The 2022 XC season has begun with a few leg-stretchers and rust-shedders. A few new or newly enhanced faces (frosh Annecy Vlieks of Daniel Hand and Sarah Roberts of Mercy, to name two) have shown up, but it is hard to say in early September just what will be developing down the trail when action heats up in late October. For now, we will just try to give up a general view of the top teams and runners divided up by the CIAC Classes.
When reviewing the results from last year's CIAC Open -- won by Ridgefield on the guys' side and New Milford on the girls' -- one ominous fact leaps out. Senioritis was raging on November 6. Twenty-one of the top 24 guys at last year's CIAC Open were seniors. Eleven of the top 15 girls were seniors. Back in 2019, only 13 senior guys and 10 senior girls were among the among the top 25 finishers at the Open. So yes, a lot of top teams will be trying to fill big holes in their lineups this year.
As always, the coverage of CT XC here this year will revolve around speed ratings, an XC performance evaluation system developed by Tully Runners (Bill Meylan). Speed ratings provide a way to compare how a race run on a fairly tough 5K course such as Wickham Park on a challenging day (2021 Class Divisionals) checks out with a FCIAC league girls 4K at Waveny Park or with a very fast-running NVL league 5K at Veteran's Memorail Park. Every athlete who runs races of 4K or longer contributes to the speed rating system, and it has been adopted widely in progressive and less hidebound areas around the country.
This weekend's Wilton and Connecticut River Valley invites should give some indication about how the 2002 lineups stand for many of CT's teams. More to come.
2022 Outlook for CT Classes