[TullyRunners Home Page]
[National Boys Teams]
Pre-Season XC 2015
GIRLS Teams - National 2015
Bill Meylan (July 30, 2015)
|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 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 in 2014 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 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.
|National GIRLS Teams 2015|
Pre-Season Projection - Girls National Team Contenders - 2015 School State Score NXN Region -------------------- ----- ----- ---------- 1 Fayetteville-Manlius NY 170 New York 2 Great Oak CA 171 California 3 Saratoga Springs NY 245 New York 4 Carmel IN 285 Midwest 5 Glenbard West IL 290 Midwest 6 Naperville North IL 310 Midwest 7 Shenendehowa NY 320 New York 8 Davis UT 350 Southwest 9 Lake Braddock VA 360 Southeast 10 Northville MI 370 Midwest 11 Pennsbury PA 375 Northeast 12 Wayzata MN 380 Heartland 13 La Salle Academy RI 390 Northeast 14 Hinsdale Central IL 395 Midwest 15 Willmar MN 400 Heartland 16 Edina MN 415 Heartland 17 Saugus CA 420 California 18 Winter Park FL 421 Southeast 19 Lewisville Marcus TX 425 South 20 Oakton VA 430 Southeast 21 Serrano CA 435 California 22 Camas WA 436 Northwest 23 American Fork UT 437 Southwest 24 Green Hope NC 438 Southeast 25 Coe-Brown NH 450 Northeast 26 Bella Vista CA 455 California 27 Urbandale IA 465 Heartland 28 Desert Vista AZ 470 Southwest 29 Summit OR 475 Northwest 30 Lewisville Hebron TX 480 South The next group is basically in order following the list above ... Many are very close and the order could be shuffled a lot: Minooka IL Midwest St. Thomas Aquinas KS Heartland Mason OH Midwest North Rockland NY New York Suffern NY New York Hillsborough NJ Northeast Needham MA Northeast Columbus North IN Midwest Monroe-Woodbury NY New York Sunset OR Northwest Riverside SC Southeast Palatine IL Midwest Centerville OH Midwest Blacksburg VA Southeast New Trier IL Midwest Phillips Andover MA Northeast The Bolles School FL Southeast Cardinal O'Hara PA Northeast Walter Johnson MD Southeast W Warrenville South IL Midwest Forest Lake MN Heartland Cherry Creek CO Southwest Highland-Milford MI Midwest Johnston IA Heartland Bozeman MT Northwest Coeur D'Alene ID Northwest Tolland CT Northeast Humble Kingwood TX South Mountain Brook AL Southeast Sachem East NY New York Monarch CO Southwest Pendleton Heights IN Midwest Southlake Carroll TX South Sun Prairie WI Heartland Unionville PA Northeast Barrington RI Northeast Sacred Heart KY Southeast Cardinal Gibbons NC Southeast Myers Park NC Southeast James Madison VA Southeast Bishop Guertin NH Northeast
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).
Hopefully, the girl's list above identifies many of the top teams entering the 2015 XC season in a reasonable order ... 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) ... 10 of the top 11 teams at NXN 2014 were ranked in my pre-season top 26 teams.
General Comments for the Coming Season:
Similar to the boys, 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.
Who to Pick as Number One ... Either Fayetteville-Manlius NY or Great Oak CA could be selected as the top national team entering the 2015 XC season ... Great Oak appears to be stronger in terms of team depth at a high level ... This could be the most vulnerable Fayetteville-Manlius has been since they started winning NXN in 2006 ... FM may be pressed just to win in New York ... But only two girls teams in the entire nation return a core of three runners at a speed rating level of 130 or higher, and those two teams are Fayetteville-Manlius and Great Oak ... I think Great Oak is the strongest overall team in the nation, but Fayetteville-Manlius is the defending champion ... and any "multiple-time" returning champion that has this much strength gets my benefit-of-the-doubt until proven different.
Fayetteville-Manlius NY ... FM is the defending NXN champion ... FM has been the NXN champion in 8 of the last 9 years, so picking them as a very slight favorite does not require much imagination ... But 2015 is a new season ... and handicapping it requires looking back to last year ... Fayetteville-Manlius won NXN 2014 by running as a pack (only 11 seconds separated their 5 scorers, and 3 of them return this year) ... That core of 3 returning runners matches up nicely with Great Oak (in terms of team scoring) ... Last year's FM squad was not the strongest FM girls team to compete at NXN, and they still beat Great Oak by 79 points.
