State Cross Country Meet to Move to Columbia in 2019
11/30/2017 10:10:20 AM
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http://mo.milesplit.com/articles/227873 Of course, this article represents one opinion. What are your thoughts?
http://mo.milesplit.com/articles/227873

Of course, this article represents one opinion. What are your thoughts?
11/30/2017 2:02:54 PM
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That was a nice article. Thank you. Comparing state cc times from Missouri to Illinois is interesting, but cc times vary so much from course to course that the times really become secondary. Now, a true barometer for times, in my opinion, is track - for the most part. I would say that Illinois still has an advantage over Missouri because they run their state distance track events in the morning. It was fun watching the MO state 3200 races this past spring with decent weather - and consequently some very fast times. If the distance athletes in Missouri had that opportunity every year to run in the morning or evening at the state track meet, there would be better performances. More importantly though, the health of the athlete is taken into better account. Sorry for taking this story a little "off course."
That was a nice article. Thank you. Comparing state cc times from Missouri to Illinois is interesting, but cc times vary so much from course to course that the times really become secondary. Now, a true barometer for times, in my opinion, is track - for the most part. I would say that Illinois still has an advantage over Missouri because they run their state distance track events in the morning. It was fun watching the MO state 3200 races this past spring with decent weather - and consequently some very fast times. If the distance athletes in Missouri had that opportunity every year to run in the morning or evening at the state track meet, there would be better performances. More importantly though, the health of the athlete is taken into better account. Sorry for taking this story a little "off course."
11/30/2017 3:03:20 PM
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@XCPirate After watching the boys 3200 last year, I would really like to see the meet pushed back (or just spread out more) so that the kids can run in those better conditions instead of the hottest part of the day....Also the 4x400m final under the lights was magical.
@XCPirate After watching the boys 3200 last year, I would really like to see the meet pushed back (or just spread out more) so that the kids can run in those better conditions instead of the hottest part of the day....Also the 4x400m final under the lights was magical.
11/30/2017 8:35:24 PM
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@deekenkyle why are the comparative times shown not designated 3 mile for illinois compared to 3.1 for missouri? why not show the adjusted equivalents? Its meaningless unless you compare the same distances raced ( 528' short of equal distance raced). ???
@deekenkyle why are the comparative times shown not designated 3 mile for illinois compared to 3.1 for missouri? why not show the adjusted equivalents? Its meaningless unless you compare the same distances raced ( 528' short of equal distance raced). ???
11/30/2017 9:20:41 PM
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I was waiting to see if anybody else knew that.
I was waiting to see if anybody else knew that.
11/30/2017 11:59:26 PM
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@macruns not sure I follow you. I converted the 3 mile times from Illinois to 5K's using the suggested algorithms based on research I have done. Maybe they aren't exact, but I would assume it would not be more than a 5 or second difference...unless you are talking about something else...?
@macruns not sure I follow you. I converted the 3 mile times from Illinois to 5K's using the suggested algorithms based on research I have done. Maybe they aren't exact, but I would assume it would not be more than a 5 or second difference...unless you are talking about something else...?
12/01/2017 10:08:20 AM
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You can't compare Missouri to Illinois times for state cross anyway. Illinois state course is a grass track from what I hear. Missouri used to have a great course. We have changed it several times, getting easier every time. Still has a challenge or two in it though. My guess is that the new one will not. I know that is the new trend in the modern world, to make everything easier and cater to laziness, but it is too bad. Sean Nunn Raytown South
You can't compare Missouri to Illinois times for state cross anyway. Illinois state course is a grass track from what I hear. Missouri used to have a great course. We have changed it several times, getting easier every time. Still has a challenge or two in it though. My guess is that the new one will not. I know that is the new trend in the modern world, to make everything easier and cater to laziness, but it is too bad.

