Covering Cross Country and Track & Field in West Virginia
Starcher, Hatcher Shine in Kentucky
While I do my best to steer clear of anything even remotely political
when it comes to this site, since there is once again an elephant
in the room as we approach Track season, I feel the need to address
this elephant and its potential impacts. Of course, the elephant
in the room is the current teacher walk-out, which is highly likely
to become a strike on Monday.
I'm only addressing this from an athletic and coaching standpoint.
I have a separate overly long depiction of everything else that I've
decided to exclude from the site as people don't come here for political
So...how will this impact track season. I'll have to make some
assumptions, which is always dangerous. During the walkout, counties
were given the option to continue extracurricular activities or not.
Some chose to cancel. Some chose to hold the activities. The first
assumption is that the counties will still have that option, and
that they will make the same decisions regarding that choice. The
second assumption is that the WVSSAC won't make any changes to Regional
or State Track Meet dates. I honestly don't remember what happened
in 1990. I don't recall any meets being canceled, so the season may
have just been delayed, or we practiced through it. I really don't
remember. The only change in date I recall for sure was when we had
a measles outbreak, which I think was in 1993. The first issue is
whether or not the coaches feel like they can coach during a strike
as most are teachers as well. Even if the county says they can still
hold extracurricular activities, will a teacher/coach feel like he/she
is crossing the picket line to coach? Will these coaches feel as though
they are turning their backs on their fellow teachers? Will they
be able to say "I'm on strike" from 7:00 until 3:00 and then "I'm not
on strike" from 3:00 until 7:00? It's not a very fair position to
put these people in. I've seen people say "we have a coach that isn't
a teacher, so we'll be ok." It's not that simple. If you were striking
at your job, how would you feel about someone brought in as a contract
worker just walking past your line as though nothing was happening. As
one of those people, am I willing to cross that picket line to coach?
Likely not without the blessing of the teachers and likely not without the
other coaches. I know there were a lot of hard feelings toward those
that crossed the line in 1990 that didn't go away for many years
(or ever for some). It's not a position I envy for myself and any
of the other non-teacher coaches out there. So, now you have a
position in which some teachers will go ahead and coach and others
will not, some lay-coaches will coach and others will not, and some
counties will allow it and some will not. This brings up the second
problem. It leaves us with a likelihood of meets being canceled and/or
less well attended. This leaves us with some teams getting practices
in and others are not. This leaves us with unequal levels of in-season
training come State Meet time. Obviously, the level of training isn't
equal to begin with across schools, but they do at least have the
same amount of time. Suppose that the strike lasts 2 weeks. That
would be 10 school days and 2 Saturdays that would have been available
for practice. Those teams that got to practice during this time could
have their 14 practices in by 3/13 and be able to compete starting
on 3/14. Those that weren't able to practice would not have their
14 days in until March 28th. A school that is supposed to host an
early season meet may end up canceling the meet if they don't have
their practices in. Would Bridgeport still hold the Connect-Bridgeport
Invitational or Parkersburg still host the Kim Nutter Classic if they
can't participate in it? If an Invitational that normally gets 10 or
12 teams drops to 3 or 4 due to teams not having their practices in,
will they still hold the meet? Schedules could get thrown into
complete disarray as teams scramble to find meets to replace those
that get canceled, or they conceivably go a month without getting
to compete. It's too early to tell what the true impact will be.
Hopefully, things get resolved quickly, and we can all go about our
business. Regardless, if you have a coach that chooses not to cross
that picket line or one that does, please understand that they do
not do so lightly.
Starcher, Hatcher Shine in Kentucky
Tori Starcher continues her push forward, this time with a 4:47.90
2nd place finish at the University of Kentucky High School Invitational.
She was joined by 5th place finisher Samantha Hatcher joined the short
list of WV girls to go under 5:00 with a 4:59.10. This was a true mile
race rather than a 1600 Meter Run, giving these performances a little
Automatic Qualifying Standards Updated for Pole Vault
Does the WVSSAC hate the Pole Vault? Inexplicably, they have raised the
Automatic Qualifying Standard for the Pole Vault in the Class AA and Class
A Divisions. For Class AA Boys, it has raised from 11'6 to 12'0. For Class
A Boys, it has raised from 11'0 to 11'6. For Class AA Girls it has raised from
8'0 to 9'0. For Class A Girls, it has raised from 8'0 to 8'6. Meanwhile,
High Jump standards remain unchanged. Let's look at the numbers. Using 2017
performances, the number of Class AA boys who met the standard at any point
during the season drops from 6 to 3. In Class A Boys, it actually doesn't
change with 9 meeting both the old and new standard (but with the top 4 graduating).
