High School Cross Country Rankings and related posts covering the national scene, the Nike Cross Nationals regions, and Washington State
Why is everyone ranking the NW so low? They placed 13th and 14th at NXN last year, not as good the year before, and 11th and 4th in 2010. Why the lack of respect for this region?
IMO Meylan has usually been a little low on the NW and most especially SW. But then again, the NW girls teams haven't always done so well at NXN so downgrading them a little can be reasonably justified I suppose... not sure what other rankings have the NW low (Bloom and occassionally Milesplit are the only other ones I actually look at though). Not sure you'll be too happy with my rankings either, I think there is a decent gap between the NW#1 and NW#2-5 teams on the girls side.
More detail on the NW girls history since the regional was put in place:In those six years, there have been 8 NW teams that have scored competitively at NXN. Two other teams arguably should have been competitive (both of the 2011 teams), and some of those teams that did score competitively were actually much better than they showed (Jesuit '08 being the prime example). It also hurt when Summit OR only sent half their squad to NXN-NW in what was a down year for the whole region in 2008. The team that did qualify in the second spot that year (Eastlake WA) did run pretty well for them at NXN, but just weren't a potential top-15 type team. So, between some of the teams not faring nearly as well as they should have, and other years when the NW wasn't necessarily represented by the best teams in the region, the NW has (perhaps rightfully) been seen as a region that isn't particularly strong on the girls side. And if you go back to the NTN selections from before the regional meets started up, that is emphasized further by sometimes the committee not selecting the best teams to represent the region (and some teams opting not to compete when given the chance), plus an over-representation in 2005 that led to several NW teams at the back of the standings.In short, the NW girls history at NTN/NXN hasn't been as good as it should have been, and that leaves it looking weaker compared to the rest of the nation than it should. The only way to fix that is to continue to send competitive teams to NXN for a long enough time that other people begin to realize that the NW isn't as weak as it now seems. Hopefully a second and third strong team rises to the challenge this year and boosts the NW reputation just a little bit more, much like 2012/2010/2007.
Also, this I just did so it's only a rough draft and only comparing state meets... but these would have been my NW rankings in years prior to the Regional races, and how those teams fared at NTN:20041. Flathead MT - declined NTN invite2. Bellarmine Prep WA - NTN#4 (211 points)3. Gig Harbor WA4. Jesuit OR - NTN#16 (351 points)5. Snohomish WA6. Billings Senior MT7. Thomas Jefferson WA8. West Valley AK9. Bozeman MT10. Sheldon OR20051. Gig Harbor WA - NTN#7 (205 points)2. Mt. Spokane WA3. Boise ID - NTN#20 (468 points... not a good race for them at all)4. Thomas Jefferson WA5. West Valley AK - NTN#15 (316 points)6. Jesuit OR - NTN#18 (409 points)7. Billings Senior MT8. Bozeman MT9. Snohomish WA10. Flathead MT20061. Gig Harbor WA - NTN Open Champion (aside from Kenya)2. West Valley AK - NTN#15 (303 points) without their #3!3. Billings Senior MT - NTN#14 (291 points)4. Thomas Jefferson WA5. Jesuit OR6. Eastlake WA7. Squalicum WA8. Boise ID9. West Anchorage AK (? guessing on where their #3-5 runners were)10. Juneau-Douglas AK (? guessing on where their #3-5 runners were)So, going back and looking at the top 2 teams each year and how they stack up nationally...2012 = NXN#13 (294), NXN#14 (298)2011 = NXN#15 (368), NXN#16 (376)2010 = NXN#4 (227), NXN#11 (297)2009 = NXN#11 (318), NXN#18 (395)2008 = NXN#15 (316), Did Not Compete2007 = NXN#10 (295), NXN#12 (304)2006 = Not Invited, NTN#15 (303) without their #32005 = NTN#7 (205), Not Invited2004 = Declined Invite, NTN#4 (211)... tremendous year in 2004, though the nation as a whole was much weaker back then.2008 and 2009 were low points for the caliber of NW teams, and unfortunately those are two of the six most important years (when the region was supposed to be able to send it's best, as long as the teams were willing).To me, looking at this, it seems that most years the NW should have about one team in the top 10 (or close to it), and another in the top 15ish @ NXN range (which may be as low as #25-30 nationally). It may end up looking like that by October, but for the pre-season, I'm not sure the #2 team will be quite that high.