Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scoring Machine

When an individual or a team is referred to as a scoring machine, it usually implies that the person, or team, is capable of producing many points in a game. This could refer to a basketball player putting up 40 points in a game, or a football player scoring several touchdowns. It could refer to a team's "high octane" offense....nah, I won't go there. Especially since Penn State slogged to an ugly 10-7 win.

Anyway, Thursday was our District (WPIAL) Championship and both our boys and girls teams finished in 2nd place. Since the top four move on to the state meet next Saturday, we are packing our bags for Hershey. How both teams got to 2nd place and how the 2nd place was viewed by the team were certainly two different reactions.

Let's just say our boys were at least considered even favorites with our big rival, if not a slight favorite since we had won last week's invitational. End result is that we ended up 2nd by a margin of 50-115. On the girls' side, a team with 3 sisters was the heavy favorite and everybody else was gunning for second. We were probably a little behind another school and perhaps regarded as the third best team. However, our girls had a great day and we ended up 2nd.

Overall, though it was yet another muddy mess. Lots of slop (one of our runners even lost a shoe in the mud!!!!) and I'm sure this snow won't help the state meet course at all. However, the recap of the day at the district meet doesn't reflect back on the title or opening paragraph....or so it seems...

Last week at the previous Thursday's invitational, I decided to forgo my cheering in the final half mile and position myself in a spot to record places of the top boys and girls teams to get a feel for the scoring. The calculations were pretty close, so I decided to enlist the help of my lovely assistant (Beth) and see how well "Team Shutt" could perform counting places and scoring a large high-stakes district final.

The results - I think we're ready to take our show on the road!

Girls' results done by us in black; actual results in bold red

NH - 1-2-4-16-23 = 46
NH - 1-2-4-16-23 = 46

ML - 10-12-13-45-62 = 142
ML - 9-11-12-43-62 = 137

NA - 21-27-33-34-41 = 156
NA - 21-27-33-34-41 = 156

PR - 18-30-38-76-77 = 239
PR - 18-30-38-60-77 = 223

HA - 5-25-40-67-100 = 237
HA - 5-25-40-67-98 = 235

So, other than missing PR's #4, we were pretty much right on. Unless, you consider the fact that we had the wrong 4th place team, or the last team moving on to the state meet....and the fact that it was my alma mater and I told the coach that we scored them as being in (with the big disclaimer that we were just guessing) and they finished 5th.

On to the boys' race. We only scored us and NA because we figured it was only the two of us realistically fighting for the championship:

NA - 1-9-10-11-18 = 49
NA - 1-9-10-11-19 = 50

ML - 8-12-25-26-44 = 115
ML - 8-13-25-26-43 = 115

Not too bad again, but we were just having to keep track of two teams and only had to count up into the 40's (and it shouldn't have even been that high if things would've went better).

This brought me back to my Grad School Days when, as part of my Masters Thesis, I developed an application for the Palm PDA (remember those things?!?!?). The goal of the application was to capture what Industrial Engineers call "time studies." Here's a screen shot of my application:

Okay, so that's not really related to cross country, but since I was dating this gal on Penn State's cross country team (aka Beth), I decided to take a lot of the same code language and create a cross country scoring application that I called XC Score. I have to say it worked pretty well at a couple of the meets I tried it at. I couldn't dig up any screen shots and we gave away the PDA's so it's erased from existence other than I still have the code file from some archaic PDA programming language on my computer.

Just for the fun of it I googled "XC Score" and it turns out that Apple (and the Android) have an app for that.

I'm thinking about downloading and trying the Android app, but not sure how well it will work at the state meet with so many teams, plus I usually position myself out in the middle of the course and miss the finish of the top runners in the field. But, I think I may use it for next year's invitationals.

So, sorry for the boring running-computer post, but it was a fun trip down memory lane for me.

Two weeks until the Harrisburg Marathon! Starting to get a little more focused on that task as the cross country season is winding down.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Heck with that dumb iPhone app - you and I should just take our talents on the road!!! It could be our new profession no? ;)