Cross Is Back

It’s officially September 1st.  And this year, this marks the start of the 2017 cross country season. Time to wipe the slate clean as we have new faces to follow, new athletes stepping up to fill the voids due to graduation or transfers, and new possible scoring arrangements as athletes get better and rookies figure out how to compete on the collegiate Division I level.

Today, we will get our first taste of what is in store this season as Harvard is set to take on cross-town rival Boston College in a dual meet today at Franklin Park in Boston.  Otherwise, the conference will start their harrier action after Labor Day.  There will be some level of Ivy action each weekend until October 27th where we will converge on Van Cortlandt Park in New York City for the meet-of-all-meets – the Heps Cross Country Championships.

As I looked through what information is available online for this season, I can’t help but to feel excited.  The Penn men and Harvard women are going to face uphill battles if they want to defend their team HepsXC titles this year.  Penn lost their top three scorers from last year due to graduation, while Harvard’s top two transferred to the West Coast.  Yes, all of the Ivy teams lost athletes due to graduation, but how will they fill those voids?  Each team recruited a bunch of new talent as their rookies come in with national titles, international experience, All-American accolades, or state records to their name.  But of course, that doesn’t mean much once you start your first collegiate race.   We will keep having to do qualitative comparisons until October 27th as there is not going to be a race on the calendar that will serve as a mini-HepsXC preview.

Here is something to start the discussion.  Earlier this week, USTFCCCA announced their 2017 pre-season rankings (men | women) and three Ivy squads were recognized in the top 30.  The Harvard women was given the highest ranking of all Ivy squads at #25.  The Yale women also was given a formal ranking as they came in at #30.  Columbia was the only Ivy men’s team with a formal ranking as USTFCCCA gave them spot #29.  The Cornell women and Princeton men were awarded points but only the top 30 were given formal rankings.

Join us in the Letsrun.com forum thread “The official 2017 HEPS CROSS COUNTRY thread” throughout the season as fans can discuss what’s going on and what the think will happen this season.

In the meantime, stay tuned and good luck!  Hope to see you in the Bronx on October 27th!

 

 

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