My fourth column in less than 24 hours! I’ve been working on my annual Christmas Classic for the last week or so, going to be good.
Going to stick with this week’s theme of USATF. I hope yesterday’s two columns give you a sense of from whence I come. Speaking as one of the founders, among the handful of architects, of our USATF Elite Development Club program. And as founder of the Nebraska Association LDR Program. And founder of Team Nebraska. And Nebraska Run Guru Elite. And Nebraska Run Guru Events. If you think those creds are of significance, entitle me to opine on the current state, continue reading, if not, now might be a good time for you to flip to the funny pages.
USATF. What does it mean to you? Like so many things, two ways of looking at it. For many of you, it is what can you get out of it, without making any real commitment to the program or your club. Do you take advantage of the free entry into Lincoln and nothing else the rest of the year? Do you line up for the Club Cross National Champs teat without supporting your local championships? Yes, some of you do. Shame.
I surveyed the selection processes of the Kansas City Smoke and Iowa Runablaze. Unlike Nebraska, neither association hosted a Cross Champs this fall.
Our friends to the east employ the Nebraska model, simply raise your hand and you get to go. Just that easy. Did you race this fall? No? OK, its cool. Have you done anything at all this year to earn a spot? No? Ok, its cool. Fortunately for Iowa their depth pool allows them to pull it off and still finish in the upper echelons against the nation’s best.
I’m more in line with the Kansas City Smoke.
You meet the Elite Standard (14:15/30:00/1:08) and you are in. If you are an A level athlete (15:30, 32:15, 1:10:59), AND race well leading up to November 1st, you are in the pool of potential selectees. Very competitive process with several talented athletes remaining in KC to cheer from afar. Will it surprise you when the Smoke finishes head and shoulders above any other Midwest club.
Entitlement vs Earning. Again, a good time for you to flip to the funny pages.
*participated in Nebraska Association Cross Champs. WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE MANDATORY QUALIFYING RACE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR TRAVEL. You may or may not agree and I respect your opinions. But as original author and architect of LDR in Nebraska it WAS NOT MEANT TO BE THIS WAY. I hope you can respect that.
Those of you that have created the current climate of entitlement have strayed so far from my vision that I feel compelled to pen today’s response.
This weekend’s race results will speak volumes about the current competitive state of Nebraska’s three Very Well sponsored USATF Clubs, mine included. But will anyone hear or care or do anything about it? Or will they simply wait until next year and raise their hand?