Countdown to XC Day 23: San Francisco University Girls

The road to a repeat D5 state championship might be a little tougher for the San Francisco University girls than it is for their boys team. That's because the girls' squad lost #1 runner Claire Jackson and fellow top 5 runner Christina Howard to graduation. However, the Red Devils still have enough talent returning to be a threat for back-to-back titles, even if the team may have a different look without their powerhouse front-runner. This team will need to rely on depth and cohesion in their pack, and that means University will need a few new top 7 runners to step up and push for top 5 spots this fall. Based on track results, it looks like Ella Shenkar and Eileen Gu are ready to lead the team up front, and Maya Swain seems prepared to move up the depth chart. Based on their steady rise over the last few years and good year-to-year improvement stats, I think the Red Devils will be greater than the sum of their individual parts this fall.

Team Statistics:

  • 5K Improvement Rating: 24th
  • 3200 Returning Rankings: 53rd

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.