MileSplit NY is once more kicking off the previews of another XC season like no other with an in-depth series of articles that will continue through the month!
Following on a 2020-21 year for cross country that was shortened or missing entirely for teams in New York and was held in the fall in some places and the spring in others, this year the outlook seems more promising for an extended schedule that will culminate with state and national championships. Still, in mid August we are keeping our XC fingers crossed that all the sections and conferences can be restored to the traditional fall slate of action.
We begin coverage of this year's XC season with previews that will try to pull together the somewhat murky info from last year's XC meets along with more insights from the track season's long distance races. In 2020, only Section 5 and 6 and the CHSAA held championships that fairly closely resembled their usual local competitions, though many of the other sections held large end-of-season alternatives in November or April. In the NYC area, however, the NYAIS independent schools had no XC season and the PSAL public schools had neither XC nor track and field competition. So yes, this year we begin the XC campaign with a lot more questions than in past years.
The previews and rankings for the XC runners and teams will as usual be based as much as possible on the speed ratings posted by Tully Runners rather than the raw "best times" generally used in other states. Speed ratings for XC runners are composed from comparing the times from individuals on a wide variety of courses under varying conditions and are much more informative than the "best time" lists.
The previews for the NY girls start with an overview of the top individual runners and teams overall, and they will continue with previews of each of the NYSPHSAA's four classes, A, B, C, and D and finally on the city area's CHSAA-PSAL-AIS conferences of the Federation group.
Before heading into the events of the future, we need to give acknowledgments to the accomplishments of runners and teams from the last two years since the wrap-up for the HS career of many athletes was abridged or eliminated. In 2019 a very young Saratoga team won its first NXN national championship since a title at the initial meet in 2004. Last year the Blue Streaks would have been big favorites to repeat if NXN had been held, but this year they still have likely the strongest team in the country.
Two years ago a storied Class of 2019 saw the departures of Katelyn Tuohy, Claire Walters, Jenna Schulz, Phoebe White, Sarah Connelly, and Tori Mariano from top 10 speed ratings list. The top quintet of juniors from that year never did get the full opportunity to shine in XC in their senior years, but Brooke Rauber, Ava Jolley, Katie Turk, Sydney Nowicki, and Hannah Ielfield gave it their best shot with what they were given.
Check out the preseason previews below.
PREVIEW OF RUNNERS
PREVIEW OF Teams