Middle school state meet


#1

I put this under the freshman watch thread but it deserves its own thread. I think a middle school (6th-8th) state meet should be happening in wisconsin with qualifying times or some non expensive easy process the week or two before high school state meet. Would be great for the sport and would I think get more city kids interested in the sport at a younger age where they would more likely to stick with it. Kids would run much faster times in middle school and more freshman would run fast in highschool. Georgia runs a middle school state meet and it’s quite an event with some great performances.


#2

Although non-school affiliated but rather residence affiliated is there not WI USATF?

The big question is who hosts and who pays and who in turn will the community opt to pay (as in you have a choice).

Gracious or not toward the meet itself, I’d hate to see another $15 grand in sponsorships and ticket prices go directly to a private school like it does with the Wisco Mile. The WI running community is a chief enabler of a program that does not play by the rules and host with a true community-oriented fabric.

It would be nice to see Hart Park utilized as it is public and a beautiful stadium (for now) but this would perhaps lead to a SE Bias. It’d be cool to see regional championships (like 5-6) and feed into one in Madison which is still south but at least it is the capital. Wausau/Stevens Point is truly close to the center of the state but they already get XC and the WIAA wink all the time. It’d be nice to see it taken to a new city (not Lax).


#3

I would love to see it somewhere in the Milwaukee area or suburbs and maybe get the bucks and/or brewers to help sponsor it with hotel discounts etc. Let’s get our city schools to be passionate about track again what better than a middle school state meet in their backyard that would be easy to attend. Easier to attract and addict kids and families to a great sport in the 6th-8th grade than when things become more complicated in high school. I will without authority nominate homestead that’s a decent facility to get the job done although hotels are sparse in Mequon


#4

I would love to see a Junior High School state meet for cross country and track. I think it would be a good way to draw interest and compete with other so called hypothetical state meets with other Junior High sports. It would be nice to move away from USATF events and have greater representation from our community schools.

The WIAA will not support such an idea and many Junior Highs are not affiliated with the WIAA so they can go by their own rules. I would say start with XC first. I believe there is already a Junior High “State Meet” provided by ADE-Timing. It’s open to all schools and runners. If the concept grows I think we would see more schools represented. Maybe interest in Track and field later?

I think this will help the MPS schools possibly grow and support not only distance athletes but support the sprinters and field events. Possibly build more school and city pride. Although it seems as if very few attend the schools in their community.

Here’s a link to Illinois Middle School qualification: https://www.iesa.org/activities/tr/standards.asp?Year=2018

I say host in the Madison Area but would not be opposed to it being in the Milwaukee area. As Zen said Hart Park would be a great location. Maybe Brookfield area?


#5

Probably the biggest and best middle school meet I have seen in the one for the Arrowhead feeder schools, and the private schools in the lake country area. There ends up being 14-15 teams, and the meet goes long into the night. There is plenty of quality there, as most of those middle schools seem to take tack quite seriously. That meet was the first time I saw future stars like Jadin O’Brien and Kayla Vogt. The meet record list is littered with names like Jackie Dubnicka and Natalie Burant.

I would love to see an MPS middle school track meet. It would be great for the kids, and the city. Although I feel that in some respects club track has taken over that niche. @zeeeblob who would we talk to about exploring the possibility of an MPS meet? Any ideas?


#6

Club Track would not take over during the middle school season. Depending on the district the Junior High season may start at the beginning of April. Our Junior High team has an indoor meet today at Brown Deer. I’ll roll my eyes with the perfect weather we are having today and they are racing indoors. We have several Mustangs out for our program. A 7th grade boy who ran 2:07 and 56 indoors and a 7th grade girl who ran 60.04 indoors. A good feeder for us. The Northshore schools have decent feeder schools that offers track and field and they compete in a conference meet at the end of the season.

The meets don’t have to be very big with the city schools. Just run a few duals with limited events and have unlimited entries for the events. It will make the meet go faster and the student-athletes will get a taste of a track meet. I know of a few city school coaches who have brought this up. I think when so many HS co-op the interests fades. @CCFanToo do you have some thoughts? You may know the ins/outs at the city level?

I help run 2 Junior High meets on our track and we get a large number of athletes and parents in attendance. Although I hate running the meet it’s good for the program.

