Discussion in 'University of Colorado News and Olympic Sports' started by cmgoods, Nov 26, 2013.
Congrats to Wetmore and the staff. Colorado XC kicks ass. Now if only he could adjust his scholarship allotment strategy and increase our competitiveness in track. It's possible, as Oregon's had great XC teams and has also been among the top track schools.
Ummm. Oregon has Nike. Phil Knight started out in a garage inventing the waffle sole and redefined the running shoe. The Nike corp campus in Beaverton has running facilities. Generations of runners have moved to Oregon and have created a running culture that is damn hard to replicate. An Oregon runner might not get a scholarship, but they just might get a Nike internship and access to the Oregon running community that exists in and around "Track Town USA"
Allocation of scholarships won't create a broader track culture in Boulder. Even a world class indoor training facility might not help. Altitude does not make sprinters run faster or jumpers jump higher/farther. The draw to Boulder is distance events. When Boulder's Frank Shorter won an Olympic medal, before Nike became the behemoth it is today, the Boulder running community blossomed and has remained a draw. Olympic runners from all over the planet came to Boulder to run like Frank. Or they would go to C Springs to visit the US Olympic training facilities.
A couple decades later, Nike exploded, invested heavily in Track Town and the U of Oregon.
Frank Shorter got older. The Bolder Boulder remains the keynote running event in the state. The future of Boulder running culture resides with Wetmore's protégés like Ratzenhein, Torres, Goucher, Simpson, and Coburn. Boulder remains a middle and long distance hot spot that rivals Oregon. But they will be challenged by Nike.
Olympic caliber sprinters are drawn to climates that are warmer like LA, Houston or Florida, where past greats retire.
If you are a serious sprinter, getting an offer from CU won't mean as much as one from USC or Florida or even Arkansas.
i think Wetmore is smart to focus on delivering quality over quantity. It would take CU fans or a big alum to elevate interest in track and field. Most people on this board would rather have that energy focused on the revenue sports.
Ummmm...A condescending history lesson (accurate and very well written at least). Thanks, I guess?
Anyway, I'm a long time track and cross country coach in Colorado and am very aware of these things (track history and Colorado's limitations) and I agree with almost everything that you wrote.
I used Oregon as an example to show that track and xc success aren't mutually exclusive, as Colorado track has definitely been sacrificed in some ways for the good of Colorado XC, and to show that it is possible to have great success in both areas.
That being said, one can wish, right?
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