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Pre-Season XC 2016

GIRLS Teams - National 2016

Bill Meylan (July 30, 2016)

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 2015 XC season into 2016 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 2016 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 2016 race results are what count.

I did add some Regional Projections this year.

August 2, 2016 Update ... Thanks to Rob Monroe for update info ... Mountain View Idaho has been added at the end of the Top 30 list ... Mountain View ID finished 7th at NXN Northwest last year and returns all runners, and they are adding an incoming freshman who ran a 1600 meters in 4:46.47 on May 28th as an 8th-grader ... I placed them at 30th so the other teams stay the same as initially posted.


 National GIRLS Teams 2016

 Pre-Season Projection - Girls National Team Contenders - 2016

      School                 State   Score    NXN Region
      --------------------   -----   -----    ----------
  1   Fayetteville-Manlius    NY      160     New York
  2   Great Oak               CA      190     California
  3   Saratoga Springs        NY      210     New York
  4   Davis Senior            CA      250     California
  5   Carmel                  IN      310     Midwest
  6   Willmar                 MN      310     Heartland
  7   Edina                   MN      330     Heartland
  8   Arcadia                 CA      350     California
  9   North Rockland          NY      365     New York
  10  Bozeman                 MT      390     Northwest
  11  Lake Braddock           VA      410     Southeast
  12  Blacksburg              VA      410     Southeast
  13  Minooka                 IL      410     Midwest
  14  American Fork           UT      415     Southwest
  15  Summit                  OR      420     Northwest
  16  Desert Vista            AZ      435     Southwest
  17  Saugus                  CA      435     California
  18  Centerville             OH      450     Midwest
  19  Highland-Milford        MI      455     Midwest
  20  Jesuit                  OR      460     Northwest
  21  Keller                  TX      480     South
  22  Birmingham Seaholm      MI      485     Midwest
  23  Marshall                MN      490     Heartland
  24  Buchanan                CA      495     California
  25  Yorkville               IL      500     Midwest
  26  Camas                   WA      505     Northwest
  27  Batavia                 IL      510     Midwest
  28  Riverside               SC      520     Southeast
  29  Davis Utah              UT      520     Southwest
  30  Esperanza               CA      520     California
  30  Mountain View           ID      520     Northwest (updated Aug 2, 2016)

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

      New Trier               IL      Midwest
      Broomfield              CO      Southwest
      Claremont               CA      California
      Wayzata                 MN      Heartland
      Milton                  MA      Northeast
      Chandler                AZ      Southwest
      Smithson Valley         TX      South
      Southlake Carroll       TX      South
      Poly (Long Beach)       CA      California
      Naperville North        IL      Midwest
      Mountain Vista          CO      Southwest
      Guilderland             NY      New York
      Prospect                IL      Midwest
      Sunset                  OR      Northwest
      Eagle                   ID      Northwest
      Serrano                 CA      California
      Northville              MI      Midwest
      The Bolles School       FL      Southeast
      Daviess County          KY      Southeast
      Mountain Brook          AL      Southeast
      Webster Thomas          NY      New York
      Minnetonka              MN      Heartland
      Shenendehowa            NY      New York
      Corning                 NY      New York
      Ridge                   NJ      Northeast
      Unionville              PA      Northeast
      La Salle Academy        RI      Northeast
      Monroe-Woodbury         NY      New York
      Winter Park             FL      Southeast
      Lewisville Marcus       TX      South
      Tolland                 CT      Northeast
      Ventura                 CA      California
      Westview                CA      California
      Xavier Col Prep         AZ      Southwest
      Billings Sr             MT      Northwest
      Tatnall                 DE      Southeast
      Bismarck High           ND      Heartland
      Walter Johnson          MD      Southeast
      Newton South            MA      Northeast
      S.L.V.                  CA      California
      Lewisville Hebron       TX      South

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) ... 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 2016 XC season in a reasonable order ... 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 2015, I did not identify 2 teams (they were unranked in the top 30 teams and not listed in the extra team list) ... 3 of the top 4 teams at NXN 2015 were ranked in my pre-season top 4 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 ... Entering the 2016 season, I see the top four teams from NXN 2015 as the top teams ... several other teams are really not that far behind ... a whole bunch of teams look competitive for top 10 positions.

Fayetteville-Manlius NY ... FM is the defending NXN champion ... FM has been the NXN champion in 9 of the last 10 years ... As noted last year, picking FM as the favorite does not require much imagination ... Fayetteville-Manlius returns four runners from last year's team including 3 scorers, and that forms a good returning nucleus for a strong team.

