How Do Saturday's NXN Results Bode for the Southwest Region?

Casey Clinger, McKay Johns, and Joe Benson are all visible as top-ten runners at the midway point of the boys race.

Boys Regions

Probably the first thing we should do is lay out the data. Shown below are two tables. The first table shows the team placements from each region, with the at-large teams show in parentheses:

California - 6, (14), 16

Heartland - 10, 18

Midwest - 5, 12, (17)

New York - 9, 19

Northeast - 7, 22

Northwest - 1, 20

South - (8), 11, 21

Southeast - 3, 13

Southwest - 2, 4, (15)

This next table shows the overall placement of individual qualifiers from each region:

California - 16, 22, 23, 31, 122

Heartland - 4, 15, 32, 37, 43

Midwest - 13, 17, 19, 28, 30

New York - 40, 50, 60,87, 97

Northeast - 21, 25, 36, 100, 114

Northwest - 18, 35, 44, 83, 88

South - 2, 5, 10, 24, DNF

Southeast - 34, 39, 55, 63, 94

Southwest - 7, 8, 11, 41, 45

It probably should be taken into account before we go any farther that regional top-five individuals who were not among the finishers at NXN-SW were two from California, one from Heartland, and one from the South.

It's easy to overinterpret small differences between numbers, but it's clear that there were stronger regions and weaker regions at NXN this year. 

In terms of team results, the Southwest region easily topped all other regions. Even the Southwest at-large team out of Springville managed a 15th-place finish. While that doesn't raise eyebrows like American Fork's at-large finish of 2nd last year, it is also far from a non-competitive finish.

Other regions with clearly above-average team results were Southeast and Midwest. Regions taking places toward the bottom of the heap included Northeast, New York, and Heartland.

With the individuals, there are both similarities and differences to the team placements. Strong regions in terms of individuals included South (allowing that they didn't have a fifth finisher), Heartland, Southwest, and Midwest.

Regions clearly in the lower tier of individual finishers were Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, and New York. It definitely didn't help things for the Northeast that the Affolders opted to go in the direction of Foot Locker instead of NXN, but it wouldn't have entirely changed things for the Northeast even if they had gone the NXN direction. Northeast likely would have moved from a lower tier region and joined California as a middle tier region for individuals.

I don't know that there's any reason here for Nike to tinker with any regional realignments, but there's probably some food for thought here for the at-large selection committee.