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What it takes to be a TOP BOYS TEAM

Posted Saturday, August 02, 2008 by Tully Runners
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Pre-Season XC 2008

Boys Teams - New York State 2008

Bill Meylan (August 1, 2008)


Boys - Potential NY Federation Contenders

Pre-season team rankings have problems: ... first, they are usually based on last year's results ... more recent track results may or may not have relevance for the upcoming XC season ... some runners improve (some improve a lot) ... a few runners transfer or quit ... new runners can join a team and make a big difference ... So any pre-season rankings must be viewed in that context.

What good are pre-season rankings?
(1) a fun topic of conversation during the summer
(2) beneficial in gathering background information for the upcoming season

Once the XC season starts, I rank individual runners and teams based strictly on performance during the current season ... So pre-season rankings are not used during the season.

For the most part, the team listing below is just an extension of the 2007 XC season into 2008 with a few modifications.

Initially, the list included 50+ teams, but I began removing teams with lower scores to make computer race simulations more manageable ... Other teams could be included in a top 18 to 20 list, but time constraints are necessary.

The teams tied in the 5th-position below ... I decided it was close enough to call it even-up ... I flipped a coin to determine position in the list.

Remember ... this list is just an informational starting point ...



Pre-Season Projection - New York Team Contenders Boys - 2008

Team Score Section-Class
------------------ ----- -------------
1 Shenendehowa 60 (02-AA)
2 Fayetteville-Manlius 180 (03-AA)
3 Shoreham-Wading River 185 (11-B )
4 Burnt Hills 190 (02-A )
5t Honeoye Falls-Lima 210 (05-B )
5t Queensbury 210 (02-A )
5t East Aurora 210 (06-B )
5t Arlington 210 (01-AA)
5t Warwick Valley 210 (09-AA)
10 Wantagh 235 (08-A )
11 St. Anthony's 255 (CHSAA)
12 Monsignor Farrell 265 (CHSAA)
13 Suffern 270 (01-AA)
14t Northport 280 (11-AA)
14t Brighton 280 (05-A )
16 North Rockland 290 (01-AA)
17 Chaminade 300 (CHSAA)
18 West Genesee 305 (03-AA)


Where did the scores come from? ... In part, the scores are a composite of computer race simulations using 2007 seasonal speed ratings ... a few speed rating ranges were altered based on track results ... I manually manipulated some numbers (because I wanted to).

In General ... Shenendehowa is the odds-on favorite entering the 2008 XC season.

A bunch of other teams are actually quite close in these ratings ... These teams have some top runners, but success in team competition at the upper level (such as States, Federation and NY-NXN Qualifier) will likely come down to performance of the #4 and #5 runners (which is normal).


Shenendehowa ... Shenendehowa is the clear favorite to be top team in NY in 2008 ... In 2007, Shen won Federations, was 2nd at States (to Warwick), won the NY-NTN Qualifier and finished 14th at NTN Nationals ... Shenendehowa returns their top four runners which bodes very well for 2008 ... Here are some stats for returning runners:

2007 XC
Rating 3200m 1600m
------- ------- -------
Dan Harris 11 180 9:20.36 4:22.0
Mike Danaher 12 179 9:32.16 4:17.00
Jamie Glover 12 178 -- --
Brian Trainor 12 176 9:25.45 4:24.8
Brent Pavlik 12 169 -- --
Bob Arnold 12 160 10:20.02 4:48.73


Shenendehowa is a national-caliber team and likely to be very deep as well ... Some very nice track performances suggest improvement in 2007 XC ratings, and that will be necessary for Shen to have increased success at the national level ... I had the opportunity to watch Dan Harris and Mike Danaher race at the outdoor State Track Championships in Buffalo and Brian Trainor at the Empire State Games in Binghamton (5000 meters), and I was impressed by all three runners ... I expect all three may be running XC ratings in the 180s ... Jamie Glover was Shen's most consistent runner during the championship portion of the 2007 XC season (he was Shen's #2 runner at States, Feds, NY-NTN and NTN Nationals).

One interesting question: ... When the season is over, How will Shen 2008 compare to the outstanding Shen 2003 team?? ... If they get close, Shen 2008 could have a real shot at being NXN National champion.


