The Fayetteville-Manlius dynasty is going for an unprecedented seventh straight NXN team title. Since 2004, FM has dominated cross country in New York and extended their reign to the national scene in 2006.

Some coaches wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night after after dreaming about trying to replicate FM’s success. Their training model is the pinnacle of high school distance running.

Earlier this season, we profiled the “Stotan” girls and their training program. Their secret? The Stotan philosophy, good coaching, talented girls, and a culture of success that permeates through the program. Easy, right?

Two years ago, Letsrun.com had a lengthy and in-depth Track Talk with coach Bill Aris. The interview serves as the single comprehensive source of knowledge about the powerhouse from upstate NY. The text and podcast of the interview can be found here.

If you can’t join them, you’ll have the beat them. But how?

There has to be an explanation for why their so darn good without analyzing philosophical statements, quotes from Once a Runner about the secrets of training, looking at their diets, or reading their workout logs.

Maybe the question isn’t “Why are they so good,” but “How are they so good?”

Each cross country team can only field seven runners per race. Those seven runners all start together and at some point, finish the race. Simple as that.

But winning six consecutive NXN isn’t simple. It doesn’t just take years of training or magical workouts, but some sort of environment where four months of hard work can be replicated year after year. Whether it’s a point in time where they finally built a solid foundation or had a eureka moment that lead to some sort of distance running renaissance, something happened in a little town in upstate New York that made FM great.

This idea can be quantified by personal bests in cross country and track. Behind the curtain of that hides the Wizard of FM lies finishing places, track personal bests, and team finishes.

We’ve compiled a complete history of the Fayetteville-Manlius team from 2003 to the present day. The tables below include finishes at the NY Federation Championship, outdoor track and field personal bests leading into that season, and NXN results.

Nearly all of the data was taken from was tullyrunner.com’s track and field database and cross country database.
 



2003 - The Dark Age(s)

Before the creation of NXN, the final team competition in NY was the NY Federation Championship. In 2003, Fayetteville-Manlius “only” had two runners represent their school at Bowdoin Park.

2003 NY Federation Championships
7      Brittany Crawford   SR  Fayetteville-Manlius         19:06.0
23     Kristen Taylor      SO  Fayetteville-Manlius         19:56.5



2004 - The Beginning of the Renaissance

When Bill Aris became FM’s director of both programs in 2004 and brought his son Jon aboard as the assistant coach, everything started to change. This was the start of FM’s dynasty and the end for everyone else in NY (or the nation).

Although FM would send “only” two athletes to the NY Federation Championship, the wheels were in motion. They would use their momentum in this first year to build for next fall.

2004 NY Federation Championships
25      Kristen Taylor      JR  Fayetteville-Manlius        19:14.2  
43      Hilary Hooley       SO  Fayetteville-Manlius        19:40.3



2005

FM didn’t just send two runners to Feds, but an entire team. The FM girls placed 12th overall, which was the last time that any other team would win Feds when they competed.

2005 NY Federation Championships
19    10 Mackenzie Carter     8  Fayetteville-Manlius        19:32.7  
51    26 Kristen Taylor      SR  Fayetteville-Manlius        20:03.0       
105   67 Jessica Hauser      JR  Fayetteville-Manlius        20:55.6
107   69 Alyssa Panozzo      SO  Fayetteville-Manlius        20:58.3
121   82 Catie Caputo        JR  Fayetteville-Manlius        21:16.2
160  111 Nicole Page         SR  Fayetteville-Manlius        21:59.4
177  123 Hilary Hooley       JR  Fayetteville-Manlius        22:17.7

Track Times Leading into the XC Season
Name             Grade    Meet            Distance Place    Time
Mackenzie Carter 7        Sec 3-St Qual   3000m    5        11:20.61
Kristen Taylor   11       Hamilton Relays 3000m    1        10:24.62
Catie Caputo     10       Constantino Inv 3000m    5        11:19.60
Catie Caputo     10       Sec 3-Class A   1500m    6        5:05.53
Nicole Page      11       Oneida Invite   3000m    3        10:50.75
Hilary Hooley    10       Eddy Meet       3000m    4        10:24.32



2006 - The True Beginning
NTN win with 128 points
Second place was Hilton HS with 178 points


FM completed the double by winning the NY Federation Championships and their first Nike Team Nationals (now NXN) title. There would be no looking back from this point on for the “Stotans.”

