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!
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.
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 top Class A teams of last year mainly suffered some heavy losses to graduation, and last year's slate of fall and spring action does not necessarily provide a lot of clarity for this year. The outdoor track season's distance race results are for once on an equal basis with XC data in this year's previews.
As is often the case, the top credential for a top team in Class A is simply that you it didn't lose more than half of the previous year's squad to graduation. No team limited its losses better than the 2016 and 2017 state champion Corning Hawks, who have their top four of Jack Gregorski, Matthew Gensel, Joshua Beres, and Marcus Homa back plus enough depth with Nathan Webb and Gabe Cornfeld to emerge as preseason favorite for the 2021 States title. If there was another team at this point that looks likely to be strong coming out the gates, it would be a Webster Thomas team that finished 2nd to Fairport in Section A Class A last year and lost its top runner Austin Schoen but still returns the rest of its top seven led fittingly by junior Connor Thomas.
The Chenango Valley Pre-States meet on September 18th looks well-positioned to pull in a big chunk of the top A teams and give us a good read on how the class is shaping up on a very fair course that won't likely be visited by the standard States plagues of mud rivers, ice fields, or serial killer hills.
PREVIEW OF RUNNERS
PREVIEW OF Teams