Comparisons are odorous and odious, but . . . . .

by John Dye

BALTIMORE MD 3/20/2004 -- "Comparisons are odorous," said Shakespeare (Much Ado About Nothing). "Comparisons are odious," said Christopher Marlowe (Lust's Dominion). However you spell it, and whether they smell bad or are just plain repugnant, comparisons are inevitable. So here we go.

For the sixth straight year, the US high school track and field community had two "national indoor championship" meets on the same weekend. There was the National Scholastic Indoor Championships (NSIC), run by the Metropolitan Athletics Congress (MAC) of New York, at the New York Armory. NSIC was in its 21st year. Then there was the Nike Indoor Championships (NIC), run by the National Scholastic Sports Foundation (NSSF), at the PG Sportsplex near Washington DC. NIC was in its 6th year.

NIC is run by the same people who founded NSIC and managed it with MAC until 1998. We won't go into the reasons for the split because the whole story is known only by the participants.

At the risk of incurring the wrath of everyone, we present two comparisons. One favors NSIC and one favors NIC.

DyeStat Elite count - We always review meet results for performances qualifying for DyeStat Elite national ranking. The number of such performances is a rough measure of quality and depth of a meet. NSIC 523, NIC 413.

Dual Meet Scoring - If you merge and rank the performances for each event, you can score NSIC and NIC as if they were teams in a dual meet. Jim Spier of NSSF did this for the top six in each event, after adjusting for the Armory's banked track advantage using NCAA adjustments. NIC 688, NSIC 613.

So which meet was better this year? Did it really matter to the 4,000 athletes competing, or is this just a concern of the meet managers? Each meet had great performances. Twice as many athletes as before competed on a national stage. Twice as many athletes earned "All American" recognition.

We will just have to await outdoor season for such intriguing matchups as Kaltenbach-Blood-Williams or Elzie vs. the X-Man. See you at Mobile, Arcadia, Philadelphia, and Raleigh and points in between..

US News


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