2006 NY Federation Championships
7    6 Kathryn Buchan       SO  Fayetteville-Manlius        18:49.3
8    7 Mackenzie Carter     FR  Fayetteville-Manlius        18:49.9
47   28 Jessica Hauser      SR  Fayetteville-Manlius        19:57.4
48   29 Molly Malone        FR  Fayetteville-Manlius        19:59.8
55   33 Hillary Hooley      SR  Fayetteville-Manlius        20:13.0
58   36 Courtney Chapman     8  Fayetteville-Manlius        20:13.5
63   38 Catie Caputo        SR  Fayetteville-Manlius        20:16.6

2006 NTN Championships
  4 Carter, Mackenzie         10 Manlius XC Club          19:33.1
  5 Buchan, Kathryn           09 Manlius XC Club          19:35.6
 29 Hauser, Jessica           07 Manlius XC Club          20:35.5
 44 Hooley, Hilary            07 Manlius XC Club          20:52.4
 46 Chapman, Courtney         10 Manlius XC Club          20:53.5
 48 Malone, Molly             10 Manlius XC Club          20:56.2
 76 Caputo, Catie             07 Manlius XC Club          21:27.4

Track Times Leading into the XC Season
Name             Grade    Meet            Distance Place    Time
Catie Caputo     12       Arcaro Invite   1500m    7        5:11.08
Catie Caputo     12       Constantino Inv 3000m    5        11:19.60
Hilary Hooley    11       Sec 3-Class AA  1500m    4        5:06.06
Hilary Hooley    11       Oneida Invite   3000m    2        10:52.34
Jessica Hauser   11       Oneida Invite   1500m    1        5:01.56
Jessica Hauser   11       Dual Meet       3000m    1        11:23.0
Mackenzie Carter 8        Arcaro Invite   1500m    3        5:04.63
Mackenzie Carter 8        Sec 3-St Qual   3000m    3        10:34.24
Molly Malone     8        Sec 3-Class AA  3000m    8        11:14.19



2007
NTN win with 83 points
Second place was Saugus HS with 171 points


2007 NY Federation Championships
2    1 Courtney Chapman     FR  Fayetteville-Manlius         18:03.8
4    3 Mackenzie Carter     SO  Fayetteville-Manlius         18:36.1
6    5 Hannah Luber         SO  Fayetteville-Manlius         18:44.6
7    6 Molly Malone         SO  Fayetteville-Manlius         18:46.6
15   11 Jocelyn Richards    SR  Fayetteville-Manlius         19:02.6
37   22 Kristen Buchan      JR  Fayetteville-Manlius         19:31.1
46   26 Meaghan Anklin      JR  Fayetteville-Manlius         19:40.9

2007 NTN Championships
  8 Chapman, Courtney         11 Manlius XC Club          19:23.6
  9 Luber, Hannah             10 Manlius XC Club          19:25.1
 10 Carter, Mackenzie         10 Manlius XC Club          19:30.8
 18 Malone, Molly             10 Manlius XC Club          19:47.9
 37 Buchan, Kathryn           09 Manlius XC Club          20:15.2
 48 Buchan, Kristen           09 Manlius XC Club          20:30.5
 49 Richards, Jocelyn         08 Manlius XC Club          20:30.6

