Countdown to XC Day 26: Chico Boys

You rarely see a team that's projected to be as dominant within their section as our database says Chico will be in the Northern Section this fall. If the Panthers stay healthy, the big question for them in 2018 is how much they can move up from their 21st-place finish at the 2017 Division 3 state meet. This is the year for them to turn heads: they lost only one top 7 senior to graduation, but this year's squad is expected to have a whopping 11 seniors (in fact, every single returning 3 Mile time we have for Chico comes from the class of 2019). That's huge leadership and motivation to make this fall special, and you can see that in effect already while looking at spring times. Charlie Giannini continues to look like Chico's leader after posting a PR of 9:24 and making the state meet during track season, but the big news is the emergence of Bretten Farrell, who led the Panthers with a 4:27 1600. If he and brother Riley can join the returning 2-4 runners, they will be able to form a powerful pack that should propel Chico to a tremendous season.

Team Statistics:

  • 3 Mile Improvement Rating: 40th
  • 5K Returning Rankings: 25th
  • 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 17th
  • 3200 Returning Rankings: 38th
  • 1600 Returning Rankings: 38th

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.