What is all of this?
We have decided to put together a 64-person tournament and get it down to just one athlete (girl or boy) who will be dubbed the Arizona track and field athlete of the decade.
We will select 32 boys and 32 girls and rank them 1-32, place them in a bracket of head-to-head match ups where your poll votes will determine who advances. Early-round voting will last 3 days. Later rounds will have longer voting time spans.
Athletes included are from 2010 to 2019. This is based off of track and field times without the regard to the cross country accomplishments some of these distance athletes have. We only used times and marks from these years to consider who made the cut. The parameters of who made our field of 64 were based on the following criteria:
- Do the times/marks of this athlete fall within the Division 1 track and field recruiting standards for his or her event. (This is the first threshold to get an athlete into consideration).
Why this threshold? Because we wanted a way to objectively weed out the many talented athletes we have had in Arizona over the past 10 years and this seemed like the fairest way to get to that decision.
Once an athlete meets the D1 standard above then he/she is sorted out by the following criteria:
- Does this athlete hold the overall Arizona state record in his/her event(s)?
- Number of State Championships won in track and field (per event)
- Number of Runner-up State Championships attained (per event)
- Was this athlete in the top 8 in his/her event for the decade? (If there was a tie in a mark/time in an event then we would go deeper with athletes, so we would have 8 distinct marks or times).
- Did this athlete make our top-8 list in more than 1 event?
Once we had all this info above then we scored the athletes based off this criteria and whittled it down to 32 boys and 32 girls.
How this works
On Sunday, May 23rd we will have our first round voting on the 32-girls. You will have 3 days to vote (from 12 AM May 23rd to 11:59 PM May 25th). You can vote on our AZ MileSplit page. We will also post the head-to-head voting on our social media pages as well. Make sure you spread the word to advance your favorites to the next round. After the girls' voting, then we will have the boys' voting for round 1 as well (May 26th, 12 AM to May 28th at 11:59 PM).
We honestly tried to make this a fun and fair activity for everyone. We understand that the standard we found for Division 1 athletes you may argue with, but we thought it seemed appropriate and so we went with it. We went back and forth on having a girls' #1 and boys' #1, but we decided just to have the best track and field athlete, period, which would be voted by our readers. We are fortunate to have many great coaches in Arizona, which leads to many great track and field athletes. Some of our former high school athletes have had tremendous college and/or professional careers, but these didn't at all get factored in when considering who would be in our top-64.
That's it. Stay on a look out for our first round on Sunday, May 26th!