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Pre-Season XC 2012

GIRLS Teams - National 2012

Bill Meylan (July 28, 2012)

Girls - Potential National Contenders

My pre-season projection for National Girls Teams is listed below ... I do this each pre-season for my own interest.

Purpose ... There is one purpose ... Get a general idea where the NY State teams rank overall ... I am primarily concerned about teams likely to compete in NXN (teams that have shown interest, have competed or may be expected to compete).

For the most part, the team listing below is an extension of the 2011 XC season into 2012 with a few modifications ... IF data for 5 runners on each team was not readily available (or guess-able), that team was probably NOT included ... This could exclude some good teams, but it does not matter because actual race results will identify those teams (and then I start including them and ignore the pre-season).

My first criteria for this pre-season list is to consider teams that competed in the NXN Regional races ... Performance in NXN (both Regional & National) plus State Meets is the major focus (plus a few other major meets) because I am considering "championship" performance.

Initially, I combined all potential teams in a single race scenario and began eliminating teams with the highest scores in an iterative process until I had about 30 teams remaining ... The scores are listed below along with the teams just behind the top 30 scoring teams.

Remember ... this list is just an informational starting point ... Real 2012 race results are what count.


 National GIRLS Teams

 Pre-Season Projection - Girls National Team Contenders - 2012

      School                 State   Score      Region
      --------------------   -----   -----      ------
  1   Fayetteville-Manlius    NY       90       New York
  2   Saratoga                NY      265       New York
  3   Tatnall                 DE      270       Southeast
  4   Fort Collins            CO      275       Southwest
  5   New Trier               IL      280       Midwest
  6   Grosse Pointe South     MI      290       Midwest
  7   Holy Names              NY      310       New York
  8   Carmel                  IN      330       Midwest
  9   Simi Valley             CA      335       California
  10  Monarch                 CO      340       Southwest
  11  Xavier College Prep     AZ      350       Southwest
  12  Saugus                  CA      360       California
  13  La Costa Canyon         CA      365       California
  14  Assumption              KY      390       Southeast
  15  Estero                  FL      410       Southeast
  16  Saline                  MI      430       Midwest
  17  Bozeman                 MT      440       Northwest
  18  Glacier Peak            WA      445       Northwest
  19  Southlake Carroll       TX      450       South
  20  Pennsbury               PA      460       Northeast
  21  Wheaton Warrenville S   IL      470       Midwest
  22  Davis                   UT      475       Southwest
  23  Vista Del Lago          CA      476       California
  24  Bronxville              NY      480       New York  ** assumes Mary Cain runs
  25  Dowling Catholic        IA      481       Heartland
  26  Neenah                  WI      482       Heartland
  27  Aptos                   CA      490       California
  28  San Clemente            CA      491       California
  29  Great Oak               CA      495       California
  30  Burnt Hills             NY      500       New York

    The next group is basically in order following the
     list above ... Many are very close and the order 
      could be shuffled somewhat:

      Coeur D' Alene          ID         Northwest
      South Eugene            OR         Northwest
      Lake Park               IL         Midwest
      St. Francis             CA         California
      San Lorenzo Valley      CA         California
      Greenwich               NY         New York
      Midlothian              VA         Southeast
      Dallas Highland Park    TX         South
      Ogden                   UT         Southwest
      Lee's Summit West       MO         Midwest
      Ventura                 CA         California
      Tesoro                  CA         California
      Voorhees                NJ         Northeast
      Palos Verdes            CA         California
      Green Hope              NC         Southeast
      North Shore             NY         New York
      Mountain Vista          CO         Southwest
      Redondo Union           CA         California
      Shakopee                MN         Heartland
      Garden City             NY         New York
      Unionville              PA         Northeast
      Prospect                IL         Midwest
      Los Alamos              NM         Southwest
      Lewisville Flower Mound TX         South
      Glenbard West           IL         Midwest
      Tahoma                  WA         Northwest
      Champlain Valley        VT         Northeast
      Lakeville South         MN         Heartland
      Rancho Buena Vista      CA         California
      Barrington              RI         Northeast
      Bellarmine Prep         WA         Northwest
      Camas                   WA         Northwest
         *** I may have missed a team or two going through
              my databases as quickly as I did

Where did the scores come from? ... In part, the scores are a composite of computer race simulations using 2011 seasonal speed ratings (sort of) ... a few speed rating ranges were altered based on track results ... I manually manipulated some numbers (because I had to) ... Speed ratings were scarce for some teams, so I used my imagination (but so what, this is pre-season).


Hopefully, the girl's list above identifies many of the top teams entering the 2012 XC season in a reasonable order ... As a point of reference for last year, my 2011 pre-season projections with corresponding results from NXN 2011 are shown in a table below... Of the 22 teams at NXN 2011, I did not identify 4 teams (they were unranked in the top 30 teams and not listed in the extra team list) ... The top 13 teams at NXN teams were all ranked in my pre-season top 30 teams, and 9 of the top 13 at NXN were ranked in my pre-season top 13.

General Comments for the Coming Season:

Fayetteville-Manlius ... FM returns 6 of their 7 NXN runners from last year's winning team ... More info about FM is available from my NY Pre-season Team preview, and detailed info on the top 7 runners entering the season is available from my Top NY Girls preview  ... Fayetteville-Manlius is the odds-on pre-season favorite to win NXN once again.

