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The Grote Poll: September 27, 2005
End of September/Beginning of Real Meets Edition

(editor's note: prior to LetsRun.com and just before the dark ages there was TNFMedia.com, which was run by John Schiefer and Ryan Grote (a national class runner). One of the highlights of TNFMedia was the Grote Poll were Grote, an NCAA XC qualifier himself, analyzed the NCAA field in his every humorous style.  If you have a thin skin stop reading.)

2005 Grote Polls
1) Preview of the Grote Poll Preview August 25, 2005
2) Grote Poll Preview September 5, 2005
3) The Grote Poll Addendum B September 14, 2005
4) End of September/Beginning of Real Meets Edition September 27, 2005
5) 1st Weekend of October Edition October 10, 2005
6) The Post-Pre-Nationals Grote Poll October18, 2005
7) Conference Meet Preview October 26, 2005
8) The Post-Conference Grote Poll November 2, 2005
9) The Pre Regionals Grote Poll November 10, 2005
10) Nationals Preview November 15, 2005
11) 2005 Grote Poll Awards November 30, 2005

    Fall is not quite in the air in these parts of New Jersey, but Donald Trump helicopters are all over the place in the air.  Within 2 miles of the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster is a small airport which has recently added an emergency medevac helicopter pad.  Residents are raising hell and/or screaming bloody murder over the noise and general infringement of these emergency choppers intended to save lives.  There have been no complaints on the traffic and noise from The Donald, though.  

    Following The Grote Poll Addendum(b), my father reminded me of an important and telling story regarding Rudy.  Remember now that Rudy is/was the camel that I befriended as a child in the parking lot at an A&W in Hartland, Wisconsin.  As the story goes, one day, Rudy spit at and on my mom.  My father took great pleasure in retelling this story about his ex-wife  and I took great pleasure in remembering.  Both he and I were thrilled at the developments.  We would have rather her not been there anyway. This may very well be why I liked Rudy so much and why I gave him some of my fries.  Actually, I may have actually bribed him to spit on my mom with the fries. Who knows?  I could have just done it myself and saved some fries, but this way was funnier, and worked out better for Rudy.  Please supply any sort of Freudian psychological analysis that you want and get back to me at GroteWurst@aol.com.  

    This past weekend brought some interesting developments from Van Cortland and Griak.  One dilemma I now face is in the Mid-Atlantic Region.  Two Grote Poll ranked squads which I figured 3rd and 4th in the region and put in as at-larges, will now fall out of The Grote Poll Top 31.  As it stands, Princeton probably deserves that 3rd spot in the region, and herein lies the dilemma.  Each week I had Princeton ranked behind CBA (Christian Brothers Academy of Lincroft, NJ).  Unless I actually allot an at-large bid to CBA and put them in the NCAA Meet, I may actually have to put Princeton at #3 and move them in with an at-large.  Or not.  There may be an RV with me behind the wheel leaving the NJ Meet of Champions on November 19th, headed east for Terre Haute…I could load it up with the winning CBA squad and have them at NCAA’s by Sunday night, but I’m not sure their coach would fit.  


1.  ARKANSAS-  I am convinced.  I have hinted at this, now I will stand by it.  Arkansas does not go very long without winning.  Its been long enough.  No offense to the Buffs, but compare the Hogs to CU’s winning squad last year, knowing full well that this year it may take a lower score to win.  Vaughn and Schoolmeester v.  Boit and Kosgei.  Boit was 3rd last year, and will be close again, as will Kosgei.  The Kenyan duo’s track marks are better.  Shawn Forrest v. Jon Severy.  24:01 at Vanny for Forrest, a debacle at NCAAs, but clearly capable of being 21st (editor’s note Jon Severy does not have eligibility left but that's what makes the Grote poll so great).  Marc Rodriguez v. Pifer.  25th for the Hog, 44th for the Buff.  Now the 5th man…Strang was a solid 49th for CU last year as a frosh, Arkansas has Barnicle as a frosh, already running 24:45 at VCP.  I would put money on Barnicle being better than 49th.  Then there’s Cormier, Perkins, Ahmed, MacPherson, and so on.  This is not to say that CU will not be better, rather an illustration of the fact that Arkansas has what it takes to win.  Hopefully, Schiefer will be there to see it.

2.  WISCONSIN-  23:43 from Bairu is a good sign, considering I am picking Withrow to win the NCAA Title that Bairu still holds, and Solinsky to be very close.  

3.  COLORADO-  Rocky Mountain Shootout is this Saturday.  Not much insight will be gained from this blessed event.  Never again should a sea-level squad go to race the Buffs there.  Never again.  

4.  IONA-  The Gaels did not exactly defend the home turf as they may have hoped.  Then again, VCP isn’t really their home turf…they’re from Westchester.  Kiplagat ran like he will be a top 10 force.  He spanked the field like an illegitimate child.  Sub-24 at Vanny has not been done a lot of times.  Chemlany will need to be better than 24:59, and Khadroui closer to Chemlany for Iona to be a trophy team.  If Corrigan (25:16) is more so their 5th guy, once you add Ugandan Okuti Harbert, things look good.