Fayetteville-Manlius ... Some stats:

2007 XC
Rating 3200m 1600m
------- ------- -------
Alex Hatz 11 178 9:19.43 4:13.94
Paul Merriman 11 177 9:38.92 4:31.00 177 9:38.92 4:31.00
Andrew Roache 10 168 9:54.50 4:34.89
Brendan Farrell 11 153 9:54.92 4:43.07y
Ben Sargrad 11 143 -- --
John Cico 12 144 -- --
Owen Strong 10 131 10:32.83 --
Mark McGurrin 10 --- 10:21.82 --


Fayetteville-Manlius finished 4th at Feds in 2007 ... FM has a young team and that raises some questions ... In order to move FM into the #2 position in the list above, I had to make a few modifications based on track performances (plus some speculation) ... With four guys running sub-10:00 at 3200m (and Alex Hatz and Paul Merriman already top runners), it's not that much of a stretch; but it requires several young runners to perform at a higher level than the 2007 XC ratings indicate ... Even with various modifications, the computer simulations have FM placing somewhere between 8th and 2nd (I opted for the later).


Shoreham-Wading River ... Some stats:

2007 XC
Rating 3200m 1600m
------- ------- -------
Bobby Andrews 12 180 9:25.49 4:16.01
Kyle Wightman 12 166 9:57.06 --
Brian Nill 12 164 -- --
Chris Pohlot 10 162 -- 4:33.06
James Gladyz 12 162 -- --
James Hunt 11 154 10:21.7 --

Shoreham-Wading River won the team title at States (Class B) and returns their top five finishers from States ... Most of the computer simulations place SWR second to Shen entering 2008 ... SWR has five runners with overall speed ratings above 160 (which is very good) plus a top runner who is likely to be one of the best individuals in the State (Bobby Andrews) ... I dropped them behind FM for one specific reason - SWR did not run well at Federations (they finished 18th while FM finished 4th).


Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake ... Some stats:

2007 XC
Rating 3200m 1600m
------- ------- -------
Otis Ubriaco 10 176 9:33.92 4:30.7
Sean Pezzulo 11 166 10:18.74 --
Kent Harlow 12 164 9:57.60 4:36.46
Scott Maughan 11 163 9:41.64 4:25.35
Matt Rusilas 12 162 -- 4:52.81y
Chance Wilke 12 154 -- -- 10:02.68 (Steeple)
Anthony Romeo 12 150 10:26.6 4:55.76

Burnt Hills returns a very solid group of runners (five had overall speed ratings above 160 in 2007 plus they have additional depth (Chance Wilke's 10:02 steeplechase is a good omen)) ... Entering the season, Burnt Hills appears to be the top Class A team in the State, but Queensbury will provide stiff competition within Section 2 and only one of them will qualify for States.


Honeoye Falls-Lima ... Some stats:

2007 XC
Rating 3200m 1600m
------- ------- -------
Alex Deir 11 183 9:44.35 4:29.6 9:32.02 (Steeple)
Steve Mangan 11 174 -- 4:23.54
Ethan Wickus 12 169 -- 4:50.1
Tom Ramsdell 10 156 -- --
Chris Baldwin 12 154 10:24.00 4:50.27
Kevin Hoose 10 154 -- --
Nico Crecco 12 145 11:11.71 --

Honeoye Falls-Lima has excellent strength at the top end with Alex Deir (Class B champion) and Steve Mangan ... HFL was 3rd at States (Class B) and returns their entire State team ... Class B looks like a repeat match-up between Honeoye Falls-Lima, East Aurora and Shoreham-Wading River


Queensbury ... Some stats:

2007 XC
Rating 3200m 1600m
------- ------- -------
Sheldon Reeves 12 175 -- --
Brian Gallagher 12 172 9:54.94 4:37.72
Kevin Sprague 12 165 -- 4:27.65
Pat Carroll 12 160 10:29.7 --
Chris Taylor 12 159 -- 4:51.05 10:41.10 (Steeple)
Jon Flint 11 149 -- 4:53.69
Jon Williams 12 145 10:26.20 4:53.52y 10:10.32 (Steeple)

Queensbury impressively won States (Class A) and finished 2nd at Feds ... they graduated some top runners, but had a very deep team ... Brian Gallagher is included above because I believe he was a junior last year (XC States and Feds listed him as a senior, but other results listed him as a junior) ... Queensbury and Burnt Hills are closer in the projection than I expected ... Once again, it's a shame both teams can't compete at States.


East Aurora ... Some stats:

2007 XC
Rating 3200m 1600m
------- ------- -------
Scott Anderson 12 180 9:40.45 -- 9:48.24 (Steeple)
Lyle O'Brien 12 171 9:42.81 --
Alex Weberg 10 167 10:16.01 4:50.72
Tom Neu 11 158 -- 4:57.74
Brad Whitney 12 151 -- -- 10:43.92 (Steeple)
Kevin O'Connor 10 145 -- --
Matt Malican 12 138 -- --

East Aurora finished 2nd at States (Class B) and returns their entire team ... The top three teams at States 2007 (Class B, Shoreham Wading-River, Honeoye Falls and East Aurora) all return their top five scorers or whole State team - That is very unusual in Boys XC ... East Aurora has top runners and always seem to compete well at the championship level, and that earns them a high pre-season projection.


