West Ranch is a hard team to place in this countdown. The Wildcats finished 6th in the Southern Section Division 2 race, then went on to take 3rd at the state meet. They had 3 seniors in that top 7, but still have enough returning talent to make the top 15 in the 3 Mile rankings, but those times are heavily aided by racing at Woodbridge. West Ranch scores strong Improvement Ratings when considering 3 Mile times, but doesn't so well with 5K (possibly because they don't race the distance often). The top 3 returning Wildcats had great track seasons: Timothy Sterkel ran 4:18, Preston Pope clocked 9:13, and Isaiah Seidman posted solid times in both races. On the other hand, there was a HUGE drop-off in the spring after their top 5 1600 runners and top 4 3200 runners, lists that included two seniors - that calls into question the development of their young depth. The Wildcats' rise to prominence over the last 3 years seems to have been keyed by this year's rising senior class, so I'm expecting them to have at least one more strong season before those guys graduate. Will West Ranch be able to extend that beyond this year?
2017 Returning Stats:
- 3 Mile Ranking: 14th
- 3-Year 3M Improvement Rating: 14th
- 5-Year 3M Improvement Rating: 8th