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Pre-Season XC 2014

BOYS Teams - National 2014

Bill Meylan (August 1, 2014)

Boys - Potential National Contenders

My pre-season projection for National Boys 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).

To a large extent, the team listing below is an extension of the 2013 XC season into 2014 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 ... Once the real season starts, I tend to 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 2014 race results are what count.

Also Remember ... Most top boy's teams contain a fair number of seniors, and those seniors graduate ... Significant graduation from last year means projecting many of the teams below requires guessing - occasionally it's a "shot -in-the-dark guess.


 Pre-Season National BOYS Teams 2014

 Pre-Season Projection - BOYS National Team Contenders - 2014

      School                 State   Score      Region
      --------------------   -----   -----      ------
  1   Christian Brothers      NJ      255      Northeast
  2   Fayetteville-Manlius    NY      265      New York
  3   American Fork           UT      285      Southwest
  4   Wayzata                 MN      300      Heartland
  5   North Central           WA      305      Northwest
  6   Central Catholic        OR      310      Northwest
  7   La Salle Academy        RI      325      Northeast
  8   Liverpool               NY      330      New York
  9   Madera South            CA      350      California
  10  Kamiakin                WA      355      Northwest
  11  Dana Hills              CA      360      California
  12  Warren                  CA      361      California
  13  Great Oak               CA      362      California
  14  Davis                   UT      375      Southwest
  15  Summit                  OR      385      Northwest
  16  Jurupa Hills            CA      395      California
  17  Carmel                  IN      400      Midwest
  18  North Allegheny         PA      410      Northeast
  19  Malvern Prep            PA      420      Northeast
  20  Stillwater              MN      430      Heartland
  21  Brea Olinda             CA      440      California
  22  Waterford Mott          MI      450      Midwest
  23  Sandburg                IL      460      Midwest
  24  Sioux Falls Lincoln     SD      465      Heartland
  25  Bellarmine              CA      470      California
  26  Saugus                  CA      471      California
  27  College Park            TX      475      South
  28  St. Xavier              OH      476      Midwest
  29  Hilliard Davidson       OH      477      Midwest
  30  Southlake Carroll       TX      480      South

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

      York                    IL        Midwest
      Central Valley          WA        Northwest
      Timpanogos              UT        Southwest
      Midlothian              VA        Southeast
      Don Bosco               NJ        Northeast
      New Trier               IL        Midwest
      Rubidoux                CA        California
      Canyon/anaheim          CA        California
      Auburn                  AL        Southeast
      Gig Harbor              WA        Northwest
      St. Louis Un. High      MO        Midwest
      Cardinal O'Hara         PA        Northeast
      Capital                 ID        Northwest
      Mansfield               MA        Northeast
      Davis Sr.               CA        California
      Bishop Hendricken       RI        Northeast
      Columbus North          IN        Midwest
      Tatnall                 DE        Southeast
      Neuqua Valley           IL        Midwest
      Daniel Boone            TN        Southeast
      Edina                   MN        Heartland
      Bellarmine Prep         WA        Northwest
      Hinsdale Central        IL        Midwest
      Ridgefield              CT        Northeast
      West Lafayette          IN        Midwest
      Buffalo Grove           IL        Midwest
      Stevens Point           WI        Heartland
      Manhattan               KS        Heartland
      Cooper                  KY        Southeast
      Broughton               NC        Southeast
      Pleasant Valley         IA        Heartland
      Lafayette               MO        Midwest
      Naperville (North)      IL        Midwest
      Albuquerque Academy     NM        Southwest
      Mountain View (ID)      ID        Northwest
      Dulaney                 MD        Southeast
      The Woodlands           TX        South
      W.W.P. South            NJ        Northeast
      West Plains             MO        Midwest
      Prairie, Cedar Rapids   IA        Heartland
      Skyview                 WA        Northwest
      Cherry Hill East        NJ        Northeast
      O'Fallon                IL        Midwest
      Tesoro                  CA        California
      Warwick Valley          NY        New York
      Belen Jesuit            FL        Southeast
      Fort Collins            CO        Southwest
      Rogers                  AR        South
        *** 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 2013 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).