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 ... Last year, FM's top two new runners finished as the #1 and #2 scorers for FM at NXN Nationals (senior Kaitlyn Neal and 8th-grader Claire Walters) ... FM won NXN 2015 by 89 points ... Had their #1 and #2 scorers not counted in the team scoring, and the FM team score was counted from the #3 to #7 team finishers, Fayetteville-Manlius still would have won NXN with a team score of 133 ... Excellent team strength ........ 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 3rd at NXN last year and 2nd at NXN in 2014 ... The NXN course change to the Glendoveer Golf Course two years ago has been beneficial to most California teams, including Great Oak ..... Great Oak returns 5 runners from NXN 2015, and Great Oak has a deep team at a high level, so it is easy to see them 7 runners deep ... Everything points to another great season for Great Oak in 2016.

Saratoga Springs NY ... Once again, Saratoga is not that far behind FM and Great Oak ... Saratoga is a perennial competitor at NXN ... they have competed at NXN Nationals in 11 of the 12 years that NXN has operated ... At NXN, Saratoga has won once, been 2nd four times, been 3rd once, and in the top 5 nine times .... .Saratoga returns their entire team that finished 4th at NXN last year ... In addition, Saratoga has other runners likely to be competitive for the scoring positions .....  More info about Saratoga is available from my NY Pre-season Team Projections, and detailed info on seven Saratoga runners entering the season is available from my Top NY Girls Profiles.

Davis Senior CA ... Davis Senior finished 2nd with an excellent performance at NXN Nationals last year ... The previous week, Davis Senior lost to Great Oak by only 2 points at the California State Meet (Division 1) ... Top runner Fiona O'Keefe (who graduated) "seemed" injured enough after the CA State Meet that I excluded her from the NXN projections entering NXN 2015; however, Fiona O'Keefe did finish as the #4 team scorer at NXN which helped Davis Senior finish 2nd in the team scoring ...... Davis Senior returns 5 runners from last year's team including 4 scorers ... the top 3 scorers from NXN return (speed ratings in the mid to upper 130s) forming as excellent nucleus for the 2016 team ... Davis Senior is one of the teams I did not identify as a potential NXN team entering the 2015 season.

Carmel IN ... Carmel finished 8th at NXN last year and is another top multiple-time competitor at NXN ... Carmel was 3rd at NXN 2014, 4th in 2013, 3rd in 2012, 5th in 2011 and 7th in 2010 ... Carmel returns 5 runners from last year's team (including top runner Sarah Leinheiser who was 7th at NXN and 8th at Footlocker) ... Carmel is typically a deep team (Christina Geisler showed very nice improvement in track including a 5000m of 17:08 at New Balance Outdoor Nationals) and some talented new runners may also be possible ... Expect another good season from Carmel.

Side-Note about Speed Ratings ... Although Carmel finished 4th at NXN Midwest, speed ratings identified Carmel as the top "At-Large" team amongst all potential girls At-Large teams.

Willmar MN ... Willmar finished 9th at last year's NXN ... and Willmar returns their entire NXN team ... Easy reason for a high ranking in the pre-season.

Edina MN ... Edina finished 16th at last year's NXN ... and Edina returns their entire NXN team.

Arcadia CA ... Arcadia finished 3rd to Great Oak and Davis Senior at the California State Meet ... Arcadia returns their entire team from States ... Before last year's NXN "At-Large" teams were announced, I had Arcadia penciled-in as one of them.

North Rockland NY ... North Rockland finished 10th at last year's NXN ... North Rockland returns their top 3 runners which forms an excellent nucleus for this year's team ... More info about North Rockland is available from my NY Pre-season Team Projections, and detailed info on two North Rockland runners entering the season is available from my Top NY Girls Profiles.

Bozeman MT ... Bozeman finished 19th at last year's NXN ... and Bozeman returns their entire NXN team.

Lake Braddock VA ... Lake Braddock finished 13th at last year's NXN ... Lake Braddock returns 6 runners from their NXN team including their top 4 scorers and top national runner Kate Murphy.



