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  • Is Ritz doing the right thing?

    What do y'all think? Is Ritzenhein doing the right thing by running the Cardinal Invite 10K instead of the Big XII champs?

  • #2
    Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

    As some brilliant analyst noted in another thread (oh, that was me), Colorado has no hope of being a player in the team-title department. In terms of glory for the school and as a recruiting aid, the Buffs will get far more benefit out of Ritz making the Olympic team, and this is a good first step, than they will his running a 14-minute 5K in Norman.

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    • #3
      Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

      so, let's see -- I'm a head coach of a fully-funded men's program... I know I have catered to my own desires and recruited a bunch of distance runners, so I have a terribly unbalanced team that has no chance of winning an outdoor conference title... heck, why did my school hire me in the first place? someone remind me who pays the bills...

      bad precedent for college athletics, in my opinion

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

        Yes, insofar as he will better himself with a good performance, and will take that experience, new PR and confidence back into the collegiate schedule the remainder of the NCAA season. Moreover, running with the post-collegians and AR-holders over 5k and 10k, will provide Ritz an opportunity to gain incredible exposure at that level, and put him on a similar playing field as Alistair Cragg.

        I credit Ritz with not shoving NCAA competition aside and walking off his team in pursuit of his in-season Olympic dream. He has an academic and team obligation to CU. With a compromise, both he and CU win in this case.

        Michigan:s Brannen and Willis - along with other redshirts across the nation (including Flanagan) - have one goal in mind this season: Olympic-level competition, not the NCAAs.

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        • #5
          Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

          bad precedent for college athletics, in my
          >opinion

          GM, I couldn't agree more.

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          • #6
            Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

            GM has hit upon one of the things I think most responsible for the continuing destruction of collegiate track and field and that's the "unbalanced" team which in its simplest form means forming teams that are built only to win at the Penn Relays, be they sprints, distances or a combo of the two. Good buy to any semblance of technical expertise or coaching.

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            • #7
              Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

              Yes, he is doing the "right" thing. Unfortunately the right thing is not the best thing for Dathan's running. The best thing for his running career would be to go to Cardinal, run his heart out, then take a couple days easy.

              But this isn't the first time there has been a conflict in US distance running between doing what is "right" under an athlete's obligations to school and team and what is best for the athlete. Then again, an education and fulfilling an obligation for funding the education, is probably ultimately more important than becoming a world class distance runner - at least thats the choice US athletes are making.

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              • #8
                Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

                >Yes, he is doing the "right" thing. Unfortunately the right thing is not the
                >best thing for Dathan's running. The best thing for his running career would be
                >to go to Cardinal, run his heart out, then take a couple days easy.>>

                Uh, isn't that what he's doing? The rumored double back in the 5K the next day has been scrapped, no?

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                • #9
                  Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

                  The job of the coach is not to service the school -- it's to service the athlete. If you put team titles ahead of the athlete's best interests, the athletes will lose.

                  And I think it would be ridiculous if CU made a shit fit of Ritzenhein getting an Olympic standard.

                  It's further evidence that the NCAA is a major hurdle in the step towards realizing American success in int'l distance running.

                  Go ask Bekele if he'd rather run a conference meet or the Hengelo 10k in May.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

                    We can't have it both ways, compatriots. We criticize teams for killing their athletes in the conference meet, with little regard to bigger (HS State meet, NCAA, national or international) goals. We criticize coaches for going after the big goals while de-emphasizing the smaller meets (conference). We criticize coaches for building on their strengths as a coach, as a program, due to whatever environmental conditions dictate CU has distance runners, southern schools have sprinters, and only a few do both.
                    If that's what CU and Ritz want to do, more power to them. How many athletes will run 3 or 4 events at their conference meet and get hurt or fall apart afterwards?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

                      Uh, isn't that what he's doing? The rumored double back in the 5K
                      >the next day has been scrapped, no?

                      Well then, thanks for clarifying. Obviously I didn't read the opening post very closely. I was still going off the information in the other thread. I think its about time. If we are ever to get US distance running back on track we need to have an attitude to do what is best for our most promising prospects. So to answer the orignal post - Ritz is doing the right thing to better his running and to possibly help the future of US distance running. Unfortunately he is not doing the right thing for his collegiate team. On balance, I'm glad he made the choice.

                      Its great to see guys like Webb and Ritz making hard decisions that will ultimately make them better runners and not just great college runners.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

                        >The job of the coach is not to service the school -- it's to service the athlete.<

                        Problem is that it's the school and not the athlete that pays the coach. I would posit that where there is a conflict between the school's interest in scoring points in a particular meet and the athlete's interest in training for a non-school event such as the Olympic Games, it becomes the coach's job to convince the school that it is in the school's best interest to forego the points and promote the interest of the athlete.

                        That's sometimes easier said than done.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

                          And of the following Big-12 athletes who have punched their tickets to USATF OT, which ones should stay away from NCAAs and concentrate on training, fine-tuning and rest prior to the true "big meet"? True, these athletes are not in a predicament like Ritz - aiming at getting a qualifying mark. However, similarly, they will have to run regionals and nationals prior to heading to Palo Alto for USATF heats, semis, finals.

                          Junior Darold Williamson, Baylor
                          Sophomore Jeremy Wariner, Baylor
                          Sophomore Wil Fitts, Baylor
                          Junior Lakadron Ivery, Baylor
                          Senior Leo Bookman, Kansas
                          Senior Janae Strickland, Missouri
                          Junior Conrad Woosley, Missouri
                          Senior Becky Breisch, Nebraska
                          Senior Eric Eshbach, Nebraska
                          Sophomore Courtney Jones, Nebraska
                          Sophomore DaBryan Blanton, Oklahoma
                          Senior Jonathan Johnson, Texas Tech

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                          • #14
                            Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

                            >>The job of the coach is not to service the school -- it's to service the
                            >athlete.<

                            Problem is that it's the school and not the athlete that pays the
                            >coach. I would posit that where there is a conflict between the school's
                            >interest in scoring points in a particular meet and the athlete's interest in
                            >training for a non-school event such as the Olympic Games, it becomes the
                            >coach's job to convince the school that it is in the school's best interest to
                            >forego the points and promote the interest of the athlete.

                            That's
                            >sometimes easier said than done.

                            ************

                            and that's the NCAA's disservice to US distance running -- it values conference and NCAA meets more than world championships and Olympic games.

                            That's that way it is in the US -- American championships are the only ones that matter -- NCAA, USATF, NBA the Super Bowl, World Series...

                            This is why a club system (like... the rest of the world does) would foster a better distance running situation in the US.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Is Ritz doing the right thing?

                              >And of the following Big-12 athletes who have punched their tickets to USATF
                              >OT, which ones should stay away from NCAAs and concentrate on training,

                              Epelle-

                              The problem is primarily confined to middle and distance runners. While peaking is important in the sprints and field events the overtraining and overracing issue is not as relevant.

                              >and that's the NCAA's disservice to US distance running -- it values conference and NCAA meets more than world championships and Olympic games.

                              Trackhead -

                              I agree. Focus on being a big fish in the US, is selling many of our athletes short - they become content with being a top American. There are a few who are not satisfied with that. Kennedy for one had that rare attitude. I think Ritz also has it - by making this decision I think it is apparent he sees the big picture and is looking beyond the US.

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