Note ... Boys Pre-Season rankings are generally harder to generate than Girls rankings ... The reason is that boys teams are generally more senior-dominated than girls teams, so a higher percentage of boys graduate ... therefore, fewer boys teams are "identifiable" as being strong going into the following year.

Hopefully, the boy's list above identifies many of the top teams entering the 2014 XC season in a reasonable order ... If it does, I made some decent guesses ... As a point of reference for last year, my 2013 pre-season projections with corresponding results from NXN 2013 are shown in a table below ... Of the 22 teams at NXN 2013, I did not identify 4 teams (they were unranked in the top 30 teams and not listed in the extra team list) ... 15 of the 22 NXN teams were ranked in my pre-season top 30 teams.

General Comments for the Coming Season:

The top pre-season teams are typically highly-ranked teams from the previous year that return a solid core of good runners ... and many of these teams are teams that have qualified for NXN on multiple occasions ... This year is no different.

Christian Brothers NJ was the pre-season favorite last year and CBA is the pre-season favorite again this year ... CBA (who finished 2nd at NXN last year) did lose four NXN runners to graduation, including their top two runners ... However, CBA is remarkably deep and returns a full squad of NXN level talent ... To be a season-long favorite, they might need a couple of guys to step-up a bit in performance level to replace their top two graduates.

The New York State Teams .... Fayetteville-Manlius and Liverpool are both ranked in the top 10 above ... Both are Class A teams that compete in Section 3 of NY State ... Both teams compete in the CNYCL League ... ONLY the winning team at the Section 3 sectional championship meet is eligible to compete at the NYSPHSAA State Championships Meet.

 .. Fayetteville-Manlius finished 4th at NXN last year and returns six of their NXN runners (that alone gets them highly ranked) ... In addition, FM gets respect because of prior appearances and  success at NXN ...  Fayetteville-Manlius has been to NXN 8 times with three podium finishes ... FM has a top national runner in Bryce Millar (see the Pre-season National Rankings of Individuals).

 .. Liverpool was young and improving entering last year's XC season with signs pointing to a national ranking ... Liverpool fulfilled their potential with some very good performances and got invited to NXN as an "at-large" team after finishing a good 3rd to Fayetteville-Manlius and Northport at the NXN-New York Regional ... They finished 20th at NXN and return their top six finishers from NXN ... By raw numbers alone, Liverpool could be ranked higher than I have them above, but they did not have a good team performance at NXN Nationals and I take that into consideration.

 .. More info on the NY teams and runners is available from my NY Pre-season Boys Team Projections and Top NY Boys Profiles, including profiles for the top five returners of both Fayetteville-Manlius and Liverpool.

American Fork UT has finished 8th or better in the last five NXN championships ... American Fork was 2nd at NXN 2012 and 7th last year ... They lose four NXN runners to graduation, but they return two of their top three NXN scorers ... American Fork is another team deep in talent, and their prospects look good entering the 2014 XC season.

Wayzata MN finished 15th at NXN last year and return six of their runners, including their top runner ... Wayzata has competed at NXN Nationals 5 times.

North Central WA finished 8th at NXN last year and return five of their 7 runners ... They did lose NXN winner Kai Wilmot to graduation, but Tanner Anderson is a pre-season favorite to win NXN this year ... North Central has competed at NXN Nationals 7 times.

Central Catholic OR finished 19th at NXN last year (as an "at-large" team) and return six of their 7 runners ... Central Catholic has competed at NXN Nationals 3 times.

