PIAA District 1 AAA Championships 2014
05/17/2014 8:10:37 PM
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My daughter's 4x400 team just ran 4:00.72 in the D1 AAA trials. The SQS is 4:02.5. They were 9th so they did not advance to the finals and will not go to states. The D9 4x400 AAA champs ran 4:10.20. This may sound like sour grapes but it angers me like you can't believe to see a 4:10 team go to states and a 4:00 team get sent home. By the way the D1 DQS is 4:06. So the D9 champ is not even good enough to get into the D1 meet. If the leadership of the PIAA cared anything about fairness they would do something to address this. It is just wrong to eliminate so many good athletes from D1 and let mediocre(or worse) athletes from other districts to go to states. D1 coaches know that D1 athletes better the SQS regularly but fail to crack the D1 top eight. My question is: what has to happen to make significant changes in the state qualifying system? Who or what committee has the authority to make changes? There is way too much talent concentrated in D1. Quality athletes are being sent home while mediocre athletes form small districts get a ticket to states. Coaches need to start demanding a more fair system. They need to take those demands to the people who have the authority to make change.
My daughter's 4x400 team just ran 4:00.72 in the D1 AAA trials. The SQS is 4:02.5. They were 9th so they did not advance to the finals and will not go to states. The D9 4x400 AAA champs ran 4:10.20. This may sound like sour grapes but it angers me like you can't believe to see a 4:10 team go to states and a 4:00 team get sent home. By the way the D1 DQS is 4:06. So the D9 champ is not even good enough to get into the D1 meet. If the leadership of the PIAA cared anything about fairness they would do something to address this. It is just wrong to eliminate so many good athletes from D1 and let mediocre(or worse) athletes from other districts to go to states. D1 coaches know that D1 athletes better the SQS regularly but fail to crack the D1 top eight. My question is: what has to happen to make significant changes in the state qualifying system? Who or what committee has the authority to make changes? There is way too much talent concentrated in D1. Quality athletes are being sent home while mediocre athletes form small districts get a ticket to states. Coaches need to start demanding a more fair system. They need to take those demands to the people who have the authority to make change.
05/17/2014 10:41:28 PM
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...it is sour grapes!
...it is sour grapes!
05/17/2014 10:51:06 PM
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Dad, we know you are disappointed, but it is time to stop posting the same message and buy a box of Kleenex.
Dad, we know you are disappointed, but it is time to stop posting the same message and buy a box of Kleenex.
05/17/2014 11:50:10 PM
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[quote=239ticks]Dad, we know you are disappointed, but it is time to stop posting the same message and buy a box of Kleenex.[/quote] @239ticks Tell that to all the kids in D1 who work long and hard for years. Who are able to make the SQS. Who get treated like they are not good enough to be at states by the PIAA. Then that same PIAA welcomes weaker...far weaker.. athletes from other parts of the state to the state meet. 239ticks if you look at the state qualifying system in the PIAA and don't see a problem of unfairness then you have a bad sense of fairness.
239ticks wrote:
Dad, we know you are disappointed, but it is time to stop posting the same message and buy a box of Kleenex.


