Omar Tall went from running an 18:04 last year at sectional to running a 16:46 at sectionals. He helped Kenwood to a surprise class 2A state appearance. Then, he ran a 15:56 downstate. How can you not consider Tall to be an MVP?
I was thinking of naming a CPS MVP for the CPS. But something has been telling me to hold off on that. See, if I did a poll, the winner will probably come down to who ran the fastest. So, Oscar Medina of Lakeview of Abe Haji of Mather would probably win the award. In other words the results would probably be boring and predictable.
Plus, for the fans or me to pick a winner as the MVP, almost implies that everyone else is a loser. Or it denigrates the other people to lower status. And to me, I really don't like viewing sport in the terms of losers and winners or valuable and invaluable. Instead I like to judge people as did someone work hard or not work hard to become competitively successful.
Let's look at Kenwood as an example. This is team, which at the start of the season I had little expectations. I knew they had senior distance stars Omar Tall and Joseph Laseter. But after that, I didn't know what they could do. I had them ranked #6 in my pre-season rankings. But after some hard work, running lot's of miles. This team put it together by sectionals. Laseter and Tall did their job by running 16:36 and 16:46 at sectionals. Then right behind them was senior Terrell James who ran a 17:06. TO round out their top 5 were juniors Yusef Hood (17:50) and Deon Morisette (18:15). The Kenwood team effort pushed into the 5th and final spot at sectionals to give Kenwood a surprising state finish.
With that kind of effort and that kind of result, how can you not give kudos to everyone on the Kenwood team.
That is why I am probably not going to give an MVP award out this year in cross country. There are so many runners this year at all teams that are so valuable for their team.
Look at Jones. Where would their team be without Kirby Lawson. He went from running an 18:07 last year at sectionals to a 16:38.
Or Eric Shan of Whitney Young, David Timlin of Lane, Marcelo Burbano of Lane, Tim Warren of Jones, and a whole lot more runners. You can make an argument that all of those runners made vast improvement from last year and thus are every much as valuable as anyone else.