Which National Qualifying Teams Punched Above Their Weight?


* CBA sophomore Joe Barrett in an XC race in 2022

Photo Credit: Tom Smith/New Jersey MileSplit

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If you've been around cross country, and specifically around cross country coaches, long enough you may have heard the phrase: 

If only I had more kids

It's true, enrollment does play a difference in how teams are shaped in small and big ways. It doesn't matter where you go. The benefits of high enrollment might allow for a team to have access to an athlete who wouldn't otherwise have considered a sport like cross country. And likewise, small enrollment can sometimes place athletes in sports they may not be generally ideal for. 

Enrollment was something Episcopal Academy sprint coach Matthew Davis had been thinking about for some time. Recently, the team's boys XC team qualified for Team Nationals with their second-place finish at the Team Northeast Regional at Bowdoin Park in New York. 

The Episcopal Academy, located just west of Philadelphia in Newtown Square, has an enrollment of just 539. 

And yet, that didn't prevent the team, which is coached by Jim Farrell, from qualifying for one of the nation's prestigious races.

He went further with that thought and dug up how other qualifying teams, and those just outside on the bubble, stack up comparably.

These numbers ultimately show which teams punch above their weight in XC.

His figures are below: 

School

enroll.

reg.

reg. fin.

CBA (NJ)950NE1
Crater (OR)1,342NW1
Corning (NY)1,426NY1
Farragut (TN)2,005SE1
Newbury Park (CA)2,338CA1
American Fork (UT)2,410SW1
Hinsdale Central (IL)2,613MW1
Southlake Carroll (TX)2,795S1
Wayzata (MN)3,502HL1


Notes:

  • Christian Brothers Academy, an all-boys prep school in Lincroft, New Jersey, only has 950 students, but it also has no football team and offers fall sports like sailing, cross country and soccer. The XC program has a distinguished pedigree. 
  • Wayzata, with just over 3,500 students across its public high school, has the largest enrollment among in these figures. 
  • American Fork's numbers only account for grades 10-12
  • Southlake Carroll's high schools are broken up between grades 9-10 and 11-12. 


school

enroll.

reg.

reg. fin.

Episcopal Academy (PA)539NE2
Belen Jesuit (FL)821SE2
Jesuit (OR)1,284NW2
Stevens Point (WI)1,463HL2
Grapevine (TX)1,915S2
Herriman (UT)2,076SW2
St. Anthony's (NY)2,384NY2
Plainfield South (IL)2,421MW2
Great Oak (CA)3,158CA2


Notes: 

  • Like American Fork, Stevens Point's high school accounts for grades 10-12
  • Herriman, as with American Fork and Stevens Point, accounts for grades 10-12
  • Great Oak, with over 3,000 students, is the second-largest school in this study. 


school

enroll.

reg.

reg. fin.

McCallie School TN939SE3
Phillips Exeter Academy NH1,077NE3
Mountain View UT1,355SW3
Dowling Catholic IA1,391HL3
Downers Grove North IL2,216MW3
Rocky Mountain ID2,403NW3
Monroe-Woodbury NY2,436NY3
San Clemente CA2,948CA3


Notes

  • McCallie School is a private boarding school located in Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Phillips Exeter Academy is also a private boarding school, located in New Hampshire.