The South 4A is really "taking it the shorts" for the State Cross Country Championships.
Since the inception of the sport in the 1970's, there has been little change to the selection of competing teams and individuals for the championship. Even as participation has grown by leaps and bounds, changes to the number of teams and individuals able to participate for the team title has dwindled to a joke for the State title.
In the 1970's three teams and 5 individuals were taken to the State Meet. This was when there were just 7 schools participating. In the early 1980's, 4 more schools were added, and the number of teams and individuals remained the same. In the late 80's and early 90's, 8 more schools joined the program and the number of teams and individuals remained the same.
Presently, this list of schools has increased to 31 schools, and the number of teams and individuals has changed very little, which is now excluding the majority of schools (and their huge amount of participants) trying to participate.
However, there has been almost no changes to the participants in the 1A/2A/3A area since they came on board in the 80's. Because of this, almost the entire amount of runners taking part in the Regional Meet are (still) being allowed to participate in the State Meet, as their number of high schools has not increased. This is even though the school district is the same (paying) district. (In addition, remember and the private schools are footing the bill for their teams to go, freeing up funds for a public school). Something's wrong with this picture. You would think there should be allowed at least one individual from each HS some representation at the State Meet (like the countries for the Olympics).
Obviously this shows inequities that are becoming more and more glaring at the expense of the huge majority of runners at the bigger schools that are participating in the sport.
Mind boggling stats:
South 4A Regional participation - 419 (18% go to State)
South 3A Regional participation - 36 (81% go to State)
South 1A/2A Regional participation - 41 (69% go to State)
This year's meet was a prime example of why having such a few number of runners participating in this Meet causes a skewed winner for the title!
Centennial HS should have been the winner of the title (proven by the fact that their average runner times were better than Galena HS), but because of the lack of runners participating, Galena was able to slip by for the title.
I will have to admit the North doesn't have it much better, but at least their numbers aren't as high as those of the South. When you have a State Meet that has only 23% on average participants in the 4A Division it doesn't bode well for a true champion.
Other statistics from this years Regional and State Championships:
On averaged times -
North 2A Boys ran 8 sec. slower at State than Regionals
South 2A Boys ran 60 sec slower at State than Regionals
North 3A Boys ran 36 sec. slower at State than Regionals
South 3A Boys ran 54 sec slower at State than Regionals
North 4A Boys ran 28 sec. slower at State than Regionals
South 4A Boys ran 40 sec slower at State than Regionals
North 2A Girls ran 1 sec. faster at State than Regionals
South 2A Girls ran 23 sec faster at State than Regionals
North 3A Girls ran 7sec. slower at State than Regionals
South 3A Girls ran 43 sec slower at State than Regionals
North 4A Girls ran 12 sec. faster at State than Regionals
South 4A Girls ran 71 sec slower at State than Regionals