Interesting discussion the other night at my favorite watering hole. Was conducting a quasi interview with a possible new mate. Great guy and talented and actually a good friend. That much won’t change. Neither will his kit.
Decision hinged on this fact based scenario, and with all due respect to Seth Hirsch:
Young phenom starts handing Everyone their asses in the local road racing scene. Repeatedly. Our 3 USATF member clubs, 2 are categorized as “Competitive” (LRC Racing and Nebraska Run Guru Elite) , the third is “Elite Development” (Team Nebraska) are well represented in the races.
I’ve been around long enough to have feelings on this. And I’ve discussed it at length with people whose opinions I value. They have either A) Strongly Agreed or B) Strongly Disagreed. No middle ground.
One camp is of the mind, “well, its Seth, and you just can’t beat him.”
The other camp pitches on my side of the Elkhorn River. It goes like this: “How the hell do you let a 15 year old dominate the very best athletes Nebraska has to offer?” Over and over again. Despite pointed remarks in the post race interviews challenging same to come get him (Boystown, Columbus).
Here was the test question that let me know my buddy, great guy that he is, just isn’t of the timber I’m looking for: “Would you take the first quarter out in :71 if you were told to?” Without hesitation the answer was “no way.” I looked at the other two athletes sitting at the table. Asked the first “Would you take it out in :71 if I told you to?” Immediate affirmative reply. Asked the second “Would you take the first half out in 2:06?” Same quick response, “absolutely.” If Craig Donnelly had been present I would have asked him if he would have taken the first mile out in 4:10, he would have been Right On board.
I exist on a different plane, I know that. But it is beyond me how the leadership of LRC and Team Nebraska didn’t get together and put an end to Seth’s undefeated run.
He could and should have been beaten on the roads. Fairly and squarely. With Cojones. And yes, I include NRGE but everyone understands until we signed Craig we didn’t have the guns to go with beyond the first mile.
For those that cried of the otherworldly talent they were facing I say bullocks! I’ve seen wunderkinds before. I’ll be 60 in 3 years and have lived and experienced enough to see fear in a competitors eyes. That is what let this young, talented, freshman run away from his competition. They were just too damned afraid to go out and make it impossible for him to win. Fair and Square. With Cojones.
And now, sadly, the stress fracture did what men would not. Tsk, tsk, all the summer road racing did was ruin his chances to win All Class Gold in Kearney. More’s the shame as he has the talent that could have taken him forever into the history books as a 4 time winner in that capacity. I hope those that spring and summer steered him realize what they had him trade for success in the off season. Piss poor planning by those that should have had his best and long term interest at heart.
No one wanted him hurt and no one wanted to beat him either.