New York Girls XC Class A Preview

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 girls' larger group of Class A schools are the ones best set to make the return to the anticipated standard slate of action for 2021 XC. The two biggest heavyweights, Saratoga in Section 2 and Fayetteville Manlius of Section 3, have between them captured 13 of the 16 NXN national titles and tend to be heavy inspirations to their local Class A competitors such as Shenendehowa, Shaker, Bethlehem, and Niskayuna in S2 and Cicero-North Syracuse in S3.

Although there are certainly some givens to the coming year as Saratoga is the favorite for another NXN title (though teams like perhaps Cherry Creek CO and Summit OR will challenge) and it is expected that FM will develop a strong group of young runners for its quest for a 15th straight visit to NXN. But 2021 may also see some big changes following a year when most of the standard fare of major meets had to be swept to the side. Six of the nine teams that represented their sections in Class A at Plattsburgh in 2019 are again the favorites for a visit to Chenango Valley States this year. But definitely, there will be some big surprises this year and many exciting new faces will be making their marks on the course.

Check out the preseason previews below.