Lee Summit West's 2019 National Champion DMR Team
Despite how mostly uniform college and professional Track & Field are in terms of the events contested, high school track still doesn't offer several events that are contested at the higher levels. Today we are going to examine which event(s) would be a great addition to high school track in Missouri.
For this article I've decided not to speculate on order of events or where they would fit into the current program, or if they would replace another event (looking at you 4x200) and just examining the events on their own merits.
The first and most popularly requested event is the Distance Medley Relay. The DMR is contested in NCAA Indoor Track, but only is contested in high school at select meets. It consists of a 1200m leg, 400m leg, 800m leg, and 1600m leg in that order. The biggest thing the DMR brings to the table is some balance to ultra sprint heavy meet. As high school track doesn't have the 5000m, 10000m, or Steeple Chase it is even more sprint dominated than the college level. The DMR would fix that by adding in another event for distance runners. It also opens up an interesting relay composition which could see the fastest sprinters and fastest distance runners on the same relay team.
As I just said the current landscape is really tilted towards sprints, our second option for adding an event looks to keep curtailing that as we'll talk about adding the 5000m. The 5K is rarely contested at the high school level during track season, but as we all know its the staple distance for cross country. So we know kids are capable of running this distance, and it would be quite honestly be interesting to see a true long distance event make its way to the State Meet.
Up next is the Sprint Medley Relay. While I don't see anyway this exists alongside the 4x200, the SMR would again set the stage for interesting and refreshing relay team compositions. The SMR comes in two variations but the one we'll talk about here is the 200-200-400-800. This would allow for the short sprint specialists to be on the same team as their long sprint and middle distance brethren which could be a lot of fun.
Missouri took a huge step forward a few years ago when it added Javelin as a third throwing event. There is still one throwing event out there that could be added to the slate though, and that is the Hammer Throw. Hammer would give another option for throwers to be able to contribute to the team score, and would allow them to potentially compete in three or four events at a given meet. There would be some logistical problems to be solved for sure for this to work, but it would be fun to see.
Finally, for the last event we are actually going to add seven. Yes, the last event is multi-events, specifically the heptathlon (boys) and pentathlon (girls). Multi Events are actually conducted on the summer circuit at the high school level, in fact they do the full decathlon, but they haven't made their way to school season. Since many of the kids in high school would likely be on relays or in open events though, I suggest doing the lower event totals so they can have the option to compete in another event at State should they choose. I think this would add a lot of interest, and would probably help several Missourians obtain scholarships by having more kids take up multi-events.
It's very unlikely in my opinion that any of these events get added to the slate, but it is fun to think about and who knows maybe one day we may see a DMR sneak its way into the State Meet.
Vote in our poll below on which event you'd like to see added to Missouri Track & Field!