TullyRunners -  Article

 

Individual Cross Country Girls - Sarah Baxter, Mary Cain & Anna Rohrer

by Bill Meylan (December 14, 2012)

 

Post NXN and Footlocker Nationals 2012 ... This is a quick article looking at the top three cross country girls in the nation at the close of the 2012 season ... I find it interesting because Sarah Baxter, Mary Cain and Anna Rohrer are all underclassmen.

They will likely enter the 2013 cross country season as the favorites nationally and itís fun to speculate ... not only about next year, but about this year since Anna Rohrer never raced Sarah Baxter and Mary Cain head-to-head.

Horseplayers like to read past performance charts and evaluate the prospects of each horse in a race ... This exercise is looking at just three high school girls ... So I updated the past performance records of Sarah Baxter and Mary Cain from my pre-season preview and added Anna Rohrer ... Here are their past performance records (as of December 14. 2012):

Sarah Baxter   11   Simi Valley HS   California (Southern Section)

courtesy DailyNews.com

 NXN Nationals          12/1/2012    1   19:17.0   159
 CA States Champ-Div1   11/24/2012   1   16:39.7   162
 CA Southern Sec Champ  11/17/2012   1   15:53.0   146
 CA Southern Sec PreL   11/10/2012   1   16:41.0   ---
 Marmonte League Champ  11/1/2012    1   16:37.58  ---
 Ventura County Champ   10/26/2012   1   17:15.01  ---
 Mt SAC Team Sweep      10/20/2012   1   16:00.0   164
 Woodbridge Invite      9/14/2012    1   16:12.0   147
   --------------         -------
 NXN Nationals          12/3/2011    1   17:38.0   154
 CA States Champ-Div2   11/26/2011   1   17:07.4   156
 CA Southern Sec Champ  11/19/2011   1   16:44.0   153
 CA Southern Sec PreL   11/12/2011   1   16:09.0   150
 Marmonte League Champ  11/3/2011    1   17:03.05 ~145
 Ventura County Champ   10/28/2011   1   17:41.07 ~141
 Mt SAC Team Sweep      10/22/2011   1   16:59.0   149
   --------------         -------
 CA States Champ-Div1   11/27/2010   1   16:56.9   158
 CA Southern Sec Champ  11/20/2010   1   17:40.0   151
 CA Southern Sec PreL   11/12/2010   1   17:39.0   135
 Mt SAC Team Sweep      10/23/2010   1   16:41.0   155
 Woodbridge Invite      9/18/2010    1   16:46.0   140
   Track (selected races):
 CA State Champ        6/2/12    3200m    1   10:12.00
 CA SS Sec Masters     5/25/12   3200m    1   10:08.71
 CA SS Sec Div2 Final  5/19/12   1600m    1   4:51.12
 CA SS Sec Div2 Final  5/19/12   3200m    1   10:21.17
 CA SS Sec Div2 PreLim 5/12/12   1600m    2   4:49.33
 CA SS Sec Div2 PreLim 5/12/12   3200m    1   10:27.90
 Marmonte League       5/4/12    1600m    1   4:52.01
 Marmonte League       5/4/12    3200m    1   10:28.27
 Ventura Co Champ      4/27/12   3200m    1   10:21.61
 Tri-Meet              4/18/12   1600m    1   4:59.28
 Arcadia Invitational  4/7/12    3200m    1   10:08.11
 Redondo Nike Fest     3/17/12   1600m    1   5:02.76
 Don Green Inv         3/4/12    1600m    1   5:02.45
 Don Green Inv         3/4/12    3200m    1   10:44.14
Mary Cain    11    Bronxville HS-Unattached   New York  

