision for advancing to Nationals.