Countdown to XC Day 27: San Francisco University Boys

Confession time: I saw the San Francisco University girls coming last season, knew they were a title contender - but their boys' team caught me sleeping. Perhaps that's because of the Red Devils' youth: they only had 2 seniors in their top 7 in 2017 to go with an unheard-of three sophomores. In other words, it looks like they may have won a season ahead of schedule, and now they have 5 of 7 back to try to repeat. The window might not close after this season, either, since they will have their expected top 3 back for another year. Being able to claim 5 returning runners under 17 makes you a contender out of the gates in Division 5. Charlie Kennedy looks like an individual contender, especially after posting a 4:24 1600 in the spring. Then there's the matter of the Red Devils' stellar Improvement Rating: only 4 teams in all of California have been better at season-to-season 5K improvement over the last three years, relative to school size. There is plenty of talent here for a repeat title, and I consider University the favorite in D5 until they're unseated.

Team Statistics:

  • 5K Improvement Rating: 5th
  • 5K Returning Rankings: 32nd
  • 3200 Returning Rankings: 73rd
  • 1600 Returning Rankings: 74th

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.