New York Boys XC Overall 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 previews for the NY boys 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. Though this year some of last year's top teams have a big crew back such as Corning (top four back) and Burnt Hills (top five back), many teams suffered big graduation losses. The top Section 1 Class A team John Jay-East Fishkill lost its top four, Section 2's leader Saratoga lost three of its top five, Section 5 leader Fairport lost three of its top six, and Section 11 leader Northport also lost three of its top six.

Two of the smaller teams may have suffered the most from a scaled-down 2020-21 XC season. States Class C repeat champs Saranac Lake had a top-5 senior pack of Peter Fogarty, James Catania, Andrew Fogarty, Micah McCulley, and Tucker Jakobe back sporting a best-times speed rating of 173.6 and were a serious contender for Nationals with the strong support of sophomore Sam Ash. Nix that. And a Pearl River senior 5 of Cliff Carty, James Hughes, Oisin Selby, Jack Dowd, and Ryan Brady would have been trying hard with their Pirate girls for a sweep of the States Class B titles. Nada.

2019 NXN finalists Peyton Geehrer of Fayetteville-Manius and Peter Fogarty of Saranac Lake along with 2019 Class C champ Caleb Bender of Skaneateles all had tremendous XC seasons last year as seniors. We can be grateful they got the chance.

Check out the preseason previews below.