@239ticks
Tell that to all the kids in D1 who work long and hard for years. Who are able to make the SQS. Who get treated like they are not good enough to be at states by the PIAA. Then that same PIAA welcomes weaker...far weaker.. athletes from other parts of the state to the state meet. 239ticks if you look at the state qualifying system in the PIAA and don't see a problem of unfairness then you have a bad sense of fairness.
05/18/2014 1:06:08 AM
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@wjarratt I agree with this - to an extent - please don't make it out like it's only D1 that is hurt by this system. I can find numerous examples throughout the years where other districts are hurt by this district system. Go to a provisional/automatic qualifying system, plain and simple, and this won't be an issue.
@wjarratt I agree with this - to an extent - please don't make it out like it's only D1 that is hurt by this system. I can find numerous examples throughout the years where other districts are hurt by this district system. Go to a provisional/automatic qualifying system, plain and simple, and this won't be an issue.
05/18/2014 10:24:47 AM
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I have also been around track for many years as an athlete, a coach and now a parent. I'm well aware the SQS level athletes get denied going to states on a regular basis from D3, D7 and D1.
I have also been around track for many years as an athlete, a coach and now a parent. I'm well aware the SQS level athletes get denied going to states on a regular basis from D3, D7 and D1.
05/18/2014 12:14:33 PM
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If the goal is to determine the top 8 teams/athletes (in each event) in the State, why would you send more than 8 teams/athletes from each District?
If the goal is to determine the top 8 teams/athletes (in each event) in the State, why would you send more than 8 teams/athletes from each District?
05/18/2014 5:14:19 PM
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To answer your question why send more than 8 from one district if there are only 8 medals: any athlete who meets the SQS has a legitimate shot at a medal at states even if they are not in the top 8 at districts. My question is why send to states athletes who have no chance at a medal. This is going to sound harsh but girls who run 4:10 in the 4x400, 2:25.48 in the 800, 5:36.5 in the 1600, 12:33.6 in the 3200 and 10:20 in the 4x800 have absolutely no chance at a medal at states. Those are the winning times from D9 this year. I'm sorry if hearing the truth hurts some people's feelings but the athletes coming out of districts with times like those listed above will never medal at states. I could find many more similar performances from other districts which have no chance at a medal. In a way I agree with you. States should not be for athletes who have no chance at a medal. I know the current rules allows for the weak performances to go to states and keep real contenders out. It just doesn't seem right to exclude athletes with a statewide ranking in the top 25 and include athletes that are not even in the top 100. For example D9 is sending a 1600m runner who is ranked 230th in the state. Should a state championship event with about 30 competitors have someone ranked 230th in the field? BTW the 9th place D1 girls 4X400 (4:00.72) is ranked 25th in PA and the D9 representative to states (4:10.20) is ranked 114th. Who has a better shot at a medal? Can we at least agree that athletes who are not even in the top 100 in the state should not be at the state meet?
To answer your question why send more than 8 from one district if there are only 8 medals: any athlete who meets the SQS has a legitimate shot at a medal at states even if they are not in the top 8 at districts. My question is why send to states athletes who have no chance at a medal. This is going to sound harsh but girls who run 4:10 in the 4x400, 2:25.48 in the 800, 5:36.5 in the 1600, 12:33.6 in the 3200 and 10:20 in the 4x800 have absolutely no chance at a medal at states. Those are the winning times from D9 this year. I'm sorry if hearing the truth hurts some people's feelings but the athletes coming out of districts with times like those listed above will never medal at states. I could find many more similar performances from other districts which have no chance at a medal. In a way I agree with you. States should not be for athletes who have no chance at a medal. I know the current rules allows for the weak performances to go to states and keep real contenders out. It just doesn't seem right to exclude athletes with a statewide ranking in the top 25 and include athletes that are not even in the top 100. For example D9 is sending a 1600m runner who is ranked 230th in the state. Should a state championship event with about 30 competitors have someone ranked 230th in the field? BTW the 9th place D1 girls 4X400 (4:00.72) is ranked 25th in PA and the D9 representative to states (4:10.20) is ranked 114th. Who has a better shot at a medal? Can we at least agree that athletes who are not even in the top 100 in the state should not be at the state meet?
05/18/2014 6:45:20 PM
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@wjarratt Being a track parent who also desperately wanted my daughter to get to states (3rd place AAA 4x100 finisher in D12 - with only top 2 going to states, no SQS achieved) I sympathize with you to a degree. I made the trip as an athlete and wanted her to experience it as well. But I knew full well that even with a SQS time they'd not be in contention to win anything. Fact is, you speak of opportunities to medal, but in proper perspective, medaling is just a by-product of the pursuit to name a champion. Yes, teams can set medaling as a goal, but the PIAA T&F Championships are set up to name state champions. In that regard, some of the "unpleasantness" that occurs at the district level really only amounts to "noise" on the periphery of an otherwise clear signal. When I looked one district over at D1 and saw that [b]14 teams[/b] got the 4x100 SQS in preliminaries, it really put into perspective what the State Championship meet is all about. There was just no point in me wasting any further thought on what-if scenarios. I understand that your daughter's team met the SQS, but as you said, it's rated 25th in the state. If medaling is just a by-product, and the goal is to name a champion, what are her team's chances of getting that title? That's how the PIAA has to look at it. Her team has a far better chance than teams from other districts that don't have the SQS - but far less than the top few who will actually compete for the title. And if a "less worthy" team from a less competitive district goes to states, it's just "noise". Better to focus on the accomplishments at this point, than to be distracted by the noise. If she or you needs help achieving better perspective, load up the car and go enjoy a fun weekend of T&F in Shippensburg. Then pay particular attention to the finalists in her event and the times they ran. It will be sobering, even considering that she'd have finished well ahead of the slower school from the other district. But it will still have been a fun weekend.
@wjarratt

