With the 2017 State Track and Field meet looming, a new rule will come into play as we prepare this week. According to the State Track Information published on the KHSAA website (LINK), after the initial entries are published, any scratches declared by coaches before midnight on Tuesday, May 16 will result in the next performance rolling into the field of 24. The official wording of the rule is:
"NEW TO 2017, if an individual has been scratched from any event prior to midnight on Tuesday, May 16th , 2017, the next at-large qualifier will be rolled up to complete the full field of 24 in each event. Any scratches after Tuesday will result in a scratched competitor"
This could have some significant implications on those who are competing at the state meet, but even more to the seeding and lane assignments. Those athletes that may have competed at region to gain points for their team, may choose not to compete in those events at state. This would open the door for another athlete to have a chance.
As a former coach, there was a year in which I had an athlete who ran in the 800, 1600, and 3200 at region to help our team chase a region title. He qualified for those events at state. We chose not to run one of those events in order to focus on the other two. Unfortunately, this rule was not in place at that time and it did not open a space for another athlete.
The committee that has put this rule in place should be commended for their consideration of ALL athletes!