New York Girls XC Class C 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. 


Class C is the most democratic and equitable of the four classes, as every one of the 11 sections has at least three C schools listed, with Section 6 topping the list with 32 listings and 16 full teams competing in its 2019 State Qualifier meet. Schools from four different sections won at States during the last decade, with Bronxville (S1) 2010-13, East Aurora (S6) 2014-15, Newfane (S6) 2016, CBA Syracuse (S3), Greenwich (S2), and Camden (S3). Another detail to note is that half of those six teams -- East Aurora, CBA Syracuse, Camden -- are now in Class B while Greenwich has bounced between C and D in the last two decades but has been in C since 2018. So yes, C is always in transition.

For 2021 XC, the status of the rosters for these smaller schools is even more uncertain since many of them had extremely limited seasons last year or like Greenwich just had one top runner going at a few invitationals in the fall and did not have speed-rated meets in the Fall 2 XC spring season. We will be making a bunch of hunches here, such as that the Witches will be flying high again after finishing 2nd in the 2019 Class race by 2 points. We also need to move to projected team speed ratings based on wide ranges at this point because the data just isn't there.

The campaign to replace Camden's Liz Lucason (now up in Class B) as the state champion in 2021 at Chenango Valley should be heated and will likely include one runner from a school next to the host site, Chenango Fork's Pipher Reid (shown above). Much uncertainty now, but all will be revealed on November 13.

Check out the preseason previews below.