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Congrats to Amador X Country

Original post made by Bernard Laffer, Pheasant Ridge, on Dec 2, 2011

I previously posted a comment regarding the sad state of Foothill HS X-Country/ Distance program. As a follow up I would like to congratulate the Amador HS team for their performances in the North Coast Championship X Country meet. This meet also serves as the state qualifying meet. Amador placed 2nd in the boys and the girls team races. Both teams qualified to compete at the state championshop meet at Woodward Park in Fresno. Amador also had the individual winner in the Girls race. In both races the first five Amador runners finished before any member of the Foothill team. I am sure people will comment on my harsh staements but I am only stating facts. This does not mean that Foothill performed poorly. There were several Foothill athletes who performed well considering the level of coaching that they have received. They face a serious disadvantage because of the differece in coaching. It has reached a point that the administration should take a good look at the effort the level of committment that the Foothill X Country/Distance coaches have to their team.The effort on the part of the Amador coaching staff is demonstrated by the overall performance of their team. This does not happen by accident . Distance running is the type of sport that requires planning and training. A qualified committed coach can make all the difference in the performance of a team. It the type of sport that welcomes participants regardless of ability.It does not mean that just because you do not have National class talent you should be ignored. The beauty of X Country is that you need 7 people for a Vasity team and the first five finishers score. There are also JV and Frosh/Soph individual and team competitions. The Foothill runners deserve better leadership and it should not be the reponsibility of an off campus parent to walk on to provide leadership. I am sure that there are qualified people on campus. It is a question of the administration taking the trouble to find a capable person. Pleasanton M.S. has 4 girl milers who are running between 5:30 and 6 minutes for the mile ( most of the girls are in 7 th grade). There is also a 5:35 5th grade girl miler.These girls have run these times with limited preparation. As a unit with proper coaching they should have a team that can have imapct in X- Country and distance running at a National level.If a high school girl breaks 5 minutes for the mile she is in the position to receive a scholarship and substantially increase her opportunity to gain admission to an Ivy League or National caliber Liberal Arts college( Amherst, Haverford, Williams, Brandeis, Swathmore, Colgate,etc) They all field very competitive X Country /Distance teams.The level of talent on their teams does not arrive by accident. For those naysayers,the University of Pennsylvania has hosted the Penn Relays for over 100 years. Penn Relays is a 5 day affair that draws 60k plus in attendance for each for the final two days at Franklin Field. It draws track and field athletes from all over the world .It even draws roughly 20 highschool teams from outside the country ( Jamaica, Trinidad, Canada, the Vigin Islands,etc.) Track and field has always been a big deal at Penn and they go out of their way to field good teams. Several of their head coaches have been on th eUs Olympic staff. The point I am making is that Foothill HS deserves qualified committed coaching. The members of their X Country/ Distance team deserve the same opportunity as the Amador athletes receive from having capable coaching. Just being nice is not an indication of being capable. The Foothill team deserves better. If we as a group demand it the administration will listen.


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