INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
Ruminations on Carmel's 149.20
By Mike Considine
Wednesday, Nov. 24
So, by now you've seen that Carmel scored 149.20 in its first meet Tuesday, winning a triangular at Vernon Hills against the Cougars and Wheeling.
Of course, you know that's an incredible score for any team in its first meet of the season.
You may be wondering, though, just how good is a 149.20 for Carmel. After all, the Corsairs are the defending state champion, so the standards are high.
We're here to help, to the degree that we can.
First of all, it's a higher score than Carmel posted in winning the 2009-10 state title. That was a 147.20. It's also more than Carmel scored in winning its first two titles under Norb Bendixen, those being 148.85 in 1992 and 147.95.
But, if you've scoured the SGS website for very long, you know it isn't a school record.
A look at the final 2009-10 state rankings by season-high scores reveals that Carmel put up a 149.60 last Jan. 21 in a loaded triangular against fellow state qualifier Prairie Ridge/District 155 co-op and host Barrington in which all three teams nearly scored 140 or higher (Barrington missed by just .1).
Hmmmm. There's something about Carmel and triangulars. But that's a topic for another time.
Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, we're not 100 percent sure that the 149.60 was a school record. We'll have to get back to you on that (or maybe you'll set us straight: firstname.lastname@example.org) but we feel safe saying the odds are good that it was. (Although if the 1992 team could score 148.85 in front of four judges at state, it's certainly possible it could have topped 149.60 earlier in the year).
What we do know for sure is that the current 149.20 is higher than Carmel scored in 2008-9 (148.30) or 2007-8 (146.60). Unfortunately, the season-high scores for 2006-7 were lost in website shift, but the best available evidence indicates that the 149.20 wasn't in jeopardy. Carmel's best in 2005-6 was close at 149.05. In 2004-5, it was 148.70. In 2003-4, the top score was 144.275.
(Before that, we're in stats-guru Rick Kelleher's territory and I don't have his records yet ... (because I goofed last summer))
So that leads us back to last year. And the meet-by-meet results tell us (as do the Regional results: Stevenson Sectional) that the Corsairs' second-highest score was 147.875 at the Carmel Regional.
So, believe us when we say that we think the 149.20 just might be the second-highest score in school history. Maybe. Possibly. Ummmm ... well, we're not sure.
Still, we're here to tell you that was an awfully good debut and it's going to make the other contenders work a little bit harder in the next couple of weeks. But you knew that.
One last little bit. How many teams scored 149.20 or higher in the last three years? Only Carmel last year. Three teams in 2008-9. Two teams in 2007-8. So, that's pretty good.