And What About Next Year?

So the state meet is done and you wonder how things are shaping up for next year? MileSplit Utah can open a window into next year for you.

It's very easy to ping the MileSplit database to give you a first view of what next year might look like. Essentially, what we will be doing is to refine the rankings to show only those athletes who will be returning next year.

To do that, follow these steps:

1. Click on Stats on the main gray menu bar.

2. From the XC Individual Rankings, click on High School Boys or Girls.

3. Select a race distance. Probably Three Mile Run gives the most representative rankings for Utah, but you can play around with 5000 Meters later, too. Once these rankings come up, find Returners? on the dashboard and click Yes below that heading. What you will see now is the rankings from this season for all returning runners.

Are you more interested in team scoring than individual rankings? The database can do that, too.

1, Go back to Stats on the main gray menu bar.

2. This time, click on XC Team Rankings, either High School Boys or High School Girls.

3. The first set of team rankings you see will include all boys (or all girls) teams in the state with five or more returning runners with times in the database for this season. If you want to narrow this down a little to a particular classification, click on Show Advanced Parameters..., then select your your desired classification or region from the League dropbox. Select 2013 from the Returning dropbox, and click on Refine. Almost instantly, you have a set of team rankings for next year in your desired classification or region.

You are welcome to play around and experiment with the other options to see what you can learn. It's mostly very intuitive and very easy.

Will American Fork be back on top in boys? This will help you answer that question.

Will Mountain Crest be dominant again in 4A girls? This will help you answer that question.

There are, of course, a lot of things that will happen between now and next August, but--for the moment--this provides you with the best possible look. Remember that teams that are traditionally on top (teams with great coaching, generally) will tend to rise to the top again even if they don't necessarily show at the top in the list of returning runners. Remember that, among boys, the transition from freshman to sophomore, or sophomore to junior, tends to yield bigger time drops than the transition from junior to senior.

These, and many other caveats, always apply if you are going to read rankings and project from them intelligently, but you still need some raw material to start with. The MileSplit database gives you that raw material.

Have fun with it--it's there for you!

By the way, Mountain Crest does show at the top of the list for returning girls teams for all classifications. Sorry, Mustangs, but the target is on your back. But then, you kind of knew it would be laugh.