Being a track parent who also desperately wanted my daughter to get to states (3rd place AAA 4x100 finisher in D12 - with only top 2 going to states, no SQS achieved) I sympathize with you to a degree. I made the trip as an athlete and wanted her to experience it as well. But I knew full well that even with a SQS time they'd not be in contention to win anything.

Fact is, you speak of opportunities to medal, but in proper perspective, medaling is just a by-product of the pursuit to name a champion. Yes, teams can set medaling as a goal, but the PIAA T&F Championships are set up to name state champions. In that regard, some of the "unpleasantness" that occurs at the district level really only amounts to "noise" on the periphery of an otherwise clear signal.

When I looked one district over at D1 and saw that 14 teams got the 4x100 SQS in preliminaries, it really put into perspective what the State Championship meet is all about. There was just no point in me wasting any further thought on what-if scenarios. I understand that your daughter's team met the SQS, but as you said, it's rated 25th in the state. If medaling is just a by-product, and the goal is to name a champion, what are her team's chances of getting that title? That's how the PIAA has to look at it. Her team has a far better chance than teams from other districts that don't have the SQS - but far less than the top few who will actually compete for the title. And if a "less worthy" team from a less competitive district goes to states, it's just "noise". Better to focus on the accomplishments at this point, than to be distracted by the noise.

