Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ultra running National Rankings: Final 2015 Rankings


As 2015 winds down, I'm putting the finishing touches on the national rankings for the year.  There are a handful of races left on the schedule, but the top of the rankings should be pretty much settled.  How did we do?

Not to pat myself on the back too much, but I think we did pretty well.  At the top of the rankings at least, I feel like the system did a really good job of delineating who really had great years.  You can quibble with some of the details (and I'm sure you will); whether you think someone running 10-15 smaller races should rate as highly as someone running only three of four bigger races is, to some degree, a matter of opinion.  But if you peruse the results you'll find that both strategies paid off in 2015.  Brian Rusiecki, Kathleen Cusick, Paul Terranova, and Nicole Studer put up numerous top finishes in a variety of events; Rob Krar, Ellie Greenwood, Zach Miller, and Camille Herron rode just a few dominant performances to high rankings.  Aliza Lapierre, Dylan Bowman, Kaci Lickteig, and David Laney blended the two.  I think the fact that no single strategy dominated the rankings showed that the system is able to account for both depth and breadth of performances, which I thought was going to be one of the biggest challenges going in.

All in all I think the system performed very well.  I was fortunate to get a vote for UROY this year and spent several days last week filling out my ballot.  (It was exciting, and an honor, but very, very difficult.)  I've said all along that I wanted the rankings to be an objective supplement to the subjective voting process, and I think that goal was met.  I'm not sure how much use it is as a voting criteria--I didn't use the exact rankings when deciding my ballot--but as you can see here, the folks I thought were deserving of UROY votes were almost exclusively very highly ranked by the system.  (I'll leave it to you to decide which is the chicken and which is the egg.)  Below I've listed my UROY ballot; the number after each name in the parenthesis is that runner's final ranking (barring any final-weekend changes).

Jay's ballot: Male UROY
1. David Laney (6)
2. Brian Rusiecki (1)
3. Seth Swanson (9)
4. Dylan Bowman (3)
5. Rob Krar (2)
6. Paul Terranova (4)
7. Ian Sharman (7)
8. Alex Nichols (10)
9. Ryan Bak (8)
10. Zach Miller (11)

Jay's ballot: Female UROY
1. Magdalena Boulet (1)
2. Camille Herron (4)
3. Aliza Lapierre (8)
4. Kaci Lickteig (5)
5. Katalin Nagy (10)
6. Kathleen Cusick (2)
7. Stephanie Howe (3)
8. Nicole Studer (7)
9. Larissa Dannis (6)
10. Ellie Greenwood (9)

(If I'd had another week to submit my UROY ballot, Zach Bitter's new 100-mile American Record from this past weekend would have jumped him into my top 10.)

Another role I envisioned for the rankings was in helping athletes with attracting sponsors.  I mean, Rob and Magdalena certainly don't need the help, but I think someone with less name recognition, like, say, Daven Oskvig, might get some benefit from being able to tell a potential shoe sponsor, "You know, I ranked 32nd in the country this year."  Whether or not that's the case remains to be seen.  Maybe in a couple of years.

There are a few changes coming in 2016.  The point values have been tweaked for high-level races, making them relatively more valuable; this should help to further reward the elites who are mixing it up with the best competition.  Additionally, now that we have a full year of data to work from, the field strength multiplier will be expanded to encompass the top 50 runners for each gender.  This will reflect the quality of the fields much more accurately. I've also enlisted the help of a few well-connected folks within the ultra world to help me rate the races more accurately. They are scattered in different parts of the country, so hopefully we'll have an unbiased view of which are the most important races in our sport.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the top 50 men and women for 2015. You can check the final spreadsheet for the full rankings--all 5800 runners, men and women--here. I've added two additional tabs at the bottom, so that now you can view the list both alphabetically and numerically. So, if you want to find your ranking but don't want to scroll through 3000 names, start by finding your name on the alphabetical sheet. Check your final point score in the far right column. Then, scroll down on the numeric sheet to find that score, and bingo, you'll find your name and ranking.

I hope you enjoyed these rankings as much as I enjoyed compiling them, and I hope you'll come back for more in 2016.

