Moosilauke – Full History

After correcting a few typos in the the “official” results I thought we’d look again at the time histories for Dartmouth’s Moosilauke time trial. The following graph depicts every result (except for 2011, which I still can’t find anywhere).

The blue is the median for each individual running; this includes both summer and fall times. Despite some course changes over time, it’s interesting that you probably wouldn’t be able to spot exactly when they happened from the graphs. There’s just a bit too much noise in there.

The cross country men (i.e. men actual on the Dartmouth Ski Team) have, on average actually been getting slower, in an absolute sense. But definitely the strongest trend is in the alpine men. Course changes aside, it would be interesting to look up who was on the alpine men’s team at Dartmouth in the early 90’s.

Moosilauke Time Trial – Fall 2012

As FasterSkier mentioned the other day, the Dartmouth Ski Team’s Moosilauke time trial is a pretty neat data set, since they’ve kept the data going back quite a ways. Interpretations are sometimes a challenge, since the course has changed from time to time when trail work is done. My sources tell me that in addition to the weather being horrendous this year the trail was slightly rerouted, possibly adding some distance to the course.

Given all this, the times were a bit slow (click for full version):

Those are only the fall term runnings, and 2011 is missing, since those times appear to be missing on the official historical results.

How long will Freeman and Randall remain on top?

Kris Freeman and Kikkan Randall have been basically the top US skiers for quite some time now. (I’m sort of brushing Andrew Newell under the rug here, mostly just due to time contraints. I’ll do a follow up on him next week.)

Freeman has been more or less unquestionably the best US male distance skier for what seems like forever, and Randall has been fairly dominant domestically in both distance and sprint events. How long can this last? Not forever, of course. Nothing lasts forever.

But it seems like the shift may happen sooner on the men’s side than the women’s. Here’s what I mean:

This shows the head-to-head results of Freeman against a handful of the better US men’s distance skiers in recent years. Certainly, Freeman has way more wins (above zero, in the pink) than losses (below zero, in the blue). But the gaps are generally narrowing.

Now, there’s a big caveat here in that I can’t say much about whether Freeman is getting slower, or these guys are getting faster, or even if Freeman is getting faster but these guys are getting faster faster. (That made you think for a second, didn’t it?) Or maybe they’re all getting slower, and Freeman is getting slower faster. (See, now I’m just having fun messing with your head.) The point is that these are just relative comparisons, not absolute ones.

In any case, what does the similar picture look like for Kikkan Randall? Read more

Climb To The Castle – Women

Same story as last time, only the women this time. Kikkan Randall may have made a better benchmark, but Liz Stephen is no slouch in WC distance events either.

As before, all of this is highly approximate.

I’ve taken Stephen’s races from last season, removed some of the least comparable (prologue’s for example), and then calculated where in each of these WC races folks would have placed if they finished the same percent behind Stephen as they did in Climb to the Castle. Blank entries in the table indicate that that person’s percent back places them after the last WC skiers in that race.

If you’re wondering about the runs of identical places in the columns, the reason is that there are often some large time gaps at the very back of the field, so there are a wide range of percent backs that might fit between second to last and last, for instance.

 

Name 11-20 12-11 12-18 02-19 02-26 03-05 03-12
STEPHEN 25 48 18 55 24 16 28
SARGENT 57 58 34 68 38 34 47
GERAGHTY-MOATS 75 62 47 48 43 58
DREISSIGACKER 79 63 49 50 48 63
SPECTOR 84 63 52 49 67
EGAN 86 53 49
DUNKLEE 86 53 49
KILLIGREW 86 49
DROLET 86 51
ATTALI 86 51

Climb To The Castle – Men

This annual rollerski race was this past weekend, and as usual attracted a fair number of good domestic skiers. With the US Ski Team attending, it’s a good chance for folks to test themselves against folks like Kris Freeman. As with any other race, it’s natural to ask what the results “mean”. There are no concrete answers to that kind of question, but we can provide some context. For example, since Kris Freeman is essentially the benchmark for US distance racers unable to get to Europe that often, we can look at how people’s performance against him would compare in a WC race.

All of this is highly approximate, of course.

I’ve taken Freeman’s races from last season, removed some of the least comparable (prologue’s for example), and then calculated where in each of these WC races folks would have placed if they finished the same percent behind Freeman as they did in Climb to the Castle. Blank entries in the table indicate that that person’s percent back places them after the last WC skiers in that race.

If you’re wondering about the runs of identical places in the columns, the reason is that there are often some large time gaps at the very back of the field, so there are a wide range of percent backs that might fit between second to last and last, for instance.

 

Name 11-20 12-11 12-18 01-03 01-08 02-19 02-27 03-01 03-12 03-19
FREEMAN 9 23 25 11 38 57 29 24 26 20
BURKE 15 26 27 33 39 64 31 28 32 26
HOFFMAN 36 44 34 38 40 75 43 41 45 29
NEWELL 53 60 41 48 40 80 50 49 51 32
ELLEFSON 71 62 44 52 81 53 53 58 35
ELLIOT 80 67 57 58 84 60 60 62 42
O BRIEN 95 75 64 84 65 69 48
HAMILTON 99 76 64 71 49
JOHNSON 102 77 74 49
LAPIERRE 102 77 75 49

US Domestic Racing Update 2

Continuing on from yesterday as promised, we have two rather large graphs showing the head-to-head results of some top US skiers on the domestic scene.  These graphs are, well, big and to be honest I’m not particularly proud of them.  I’ve been struggling with how to display the head-to-head results from a large number of pairs of skiers in an appealing way and quite frankly I haven’t had much luck.  This is the least bad option I’ve found so far.  Even so, it clearly won’t work for a truly large number of skiers.

In any case, here they are:

These may be a bit confusing at first, so let me explain.  You should read these by focusing on rows of panels.  For example, in the men’s graph we have a row of panels for Lars Flora.  Each of these panels displays his results versus the person in that column using the difference in percent back.  Red dots mean the person on the row won, blue means the person on the row lost to the person on the column.  So the large number of red dots in the Lars Flora row is good (for Flora).

It’s not the best, but you can at least scan along a row and get a sense for how often someone is winning versus a particular person.

US Domestic Racing Update 1

I haven’t posted very much regarding domestic racing here in the US or Canada.  There are several reasons for this:

  • Useful and meaningful performance measures are harder to come by.  FIS points start getting somewhat wishy-washy when you start having to assume that the penalty system is accurately capturing the strength of the field.  Not saying it’s terrible, but I’ve just been cautious about it, is all.
  • Generally speaking, I have a lot less data on domestic racers.  I only really capture events that are FIS sanctioned, and that omits a large number of races here in the US/CAN with fast skiers.
  • I know (or are friends of friends) with a some of these folks, and it feels weird sometimes talking about them “analytically”.

Still, I ought to pause for a bit after US Nationals and post something.  So here it goes.  Distance FIS point trends for a selection of top US men and women (excluding US Ski Team members): Read more