The crying picture offended me, but not as a person or coach. It offended me as a graphic design teacher. That is some poor Photoshop. ;)
I'm fully aware that most people who agree with the rule allowing middle schoolers will just call me a whiner and move on. That is fine. They called me a whiner when I said the original nxn course was an issue for California teams results up at the meet. Since we have changed the course my teams have 4 podiums and a 6th place finish over the last 3 years. I don't believe we would have had those same places at the old course. I believe the California results have shown that I was right in that situation. Those that yelled tough it out are the same ones yelling tough it out today.
I will go on record as saying that I made these comments well in advance of the meet, only Milesplit was forced to take that interview down by a company that didn't want the middle school rule discussed.
Here are some of the reasons I feel that we need to go to a 9-12 only rule:
1. Changes the outcome of the team races by allowing some teams to use them and some not.
2. No other national championship allows some teams to play by certain rules, and others to not utilize those same rules.
3. Forces younger athletes to train harder and push to be great sooner in their careers.
4. Huge advantage for the teams that come from areas that allow middle schoolers.
5. Since the inception of NXN, not one team that isnâ€™t allowed to run middle schoolers has won the event. This is not the same on the boyâ€™s side. Why? What is the difference?
6. Ties together 6 classes of athletes, when most other schools can only tie together 4. This makes a huge difference and allows those programs to stay relevant on the national scene when normal schools would fall a girl or 2 short while they wait for talent. In 2010, our girls team would have had a 7th Grade Destiny Collins on it, but did not and it changed our outcome for 2 years until she joined our team as a 9th grader. There are many awesome girls in 2010 and 2011 she never got the chance to run with and win with, but in NY she would have.
7. The case of North Rockland qualifying as an at-large in 2015. They arenâ€™t even close without middle schoolers.
8. Saratoga made it to NXN using four 8th graders one year! Without the middle schoolers they donâ€™t qualify.
9. Takes away opportunities for high school athletes.
10. There are other middle school races for them to focus on, facing age appropriate competition like the AAU Championships specifically set up for their age group at the same time as NXN.
11. If California allowed 9 varsity athletes to compete in XC instead of 7, would we get 9 at NXN?
Again, many will voice their opinion against. I have yet to see a valid reason why certain teams at NXN are allowed certain rules. I'm not talking about advantages which we all have or Oregon might have at the NCAA level, I'm talking about the actually rules at NXN.