Sean Nunn
Raytown South
12/01/2017 11:56:27 AM
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I love the move to Columbia in general as I think it's a better city to have state with easy access, and a lot of hotels and restaurants. I just wish track were there as well. I like that we will be running in the same city as our state university. I also won't miss the current state course, I've never been a fan of the course itself and don't like the way it runs (although it's definitely easier than it was in my day in the 1980's). I have always hated the venue though, as it's a real pain to get in and out of and being a golf course we have limited access to it. There will be those that bemoan tradition, but we have changed the state course enough times that I feel as if you've lost some of the tradition anyway and it's been other places before. Every time the course was changed I felt you lost tradition because you can't compare today's races with those from 10 years ago, or those 30 years ago, as the course ran differently in the past and was a tougher course. Now all of that being said, I have to see what the new course and venue looks like before I can make a judgement. If the course and venue are done well, I think this will really help our athletes and spectators. It will be nice for once to put the athletes first. When I coached on the college level, we ran at Detweiller Park a number of times for NCAA regional meets and I enjoyed the venue and the course. It definitely is a fairly flat, fast course, but is easy for spectators to follow and a good venue for championship racing.
I love the move to Columbia in general as I think it's a better city to have state with easy access, and a lot of hotels and restaurants. I just wish track were there as well. I like that we will be running in the same city as our state university. I also won't miss the current state course, I've never been a fan of the course itself and don't like the way it runs (although it's definitely easier than it was in my day in the 1980's). I have always hated the venue though, as it's a real pain to get in and out of and being a golf course we have limited access to it. There will be those that bemoan tradition, but we have changed the state course enough times that I feel as if you've lost some of the tradition anyway and it's been other places before. Every time the course was changed I felt you lost tradition because you can't compare today's races with those from 10 years ago, or those 30 years ago, as the course ran differently in the past and was a tougher course. Now all of that being said, I have to see what the new course and venue looks like before I can make a judgement. If the course and venue are done well, I think this will really help our athletes and spectators. It will be nice for once to put the athletes first.

When I coached on the college level, we ran at Detweiller Park a number of times for NCAA regional meets and I enjoyed the venue and the course. It definitely is a fairly flat, fast course, but is easy for spectators to follow and a good venue for championship racing.
12/01/2017 12:49:43 PM
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I am in favor of the move away from Oak Hills. I know this may not be a popular opinion. Oak Hills is extremely difficult for my team to prepare for as if we want to run any hills, we are forced to bus our kids for practice. We, overall, have not had much success at the State meet, even in years when we have had strong teams. Several times, we would easily beat teams on courses like MOSO or MSU and then lose to them on the hills of State. I like the idea that our (state of Missouri)kids may actually have the opportunity to run their fastest times of the year on the biggest stage of the year. I think it's time for a "fair" course with a good starting line as well. In addition, Oak Hills is not a spectator friendly course. The only way to watch much of the race is to literally kill yourself trying to run around in hopes of getting a few glimpses of your athletes. The parking is also dismal. You shouldn't have to park your bus miles away from a venue. A lot of smaller schools have coaches that have to drive the bus and this creates a huge headache for these schools. Again, I know this is probably not the popular opinion, but I've never been a fan of the course. In my running career, I only had one episode where I passed out and that was when I crossed the State finish line at State my senior year. I don't like seeing some of our elite kids collapsing 150 meters from the finish line...just saying.
I am in favor of the move away from Oak Hills. I know this may not be a popular opinion.
Oak Hills is extremely difficult for my team to prepare for as if we want to run any hills, we are forced to bus our kids for practice. We, overall, have not had much success at the State meet, even in years when we have had strong teams. Several times, we would easily beat teams on courses like MOSO or MSU and then lose to them on the hills of State. I like the idea that our (state of Missouri)kids may actually have the opportunity to run their fastest times of the year on the biggest stage of the year.
I think it's time for a "fair" course with a good starting line as well.
In addition, Oak Hills is not a spectator friendly course. The only way to watch much of the race is to literally kill yourself trying to run around in hopes of getting a few glimpses of your athletes. The parking is also dismal. You shouldn't have to park your bus miles away from a venue. A lot of smaller schools have coaches that have to drive the bus and this creates a huge headache for these schools.
Again, I know this is probably not the popular opinion, but I've never been a fan of the course. In my running career, I only had one episode where I passed out and that was when I crossed the State finish line at State my senior year. I don't like seeing some of our elite kids collapsing 150 meters from the finish line...just saying.
12/01/2017 1:13:10 PM
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I have no dog in this fight anymore, but will offer my .02 anyway. I think this is a great opportunity to start a NEW tradition at Columbia. When the Razorbacks unveiled their new course on Garland Avenue, it took a few years for it to develop into a national-class facility. Now it is hard to imagine cross country without the Chile Pepper races. While my teams enjoyed some success at state in my 11 years of coaching,Oak Hills presented some unique challenges that we had to address specifically in practice and by adding certain meets to our schedule. 1. the wandering staring line 2. a single-loop course 3. a full 5,000 meters 4. oh, and a few hills too I think this can be a positive move for Missouri cross country. Hard to make a definitive judgement until runners get to tackle the finished product and experience the meet organization and execution. Lee Stubblefield
I have no dog in this fight anymore, but will offer my .02 anyway.

