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NJ High School XC Rankings – Girls Week 9

RBCMonCo14     RBC With a Strangle Hold on #1

Week 9 finishes up the championships season and with some top teams involved in big meets there was a shuffle throughout the Top Ten lineup.

With the exception of one squad, the second through 10th slots all changed last week. The Caseys of Red Bank Catholic maintained their top ranking with a big conference win (Shore Conf.) and a big team CR @ Ocean Co. Park.

Ridge moved to the 2nd spot from #4 after a thrilling one point victory over Hillsborough at the Skyland Conf. Championships. Hillsborough, who had bested Ridge the week before at the Somerset Co. meet, dropped one slot to #3. Ridgewood, boasting perhaps the best 1-2 punch among the ladies moved all the way to fourth from seventh off of a big win at the Bergen Co. MOC. The Maroons went 2-3 after Catherine Pagano’s second Darlington win in a row and put all 5 scorers in the top 20. Haddonfield, idle last week, dropped down from the 3rd spot to #5.

The 7th through 10th  spots also got scrambled up with Randolph maintaining it’s #6 position. Winners of the Morris Co. Champion, this team has been wracked by injuries almost all year, yet remain a force to reckon with as we move into the last three weekends. The Lady Pirates of W. Windsor-Plainsboro So., while idle, moved up from #10 to #7 making for a much anticipated showdown with Hillsborough at the CJ Grp. 4 Sectional meet on Saturday. Mendham and Northern Highlands both took slight drops from last week, while Princeton returned to the Top Ten.

Lets look at how everyone stacked up.

GIRLS: Week 9
Last
RANK TEAM VOTES 1ST PLACE Week Looking Back Looking Ahead
1 Red Bank Catholic 100 10 1 Shore Conf Title & CR for team Clearly the Best in NJ right now. NXN Team?
2 Ridge 87 4 Skyland winner in a squeaker Best of a tight,tight Group 4 field right now
3 Hillsborough 76 2 2nd @ Skyland by 1 point Arriving on time. Big things to come?
4 Ridgewood 63 7 Bergen Co. MOC Champions Best 1-2 in New Jersey?
5 Haddonfield 55 3 No Race WunderSoph Gess with strong cast
6 Randolph 42 6 Winners of Morris Co. Championship Even hurt and thin, a team to fear
7 W Windsor-P’boro So. 37 10 No Race Dangerous with Rancan / Casey up front
8 Mendham 29 5 2nd @ Morris Co. Championships Frosh continue to produce. Group 3 fav.
9 Northern. Highlands 22 8 2nd Place @ Bergen Co. MOC Pagano is @ high level. Team progressing
10 Princeton 15 NR No Race Have run well all season, Makes Gr. 3 interesting
Also Receiving Votes:
Voorhees (13) Rumson-Fair Haven, Shawnee (4)
Clearview Reg. (2), No. Hunterdon (1)

35 comments on “NJ High School XC Rankings – Girls Week 9

  1. greentree53
    November 3, 2014

    Sectional Predictions by section x Group? Any takers

    North 1 Group 4

    Ridgewood

    Randolph

    Morristown

    North 2 Group 4

    Ridge

    North Hunterdon

    Westfield

    Central

    Hillsboro

    WWPS

    Mongomery

    South

    Shawnee

    Clearview

    Tome River North

    Like

  2. Paul Schwartz
    November 3, 2014

    Why so high on Morristown? They had a THREE minute gap from 2 to 3 at Morris Counties!!! Did they sit kids at the ccounty championships?

    Like

  3. Pat Montferrat
    November 4, 2014

    Morristown? Where do you see Morristown??

    Like

  4. greentree53
    November 4, 2014

    Not a ringing endorsement of Morristown. I just do not see any other Group 4 team in the section that is stronger. All the teams at Morris County championships ahead of them were 2 or 3 with the exception of Randolph

    Like

  5. Paul Schwartz
    November 4, 2014

    Clifton, Montclair and Hackensack all seem to be better than Morristown unless there are kids missing.

    Like

  6. Pat Montferrat
    November 4, 2014

    They are not a top 5 (qualifying) team in that Section. Could slide to 8 or 9.

    Like

  7. Brian Walsh
    November 4, 2014

    Who is to say which teams are going to win, or go to Groups? I, for one, did not see Millburn winning North 2 last year, and had looked right past them. As such, one never knows what Coaches/Teams have cooking in their pot. Maybe Morristown is laying in the weeds?

    Like

    • Austin
      November 4, 2014

      Brian, while I think greentree may have gone slightly over the top with his North 2 Group 4 picks right down to #11 (LOL)- as both you guys have said- its just all fun and games to make these picks. I don’t think Sectionals are not anywhere close to a solid predictor for any of the top teams as to how they will perform at Holmdel. The really good teams can afford to rest key people, race on cruise control, not show their hands, and are basically training through this weekend for the real prize the following week. Saw it firsthand.

