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Pre-Season XC 2016
BOYS Teams - National 2016
Bill Meylan (July 30, 2016)
|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 2015 XC season into 2016 with a few modifications ... IF data for 5 runners on each team were 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 ... I intentionally included at least one team from each region in the top 30.
Remember ... this list is just an informational starting point ... Real 2016 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".
I did add some Regional Projections this year.
August 1, 2016 Update ... Some viewers from Minnesota believed I had under-rated Wayzata and gave me some good reasons ... one reason was the Open Race at NXN Heartland where several Wayzata underclassmen ran decently ... This was a good reason because I did not upload those results into my database; the results available from the Timing Company and the results from the NXN Heartland web-site were poorly formatted (under-statement) for my purpose requiring a complete re-format, so I bagged it ... Looking back now, the performances by the Wayzata runners were a nice improvement on their previous 2015 races, so I made some adjustments ... Depending on the magnitude of the adjustments, it could raise Wayzata's pre-season ranking to somewhere between 20th to 30th (I decided on 30th so rankings above 30 stay the same) ... The other reason from the Minnesota viewers was spring track times by the Wayzata runners ... As explained elsewhere, I ignore most track data for pre-season cross country ranking of teams ... I want to know what was accomplished in actual XC races whenever possible ... Wayzata did run very well in track and I could see them ranked in the top 15 due to that, but I'll wait for 2016 XC results.
August 3, 2016 Update ... Just found out that Lehi UT has opened a new high school named Skyridge HS ... the Lehi HS coach from last year and all but one of the returning Lehi XC runners are now at Skyridge HS.
|Pre-Season National BOYS Teams 2016|
Pre-Season Projection - BOYS National Team Contenders - 2016 School State Score NXN Region -------------------- ----- ----- ---------- 1 Neuqua Valley IL 270 Midwest 2 American Fork UT 275 Southwest 3 Dana Hills CA 310 California 4 Lone Peak UT 320 Southwest 5 Great Oak CA 320 California 6 Christian Brothers NJ 350 Northeast 7 Lehi (Skyridge HS) UT 355 Southwest 8 Lake Zurich IL 365 Midwest 9 Solon OH 365 Midwest 10 Madera South CA 365 California 11 The Woodlands TX 370 South 12 Bozeman MT 375 Northwest 13 West Torrance CA 375 California 14 Lyons IL 375 Midwest 15 Davis Utah UT 380 Southwest 16 Ogden UT 380 Southwest 17 Brentwood TN 390 Southeast 18 Carmel IN 395 Midwest 19 Fayetteville-Manlius NY 395 New York 20 Loyola CA 405 California 21 Broughton NC 410 Southeast 22 Southlake Carroll TX 410 South 23 Cherokee NJ 410 Northeast 24 Crater OR 410 Northwest 25 Mountain Vista CO 420 Southwest 26 Hinsdale Central IL 430 Midwest 27 Claremont CA 435 California 28 Brea Olinda CA 435 California 29 Bellarmine Prep WA 435 Northwest 30 Wayzata MN 440 Heartland (updated Aug 1, 2016) 30 Edina MN 440 Heartland 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. St. Xavier KY Southeast Palmer Ridge CO Southwest Indian Hills NJ Northeast Jenks OK South Louisville OH Midwest Timpanogos UT Southwest Don Bosco NJ Northeast Ithaca NY New York Millard West NE Heartland Auburn AL Southeast Mira Costa CA California Hilton Head SC Southeast Trinity Prep FL Southeast Mountain Brook AL Southeast Olympus UT Southwest Desert Hills UT Southwest Summit OR Northwest York IL Midwest
Where did the scores come from?
... In part, the scores are a composite of computer race simulations using 2015 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)
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 2016 XC season in a reasonable order ... If it does, I made some decent guesses ... As a point of reference for last year, my 2015 pre-season projections with corresponding results from NXN 2015 are shown in a table below ... Of the 22 teams at NXN 2014, I did not identify 4 teams (they were unranked in the top 30 teams and not listed in the extra team list) ... The top 4 teams at NXN were all ranked in my pre-season top 7 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 ... Entering the 2016 season, I do not see a solid favorite on the boys-side ... It would not surprise me if one of a bunch of teams make it to the top spot.
Neuqua Valley IL finished 19th at NXN Nationals last year and they return their top four scorers from NXN Nationals ... Neuqua Valley ran very well at NXN Midwest finishing a very decent 2nd to Sandburg IL (a favorite to make the podium at Nationals) ... My main concern about projecting Neuqua Valley on top is their mediocre performance at NXN Nationals, but the raw numbers give them a pre-season advantage ... Neuqua Valley could go 7 runners deep, so they make the top spot here.
