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Pre-Season XC 2015

BOYS Teams - National 2015

Bill Meylan (July 30, 2015)

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 and other 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 2014 XC season into 2015 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 2015 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 2015

 Pre-Season Projection - BOYS National Team Contenders - 2015

      School                 State   Score     NXN Region
      --------------------   -----   -----     ----------
  1   American Fork           UT      270      Southwest
  2   Christian Brothers      NJ      275      Northeast
  3   Sandburg                IL      305      Midwest
  4   Lafayette               MO      315      Midwest
  5   Dana Hills              CA      320      California
  6   Carmel                  IN      325      Midwest
  7   Great Oak               CA      330      California
  8   Davis                   UT      335      Southwest
  9   North Central           WA      345      Northwest
  10  Ventura                 CA      350      California
  11  La Salle Academy        RI      360      Northeast
  12  Madera South            CA      365      California
  13  York                    IL      370      Midwest
  14  Wayzata                 MN      380      Heartland
  15  St. Anthony's           NY      385      New York
  16  Desert Hills            UT      390      Southwest
  17  Rockford                MI      410      Midwest
  18  Tahoma                  WA      420      Northwest
  19  The Woodlands           TX      430      South
  20  Hopkins                 MN      435      Heartland
  21  West Torrance           CA      440      California
  22  Brea Olinda             CA      445      California
  23  South Oldham            KY      450      Southeast
  24  Lowell                  MA      455      Northeast
  25  Broughton               NC      460      Southeast
  26  Edina                   MN      465      Heartland
  27  Fayetteville-Manlius    NY      470      New York
  28  Kamiakin                WA      475      Northwest
  29  Southlake Carroll       TX      480      South
  30  Summit                  OR      480      Northwest

    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.

      Mountain Vista          CO      Southwest
      St. Ignatius            OH      Midwest
      Don Bosco               NJ      Northeast
      East Aurora             NY      New York
      Liverpool               NY      New York
      Cherry Hill East        NJ      Northeast
      Marietta                GA      Southeast
      Neuqua Valley           IL      Midwest
      Dulaney                 MD      Southeast
      Pittsford Mendon        NY      New York
      Canyon/anaheim          CA      California
      Cambridge Rindge Latin  MA      Northeast
      Saint John's            MA      Northeast
      Timpanogos              UT      Southwest
      Shenendehowa            NY      New York
      Lake Zurich             IL      Midwest
      Crater                  OR      Northwest
      West Lafayette          IN      Midwest
      Mountain View           ID      Northwest
      Severna Park            MD      Southeast
      Lake Braddock           VA      Southeast
      Brentwood               TN      Southeast
      Burroughs/burbank       CA      California
      Auburn                  AL      Southeast
      Carroll (Fort Wayne)    IN      Midwest
      White Lake Lakeland     MI      Midwest
      Frisco Wakeland         TX      South
      Belen Jesuit            FL      Southeast
      Robbinsville            NJ      Northeast
      Weddington              NC      Southeast
      Hilton Head             SC      Southeast
      Downingtown West        PA      Northeast
      Albuquerque Academy     NM      Southwest
      McHenry                 IL      Midwest

  *** 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 2014 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 2015 XC season in a reasonable order ... If it does, I made some decent guesses ... As a point of reference for last year, my 2014 pre-season projections with corresponding results from NXN 2014 are shown in a table below ... Of the 22 teams at NXN 2014, I did not identify 3 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 ... The top 5 teams at NXN were all ranked in my pre-season top 8 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.

American Fork UT has finished 8th or better in the last six NXN championships ... American Fork was 2nd at NXN 2012, 7th at NXN 2013 and 5th last year ... They return 2 of their top 3 NXN scorers and 3 of their top 5 ... American Fork is deep in talent, and their prospects look good entering the 2015 XC season ... Although Christian Brothers NJ has a slight advantage in speed rating scores, American Fork gets the call as a very slight favorite based on a better performance at the new Glendoveer course last year.

Christian Brothers NJ was my pre-season favorite the previous two years ... CBA (who finished 11th at NXN last year and 2nd the year before) returns 5 of their 7 NXN runners, including 3 of their top 4 scorers ... CBA is deep in talent and could easily be considered the pre-season favorite once again.

Sandburg IL finished 15th at NXN last year ... They return 6 of their 7 NXN runners, losing their top finisher from last year ... The NXN experience from last year could be very helpful for Sandburg ... They are a serious contender to make the podium and possibly win NXN 2015.

Lafayette MO finished a very good 4th at the NXN Midwest Regional last year ... They were an impressive winner at the Missouri State Meet ... and Lafayette returns all five scorers from the NXN regional and State Meet ... another serious contender to make the podium and possibly win NXN 2015.

