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 NYSPHSAA State Meet 2005 - Predictions


Please remember: the predicted scores below only indicate a possible outcome based upon individual runner speed ratings ... they are only one indication of team strength. I used the top seven runners from each team as best as I was aware of ... one major problem with projections is knowing who will or will not be running on some teams (it can make a big difference) ... Predicted Scores were posted on November 7, 2005 ... Actual scores will be posted side-by-side after the meet  ... ACTUAL Scores posted November 13, 2005


[Girls Predictions]


 Boys Class AA -  Fayetteville-Manlius over Saratoga (but not by much)

                                 Predict                          Actual
      School               Sect   Score        School              Score
      ===============      ====   =====        ==================  =====
  1   Fayetteville-Manlius (03)      38        Saratoga               39
  2   Saratoga             (02)      49        Fayetteville-Manlius   43
  3   Warwick Valley       (09)      85        Warwick Valley         70
  4   Smithtown            (11)     139        Smithtown             143
  5   Penfield             (05)     148        Penfield              148
  6   Syosset              (08)     156        Arlington             162
  7   Ithaca               (04)     161        Syosset               166
  8   Arlington            (01)     167        Ithaca                168
  9   Williamsville North  (06)     188        Williamsville North   200


Post-Race Comments ... Saratoga won with a super team effort - four of their five team scorers ran seasonal best ratings (Steve Murdock did not have his best rating, but it didn't matter because he was the #1 team scorer in the entire race) ... Saratoga took full advantage of their racing experience on the Queensbury course ... and more importantly, Saratoga has been improving steadily since mid-season to reach this point of being one of the top teams in the nation (a team capable of challenging for the national championship if they maintain this current level).

Fayetteville-Manlius ran decently ... Kimple, Gruenewald and Heron ran very solid races ... McCann and Fitzgibbons ran similar to recent race results ... Even if McCann ran at the same rating-level as his Manhattan Invite race, FM would have lost by one point ... That says a lot about the performance of Saratoga.

Warwick Valley posted some real good performances to finish third in both the Class AA race and merged results (merged results - Saratoga-46, FM-51, Warwick-100).

The Federation race (Nov 19, 2005) will be an interesting test for both Saratoga and Fayetteville-Manlius.

Brian Rhodes-Devey (Guilderland) out-kicked Steve Murdock (Saratoga) to win in final 10 meters of the race ... Murdock had a decent lead, but Rhodes-Devey saw Murdock looking back (which he rarely does), and Rhodes-Devey went all-out to catch him (and just did) ... the course announcer reported the one-mile time as 4:30


Pre-Race Analysis ... Fayetteville-Manlius (FM) is the #1 ranked team in the nation ... Saratoga is currently ranked 12th in the nation and Warwick is ranked 21st ... In the Northeast NTN rankings, FM (#1), Saratoga (#4), and Warwick (#6) - other NTN ranked NY teams include Liverpool (#5) and Shenendehowa (#10), but they did not qualify to compete in the NY State Class Championships (although both will likely compete in the NY Federation Championships the following week).

This is the first race of day ... Race time is an early 8:45am ... What a way to start ... Throughout these predictions (all classes), I will mention computer simulated races ... As a brief explanation of computer simulated races, I use the seasonal speed ratings for every runner in a race and derive a profile (a range distribution that the runner has been running with emphasis on recent races) ... to simulate a race, the computer randomly selects any point on each runner's profile range (using a random number generator) and compiles the results for that race ... since there are many possible random outcomes, the simulation runs hundreds of thousands of random races and saves the results ... when complete, the total simulation shows the percentage of races won by any team and an average outcome with team scores ... the overall simulation includes individual race results where any team has great performances, average performances and poor performances ... In general, the average team scores are close to scores predicted using the overall speed ratings from the individual rankings - but simulations give a sense of variability and possibilities.

There are different types of variability ... for example, FM has shown three different front-runners this season ... in addition, the FM runner profiles show some ups and downs (#5 runner Luke Fitzgibbons has been the most consistent runner thus far) ... The variability may be due to the FM training cycle, but that's an interpretation based on judgment, and it is different than a plain speed rating ... A speed rating is just a number describing how fast somebody ran compared to other runners (past tense) - it does not tell you how fast somebody will run the future (that requires an interpretation).

Saratoga has shown good overall team improvement from early season to current day ... The question I examined most closely was "Running at their current form, how well does Saratoga compare to FM??" ... Combining that scenario with FM's variability, Saratoga wins a small percentage of race simulations - and yes, it is skewed in Saratoga's favor, but it does show that Saratoga has a statistical change of winning (Saratoga must run extremely well and FM must not) ... not surprising, the performance of the number #4 and #5 runners is really important.

