So, I posted this on another thread regarding the Japanese HS times, and I still haven't seen a good explanation.
According to that same blog post, the CU men's XC team averages 14:08 for 5K - a mere 3 seconds per man faster than a bunch of high schoolers. And the Michigan St. women's XC team, also NCAA champions, averages 9:22 for 3K, 9 seconds slower than the best Japanese HS team.
That doesn't make sense. Usually, if things look too good to be true, they are. Training, culture, genetics, coaches, all-star HS teams - none of these explanations are adequate. Are the times for the Japanese teams are incorrect? Or are the times for the U.S. collegiates are incorrect? Or could Japanese HS teams come to the U.S. and compete for an NCAA title every year - or in the women's race, absolutely DOMINATE? Are the HS kids actually 20?