Predicting the success of a national championship race isn't a simple task.
A number of variables can always define a race, from weather conditions, to course terrain, to cross-country road travel, all the way to the amount of sleep an athlete gets or what he/she eats the day before and the day of.
Only seven girls have broken 17 minutes on the Balboa Park course all-time, though there's a chance a few more could add to that list on Saturday. The top time came nearly 30 years ago, in 1990, when Melody Fairchild netted a win in 16:39.20 in what then was called the Kinney Cross Country Championships.
Below, we've compiled some key numbers for the 40 girls runners ahead of Foot Locker Nationals. We've ranked the field's best PR of 2018 first, then included regional times and speed ratings via TullyRunners.com.
If you're unfamiliar with speed ratings, here's an explainer:
So what does this all mean?
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.
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The Foot Locker Nationals Girls Field
|1||Grace Connolly||Natick (MA)||16:35.30||17:27.60||156|
|2||London Culbreath||McKinney North (TX)||16:36.86||17:12||153|
|3||Brynn Brown||Denton Guyer (TX)||16:41.13||17:17||148|
|4||Ericka Vanderlende||Rockford (MI)||16:43.30||18:20.0||154|
|5||Hana Catsimanes||San Clemente (CA)||16:50.80||18:20.7||138|
|6||Heidi Nielson||Katy Cinco Ranch (TX)||16:55.56||17:15||148|
|7||Emily Covert||Minneapolis Washburn||16:56.40||17:58.3||157|
|8||Abby Vanderkooi||Western Mich (MI)||16:57.30||18:15.1||151|
|9||Taylor Ewert||Beavercreek (OH)||16:57.90||18:08.9||157|
|10||Adelyn Ackley||Hart (MI)||17:00.58||18:36.2||144|
|11||Sydney Masciarelli||Marianpolis Prepatory (CT)||17:04.00||17:12.60||161|
|12||Ava Peeples||Dallas Lake Highlands (TX)||17:07.03||17:26||145|
|13||Jaden Theis||Lansing Catholic (MI)||17:07.30||18:48.6||148|
|14||Abby Loveys||Randolph (NJ)||17:07.47||17:49.40||150|
|15||Kristin Fahy||La Costa Canyon (CA)||17:08.50||17:52.8||148|
|16||Lexy Halladay||Mountain View (ID)||17:08.73||18:11.0||145|
|17||Allison Wilson||Montgomery (TX)||17:09.46||17:20||149|
|18||Grace Ping||Winona Cotter (MN)||17:10.80||18:39.4||148|
|19||Katelynne Hart||Glenbard West (IL)||17:14.90||18:14.0||153|
|20||Anna Martin||Lehi (UT)||17:15.00||18:06.5||146|
|21||Adoette Vaughan||Dallas Hockaday (TX)||17:16.09||17:21||147|
|22||Alex Morris||Naperville North (IL)||17:17.40||18:49.9||152|
|23||Valerie Lastra||Mater Academy (FL)||17:17.48||17:17||148|
|24||Marlee Starliper||Northern (PA)||17:17.50||17:17.50||158|
|25||Riley Stewart||Parker Panthers (CO)||17:18.96||18:49.0||142|
|26||Alyssa Hendrix||Sarasota Riverview (FL)||17:24.80||17:24||146|
|27||Jenna Hutchins||Johnson City Science Hill (TN)||17:25.80||17:25||146|
|28||Victoria Patterson||Deerfield Prep||17:27.02||17:27||145|
|29||Sarah Roffman||Littleton (MA)||17:29.96||18:12.10||140|
|30||Allie Janke||North Central (WA)||17:36.80||17:57.9||145|
|31||Kate Wiser||Pomperaug (CT)||17:40.01||17:52.80||147|
|32||Erinn Hill||North Central (WA)||17:43.20||18:24.1||136|
|33||Gabrielle Peterson||Healdsburg (CA)||17:44.30||18:12.4||140|
|34||Audrey Suarez||Mayfield (CA)||17:44.70||18:18.0||138|
|35||Colleen McCandless||Granada (CA)||17:47.80||18:25.6||137|
|36||Olivia Markezich||Bear Creek (CA)||17:56.60||18:21.1||137|
|37||Taryn Parks||Greencastle-Antrim (PA)||17:59.00||18:11.20||140|
|38||Mary Hennelly||Suffern (NY)||18:01.9||18:07.60||142|
|39||Sofie Matson||Falmouth (ME)||18:11.30||18:11.30||140|
|40||Nicole Vanasse||Basking Ridge Pingry (NJ)||18:16.40||18:16.40||139|