In Class AA Girls, it drops from 13 to 6. In Class A Girls, it drops
from 11 to 8. Just for the sake of comparison, 9 Class AAA Boys met the
automatic standard at some point last season, while only 5 Class AAA Girls
met the standard. Meanwhile in the High Jump, 12 Class AAA Boys, 12 Class AA Boys,
16 Class A Boys, 8 Class AAA Girls, 18 Class AA Girls, and 11 Class A Girls
met the High Jump Automatic Standard. So, in the divisions in which
the standard changed, the number of people who met the automatic standard
at any point during the season was reduced by 33% from 39 to 26. The same
pool of High Jumpers shows 57 that met the standard. This begs the question,
why would we have a setup that has a pool of 57 for one event and a pool
of 26 for another? Granted, it's just one season's data that I've reviewed,
but it certainly seems to be an unnecessary move, particularly if you
start looking at the underlying regional data, which shows that there are
routinely a couple regions who don't fill their 4 vaulting spots. If the
goal is to only advance 6 or 7 vaulters to the State Meet, they're right
More Accolades for Starcher
The accolades continue coming in for Tori Starcher. She has been
named the 2017 Gatorade WV Cross Country Runner of the Year. More details
in the Cross Country News & Notes Section.
Starcher Serves Notice
Ripley's Tori Starcher served notice that anyone thinking she would
let off the gas after qualifying for Footlocker Nationals is sorely
mistaken. She dropped a 2:13.18 800 at the Youngstown State Indoor
Meet this weekend, highlighting several strong performances from WV
Athletes. Complete Results in the News & Notes Section.
Smith, Canary Win McCoy Awards
Bridgeport's McKenna Smith and South Harrison's Freddy Canary were named
the 2017 Ray McCoy Award winners.
Tori Starcher 29th at Footlocker Nationals
Tori Starcher turned in a 29th place performance Saturday in San Diego, CA
at the Footlocker National Championships. Starcher toured the course in 18:46.6.
She is just the 3rd West Virginia Female to compete at Nationals, joining Millie
Paladino (twice) and Maggie Drazba. Congratulations Tori!
Tori Starcher Qualifies for Footlocker Nationals
Ripley's Tori Starcher joins the very short list of West Virginia Footlocker
National Qualifiers. She snagged 2nd place in the Footlocker South race
this morning with a 17:28 clocking. Starcher is just the 3rd girls
from WV to qualify for Nationals. The Championship race will take place
on December 9th at Balboa Park in San Diego, CA. at 12:15 PM Eastern.
$10 Sam's Card for You and for Me
- $10 Sam's Club E-Gift Card for you (and one for me) when you join
online using this link.
A Team Manager Plea
Coaches - In your Team Manager setup, please use your school as your
Short Name rather than your mascot or your school abbreviation. For
example - I'll use Doddridge County High School - the short name should
be Doddridge, not Bulldogs or DCHS. Hy-Tek uses the Short Name in the
results listing. If you use mascots, a tri-meet between George Washington,
Parkersburg South, and Wheeling Park would have a results listing of nothing
but Patriots. If you use abbreviations, a meet between Hampshire, Hurricane,
and Huntington would have a results listing of nothing but HHS. So, please,
for my sanity, use your school name.
Also, please make sure the names of your athletes are spelled correctly
and that their grade levels are correct. .
Hy-Tek Team Manager Tips
This information is also in the top section of the News & Notes Section in
the Track Pages, but I thought I'd put it here as well. When setting up Team
Manager, please follow these guidelines to make results easy to read.
Use the 4 digit code assigned by the WVSSAC. i.e. 0026. You have to have it this way for the
Full Team Name:
The full name of your school: i.e. Doddridge County High School
Short Team Name:
A shorter name that still makes it obvious: i.e. Doddridge. The only teams I
can think of that need to do something slightly different would Lincoln County
(can't use "Lincoln" because there is also a Lincoln High that should use
Lincoln), and Valley Fayette, Valley Wetzel, Liberty Harrison, and Liberty
Raleigh who need to add just a little
to differentiate themselves. Do not use an abbreviation like DCHS or a mascot like Bulldogs.
The school abbreviation: i.e. DCHS.
Athlete Grade Levels:
Please make sure you have updated your grade levels from last year.
As always, I'm accepting donations. Please view the Wall of Support for details. Every little bit helps
pay for the site expenses. What I'd ideally like to see happen is for each team to send $1 per athlete
per season ($1 for Track and $1 for Cross Country). That way no one is emptying their pockets much, but
the site is still well-supported.
Submitting Meet Results
I thought I'd put up a reminder about how to submit meet results. Our preferred
method to received results is via E-Mail. The best method is to send me a backup
copy of the meet if you're using Hy-Tek software. Then I can extract all the information
we want. Otherwise, you can E-Mail a text file, a Microsoft Word File, a Microsoft Excel
File, or an HTML file.