  • 56.73 and 2:09.86 at the Hersey Indoor Youth Championships. (correct times)

#8

@zeeeblob do you or anyone know about the Milwaukee mustang program? Do their coaches also coach at high schools? I went to their website and the coaches didn’t have bios which I thought was a little strange but they appear to have had a lot of success with kids getting into college in their alumni section and they seem to have a lot of interested kids at many different ages. I wasn’t really aware of this group. That being said running for a club is great but that’s for kids already super interested in the sport where middle school track is the place to attract new kids and families into the sport so very different


#9

I do not not know the Mustangs club coaches well or any other club coaches. I have benefited from a few of my athletes running for the club teams but there has been some headaches as well. A few of the parents in my district are club coaches but it seems to be limited to the athletes that live in the community and they just run as a part of the Mustangs. My question would be who benefited the athletes the most the club coaches or the high school coaches?


#10

Ray Hale is the head of the Milwaukee Mustangs. Ray does a lot of work with the club and recruits kids from all over Southeastern Wisconsin. I believe Camille Davre ran for the Mustangs when she was in middle school. None of their coaches coach in high school…officially at least. I’m sure they are still involved with the athletes and support them, but to my knowledge all of it is legal. I believe that they do good things for kids, but I would like it if the Winter Season was cut short…we have kids competing in track meets from Early December all the way through the beginning of August!


#11

@CCFanToo do you know the credentials of their head coach and assistant coaches by any chance? Schools, coaching experience etc etc it is uncommon not to have a bio but I’m not being critical more interested and didn’t find much information. Would it be illegal if they also coached at a highschool? Or middleschool? I would think that they would do both? I ran for the Milwaukee striders in the 1980s but joe sims also coached north division. It was more of a summer club than a year round club although the friendships were maintained year round.


#12

Is Joe Simms still alive. I remember him from clinics years ago and admired his passion for track and field.


#13

@westharrier no he passed away about 8-9 years ago. Yes, he was very loved and admired by his athletes


#14

In Georgia we are about 3 weeks from the middle school state meet I believe. One of my kids teammates ran 57.5 in the 400 meters the other day. I think that is a really good time for 8th grade. There are 100 kids in Georgia (including 2 girls) that have already run mid 57.6 or faster with the top group of guys running significantly faster (it may take sub 53 to make the finals). Don’t get me wrong, Atlanta has better demographics, more people and better weather than wisconsin but my point is Georgia is really really developing their track programs starting in the middle school and wisconsin is falling short and I believe this is crushing the black track athlete in Milwaukee for track and field. Although I was impressed by the depth in the 4x400 since getting back into wisconsin track and of course Brookfield east 4x400 and ashwaubenon 4x400 both had some nice squads overall there have been very few African American quartermilers from the city. The 400 has had a lot of progress over the years how long is Bryan jones going to keep the 400 class a record. Although Elijah Johnson is the best sprinter in the state, the top 5 400 meter runners are white and from outside the city. Im starting with 5 but it may be top 10. I’m ok with fast white sprinters as I was pretty fast as was my teammates. So is Carter snelson and potter and Ethan king and Ashton schwartzmann etc etc but it’s more of an accomplishment when you can beat the top guys at Milwaukee north and Milwaukee south and Milwaukee tech and Custer and Marshall and etc etc when these athletes don’t really exist well I don’t know, it doesn’t mean as much in my opinion. I think wisconsin needs a middle school state meet to try and reinvigorate its track scene specifically in the Milwaukee schools when the kids are more impressionable. Milwaukee has some of the best basketball in the country there is no reason why they can’t have respectable track programs. The city of Atlanta track is a big deal, there are lots of kids in track clubs and there are a lot of fast runners. Distance wise wisconsin is fine and is at least as good as Georgia or better but no reason wisconsin can’t take a big step up in the 800 and lower and a way to do that is getting more city kids involved and potentially a state meet for middle school will add structure and meaning to the sport at a younger age when it matters and get more kids involved into such an amazing sport. Joe sims would want this and ran a nice program at north division and coach Bowen built a dynasty at south division and look at this Milwaukee king program on the ladies side they are outstanding so it cleary can be done and I think is worth the investment by the state along with some partnerships that would need to take place from private capital