 NXN Nationals          12/1/2012    2   19:21.0   158
 NXN NY Region          11/24/2012   1   17:42.6   158
 Fred Lebow NYRR        11/18/2012   1   17:26.0   159
 Manhattan Inv VarA     10/13/2012   1   14:03.9   151
 St Anthonys Inv-Sm     10/6/2012    1   18:45.30  141
 Warwick Wave-D1        9/22/2012    1   17:59.8   141
 Villa Bears Inv        9/15/2012    1   14:42.2   139
  --------------         -------
 NXN Nationals          12/3/2011    6   17:56.0   148
 NXN-NY Regional        11/26/2011   3   18:19.4   148
 NY Federation          11/19/2011   1   17:40.0   159
 NY States-Class C      11/12/2011   1   19:29.5   145
 Section 1-Class C      11/4/2011    1   18:25.02  144
 Sec 1 Coaches-V2       10/22/2011   1   18:02.96  151
 Manhattan-Var E        10/9/2011    1   14:31.1   145
 St Anthonys Inv-Sm     10/1/2011    1   18:28.47  146
 Warwick Wave-1         9/24/2011    1   18:14.0   142
 Villa Bears Inv        9/17/2011    1   14:16.1   144
 Randolph Inv NJ        9/10/2011    1   17:50.16  144
  --------------         -------
 Federation Champ       11/20/2010   14  18:55.6   134
 NY States-Class C      11/13/2010   1   18:42.7   135
   Track (selected races):
 World Junior Champ    7/15/12   1500m    6   4:11.01
 World Junior Champ    7/13/12   1500m    3   4:14.77
 US Olympic Trials     6/22/12   800m     18  2:04.11
 USA Junior Champ      6/17/12   1500m    1   4:14.74
 USA Junior Champ      6/15/12   1500m    1   4:24.25
 NY State Champ        6/9/12    1500m    1   4:19.78
 Sec 1-St Qual-D2      6/1/12    1500m    1   4:16.52
 Sec 1-Class C         5/23/12   1500m    1   4:21.4
 Sec 1-Class C         5/23/12   800m     1   2:06.3
 Loucks Games          5/11/12   800m     1   2:03.34
 Somers Lion Inv       5/5/12    1500m    1   4:17.1
 Penn Relays           4/26/12   1 Mile   1   4:39.28
 New York Relays       4/21/12   800m     1   2:05.90
 Fulton Invite         4/18/12   400m     1   0:56.3
 Pirate Relays         3/31/12   3000m    1   9:32.2
 NBIN Nationals        3/11/12   800m     2   2:07.26
 NY State Champ        3/3/12    1500m    1   4:24.25
 Millrose Games        2/11/12   1 Mile   4   4:52.19
 New Balance Col       2/3/12    1000m    1   2:47.29
 Yale Classic          1/21/12   3000m    3   9:47.97
 Hispanic Games        1/7/12    1 Mile   2   4:48.98
Anna Rohrer    10     Mishawaka HS   Indiana  

courtesy WSBT.com

As a freshman in 2011, Anna Rohrer ran some early XC races, but was then sidelined by injuries ... she had a broken bone and four stress fractures ... was on crutches for 3 months and did not run for 150 days ... returned to run track in the spring of 2012.
 Footlocker Finals      12/8/2012    1   17:24.8   159
 Footlocker Midwest     11/24/2012   1   16:54.0   156
 Indiana States-D1      10/27/2012   1   17:13.2   154
 Indiana Sem-State      10/20/2012   1   17:03.96  ---
 Indiana Regional       10/13/2012   1   17:24.0   ---
 IHSAA Sectional 9      10/9/2012    1   17:33.2   ---
 Northern Conference    9/29/2012    1   17:38.0   ---
 Culver Invitational    9/22/2012    2   17:32.1   144
 New Praire Invite      9/15/2012    1   17:14.1  ~147
 Nothridge Co Clash     9/8/2012     1   17:56.9   ---
 Viking Stampede MI     8/18/2012    1   17:46.0   ---
   --------------         -------
 New Praire Invite      9/17/2011    12  19:17.1   ---

   Track (selected races):
 Indiana St Champ      6/2/12    3200m    17  11:11.04
 IHSAA Warsaw Region   5/22/12   3200m    5   11:19.81
 IHSAA Brebeuf Sect    5/15/12   1600m    4   5:23.89
 IHSAA Brebeuf Sect    5/15/12   3200m    3   11:45.01

 

I will assume the role of the morning-line handicapper at a race track ... this is the person that comes-up with the morning-line odds that appear in the program and are initially posted on the tote board at the start of betting ... Up front I will state, in general, Sarah Baxter will be the morning-line favorite.

