The girl who finished 2nd to Jenna Hutchins at RunningLane was freshmen Mia Prok (Niwot HS in Colorado) … she is very good freshman XC runner (has the 3rd highest Speed Rating of any freshman girl in the nation) … I followed her the entire season, and her seasonal speed ratings starting with the most recent are: 133 147 138 139 136 141 129 130 … the highest, 147 (actually 147.01), was against finishing 2nd the Jenna Hutchins at RunningLane.
I have multiple speed ratings for most of the top 100 girl finishers at RunningLane … 12 of these 100 had no previous or subsequent speed rating data, and 5 have only the RunningLane race data (and were excluded from all stats) … So I had multiple speed rating data for 83 of the top 100 girl finishers just from this season to use when speed rating the RunningLane meet.
And when looking at the Girl’s Speed Ratings from the RunningLane National Meet, 41 of the top 83 had their career high speed rating … Jenna Hutchins was not one of them despite running faster than 16:00 … about half of the field had a career day with respect to speed ratings and 89 of the top 100 set their XC race time PRs.
Ignoring speed ratings altogether at RunningLane … A straight multi-race correlation between the runners (time difference correlation between each of the top 100 finishers with ALL other top 100 finishers) shows the same statistical result as noted by the speed rating results.
That result being that the majority of the 99 girls behind Jenna Hutchins closed the gap between themselves and Jenna Hutchins based on previous race results … actually 58% closed that gap … and that’s why Jenna Hutchins’ speed rating was only 167 … and it does not deserve to be any higher than the posted value.
Quickly for boys at RunningLane … I had multiple race data for 177 of the top 200 finishers … 99 of these 177 boys set career speed rating PRs … Like the girls, that is a very high percentage … and a majority of boys closed the gap between themselves and the winner (not unusual on a fast easy course) … Maybe I over-rated both races (but I didn’t), and the top 80 boys ALL set 5K XC race time PRs.
One method of demonstrating an exceptional XC performance by a girl is compare her time to boy’s … Something similar to “she would have finished in the top 25 of the boy’s race” … The Boys’ race at RunningLane was about equal in quality to a Nike NXR Southwest Regional Qualifying race … Many of the top teams from the Southwest Region came to RunningLane (but not all … but good teams from Southeast were there to make up for it) … And with respect to Jenna Hutchins, her 15:58.42 time (fastest ever for any HS girl on a 5K course) would have finished 150th in the boys’ race … she was 1:31.5 slower than boy’s winner Parker Wolfe which makes her 167 speed rating agree nicely with Wolfe’s 195 rating.
To paraphrase a common complaint I get “My team (or my runner) ran a better-than-normal race and your speed ratings don’t show it, so there is something wrong with your speed ratings!” … At times I ask “How about the other runners in the race – How did they run?” … A common answer, “Who cares about them?, my team or runner set a course record or ran an exceptional fast time or team average record!”
Speed ratings care about the other runners … Speed ratings measure “who beat who and by how much?” and “how fast did runners run relative to other runners?” … Speed ratings don’t care about course records … Usually speed ratings are higher when teams or runners run a better-than-normal race … But when many runners run a better-than-normal race, the speed ratings indicate it and that’s exactly what I want to know when betting an upcoming race.
I’ve had three emails asking me to apologize to Jenna Hutchins for under-rating the “greatest high school performance of all-time” … Well I’m sorry that it is speed-rated correctly.
I think Jenna Hutchins might be capable of posting an exceptional 170+ speed rating at Foot Locker, Balboa Park where separation from top elite runners can be demonstrated … But credit for doing it must wait until it happens … Foot Locker has posted date of Dec 11, 2021.