MileSplit CT is 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 Connecticut, this year the outlook seems more promising for
an extended schedule that will culminate with State Open and national
championships. Still, at the beginning of September 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 and even from the estimates of who might be returning this year for a team that are based on 2019 XC results. So yes, this year we begin the XC campaign with a lot more questions than in past years. But we also hope to have a lot more race and interview videos, photo albums, and feature pieces to go along with the weekly rankings and wrap-ups that begin mid to late September.
An Invitation: We
are making a commitment to cover all the schools in the state, which
naturally includes the teams from the six classes (LL-L-MM-M-SS-S) of
the CIAC. But we are also trying to give attention to teams from the
other associations such as the Founders League, Fairchester Athletic
Association (Fairfield+WestchesterNY, better known as FAA), and
Housatonic Valley Athletic League. No matter which CT school you are
running for, we'll be watching out for you. Please set up a MileSplit
account for yourself if you do not own one and claim your athlete's
profile if you are a runner or your team profile on CT MileSplit if you
are a coach. Answers to any questions about MileSplit accounts can
likely be found on the support pages. And teams are encouraged to tag MileSplitCT in your social media so we can share your exploits.
previews and rankings for the XC runners and teams will be using not
only the raw times from the meets but also the speed ratings from the
Tully Runners system that are becoming an ever more central part of XC
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 from performances
on widely ranging course types. In 2020, however, few of CT's meets
were speed rated.
The battles at the six Class championship races are all of equal importance to the teams competing in them, but it is true that the larger classes provide all or most of the eight to nine teams that qualify for the State Open meet beyond the the top two from each class. In 2019, all of the additional teams were from the LL or L classes, though the year before, Ellington earned a spot after finishing 3rd way down in the SS class.
But the big schools usually have the most powerful squads. In 2021 the girls LL class includes 27 schools with a seed size of 708 or more, the girls L class has 20 schools with sizes 561-707, and the girls MM class has 28 schools sized 422-560. There are 46 listed schools that are split with their girls in one class and boys in another, though many of them do not field XC teams.
Nearly all the teams will be competing in heated League battles starting around the middle of October before heading to Wickham Park in Manchester for the class Divisional championship meet on October 30 and the state Open championship on November 6. Big dual and invitational meets begin in September, and at the end of it all a few of the strongest teams and runners will go to the New England championship on November 13 in Thetford VT and the Nike Cross Regional Northeast or Foot Locker Northeast Regional at the end of the month.
Check out the preseason previews below.
PREVIEW OF RUNNERS
PREVIEW OF Teams