Vaporflys in the Women's DI Northeast Regional

The 2019 DI Northeast cross country meet was moved to the roads because of bad weather conditions. Some teams decided to wear a popular and controversial marathon flat, the Nike Vaporflys. Did this decision alter who won and who qualified for nationals?

Let's compare the three teams that did wear Vaporflys (Harvard, Cornell, Syracuse, Dartmouth) and the others, which did not. The following are the average differences between how fast runners ran at regionals and at other meets this season (+- standard deviation). The first column denotes how non-Vaporfly athletes compared. The second denotes how Vaporfly athletes compared. The final column gives the difference between the means. An example reading of the table is that non-VF athletes ran on average 55 seconds faster at regionals than at Nuttycomb, whereas VF athletes ran on average 72 seconds faster.

Difference from Regionals (non-VF)Difference from Regionals (VF)Difference between VF and non-VF groups
Canisius Alumni Classic205+-34 134+-0 (one point)-71
Harvard vs. Yale153+-26126+-27-27



There is not quite enough data to say anything for sure. Still, the trend seems to be negative numbers in the last column, meaning the Vaporfly athletes were generally faster at the regional race relative to their competitors. A number of factors could have condounded the results. Maybe Harvard wasn't running all out at Harvard vs. Yale? Maybe Harvard, Cornell, and Syracuse were more mentally prepared for the new conditions, which is why they also adopted new road-race shoes?

Another Strategy

Using the algorithm in my cross country rankings, I found the course adjustments for all the women's races this season. However, instead of considering the Northeast Region meet to be a single race, I decided to split it into two races: one run by those in Nike Vaporflys and one for everyone else. This approach is similar to the previous section, but also takes into account the relative speeds of the three meets.

Here is a paste of part of my resulting course adjustments:

NCAA_Division_I_Northeast_Region_Cross_Country_Championships_VF 195
Colonial_Athletic_Association_(CAA)_Cross_Country_Championship 219
NCAA_Division_I_Northeast_Region_Cross_Country_Championships 222

The road race, when run in Vaporflys, appears to have been around 27 seconds faster than without. It is important to remember this suffers from the same instability as the previous approach - but 27 seconds is hard to ignore.

Below are the results if we adjust everyone's time to the "Vaporfly course," again with the disclaimer of not fully stable data. Races come down to a lot more than just times - Harvard, Cornell, and Syracuse still competed hard, breaking and out-kicking their competition. In addition, notice that Cornell still smashes its pre-race ranking, so for their shoes to be the main story of the day is very unfair. If anything, Cornell and Harvard's exceptional days suggests that whatever numbers I got are probably biased to be too large (since they make up a majority of the datapoints). Finally, rumors say Syracuse even had a top runner not finish because of slipping, which is also not accounted for here.