Track Times Leading into the XC Season
Name              Grade    Meet             Distance  Place    Time
Courtney Chapman  8        OHSL Colon Nat   1500m     3        4:47.91
Courtney Chapman  8        OHSL Colon Nat   3000m     1        10:46.64
Hannah Luber      9        OHSL Col-Amer    3000m     1        10:31.60
Jocelyn Richards  10       Constantino Inv  1500m     1        4:56.78
Jocelyn Richards  10       Grieve Invite    3000m     2        10:52.79
Kathryn Buchan    10       NY State Champ   1500m     1        4:37.62
Kathryn Buchan    10       OHSL Col-Amer    1000m     1        3:03.56
Kathryn Fanning   9        Arcaro Invite    3000m     3        10:56.12
Mackenzie Carter  9        OHSL Colon Nat   2000mSt   1        7:25.40
Mackenzie Carter  9        OHSL Colon Nat   1500m     1        4:44.75
Mackenzie Carter  9        Dual Meet        800m      1        2:22.7
Mackenzie Carter  9        Oneida Invite    3000m     1        10:23.47
Molly Malone      9        OHSL Colon Nat   2000mSt   2        7:26.43
Molly Malone      9        Sec 3-St Qual    800m      1        2:17.24



2008 - No More Feds, Just Nationals
NXN win with 134 66 points
Second place was Saugus HS with 135 points


2008 NXN Championships
  7 Chapman, Courtney            Manlius XC Club          17:53.0
 19 Anklin, Meaghan              Manlius XC Club          18:13.7
 21 Luber, Hannah                Manlius XC Club          18:14.8
 24 Carter, Mackenzie            Manlius XC Club          18:17.6
 63 Malone, Molly                Manlius XC Club          18:50.5
115 Buchan, Katheryn             Manlius XC Club          19:26.1
122 Chapman, Alexandra           Manlius XC Club          19:34.3

Track Times Leading into the XC Season
Name               Grade    Meet               Distance Place    Time
Alexandra Chapman  11       Section 3-Class AA 800m     2        2:21.4
Alexandra Chapman  10       Dual Meet          1500m    1        4:48.4
Courtney Chapman   9        Dual Meet          1500m    1        4:43.0
Courtney Chapman   9        Oneida Invite      3000m    1        9:48.02
Hannah Luber       10       Section 3-Class AA 3000m    1        10:00.60
Hannah Luber       10       Constantino Inv    1500m    2        4:45.02
Kathryn Buchan     11       Section 3-St Qual  3000m    2        10:12.68
Kathryn Buchan     11       NY State Champ     3000m    13       10:12.86
Kathryn Buchan     11       Oneida Invite      1500m    2        4:45.97
Katie Sischo       8        Dual Meet          3000m    3        10:46.7
Katie Sischo       8        Section 3-St Qual  800m R            2:19.0
Kristen Buchan     11       CNYCL American     3000m    2        10:52.92
Kristen Buchan     11       Sec 3-St Qual      1500m    5        4:56.83
Mackenzie Carter   10       Oneida Invite      3000m    2        10:12.59
Mackenzie Carter   10       NY State Champ     1500m    3        4:34.13
Meaghan Anklin     11       Dual Meet          3000m    1        10:53.8
Molly Malone       10       NY State Champ     1500m    5        4:36.92



2009
NXN win with 74 points
Second place was Saratoga HS with 147 points


2009 NXN Championships
 21 Katie Sischo              12 Manlius XC Club          18:14.9
 24 Molly Malone              10 Manlius XC Club          18:16.9
 26 Courtney Chapman          11 Manlius XC Club          18:20.0
 28 Jillian Fanning           13 Manlius XC Club          18:23.1
 36 McKenzie Carter           10 Manlius XC Club          18:31.3
 54 Hannah Luber              10 Manlius XC Club          18:46.4
 75 Heather Martin            12 Manlius XC Club          19:04.5

Track Times Leading into the XC Season
Name             Grade    Meet             Distance Place    Time
Courtney Chapman 10       Section 3-StQual 1500m    1        4:37.07
Courtney Chapman 10       Oneida Invite    3000m    1        9:48.84
Hannah Luber     11       Sec 3-Class AA   3000m    2        10:31.29
Hannah Luber     11       Constantino Inv  1500m    2        4:54.11
Heather Martin   9        CNYCL American   400m     3        1:00.14
Katie Sischo     9        CNYCL American   3000m    1        10:36.85
Mackenzie Carter 11       NY States Champ  800m R            2:14.5
Molly Malone     11       Sec 3-Class AA   800m     1        2:09.93
Molly Malone     11       NY States Champ  1500m    4        4:30.70



