Coming Up Next – Regionals

Had a chance to recover from another exciting edition of Heps?

Good – because now we get into NCAA qualification excitement.

This Friday is the NCAA Regional races – for HepsNation, we will be focusing on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional races.  The Northeast Regional race will be hosted by the University of Buffalo at the Audobon Golf Course in Amherst, N.Y. (action starting at 11am), while the Mid-Atlantic Regional race will be hosted by Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. (action starting at 10:45am).

The results of these races will determine which teams and individuals qualify for the NCAA Championship meet, this year hosted by the University of Louisville at the E.P. Tom Sawyer course in Louisville, Kent. on Saturday November 18th.

How can we get HepsNation to NCAAs?

  • For automatic qualification, a team needs to finish top-2 at their regional meet on Friday.  This will determine the 18 “Auto-Lock” teams.
  • Thirteen at-large team bids will be determined based on a combination of the team’s finish at the regional meet AND how the team performed during the regular season (starting September X), using the Kolas calculator.   A team earns “Kolas points” if they had a better performance than an Auto-Lock team at the same race.  This is why so much weight can be given on the results of Pre-Nationals, NuttyCombe Wisconsin Invitational, and the regional meets as these races can have good national representation where the teams are running with their top individuals. The Stride Report has a good explanation of the at-large selection process if you want further details.
  • The top four individuals in a given region who are NOT on a qualified team get invited to nationals.  Then a final two individuals will get invited based on the remaining results across all regional results.

Needless to say, there is a bit of uncertainty, even when the races ARE done on Friday.  Flotrack will be hosting a live show, updating their Kolas predictions as the regional results come in on Friday.   Final announcements of qualifying teams and individuals will be announced on November 11th.

Based on the most recent national (men | women) and regional rankings (men | women) released by USTFCCCA last week, both the RV Princeton men and #24 Columbia women are currently ranked in the top-2 of their respective regions.  We can say they can have high odds of making the Auto-Locks if the results follow the rankings (it should be noted that the men will be running 10km distances, while we’ve previously seen the men racing 8km or less.  The women’s racing distance will still be 6km).

Flotrack has been releasing NCAA team qualifying predictions throughout the season, using the USTFCCCA regional rankings has the NCAA Regional race results.  Their most recent release only has the Princeton men and Columbia women making the cut (so no Heps squad gets an at-large berth).  Sorry #30 Dartmouth women.

The Stride Report also has a similar prediction in that Princeton will be the only men’s team making it to NCAAs (note: the Stride Report only focuses on men’s distance racing so there isn’t any analysis of the women’s distance scene).  Columbia alumnus Jack Boyle wrote a good analysis of the regional bubble teams (which include Columbia and Penn) and how the prediction scene could change if the regional rankings do not come to fruition.

More information and predictions will be published by other pundits as the week goes on.  We’ll share the information as we come across it.

Until then, good luck to all HepsNation members.

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