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Track needs Super State

Erick Studenicka

Now that the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association has taken the time to crown the A, AA, AAA and AAAA state championship track teams, I’d like to see the NIAA add one more week to the track season for a “Super State Meet” to determine who is really the “state champion” in the state in each event.

Wrestling already has a “Super State Tournament” at the end of the season to determine the best wrestlers in the state. Track and field (and cross-country in the fall) should follow wrestling’s lead.

While the state track meet held last weekend at Reed High School included some close competition and was necessary to determine the state team titles in each respective division, it didn’t really determine the state champions in each event.

For example, Smith Valley’s Christy Gleason received a great deal of attention for winning four “state championships” at the A level. But had she been running at the AAAA level, she wouldn’t have won one title.

In a perfect world, the following meet would take place this Saturday at the University of Nevada, Reno’s, wind-protected track and field facility. The first-place finishers from the A and AA, the top two from the AAA and top four from the AAAA “state meets” would meet to determine who really is “the best” in the state. No team scoring would be kept.

H H H

I know, I know -people will say that adding an additional week to the track season would make the season too long and the cost of additional meet would be too much.

But from what I saw Saturday, an additional week of competition wouldn’t hurt, as it seemed that some athletes were being pushed for the first time this season at the state meet. Other states such as California will not be having their state track meets until June 7.

As for the cost, money for Super State could come from combining the A and AA meets. The A and AA meets are already combined in cross-country and, judging from the times in the A and AA meets this year (a 17:12 in the girls’ 3,200-meter run?), should also be combined in track. A state track meet should be reserved for the state’s top athletes, not a bunch of mediocre A and AA athletes who advance to state only because there aren’t more competitors in their event. Instead of eight athletes advancing to state from both A and AA, allow only four to advance and combine the race or event. It would make for far more interesting competition.

I know Nevada high schools and athletes hate to be compared with “California”, but I guarantee that you won’t see a 17:12 two-mile run at the California State Track Meet at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento June 7. No matter what size their school, only elite athletes in California advance to the prestigious state meet. Unfortunately, unless the NIAA combines the A and AA meets next year, you’re likely to see another 17:12 two-mile next year at the Nevada state meet.

Erick Studenicka is the sports writer for the Sierra Sun.


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