Sarah Baxter deserves to be favorite for several reasons, (1) her cross country records shows nothing but 1st-places for the past three years and that includes California State championships and two NXN National championships (with wins over Mary Cain), (2) she has slightly the highest speed ratings, and (3) she is really good ... What makes this interesting is that Mary Cain and Anna Rohrer are really good as well.

Location-Location-Location ... Where the race takes place does matter ... Although some people might think Portland Meadows, Balboa Park, Woodward Park CA, Bowdoin Park NY, LaVern Gibson Championship XC Course IN, Van Cortlandt Park NY, Mt SAC, and the Footlocker Midwest course are all the same, I tend to disagree.

Would Sarah Baxter be an odds-on favorite in a Footlocker-type race?? ... I doubt it because there is too much competition and Mary Cain and Anna Rohrer both have performance records reasonably close to Sarah Baxter ... My morning-line at various locations would be as follows:
 

 

  Morning-Line Odds         Morning-Line Odds        Morning-Line Odds
 Portland Meadows OR         Balboa Park CA          LaVern Gibson IN
  Sarah Baxter  6-5         Sarah Baxter  7-5        Sarah Baxter  7-5
  Mary Cain     8-5         Anna Rohrer   8-5        Anna Rohrer   8-5
  Anna Rohrer   5-2         Mary Cain     8-5        Mary Cain     8-5


  Morning-Line Odds         Morning-Line Odds        Morning-Line Odds
  Bowdoin Park NY            WakeMed Cary NC         Detweiller Park IL
  Mary Cain     7-5         Sarah Baxter  7-5        Sarah Baxter  7-5
  Sarah Baxter  8-5         Mary Cain     8-5        Mary Cain     7-5
  Anna Rohrer   9-5         Anna Rohrer   9-5        Anna Rohrer   2-0
			

I give credit to courses where individuals have raced and succeeded ... Sarah Baxter has succeeded at Portland Meadows and several California courses ... Mary Cain has succeeded in NY ... Anna Rohrer has proven she can fall down and win Footlocker Nationals at Balboa Park ... I make Mary Cain favorite at the NY courses because those are her home courses and NY officials would probably schedule the race for 8:00am in the morning knowing Sarah Baxter was losing 3 hours in her travel to the East coast.

I want to see the three of them race head-to-head on some sort of a typical American high school cross country course and Portland Meadows in December is definitely NOT that ... I donít give a darn what the Europeans or collegians do ...It is American high school cross country that interests me IF high school kids are running a "championship" race.

When betting real money, you always weigh both the positives and the negatives ... I always consider the speeds ratings because thatís what I do ... The speed ratings from Portland Meadows and Balboa Park are not exactly equal due to the circumstances and course conditions of each race and require separate evaluation (To be discussed in a separate article ... Iím obviously bored at work).

Just consider ... with the exception of the atypical flat mud-hole of Portland Meadows, Sarah Baxter has never won a national (or even regional-type) high school cross country race outside of her native California ... Mary Cain has never won a high school cross country race outside of her native New York ... Anna Rohrer was on crutches for 3 months at this time last year ... she improved throughout the cross country season and faced national-caliber Ashley Erba on a number of occasions this season beating her three times ... Anna Rohrer went to Wisconsin and broke the Footlocker Midwest course record against a field of runners that was arguably the best group of regional runners in the US (NXN or Footlocker) ... she then traveled half-way across the country only to fall down, get-up and win Footlocker Nationals ... So I ask, "How good is Anna Rohrer??" ... I donít know, but she has accomplished things that Sarah Baxter and Mary Cain have yet to do.

I find this a lot more interesting than the state of the current team-thing as it exists at NXN Portland Meadows.

One contrast with NXN ... Assume these three girls competed head-to-head in a national championship race ... Iím trying to imagine the official interviewers asking the two losers after the race if they had fun ... That aspect of NXN will be discussed in a future article ... Imagine Dwight Stones, at the US Olympic Trials, asking the 4th and 5th finishers in an event if they had fun ... Iím not trying to be harsh, but simply point-out that the actual intent of an event can be revealed by those involved in it, and that includes the competitors.

Sarah Baxter, Mary Cain and Anna Rohrer are all champions ... The thought of watching them compete head-to-head on a real American high school course is a very nice thought ... But Iím doubting it will ever happen.
 

 

 

 

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