Countdown to XC Day 27: McFarland Girls

What would the state meet be without a McFarland team there? Fortunately, although the McFarland boys fell short in 2017, their girls' team made it through to represent the storied program in Clovis. The Cougars return their entire top 6 from the squad that finished 18th in Division 1 last fall, despite racing against schools 5-7 times bigger due to the Central Section's punitive "competitive balance" rules. They were powered by a stellar freshman class (5 in their returning top 7) led by Hilda Gonzalez. She will be paired with experienced rising senior Devianna Salcedo, who had a bit of an off-season in the fall but should bounce back to full form this fall - as evidenced by her solid track season. Depth is the main concern, but with so much young talent on the roster (or if there are 1-2 new freshmen this fall that can compete) that's a problem that can be addressed over the summer. Worth noting: McFarland throws off our improvement ratings, which are designed to compare schools to others of the same size by using state meet finish within divisions; if the Cougars were allowed to finish high in D4 (where they belong) every year, they would score much higher on that metric.

Team Statistics:

  • 5K Improvement Rating: 36th
  • 5K Returning Rankings: 19th
  • 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 18th
  • 3200 Returning Rankings: 46th
  • 1600 Returning Rankings: 51st

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.