Monday, October 5, 2015

Quick/Rough NW Team Rankings

Here's a quick take on what the Northwest Team rankings might be. This is not nearly as in-depth as my usual rankings, so it's just a quick look at (essentially) the best team performances from each team over the last few weeks. Also included is the results for each team from the last three weeks.

I expect these rankings would be different after results from the next couple week are tallied, but it seems that Washington is off to a slow start compared to the rest of the region (which is fine, as what happens in November is the real test for teams of this caliber).

Northwest Boys 19-Sep 26-Sep 3-Oct
 1. Mountain View ID 1st Mountain Home ID 2nd Nike Portland OR OFF
 2. Summit OR 1st Oregon City OR 3rd Nike Portland OR 1st Oxford OR
 3. Crater OR OFF 7th Bob Firman ID 1st State of Jefferson OR
 4. Bozeman MT 1st Mountain West MT 8th Bob Firman ID OFF
 5. North Central WA OFF 9th Bob Firman ID OFF
 6. Tahoma WA 1st Ft. Steilacoom WA 10th Bob Firman ID 1st Sunfair WA
 7. Jesuit OR OFF 5th Nike Portland OR OFF
 8. Eisenhower WA 3rd Ft. Steilacoom WA 1st Bellevue WA 5th Sunfair WA
 9. Rocky Mountain ID OFF 6th Nike Portland OR 1st Gary Ward ID
10. Lincoln OR OFF 7th Nike Portland OR 2nd Sunfair WA

Honorable Mention: Arlington WA, Eastlake WA, Inglemoor WA, Interlake WA, Issaquah WA, Laramie WY, Sehome WA, Shelley ID

Northwest Girls 19-Sep 26-Sep 3-Oct
 1. Sunset OR 2nd Woodbridge CA 1st Nike Portland OR OFF
 2. Camas WA 1st Seaside OR 3rd Nike Portland OR 1st Harrier Classic OR
 3. Bozeman MT 1st Mountain West MT 4th Bob Firman ID OFF
 4. Mountain View ID 1st Mountain Home ID 4th Nike Portland OR OFF
 5. Jesuit OR OFF 5th Nike Portland OR OFF
 6. Billings Senior MT 2nd Mountain West MT 1st Great Falls MT 1st Butte MT
 7. Sheldon OR OFF 1st Northwest Classic OR 1st Oxford OR
 8. Summit OR 1st Oregon City OR 8th Nike Portland OR 2nd Oxford OR
 9. Hellgate MT 3rd Mountain West MT 2nd Great Falls MT OFF
10. Ballard WA OFF 1st Bellevue WA 1st Curtis WA

Honorable Mention: Boise ID, Eagle ID, Grant OR, Kenai Central AK, Mount Si WA, Mount Spokane WA, Rocky Mountain ID

Note: Alaska's 4A Boys Champion, West Anchorage, might belong on the Honorable Mention list as well... hard to say, but my initial guess is they are close but not quite there. We will get a better read this weekend as they travel down to the George Fox Classic in Oregon.


  1. I agree with the boys rankings, except Ike might be a little high. I would certainly put them below Lincoln. And I think Twilight was actually a very good meet. Interlake, Arlington, Issaquah and Eastlake are all likely to do well at State.
    As far as the girls go, my only input is, lose Allie Ostrander and get better? That just seems crazy. But I did see Kenai Central won state, which they did not do last year.

    1. I agree, Twilight was a very good meet. The top four there were all among the Top 15, had I gone that deep. Also, I don't think there is a big gap between, say, Ike and the #16 team in the region.

      Kenai Central: While losing a runner like Ostrander hurts, they weren't looking too bad pre-season because their #2-4 runners last year was a decent pack and all were freshmen. Add in a pair of freshmen to that pack, and they came out with a solid group. However, I don't think they are really any better than last year, though the rest of the region (at least so far) doesn't seem as deep as it was last year.

      Eisenhower: I can certainly understand why many probably think they should be ranked behind Lincoln - they certainly weren't as impressive at their own meet last weekend, and that's the only time those two teams have squared off. However, that seemed to be Eisenhower's worst run so far this year. Even in their league meet (also at Franklin Park) earlier this year, their times were comparable to what Lincoln ran at Sunfair.

      I wouldn't be surprised if these lists look much different in the next month or so. There are some teams that looked like strong squads this pre-season that still might come along and make a push for NW Top 10 - Washington teams like Kamiakin, Skyview, Bellarmine Prep, or Oregon teams like Central Catholic or maybe South Eugene, plus more teams from Montana/Idaho/Wyoming that are just a little off the radar right now.

  2. Though Sunfair, was Eisenhower's worst race, I don't believe it renders a rank higher than Lincoln. Lincoln beat them head to head by a significant margin. It can further be argued that Nike Portland XC was by far Lincoln's worst race, and they still placed 7th. Additionally, Lincoln recently beat the #7 Jesuit team by 35 points putting 6 in front of their #3. It should be noted that Eisenhower beat North Central while North Central was missing their #2 and #3 runners.

    1. I'm normally not a fan of season best lists, but just for the sake of this comparison it makes sense.

      All the courses that Eisenhower has run on this season tend to be pretty similar speedwise, despite the fact that Richland and Franklin Park are 3 mile courses. Tracy Walters is the exception now that it was extended to 5k.

      Lincoln has raced on one course that has always been very fast (Sandelie), but their other invites are on courses very similar to the ones that Eisenhower ran on. I'll assume that the PIL meets were on similar courses.

      Here is how their (rounded) times stack up, runner for runner:
      #1 Ike 15:50, Linc 16:10; #2 Ike 16:00, Linc 16:10; #3 Ike 16:15, Linc 16:15; #4 Ike 16:15, Linc 16:15; #5 Linc 16:35, Ike 16:50. Lincoln has 9 runners as fast as Eisenhower's #5.

      What those times suggest to me is that Lincoln would probably fare better in smaller, less elite fields (where front runners play a smaller role). However, Eisenhower's edge at #1 and #2 at least evens that out in stronger/more elite fields where there are more front runners in the field. Those combined 30 seconds up front at least as important as the 15 seconds at #5, while the #3/4 runners are a push.

  3. Rob, I was curious if you have enough data to handicap this weekend's Eastern Regional 4A Boys race. It looks like the 5 GSL teams will race for 3 state spots. It looks like it will be close! Also curious about your thoughts on the other 4A boys regionals but especially the eastern region! Thanks ;)

    1. Unfortunately, I haven't really been keeping up enough to give a good preview. I was more or less planning on waiting until this weekend's races to start coming up with any sort of idea for how any of the teams compare (if I'll be looking at that at all).