      Like

  8. Brian Walsh
    November 4, 2014

    Speaking of Millburn, they also seem to have a good team, and are not listed above on Greentree’s projections. From what I have seen, they might be as good as any team in their section with the exception of Ridge. I really see Ridge as the only clear-cut Sectional winner from the Group 4 sections. I would also say that of Hillsborough, but they have to deal with WWPS. Ridge does not have that challenge in their section. Randolph has to deal with Ridgewood (or vise versa), and down south even a team like Southern may surprise (not that I have seen this out of them, but it’s a well coached team that historically has been very good). Perhaps Clearview beats Shawnee; and, again, I wouldn’t rule out historic powers TRN and Southern.

    Like

    • Austin
      November 4, 2014

      firstly, I meant to say earlier-I don’t think Sectionals are anywhere close to a good predictor of Groups. Sorry for double negative.

      BW, I unfortunately would rule out any of the SJ teams if you’re talking about Group 4 Holmdel chances. Sectionals do often result in surprises though, and again, many of the top teams are not going to fully show their hands this weekend, opening the door for some under the radar teams to turn heads.

      Its all academic getting ready for the following weekend where its going to be a serious battle for the ages between a Big 4- Randolph, Ridgewood, Ridge and Hillsborough. There are some excellent teams right below them, but these 4 are in a class of their own right now. Agree with Pat, you cannot count out the pride and tradition of Randolph, even though they are hugely banged up with their top 2 out of action.

      Like

  9. Paul Schwartz
    November 4, 2014

    The pride and tradition of Randolph is something I’m witnessed numerous times but if they can’t find 60-90 seconds in their current fifth runner really quickly or Lansing or Harsch make a miraculous comeback — the best they can hope for is a MOC wild card and they can’t beat Ridgewood this weekend unless one of those things happened, barring a Maroon catastrophe.

    Like

  10. Paul Schwartz
    November 4, 2014

    Wow — what a run-on sentence I just threw out there!!! 🙂

    Like

    • Austin
      November 4, 2014

      Run-ons are a reflection of the passion ,Paul..:) Good stuff. I do agree that Randolph are number 4 out of those Big Four. Its been a long time since such a great girls team came out of Bergen. Right now, they are the GOAT. What you think they can average at Holmdel? Are they ready to challenge RBC at the MOC?

      Like

  11. Paul Schwartz
    November 4, 2014

    I see them somewhere between 19:30 and 19:45 at Holmdel. I think catching RBC is a stretch but the Maroons usually outperform expectations at the state course. As it turns out even though their top 4 from 2013 are back, Nos. 5,6,7 also projected to return have all been replaced due to injury, illness and less than stellar performance. Their depth (all the way to #14) is as always outstanding.

    Like

    • Austin
      November 4, 2014

      There is nothing quite like a Senior laden team on MOC Saturday, so who knows.
      I would love to see some data on the distribution of historical senior performance at MOC vs. Shore Coaches, for instance. Haven’t studied the class breakdown enough of the top runners on the current top 10 teams,. Goes without saying that illness, dings, poor racing tactics, inspiring coaching, weather preference are always intangibles in play. But from observation and first hand experience, the biggest factor in play may be the Senior factor. Its absolutely amazing what can happen to Seniors on that course on that late Nov. Saturday after the 4 years of blood, sweat and tears.

      Like

  12. greentree53
    November 4, 2014

    I made the original post simply to kick start a debate. Nice to see 15 posts on one thread. Pat does a real nice job with this forum and i like to see the site used to stir up interest in the season. Agreed i might overvalue Mo Town but i think they are a team that has been hiding for a November surprise. Agree wit Paul on Montclair. Also agree with Brian on Milburn.

    Like

  13. greentree53
    November 4, 2014

    Brian, I agree that Ridge is big time favorite but i do not consider them a stone cold motal lock. They are a team with no stat but a great pack(7 deep) of runners that would be #2 or #3 on virtually any team. Their achiels heel is Glasergreen will win the section. Diledowe of Milburn probably will be 2nd. The question is can North Hunterdon/Milburn 2-5 chalange Ridge 2-5 and break up the pack they had at Skylands. Both teams have talneted runners behind their stars the question is can the elevate in early November..

    I have always felt great teams must have a top 1- runner to capture MOC. To me that is the weakness of Ridge and for that matter RBC

    Like

  14. Paul Schwartz
    November 5, 2014

    Will Glasergreen even be running? I hear she may have Lyme’s disease and may be out.

    Like

  15. greentree53
    November 5, 2014

    I am not privy to her exact medical issues bu ti belive she is recovered and practicing with the team. She is an exceptional young lady who has had a great season. If she is healthy it will be great fun to see her, Pagano and Gess battle at MOC. I will always bet on Gess until someone beats her but Pagano and Glasergreen are worthy competitors

    Like

  16. Paul Schwartz
    November 5, 2014

    If she’s okay, that’s terrific news.