La Salle Academy (Rhode Island) ... Last year, La Salle Academy finished 2nd at the Rhode Island State Meet and then won the New England Championship Meet ... They finished 8th at the NXN Northeast Regional ... La Salle Academy returns all seven runners from those races .... La Salle Academy gets a rating boost from some good track performances including four 3200 meter times from the Loucks Games (9:11.24, 9:15.54, 9:15.87 and 9:33.28 ... in that race, Northport had three guys at 8:53, 8:54 and 9:01) ... La Salle Academy has never competed at NXN.

Note ... For any pre-season rankings, I give credit to teams that are good on an annual basis ... Southlake Carroll TX has been to NXN 7 times, Dana Hills CA has been to NXN 6 times, Davis UT has been to NXN the last four years, York IL (the first team below the top 30) has been to NXN 9 times.

Pre-season ranking is part data and part "educated guessing", and at the national level, I use significant amount of guessing ... margins of error and uncertainty is large ... My "guesses" are just one guy's opinion.



 Last Year's (2013) Boy's Pre-Season Projections ... and corresponding results with NXN Nationals
                                           NXN                   Finish Order at            Last Year's
      School               State  Score   Region                    NXN 2013                Pre-Season Projection
      ------------------   -----  -----   ------           -----------------------------    -----------------------
  1   Christian Brothers      NJ    220   Northeast        1   Gig Harbor             WA  -  #8  pre-season
  2   Arcadia                 CA    240   California       2   Christian Brothers Ac  NJ  -  #1  pre-season
  3   American Fork           UT    260   Southwest        3   Brentwood HS           TN  -  #7  pre-season
  4   West Chester Henderson  PA    265   Northeast        4   Fayetteville-Manlius   NY  -  #18 pre-season
  5   North Central           WA    270   Northwest        5   Carmel                 IN  -  #6  pre-season
  6   Carmel                  IN    310   Midwest          6   St. Xavier             OH  -  unranked
  7   Brentwood HS            TN    330   Southeast        7   American Fork          UT  -  #3  pre-season
  8   Gig Harbor              WA    335   Northwest        8   North Central          WA  -  #5  pre-season
  9   Poly (Long Beach)       CA    340   California **    9   Arcadia                CA  -  #2  pre-season
  10  Broughton               NC    370   Southeast        10  Edina                  MN  -  #30+ group pre-season
  11  O'Fallon                IL    375   Midwest          11  Northport              NY  -  #30 pre-season
  12  Don Bosco               NJ    380   Northeast        12  West Chester Henderson PA  -  #4  pre-season
  13  Tatnall                 DE    385   Southeast        13  Severna Park           MD  -  unranked
  14  Southlake Carroll       TX    390   South            14  Southlake Carroll      TX  -  #14 pre-season
  15  Nathan Hale             WA    395   Northwest        15  Wayzata                MN  -  #22 pre-season
  16  Belen Jesuit            FL    396   Southeast        16  Madera South           CA  -  #30+ group pre-season
  17  McCallie                TN    397   Southeast        17  Davis                  UT  -  unranked
  18  Fayetteville-Manlius    NY    400   New York         18  Dana Hills             CA  -  #21 pre-season
  19  Saratoga                NY    400   New York         19  Central Catholic       OR  -  #30 pre-season
  20  Central Catholic        OR    405   Northwest        20  Liverpool              NY  -  #24 pre-season
  21  Dana Hills              CA    406   California       21  Lewisville Hebron      TX  -  unranked
  22  Wazata                  MN    407   Heartland        22  Hinsdale Central       IL  -  #30+ group pre-season
  23  York                    IL    408   Midwest
  24  Liverpool               NY    410   New York
  25  Highland-Milford        MI    420   Midwest
  26  Columbus North          IN    430   Midwest
  27  Mason                   OH    440   Midwest
  28  Mountain Vista          CO    445   Southwest
  29  Central Valley          WA    450   Northwest
  30  Northport               NY    450   New York

   ** Note: (Aug 31, 2013) - two of top five runners (Poly CA)
          not running for team this fall ... Should be placed
          near bottom of of extra list