Bull Run In­vi­ta­tional won’t be held this fall

Here­ford coach Roe­mer says meet’s growth meant it took up too much time; de­ci­sion will be re­con­sid­ered later

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Jeff Sei­del

The Bull Run In­vi­ta­tional has been one of Mary­land’s most pop­u­lar an­nual cross coun­try meets, but the Here­ford-hosted event will not take place this fall, school of­fi­cials re­cently con­firmed.

Bulls cross coun­try coach John Roe­mer IV, co-di­rec­tor of the meet with school ath­letic di­rec­tor Mike Kal­isz, said op­er­at­ing the event has re­quired more time and ef­fort in re­cent years be­cause of its growth.

Roe­mer said the Bull Run In­vi­ta­tional fea­tured 12 races last year, plus a re­union run in the mid­dle of the day, with about 3,000 run­ners over­all. The meet-re­lated work oc­ca­sion­ally took him away from his job as Here­ford coach.

“It’s just not fair to the kids be­cause I have 120 run­ners, and the num­bers are so big,” he said. “It’s just not fair to spend about a month at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son pre­par­ing for and run­ning the Bull Run.”

The event had grown to in­clude run­ners from Penn­syl­va­nia, Delaware, New Jersey, Wash­ing­ton and even Ken­tucky, but Roe­mer said he and Kal­isz de­cided at the end of last year to stop. They will look at restart­ing the event later, but for this year, it won’t hap­pen.

“Peo­ple have ac­tu­ally been re­ally, re­ally sur­prised,” Roe­mer said. “They re­ally wish it wasn’t tak­ing a break. But they all seem to uni­ver­sally un­der­stand. I had no idea how sig­nif­i­cant it was to peo­ple’s run­ning.”

The Mary­land Pub­lic Sec­ondary Schools Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion’s state cham­pi­onships have been held at Here­ford for many years. It’s a chal­leng­ing course to run and has been rated among the best in the na­tion over the years.

Cen­tury cross coun­try coach Chris Mead said he en­joyed the event for what it taught his run­ners.

“The ab­sence of Bull Run this year is go­ing to be a sig­nif­i­cant one,” Mead said. “A big part of run­ning that course well is ex­pe­ri­ence. Those who have never seen the course won’t be af­forded the op­por­tu­nity to get a ‘prac­tice race’ on it be­fore toe­ing the line on the big stage.”

Mead is cu­ri­ous to see how not get­ting a chance to run on the state cham­pi­onship course af­fects teams in this year’s ti­tle races.

“Young teams, no mat­ter how good, are at a sig­nif­i­cant dis­ad­van­tage to more ex­pe­ri­enced teams that can tac­ti­cally run the course and fin­ish strong,” Mead said. “It will be in­ter­est­ing to see how things pan out at [the] states with so many hav­ing never seen or raced on ar­guably the tough­est course in Mary­land.”

Lib­erty coach Dan Jones said he was “heart­bro­ken” over the de­ci­sion to can­cel the Bull Run In­vi­ta­tional.

“Best course in the state, and the big­gest and best meet in the state,” he said. “I, per­son­ally, and my team … will miss hav­ing that great meet.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.