We haven’t even had our introduction to cross country weather. The chill in the air, usually noticeable on some August mornings, has been replaced by this undying, oppressive humidity. Early season meets occur mid-afternoon or even in the evening, where the temperatures hit their highs for the day. In spite of the humidity, times have really been dropped. Jack Wilson, after a less than stellar track season, runs about as good of a time you’ll see at Cass Benton. Olivia, I mean Jaden Theis, may have just jump-started herself into the national spotlight. Regardless, I promised an initial ranking on Labor Day weekend, and here we are.
These rankings are based on a team’s top 5 runners, determined by the races they’ve run, weighted towards the nearest date. These are based on time, not place in a hypothetical meet.
A team may be underrated for a few reasons:
- Inconsistency. Some like to judge a person’s ability on their best performance, but I think you have to take all performances into account. If you run 17:30, 17:00, then 18:45, I believe you have to include the 18:45 in rating. For all we know, in an important race, that person may run another 18:45. Straight up, their average time is 17:45, so I’m predicting that next time out.
- Strong 4th and 5th runner relative to other teams. Team A has ratings of 220, 195, 190, 185, 140. Team B has ratings of 190, 185, 185, 185, 180. Team A’s average is 186. Team B’s average is 185. Team B wins invitationals, Team A wins dual meets. Regionals and States are not dual meets.
- Strong 6th and 7th runners. We know these people allow you to take advantage of a weaker 3rd/4th/5th runner. They also can have an out of world performance and elevate your team, or provide backup in the case of a dreadful race. For now, I have the top 5 runners rated. At some point, where I feel comfortable adding some subjectivity, I’ll factor in these two.
A team may be overrated if:
- They have a strong lead runner and a relatively weaker 4th/5th runner. The strong lead runner racks up the score, but in a race, their single point isn’t rendered too effective.
- Weaker 6th and 7th runners. No room for error, lower odds of a quantum leap performance.
A team may not be rated if:
- They haven’t run yet. Clarkston, Fremont, that’s you.
- They haven’t posted their results to Athletic.net. Milford, that’s you.
- I didn’t create a rating for their meet. That’s on me.
As a refresher, the ratings are projected times at MIS.