I think this is a great opportunity to start a NEW tradition at Columbia. When the Razorbacks unveiled their new course on Garland Avenue, it took a few years for it to develop into a national-class facility. Now it is hard to imagine cross country without the Chile Pepper races.

While my teams enjoyed some success at state in my 11 years of coaching,Oak Hills presented some unique challenges that we had to address specifically in practice and by adding certain meets to our schedule.

1. the wandering staring line
2. a single-loop course
3. a full 5,000 meters
4. oh, and a few hills too

I think this can be a positive move for Missouri cross country. Hard to make a definitive judgement until runners get to tackle the finished product and experience the meet organization and execution.

Lee Stubblefield
12/01/2017 2:40:55 PM
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Will be interesting when Mizzou has a home football game. I know it is out of town a bit so it will be away from game-day traffic situations but hotels will be a premium....at a premium price. This move does not totally eliminate LOZ or Linn hotels but does add at least 25minutes to the drive. MY OPINION.....I personally do not like the change. I like the challenge of the state course. Its difficulty is known and respected by coaches throughout the country. I believe with MU also wanting to attract a regional meet this course will lay out flat and very fast...that is what track is for. We are eliminating an aspect of cross country that benefits certain types of runners, admittedly it works against others, but again we have track in the spring... Just my opinion. We are moving no matter what little ol' me thinks. A new venue will be cool. Hopefully as mentioned above ALL parking will be on site, Restrooms will be more available, entrance will be easier...etc etc etc. They have time to do it right, and I do have faith that they will. As for the $8...c'mon man! if we want to complain about $8 for 25minutes then we should really be complaining about track, when parents pay to watch their child in the prelims of the 100m dash and they do not qualify. In today's world $8 is nothing for a State Championship experience.
Will be interesting when Mizzou has a home football game. I know it is out of town a bit so it will be away from game-day traffic situations but hotels will be a premium....at a premium price. This move does not totally eliminate LOZ or Linn hotels but does add at least 25minutes to the drive.

MY OPINION.....I personally do not like the change. I like the challenge of the state course. Its difficulty is known and respected by coaches throughout the country. I believe with MU also wanting to attract a regional meet this course will lay out flat and very fast...that is what track is for. We are eliminating an aspect of cross country that benefits certain types of runners, admittedly it works against others, but again we have track in the spring...

Just my opinion. We are moving no matter what little ol' me thinks. A new venue will be cool. Hopefully as mentioned above ALL parking will be on site, Restrooms will be more available, entrance will be easier...etc etc etc. They have time to do it right, and I do have faith that they will.

