We have reached the top tier of our countdown teams, and I have to be honest: the final four schools are REALLY hard to separate for me. The remaining teams all rank as the top 4 in the returning 5K, 1600, and 3200 rankings - but in different orders - and they all have strong Improvement Ratings. In Claremont's case, we're looking at a squad that returns 5 of 7 after finishing 4th in Division 2 last fall, and they added a huge piece of the puzzle in transfer Jacob Moran (formerly at Serrano). He fit in well during track season, clocking 4:17 to almost keep pace with Ryan Congill's 4:14, making them two of 10 Wolfpack non-seniors to run 4:36 or faster (including 2 freshmen). In the 3200 it was Aaron Reyes leading the way as 9 Claremont returners went under 10 minutes. That's outstanding depth, which can be so crucial if injury or illness strikes a top 7 runner during the championship portion of the season. This team is built to win in 2018 with five key seniors, and I expect them right in the thick of the battle for the D2 title. But they won't disappear anytime soon, as there is plenty of young talent in the pipeline to keep the team in podium contention beyond this November.
- 5K Improvement Rating: 15th
- 3 Mile Improvement Rating: 2nd
- 5K Returning Rankings: 4th
- 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 5th
- 3200 Returning Rankings: 2nd
- 1600 Returning Rankings: 3rd