Warwick Valley is a very good team ... but Warwick needs career-days from all five scorers to have a chance against FM and Saratoga.

The Bottom-Line: ... FM is the definite favorite - if FM runs well team-wise, they could win by a bit more than the predicted score above.

Individual Race ... A quality race for a class meet ... Steve Murdock (Saratoga) has run remarkably well in recent races and is the race favorite ... But this race features some other outstanding runners that include Brian Rhodes-Devey (Guilderland), Ben White (Liverpool), Matt Shaffer (Bethlehem), Dan McManamon (Shenendehowa), Greg Kelsey (Saratoga) and the FM guys (Tommy Gruenewald, Owen Kimple, John Heron and Andrew McCann).



 Boys Class A  -  Queensbury handily

                                 Predict                          Actual
      School               Sect   Score        School              Score
      ===============      ====   =====        ==================  =====
  1   Queensbury           (02)      26        Queensbury             34
  2   Brighton             (05)      91        Somers                 69
  3   Somers               (01)      92        Brighton               80
  4   Lynbrook             (08)     107        Starpoint             120
  5   Starpoint            (06)     141        Cornwall              144
  6   Cornwall             (09)     147        Lynbrook              158
  7   Sayville             (11)     155        Elmira Southside      159
  8   Whitesboro           (03)     193        Sayville              168
  9   Elimra Southside     (04)     204        Whitesboro            197
  10  Massena              (10)     323

Post-Race Comments ... Queensbury won handily as expected ... Somers ran well team-wise to finish second ... The anticipated individual match-up between Alex Bean (Somers) and Charles White (Garden City) was as close as expected ... White closed strongly on the leading Bean over the final 400 meters to win.

Pre-Race Analysis ... Queensbury is the overwhelming favorite in the most lop-sided boy's race of the day (not to mention Queensbury is running on their home course) ... The runner-up spot looks like a toss-up between Brighton and Somers, with Lynbrook not far behind.

Individual Race ... Looks like an even-up race between two excellent runners ... Charles White (Garden City) and Alex Bean (Somers) have been at the top of the Class A rankings all year ... improving Zach Rivers (Victor) may get close to the top two ... Section 2 runners Joel Frost-Tift (Averill Park) and Steve Soprano (and other Queensbury runners) have experience over the course (and fast times)



 Boys Class B  -  Westhill & Pearl River

                                 Predict                          Actual
      School               Sect   Score        School              Score
      ===============      ====   =====        ==================  =====
  1   Westhill             (03)      72        Pearl River            67
  2   Pearl River          (01)      79        Westhill               79
  3   Honeoye Falls-Lima   (05)      99        Shoreham Wading Riv    94
  4   East Aurora          (06)     123        Honeoye Falls-Lima     96
  5   Shoreham Wading Riv  (11)     135        Onteroa               109
  6   Onteora              (09)     140        East Aurora           137
  7   Maine-Endwell        (04)     146        Maine Endwell         141
  8   Saranac Lake         (07)     213        Canton                231
  9   Canton               (10)     238        Saranac Lake          248
  10  Ichabod Crane        (02)     238        Manhasset             254
  11  Manhasset            (08)     261        Ichabod Crane         273

Post-Race Comments ... Pearl River ran well (including the #4 and #5 runners) to win ... Westhill had a 1:09 gap between their #3 and #4 runners, and that was too much to overcome ... Shoreham Wading River ran well to finish 3rd.

Noel Bateman (Aquinas, 15:45) beat Dan Busby (New Paltz, 15:52.9) for the individual title.


Pre-Race Analysis ... Westhill is the slight favorite - they win the majority of computer simulations ... BUT this race is very sensitive to the performance of the #4 and #5 runners because there are many runners (from all teams) in that performance range ... Pearl River wins a decent number of simulations when getting top performances from their #4 and #5 runners ... Westhill's big advantage is their top three runners who figure to place high.

Individual Race ... Noel Bateman (Aquinas) and Dan Busby (New Paltz) are two of the best runners in the State,  and this race looks like a very close match-up between them ... Tim Hartnett (Westhill), Cory Reed (James O'Neill) and Matt Kasak (Byram Hills) could have a good race for the third spot.



