Your Guide to the 2015 High School Post-Season
By Jeff Hollobaugh (the opinions here are purely my own)
If you are one of our many excellent high school track athletes in Michigan, it’s not too soon to start planning your summer. Surely you know that the MHSAA Championships are on May 30 this year. You can etch that one in stone. However, many of our elite athletes notch their PRs in the weeks following in the confusing mish-mash of post-season meets.
What’s big this summer? You have two opportunities to wear a Team USA uniform and represent your country: the Pan-Am Juniors (in Canada) and the World Youth Champs (in Columbia). Both are held every two years. Details below.
Seniors – Please try to represent Team Michigan at the Midwest Meet of Champions. This year the meet does NOT conflict with the New Balance Nationals a week later.
A special message for top SENIORS: please, please, please don’t screw up and let your mom plan your graduation party on the day of any big meet you might go to!! Believe me, you will feel dumb sitting next to the cake talking to your Aunt Grizelda when you could instead be crushing your lifetime best and winning fame and glory.
A note on the Junior Olympics: there are two separate JO series (AAU & USATF). Each has its supporters and detractors. In my opinion, both are hampered by poor communication, outdated websites, and spotty organization. However, there is no better place to try your skills at events that you don’t get to do on your high school team but might help colleges notice you. Distance runners, consider the steeplechase. Jumpers, the triple jump. Hurdlers, the 400H. Throwers, the javelin and hammer. All-arounders, the heptathlon and decathlon.
This listing will be updated as soon as more dates and places are revealed.
|June ?||Michigan USATF Junior Olympics - date/site TBD|
|June ?||Michigan AAU Junior Olympics - date/site TBD|
Caribbean Scholastic Invite – Havana, Cuba
This is an invitational, not an official “representing your country/Team USA” meet (those are only authorized by USA Track & Field). This is organized by the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation, which will be selecting 28 elite athletes from around the nation to race in Cuba against some decent Caribbean talent. If you’re interested in being considered, you want to start getting your passport now.
|June 13||Midwest Meet of Champions – Granville, OH – SENIORS ONLY –
A panel of Michigan high School coaches tries to assemble the very best senior team possible to compete against Ohio and Indiana. They usually pick three per event (plus full relay teams). The meet has a long and fairly impressive history since the 1970s, and has produced a number of top Michigan performances , including these state records (m400-46.55, m4x1-41.17, w100 11.37, wDiscus 166-5), plus many other amazing marks (m800-1:49.27, m1600-4:07.19, m3200-8:57.16, w800-2:07.45, w1600-4:43.05, w100H-13.76, wHJ 5-10, wSP 48-4.5). If you think you might be a worthy contender, you can contact the Michigan team manager, Brian Salyers of Milford HS (firstname.lastname@example.org).
|adidas Dream Mile, Diamond League, New York, New York
Don’t call them, they’ll call you. A gathering of the nation’s elite high school milers. It’s where Grant Fisher ran his breakthrough 4:02.02 state record. We’ve had several other Michiganders run there as well, including Erin Finn, the Meier twins and Audrey Belf.
|June 13||Midwest Distance Gala – Lisle, Illinois
After being cancelled in 2014, this meet is back on the schedule. Distance only, running under the lights, music playing. In the years 2007-2013, some great times were produced here, topped by a 4:01.09 mile. A good pick for athletes who won’t be competing at the Midwest Meet of Champions.
|June 19-21||New Balance Nationals – Greensboro, North Carolina
THE high school national championships. This is where our state records keep getting demolished. If you’re good enough to get in, it really is a MUST. Very well-organized!
|June 20||Brooks PR Invitational - Seattle
A newcomer to the outdoor calendar. Invitation only. Their first outdoor meet featured some great performances, including Grant Fisher's 8:51.28 two mile win.
|June 25-28||USA Junior Championships – site TBD
Prestigious meet that includes top high school talent and college freshmen, competing to represent the United States at the Pan-American Junior Championships in Edmonton, Canada. Must be a USATF member.
|June 30-July 5||World Youth Track & Field Trials, Lisle, Illinois
The qualifying meet if you want a chance to represent the United States at the prestigious World Youth Championships in Columbia. Must be a USATF member.
|July ?||USATF Junior Olympics Region 5 Qualifier – date/site TBD|
|July ?||AAU Junior Olympics Regional Qualifier – date/site TBD|
|July 15-19||IAAF World Youth Championships – Cali, Columbia
USA Track & Field athletes ages 16 and 17 through December 31, 2015 (born in 1998 or 1999) will be considered for the team based on performance at the World Youth Track & Field Trials to be held June 30 – July 5 in Lisle, IL. At this meet you would be racing the finest talent in the world. Last time we had two Michiganders compete: Grant Fisher and Ersula Farrow.
|July 27-Aug. 2||USATF Junior Olympics – Jacksonville, Florida
Must qualify at USATF state and regional meets.
|July 29- Aug. 8||AAU Junior Olympics – Hampton Roads, Virginia
Must qualify at AAU state and regional meets.
July 31-Aug 2
|Pan-American Junior Championships – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
This very prestigious meet has had at least one Michigan high school winner – Omar Kaddurah won the 1500 here in 2011. To represent the U.S. here, you have to place well at the USA Junior Championships, competing against a field of high schoolers and college freshmen. Open to athletes age 16 to 19 as of December 31, 2015.