How were my Predictions? MV8 and WV8 Edition

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Here was my predicted order for the Mens First Eight:

So my predicted order is:

  • St Albans
  • Westfield
  • Yorktown
  • Oakton
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • McLean
  • Woodson   –    Forest Park   –   Robinson (Very close)
  • West Springfield
  • Mt Vernon
  • Cox
  • Princess Anne

* I was so close to having one of those major “I TOLD YOU SO” moments in this category.  I don’t know of anyone else who predicted Westfield would take second place overall.  I think I can only claim about 70% gloating. I backed off that a little bit in my update assuming McLean would be a greater challenge in the heats.  Also – I was pretty sure Westfield had blown their chance after their heat by going too hard.  Still – I think I can safely say…

Nobody Predicted Westfield Would Take Second Except Me!!!!!!!!!

* St Albans was obvious.  I don’t think we need to review their performance.

* The Heats almost went as I expected (look at my post on MV8 revisited for further details).  St Albans went to the front in the first heat and the remaining three teams fought it out for second.  Forest Park won this battle.  In the second heat, Yorktown and Oakton went through to the finals easily.  Both teams looked at though they were taking it easy going by – smart choice – save energy.

* In the third heat, McLean did not materialize to challenge either TJ or Westfield for one of the two spots in the finals.  TJ and Westfield were well clear.  However, rather than taking it easy, Westfield was engaged in a “do-or-die” battle with TJ to win the heat.  The thought running through my mind was “What the heck are they doing?”  Westfield did manage to beat TJ in the heat – and they ran a time that was 4 seconds faster than either STA or Yorktown.  I was convinced they had used their best effort in the heat and would be well back in the finals.

* It is a credit to Westfields that they managed to get 2nd in the finals after such a tremendous effort.  They were 4.1 seconds behind STA at the wire.  My numbers beforehand predicted 3.6.  Even more interesting – if they had run the same time as they did in the final that they did in the heat they only would have been 0.6 seconds behind STA!  Stotes will be interesting.

* Yorktown came in a second ahead of TJ.  Yorktown did well as expected.  TJ did better than expected (TJ makes a habit of that.)  Oakton surprisingly didn’t fire in the final.  Their time was the same as they ran in their heat – and they were obviously cruising in the last 500 meters of their heat.  Forest Park was 5 seconds off their heat time – predictably so – after having fought hard to get to the finals.

Overall – I’m pretty happy with the predictions for this event.

And here was my Predictions for the Womens First Eight:

Here are my top three:

  1. Madison
  2. Thomas Jefferson
  3. Yorktown.

* TC Williams got up for second, pushing TJ to third and Yorktown to fourth.  Robinson was 5th and National Cathedral was 6th.  TC Williams performed better than expected but the others were as predicted.

The next two contenders are Robinson and TC WilliamsRobinson has the edge here.  In fact – looking back at my numbers for the year, Robinson has rowed very smart races all year. **Yorktown actually rowed a smarter heat.  They took second to Robinson in the heat but rowed faster in the finals.  Both boats were well clear of the 3rd place boat. They use the heats to get to the finals, then give their best performance in the finals.  To get up for the win they would have to have a big improvement from their previous efforts – I’m placing them in fourth.  TC Williams has varied.  At their best they are on par with Robinson, at their worst they run with National Cathedral.  Somewhere in the 4th/5th/6th range is where I am looking – with the odds on 5th.

As mentioned – National Cathedral rounds out the top 6.  Looking at the seeding for the race (heat sheets – I got a copy – I hope to post them) – all these teams should have the capability to move out of their heats and into the finals.

Whom else might break through to the finals?  In the first heat (A)- Madison and TCW should go through.   Westfield and West Potomac would be possible should TC Williams falter.  Westfield would be most likely to take advantage of the opportunity if they row a great race.  I doubt West Potomac would be able to pull through. Sidwell Friends and Norfolk Academy are here as well – but the rest of the field is tough and I would expect to see these two trail the others.

* Madison and TCW made it through.  Westfield was a comfortable third.  Sidwell and Norfolk did trail.  This prediction was right on.

In the second heat, Thomas Jefferson and National Cathedral would be expected to advance.  Their heat includes West Springfield, Georgetown Visitation, Mt Vernon and Princess Anne.  Of those, Georgetown Visitation and West Springfield have equal chances – although that chance is pretty slim.  Mt Vernon will trail.  Princess Anne took 4th in the W8V final at the EVSRA championships – 25 seconds behind Hickory.  I don’t know how Hickory stacks up against it’s northern neighbors, but I don’t see Princess Anne as a possibility.

* TJ led and National Cathedral came in second – advancing to the finals.  Georgetown Visitation took third – followed by West Springfield.  Princess Anne took fifth in a good showing.  Pretty much according to plan.

In the third heat we have Robinson and Yorktown expected to pass through to the finals. Woodson and Washington-Lee flank these two teams.  Washington-Lee has the best chance of these two – Woodson less.  Lake Braddock is close to these two and might mix in – but I doubt they can get all the way to second.  Langley is an unknown here.

* Robinson and Yorktown advanced in front of the third place boat – Washington Lee.  Robinson was 10 seconds ahead of  Washington-Lee, so they probably could have throttled back a bit.  That probably isn’t a fair criticism.  This heat was 12 seconds slower than the Madison heat – so I don’t think they were trying to overachieve in the heats.

Overall – for both events – I’m pretty happy with the results and how the predictions turned out.  Realistically, these should be the easiest events to predict since the Varsity Eights are such premier events.

Congratulations to Madison who followed through on their dominance this year, and TC Williams for rowing a very good race – better than their prior performance would have indicated.

Congratulations to the St Albans crew which has again created an incredible team – and to Westfield who followed a powerful heat with a powerful final. I would not be surprised to see Westfield within a second of STA on the first day of time-trials at Stotes next week.  Of course – I wouldn’t be surprised if St Albans shows us a new gear we haven’t seen before.  *Update – Someone from Westfield wrote me and informed me Westfield doesn’t go to Stotesbury. My bad.  Hopefully both teams will meet again at Nationals.

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