Countdown to XC Day 22: Canyon (Anaheim Hills) Girls

This is a hard team to place for 2018. On the one hand, the Comanches lost star #1 runner Sara Leonard to graduation, plus one other top-5 senior and some depth as well. On the other hand, they have been among the state's best when it comes to improving from year to year. Canyon's track results don't give us much to indicate improvement, but they do indicate that this team will compete with a tightly packed top 7, a little bit different from their racing strategy last year. Abby Gradijan has a solid spring, showing that she might be ready to run with Ashling Carr and Sarah Paino in a scoring group that should be able to rotate leadership from race to race depending on who it feeling strong on any given day. One possible wild card in their favor: if Zoe Ta-Perez, a multiple-time national champion cyclist, returns to her 2016 form, the Comanches will be formidable. Even without her, this is a deep team that can't be counted out when the championship season arrives.


Team Statistics:

  • 5K Improvement Rating: 13th
  • 3 Mile Improvement Rating: 10th
  • 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 19th
  • 3200 Returning Rankings: 32nd

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.