Note: An interesting turn of events here in regards to the Speed Ratings vs. race results. By the data, Riley Hough had the best race of the Season, going #2 All-Time at the Michigan State, bettering the mark set by Grant Fisher before he went on to win Foot Locker in 2014. However, racing later at the XC Town Champs, Hough had an off day, placing tenth. We know it was an off-day because the Runner-Up in that Michigan Race, Hobbs Kessler, was also Runner-Up at XC Town Champs. However, racing comes down to who was better on the day.
Unlike Hough, who had Kessler two seconds behind him for his top mark, Tristian Merchant was running all alone all Season, essentially time trialing each of his races. Much like Allie Ostrander, who raced in Alaska, then came down to win NXN, had there been a culminating opportunity for Merchant, he would have been the top seed. Athletes run better with competition, and we could expect that number to jump.
Of all those in the Top Slots, however, it was Parker Wolfe that comes out on top. With the margins so slim, it comes down to competition and wins. Wolfe was undefeated, broke the CO State Course Record, and managed to hold off the field at the RunningLane Champs, and did so with a comfortable margin.