Bonus Deep Dive: Mt. SAC Course Changes

The 73rd Mt. SAC Invitational takes place this Saturday, and the course returns to the layout that was used before the long stadium construction process began there in 2015. Let's take a look at the impact the course changes from 2016-2019 had on the speed of the course, using a couple of different tools.

First, let's use our Compare Meets tool to find out the overall impact using average times per year. Putting both genders together, we get this data:

YearBoys Overall AverageBoys Top 100 AverageGirls Overall AverageGirls Top 100 Average

It's kind of a mixed bag, to be honest. Looking at the boys' overall average, you would think the course had gotten noticeably more difficult. However, the girls' overall average has been essentially stagnant, with the exception of 2016. The overall averages are heavily swayed by the bottom 50% of runners who compete, so it's possible that the average just goes up if there are more JV and frosh-soph participants.

If we consider the top 100 averages, I think we get a better picture. The boys' top 100 has been pretty steady, increasing only 4 seconds total over 5 years with the biggest year only 7 seconds higher than 2015. On the girls' side there seems to have been some change for the slower over the last two years, but that could reflect the different combinations of elite runners at the front (it could also reflect weather conditions).

All in all, there's not really any convincing data that shows the course was much different the last 4 years.