MITCA: Where the Graphing Method Goes Wrong

Above are the graphs from the Boys MITCA race this past weekend. The line hits the y-intercept at 943, so the adjustment is 54 seconds faster than AF2018.

So for Brendan Favazza, the formula is:

(1560-(931.1+54))/3 = 191.6

He won the race, one loaded with all-state talent. THIS DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. IT SHOULD BE HIGHER.

Here is the problem with the graphing method. It assumes that the field you’re comparing is equal.

Allendale Falcon is a pretty fair representation of an invitational. MITCA is not. Neither are States or Regionals. The faster runners are competing and many below our top sevens are not. The line for these races ends up trending towards too low of a number.

That’s where I use REFERENCE RUNNERS.

This late in the year, there are 35,000+ performances from either boys or girls, on average of about 6-7 rated races per runner. There is a built in expectation of one’s rating, and that’s what I used to determine the adjustment for MITCA.

NameMITCA TimeUnadjusted RatingName2019 RatingDifference
Aidan Hollandsworth19:35.2128.3Aidan Hollandsworth162.9-34.6
Akshay Reddy16:44.3185.2Akshay Reddy194.4-9.1
Alan Atkinsmith17:37.0167.7Alan Atkinsmith169.4-1.7
Alex Lawhorne20:18.1114.0Alex Lawhorne135.5-21.5
Alex Mathews19:14.9135.0Alex Mathews151.2-16.2
Andrew Daniels19:13.7135.4Andrew Daniels140.6-5.2
Andrew Grier19:43.5125.5Andrew Grier117.87.7
Andrew Lane15:56.1201.3Andrew Lane204.5-3.2
Andrew Nolan15:44.7205.1Andrew Nolan207.5-2.4
Andrew Sesti16:20.9193.0Andrew Sesti194.9-1.9
Armaan Lehal21:56.181.3Armaan Lehal98.8-17.5
Austin Aldrich19:06.8137.7Austin Aldrich159.3-21.6
Austin Smelker17:51.8162.7Austin Smelker173.2-10.4
Bo Anderson18:48.8143.7Bo Anderson151.9-8.1
Braxton Shutko19:03.7138.8Braxton Shutko147.5-8.7
Brendan Favazza15:31.1209.6Brendan Favazza216.7-7.1
Brenden Schroeder17:58.3160.6Brenden Schroeder176.6-16.0
Brenden Wallace20:59.6100.1Brenden Wallace118.0-17.9
Bryce Brown17:07.6177.5Bryce Brown178.3-0.8
Bryce Mathews18:53.9142.0Bryce Mathews142.8-0.7

Here, I am determining how much slower Shepherd ran compared to the average rating. I had 143 matches, showing Shepherd was 7.9 rating points slower than the average rating.

But as with the graphing method, I want to eliminate outliers. Taking the average of the data points between the two lines, Shepherd ran 7.3 points (or 22 seconds slower) than the average rating.

So again, for Favazza:

(1560-(931.1-22))/3 = 217.0

Personally, I prefer using the graphing method first, especially in larger fields. We’re blessed here to have large meets opening the season, such as your Ann Arbor Early Bird, Pete Moss, Corunna, Portage Early Bird, or Under the Lights. Those help set a standard for using reference runners to begin the season. For the record, reference runners were the primary method used for Regionals and State.


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