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LETTER: The good, bad of SDHSAA track

To the Editor:

The great thing about a track meet is everything is settled on the track or in the field. If you run the fastest time, you win. If you jump the furthest, you win. Everything comes back to having the best time, distance or most points for overall team awards ... everything, that is, except the MVP award.

One would think the MVP award would go to the athlete who is the most valuable player. Now it gets down to "most valuable to whom," yourself or your team. MVP could be figured a number of ways: Did the athlete perform better than predicted when he or she came into the state track meet? Did they score the most points in the running or field events? Or did they provide the largest percentage of points to their team's totals?

Take, for example, the boys Class B MVP. I'll just provide the stats and you see if you agree with who should get MVP. Athlete 1 was predicted (or ranked) to bring in 20 points to his team before the meet started, brought in a total of 16 points and had 28 percent of his team's points.

Athlete 2 was predicted to bring his team 18 points and did get a total of 18 points, and had over 56 percent of his team's total points. Which one was the MVP -- to his team or as an individual?

I know this sounds like sour grapes, but when you know the numbers at the end of the meet, show up with your child who has worked so hard all year and then watch as the announcer calls another athlete's name, it is heartbreaking. What do you say to him? It's not like you can protest the MVP award like you can a running or field event. But if I don't say anything, no one would even notice and changes will never be made to the process. I can't help my son, and he may never have the chance again to be state MVP. But maybe I can prevent this from happening to someone else.