5.  BYU-  Perhaps right now they are running more like a #4 than a #5?  Good showing at Griak, sans all of the big, bad Badgers.  I had forgotten that they had a Jersey guy on the squad, Ty Jensen, perhaps because he graduated from HS the same year as me!?!?!  1992 maybe?  Maybe not.  Either way, he ran well, 25:17 as their 6th man.  24:06 for Rohatinsky to 25:08 for their 5th man is fine if Rohatinsky is in the top 10, but probably a bit too sizeable to be a top 4 squad if he’s in the 15-25 range.  

6.  STANFURD-  I will not rank them higher than 6th.

7.  NOTRE DAME-  No real change here.  There were some rumbling about ND losing the National Catholic Invite with a “b” team.  I suppose that looks bad, and I can relate…sort of.  My Gill St. Bernard’s team lost at home in a meet to Solomon Schechter, which apparently is a school.

8.  TEXAS-  If Mack Brown can finally beat a down Oklahoma team, he may finally overtake Jason Vigilante in the eyes of ‘Horn fans.  Meanwhile, Dick Harter remains overlooked.

9.  PORTLAND-  With a bullet into the top 10 and auto qualifying slot from the west.  All they did was not run their varsity guys at Pier Park (where UO did not run Gaylord) and Sundodger (where they must have altered the course over the years).  This is more of a function of being not too impressed with those ranking ahead of the Pilots, and growing nostalgic and proud reading all the nice things on http://www.chasingtradition.com

10. IOWA- Impressive, solid team showing for 3rd at Griak.  They look like the best of the Midwest Region right now.

11. ARIZONA STATE-  The few of their top guys, namely Warrenburg, that ran, did pretty well at Griak.  Burchill is better than that, and others who did not run should pick them back up.

12. CAL POLY- Solid showing in Minnesota.  Big wins over Michigan, Ohio State, Minnesota, Kansas, etc. for future at-large considerations.

13. GEORGETOWN-  Have not seen much of the Hoyas just yet, perhaps at Paul Short this Saturday.

14. WILLIAM and MARY-  The Count and others missing from Great American, I will trust they will be ready to win by regional time.

15. ARIZONA-  Starting to believe the hype when looking at the names on the roster.  This still could be a large underranking.  

16. NC STATE-  Pretty good, dominant showing in NC.  

17. INDIANA-  They should use those red and white striped warm-ups that the hoops team used in the 70s, notably with the undefeated ’76 team with Kent Benson.

18. AIR FORCE-  Lots of connections in matchup with the Pilots at Willamette this week.  UP alum and All-American many times over, Todd Davis (also Champion of The Battle of Davis v. The D.O.C.) was an Air Force R.O.T.C. guy.  Fascinating.

19. MICHIGAN-  And to think I left them out of The Grote Poll Preview?  I should know better.  There are a lot of things I should do better.  A young team with room for improvement out of guys like Gras.  Decent run from frosh Switzer.  Will other frosh MacNamara run or RS?

20. AMERICAN- In action at Paul Short?

21. OHIO STATE- Pretty much as expected at Griak.  Wins over Minnesota, Kansas, Providence are helpful.

22. FLORIDA STATE-  Auto from The South.

23. MINNESOTA- Gophers probably will improve by the end of the season to make it close with Iowa.  Nice run by frosh Rombough, 5 seconds behind returning All-American Malmin.  I have yet to be stuffed into a wood chipper by some thug sent from Nike.

24. CORNELL-  Not kissing up to RoJo here at all.  In fact, f-that guy and the horse he rode in on.  Pretty darned good effort at VCP to beat Brown and LaSalle, thus making them the favorites for the 2nd auto in the Northeast and the Heps, unless CBA runs at Heps instead of the Monmouth County Championship.  Then again, The Big Red has a Mainland guy, albeit one with hair, who has spent over a year in the Ivy League.  Hopefully he walks around in construction boots and/or chews tobacco and/or drives a big pick-up truck.  Hyde as expected in 25:04, 5th man at 25:49, very solid.  Big race from Brad Baird right behind Hyde.

25. OREGON- Was Gaylord up in Phil Knight’s special luxury box at Autzen watching USC score 45 unanswered points?  If so, is it also an altitude room?  

26. OKLAHOMA STATE- Viva le Cowboys?  Will they have enough brie and café au lait in Stillwater for the French dude?

27. DARTMOUTH-  Cornell and CBA the teams to beat to be on top at Heps.

28. KANSAS- Their Grote Poll debut.  

29. GEORGIA-  Hartmann factor still wins out over Gators.

30. WASHINGTON-  How is the football team this bad?  How?  This is pushing it, 5 at-larges from the West?  Everybody including the Huskies better go to Pre-Nationals and beat a bunch of teams.

31. NORFOLK STATE-  Talk about a Grote Poll debut.  Check out these dudes, a bunch of Kenyans in a Navy town in Virginia, 2nd to NC State at Great American.  Why not?  2nd man is named Hillary Cheruyiout, which makes me think of Honey Nut Cheerios.  It kind of sounds the same, only not at all really alike.  Thats an overpriced cereal.  No chocolate or any sort of fake fruit flavors and dye, but still pricey and full of sugar.

ON THE GROTE POLL TOP 31 BUBBLE:  Columbia, Brown, CBA, Villanova, LaSalle, Princeton, Penn State, Virginia, Clemson, Florida, Rice, Butler, EMU, Missouri, UTEP, Colorado State, UCSB, UCLA…


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