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Why stack the 5,000?


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  • Why stack the 5,000?

    Can somebody please explain this absurd tradition of coaches throwing practically half of their university into the 5K at conference championships? There were 60 listed entries at last night's Big 12 Champs, and 40 of them actually ran. They were stacked four and five deep at the start. It was silly.

    I told a friend that they should just pare off the bottom 20 and have a real race, but he had a better idea:

    "They should put a sniper in the stands and pick off the last-place person at the end of each lap," he said. "That'd get a good first lap! I bet they'd come through in 56!"
    "Run fast and keep turning left."

  • #2
    Re: Why stack the 5,000?

    if it was a 10k, then last runner each lap drops out...or gets the hook...or the hook em horns??


    • #3
      Re: Why stack the 5,000?

      The 5K is stacked because in a conference meet you must run what you are entered in or you cannot run any later events. This means that if you do not start or do not finish an event you are entered in, you are done. If you DNS of DNF, every other later event you have entered you are scratched. This causes huge 5K fields because it is the last event and it can be scratched without worrying about the consequences (so coaches enter every possible distance runner). It also gives athletes who had subpar performances in the previous events chances to come back and redeem themselves. But as you have probably noticed many people just scratch out of the 5 and it becomes a more managable race than the heat sheets would show.


      • #4
        Re: Why stack the 5,000?

        ACCs used to pull runners if they got lapped. Once it got down to 12 left racing those 12 were allowed to finish.

        Indoors on a 160m track going out with the intent of negative splitting was an impossibility for the mediocre types. It was all out from the gun.