Girls #CountdownToXC Day 3: Davis Senior

With 5 back from the NXN runner-up squad and a strong showing in the 1600 this past spring, the Blue Devils are on track for another great season.

Cross country is right around the corner, and we're celebrating by counting down to the start of the competitive fall season!  Each day (except today!) we'll release one boys team and one girls team, counting down from 30 to 1 as we approach the beginning of real XC racing.

The Davis girls finished the 2015 with back-to-back runner-up finishes: 2nd at the CIF State Meet, then 2nd at Nike Cross Nationals.  While they were led by departed superstar Fiona O'Keeffe, there was only one other senior on that team, which means the Blue Devils have 5 returners from a national-caliber squad.  The returning front four is particularly impressive, all under 18:20 with three below 18 minutes for full 5K last fall.  Davis had misleading track results; they were only 27th in the state in team 3200, but that appears to be largely due to a philosophy of focusing on the 1600, where the Blue Devils were 6th-best in the state.  Sofia Castiglioni was already a legitimate returning star, and during the spring Olivia O'Keeffe signaled that she is ready to join that club with a 4:48 for the 1600.  If Davis can shore up their depth - and a #2 ranking in the Improvement Rating says they certainly can - then this team is a podium threat once again.

Ranking Data:

  • Returning Team Ranking: 3rd (5K)
  • Combined Spring Track Ranking: 17th (27th 3200, 6th 1600)
  • Improvement Rating: 2nd

The #CountdownToXC is a data-driven set of team rankings determined using the following information:

  • Returning Team 5K & 3 Mile Rankings from 2015 XC: carries the most weight
  • Returning Team 1600 and 3200 Rankings from 2015 Outdoor: less weight, but important
  • Improvement Rating: a long-term statistical evaluation of how each program improves from season to season. This custom metric compares a team's final team average from each season to their returning team average from the previous season, while also accounting for how highly-ranked the team was. As we continue to improve the depth and quality of our data in California, this measure should get stronger and stronger.  Improvement ratings will be the subject of a separate article in August.
  • Returning team from the 2015 CIF state meet
  • A little bit of "gut feeling"