James Seth Demoor wrote:
This is why I can't get too excited about college track these days. Great performances last night but, college sports should be about kids 18-23, not athletes that are years older taking advantage of eligibility rules. I liken it to some big league pitcher with a 98 mph fastball and three other good pitches throwing a no hitter during a rehab stint in A level ball. It's a no hitter but, against youngsters swinging wood bats for the first time. There is a huge maturity, focus, and development difference between 24 and 25 year old men vs. 19 and 20 year old kids that just ran their first 80 mile week a month ago.
I can’t really disagree with you. There should be a line in the sand, and, perhaps that line should be eligibility expires at age 25. You are also right that there’s a huge difference in maturity between a 24 year old and a 19 year old. However, that same difference applies to a 23-year old versus a 19-year old. 23 versus 24 is a distinction without a difference, really. As I said, I redshirted one year, and then I developed a physical malady during my senior (5th) year, where I could’ve easily applied for a medical exemption to get another season going into my age 23/24 year.
The thing with Mantz is, he was that 20-year old running his first 80 mile week you referred to. He was exactly that. Sure, he was elite in high school, and, sure, some Mormons are able to still run during their missions, but Mantz took an entire year to get back to his high school self. He chronicled his training. So, that was his first year.
Do we even know if he’s going to run this fall after the Trials? What does he have to prove? He crushed the field at the NCAA xc championship and finished second in the fastest NCAA 10,000 in history in a race he would’ve won had he hugged the rail. What’s left to prove? Kid is a frickin amazing runner, no matter the “extra” year he was granted.