1Boston College107[10, 13, 18, 22, 44, 57, 73]
2Columbia143[5, 8, 25, 51, 54, 79, 104]
3Harvard149[12, 27, 34, 36, 40, 62, 156]
4Yale173[14, 16, 30, 46, 67, 86, 133]
5Cornell204[20, 26, 43, 45, 70, 88, 93]
6Iona216[4, 9, 37, 53, 113, 177, 191]
7Providence246[11, 17, 23, 72, 123, 130, 140]
8Connecticut248[3, 29, 38, 69, 109, 116, 117]
9New Hampshire273[7, 24, 32, 100, 110, 161, 194]
10Syracuse308[15, 19, 75, 94, 105, 137]
11Marist314[35, 50, 55, 78, 96, 136, 144]
12Vermont324[41, 58, 61, 81, 83, 90, 91]
13Boston University357[21, 33, 39, 99, 165, 187, 206]
14Army West Point374[52, 60, 80, 85, 97, 111, 128]
15Dartmouth383[31, 48, 92, 98, 114, 139, 217]
16Brown400[2, 56, 63, 76, 203, 211]
17UMass Amherst495[49, 87, 101, 120, 138, 150, 173]
18Albany503[1, 66, 89, 154, 193, 222, 249]
19Holy Cross532[42, 65, 121, 142, 162, 170, 224]
20Stony Brook560[68, 107, 108, 126, 151, 158, 180]
21Quinnipiac574[71, 95, 129, 134, 145, 198, 232]
22Buffalo591[77, 84, 122, 149, 159, 175, 210]
23Binghamton604[28, 82, 143, 155, 196, 204, 207]
24Central Connecticut609[59, 64, 124, 176, 186, 229, 250]
25Siena626[102, 115, 127, 135, 147, 185, 197]
26Northeastern658[47, 112, 125, 172, 202, 228, 231]
27Rhode Island683[6, 152, 163, 178, 184, 219, 240]
28St. John's769[103, 119, 164, 168, 215, 247]
29Sacred Heart843[132, 141, 181, 190, 199, 221, 225]
30Colgate859[106, 148, 174, 195, 236, 245, 246]
31UMass Lowell882[131, 167, 179, 200, 205, 208, 218]
32Fordham900[146, 169, 183, 189, 213, 230, 235]
33Hofstra931[74, 153, 201, 251, 252]
34Fairfield932[157, 160, 192, 209, 214, 220, 223]
35Niagara982[118, 182, 212, 233, 237, 241, 253]
36Canisius1044[171, 188, 216, 227, 242, 243, 244]
37Bryant1103[166, 226, 234, 238, 239, 248]
PlaceTimeTime behind leaderStd of TimeNameSchool
10:19:0100Reinhardt, HannahAlbany
20:19:0650Butler, HannahBrown
30:19:0650Nahom, MiaConnecticut
40:19:0760Morenaite, EgleIona
50:19:0980Wasserman, KatieColumbia
60:19:0980Black, LotteRhode Island
70:19:14130Danis, ElisabethNew Hampshire
80:19:14130Hays, AlexandraColumbia
90:19:21200Nuttall, GemmaIona
100:19:22210Kennedy, IsabelleBoston College
110:19:28270Wheeler, AbbeyProvidence
120:19:31290Juul, AnnaHarvard
130:19:32310White, LaurenBoston College
140:19:40390DeLay, KayleyYale
150:19:42400Jacob, JordanSyracuse
160:19:45440Miller, JaneYale
170:19:45440Tuck, LilyProvidence
180:19:49480Oeser, AnnaBoston College
190:19:50480Vestri, AmandaSyracuse
200:19:52500Orie, GabrielleCornell
210:19:54530Claeson, AndreaBoston University
220:19:54530Sullivan Sweeney, FianBoston College
230:19:55540Coffin, MariaProvidence
240:19:55540Champagne, MargaretNew Hampshire
250:19:55540Alonzo, BiancaColumbia
260:19:58560Knibb, TaylorCornell
270:20:00580Meeks, GillianHarvard
280:20:01600Chigatayeva, AzizaBinghamton
290:20:01600Jordan, DanielleConnecticut
300:20:06650Shepherd, GemmaYale
310:20:09670Sapone, LaurenDartmouth
320:20:10690Murdock, ShannonNew Hampshire
330:20:10690Jacobs-Townsley, SophiaBoston University
340:20:12700Pendergast, JudyHarvard
350:20:13720Mastromatteo, GiannaMarist
360:20:14720Sagar, IsabellHarvard
370:20:14730Murphy, SophieIona
380:20:14730Burr, RandiConnecticut
390:20:14730Batsu, CorrineBoston University
400:20:17750Starn, BrookeHarvard
410:20:17750Koski, PhoebeVermont
420:20:17750Gasparrini, JennaHoly Cross
430:20:18760Spearing, KyleighCornell
440:20:18770Flynn, SarahBoston College
450:20:20780Zammitti, MelissaCornell
460:20:20790Chau, JocelynYale
470:20:20790Wise, LouizaNortheastern
480:20:21790Ludwikowski, RachelDartmouth
490:20:21800Conant, SarahUMass Amherst
500:20:22810Tedeschi, GiannaMarist
510:20:24830Camacho, SofiaColumbia
520:20:25840Gibbs, AlexandraArmy West Point
530:20:26850Ohrtman, KaitlynIona
540:20:26850Acker, EmilyColumbia
550:20:27860Collins, HayleyMarist
560:20:29880Hajda, AllisonBrown
570:20:29880Duca, PaigeBoston College