    Like

  17. greentree53
    November 5, 2014

    Surprised Lambert posted Voorhees top 10. North Hunterdon would have easily defeated them at Skylands for 3rd of Glasergreen had run.

    Like

    • Austin
      November 6, 2014

      Again, its the old tangible results vs. hypothetical/”on paper” debate. Really matters not right now unless some kids are keeping scrapbooks to document the season in a serial manner with published rankings. I guess it could motivate some runners and coaches if they feel they’re getting shafted. I know it would have worked with me and my team of guys!

      PS. I will go on a limb and predict right now that the ultimate 2014 Vapor-Ranked team- Morristown – will not make the top 5 at Sectionals.

      Like

      • Austin
        November 8, 2014

        0 for 2 this weekend on my picks. Congrats to MoTown girls, pulling out the number 5 slot, and the Summit boys over Chatham.

        Like

  18. greentree53
    November 6, 2014

    That is what makes these exchanges fun. Builds interest perhaps among a narrow group but still healthy for the sport. I can assure few kids care about these rankings. It is parents, coaches and a few neutral observers. If my daughter knew i was making these posts and studying the teams in south Jersey she would for the upteenth time tell me i need to get a life

    Like

  19. Paul Schwartz
    November 6, 2014

    I already like your daughter!! 🙂

    Like

  20. greentree53
    November 8, 2014

    Not certain what happaened to Mo town this year. They looked very strong on paper in August. They caught an un lucky break being bumped to Group 4 with Ridgewood and Randolph

    Like

  21. greentree53
    November 8, 2014

    I nailed s Jersey the section i knew the least about. LOts of respect for Randolph. They could get a WC with out their top 2. Great race by WWPS—Top 5 loaded but thin at 6. WWPS is a threat for all the marbles at MOC

    The Ridge pack was very impressive

    Like

  22. Paul Schwartz
    November 8, 2014

    Ridgewood ran 7th fastest team time in course history. Also had fastest average of any team in any section at probably the toughest sectional course.
    Group 4 will be a howl next week.

    Like

  23. greentree53
    November 8, 2014

    Paul As i post this I am ranking Ridgewoon #2. Out of of principal due to my disgust at the whole NP charade i am tempted to rank them # 1. If the new poll has one first place vote for Ridgewood and 9 for RBC i am guilty.

    WWPS very impressive today as was Ridge great pack. Ridge Spotted NH two spots in top 3 and then took 4-10.

    Like

  24. greentree53
    November 8, 2014

    Flying under the radar is Mendham. They had the fastest team average at Greystone. Mendham, Northern Highlands and Princeton will have a great Group 3 battle

    Like

    • Austin
      November 8, 2014

      Mendham should not be flying under anyone’s radar these days with Lambert talking them up the last month. When I saw their dual meet 19:42 avg in September, I knew they were onto something great again. They are probably going to win Group 3, assuming their awesome freshmen hold up. Much tighter pack than Northern Highlands.

      Group 4, not much to say except it will be the most anticipated girls Groups race of the decade, the way I see it. Top 2 right now have to be Ridge vs. Ridgewood. Is Hillsborough still in that class after today? Did we see everyone at their best?
      I think we cannot discount the impressive way Ridge runners run with each other in the absence of the true “star.” But as Paul pointed out, Randolph will be hard pressed to repeat- there remains a massive gap between 4-5.

      Like

  25. greentree53
    November 8, 2014

    Austin Group 4 is insane. You could make an argument for 4 teams not including Randolph who would waltz to MOC with healthy Lansing Harsch. WWPS might win the laurels on the strength of their top 5. Very thin after that but if top 5 healthy RBC should be worries

    Like

    • Austin
      November 8, 2014

      Agree 100%. In fact it’s feasible for one of these teams to lose G4 aaand come back and win MOC. I would put RBC only 50-50 odds for MOC winners right now the way some of these teams keep improving week to week. The G4 teams will have been more battle tested.

      Like

  26. greentree53
    November 9, 2014

    Just like Randolph did last year losing Groups but wining MOC.

    Even Group 2 will have an excellent race with three teams(Haddonfield, Voorhees and Rumson) that have been ranked top 10 in various polls at different time this year.

    I have felt all year RBC is vulnerable. Great depth but lacking star up front. That being said Mcnamara and that freshmen have really excelled and they could put 2 girls on the medal stand. I also agree with you Battle tested teams will excell relative to the NP charade where the top teams have to give no effort to reach MOC

    No offence to the Boys and the Great CBA program but the girls side is much more interesting without the dominant program.

    Like

  27. Joe Lanzalotto
    November 11, 2014

    If anything I think not depending on a star is a strength not a weakness. Don’t get me wrong, 1 point (ala Bri Gess) is a wonderful thing but not being too dependent on that isn’t bad. Even studs have sub par races.

    But not Bri Gess! 🙂

    Like

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This entry was posted on November 3, 2014 by in 2014 Cross Country.

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