As of 12/21


Men
State
Points
Women
State
Points
1
Brian Rusiecki
MA
104.15
Magdalena Boulet
CA
171.6
2
Rob Krar
AZ
87.5
Kathleen Cusick
VA
105.5
3
Dylan Bowman
CA
80.5
Stephanie Howe
OR
95.075
4
Paul Terranova
TX
79.9
Camille Herron
OK
90
5
Alex Varner
CA
78.6
Kaci Lickteig
NE
87.275
6
David Laney
OR
72.2
Larissa Dannis
CA
82.4
7
Ian Sharman
CA
69.5
Nicole Studer
TX
79.675
8
Ryan Bak
OR
68.9
Aliza Lapierre
VT
78.6
9
Seth Swanson
MT
68.6
Ellie Greenwood
Can
78.15
10
Alex Nichols
CO
62.8
Katalin Nagy
FL
72.5
11
Zach Miller
CO
62.5
Cassie Scallon
CO
71.8
12
Bob Shebest
CA
56.375
Ashley Erba
CO
70.9
13
Justin Houck
WA
56.075
Sarah Bard
MA
64.225
14
Zach Bitter
WI
52.5
Bev Anderson-Abbs
CA
58.6
15
Jared Hazen
CO
52
Megan Kimmel
CO
55
16
Mark Hammond
UT
51.8
Amy Rusiecki
MA
55
17
Ryan Kaiser
OR
50.975
Neela D’Souza
Can
54.5
18
Jim Walmsley
AZ
50.3
Bethany Patterson
WA
52
19
Ryan Smith
CO
50.075
Hillary Allen
CO
51.375
20
Chikara Omine
CA
50
Kerrie Bruxvoort
CO
49.4
21
Jorge Maravilla
CA
49.8
Rachel Ragona
CA
49.15
22
Jorge Pacheco
CA
49.3
Traci Falbo
IN
48.1
23
Mario Martinez
CA
48.4
Jacqueline Palmer
NE
48
24
Jean Pommier
CA
47
Emily Richards
NC
46.6
25
Mario Mendoza
OR
47
Emma Roca
ESP
46.35
26
Christopher Dennucci
CA
46.7
Darcy Piceu
CO
43.175
27
Benjamin Stern
CA
46.2
Caroline Boller
CA
41.95
28
Andrew Miller
OR
46
Ashley Nordell
OR
41
29
Pete Kostelnick
NE
46
Lee Conner
OH
40.5
30
Gediminus Grinius
LTH
44
Amanda Basham
OR
39.15
31
David Herr
VT
43
Angela Shartel
CA
39
32
Daven Oskvig
NY
42.5
Amy Phillips
CA
38
33
Michael Wardian
VA
41.1
Emily Peterson
CA
37.75
34
Daniel Hamilton
TN
41
Silke Koester
CO
37.4
35
Scott Traer
MA
40
Kara Henry
CO
37
36
Ryan Ghelfi
OR
37.175
Catrin Jones
Can
36.8
37
Dominic Layfield
UT
37
Erika Lindland
CA
36.475
38
Michael Borst
WI
37
Robin Watkins
DC
36.1
39
Daniel Kraft
OR
36.025
Megan Stegemiller
VA
36
40
Nate Jacqua
OR
36
Susan Barrows
OR
35
41
Chris Vizcaino
CA
35.7
Luanne Park
CA
34.525
42
Mike Foote
MT
35
Maggie Guterl
PA
34.4
43
Ray Sanchez
CA
35
Alissa St. Laurent
Can
34
44
Sage Canaday
CO
34.5
Julie Koepke
TX
34
45
Joshua Arthur
CO
34.325
Leslie Semler
MA
33.1
46
Owen Bradley
AL
34
Marylou Corino
Can
33
47
Michael Carson
AZ
33.5
Keely Henninger
CO
32.95
48
Yassine Diboun
OR
33.5
Ashley Lister
PA
32.8
49
Jason Lantz
PA
32.85
Leslie Howlett
UT
32.5
50
Eric Senseman
AZ
32.5
Meghan Arbogast
CA
32.075

1 comment: