Sept. 14, 2020: “Unioto, Chillicothe earn titles”

by Tom Wilson of the Chillicothe Gazette

Why would anyone post a column about a cross country race. I understand Tom writing the article, and he did a great job, but what caused me to decide to comment on it?

Anyone familiar with me and my 215 pound body might think I played some high school sport like football, but that’s not the case. When I was in high school I had a 149 pound body and ran cross country and track (the half mile and mile). That’s probably why the article caught my eye.

So when I read the article and saw that the Unioto HS team had finished first in a nine team field I couldn’t help but look for more details. What were their times and how did they place. What I discovered may have been a historic first, never accomplished before in the history of the sport. If not quite that historic, it can amazingly close!

What was amazing was Unioto’s team score. It was 16. You have to understand the method for scoring a cross country race to understand what an accomplishment this was. A team score is determine by the place its first five runners finish. So first place counts as ‘1″ and second place counts as “2” and twenty-first counts as “21”. In a nine team event you would usually have at least 45 runners, five from each team. It wasn’t uncommon that a team would enter more than 5 runners in such a big event and I expect that was true in this case. So the event could easily have had fifty to seventy-five runners, yet Unioto’s score was 16!

So how do you get a score of 16? You have runners finish first, second, third, fourth and sixth. So a perfect score for a team would be 15 with a team having the first five finishers. Unioto’s team finished with just one more point than perfect in a nine team event? What an exceptional accomplishment.

While I commend all the runners who took place, Unioto’s accomplishment was so outstanding I thought it was worth taking the time to comment on.

Congratulations on a historic performance!

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