Countdown to XC Day 28: Simi Valley Girls

Simi Valley made a big leap forward last year behind freshman standout Jill Walker, falling just short of making it to the state meet. With their entire top 5 returning the Pioneers should be ready to take the next step. It will take an improvement in depth over the summer, and there's good news on that front: returning #6 Abigail Jones had a good track season, outrunning Simi's returning 3-5 runners in the 1600, while Stephanie Pham ran well in the 3200. Walker herself signaled she may be ready to contend individually after clocking 10:42 in the 3200, putting her 3rd among California's freshmen (behind Mia Barnett and Audrey Suarez). Only two things kept me from putting the Pioneers in the top 20: they didn't have as much participation in track season as some of the Southern Section powers, and this team doesn't have the year-to-year improvement credentials of some of the programs they are trying to compete with. There's talent here, though, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Simi Valley advance to the state meet and finish in the top 10 of Division 2.


Team Statistics:

  • 5K Improvement Rating: 39th
  • 3 Mile Improvement Rating: 40th
  • 5K Returning Rankings: 9th
  • 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 25th
  • 1600 Returning Rankings: 67th

The purpose of the Countdown To XC is not to predict the top 30 teams in the state for the upcoming season (although we certainly hope that the top 15-20 teams are included in the countdown at some point). The goal is to recognize thirty teams to watch as cross country begins, using data to uncover squads with strengths that stand out from the pack. The countdown is also not meant to be in a strict order, because it's impossible to sort out several teams of similar strength at this point of the season.