If she or you needs help achieving better perspective, load up the car and go enjoy a fun weekend of T&F in Shippensburg. Then pay particular attention to the finalists in her event and the times they ran. It will be sobering, even considering that she'd have finished well ahead of the slower school from the other district. But it will still have been a fun weekend.
05/18/2014 7:42:44 PM
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Very well put, phreek. Our 3:22 4x4 trials didn't make the D1 finals. Boohoo. Not good enough. We ran 3:19 a month ago. But, I guess from averaging 3:20 over the last ten years, I expect more from my team. I don't go to Ship to have a good time and just 'be there'. I expect to medal....every time. (last few years, the wheels fell off our wagon at the end, but to be successful, you need three things going for you: Talent, Psychology (they've got to have their heads right) and Lady Luck (injury-free, good grades, good prom behavior, no mistakes, like baton issues, false starts, etc). Are there 'scrubs' at States? Absolutely. But, you know what? I take a lot of pride in getting through my district meet. The rest is just gravy. What's my point? I don't know....just sayin'.
Very well put, phreek. Our 3:22 4x4 trials didn't make the D1 finals. Boohoo. Not good enough. We ran 3:19 a month ago. But, I guess from averaging 3:20 over the last ten years, I expect more from my team. I don't go to Ship to have a good time and just 'be there'. I expect to medal....every time. (last few years, the wheels fell off our wagon at the end, but to be successful, you need three things going for you: Talent, Psychology (they've got to have their heads right) and Lady Luck (injury-free, good grades, good prom behavior, no mistakes, like baton issues, false starts, etc). Are there 'scrubs' at States? Absolutely. But, you know what? I take a lot of pride in getting through my district meet. The rest is just gravy.
What's my point? I don't know....just sayin'.
05/18/2014 8:01:01 PM
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Oh, and 42.11 4x1 on 5/1. So what? Couldn't keep it together. Back to the drawing board.
Oh, and 42.11 4x1 on 5/1.
So what? Couldn't keep it together. Back to the drawing board.
05/18/2014 8:10:12 PM
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Here is the thing, District One has fantastic competition week in and week out. The runners there are able to reach their true potential because they are being pushed to their best. That is going to make the times faster. Yes, guys out of District One are going to miss states who are medal potential. But there are also going to be guys like Dom Peretta who look pretty average in District One terms but then end up blasting 1:52s when they get even the slightest bit of real competition on the big stage. There are good and bad parts of every system certainly and I wish they would take another look at things certainly, but results on a piece of paper can be misleading (especially in XC, but also in track). And this is coming from a guy who was on a 7:59 and 3:23 4x8 and 4x4 in the same meet that needed a DQ to make the finals. Both relays were 13th or something like that.
Here is the thing, District One has fantastic competition week in and week out. The runners there are able to reach their true potential because they are being pushed to their best. That is going to make the times faster. Yes, guys out of District One are going to miss states who are medal potential. But there are also going to be guys like Dom Peretta who look pretty average in District One terms but then end up blasting 1:52s when they get even the slightest bit of real competition on the big stage.

There are good and bad parts of every system certainly and I wish they would take another look at things certainly, but results on a piece of paper can be misleading (especially in XC, but also in track).

And this is coming from a guy who was on a 7:59 and 3:23 4x8 and 4x4 in the same meet that needed a DQ to make the finals. Both relays were 13th or something like that.
05/18/2014 8:13:58 PM
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@Donbet Wow! If you have a 42.11 4x100 with the same four [i]healthy[/i] guys and they're not going to be at states - that's disappointing for me as a fan. That's a title-contending team that needs to be there. As I said, if it's the same four guys, and they're all healthy, the ideal state qualifying system should accommodate that.
@Donbet

Wow! If you have a 42.11 4x100 with the same four healthy guys and they're not going to be at states - that's disappointing for me as a fan. That's a title-contending team that needs to be there. As I said, if it's the same four guys, and they're all healthy, the ideal state qualifying system should accommodate that.
05/19/2014 7:07:43 AM
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The anchor on that team runs 400 post-season (Dave Stellato 47.89), so schedule prevents him from 4x1. We managed to run 42.90 without him, then the second leg tweaked a hammy, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The anchor on that team runs 400 post-season (Dave Stellato 47.89), so schedule prevents him from 4x1. We managed to run 42.90 without him, then the second leg tweaked a hammy, and the rest, as they say, is history.
05/19/2014 9:04:20 AM
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I know it has been mentioned elsewhere in this forum, but think of it in perspective of the Olympics. Each country can send up to 3 athletes in each event (if they meet the standard). The US might have the 4-5 fastest 400 runners in the world, but only 3 get to go. If you want to compete at the Olympics, you gotta be top 3 at the qualifying meet. I feel that going strictly by SQS would be a mistake. The system in place now gives more importance to the district meets.
I know it has been mentioned elsewhere in this forum, but think of it in perspective of the Olympics. Each country can send up to 3 athletes in each event (if they meet the standard). The US might have the 4-5 fastest 400 runners in the world, but only 3 get to go. If you want to compete at the Olympics, you gotta be top 3 at the qualifying meet.

