New York Girls XC Class B 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. 


In a way it seems like same-old same-old in Class B, which is actually pretty comforting considering what has happened in the world recently. At the Plattsburgh States championship of 2019, the order of finish in B was East Aurora, Pearl River, Burnt Hills, and North Shore, all storied teams that between them have umpteen (actually 23, with 16 in B) States titles between them. All four teams are among the favorites for a States title this year, and a fifth traditional power that won seven straight B titles between 1998 and 2004 -- Honeoye Falls-Lima -- is also projected to be among the top three teams this year for the showdown in Chenango Valley.

Although 2019 States repeat champ Sarah Connelly is long gone, three of the top five runners from that race could be back for this year's state championship. There is also a pack of newcomers and other 2019 States medalists who are in the mix at the top of the projected Class B leaderboard for 2021 that should ensure that this will be a wild and crazy year.

Finally, we are tacking a fourth page onto this preview to honor a very special senior runner while delving into the trivia about her run toward a fifth appearance at States after missing out on a chance last year. Way back in 2016 as a 7th grader at Chenango Valley, she finished 4th in Class B, and then in 2019 she won the Class C title when her team dropped down. Now in 2021, the Camden Blue Devils are back up in Class B and the Liz Lucason States Trivia Challenge page takes a look at all of the intriguing facets on the run-up to her return to CV States.

Check out the preseason previews below.