 Boys Class C  -  Fonda-Fultonville

                                 Predict                          Actual
      School               Sect   Score        School              Score
      ===============      ====   =====        ==================  =====
  1   Fonda Fultonville    (02)      59        Fonda-Fultonville      55
  2   Canastota            (03)      72        Canastota              67
  3   Pawling              (01)      81        Pawling                77
  4   Byron-Bergen         (05)      83        Byron Bergen          100
  5   Newark Valley        (04)     117        Sullivan West         109
  6   Sullivan West        (09)     131        Newark Valley         119
  7   Southwestern         (06)     142        Southwestern          192
  8   Wheatley             (08)     229        Gouverneur            212
  9   Gouverneur           (10)     237        Wheatley              214
  10  Babylon              (11)     290        Babylon               272

Post-Race Comments ... This race went reasonably close to prediction ... Fonda-Fultonville's top three scorers ran strongly ... Canastota's pack (#2 - #5) finished before Fonda's #4, but it wasn't enough for Canastota.

Dan Prahl (Potsdam, 15:42) out-finished defending championship Corey Robinson (Greece Odyssey, 15:48) for the individual title.


Pre-Race Analysis ... This race has some inconsistent performances amongst the top teams ... Fonda wins the majority of simulations and they have raced well over the Queensbury course, so they are the clear favorite to win ... Canastota continues to improve - they ran a tight four-pack (runners #2 - #5) to beat Tully at sectionals - with top performances, Canastota is within striking distance to win ... Pawling has not been running as well in late season compared to early season - but with top performances, Pawling is also capable of winning ... Byron-Bergen is not far behind.

Individual Race ... The Class C race features a good dual match-up between defending State champion Corey Robinson (Greece Odyssey) and Dan Prahl (Potsdam).



 Boys Class D  -  Ticonderoga & Cooperstown - TOO Close to Call

                                 Predict                          Actual
      School               Sect   Score        School              Score
      ===============      ====   =====        ==================  =====
  1   Ticonderoga          (07)      61        Cooperstown            47
  2   Cooperstown          (03)      61        Ticonderoga            79
  3   Lake George          (02)      99        Oakfield-Alabama       96
  4   Delhi                (04)     114        Delhi                  97
  5   Oakfield-Alabama     (05)     114        Port Jefferson        112
  6   Port Jefferson       (11)     128        Lake George           115
  7   Tupper Lake          (10)     141        Tupper Lake           153
  8   Franklinville        (06)     189        Franklinville         229
  9   Millbrook            (09)     224        Keio Academy          242
  10  Keio                 (01)     300        Millbrook             296

Post-Race Comments ... Another excellent overall team performance by Cooperstown to win ... The 1:24 gap between Ticonderoga's #3 and #4 runners was too much to overcome.

Christian Thompson (Candor, 15:45) finished strongly to retain his State individual title over Joshua Edmonds (Cooperstown, 15:48).

Pre-Race Analysis ... This race is a true pick-em ... And it's an interesting race from a computer simulation point-of-view because it is VERY sensitive to placement of runners from other teams ... Ticonderoga has three runners that figure to place in the top four finishers of all team runners, then there is big gap back to their next two scorers ... Cooperstown could fill that gap making this a tight race ... it not only depends on the placement of the Ticonderoga and Cooperstown runners, but where runners from other teams finish in relation to them (and that varies significantly in computer simulations).

Individual Race ... Another excellent individual race ... This appears to be a three-way battle between defending State champion Christian Thompson (Candor), Joshua Edmonds (Cooperstown) and Jesse Berube (Ticonderoga) ... Lee Berube (Ticonderoga) is also close ... The individual race obviously has some implications in the team scoring.




 Girls Class AA  -  Saratoga & Hilton - TOO Close to Call

                                 Predict                          Actual
      School               Sect   Score        School              Score
      ===============      ====   =====        ==================  =====
  1   Saratoga             (02)      47        Saratoga               46
  2   Hilton               (05)      47        Hilton                 47
  3   Suffern              (01)      78        Warwick                87
  4   Warwick              (09)     106        Suffern                92
  5   Fayetteville-Manlius (03)     109        Ward Melville         117
  6   Ward Melville        (11)     121        Fayetteville-Manlius  132
  7   Clarence             (06)     200        Clarence              187
  8   East Meadow          (08)     203        East Meadow           203
  9   Horseheads           (04)     236        Horseheads            239

Post-Race Comments ... OK - I missed the Saratoga - Hilton score by one point ... But the score came about differently than expected - Caroline Schultz (Hilton) and Allison Sawyer (Hilton) ran their best races ever to finish 7th and 8th overall ... Hilton's normal top runner (Amanda Griggs, hampered by a sore shin) finished 11th overall - Grigg's time was roughly 30 to 36 seconds slower than she has been running ... Hilton's other two scorers (Shelby Herman and Ashley Jones) both ran seasonal best ratings ... So overall, Hilton ran very well.

