Boys #CountdownToXC Day 1: Great Oak

The stats on this Great Oak team are borderline unfair coming into the 2017 season. The team that has the best returning 5K and 3 Mile times in the country is also the team with the best recent track-record of year-to-year improvement in California, and ALSO has the best track times in the state? All of that makes the Wolfpack the clear favorite to repeat as Division 1 champions, and the details are even more impressive. 5 of the top 7 return from the team that won solidly in 2016 and went on to finish 6th at NXN. 5 returning runners broke 16 for the 5K last year (2 at Woodward Park, 3 at Stanford), and 11 returners broke 16 for 3 Miles. On the track Greak Oak has 4 guys back that ran 9:30 or faster plus 3 more under 10 minutes, giving them the #1 spot in the returning national team rankings for that event. That goes along with 8 4:30 or better milers, including a 4:19 from returning #5 Gavin Korby. If he can bridge the gap between the main pack and returning front-runners Jacob Korgan and Carlos Carvajal, this team could be even better than advertised, and that's saying something. These are more than just the stats that I would expect to see from a California state champion; they're the kind of numbers that make a team one of the preseason contenders for the national title. Could it be two NXN wins in three years for the Wolfpack? Well, believe it or not, this team actually has better returning 3 Mile times from #3 - #7 than their 2015 championship squad did, and the 2017 crew is better from 1 to 7 in the 5K. We still have to run the races, of course, but I just have a feeling that Great Oak is racing history more so than the competition this season.

2017 Returning Stats:

  • 5K Ranking: 1st
  • 3-Year 5K Improvement Rating: 1st
  • 5-Year 5K Improvement Rating: 3rd
  • 3 Mile Ranking: 1st
  • 3-Year 3M Improvement Rating: 9th
  • 5-Year 3M Improvement Rating: 20th
  • Team 1600 Ranking: 1st
  • Team 3200 Ranking: 1st