Girls #CountdownToXC Day 8: Mission Viejo

Mission Viejo is a little tough to rank, because I don't know the status of returning #1 runner Kelli Hines. When she is healthy, the Diablos are contenders for the top 5; without her they are still very good, perhaps even top 10 in the state overall. Hines opened the 2016 season blazing, but had to shut down almost right away. She returned for the postseason but wasn't anywhere close to 100%, and she only ran one track race. It was her 2016 spring 3200 and 1600 times that predicted the cross country improvement that was to come, and we also turn to those track times to show how much her teammates have progressed in the last 9 months. With Hines sidelined Mission Viejo had 6 girls at 5:26 or better, including a 4:55 from Ashley Johnson that might signal her own impending breakout. And even if they must run without their star for part or all of the 2017 cross country season, the Diablos have five sub-19 3 milers returning, plus a solid record of year-to-year improvement over the last 3 years. I think 10th in this countdown could represent the floor for Mission Viejo, and there's a chance this team could be much better,

2017 Returning Stats:

  • 3 Mile Ranking: 10th
  • 3-Year 3M Improvement Rating: 13th
  • 5-Year 3M Improvement Rating: 18th
  • Team 1600 Ranking: 10th