What Others Have to Say

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We take a break in our HepsWeek previews to provide some different perspectives about this weekend.

Today, both Flotrack and Letsrun.com released their predictions for the weekend.

Flotrack only really shared who they thought who would win the team and individual titles in a video where they try to predict the results for some of the major cross country conferences across the country. We won’t spoil their thoughts, but Gordan Mack REALLY loves the Ivy League. UPDATE: Lincoln Shryack posted a meet preview on Flotrack where he provides a deeper analysis of the two competitions.

Now, Letsrun.com (who was founded by twins who attended two different Ivies and one of them stuck around to coach at Cornell for 10 years) went into a much deeper analysis of the conference meet. And when I write “deeper”, I do mean deeper – the men’s analysis is over 8,000-words filled with thorough analysis of each of the teams and why the writer believes what he believes. The women’s analysis is just as detailed, but not nearly as long. Believe me when I say they are both good reads.

Letsrun.com puts in this little bit of an introduction at the beginning of their men’s write up:

Perhaps the fact that Heps seems pretty wide-open – at least on the surface – is only appropriate. Last year, the Heps enjoyed an unprecedented amount of success, sending four men’s teams to NCAAs. To put that in perspective, realize that from 2001 to 2011, the Ivy League sent a grand total of four men’s teams to NCAAs. Last year was the first time in history that four Ivy teams made it to NCAAs in a single year; the Ivy League hadn’t sent three teams since 1976…

But the teams in 2013 were good for a reason – there were a ton of senior studs producing at a very high level. A huge portion of the top finishers from last year’s race were seniors. 5 of the top 7, 9 of the top 14 finishers from last year’s Heps were lost to graduation, so in many ways a slew of teams were starting over this year.

With new coaches at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Penn, Princeton and Yale in recent years – none of the men’s coaches at those schools have had their first set of recruits graduate yet – it makes even more sense that there could be some pandemonium as often it takes a year or so to get adjusted at a new school and get the recruits rolling in. So coming into the year, a more wide-open race was expected. Will that actually take place? It sure looks like it.

There is a messageboard thread at Letsrun.com that is focused on the Heps XC 2014 season – if you want to see what some of those loyal followers have to say about the conference and this meet, check it out at this link (and feel free to join the conversation – it’s free to post and you don’t need to register in order to post; and don’t worry, they’re quite civil).

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