Fayetteville-Manlius has developed at least one new "high-level" performer every year since they began their "national" winning in 2006 ... so it seem likely that might happen again this year ... Assuming it does happen again, FM will most likely have a good #5 scorer as well ... In that case, Great Oak will need to improve noticeably in their NXN performance in order to beat FM ... That scenario is a major factor in picking FM as the slight favorite ... FM needs to accomplish something they have already proven they can do .......... More info about FM is available from my NY Pre-season Team Projections, and detailed info on the top five FM runners entering the season is available from my Top NY Girls Profiles.
Great Oak CA ... Great Oak finished a very good 2nd at NXN last year (24 points ahead of 3rd-place Carmel IN) ... Great Oak was 8th at NXN in 2013 and 16th in very muddy 2012 ... The NXN course change to Glendoveer Golf Course last year seemed beneficial to most California teams, including Great Oak ... As a rule-of-thumb at Portland Meadows, I would typically drop most California teams by one or two spots in my NXN predications because of the course conditions ... I did that to Great Oak last year, but the Glendoveer course no longer supports that procedure.
Great Oak returns their top 6 runners from NXN including top national runner Destiny Collins who was not at full strength at NXN due to injury (she still finished 8th amongst all team scorers) ... Great Oak was very deep and talented last year, and this year they will likely be even better ... They have a solid group of incoming freshmen (7th and 8th-graders can not compete at the varsity level in California) ... And now add a top transfer in senior Skyler Bollinger who ran for Yorkville Illinois last year (she had typical speed ratings of 125-130) ... Everything points to an improved Great Oak team in 2015.
So why not make Great Oak the favorite? ... First, Fayetteville-Manlius is a major obstacle ... and next, even at Glendoveer, Great Oak has yet to perform at an NXN level as high as their in-season performances ... The horse handicapper in me is a believer in "horses for courses" ... IF the FM scenario above happens and Great Oak improves noticeably, I don't know who I would bet the rent money on.
Saratoga Springs NY ... Saratoga is "lurking", and not that far behind FM and Great Oak ... Saratoga is a perennial competitor at NXN ... they have competed at NXN Nationals in 10 of the 11 years that NXN has operated (they were not invited in 2006, but should have been) ... At NXN, Saratoga has won once, been 2nd four times, been 3rd once, and in the top 5 eight times .... The last two years were a "rebuilding" years, but the young Saratoga squad still qualified for NXN and finished 10th in 2014 and 15th in 2013 ...They return 6 of their 7 NXN runners, including their top 2 from NXN ... In addition, Saratoga has other runners likely to be competitive for the scoring positions including a new, potentially top runner, freshmen Kelsey Chmiel, who was their top finisher in the July 25th Silks and Satins 5K road race (a flat fast certified 5K) where the top five Saratoga girls (Chmiel, Engborg, Delnicki, Fenoff and Mahoney) ran 17:41, 17:55, 18:13, 18:13 and 18:17 (as a reference, a top national boy runner, Aidan Tooker won the race by 33 seconds in 15:09) ... That's an impressive performance by the Saratoga girls.
My current concerns about Saratoga at the national level ... The young Saratoga team did not perform at their best level at either the Great American Festival or NXN National in the past two years (they performed better within NY State) ... That can certainly be overcome through experience, but it is a concern ... Saratoga could be a major surprise, meaning much improved ... Saratoga will have major competition from Shenendehowa within Section 2 of NY State ... see my NY Pre-season Team Projections and detailed info on the top five Saratoga runners entering the season is available from my Top NY Girls Profiles.
Carmel IN ... Carmel finished 3rd at NXN last year and is another top multiple-time competitor at NXN ... Carmel was 4th at NXN in 2013, 3rd in 2012, 5th in 2011 and 7th in 2010 ... They return 3 of their top 5 from NXN, and are a very deep team ... Expected another good season from Carmel.