Saratoga came through with their best team performance of the year ... Hannah Davidson and Lindsey Ferguson equaled or exceeded their best ratings of the year to finish 2nd and 3rd ... 8th-grader Cassie Goutos continues to improve and again ran her best rating ever ... Kaitlin O'Sullivan ran her best race of the year and Ashley Campbell continued to run well.

To sum it up - Two of the best teams in nation competed head-to-head and both teams performed well ... Hilton will not be competing at Federations (it will give Amanda Griggs a chance to recuperate before NTN).

Warwick (all seven runners) ran very well to finish third.

Aislinn Ryan (Warwick) won the individual title handily (although she did glance back in the stretch-run to see how close the competition was getting ... and they (Davidson and Ferguson) were not that far behind).


Pre-Race Analysis ... At this point in time, the match-up between Hilton and Saratoga is too close to call ... Before sectionals, I had Hilton slightly in front of Saratoga, but Saratoga ran very well at sectionals (on the Queensbury course), and now the race is a pick-em ... EVERY runner counts ... Based on seasonal performances, Hilton wins a higher percentage of computer simulated races, but Saratoga is competing in their home section with something to prove ... This is a great match-up between two of the best teams in the nation ... It can go either way.

Suffern is an outstanding team ... but #3 runner (Christy Goldman) sat out sectionals for the third straight week due to an ankle injury ... If Goldman can not run (or has an off-race), then the Suffern score above may be too high.

Individual Race ... Aislinn Ryan (Warwick) is the defending national Footlocker Champion ... she is undefeated this season - BUT Aislinn has not been running at (or near) top form in recent races - perhaps she is just taking easy ... IF NOT - Lindsey Ferguson (Saratoga), Hannah Davidson (Saratoga) or Amanda Griggs (Hilton) could make this an interesting individual race (with implications in the team race) ... Shelby Greany (Suffern) is also close and Brittany Shelby (Bellport) is capable of popping a huge race.



 Girls Class A  -  Holy Names solid favorite

                                 Predict                          Actual
      School               Sect   Score        School              Score
      ===============      ====   =====        ==================  =====
  1   Holy Names           (02)      53        Holy Names             51
  2   Cornwall             (09)      91        Sayville               95
  3   Horace Greeley       (01)      96        Cornwall              100
  4   Mepham               (08)      99        Pittsford Mendon      105
  5   Pittsford Mend       (05)     112        Mepham                106
  6   Amherst              (06)     124        Horace Greeley        114
  7   Sayville             (11)     124        Amherst               131
  8   Elmira Southside     (04)     187        Elmira Southside      173
  9   Mexico               (03)     206        Mexico                206
  10  Massena              (10)     330       

Post-Race Comments ... Holy Names ran close to form and won as expected ... Sayville ran well to finish 2nd (led by race winner Kristy Longman)

Pre-Race Analysis ... Holy Names is the solid favorite despite losing Jillian King (she re-transferred to her previous school, Scotia-Glenville) ... Cornwall, Horace Greeley and Mepham seem evenly matched for the runner-up spot.

Individual Race ... Looks like a very close race with several possible winners including Maegan Krifchin (JFK Bellmore), Kristy Longman (Sayville), Caroline King (Scotia-Glenville), Meagan Gregory (Burnt Hills), Lynne Mundy (Cornwall) and Mary Alice Howard (Somers).



 Girls Class B  -  Honeoye Falls-Lima  or  East Aurora ??

                                 Predict                          Actual
      School               Sect   Score        School              Score
      ===============      ====   =====        ==================  =====
  1   Honeoye Falls-Lima   (05)      64        East Aurora            53
  2   East Aurora          (06)      65        Honeoye Falls-Lima     63
  3   Pearl River          (01)      84        Shoreham Wading Riv    91
  4   Shoreham Wading Riv  (11)     122        Pearl River            94
  5   Saranac Lake         (07)     144        Saranac Lake          141
  6   Broadalbin-Perth     (02)     146        Broadalbin Perth      174
  7   Maine-Endwell        (04)     158        New Hartford          199
  8   New Hartford         (03)     183        Maine Endwell         199
  9   New Paltz            (09)     226        New Paltz             223
  10  Franklin Acad        (10)     239        Franklin Academy      230
  11  Manhasset            (08)     261        Manhasset             251

Post-Race Comments ... East Aurora (led by top runner Sarah Mosser) won impressively - all five scorers ran extremely well in great team effort ... Honeoye Falls-Lima actually performed quite well, but couldn't overcome East Aurora's team performance.

Liz Deir (Honeoye Falls-Lima) won the individual title handily as expected.