2010 - The Best Team Performances of All-Time
NXN win with 27 points
Second place was Saratoga with 104 points


If NXN was scored as Fayetteville-Manlius versus everyone else, FM still would have won with 27 points to 30 points. Unbelievable.

2010 NXN Championships
  2 Christie Rutledge         12 Manlius XC Club          18:21.4
  4 Katie Sischo              12 Manlius XC Club          18:49.7
  6 Jillian Fanning           13 Manlius XC Club          18:51.7
 16 Heather Martin            12 Manlius XC Club          19:12.2
 29 Courtney Chapman          11 Manlius XC Club          19:37.0
 96 Emily McGurrin            12 Manlius XC Club          20:39.1
107 Katie Brislin             13 Manlius XC Club          20:46.8

Track Times Leading into the XC Season
Name              Grade    Meet              Distance Place    Time
Christie Rutledge 10       Dual Meet         3000m    1        10:47.0
Christie Rutledge 10       Chittenango Inv   1600m R           05:23.6
Christie Rutledge 10       Dual Meet         1500m    1        05:01.0
Christie Rutledge 10       Constantino Inv   600m     17       01:53.6
Katie Sischo      10       NBN Nationals     800m R            02:11.5
Katie Sischo      10       Oneida Invite     3000m    2        10:02.0
Jillian Fanning   9        NY State Champ    3000m    6        09:47.2
Jillian Fanning   9        CNYCL American    1500m    3        04:42.7
Heather Martin    10       NBN Nationals     400m R            00:57.3
Heather Martin    10       NIN Nationals     800m R            02:18.8
Heather Martin    10       Constantino Inv   1500m    3        04:57.8
Emily McGurrin    10       CNYITA Meet #5    600m     9        01:54.7
Emily McGurrin    10       CNYITA Fr-Soph    1500m    3        05:40.5
Katie Brislin     9        Loucks Games      800m     9        02:16.7
Katie Brislin     9        Great Dane Inv    1500m    5        04:47.9
Katie Brislin     9        Section 3-Class B 3000m    2        11:07.4



2011
NXN win with 60 points
Second place was Saratoga HS with 84 points


2011 NXN Championships
4   Jillian Fanning              MANLIUS XC CLUB          17:50
21  Katie Sischo                 MANLIUS XC CLUB          18:26
25  Katie Brislin                MANLIUS XC CLUB          18:30
34  Alana Pearl                  MANLIUS XC CLUB          18:35
44  Hanna Smith                  MANLIUS XC CLUB          18:39
45  Jenna Farrell                MANLIUS XC CLUB          18:40
81  Annika Avery                 MANLIUS XC CLUB          19:06

Track Times Leading into the XC Season
Name            Grade Meet             Distance  Place  Time
Jillian Fanning 10    NY State Champ   1500m     11     04:35.1
Jillian Fanning 10    NY State Champ   3000m     3      09:43.2
Katie Sischo    11    Oneida Invite    800m      2      02:17.7
Katie Sischo    11    Sec 3-Class AA   1500m     3      04:42.5
Katie Brislin   10    Sec 3-Class AA   800m      1      02:19.3
Alana Pearl     9     Sec 3-Class AA   2000mSt   1      07:35.5
Alana Pearl     9     Dual Meet        3000m     1      10:53.8
Alana Pearl     9     Oneida Invite    1500m     2      04:55.3
Jenna Farrell   7     Sec 3-Class AA   3000m     5      11:07.1
Jenna Farrell   7     Constantino Inv  1500m     10     05:22.3



