Digits: Three's A Party



Typically, the summer lacks excitement for collegiates around the nation. For many, it's a time to build up their base mileage in preparation for the long cross country season ahead. However, there are always a few select individuals who will capture your attention as they extend their track seasons into potential World Championships opportunities.

Sure enough, that's what we have seen from Morgan McDonald and Justyn Knight throughout the month of July. Knight has officially qualified for the World Championship 5k while McDonald just ran the 6th fastest 5k ever by an Australian (13:15).

Even with all of these incredible performances, Grant Fisher is quietly enjoying the one thing that neither of those two have: an NCAA individual title.

It seems pretty clear that with Cheserek and Tiernan now out of the picture, Knight, Fisher, and McDonald are the three individuals with a legitimate shot of winning the NCAA Cross Country title in November. With that in mind, let's break down the scorecard between this trio and see who has the advantage...

Wins

Knight

XC: 6 wins (14 races)

Indoor: 6 wins (11 races)

Outdoor: 5 wins (16 races)

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Average Wins per Race = Total wins / Total races

.4146 wins per race

Fisher

XC: 0 wins (7 races)

Indoor: 0 wins (0 races)

Outdoor: 5 wins (13 races)

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Average Wins per Race = Total wins / Total races

.25 wins per race

McDonald

XC: 2 wins (14 races)

Indoor: 7 wins (15 races)

Outdoor: 1 wins (6 races)

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Average Wins per Race = Total wins / Total races

.2857 wins per race

All-American Finishes

Knight

XC: 2 AA's (3 opportunities)

Indoor: 2 AA's (2 opportunities)

Outdoor: 2 AA's (3 opportunities)

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Average All-American Finishes per Opportunity = Total AA's / Total Opportunities

.75 all-american finishes per opportunity

Fisher

XC: 2 AA's (2 opportunities)

Indoor: 0 AA's (0 opportunities)

Outdoor: 2 AA's (2 opportunities)

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Average All-American Finishes per Opportunity = Total AA's / Total Opportunities

1 all-american finish per opportunity

McDonald

XC: 1 AA (2 opportunities)

Indoor: 0 AA's (1 opportunity)

Outdoor: 1 AA (1 opportunity)

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Average All-American Finishes per Opportunity = Total AA's / Total Opportunities

.5 all-american finishes per opportunity

Times

*1500 to Mile conversion = + 17 seconds*

Knight

1500/Mile (whichever is best): 3:39.23 (1500)

3000: 7:47.82

5000: 13:17.51

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Lowest Combined Time (1500 is converted to Mile)

25:01.56

Fisher

1500/Mile (whichever is best): 3:59.38 (Mile)

3000: 7:50.06

5000: 13:30.13

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Lowest Combined Time (1500 is converted to Mile)

25:19.57

McDonald

1500/Mile (whichever is best): 3:57.83 (Mile)

3000: 7:51.19

5000: 13:15.83

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Lowest Combined Time (1500 is converted to Mile)

25:04.85

Head-to-Head Matchups

Knight

vs Fisher: 2-2

vs McDonald: 7-2

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Total Combined Record (Win Percentage)

9-4 (69.23%)

Fisher

vs Knight: 2-2

vs McDonald: 1-4

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Total Combined Record (Win Percentage)

3-6 (33.33%)

McDonald

vs Knight: 2-7

vs Fisher: 4-1

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Total Combined Record (Win Percentage)

6-8 (42.86%)

Notes

  • With the exception of Fisher's All-American performances, Knight is the best of this group in nearly every metric (wins, matchups, and times). Of course, these numbers don't take into account the subjective factor of racing such as the ability to kick, tactics, experience, course difficulty during XC, and competition.

  • Grant Fisher shows some interesting numbers...

  • His personal bests listed above were from his freshman year of college (3k and 5k) and his senior year of high school (Mile). He did not PR this past outdoor season.

  • Although Fisher has the worst win percentage of this group, he has run significantly less races and is behind in eligibility...

  • ​Knight: 41 races

  • McDonald: 35 races

  • Fisher: 20 races

  • In terms of head-to-head matchups, this trio is very even overall...

  • ​Knight > McDonald

  • McDonald > Fisher

  • Fisher > Knight (since Fisher has a national title, he is given the advantage in this situation)

  • ​​​Indoor track for Justyn Knight is the only season where one of these individuals has won more than they have lost.

#digits #analysis #gzatlin #ncaa