The California Teams ...  The Top 30 List above includes 6 California teams (Midwest - 5 teams ... Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, Heartland - 3 teams; New York, South, Southeast - 2 teams) ..... Not much separates Dana Hills, Great Oak, Madera South and Ventura ... Ventura is the only team of these that competed at NXN last year, and Ventura finished a very good 7th ... Normally I would move Ventura up a bit (compared to the other CA teams), but decided to leave the positioning "as is" based on projected speed ratings for 2015 ... Dana Hills has been to NXN six time before ...... I was going  to remove Brea Olinda from the top 30 (and place below) based on speculation that Austin Tamagno would run Footlocker again, but decided not to.

Carmel IN ... finished 16th at NXN last year, and return 6 of their top 7, including their top 3 with top national runner Ben Veatch.

Davis UT and North Central WA are fixtures at NXN National ... Davis UT has been to NXN the last fives years (6th last year) ... North Central WA (3rd last year) has been to NXN 8 times.

La Salle Academy RI ... La Salle won the NXN Northeast Regional impressively over Christian Brothers NJ, and then finished 18th at NXN ... they return 3 of their 5 scorers from NXN.

York IL has been to NXN 9 times ... York finished 3rd at the NXN Midwest Regional last year and return their top 6 runners.

Wayzata MN finished 2nd at NXN last year (and has been to NXN 6 times) ... Wayzata did lose 3 of their 5 NXN scorers to graduation, but they have a deep team.

The New York State Teams .... Last year, I had both Fayetteville-Manlius and Liverpool in the top 8 pre-season teams ... Unfortunately, New York does not look as strong this coming season ... More info on the NY teams and runners is available from my NY Pre-season Boys Team Projections and Top NY Boys Profiles ... Overall, New York has some uncertainty with respect to the boys teams this coming season.

 ... St. Anthony's finished 8th at NXN Nationals last year, but lose 3 NXN scorers to graduation ... St. Anthony's has good team depth.

 ... Fayetteville-Manlius ... Even though Fayetteville-Manlius is not in my top two picks within NY State, I decided to pick them as the second NY team to qualify for NXN ... Fayetteville-Manlius has been to NXN 9 times with 4 podium finishes including winning last year (that's a pretty good start) ... They lose 5 NXN runners to graduation, but return Peter Ryan who was15th at NXN last year (New York's top runner at NXN) ... whether FM can reload sufficient remains to be seen.

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 (2014) Boy's Pre-Season Projections ... and corresponding results with NXN Nationals

                                           NXN                   Finish Order at            Last Year's
      School               State  Score   Region                    NXN 2014                Pre-Season Projection
      -------------------  -----  -----   ------           -----------------------------    -----------------------
  1   Christian Brothers      NJ    255   Northeast        1   Fayetteville-Manlius   NY  -  #2  pre-season
  2   Fayetteville-Manlius    NY    265   New York         2   Wayzata                MN  -  #4  pre-season
  3   American Fork           UT    285   Southwest        3   North Central          WA  -  #5  pre-season
  4   Wayzata                 MN    300   Heartland        4   Liverpool              NY  -  #8  pre-season
  5   North Central           WA    305   Northwest        5   American Fork          UT  -  #3  pre-season
  6   Central Catholic        OR    310   Northwest        6   Davis                  UT  -  #14 pre-season
  7   La Salle Academy        RI    325   Northeast        7   Ventura                CA  -  unranked
  8   Liverpool               NY    330   New York         8   St. Anthony's          NY  -  unranked
  9   Madera South            CA    350   California       9   Edina                  MN  -  #30+ group pre-season
  10  Kamiakin                WA    355   Northwest        10  Jurupa Hills           CA  -  #16 pre-season
  11  Dana Hills              CA    360   California       11  Christian Brothers     NJ  -  #1  pre-season
  12  Warren                  CA    361   California       12  Timpanogos             UT  -  #30+ group pre-season
  13  Great Oak               CA    362   California       13  Severna Park           MD  -  unranked
  14  Davis                   UT    375   Southwest        14  Daniel Boone           TN  -  #30+ group pre-season
  15  Summit                  OR    385   Northwest        15  Sandburg               IL  -  #23 pre-season
  16  Jurupa Hills            CA    395   California       16  Carmel                 IN  -  #17 pre-season
  17  Carmel                  IN    400   Midwest          17  Summit                 OR  -  #15 pre-season
  18  North Allegheny         PA    410   Northeast        18  La Salle Academy       RI  -  #7  pre-season
  19  Malvern Prep            PA    420   Northeast        19  Southlake Carroll      TX  -  #30 pre-season
  20  Stillwater              MN    430   Heartland        20  Brea Olinda            CA  -  #21 pre-season
  21  Brea Olinda             CA    440   California       21  Sioux Falls Lincoln    SD  -  #24 pre-season
  22  Waterford Mott          MI    450   Midwest          22  The Woodlands          TX  -  #30+ group pre-season
  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