American Fork UT has finished 8th or better in the last seven NXN championships ... American Fork was 2nd at NXN last year, 2nd at NXN 2012, 7th at NXN 2013 and 5th at NXN 2014 ... Initially, I had America Fork on top entering 2016 ... American Fork returns the best top-three runner nucleus (Casey Clinger, McKay Johns and Patrick Parker), and that typically gets a team deep in talent a top ranking, and American Fork is usually deep in talent ... But I like my speed rating numbers (sometimes too much), and American Fork graduated four runners from last year's NXN team ... Looking at XC performances from other varsity and JV runners last year indicates American Fork will need to "reload" at the other scoring positions in order to win NXN 2016, but I think that could happen ... Neuqua Valley appears to already have scorers, so that's why Neuqua Valley gets the benefit-of-the-doubt ....... BUT American Fork has raced well at the new Glendoveer course, and I almost put American Fork on top for that reason.
Side-Note about Speed Ratings ... Although American Fork finished 4th at NXN Southwest last year, speed ratings clearly identified American Fork as the top "At-Large" team amongst all potential At-Large teams ... and their 2nd-place finish justified their selection to NXN.
Dana Hills CA finished 3rd at NXN National last year and returns four runners ... other potential scorers from last year's varsity and JV teams appear capable of giving Dana Hills a good five scorers, so Dana Hills gets the 3rd-spot of the pre-season list ...... In many past years, I would have dropped Dana Hills down a number of spots because they were from California and some California teams raced poorly at the muddy Portland Meadows course ... However, California teams have raced well at the Glendoveer course.
Lone Peak UT finished 11th at NXN National last year and returns five runners ... Utah looks very strong again this season.
Great Oak CA is the defending NXN Champion ... Great Oak graduated six runners from last year's championship team and typically, that would drop a team from top-spot consideration the following year ... However, Great Oak had a deep JV team at a high level last year, and the speed rating numbers have Great Oak highly ranked entering the 2016 season.
Christian Brothers NJ has been one of the favorites in a number of recent seasons ... CBA returns just three runners from last year's team that finished 20th at NXN Nationals ... But CBA typically has a very deep team, and last year was no exception ... Raw speed ratings from returning CBA runners gets CBA highly ranked again this season.
Lehi (Skyridge HS) UT finished 2nd to Davis at the Utah State Meet last year (Class 5A) and Lehi beat both American Fork and Lone Peak at States... Lehi returns six runners (including 4 scorers from States) ... Their top runner graduated and Lehi did not have their best race at NXN Southwest (otherwise, I would ranked them a bit higher) ... Aug 3rd update - the new Skyridge HS has opened in Lehi, UT ... the Lehi coach from 2015 is now the coach at Skyridge, and all but one of the last year's Lehi team are at Skyridge.
Lake Zurich IL finished 5th at Illinois States and 11th at NXN Midwest ... However, Lake Zurich returns their top four scorers with the top three above 180 speed ratings forming a strong starting nucleus ... Improvement at the #5 position could make Lake Zurich very good.
Solon OH finished 3rd at Ohio States last year and return their top six runners (top two above 180 speed ratings and three in the upper 160s).
NOTE ..... The scores above indicate that many teams rate very closely ... The positions are just a guess at one point in time before the cross country season starts.
The New York State Teams ... Unfortunately, New York does not look as strong as 2014 when Fayetteville-Manlius won NXN and Liverpool and St. Anthony's finished 4th and 8th respectively ... 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 uncertainty with respect to the boys teams this coming season.
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 ... Some Regional Projection lists are available at the bottom of this page.
|Last Year's (2015) Boy's Pre-Season Projections ... and corresponding results with NXN Nationals|
NXN Finish Order at Last Year's School State Score Region NXN 2015 Pre-Season Projection ------------------- ----- ----- ------ ----------------------------- ----------------------- 1 American Fork UT 270 Southwest 1 Great Oak CA - #7 pre-season 2 Christian Brothers NJ 275 Northeast 2 American Fork UT - #1 pre-season 3 Sandburg IL 305 Midwest 3 Dana Hills CA - #5 pre-season 4 Lafayette MO 315 Midwest 4 Sandburg IL - #3 pre-season 5 Dana Hills CA 320 California 5 Timpanogos UT - #30+ group pre-season 6 Carmel IN 325 Midwest 6 The Woodlands TX - #19 pre-season 7 Great Oak CA 330 California 7 Hopkins MN - #20 pre-season 8 Davis UT 335 Southwest 8 Bozeman MT - unranked 9 North Central WA 345 Northwest 9 Lyons IL - unranked 10 Ventura CA 350 California 10 Liverpool NY - #30+ group pre-season 11 La Salle Academy RI 360 Northeast 11 Lone Peak UT - unranked 12 Madera South CA 365 California 12 Mountain Vista CO - #30+ group pre-season 13 York IL 370 Midwest 13 Edina MN - #26 pre-season 14 Wayzata MN 380 Heartland 14 Wayzata MN - #14 pre-season 15 St. Anthony's NY 385 New York 15 Marietta GA - #30+ group pre-season 16 Desert Hills UT 390 Southwest 16 Southlake Carroll TX - #29 pre-season 17 Rockford MI 410 Midwest 17 Downingtown West PA - #30+ group pre-season 18 Tahoma WA 420 Northwest 18 Summit OR - #30 pre-season 19 The Woodlands TX 430 South 19 Neuqua Valley IL - #30+ group pre-season 20 Hopkins MN 435 Heartland 20 Christian Brothers NJ - #2 pre-season 21 West Torrance CA 440 California 21 Fayetteville-Manlius NY - #27 pre-season 22 Brea Olinda CA 445 California 22 Trinity Prep FL - unranked 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
|Boys Pre-Season Regional Projections|
Some viewers have asked me to do a Pre-season Regional "Guess" ... Below are some numbers from my worksheets by Region showing teams I considered.
