Chelsea Ley


Flotrack has UVA as the number 2 recruiting class this fall. Rumor has it Ley is out for the season and is red shirting. :frowning:


It’s not at all uncommon for frosh to redshirt. Are you saying that she’s injured?


Redshirt news does not necessarily surprise me. Chelsea Ley had a relatively tough year after Cross, and as Joe said, not uncommon for frosh to redshirt.


She is coming off of an injury. As great as she is in cross, recall she is there on a TRACK scholarship. If she’s healthy and fit now, great, let her take her time, adjust to college, academics, etc., and be ready to contribute in track. Her PR’s for 3k/5k project to being serviceable or possibly scoring immediately in the ACC. It would not be hard to fathom her improving and being a very good 5000m runner by outdoors. If true, wise to not throw her right into the deep end of the proverbial pool, although she would probably like that and is dying to get after it at NCAA x-c. Could she be pretty good in x-c right away? Probably. Would she probably be even better next fall? More probably.



A lot depends on the school and the strength and needs of the program, but coaches often want freshman to redshirt in order to assess, train and bring them gradually into college running, and of course to preserve eligibility. You also don’t want a promising recruit getting hurt trying to prove something.


You also don’t want her wasting a year where the team may not be that strong but may be in the hunt four years from now.

I would assume that would have to at least partially explain the curious race of Lanie Thompson who to my knowledge did not run a race of any kind at all last year.


Oregon was supposed to be pretty good last year, but had a really bad day at Nationals, Blood was 48th as an example.

This is the note on Melanie Thompson:

Looking forward to getting back on the track after redshirting the 2009-10 season. One of three 2009 freshmen who ran at the 2008 Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals. New Jersey state champion at 1,600 and 3,200 meters and in cross country. Claimed a total of six state championships during her outdoor, indoor and cross country high school career. Ranked seventh nationally in the mile (4:47.94) among all preps. Gatorade New Jersey runner of the year.
2009-10: Redshirted the track and cross country seasons.


Right, but I don’t think she even ran any open races the entire year.


Ms. Thompson is healthy and looks very fit this summer. Moreover, she says she loves it there and seemed excited to get back out there. She’s too good, too tough not to succeed.

Great point on Ley and where she could be in 4-5 years.

My alma mater, Portland, is pretty big on redshirting frosh, last year was an exception with a guy like Dunbar. Even the better recruits they get, 9:0something-9-teens guys, they tend to like to redshirt to let them adjust and maximize what they can contribute. NCAA x-c is THE #1 focus of that program all year. If a 9:0something guy comes in who is mature, well developed, suited to 8k/10k and really rolling in cross, its unlikely he’ll be much better than 6th man any year there…not top 25 in region, in triple digits at NCAA’s. But, if that same guy is durable, develops for a year under their system, the likelihood is there for the guy to be a top 100, maybe eventually All-American contender.



Lanie is one of the toughest competitors to come out of NJ ever. Well coached and fights you tooth and nail for every inch. A COMPETITOR, which means it must have driven her nuts not to race for a year.


A lot depends on the league too. Ivy League kids cannot red shirt a season for any reason other than medical, so you HAVE to run immediately unless hurt.


Smart bastards. :wink:


The number one reason for red shirting is to “preserve eligibility”, although a lot of coaches will tell you otherwise. Statments like “bring them along slowly” is B.S.; they do it to benefit the coach, the team, the university and not the athlete. In most conferences girls spend half the season running the same distance they did in high school. And, in most conferences, if you were at least capable of running 18 minutes in XC and 11 minutes in a 2-mile in H.S., you should be capable of being a mid-packer in all but prehaps the big invitationals, conference and ncaa champs. Plain and simple, if an ncaa team is competing for something and the coach thinks you can score points…you want be red shirting.

Btw, I don’t like red shirting.


Lanie worked the XCU Camp last week. She was healthy, running well and excited for the XC season. She is over all the problems. Great kid and one of my favorite people! Loves to laugh, can take it and dish it out. Can hardly wait to see what she can do.