580:20:30890Martell, AnneMarieVermont
590:20:30890Brawner, MeganCentral Connecticut
600:20:31900Andrews, MikaArmy West Point
610:20:31900Sogoloff, BelVermont
620:20:32900Rayle, MayaHarvard
630:20:33920Conway, ChloeBrown
640:20:33920Rafter, AngeliaCentral Connecticut
650:20:35930McArdle, AllisonHoly Cross
660:20:35930Iocca, KellyAlbany
670:20:36950Weir, KosanaYale
680:20:37960O'Reilly, ClodaghStony Brook
690:20:38970Romanchick, KatelynnConnecticut
700:20:39970Huelskamp, AudreyCornell
710:20:39980Voight, MorganQuinnipiac
720:20:40990Hunt, TessaProvidence
730:20:40990Delanis, EmelineBoston College
740:20:411000McDonnell, JordynHofstra
750:20:431010Spiers, AbigailSyracuse
760:20:441030Valentine, SamanthaBrown
770:20:451040LaTuso, MeghanBuffalo
780:20:471060Grohn, DeniseMarist
790:20:471060Virtue, EmilyColumbia
800:20:491080Shultz, DominiqueArmy West Point
810:20:501090Alba, MeaghanVermont
820:20:501090Mackay, EmilyBinghamton
830:20:511100Leighton, JaneVermont
840:20:511100Jones, RileyBuffalo
850:20:511100Coletti, SamanthaArmy West Point
860:20:511100Ghazarian, SevanneYale
870:20:511100Clark, CarolineUMass Amherst
880:20:521100Storti, KatyCornell
890:20:521110Quarshie, KaylahAlbany
900:20:531120Wendeln, KonstanzeVermont
910:20:531120Nagpaul, SunnyVermont
920:20:551130Dougherty, ClaireDartmouth
930:20:551130Morris, NatalieCornell
940:20:551130Holden-Betts, JustusSyracuse
950:20:571160Young, EmilyQuinnipiac
960:20:571160Bartolotta, AlexandraMarist
970:20:571160Wagner, RamseyArmy West Point
980:20:581160Vizza, DianaDartmouth
990:20:581170Wind, JocelineBoston University
1000:21:001190Mahoney, CarolineNew Hampshire
1010:21:011200Hurley, AlexinaUMass Amherst
1020:21:021210Lomascolo, OliviaSiena
1030:21:021210Bruno, KatherineSt. John's
1040:21:021210Kavulich, LinnaeaColumbia
1050:21:031210Davison, MadeleineSyracuse
1060:21:041220Martinez, VickyColgate
1070:21:041220Manning, HollyStony Brook
1080:21:051240Hauff, TaraStony Brook
1090:21:061250Webb, CarolineConnecticut
1100:21:061250Barretto, CaylaNew Hampshire
1110:21:081270Chewning-Kulick, MorganArmy West Point
1120:21:091280Neuner, MadisonNortheastern
1130:21:101290O'Connor, NiamhIona
1140:21:111290Stevenson, JuliaDartmouth
1150:21:121310Strain, MonicaSiena
1160:21:121310Chacko, CeliaConnecticut
1170:21:121310Daley, KateConnecticut
1180:21:161350Klinowski, NoraNiagara
1190:21:161350Gerland, StephanieSt. John's
1200:21:171360O'Leary, ColetteUMass Amherst
1210:21:191380Halloran, MichaelaHoly Cross
1220:21:191380Hecico, AlexiaBuffalo
1230:21:191380Foley, AshleyProvidence
1240:21:191380Dana, AshleyCentral Connecticut
1250:21:201390Bussel, JulietNortheastern
1260:21:211400Dodenhoff, LindseyStony Brook
1270:21:211400Pellegrini, CarolynSiena
1280:21:221400Jones, JordanArmy West Point
1290:21:221400Veverka, ClareQuinnipiac
1300:21:231420Mitchell, BridgetProvidence
1310:21:231420Sessa, EmilyUMass Lowell
1320:21:241430Thorne, JacquelineSacred Heart
1330:21:241430Nuechertlein, ZoeYale
1340:21:251440Curtin, MeghanQuinnipiac
1350:21:261450Johnson, SydneySiena
1360:21:261450Walters, RebeccaMarist
1370:21:281460Potts, KelseySyracuse
1380:21:311500Blow, TaylorUMass Amherst
1390:21:331510Glover, BreannaDartmouth
1400:21:331520O'Connor, OrlaProvidence
1410:21:341530Kattman, GaelynSacred Heart
1420:21:351540Graves, ElizabethHoly Cross
1430:21:371560Cueva-Scarpelli, JessicaBinghamton
1440:21:371560Belkhir, BoushraMarist
1450:21:391580Carlson, AmandaQuinnipiac
1460:21:391580Thomas , AlexandraFordham
1470:21:401590Johnson, CamrynSiena
1480:21:411600Manners, SophiaColgate
1490:21:411600Lynch, DanaBuffalo
1500:21:421610Robinson, LilyUMass Amherst
1510:21:421610Rayle, ElizabethStony Brook
1520:21:421610Durham, RebeccaRhode Island
1530:21:431620Masciarelli, SophiaHofstra
1540:21:441630Planavsky, MercedesAlbany
1550:21:441630Guerci, KyraBinghamton