As for the $8...c'mon man! if we want to complain about $8 for 25minutes then we should really be complaining about track, when parents pay to watch their child in the prelims of the 100m dash and they do not qualify. In today's world $8 is nothing for a State Championship experience.
12/01/2017 2:54:53 PM
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I have many thoughts on this big change, and have enjoyed reading the discussion. I am definitely pro-Oak Hills, but it’s hard to tell whether the new site will be good or not until we race there a few times. Whatever my thoughts, the decision has been made and we’ll all adapt and move on. I also was NOT in favor of State Track/Field moving to JCHS, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the improvement of the overall experience at the new venue. Some other thoughts somewhat related to this topic: What is the purpose of the State Meet? To run your best time of the season? To run on a challenging course? A hilly course? A downhill course (that would be fast!). To determine the state champions? Clearly, Missouri is in the minority when it comes to challenging courses for their State Meet (most states running flatter), but what role should the State course fulfill in the season? And to a larger degree, what should cross country courses look like? Many of us run on hilly courses, knowing that we’ll be prepared for the terrain of Oak Hills. I imagine that may change a lot. I have come to appreciate the challenge of Oak Hills, mainly in that you cannot go out too fast and hope to recover. You have to run smart and respect the course. You have to stay calm and collected during the frenzy of the first mile. Flatter courses -- I know we have no way of knowing what the new course will be like -- leave less room for strategy and individual decision-making during the race. Again, there is nothing wrong with that, but it speaks to the larger discussion of what a cross country course should be. A certain kind of runner is more adept at racing flat, and other runners are more ready for the hills. Neither is right or wrong. That said, I do like the fact that hilly courses offer something different than a similar experience in track – the 3200m. As has been noted by many, the State Course of 2017 is much easier than in previous generations (the elimination of many of the all-time greats from the top times lists is good evidence of this). When I first started coaching, we would tell our kids we hope to run well at State. Now we tell them we hope to run well and hope they PR. It’s realistic to do both these days, as the course, in my opinion, strikes a good balance. It’s still rigorous in parts, but the footing overall is exceptional and akin to running on a grass carpet. That said, the team titles and all-state medals are determined not by times and PR’s but places. Simply continuing to do something because it has been done is not reason in and of itself to continue that tradition. That said, this decision potentially goes beyond just the site of the last meet of the year. It could change the popularity of certain meets and the way we train our athletes for the post-season. Other thoughts: The viewing at Oak Hills can be tough, but that might have something to do with the thousands of spectators at that meet (surely, it’s the most crowded meet of the season; side note – does MSHSAA publish attendance numbers for their State events? Seeing how that it is a public organization, that info should be available somewhere). Will the new site continue to play music that was popular when I ran at State (in the last millennium)? Parking – agreed that’s it’s not great, but again, thousands of people + 8 races + a small time generally = traffic congestion. Compared to leaving the Rim Rock Invitational each year, getting in and out of JC is a piece of cake. Central Dairy does have a location in Columbia. Do they serve ice cream? Runners struggling to the finish line – surely this happens at other state meets? Certainly, the hills in the last mile add to this challenge (and the number of athletes this happens to), but again, strategy and pacing play a larger role at Oak Hills. Also, could the fact that it’s the STATE MEET have something to do with so many kids struggling to the line? Everyone empties the tank on that weekend; not as much the rest of the season. Was the usage of Oak Hills costing MSHSAA more than the revenue they took in? I know for years (before the advent of admission fees for cross country), we heard that MSHSAA spent a lot of money running off State Cross Country, with very limited revenue coming in (t-shirts, concessions). It would be interesting to know if fiscal balance was a key determining factor. If there is a home Mizzou football game, I think a lot of us will still be staying in Jefferson City overnight. What’s done is done, and let’s hope for the best for all concerned. Thanks for reading.
I have many thoughts on this big change, and have enjoyed reading the discussion. I am definitely pro-Oak Hills, but it's hard to tell whether the new site will be good or not until we race there a few times.

Whatever my thoughts, the decision has been made and we'll all adapt and move on. I also was NOT in favor of State Track/Field moving to JCHS, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the improvement of the overall experience at the new venue.

