retired OC coach wrote:
We brought out our CA team three times to run VCP. Our teams also ran Mt. SAC and Woodward Park (CA state meet). We loved our trips to NY and the Manhattan College Invite was a great experience for our kids. Several of our runners benefited from the exposure to VCP standards. They eventually competed for Cornell, Boston College, Columbia, Harvard, to name a few schools. Now to the differences. The atmosphere of the Manhattan College Invite was fantastic and better than the MT SAC Invite. The course at VCP is a tough spectator course and MT SAC course is easier to follow the runners during a race. Mt. SAC's course is deceptively fast (and a little short after the fences were installed) once runners become experienced with its downhills. VCP is also a very fast course although the start has a long straight of grass as opposed to Mt SAC having no grass on its course. Now for my wrench thrown at your premise window. I believe the Woodward Park course in Fresno, California is a better course than VCP or Mt. SAC. The course has varied terrain, a legitimate length, and is great for spectators.
I agree with you. Woodward Park is great for the runners AND the spectators and I am not sure why there are not more "national" meets held there. For our very small, but accomplished CA D5 team, it is all about Woodward Park at the Clovis Invite and then the CA state meet. For our norcal team, travelling to Woodward and competing there is like playing baseball at Fenway or Wrigley Field.