1560:21:461640Leibovitz, ShakedHarvard
1570:21:461650Kitchen, CourtneyFairfield
1580:21:481670Ruggiero, RachelStony Brook
1590:21:501690Dupuis, MaxineBuffalo
1600:21:501690Connelly, GenevieveFairfield
1610:21:521710Yeomans, NicoleNew Hampshire
1620:21:521710Hanlon, ClaireHoly Cross
1630:21:531720Treanor, UnaRhode Island
1640:21:531720McCarthy, NicoleSt. John's
1650:21:541730Kriss, VeronicaBoston University
1660:21:551740Ayres, JuliaBryant
1670:21:561750Giesing, IsabellaUMass Lowell
1680:21:561750Cushing, ClaireSt. John's
1690:21:571760Mascetta , TaylorFordham
1700:21:581770Koufos, EmilyHoly Cross
1710:21:581770Benzer, LibbyCanisius
1720:22:001790Walak, KelseyNortheastern
1730:22:021810McAndrew, ShannonUMass Amherst
1740:22:031820Timoney, ElizabethColgate
1750:22:031820Meek, LilyBuffalo
1760:22:061850Stevens, KaitlynCentral Connecticut
1770:22:071860Toth, GabrielleIona
1780:22:081870Evans, AshleyRhode Island
1790:22:101890Burns, SarahUMass Lowell
1800:22:111900Manfredi, JillianStony Brook
1810:22:121910De Lucia, BiancaSacred Heart
1820:22:131920Marullo, AnninaNiagara
1830:22:141930Krzyzanowski, KatarzynaFordham
1840:22:151940Bertholon, CamilleRhode Island
1850:22:161950Serkes, MorganSiena
1860:22:161950Morabito, BrookeCentral Connecticut
1870:22:171960Casaletto, StephanieBoston University
1880:22:181970Silba, MarissaCanisius
1890:22:181970Alex, BridgetFordham
1900:22:181970Kelly, BrigitSacred Heart
1910:22:191980Molloy, HannahIona
1920:22:191980Frawley, JaneFairfield
1930:22:191980Guilfoyle, NoreenAlbany
1940:22:201990Dean, LaurenNew Hampshire
1950:22:201990Melican, AbbyColgate
1960:22:222010Burnell, CarolynBinghamton
1970:22:222010Vinciguerra, SophiaSiena
1980:22:242030Laverty , AmyQuinnipiac
1990:22:262050Arsenault, KellySacred Heart
2000:22:292080Murphy, NicoleUMass Lowell
2010:22:302090Gath, LeahHofstra
2020:22:312100Bugara, GraceNortheastern
2030:22:332120Bibbey, MaryBrown
2040:22:332120Mellino, HannahBinghamton
2050:22:332120Solimine, JennaUMass Lowell
2060:22:342130Parkinson, LauraBoston University
2070:22:362150Kapur, AnjaliBinghamton
2080:22:362150Baptiste, AmandaUMass Lowell
2090:22:372160Ems, CaseyFairfield
2100:22:372160Barich, RachelBuffalo
2110:22:392180Reichheld, SarahBrown
2120:22:412200Hart, MeggieNiagara
2130:22:452240Snow, SydneyFordham
2140:22:462250Silvestri, MollyFairfield
2150:22:472260Gallagher, JacquelineSt. John's
2160:22:582370Campeau, RyleeCanisius
2170:23:022400Ford, SamanthaDartmouth
2180:23:022410Sheffield, OliviaUMass Lowell
2190:23:022410Cassavell, NikkiRhode Island
2200:23:042430Melao, MiaFairfield
2210:23:082470Delaney, KathleenSacred Heart
2220:23:092480Rutt, SamanthaAlbany
2230:23:112500Weissenberg, AnnaFairfield
2240:23:132520Haywood, SophiaHoly Cross
2250:23:132520Vega, GabrielleSacred Heart
2260:23:172560Hamilton , AbigailBryant
2270:23:172560Leo, KaylaCanisius
2280:23:202590Petersen, SaraNortheastern
2290:23:222610Chesters, SabrinaCentral Connecticut
2300:23:222610Papavasilakas, NicoletaFordham
2310:23:232620Shotts, LucindaNortheastern
2320:23:252640Goria, ShannonQuinnipiac
2330:23:262650Murray, ErinNiagara
2340:23:282670Freeman, SarahBryant
2350:23:472860Raubenheimer , SarahFordham
2360:23:482870Joseph, EmmaColgate
2370:23:502890Russell, ElleNiagara
2380:23:522910Corcoran, AllisonBryant
2390:23:542930Campise, BreannBryant
2400:23:572960Hughes, KaylenRhode Island
2410:23:572960freemire, juliaNiagara
2420:24:053040Bugenhagen, HeatherCanisius
2430:24:073060Moran, OliviaCanisius
2440:24:103090Wallace, JaclynCanisius
2450:24:103090Peck, EmilyColgate
2460:24:123110Walsh, LexiColgate
2470:24:163150Adolphe, GraceSt. John's
2480:24:223210Meizen, CarolineBryant
2490:24:323310Nolan, LauraAlbany
2500:24:333320Cohen, KaylaCentral Connecticut
2510:24:383370Stadeker, KaylaHofstra
2520:25:414000Boese, MeganHofstra
2530:26:084270Kibler, GraceNiagara