Some other thoughts somewhat related to this topic:
What is the purpose of the State Meet? To run your best time of the season? To run on a challenging course? A hilly course? A downhill course (that would be fast!). To determine the state champions?

Clearly, Missouri is in the minority when it comes to challenging courses for their State Meet (most states running flatter), but what role should the State course fulfill in the season? And to a larger degree, what should cross country courses look like? Many of us run on hilly courses, knowing that we'll be prepared for the terrain of Oak Hills. I imagine that may change a lot.

I have come to appreciate the challenge of Oak Hills, mainly in that you cannot go out too fast and hope to recover. You have to run smart and respect the course. You have to stay calm and collected during the frenzy of the first mile. Flatter courses -- I know we have no way of knowing what the new course will be like -- leave less room for strategy and individual decision-making during the race. Again, there is nothing wrong with that, but it speaks to the larger discussion of what a cross country course should be. A certain kind of runner is more adept at racing flat, and other runners are more ready for the hills. Neither is right or wrong. That said, I do like the fact that hilly courses offer something different than a similar experience in track -- the 3200m.

As has been noted by many, the State Course of 2017 is much easier than in previous generations (the elimination of many of the all-time greats from the top times lists is good evidence of this). When I first started coaching, we would tell our kids we hope to run well at State. Now we tell them we hope to run well and hope they PR. It's realistic to do both these days, as the course, in my opinion, strikes a good balance. It's still rigorous in parts, but the footing overall is exceptional and akin to running on a grass carpet. That said, the team titles and all-state medals are determined not by times and PR's but places.

Simply continuing to do something because it has been done is not reason in and of itself to continue that tradition. That said, this decision potentially goes beyond just the site of the last meet of the year. It could change the popularity of certain meets and the way we train our athletes for the post-season.

Other thoughts:
The viewing at Oak Hills can be tough, but that might have something to do with the thousands of spectators at that meet (surely, it's the most crowded meet of the season; side note -- does MSHSAA publish attendance numbers for their State events? Seeing how that it is a public organization, that info should be available somewhere).

Will the new site continue to play music that was popular when I ran at State (in the last millennium)?

Parking -- agreed that's it's not great, but again, thousands of people + 8 races + a small time generally = traffic congestion. Compared to leaving the Rim Rock Invitational each year, getting in and out of JC is a piece of cake.

Central Dairy does have a location in Columbia. Do they serve ice cream?

Runners struggling to the finish line -- surely this happens at other state meets? Certainly, the hills in the last mile add to this challenge (and the number of athletes this happens to), but again, strategy and pacing play a larger role at Oak Hills. Also, could the fact that it's the STATE MEET have something to do with so many kids struggling to the line? Everyone empties the tank on that weekend; not as much the rest of the season.

Was the usage of Oak Hills costing MSHSAA more than the revenue they took in? I know for years (before the advent of admission fees for cross country), we heard that MSHSAA spent a lot of money running off State Cross Country, with very limited revenue coming in (t-shirts, concessions). It would be interesting to know if fiscal balance was a key determining factor.

If there is a home Mizzou football game, I think a lot of us will still be staying in Jefferson City overnight.

What's done is done, and let's hope for the best for all concerned. Thanks for reading.
12/01/2017 3:40:31 PM
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I was really surprised by this change my money was on the course in Southwest Missouri considering the Columbia course wasn't finished. Personally, I have heard big talk of amazing venues and game-changing situations some personal others statewide. I have learned to pull back my expectations a bit. As a low to mid mileage coach I always felt we were at a deficit to mileage monsters that just can't be done with our schedule and not having classes like "endurance sports." I can tell you from our personal training system we always do much better over flat fast courses because that is our bias. On the flip side I do lament how athletes I have worked with personally like the Everett bros, Sisson, and Daine Robison's times will look modest in terms of history. But heck those kiddos crushed it in college so who cares... right?? I mentioned this on twitter but Columbia is better town to hold a large sporting event when football is not in town. When it is...... 300 dollars for a room anyone? If Mizzou is involved in this site I promise it will be the best facility in the state as it evolves out of its growing pains. If you look at google earth on the grounds some really promising long straightaways with good sight lines. I am excited and honestly pumped to have our Missouri athletes with slightly fresher legs as they try to make national championship events of Footlocker or Nike. Finally, the fan experience should be better with more parking, bathrooms (maybe that even flush!!), no fatigue from hiking all over the place, and uphills/downhills that are not run on slants. My two cents. Love you guys and can't wait to see you all at the clinic next week! Stop by and say hello!
I was really surprised by this change my money was on the course in Southwest Missouri considering the Columbia course wasn't finished. Personally, I have heard big talk of amazing venues and game-changing situations some personal others statewide. I have learned to pull back my expectations a bit. As a low to mid mileage coach I always felt we were at a deficit to mileage monsters that just can't be done with our schedule and not having classes like "endurance sports." I can tell you from our personal training system we always do much better over flat fast courses because that is our bias. On the flip side I do lament how athletes I have worked with personally like the Everett bros, Sisson, and Daine Robison's times will look modest in terms of history. But heck those kiddos crushed it in college so who cares... right?? I mentioned this on twitter but Columbia is better town to hold a large sporting event when football is not in town. When it is...... 300 dollars for a room anyone?

If Mizzou is involved in this site I promise it will be the best facility in the state as it evolves out of its growing pains. If you look at google earth on the grounds some really promising long straightaways with good sight lines. I am excited and honestly pumped to have our Missouri athletes with slightly fresher legs as they try to make national championship events of Footlocker or Nike. Finally, the fan experience should be better with more parking, bathrooms (maybe that even flush!!), no fatigue from hiking all over the place, and uphills/downhills that are not run on slants. My two cents. Love you guys and can't wait to see you all at the clinic next week! Stop by and say hello!
12/07/2017 9:51:10 AM
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Just curious after seeing the proposed state course, how many feel it's spectator friendly? By looking at the map, versus someone who has been to the area, it appears very spread out. Thoughts?
Just curious after seeing the proposed state course, how many feel it's spectator friendly? By looking at the map, versus someone who has been to the area, it appears very spread out. Thoughts?
12/20/2017 12:56:44 PM
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To be honest, I agree with seannunn, MJO21 and coachebert. I'm sure Mizzou will make a great course and it may even be more spectator friendly, but in this day and age, I feel like our culture is all about making things easier and "better." I personally love the fact that Oak Hills is a harder course myself. As a coach and parent, I never want to be one that enables my kiddos into thinking that easier is always smarter or better....IMO, trials and struggles are what help make us stronger and build character that helps us endure in the long run. And as coaches, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this- but in addition to the aerobic capacity and endurance we're striving to build in our runners, we're consistently trying to help build mental toughness and fortitude as well- which, IMO, is equally important. I love cross country and always will- I just don't want to see it become a sport that's overly concerned about strictly running fast times. Those will come in the spring when they run around an oval again and again.
To be honest, I agree with seannunn, MJO21 and coachebert. I'm sure Mizzou will make a great course and it may even be more spectator friendly, but in this day and age, I feel like our culture is all about making things easier and "better." I personally love the fact that Oak Hills is a harder course myself. As a coach and parent, I never want to be one that enables my kiddos into thinking that easier is always smarter or better....IMO, trials and struggles are what help make us stronger and build character that helps us endure in the long run. And as coaches, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this- but in addition to the aerobic capacity and endurance we're striving to build in our runners, we're consistently trying to help build mental toughness and fortitude as well- which, IMO, is equally important. I love cross country and always will- I just don't want to see it become a sport that's overly concerned about strictly running fast times. Those will come in the spring when they run around an oval again and again.
01/09/2018 11:02:26 AM
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@tbluej Very well said. Sean Nunn
@tbluej

Very well said.

Sean Nunn

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