Girls #CountdownToXC Day 15: Dana Hills

Here's the problem with looking solely at returning rankings: they don't account for progression from season to season. That's why I developed the Improvement Rating, which attempts to measure how well a program develops its athletes year-round. Take the case of Dana Hills, a team with returning numbers that border on the top 10 overall. The Dolphins are at least 6 deep in solid runners (7 deep if you use 3 Mile times, but they can be a little deceptive due to the speedy Southern Section courses), and they had a very good track season. Leila Keyvan broke 5 minutes, Sarah Meng ran 5:00, and both ran under 11:30 - all of which indicates that Dana Hills effectively has 3 runners capable of being #1 for the team on any given day. The only thing that drops the Dolphins down a little bit is that there are several Southern Section teams that have posted stronger improvement numbers over the past 3-5 years. It's one thing to have great returning talent, but if your rivals can out-progress you over the summer the rankings won't count for much. One thing is clear: if the 2017 Dana Hills squad lives up to its full potential, we're looking at a team that can challenge for the podium in Division 1 this fall. With 5 sophomores in last year's top 7 that finished 5th at the state meet, this the Dolphins have a two-year window to try to compete for a championship.

2017 Returning Stats:

  • 5K Ranking: 10th
  • 3 Mile Ranking: 13th
  • Team 1600 Ranking: 11th
  • Team 3200 Ranking: 12th