The dual meet was the cornerstone of an athlete’s development for years in track & field. For a variety of reasons, the dual meet has all but disappeared in track and field at all levels. I have heard all the arguments for abandoning dual meets and I didn’t then or now ever agree with them.
At the collegiate level the most prevalent argument is limited scholarships. What about getting walk-on’s? What about running less events instead of a full slate of events. Dual meets if used properly are keys to develop athletes, especially at the high school level. That gangly ninth or tenth grader given the opportunity to compete often turns into a smooth coordinated athlete as a senior. Without the opportunity to compete in dual meets how would you know and what would keep them motivated? At the collegiate level the opportunity to run multiple events or to compete in other events than your specialty is invaluable.
Last but not least dual meets are inexpensive to run. If scheduled properly travel is minimal, overnight stays are not necessary. It is very basic; the dual meet was the cornerstone of American success in track & field for many years. Not nostalgia but reality. Given the current reality the dual meet can be the salvation of the sport.
We will devote a future GAINcast to this topic with an emphasis on the developmental aspects of the dual meet. Your ideas and feedback is always appreciated.