2021 Cross Country Storylines: Renewing Class AA/A

Renewing Class AA/A

To reiterate, I haven't been around that long to know all the nuances of each classification or division but the more I'm in this position and the more I try to create relevant content for them the more I learn. In order to prepare for this renewal of the AA/A Classification in Division I, we should look back on the previous cycles (as I understand them) and how they were constructed. 

  • 2013 - 2017: Three Classes, split evenly, combine AA/A including some Private Schools, cut line was ~ 1000 
  • 2017 - 2021: Two Classes, split evenly regardless of track or xc participation, private reclassified into Division II mid-cycle, cut line was ~750
  • 2021 - 2023: Three Classes, split evenly by track or xc participating schools, Combine class AA/A cut line ~ 1200

The main issue with the previous cycle as I've pointed out in earlier pieces is "split evenly" was far from even. In an ideal world, splitting the 320 or so Division I TSSAA member schools would've meant Large and Small would both contain 160 participating teams but upon review while Large rostered close to it's projection of 160, small was closer to 100 or less that would roster just one runner in either sport per year. Some regions were so gutted, if you showed up to the region meet with 5 girls or 5 boys and all simply just finished the race you would "qualify" for state. One region in 2019 didn't even send three teams to state. I don't think that will be an issue moving forward as with the omission of "non-participating" schools prior to the split, this class is projected to have 190 schools competing in it up to and including Brighton High School whose reported enrollment is 1209. By just raising the cut line by 400 students, the talent pool doubled. 

Considering the previous results below, the question becomes how much does this reconfiguration of the class change the outcome. 

Year Girl's Champion Girl's Runner Up Boy's Champion  Boy's Runner Up
2020 Signal Mountain Merrol Hyde Signal Mountain Merrol Hyde
2019 Signal Mountain Univ. School Johnson City Signal Mountain Alcoa
2018 Signal Mountain Univ. School Johnson City Univ. School Johnson City Signal Mountain
2017 Signal Mountain White House Heritage Univ. School Johnson City L&N Stem
2016 Central Magnet Knox Catholic Knox Catholic Page
2015 Signal Mountain CAK Knox Catholic Sullivan East
2014 Signal Mountain CAK Hume-Fogg Knox Catholic
2013 Signal Mountain CAK Central Magnet Hume-Fogg

The major contenders look to be the same in this first iteration. Signal Mountain, Central Magnet, and Hume-Fogg return very strong squads from 2020 and as not to repeat myself, you can read more in depth analysis of the team races in the links below that were published in July. 

Girl's Division I Class AA/A Rankings & Analysis

Boy's Division I Class AA/A Rankings & Analysis

Brooktie Frogge finished 24th at last year's Large Region 6 Championship but ranks #7 in all of Class AA/A for returning runners.