Does anyone know if now that we have divided the central and western into two divisions for ALL State Qualification- are all times going to be the new bench mark ( records) or are we competing against marks that were established last year and previous years? And if so do we compete in the area Central vs West that we are running in this year? I know some of the Central times were very good- just wondering if they will remain or disappear- and is this a great time to establish ALL NEW STANDARDS/RECORDS?
Just an outsiders point of view. Since this is a new meet should then meet records reflect that?
I agre with you trackmanpete & your questions runnerone are good one’s - that I hope someone can clarify.
Now as far as the new format for Central/Western MA - I may have to “eat my words” (something many may take some satisfaction with on this board) after the new qualifiers are run next weekend - but I am struggling to understand why the move from Central and Western sending 3 qualifiers each to the state meet (total of six) was changed to this format. I never heard any complaints about the format. I understand that now Central/Western get to send 8 combined (or 2 more than last year) to AS, which I think is great, but couldn’t they have left it as Central & Western Championships and added one more qualifier from each meet?
I believe that in several events we will now have athletes qualifying that would not have been able to qualify under the old system. Both Central and Western still run Class Championships, which enable athletes to compete against similar sized schools prior to the AS qualifier and be recognized for it, and I believe that having the clock or tape measure decide who are the top 3 or 4 athletes in an event in a District, thus have the honor/distinction to compete in the AS meet - is the correct way to go.
Also, the tradition and history of being the Central MA or Western MA champion now goes out the window. In a sport that the mainstream sport fan (or newspaper for that matter) does not completely understand or care about you have further minimized the sport.
In Western MA, you have the Springfield Republican (MASSLIVE) & The Berkshire Eagle Tribune that do a nice job of covering HS sports, including XC/Track) and in Central MA you have one (the T&G) - who barely knows that the sport exists!
So let’s play this out - as long as I can remember (under the old Central & Western MA championship formula) Sunday’s newspaper would be “obligated” to running a nice article and telling everyone who the Central or Western MA team champion is, with who qualified for the AS meet.
Now – for example -in the new model – with Amherst Pelham looking really strong to be the “first” Western/Central D 1 Champion – the T&G (Central MA’s newspaper) is not going to be as “obligated” to write about the top Central MA team that finishes 2nd (or 3rd or 4th,etc.) and you hope that they still give some decent coverage to the individuals that qualify for AS’s. See my point? I know it may come off as “sour grapes” for some people who are reading this – but I do not see the new format/alignment as necessary or positive.
Anyone else have some thoughts/comments?
If the mainstream fan doesn’t understand/care about the sport - then why does it matter to them that it’s “minimized”? From my experience, those who don’t understand the sport are unreachable through discussion or debate. Most seem to be ignorant of anything other than their view - and convincing them otherwise is not worth the oxygen or ink.
Are you saying that one reason why you don’t like the new format is because the W T&G, who by your account did a shoddy job at covering the old format, will do a worse job at covering the new meet?
I find this criticism/complaint/observation (not sure which if any apply) to be off base.
I don’t want my states governing body of high school athletics to be making decisions based on media coverage.
Why do you feel the new meet is minimized? I pegged you as a person who LOVES to see the big guns racing each other week after week.
Agree with you 100% on your first point about reaching those that don’t understand the sport - but I can’t help myself from trying anyway.
I also agree 100% - that I don’t want MSTCA making decisions on media coverage either. So what was the decision based on - again I did not hear anyone saying that is was broken the way it was? Do you know lompxc?
The new meet format is minimized because I believe that although 2 additional people per event will be going to AS’s - I believe the ability of those athletes may be somewhat watered down vs. just adding an additional qualifier from the old Central and Western District qualifier meet format. As I have said - the clock/tape measure does not lie - the old way was easy - finish in the top 3 (of the Central or Western meet) and you move on. Beat all the other teams in your district and you are the team champion of that District.
As far as pegging me as the person who wants to see the “big guns” racing each other week after week - NO!
Peg me as the guy who likes/wants to see the “big guns” (within their district) race each other in a district championship qualifier, which will enable them to race the rest of the states “big guns” during AS’s.
I totally understand where you are coming from. This was a surprise as I never saw the error in the old format. We crown a Central champ, a western Champ. You are measured by your local peers. I understand that small teams will not win the entire meet- but in the big picture, most people understand that most regional districts have the pickin on the title. It is amazing to see small town local athletes compete against each other- regardless of the size of the school, but on the location. These kids are neighbors and see each other in other sports and I think it matters.
The difficult part is there is NOTHING that would allow them to compete with their neighbor school until AS. As I mentioned before for Central MA District Meets would only crown a winner by size of school - A, B C. and with limited races allowed.
Personally I think this is a non winner for the Division 2 Central and Division 1 Western… but more intelligent people than I thought not…
It all depends on what you want from the sport. The top athletes will see the top athletes in All States no matter what. This is just a modification on the Winter track format. Instead of having to go into Reggie, we can have a Central/Western D1 and Central/Western D2.
Personally, I coach for team accomplishments. This does not necessarily mean an undefeated dual meet season, but it does mean trying to bring back trophies/plaques for the school as a whole. I think it is difficult to be dismissive of the benefit that being able to contend for a title can have for interest for a team. Yes, athletes want PRs, but they also want to be part of something that is bigger than themselves. As a coach of a smaller school, I can tell you my athletes are thrilled they do not have to compete against the D1 schools for a team title. The spirit of practice is much more team oriented still rather than every man for himself like this part of the season can be.