  Last Year's (2015) Girl'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   Fayetteville-Manlius    NY    170   New York          1   Fayetteville-Manlius  NY  -  #1  pre-season
  2   Great Oak               CA    171   California        2   Davis Senior          CA  -  unranked
  3   Saratoga Springs        NY    245   New York          3   Great Oak             CA  -  #2  pre-season
  4   Carmel                  IN    285   Midwest           4   Saratoga Springs      NY  -  #3  pre-season
  5   Glenbard West           IL    290   Midwest           5   Pennsbury             PA  -  #11 pre-season
  6   Naperville North        IL    310   Midwest           6   American Fork         UT  -  #23 pre-season
  7   Shenendehowa            NY    320   New York          7   Sunset                OR  -  #30+ group pre-season
  8   Davis                   UT    350   Southwest         8   Carmel                IN  -  #4  pre-season
  9   Lake Braddock           VA    360   Southeast         9   Willmar               MN  -  #15 pre-season
  10  Northville              MI    370   Midwest           10  North Rockland        NY  -  #30+ group pre-season
  11  Pennsbury               PA    375   Northeast         11  Centreville           OH  -  #30+ group pre-season
  12  Wayzata                 MN    380   Heartland         12  Blacksburg            VA  -  #30+ group pre-season
  13  La Salle Academy        RI    390   Northeast         13  Lake Braddock         VA  -  #9  pre-season
  14  Hinsdale Central        IL    395   Midwest           14  Naperville North      IL  -  #6  pre-season
  15  Willmar                 MN    400   Heartland         15  Southlake Carroll     TX  -  #30+ group pre-season
  16  Edina                   MN    415   Heartland         16  Edina                 MN  -  #16 pre-season
  17  Saugus                  CA    420   California        17  Northville            MI  -  #10 pre-season
  18  Winter Park             FL    421   Southeast         18  La Salle Academy      RI  -  #13 pre-season
  19  Lewisville Marcus       TX    425   South             19  Bozeman               MT  -  #30+ group pre-season
  20  Oakton                  VA    430   Southeast         20  Davis UT              UT  -  #8  pre-season
  21  Serrano                 CA    435   California        21  Xavier Col Prep       AZ  -  unranked
  22  Camas                   WA    436   Northwest         22  Kingwood              TX  -  #30+ group pre-season
  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


 Girls 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 got 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).



    Great Oak               CA     60     California
    Davis Senior            CA     75     California
    Arcadia                 CA    105     California
    Saugus                  CA    130     California
    Buchanan                CA    150     California
    Claremont               CA    165     California
    Esperanza               CA    170     California
    Poly (Long Beach)       CA    180     California
    Serrano                 CA    195     California
    Ventura                 CA    215     California
    Westview                CA    220     California
    S.L.V.                  CA    235     California

    Willmar                 MN     45     Heartland
    Edina                   MN     50     Heartland
    Marshall                MN     80     Heartland
    Wayzata                 MN     90     Heartland
    Minnetonka              MN    100     Heartland
    Bismarck High           ND    120     Heartland

    Carmel                  IN     95     Midwest
    Centerville             OH    120     Midwest
    Minooka                 IL    130     Midwest
    Highland-Milford        MI    130     Midwest
    Birmingham Seaholm      MI    135     Midwest
    Yorkville               IL    140     Midwest
    Batavia                 IL    145     Midwest
    New Trier               IL    145     Midwest
    Prospect                IL    165     Midwest
    Naperville North        IL    165     Midwest
    Northville              MI    165     Midwest

New York (see NY Girls Projection Page)
    Fayetteville-Manlius    NY     75     New York
    Saratoga                NY     90     New York
    North Rockland          NY    190     New York
    Guilderland             NY    315     New York
    Monroe-Woodbury         NY    320     New York
    Corning                 NY    375     New York
    Shenendehowa            NY    380     New York
    Webster Thomas          NY    395     New York
    Pearl River             NY    405     New York
    Shoreham Wading River   NY    405     New York
    Colonie                 NY    425     New York

    Milton                  MA    65      Northeast
    La Salle Academy        RI    70      Northeast
    Ridge                   NJ    70      Northeast
    Unionville              PA    75      Northeast
    Tolland                 CT    80      Northeast
    Newton South            MA    85      Northeast

    Bozeman                 MT    65      Northwest
    Summit                  OR    75      Northwest
    Jesuit                  OR    75      Northwest
    Mountain View           ID    75      Northwest (updated Aug 2, 2016)
    Camas                   WA    85      Northwest
    Sunset                  OR    105     Northwest
    Eagle                   ID    110     Northwest
    Billings Sr             MT    115     Northwest

    Keller                  TX    50      South
    Smithson Valley         TX    55      South
    Southlake Carroll       TX    55      South
    Lewisville Marcus       TX    65      South
    Lewisville Hebron       TX    75      South

    Lake Braddock           VA    75      Southeast
    Blacksburg              VA    75      Southeast
    Riverside               SC    95      Southeast
    Daviess County          KY    120     Southeast
    Mountain Brook          AL    120     Southeast
    The Bolles School       FL    125     Southeast
    Winter Park             FL    130     Southeast
    Tatnall                 DE    150     Southeast
    Walter Johnson          MD    160     Southeast

    American Fork           UT    70      Southwest
    Desert Vista            AZ    75      Southwest
    Davis Utah              UT    90      Southwest
    Broomfield              CO    90      Southwest
    Chandler                AZ    90      Southwest
    Mountain Vista          CO    105     Southwest
    Xavier Col Prep         AZ    120     Southwest