Glenbard West IL ... Glenbard West opted not to compete at NXN the past two years despite having excellent teams ... I almost dropped them out of the top 30 for that reason because I'm more concerned in a projected head-to-head competition at NXN with teams that are interested ... Glenbard West returns 6 of 7 runners from a very good Illinois State Meet team that finished a close 3rd to Naperville North and Palatine (both NXN teams) ... They could be really good ... Sept 5th Update - Top runner (Lindsay Graham) is out for the season due to a foot injury.
Naperville North IL ... Naperville North finished 4th at NXN last year ... they return 5 of their 7 NXN runners including their top 2 from NXN and States ... Naperville North should be very good again in 2015.
Shenendehowa NY ... Shenendehowa finished 18th at NXN last year (they were an at-large selection) ... Shenendehowa and Saratoga are both Class A schools and both compete in Section 2 of NY... Only the winning team at sectionals qualifies for the NY State Meet, and Saratoga beat Shenendehowa in a tie-breaker last year ... Shenendehowa returns 6 of their 7 NXN runners.
Davis UT ... Davis finished 15th at NXN last year and 3rd in 2013 ... Davis returns their top 4 runners from NXN.
Lake Braddock VA ... Lake Braddock finished 3rd at NXN Southeast and return their top four runners including a top national runner Kate Murphy ... I had Lake Braddock in my short-list of potential NXN At-Large teams last year (ditto for the Lake Braddock boys last year).
Northville MI ... Northville returns all 5 scorers from their Michigan State Meet team that finished 3rd at States and 6th at NXN Midwest.
Pennsbury PA ... finished 7th at NXN in 2013 ... Pennsbury did not have their top runner (Olivia Sargent) at NXN Northeast, but still finished 6th ... Pennsbury returns their top 5 runners from the PA State Meet.
Wayzata MN ... Wayzata finished 6th at NXN last year and won NXN 2013 ... Wayzata returns 6 of their 7 runners from NXN, but lose their top runner to graduation.
|Last Year's (2014) Girl'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 Fayetteville-Manlius NY 260 New York 1 Fayetteville-Manlius NY - #1 pre-season 2 Great Oak CA 290 California 2 Great Oak CA - #2 pre-season 3 Fort Collins CO 310 Southwest 3 Carmel IN - #26 pre-season 4 Saratoga NY 320 New York 4 Naperville North IL - #17 pre-season 5 Cherry Creek CO 335 Southwest 5 Desert Vista AZ - #20 pre-season 6 Glenbard West IL 340 Midwest 6 Wayzata MN - #9 pre-season 7 Pennsbury PA 360 Northeast 7 Blacksburg VA - #24 pre-season 8 Unionville PA 361 Northeast 8 Lewisville Hebron TX - unranked 9 Wayzata MN 375 Heartland 9 La Salle Academy RI - #15 pre-season 10 Davis UT 380 Southwest 10 Saratoga NY - #4 pre-season 11 Saugus CA 390 California 11 Saugus CA - #11 pre-season 12 Redondo Union CA 391 California 12 Palatine IL - #30+ group pre-season 13 Trabuco Hills CA 392 California 13 Camas WA - unranked 14 Elmira District NY 393 New York 14 Willmar MN - #30+ group pre-season 15 La Salle RI 395 Northeast 15 Davis UT - #10 pre-season 16 Capistrano Valley CA 400 California 16 Coe-Brown NH - #31 pre-season 17 Naperville North IL 410 Midwest 17 Unionville PA - #8 pre-season 18 Davis Senior CA 411 California 18 Shenendehowa NY - #30+ group pre-season 19 Coeur D'Alene ID 412 Northwest 19 Green Hope NC - #25 pre-season 20 Desert Vista AZ 420 Southwest 20 Coeur D'Alene ID - #19 pre-season 21 Oakton VA 425 Southeast 21 Lewisville Marcus TX - unranked 22 Simi Valley CA 430 California 22 American Fork UT - #30+ group pre-season 23 Summit OR 435 Northwest 24 Blacksburg VA 440 Southeast 25 Green Hope NC 445 Southeast 26 Carmel IN 450 Midwest 27 New Trier IL 455 Midwest 28 Birmingham Seaholm MI 460 Midwest 29 Mountain Brook AL 465 Southeast 30 Bozeman MT 470 Northwest