Pre-Race Analysis ... Honeoye Falls-Lima (HFL) is the defending State Class B champion - they have been State champions in every year since 1998 ... At last year's Class B race, East Aurora lost to HFL by only one point ... The race this year looks just as close .... However, the normal top runner for East Aurora (Sarah Mosser) finished as their #7 runner at sectionals (I do not know why, but a repeat would certainly compromise their hope of winning) ... the score above assumes she runs a normal race ... The computer simulations give a slight advantage to East Aurora when based primarily on the sectional championship performances of their top five at sectionals.

Pearl River is not that far back ... top performances by their 3rd through 5th runners give them a real chance of winning because both Honeoye Falls-Lima and East Aurora have significant variability in those positions.

Individual Race ... Liz Deir (Honeoye Falls) is a solid favorite to win the individual title (which obviously helps HFL's team chances) ... Reilly Kiernan (Pelham), Brianna Welch (North Shore), Samantha Stadt (Pearl River) and Theresa Rush (Valley Stream North) could have a good race for the runner-up spot.



 Girls Class C  -  Bronxville

                                 Predict                          Actual
      School               Sect   Score        School              Score
      ===============      ====   =====        ==================  =====
  1   Bronxville           (01)      23        Bronxville             29
  2   Sauquoit Valley      (03)      60        Sauquoit Valley        61
  3   Sullivan West        (09)     118        Sullivan West          99
  4   Akron                (06)     127        Akron                 125
  5   Voorheesville        (02)     131        Newark Valley         149
  6   Newark Valley        (04)     139        Voorheesville         167
  7   Attica               (05)     140        Attica                198
  8   Ausable Valley       (07)     218        Friends Academy       219
  9   Potsdam              (10)     242        Hampton Bays          225
  10  Hampton Bays         (11)     265        Potsdam               235
                                               Ausable Valley        240

Post-Race Comments ... Overall, the team race went pretty much as expected ... Bronxville dominated the team race and Sauquoit Valley was second.

Ellen Muster (Marion) and Erin Cawley (Newark Valley) popped season best performances to finish 1st and 2nd individually.

Pre-Race Analysis ... Bronxville is the overwhelming favorite to repeat as Class C champion ... they could place all five scorers in the top ten team finishers ... Sauquoit Valley looks like the solid choice to finish second.

Individual Race ... Amanda Hudson (Bronxville) has been running well recently and may be the favorite to win the individual title ... team-mates Virginia Conner and Tory Flannery are also contenders ... The defending individual Class C champion is Samantha Stedman (Sauquoit Valley) - and she looked very strong in winning the Section 3 title at South Jefferson.



 Girls Class D  -  Thomas A. Edison a slight favorite

                                 Predict                          Actual
      School               Sect   Score        School              Score
      ===============      ====   =====        ==================  =====
  1   Thomas A. Edison     (04)      56        Thomas A. Edison       55
  2   Greenwich            (02)      61        Beaver River           68
  3   Beaver River         (03)      72        Greenwich              96
  4   Seton Catholic       (07)     115        Seton Catholic        100
  5   Randolph             (06)     157        Randolph              132
  6   Oakfield-Alabama     (05)     173        Oakfield-Alabama      147
  7   Friends Academy      (08)     190        Millbrook             174
  8   Millbrook            (09)     191        Norwood-Norfolk       188
  9   Norwood-Norfolk      (10)     193        Haldane               203
  10  Haldane              (01)     239        Shelter Island        279
  11  Shelter Island       (11)     311

Post-Race Comments ... Thomas A. Edison and Beaver River ran close to form to finish 1st and 2nd team-wise.

Mary Kate Champagne (Seton Catholic) out-legged Emily Fung (Greenwich) for the individual title with Jessica Bradley (Pavilion) 3rd.

Pre-Race Analysis ... The top-rated teams in the Class D race have a fair number of inconsistencies, and that gives three teams a statistical chance of winning ... Overall, Thomas A. Edison is the favorite - Edison's early season leader (Caitlin Palmer) has not been running as fast recently, but some other runners have stepped-up to help the team effort ... Greenwich has the ability to step-up and win the race ... Beaver River is the defending Class D champion - and they still have a chance to win (even though last year's top runner decided not to run XC this season).

Individual Race ... This could be a really good race between Jessica Bradley (Pavilion), Emily Fung (Greenwich), Mary Kate Champagne (Seton Catholic), Ashley Horton (Candor) and Kerrin Epstein (Moravia) ... Jessica Bradley's only lose of the season was to Liz Deir (Honeoye Falls-Lima, the top-rated Class B runner), so I would probably make her the favorite.