Im sure the factors that are operative are complex ones. What drives a winning team in Ohio may be different than what does so in NY. The fact that winning teams continue to work on events for months after other teams stop certainly helps in the early rounds for teams I know. The teams that don't go on from regionals stop working in December or January-whereas a team that goes all the way has up to 5 more months of working 24/7. Next fall, the team with members who worked 5 more months is very different from one that had only a few months experience. Does that exert a difference at states between 1,2,and 3. I'll say no, it is important in the very earliest rounds making it hard for the other local teams to catch up to the one that went the distance the year before. But then other factors become important at the state level. A winning coach it probably the biggest factor. The coach extracts the greatest effort from students, knows how to select and motivate students, can foresee and avoid pitfalls/rookie errors, and on. For the teams I know best, the high school team was winning first; then the middle school one. And the middle school did not start winning because high school students helped out. What drives wins for both schools is outstanding dedicated coaches;students come and go. Obviously they have to be excellent for a team to win but the constant for the teams I know is the excellence of the coaches. So an excellent coach is essential but may not be enough since there are excellent coaches on teams that don't always win. My impression is that there are so many differences between the Ohio and NY teams that hugely different factors may be operating.
There are also huge differences within states like Ohio. For example, at a high school like Centerville there at times is almost a 1:1 ratio between coaches and students, whereas at Solon, there is essentially only 1 coach. I'd suggest that the old adage 'success begets success' really applies. If a team is successful, then the next year more students will want to participate, meaning there is more commitment, etc.