Not Done? wrote:
Interesting to note that at NXN 2012 (the fall preceding Mary Cain's best year), she lost to Sarah Baxter.
Obviously Baxter is considered one of the greatest HS XC runners of all time but the girls Cain lost to today are some very good ex-collegians which could easily compare to Baxter (take Grant Fisher, one of best HSers ever and his 3:59 wouldnt even make NCAA's. Safe to say Westphal and Costello could beat 2012 Baxter).
Also remember that Cain's 5k ability on the track is significantly poorer than her 15/800 (a 4:04 1500m runner should be much faster than 15:45, her PR on the track) and this is cross country, a particularly rugged course at that, so it requires much more strength.
Given these, it looks like Cain might actually be in a good position heading into this year.
" a particularly rugged course at that"
Franklin Park is a harder course, but not rugged at all.
As someone who races there around 2-3 times a year, the first mile is down hill and well kept, not rugged at all, Bear cage hill isn't as bad as everyone says it is, and the second mile isn't too bad.
the third mile I guess can get pretty muddy, and may be tougher, but I wouldn't call it a rough course at all.