Annapolis Striders All Comers Track Meets: A History
By Dan Masterson (updated by DeWitt Kneass)
The Annapolis Striders All Comers Track Meets were started in the early 2000s as a racing venue for newcomers and track veterans of all ages. The organizer of these meets, Dan Masterson, originally held a couple of track meets in the late 1990s that were not sanctioned by the Annapolis Striders. Subsequently, the Striders made these meets a part of their regular schedule to be held in the month of June typically on Wednesday evening. For younger runners, these meets were aimed at beginning runners from the Striders youth program and programs such as “Mighty Milers” and “Girls on the Run.” For older runners who were primarily road runners, these track meets provided an opportunity for them to test their abilities at distances ranging from 100 to 3,200 meters. Paula Carrigan ran the meets in 2015 and 2016, and DeWitt Kneass assumed directorship with the assistance of Dan Masterson in 2017.
The meets begin at 6:00 pm, usually on Wednesdays. This allows for many working runners to attend and avoids the warmest part of the day. Events are balanced with sprint events, middle distance, and distance races. Typically, the 3200 meter (approx. 2 miles) will start the meet followed by the 100, 400, 800, and 1600-meter races. The distance events are interspersed with the sprints to allow for rest for the multiple-event distance and middle-distance runners. The time between events is always ten minutes.
The intent is to have a high-quality event with professional-quality timing, so runners can actively assess their ability. Both men and women compete in the same events at the same time. If there is a need for heats, race officials will assess which runners will make up the best heats. Normally it works out that we have a lot of families that run these races which can create a need for kids heats. We have young athletes, normally over 5 years old, high school athletes, college athletes and road racers of all ages participating in our All Comers Track Meets. There is a low entry fee of $2 for Strider Members and $5 for non-Strider members payable in cash or check on the day of the meet. For that nominal fee, the athlete can enter as many events as they want. All entry forms will be filled out the day of the meet. Meet results will be posted on the Annapolis Striders website. Cold Watermelon will be served to all participants. Gatorade and water will also be provided.
We normally have a few athletes who run in every event for a difficult workout challenge. Many of the participants run 2 or 3 events. This is a great opportunity to introduce the very young to track. They have a great time and all volunteers and adult athletes really support them.
The All Comers Track Meets have added diversity and opportunity to the Annapolis Striders race schedule. They have introduced many runners to the intensity and challenge of track racing. All ages and talents are welcome. See you in June.
DeWitt Kneass – Race Director