Friday, August 24, 2012

Girls Pre-Season National Team Rankings #11-35

National Girls Pre-Season Rankings – Teams #11-35


Here is the list of teams on the national #11-35 teams. Just a reminder on how I come up with my rankings, this is all based almost strictly off of what each team returns from their championship XC meets (State meet and NXN series, or in California’s case CIF Section Finals + State finals) and their best track times of the year from 1500m-5000m. In the national rankings, I do give a little more credit to how good programs have been over the past several years, but it is not overriding – it more or less just breaks ties between teams that seem otherwise very even.


Now, on to the lists!


11. The Woodlands TX
12. Xavier College Prep AZ
Bronxville NY
14. Davis UT
15. Voorhees NJ
16. Saline MI
Great Oak CA
Ogden UT
19. Assumption KY
Dowling Catholic IA
21. Vista del Lago CA
22. Southlake Carroll TX
23. Glacier Peak WA
24. Monarch CO
25. Oakton VA
26. Naperville North IL
San Clemente CA
28. Neenah WI
29. Prospect IL
30. Park City UT
31. Lake Park IL
32. Unionville PA
33. Ventura CA
34. Camas WA
35. Lakeville South MN


Much like the boys, there are three regions that seem quite deep going into the season: the Midwest leads the way with seven teams in the top 35, while both the Southwest and California have six. Also, note that New York’s fourth team, Bronxville, is sitting inside the top 15, while the Southwest and Midwest are the only other regions with more than two teams inside the top 15.


  1. Given your reliance on NXN, NXN Regional and State results (with a slight variation in CA), how are you dealing with deep, senior-laden teams where some or many underclass runners didn't perform at the final 2011 meets?

    Saugus is the obvious example. To rate both San Clemente and Ventura ahead of Saugus means that you ignored the latter's 2011 depth. Of the underclass girls who did run at state, Saugus placed three ahead of both San Clemente's and Ventura's #2. Then, looking at Mt. Sac Invitational results, one finds that the Saugus #4-5 returners aren't far off from their #1-3. Seems pretty clear based on cross country results that Saugus returns a team at least as good as San Clemente and Ventura and probably better. (Perhaps track results shift the balance, but if memory serves, Saugus has five returners from 11:08 to 11:44. Are the top five at San Clemente and Ventura faster?)

  2. I agree that senior-laden teams from California are at a slight disadvantage, particularly if they aren't equally as strong in track. Sometimes, that is offset when teams like Saugus send their JV runners up to Portland and run in the NXN Open race (though they did not last year). Beyond that, the usual way that the non-varsity depth is accounted for (since many teams don't send JV runners to NXN regionals) is during track, which is where Saugus' #4/5 girls are being counted from.

    Other regions also have circumstances that make them harder to gauge proper depth: Texas, for example, only allow 3 runners per event in track, and JV results are never really posted. This means that only a very select few (often seniors) are included from track. This is the opposite problem from California, where there is ample opportunities for kids to get (good) times during track -- lots of invites, lots of meets, and lots of competition, and almost always in great weather. Because of that, Texas teams, if they don't send their JV to NXN-South, probably are at an even worse disadvantage than California teams, where most have shown their hands during track even if they couldn't have their JV compete at a regional meet.

    As for the comparison of Saugus vs. San Clemente and Ventura in track...

    San Clemente's rankings are definitely in large part from cross country:

    #1 5:10.46 / 11:10.34
    #2 5:12.53 / 11:26.70
    #3 5:12.10 / 11:42.28
    #4 5:24.39
    #5 5:11.14 / 11:50.27

    Ventura's are more of a mix:

    #1 5:03.70 / 10:56.65
    #2 5:12.24 / 11:10.11
    #3 5:27.36 / 11:30.26
    #4 5:07.61 / 11:31.03
    #5 5:29.37

    while Saugus' are mostly from track (#2 the only exception)

    #1 5:26.98 / 11:08.76
    #2 5:24.74 / 11:09.55
    #3 5:19.55 / 11:37.27
    #4 5:26.34 / 11:43.20
    #5 5:32.63 / 11:43.79

    As for how they all compare... this is what I have for the projected CA State times:

    17:40 Ventura CA#1
    18:05 San Clemente CA#1
    18:15 Saugus CA#1
    18:25 San Clemente CA#2
    18:25 Saugus CA#2
    18:25 Saugus CA#3
    18:30 Ventura CA#2
    18:35 San Clemente CA#3
    18:40 Ventura CA #3
    18:45 San Clemente CA #4
    18:50 Ventura CA #4
    19:05 San Clemente CA #5
    19:20 Saugus CA #4
    19:25 Saugus CA #5
    19:25 Saugus CA #6
    19:25 Saugus CA #7
    19:30 Ventura CA #5

    so while Saugus has more depth (in terms of #5+ at least), that good of a #1 and strong #2-4 from Ventura can really make a difference, even with Saugus being so competitive at #2-3. San Clemente on the other hand just looks stronger up and down the lineup (best #5, best #4, middle #3, best #2, middle #1).

  3. I realize you have to have a system to deal with all teams, but it seems as if considering at least another significant cross country meet under the senior-laden, deep team circumstance is going to result in more reasonable results. For instance, for Saugus, your analysis ignores Nina Sassano's 18:36 at the Mt. Sac Invitational. Given your auto-improvement system, that puts her up front with the first three Saugus girls, not back in the 19:20s (or perhaps not even included).

    And as we know, track results don't always translate into the equivalent cross country times. Unusual for an 18:14/10:56 girl to improve to 17:40 the following year, and I'd be impressed to see Ventura's #4 at 18:50.

    (Of course, none of this discussion includes incoming frosh, who could change things considerably.)

    BTW, the repeated anti-robot log in is probably going to make this my last comment. Too much trouble.

  4. Too bad blogs don't come with pages for message boards :)

    The issue with adding in an additional mid-season meet is that takes away from the focus of championship season cross country (which is ALL that is included on the cross country front), and creates a further potential bias as not every team competes in a big invite.

    Of course track times don't always translate to cross country success, but ~3200m times have a pretty good correlation. But some track included is better than no track included, wouldn't you say? It doesn't seem like a good idea to ignore 6 months of potential progress/improvement.

    By the way, Sassano is included (she was the #7 listed above), and including her Mt. SAC time wouldn't make a big difference (she'd become Saugus' #7 at a projected CA State time of 19:15).

  5. oops, meant to say she'd become Saugus' #4 above, not #7 (of course).

    That's another thing blogs could use... a comment editing feature.

  6. Who cares! Their's a 99% chance Saugus is going to be better than both San Clemente and Ventura. We'll see next week at the Seaside Invitational.

  7. SLV Will also be Stronger Than You Think! Actual Pr's didn't show! Not bad for a Div 4 School!
    Macmillian 11:19
    Germany 11:28
    Sherman 11:32
    Jensen 11:48
    Lamb 12:02
    Wiegel 12:17
    Lugue 12:30
    Pavelko 12:36
    Incoming Soph Move in Tranfer is Running with Germany.