Remember ... My main purpose is to identify teams for Nationals and not to do an in-depth evaluation for each region (New York is the only exception) ... That's why the list below is limited in some respects ... I looked at cross country performances from 2015 (from my databases only) and selected potential National teams ... I needed to find enough data on enough returning runners to make a guess without additional time-consuming searching (otherwise, teams get excluded).
I do not believe it is worth spending lots of time on the pre-season because we will find out soon enough who is good (and unexpectedly good) when the real season starts ... The pre-season lists help me identify teams that might need to be followed.
Also ... I make very few national team "adjustments" based on track performances ... In general, I ignore track performances as much as possible when projecting cross country ... When improved track performance does correspond to improved XC performance, it typically shows up rather quickly in the new season ... Then I have "real-life in-season" speed ratings to make projections (and I definitely ignore track performances at that point).
California Dana Hills CA 90 California Great Oak CA 100 California Madera South CA 105 California West Torrance CA 110 California Loyola CA 115 California Claremont CA 125 California Brea Olinda CA 125 California Mira Costa CA 130 California Mt Carmel CA 145 California Heartland Wayzata MN 85 Heartland (updated Aug 1, 2016) Edina MN 95 Heartland Millard West NE 95 Heartland Pleasant Valley IA 95 Heartland Dowling Catholic IA 105 Heartland St. Thomas Aquinas KS 115 Heartland New Town ND 130 Heartland Bismarck ND 150 Heartland SF Lincoln SD 155 Heartland Midwest Neuqua Valley IL 100 Midwest Lake Zurich IL 140 Midwest Solon OH 140 Midwest Carmel IN 160 Midwest Lyons IL 160 Midwest Hinsdale (Central) IL 170 Midwest Louisville OH 200 Midwest York IL 215 Midwest Hamilton Southeastern IN 220 Midwest St. Ignatius OH 235 Midwest Downers Grove (North) IL 240 Midwest Novi MI 250 Midwest Lowell IN 265 Midwest Fort Wayne Carroll IN 280 Midwest Mahomet (M.-Seymour) IL 280 Midwest St. Xavier (Cin.) OH 280 Midwest New York (see NY Boys Projections Page) Fayetteville-Manlius NY 245 New York Ithaca NY 255 New York Corning NY 275 New York Saratoga NY 285 New York Warwick Valley NY 300 New York Xavier NY 320 New York Burnt Hills NY 350 New York Shenendehowa NY 390 New York Liverpool NY 395 New York Mount Academy NY 415 New York Watkins Glen NY 425 New York Somers NY 450 New York East Aurora NY 455 New York Pittsford Mendon NY 460 New York St. Anthony's NY 470 New York Northwest Bozeman MT 60 Northwest Bellarmine Prep WA 70 Northwest Crater OR 75 Northwest Summit OR 90 Northwest North Central WA 100 Northwest Central Valley WA 105 Northwest Eisenhower WA 115 Northwest Northeast Christian Brothers NJ 60 Northeast Indian Hills NJ 75 Northeast Cherokee NJ 85 Northeast Don Bosco NJ 95 Northeast Carlisle PA 100 Northeast Voorhees NJ 115 Northeast Champlain Valley VT 120 Northeast South The Woodlands TX 55 South Southlake Carroll TX 65 South Jenks OK 70 South Flower Mound TX 85 South Bentonville AR 115 South Bartlesville OK 120 South Woodlands College Park TX 120 South Southeast Brentwood TN 150 Southeast Broughton NC 155 Southeast St. Xavier KY 165 Southeast Mountain Brook AL 180 Southeast Hilton Head SC 180 Southeast Trinity Prep FL 185 Southeast Auburn AL 185 Southeast Cardinal Gibbons NC 205 Southeast Creekside FL 225 Southeast Wando SC 230 Southeast Green Hope NC 235 Southeast Lawton Chile FL 245 Southeast Loudoun Valley VA 245 Southeast Brentwood Academy TN 250 Southeast Blacksburg VA 260 Southeast Hoover AL 260 Southeast Southwest American Fork UT 105 Southwest Lone Peak UT 120 Southwest Lehi UT 135 Southwest Davis Utah UT 135 Southwest Ogden UT 135 Southwest Mountain Vista CO 160 Southwest Palmer Ridge CO 165 Southwest Timpanogos UT 170 Southwest Hobbs NM 185 Southwest Brophy College Prep AZ 190 Southwest Olympus UT 190 Southwest Desert Hills UT 190 Southwest Desert Vista AZ 210 Southwest