- Keith Hjelle
Girls, Boys CC Finish 7th and 6th at South Hamilton
There has been a decades old debate over whether a long trip (usually a bus ride) to an athletic event affects the performances of the athletes in the event. So, this observer decided to do a little (very little) research on the subject. Feel free to skip the next five paragraphs and move right to the results of the meet. On the other hand, it you do that, you may miss out on the great debate.
Last week the Charger cross country teams traveled to the 5x80 Golf Course near Menlo to complete in the WCV Invitational meet. That is a twenty minute drive from Guthrie Center. Thursday the trip took an hour and forty five minutes to Jewell for the South Hamilton meet.
So, let's look at the facts. The total cumulative time for the ACGC top five girl runners at Jewell was thirty seconds slower than it was at the WCV meet. The team finished third in the WCV meet and seventh in the South Hamilton meet.
For the boys, the time difference was a little greater, as the cumulative time of the top five runners was a minute and fifteen seconds slower at Jewell. The boys' won the WCV meet and finished sixth at Jewell. So, did the long trip to Jewell affect performance? (This very unscientific study does not take into effect the weather conditions, the difficulty of the course, or the physical wellness of the runners.)
It is difficult to draw a conclusion, but the times were somewhat slower at Jewell, which would indicate that yes, the longer ride did affect the performance. However, then we should probably consider this. In the case of both the girls and boys, if they had each run the faster individual WCV times at Jewell, the team results would have been virtually the same at Jewell. The boys would have still finished in sixth place at Jewell, and the girls would have finished sixth instead of seventh. So, it would appear that there might be another factor to consider. The competition at Jewell was probably tougher than it was at WCV.
The conclusion of this expert (at nothing) is that the findings are inconclusive and Charger fans cannot blame the long ride for the slower times, but you can if you want to. Now I am sounding like a politician, and it is time to end the debate and vote.
Now to the meet at Jewell. Kate Crawford and Ella Waddle continued their two year dual, and this time Charger Crawford won the dual, edging out the Panorama ace by five seconds 19:41 to 19:46. Crawford was only four seconds out of first place. Lauryn Embleton finished in the number twenty spot in a time of 21:42. Rylee Sloss ran third for the Chargers with a time of 22:27, good for 33rd place. Keely Vasey and Aubrey Chmelar took sixty third and sixty fourth respectively, with Vasey edgng out Chmelar by one second at 23:34. Chmelar's time of 23:35 was more than forty seconds faster than her WCV time! Alyson Embleton finished just behind with a time of 23:42, while Melena Rumelhart ran the course in 25:04.
Noah Nelson was again the top Charger runner in the boys' meet, finishing sixth with a time of 16:51. Clay Billheimer was again the number two runner for ACGC and finished in the number thirteen spot with a time of 17:20 (8 seconds faster than at WCV). Ben Young ran third for ACGC in thirty sixth place with a time of 18:29. Miles Kading finished fourth for the Chargers with a time of 19:11, good for forty fourth place. Donnie Swanson rounded out the top five for ACGC, as he finished the course in 19:22, which placed him fifty eighth. Blaine Beeler was close behind, as he ran the course in 19:29, good for sixtieth place. The seventh Charger runner was Zach Moon, who finished n sixty fifth place with a time of 19:40.
The next two weeks will be especially competitive, as the WCAC meet is scheduled for next Thursday at Panorama, followed by the state qualifier which will be hosted by ACGC on Thursday, October 18.