Saratoga ... Info on the Saratoga girls is available from my NY Pre-season Team preview and Top NY Girls preview ... Saratoga gets my "benefit-of-the-doubt" for a #2 ranking because of their success at NXN ... Three of their top four runners return from last year's team that finished 2nd at NXN and they were 98 points in front of the 3rd place Tatnall ... As a quick remainder of success at NXN over the years, here are the Saratoga girl's finishes at Portland Meadows:

. NXN 2011 - 2nd
. NXN 2010 - 2nd
. NXN 2009 - 2nd
. NXN 2008 - 4th
. NXN 2007 - 3rd
. NXN 2006 - not invited (likely top 5)
. NXN 2005 - 2nd
. NXN 2004 - 1st

 ..... I have a bias for teams with proven ability in the past ... 13 teams in this year's pre-season top 30 competed at NXN Nationals last year, and the only Northeast team included in the top 30 (Pennsbury) did not compete at the NXN regional last year (where they might have been favored, and that could happen again).

Tatnall DE, Fort Collins CO, New Trier IL and Saratoga ... These teams are effectively even-up by the raw numbers.

Grosse Pointe South Michigan ... I typically exclude teams not eligible for NXN, but Michigan has some really good runners, so I included Grosse Pointe South and Saline for reference ... Grosse Pointe South is a very good team, and it is a shame they are not eligible for NXN ... Since they cannot compete head-to-head with the other teams at NXN Midwest or Nationals, it makes end-of-the-year comparisons a bit problematic ... Results from NXN Portland Meadows is the defining end-of-the-year comparison (like it or not).

Holy Names Academy (or more correctly, Academy of the Holy Names in Albany, NY) ... Holy Names is ranked highly because they got a top transfer from Saratoga (Estela Smith) and their talented group of runners performed very nicely during track (so I'm "guessing" they will perform well at XC) ... More info is available from my NY Pre-season Team preview and Top NY Girls preview.

Simi Valley CA ... lost some good runners to graduation, but Simi Valley has Sarah Baxter who will be the top-rated individual in the nation (followed by Erin Finn from Michigan) ... starting a team score with a very low number is really helpful.

Southlake Carroll TX ... I did some guessing here due to graduations ... Southlake Carroll always seems to reload, so I placed them in the top 20, and I wouldn't be surprised if they do better.

Once again, I have a fair number of California teams in the lists above ... But this is the pre-season and much of my "rating" of the California teams is based on what they accomplished in California, and I feel reasonably comfortable with my California ratings of past seasons ... I do not (and never have) used NXN Portland Meadows ratings to "back-calculate" California ratings based on performance at Portland Meadows ... California-based racing and Portland Meadows in December are two different animals and must be rated accordingly.

Other New York Teams ... Both Bronxville and Burnt Hills are included in the top 30 ... Bronxville's score includes Mary Cain (and she might or might not be running for the team, to-be-determined).



  Last Year's (2011) Girl's Pre-Season Projections ... and corresponding results with NXN Nationals
                                          NXN                     Finish Order at             Last Year's
      School               State  Score  Region                       NXN 2011               Pre-Season Projection
      ------------------   -----  -----  ----------          ---------------------------     ---------------------
 1   Fayetteville-Manlius    NY     60   New York            1   Fayetteville-Manlius NY  -  #1  pre-season
 2   Saratoga                NY    190   New York            2   Saratoga             NY  -  #2  pre-season
 3   Tatnall                 DE    260   Southeast           3   Tatnall              DE  -  #3-6  pre-season
 3   Saugus                  CA    260   California          4   New Trier            IL  -  #14  pre-season
 3   North Shore             NY    260   New York            5   Carmel               IN  -  #7-8  pre-season
 3   La Costa Canyon         CA    260   California          6   Fort Collins         CO  -  #7-8  pre-season
 7   Carmel                  IN    300   Midwest             7   Southlake Carroll    TX  -  #23-24  pre-season
 7   Fort Collins            CO    300   Southwest           8   Xavier College Prep  AZ  -  #25-30  pre-season
 9   Great Oak               CA    325   California          9   North Shore          NY  -  #3-6  pre-season
 10  Wheaton-Warrenville S   IL    330   Midwest             10  Redondo Beach        CA  -  #13  pre-season
 11  Green Hope              NC    355   Southeast           11  Simi Valley          CA  -  #22  pre-season
 12  Foothill                CA    375   California          12  Saugus               CA  -  #3-6  pre-season
 13  Redondo Union           CA    390   California          13  La Costa Canyon      CA  -  #3-6  pre-season
 14  New Tier                IL    415   Midwest             14  Neenah               WI  -  unranked
 14  Granada                 CA    415   California          15  Summit               OR  -  #30+ group pre-season
 14  Ogden                   UT    415   Southwest           16  Glacier Peak         WA  -  #14-18  pre-season
 14  Campolindo              CA    415   California          17  Humble Kingwood      TX  -  #25-30  pre-season
 14  Glacier Peak            WA    415   Northwest           18  Assumption           KY  -  unranked
 19  Burnt Hills             NY    420   New York            19  Midlothian           VA  -  #30+ group pre-season
 20  Pennsbury               PA    425   Northeast           20  Monticello           MN  -  unranked
 21  Prospect                IL    435   Midwest             21  Champlain Valley     VT  -  #30+ group pre-season
 22  Simi Valley             CA    445   California          22  Hamilton-Wenham      MA  -  unranked
 23  Bozeman                 MT    460   Northwest
 23  Southlake Carroll       TX    460   South
 25  Voorhees                NJ    470   Northeast
 25  Kingwood                TX    470   South
 25  The Woodlands           TX    470   South
 25  Xavier Prep             AZ    470   Southwest
 25  Woodbridge              CA    470   California