Palisades is the favorite to repeat in the LA City Section, and I have a good feeling about their 2017 squad. The Dolphins were VERY young in 2016, with three freshmen and two juniors in their top 5 at the state meet. That group finished 16th in Division 1, almost as high as their 14th-place result in 2013, when the team was fronted by superstar Marissa Williams. And rising soph Lila Copeland looks like the next Palisades star, after clocking 18:25 to wind up 29th in her first trip to the state meet (Williams ran 19:22 there her first time, for reference). Copeland's returning times might even be skewed to the slow side, as she didn't join the team until the championship season, and therefore she missed racing on the blisteringly fast early- to mid-season 3 milers that make the Southern Section famous. With Copeland on the roster for the whole season, and given the team's consistency over the last 5 years, the 2017 Dolphins have a very good chance to move into the top 12 in Division 1.
2017 Returning Stats:
- 5K Ranking: 46th
- 3-Year 5K Improvement Rating: 43rd
- 3 Mile Ranking: 54th
- 3-Year 3 Mile Improvement Rating: 44th