It seems to me, this argument has two clear sides with little gray area. Big schools like the old format, small schools like the new one. I was also an athlete at a small school. Not once did I say “damn, I wish I could run against St John’s and Shrewsbury more often”. I would have wanted an opportunity to PR, a chance to win a title, and a chance to go to All-States - all those exist. I just don’t think people from Sutton, Bromfield, Lunenburg, Narragansett, and Uxbridge are broken up over not competing against other locals.
Do you think Emily Dawidczyk is really upset that she won’t race Domonique Hall until All-States? Will it mean less to Dawidczyk if she beats Alex Majetich for first instead of Domonique Hall? I doubt it. Do you think Emily Cahill hated winning four straight D4 indoor High Jump titles because she didn’t jump against Amy Collins to earn them? I doubt it.
What about if Robert DuPuis wins the Central/Western D1 400 hurdles? I don’t think he’s going to say, “this would have meant more if I got to run against Jason Dimmick of Sutton, but he’s out in Western Mass. This sucks”. Sutton and Barre (where Quabbin is) are 31ish miles apart. You know what else is 31 miles from Sutton? Providence. DuPuis and Dimmick would still have a chance of seeing each other at All-States.
From the team side…it’s tough for me to believe Bromfield and Sutton are going to practice bitter that they don’t get to run against St John’s to qualify for states. Instead, I think Sutton is probably pretty excited that they get a rubber match with Bromfield at the Central/Western D2 qualifying after Sutton took relays and Bromfield took the Class C meet.
The only argument that makes sense to me is the potential for watered down competition at the All-State meet, but I don’t think that will be very different than the past few years either. The people that deserve to make it to All-States from Central/Western will probably do it. Now coaches can coach the meet as a team event rather than “we don’t have a shot so just do your best for you”.
We don’t ask Whitinsville Christian to play St Johns in basketball, baseball, or ANY sport to get to a state championship. Why should we ask Whitinsville Christian to beat St Johns in track?
With all of that said, if I were a coach at St Johns/Wachusett/etc, I would definitely be upset that I was trading out Sutton and Bromfield for Amherst-Pelham. However, the reason I would be upset is that the meet would immediately be much harder to win. From a fairness standpoint, this move makes a lot of sense if you believe track is a team sport.
Or they could combined the two regions meet records retaining the superior mark
It will take some research for the D 2 C/W since most marks for each meet prior has been D1
Tough to see a record like Stetson Arnold’s 9:09 in '73? just disappear:cool:
Excellent post. Hope MA2010 gets it now.
easily one of the very best posts i’ve read on dyestat or track talk!
We all tend to disappear sometime or another. Just don’t see much rationale for having a “meet” record that doesn’t reflect the existing meet. For example, we had some great meet records on the old Armory track, but none were carried over to the new one…in my opinion, same thing when meet specifics change. Why should a present day athlete in D2 have to try and break an old D1 record?
Those were facility records or Terrier/Valentine Records?
If its meet site specific, then wouldn’t we need records rewritten each time the All-State site changed
I’m getting a popcycle headache
I’m just of the mind, that what value does , for example, Blake Croteau winnning C/WMass D1 with a new record 9:19, when in fact the fastest time recorded by any WMass 2 miler is the 9:09 FWIW:cool:
I follow you to a certain point, but if you tell me that everyone gets a trophy that is where I draw the line!
I agree with Lompxc that Nightranger’s comments were really well thought out and an excellent post!
Not sure about Warriors comment though - what am I supposed to get? That because Warrior agrees with Nightranger’s view that it must be the right one?
It appears that 5 people have taken the time to comment on this new Central/Western format (Runnerone, Nightranger, lompxc, warrior & me). I provided my opinion - nightranger provided his and runnerone, lompxc and warrior weighed in on them both.
Mine was focused on individuals qualifying for AS’s, while Nightrangers focused on the team component -which last I checked were both a part of track and field. Great point about Sutton and Bromfield battling a third time - but wouldn’t they be getting the chance to do that in the “old” Central Ma meet? and what if there was a “stud” Western MA D2 school this year that beat them both - would losing but beating the other central MA school really settle the score, and would anyone really care then?
I see the benefits that Nightranger brought up in his post, but am not convinced that the changes “put” the strongest/fastest athletes from Central/Western MA in AS to compete. We all will have one season of data to either support my claim or disprove it next Saturday evening!
I don’t think the point of be meets is to just send the best Central / western individuals to the state meet. What the combining does is create meets which are much moR like the EMASS divisions in number of like size schools competing for team championships while qualifying individuals to AS.
BTW and I Have explained this before in answer to your posts - the MSTCA is a coaches group which runs various meets. It also does many other things like WRd scholRShips, ReCognizes both athletes and coaches for achievements, etc. It does not however administer state championships which is done in all sports by the MIAA. This format happens to better coincide how other sports as run as well.
Having coached in Western Mass the previous 6 years prior to this one, I do need to clarify - the Central and Western meets had 4 qualifiers to All-States before, not 3. There are not any additional qualifiers now as there are still a total of 8.
Thanks for the clarification CoachKraft - sorry for the incorrect info earlier this week.
Thanks Warrior-but Central MA and Western MA already have those meets - don’t they?
Central had Class Championships last week (Class A,B & C) and Western MA just had them on Friday and Saturday(Division 1 & 2). So we kinda had the best of both worlds already-teams got to compete against like size schools for individual and team championships & then each district then got to compete to send their best 4 individuals per event to AS next weekend.
As I think more about it I guess I just liked an all Central MA meet, because that is all I have known and that is where the rivalries have been. Just thinking that those in Eastern MA wouldn’t want to run against Central MA in a qualifier either - no history & you would potenially lose qualifying spots in certain years.
Water under the bridge now - who knows maybe I might like it!
Thosed divisional meets though in CMASS are not part of the MIAA championship format or run by the MIAA. Those are CMASS coach run meets.