* Springville's Grant Gardner comments on his recent effort from the Murray Invitational
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Speculations are often made on how high school cross country races stack up against others in various states. It's a broad question, and to some, an impossible one to answer.
But that hasn't meant some haven't tried.
Over two decades ago, New Yorker William Meylan adapted a model that is still used to handicap racehorses today and carried over the fundamentals to cross country, issuing his first speed ratings privately just before the 2000 high school season in New York. With success, he went public with his findings in 2000 and begun issuing national projections in 2004 when the Fayetteville-Manlius boys made the Nike Team Nationals Invitational.
Since then, Meylan, a scientist by trade, has continued to gather cross country data and and publish his results on TullyRunners.com. His ratings, often referenced on MileSplit LIVE and MileSplit.com, are good resources for a lot of reasons.
But the big one is perspective. How does a 3-mile effort compare to a 5K? How does one athlete compare to his counterpart in another division statewide? What about national-level athletes?
All these questions are better answered with numbers.
There's an important distinction, though.
"Speed ratings measure how fast runners ran relative to each other in that particular race and relative to all runners in general based on multiple historical baselines of groups of runners and individuals," Meylan told me last year.
Which means, speed ratings aren't an exact science, either. They're not meant to compare courses. They often require some subjectivity and perspective.
Often, they're a baseline for predicting how an athlete MIGHT compete against similar competition in a future meet -- think "seed times."
Per New York MileSplit's weekly speed rankings merge explanation:
In short, a speed rating is a number attributed to an XC performance, roughly one point per three seconds, adjusted for overall race quality and depth. Using these numbers, we can compare performances on an apples to apples basis -- in terms of XC times and teams. It provides an answer to the hypothetical question, "What would happen if the best teams in the nation all raced at once?" However, these do not predict the outcome of NXN.
Saying all of that, speed ratings do hold weight when determining which performances are stronger than others from a national perspective.
Every week, we'll try to recap the best rated performances from the previous weekend. The top 20 performances from Sept. 5-9 are below:
Check out MileSplit New York's overall merge of the top overall speed ratings over the course of a season below -- this also includes team rankings.
- Week 1 Merged Speed Ratings HERE
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Top 20 Boys per TullyRunners.com
|1||Red Bank (TN)||192||14:54.00||Cherokee Classic (TN)|
|2||Rubidoux (CA)||189||14:48.7||Laguna Hills (CA)|
|3||Idaho Falls (ID)||188||16:03.6||Tiger Grizz (ID)|
|4||Glenbard West (IL)||185||14:24.4 (3-mile)||First to Finish (IL)|
|5||Ann Arbor Pioneer (MI)||186||15:20.1||SEC Jamboree (MI)|
|6||Fayetteville (AR)||185||16:12.00||Southlake Carroll (TX)|
|7||FW Christian (TX)||185||16:13.0||Southlake Carroll (TX)|
|8||FM (NY)||185||15:53.2||Chittenango (NY)|
|9||FM (NY)||185||15:54.6||Chittenango (NY)|
|10||Burnt Hills (NY)||185||14:32.29 (2.86-mile)||Guilderland (NY)|
|11||Burnt Hills (NY)||185||14:32.45 (2.86-mile)||Guilderland (NY)|
|12||DG North (IL)||184||14:26.5 (3-mile)||First to Finish (IL)|
|13||Bishop Kelly (ID)||184||16:14.2||Tiger Grizz (ID)|
|14||Eisenhower Senior (OR)||183||15:33.4||Ash Creek XC Festival (OR)|
|15||Springville (UT)||183||14:53.00 (3-mile)||Murray Invitational (UT)|
|16||Loudoun Valley (VA)||182||15:44.1||PTXC10 (PA)|
|17||Middleton (OH)||181||15:47.6||Mason Invitational (OH)|
|18||EC Glass (VA)||181||15:43.00||Knights Crossing (VA)|
|19||Santa Ana (CA)||181||15:11.0||Laguna Hills (CA)|
|20||Loudoun Valley (VA)||181||15:48.2||PTXC10 (PA)|
* Glenbard West (IL) High School's Katelynne Hart ran a season-best 3-mile on Saturday
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Top 20 Girls per TullyRunners.com
|1||FM (NY)||147||17:50.7||Chittenango Invitational (NY)|
|2||Glenbard West (IL)||145||16:35.66 (3-mile)||Harvey Braus (IL)|
|3||Randolph (NY)||145||17:27.6||Warwick Valley (NY)|
|4||Lehi (UT)||141||19:01.1||Wasatch XC (UT)|
|5||Billings (MT)||141||17:44.33||Bozeman (MT)|
|6||McKinney North (TX)||141||18:11.00||Southlake Carroll (TX)|
|7||Batavia (IL)||139||16:42.6 (3-mile)||First To Finish (IL)|
|8||Barrington (IL)||138||16:44.6 (3-mile)||First To Finish (IL)|
|9||Science Hill (TN)||137||17:43.00||Cherokee Classic (TN)|
|10||Dobyns Bennett (TN)||136||17:45.00||Cherokee Classic (TN)|
|11||Denton Guyer (TX)||136||18:27.00||Southlake Carroll (TX)|
|12||Lake Highlands (TX)||136||18:27.00||Southlake Carroll (TX)|
|13||GC Antrim (PA)||136||18:08.2||PTXC10 (PA)|
|14||Mountain Vista (CO)||136||17:29.1||Liberty Bell (CO)|
|15||Liverpool (NY)||135||18:26.6||Chittenango Invitational (NY)|
|16||Oak Park (CA)||134||16:32.2 (3-mile)||Cool Breeze (CA)|
|17||Eagle Valley (CO)||134||17:36.3||Liberty Bell (CO)|
|18||Loyalsock (PA)||134||18:05.00||Harry Groves Spiked Shoe (PA)|
|19||Peak to Peak (CO)||133||17:38.6||Liberty Bell (CO)|
|20||St. Charles East (IL)||133||17:12.44 (3-mile)||Harvey Braus (IL)|