|Class C Preview|
|2016 Season Overview for Class C|
A tempest went raging through Class C in the off-season, sweeping away top teams and all the lead runners. Gone is States champion East Aurora along with two other teams at the championship, Southampton and Glens Falls. Unbelievably, gone are all of the top 10 runners from last year's States.
So are there any survivors left to run the trails this season? Will the performance level sink back to a condition last seen when primeval fish were taking the first flipper-driven heaves on land? Should Class C petition to get its lost teams returned from the Class B region they were blown away to?
Actually, the situation could be a lot worse. Though the Class C field enters the season running way behind where the teams and runners were rated in 2015, the battle between last year's 2nd and 3rd place teams from 2015 States should be a great one. Both Watkins Glen and Mount Academy have strong, deep, and pretty evenly matched teams, and they appear to be running well ahead of the rest of Class C teams. Following them most closely are last year's 4th and 5th place States teams Pleasantville and Marcellus, with a rising Bronxville team also up among the top 5.
The speed ratings for the top returning runners are nowhere near as sparkling as last year, but the level of frenzy around the States finish line may be a lot higher in 2016 than last year when East Aurora's Kenny Vasbinder won his second straight championship by 36.6 seconds. Irvington's Luke Carmosino, Briarcliff's Ryan Gallagher, and CBA's Dominic Morganti start out the year rated at the top, and Watkins Glen's Patrick Hazlitt returns with the highest place at States at 11th.
This will likely be a recovery year for Class C competition, but there is a lot to be said for having a contest where the winner is crowned in November instead of August, which was basically the story in 2015.
|The States Class C runners featured a long line of seniors running near the front a ways behind East Aurora's Kenny Vasbinder who finished 36 seconds in the lead. Here leading the way are Greenville's Sean McAneny (no. 240) who finished 10th and Allegany-Limestone's Owen Barber who took 3rd.|
|Top 5 Teams at 2015 States|
|Projected Top 5 Teams for 2016 from Returners' 2015 TR Ratings|
|Projected Next 10 Teams for 2016 from Returners' 2015 TR Ratings|
A tight pack up among the leaders following Kenny Vasbinder at States included his teammate TJ Murray at left who helped lead East Aurora to its second straight title.