2012

2012 NXN NY Regional Championships
8   Katie Brislin             SR Manlius XC               18:48.4
9   Alana Pearl               JR Manlius XC               18:50.1
10  Annika Avery              SO Manlius XC               18:50.2
11  Jillian Fanning           SR Manlius XC               18:50.8
20  Mary Barger               SO Manlius XC               19:01.6
29  Jenna Farrell             FR Manlius XC               19:11.0
41  Michelle Duffy            SR Manlius XC               19:30.5

Track Times from Leading into the XC Season
Name           Grade  Meet              Distance   PlaceTime
Katie Brislin  11     NY State Champ    800m R          02:14.5
Katie Brislin  11     Dual Meet         1500m      2    04:56.1
Alana Pearl    10     Sec 3-Class AA    1500m      3    04:45.0
Alana Pearl    10     Oneida Invite     3000m      1    10:19.6
Alana Pearl    10     Chittenango Inv   2000mSt    1    07:20.7
Annika Avery   9      Dual Meet         3000m      3    10:54.0
Annika Avery   9      NY State Champ    1500m      25   05:03.7
Jillian Fanning11     Sec 3-Class AA    1500m      1    04:42.4
Jillian Fanning11     Sec 3-Class AA    3000m      2    10:04.1
Mary Barger    9      Sec 3-Class AA    2000mSt    5    07:35.7
Mary Barger    9      Dual Meet         3000m      3    10:50.1
Mary Barger    9      John Arcaro Inv   1500m      1    04:58.9
Jenna Farrell  8      Sec 3-Class AA    3000m      4    10:43.3
Jenna Farrell  8      Dual Meet         1500m      3    05:04.6
Michelle Duffy 11     Sec 3-St Qual     3000m      2    10:03.9
Michelle Duffy 11     Dual Meet         1500m      1    04:50.9



There are two very obvious conclusions to draw from the data. The first is that between when the Jon and Bill Aris took over full-time, FM’s track times greatly improved. Better times correlate to better cross country finishes. Again, simple as that.

When Flotrack visited US#16 Fort Collins High School in Colorado, we talked to coach Chris Suppres. When asked about FM, Suppres said, “There's a reason that Manlius has won every year and that's not necessarily because they're the best team. I think they believe in themselves the most and they have a coaching staff that uses that to their advantage.”

Whether or not they’re the best team, they win every year. Rather than ask why, we examine how they win. Below is scatter plot of results from NXN for FM’s top five at NXN between 2006 and 2011.



One variable that is not taken into account is the condition of the course every year. Portland Meadows is known for the mud, rain, and true cross country conditions. However, these conditions aren’t always conducive to running fast.

The important factor to note is how close together each girl on the team finished in regard to one another. They may have run statistically run faster in 2011, but their performance in 2010 is more dominant.

For the most part, FM will have three runners upfront as opposed to the tradition front-runner that is associated with most successful teams. Then again, most top teams that have been profiled this season display the same tactics. You have to work with what you've got.

Even take 2009 as an example of adaptation. For the first time ever, FM did not place a runner in the top ten. They didn't even place someone in the top twenty overall (how dare they). The result: They still won by 73 points.

The same conclusion for why Fayetteville-Manlius is so good is the same as in found in another study.

Between 1995 and 200, economist Ignacio Palacios-Huerta created a database of 1,417 penalty kicks in soccer. In his study, he calculated the success rate of the kicker, goalkeeper, and strategy that each player should employ in the circumstances of a penalty kick.

Although the data is useful, such as in the 2008 Champions League Final between Chelsea and Manchester United, the conclusion was expected. It might not look like it, but there are papers that have been published regarding the use of game theory in this penalty shoot-out.

There was no way to predict where a player would take a penalty kick based on his history. Randomization was the answer.

After all of the data analysis, examination of the "Stotan" lifestyle, workouts, mileage, and more, the conclusion is that there is no secret for why Fayetteville-Manlius is so dominant. Even though coach Bill Aris has said the exact same thing in multiple interviews, it's not meant to be hyperbole.

They are just that good.