I feel that going strictly by SQS would be a mistake. The system in place now gives more importance to the district meets.
05/19/2014 9:12:46 AM
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@Donbet What would it take to split D1 into state 2 qualifying meets? One meet just under 30 teams (2 auto bids) and one with over 30 teams (3 auto bids). That would mean the same amount of state auto bids from what is now D1. D1 and the PIAA are forcing too many athletes into one meet with a limited number of spots. I think it's safe to say most D1 T&F athletes never even get into the D1 meet. When we see athletes meeting the SQS and being denied a trip to states as often as it happens in D1, it's time to think about making changes.
@Donbet
What would it take to split D1 into state 2 qualifying meets? One meet just under 30 teams (2 auto bids) and one with over 30 teams (3 auto bids). That would mean the same amount of state auto bids from what is now D1. D1 and the PIAA are forcing too many athletes into one meet with a limited number of spots. I think it's safe to say most D1 T&F athletes never even get into the D1 meet. When we see athletes meeting the SQS and being denied a trip to states as often as it happens in D1, it's time to think about making changes.
05/19/2014 9:21:15 AM
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@wjarratt I know there are lots of opinions on this subject. Right now I'm not asking if anyone agrees with splitting D1. I'm ask what has to happen to make a drastic change. Who or what committee has that authority?
@wjarratt
I know there are lots of opinions on this subject. Right now I'm not asking if anyone agrees with splitting D1. I'm ask what has to happen to make a drastic change. Who or what committee has that authority?
05/19/2014 1:53:43 PM
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@wjarratt The district 1 meet is a big, highly competitive meet. You should know that, in the past few years, the District 1 committee has attempted to reduce costs by streamlining operations and reducing the number of officials. Given this, I would find it very doubtful that they would entertain the conversation of creating 2 separate meets, each of which would require similar personnel and resources. Your best bet may be to go through your school's AD and principal, as they rgularly attend District steering committee meetings.
@wjarratt The district 1 meet is a big, highly competitive meet. You should know that, in the past few years, the District 1 committee has attempted to reduce costs by streamlining operations and reducing the number of officials. Given this, I would find it very doubtful that they would entertain the conversation of creating 2 separate meets, each of which would require similar personnel and resources. Your best bet may be to go through your school's AD and principal, as they rgularly attend District steering committee meetings.
05/19/2014 3:49:20 PM
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[quote=Donbet]Oh, and 42.11 4x1 on 5/1. So what? Couldn't keep it together. Back to the drawing board.[/quote] @Donbet Well put. I coach in D1 & my team didn't make the State Meet either. Tough but the kids have to learn tough lessons somewhere right? They'll be better for it somewhere in life.
Donbet wrote:
Oh, and 42.11 4x1 on 5/1.
So what? Couldn't keep it together. Back to the drawing board.


@Donbet Well put. I coach in D1 & my team didn't make the State Meet either. Tough but the kids have to learn tough lessons somewhere right? They'll be better for it somewhere in life.
05/19/2014 3:55:30 PM
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@boblochSorry this does not address the 2 meet question. But in District 1 to reduce cost, streamline, whatever and treat young developing athletes well, why not use seeded heats on time for everything from 300 h on up and all relays as many states do. The clock is objective. The beauty of track is that there are no referees calling questionable penalty kicks or things that can sway the outcome. (Ok, oops I forgot about some of the relay calls ) But sadly, there are too many HS runners whose seasons end short for stress fractures etc because some coaches will over use them. Not having these crazy two day meets would at least help protect some of them. I have met many college coaches who feel all these unnecessary trials in meets like D1 are not good for HS athletes.
@boblochSorry this does not address the 2 meet question. But in District 1 to reduce cost, streamline, whatever and treat young developing athletes well, why not use seeded heats on time for everything from 300 h on up and all relays as many states do. The clock is objective. The beauty of track is that there are no referees calling questionable penalty kicks or things that can sway the outcome. (Ok, oops I forgot about some of the relay calls ) But sadly, there are too many HS runners whose seasons end short for stress fractures etc because some coaches will over use them. Not having these crazy two day meets would at least help protect some of them. I have met many college coaches who feel all these unnecessary trials in meets like D1 are not good for HS athletes.

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