So we live in a world of absolutes? Sure, Chelsey redshirting this year then placing 25th, 20th, 10th, and 5th in the following 4 years would be better than not redshirting and placing 50th, 25th, 20th, and 10th starting this year for Jason Vigilante. Would it not also be better for Ley, for example? Every case is a bit different. Not all coaches burn athletes up and double them at every chance. Don’t want to just harp on the UVa thing, but Robby Andrews surely could have run a few more races at conference and regional meets and scored another point or two. I suppose Coach Vig didn’t do that now, so he’ll be better later ONLY so it will reflect well on him? And Lanie was redshirted not because she was hurt and they didn’t want to keep her hurt/overwhelmed? Its just so they could benefit the program?

Trevor Dunbar redshirted both track seasons partially to be more prepared for x-c. This benefits Conner and The University of Portland. It also benefits Dunbar who chose the University of Portland over a university 100 miles south on I-5 among other, partially because he wanted to be on an x-c focused team.

Another point in some cases…it COSTS the coach, program, school more to redshirt and “keep somebody around” for 5 years vs. 4 years if on any sort of athletic scholarship. Many coaches (Marcus O’Sullivan at 'Nova) have been extremely generous and patient with redshirting and medical issues with athletes on big money…sometimes they have paid off (Bobby Curtis) in a big way for the coach. It also paid off pretty well for Bobby Curtis…NCAA title, nice post-collegiate opportunity, etc.



While it is situational, but 9 times out of ten it is a coach looking to get the max points out of 4 years of eligibility. Athletics is young man’s game, you only have about 7-8 productive years and when you are hitting the pro circuit at 23, you are giving up about 12% of your career. And, for most athletes in any sport, that sweet spot is 23-27, redshirts are just coming on the scene when they should be rolling. We have all of these athletes that are 27/28 that we keep referring to as young, when actually they are begining the downside of their career.


Now we have to be clear about the group you’re talking about. Sure it makes sense for the highest tier of college track and field athletes that redshirting means losing a year of professional competition, but US athletes have shown how important competing in college is to them as the large majority remain in school for four years. Instead of saving a year by not redshirting why are more of the top level guys following in the footsteps of Jager and Webb? This way they would have multiple more years in their prime.

For runners who are not in that top top group and more than likely will not be competing professionally I think the situation is much different. As a collegiate runner myself I look as redshirting as beneficial to myself and sure also to the school at which I compete. As mentioned above an extra year will allow me to adjust to college (not only running but all aspects of the lifestyle change) without having to worry about competing, allow me to compete in a fifth year in which I will likely be more successful, and enable me to further my education while possibly on scholarship.

Ultimately a major factor in choosing a college for track and field athletes is the coach and trust in that coach that he/she will do everything to help the athlete be successful. Obviously this outlook is slightly naive but I believe most good college coaches want this because it also helps them. And therefore will do what they think will be best for their athlete whether it be to redshirt them or allow them to compete immediately.


SO RANDOM. i just didnt feel like making a new thread. but I spy schellberg in this workout video towards the end. good to see him at a new level


What video?


Since when aren’t the elite on rides? They are being PAID to be there. They get a free, or highly discounted education, and the school gets to USE that athlete. Since when doesn’t the coach (they guy in charge of doing one thing: making the team perform) get to USE the athlete as best they see fit? This doesn’t mean abuse, it means use.

We do that at the high school level even. Since when does a high school track coach look at every athlete and do everything that’s best for them as an individual? Rare, and foolish IMO if that’s always the priority. Do as best you can to entertain individual concerns within the team needs. Don’t abuse, but use the part for the whole.

Coaches get a reputation over time. If you don’t like the coach’s history at a school, go elsewhere. Plenty of coaches with plenty of history.

You ARE talking about “career” athletes, and the “pro” circuit. So do these individuals not have options out of high school? Plenty.

Free money is never free. This is well known and understood on both sides.

NB - Take a look at Webb and ask yourself if he could benefitted from some more college races. His tactics suck crap last I saw. He had no comp in HS, so didn’t need them. He skipped college basically, so never developed them. Less is not necessarily more.