LetsRun.com 2010 Cross-Country Prediction Contest Recaps

By LetsRun.com
December 17, 2010
*Check your scores in our Foot Locker contest here
*See top picks in our Foot Locker contest here
*Check your scores in our NCAA D1 contest here
*See top picks in our NCAA D1 contest here
*Check your scores in our NCAA D2 contest here
*See top picks in our NCAA D2 contest here

We love our world-famous prediction contests at LetsRun.com. Not only do we love them because of our inner track geek and the fact we participate ourselves, but we love them because the winners often show the best of LetsRun.com - the cool and interesting people who make our site's community so fascinating.

We've had national champions, rocket scientists and even an 8th grader win our prediction contests. This time is no different, as we recap our NCAA Cross-Country Prediction Contest and our Foot Locker Prediction Contest.

We'll start with the Foot Locker Prediction Contest because the winner's story is inspiring. Our winner is Mike Bastian from Chicago, Illinois, and he gets a $100 Eastbay Gift Certificate. We write all of our winners and ask them for biographical info and info on their connection to the sport. Mike's response speaks for itself. He's a huge fan of the sport, now has MS and can't run, yet is still actively involved. Read below:

    I'm 50 years old and live in Chicago, IL.
    Ran XC & Track for 2 years at Wright JC (we went to JUCO Nationals in 78 & 79) in Chicago and 2 years at Lewis Univ. in Romeoville, IL. Ran for the Riis Park Striders after college. Won Chicago Area Runners Association Circuit for my age group 2 years in the early 80's.
    Worked at Misericordia Home with Developmentally Disabled for 27 years and would take the residents to run short races on the weekends.
    Had trouble running in 1990 and was diagnosed with MS.
    Wanted to stay involved with running so I started coaching at my kids Grade school (St. Robert Bellarmine) and ended up coaching xc/track for 12 years, the last few on my scooter. Last few years 8-11 of my grade school runners have gone on to compete at their high schools. Currently I help with a race site,runrace.net as a Race Advisor. I've been going to your site daily since I saw you in your letsrun singlet at the LaSalle Bank Marathon along side Paula. My son is a runner and HS senior and I saw Lukas break a 20-year old course record when he was just a Freshman. Also I was at the FootLocker Midwest Regional the last 2 years seeing the talented Midwest runners. I go to to ESPN Rise/dyestat site often to follow my former runners and I went there to learn more about the runners from the other regions. I tend to favor runners from the Midwest because that's who I'm familiar with. It probably helped me that most Letsrun people don't hang out in dyestat and most dyestat people don't hang out on letsrun.

Now that you're inspired, let us turn to our college prediction contest. In our college prediction contest, we have an individual prediction contest, a team prediction contest and an overall winner. Our overall winner was Sean Hopkins, originally from Port Washington, NY, now an intern with the West Virginia women's XC and track teams. The self-professed "results junkie" shows that with our contest, if you're not on the inside, you have very little chance.

The next man deserving praise is John Nagel. John initially came out on top in our contests in our unofficial scores. He then notified us of a glitch in our scoring system (he actually notified us twice), we rescored it both times, and John was pushed to second place overall. Our mistake no doubt is our first error or typo in the history of LetsRun.com, and we appreciate John bringing it to our attention so much that we're going to give him a first place prize.

John's story is interesting as now in his 50s, he went to Penn State back in the day. He says he wasn't D1 running material, but he was a fan of the sport and the first college XC race he went to watch was won by none other than LetsRun.com poster malmo (George Malley, former American record holder in the steeplechase). John said he was there at the 1979 NCAA XC Champs in Lehigh when Henry Rono (an infrequent letsrun.com poster) beat Alberto Salazar (definitely not a letsrun.com poster, but we believe to be a LetsRun.com lurker). John, we thank you for your honesty.

TJ Garlatz Completes The DI-DII Double
The winner of the individual contest was TJ Garlatz. TJ has a few unfair advantages. First, he went to high school (in Redmond, Washington) with rocket scientist Mike Ogliore, who has won 2 letsrun.com contests in the past. TJ is now an assistant coach at University of Alaska Anchorage, a DII school. He also is the national poll coordinator for the NCAA Division II cross country polls, so he is actively following the XC results each week. Plus he is smart and he studies our scoring system and came up with a strategy. He wrote, "For the D1 individual contest, I went with the bigger names who've experienced high level success in the championships meets in previous seasons. There is a big penalty for "missing" on people, so I went with more established and proven runners who've shown that they can stick in the top 10. When in doubt, I went with the guys who race the 10k in track (Sambu, Puskedra, and Riley)."

TJ's picking prowess was not over, as we also had a DII prediction contest. TJ did not let the pressure get to him, and he showed why he is the national poll coordinator, as he won the entire DII contest. Well done, TJ.

We conveniently did not announce any prizes for the NCAA D1 prediction contest but are in the holiday spirit, so we're going to give Mike, John, TJ, and team winner Timothy Messina (whom we have been unable to contact, email us at [email protected]) $75 gift certificates from our partner Eastbay.

While there were no prizes for our DII contest, we have to honor our DII individual winner Drew Wasmund, especially since he issued a challenge over a week ago to DII rival,Aaron Braun. Since Wasmund wrote us with the challenge, Braun went out and won the USATF Club champs this past weekend.

As for Wasmund's Challenge, we're not sure exactly what the hell it is, but here you go:

    As far as running goes, I ran at Western State College, well, I mostly swam in the pool or spent hours upon hours on the stationary bike, but I 
    attempted to train and race.

    My strategy involved being extremely biased and having faith in my former teammates while also committing treason and putting a little bit, I stress a little bit of stock into Adams State, as well as with the rest of the North Central Region. Seeing that it was going to be cold and snowy I assumed that the Kenyans would struggle. I'd like to thank my coach Jen Michel for leading Western to 2nd place trophies while inevitably leading me to my prediction victory.  I'd also like to publicly call out Aaron Braun to an otter pop mile (at sea-level), if my challenge gets put on the letsrun front page he surely has no choice other than to toe the line against me.

We're not entirely sure what an otter pop mile is, but think it's like a Beer Mile with Otter Pops.

*Check your scores in our Foot Locker contest here
*See top picks in our Foot Locker contest here
*Check your scores in our NCAA D1 contest here
*See top picks in our NCAA D1 contest here
*Check your scores in our NCAA D2 contest here
*See top picks in our NCAA D2 contest here


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