Arlington ... Some stats:

2007 XC
Rating 3200m 1600m
------- ------- -------
Adam Doherty 12 178 9:20.05 4:32.5
Jared Leslie 12 175 9:54.3 4:21.0
John Muller 12 171 9:28.3 4:37.3
Alec Wise 12 156 10:30.3 --
J.T. Boyle 10 148 -- --
Eric Gerhardt 12 147 -- --
Brian Wylock 11 --- 10:15.3 --

Arlington looks to be very strong at the top end (Adam Doherty, Jared Leslie and John Muller) ... Although Brian Wylock ran XC in 2007, he was not included in my XC database (numbers were not high enough), but be popped a 10:15.3 3200m in track (which corresponds to an XC speed rating in the low 160s) ... Arlington could be even better than the projection IF they go deep enough, but only actual race results will tell the story.


Warwick Valley ... Some stats:

2007 XC
Rating 3200m 1600m
------- ------- -------
Alex Leuchanka 12 180 9:28.80 4:26.18 33:15.6 (10000m)
Tim Luthin 10 173 -- -- 6:23.06 (2000m Steeple)
Dave DeWan 12 166 9:56.44 --
Steve Peterson 12 153 -- -- 10:38.6 (Steeple)

This pre-season projection required some speculation ... Warwick Valley looks strong at the top end (with Alex Leuchanka and Tim Luthin), and a strong one-two is a great place to start a good team ... Dave DeWan looks good as well ... Now the speculation - Warwick typically has a deep team, so I guessed the level of a #4 and #5 runner (I may or may not be correct).


Wantagh ... Some stats:

2007 XC
Rating 3200m 1600m
------- ------- -------
Arquimedes Dela Cruz 12 173 10:02.2 4:35.5
Andrew Coelho 12 163 9:54.2 4:30.1
Rob Dema 10 161 -- --
Thomas Clark 12 161 9:58.6 4:27.3
Luke Milano 12 153 -- 4:43.1
Nick Fillipazzo 11 148 9:53.4 4:42.3
Chris Lewis 12 147 10:34.2 --

Wantagh finished 3rd at States (Class A) and returns their entire State team ... Some of the track times definitely suggest improvement (e.g. Nick Fillipazzo)


St. Anthony's ... Some stats:

2007 XC
Rating 3200m 1600m
------- ------- -------
Patrick Murphy 11 167 10:13.9 4:28.75
Todd Sather 12 166 10:09.58 4:38.0y
Kenneth Walshak 11 163 9:59.99 --
Robert Cherkis 12 160 10:00.82 -- 9:44.0 (Steeple)
David Kenney 12 157 -- --
Jared Sassone-McHugh 11 152 -- --
Justin Therry 11 150 -- --

St. Anthony's is the pre-season favorite for the CHSAA, but Monsignor Farrell could get close ... The top four runners above for St. Anthony's all had overall XC ratings of 160 or above and they had some good track performances which suggest improvement.


Monsignor Farrell ... Some stats:

2007 XC
Rating 3200m 1600m
------- ------- -------
Alex Orlando 12 164 10:08.0 -- 9:56.9 (Steeple)
Brendan Vurckio 12 161 10:17.48 --
Mark Bernardo 12 160 -- 4:32.2
Rob Mastrangelo 12 156 -- 4:34.84 10:16.68 (Steeple)
Mike Pecorino 12 155 10:10.62 --
Rich Henry 12 154 10:12.12 --
John Rerick 11 151 10:12.3 4:40.95
Frank Blancero 12 150 -- -- 10:17.40 (Steeple)

Monsignor Farrell has one of those "interesting" pre-season projections ... I prefer XC data when making pre-season predictions (as compared to track times), but sometimes the volume of track performances must be used ... Last year, the returning Monsignor Farrell runners were fairly consistent in their overall speed ratings (150s to mid-160s) ... As a group, the returning runners showed nice improvement in track, and as can be seen above, were consistent and deep through all seven runners ... The track times alone suggest that Monsignor Farrell could have seven runners with speed ratings above 160 (with several possibly improving into the 170s) ... This is very speculative, but Monsignor Farrell could challenge St. Anthony's for the CHSAA title ... Monsignor Farrell could be a strong "pack" team.




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