Countdown to XC Day 21: Thousand Oaks Boys

A young Thousand Oaks squad almost made the state meet last year, which would have put them at least one year ahead of schedule. The Lancers finished 10th in the CIFSS D2 finals with just one senior in their top 8 - and they are only projected to have two in this fall's top 7. That means they will have a core of 4-5 runners with two years of championship-level experience by the time the 2019 season comes around. This could be the year for the breakthrough, though, with senior Mitchell Burr leading the way along with co-#1 runner Josh Stern. The Lancers' track season also seems to indicate that this team is ready to compete at the state level: Burr clocked 4:22 to lead the 11th-best group of returning 1600 runners in California, but the true revelation came from Ethan Bersley, whose 9:28 helped Thousand Oaks rank 8th in the team 3200. This is a deep squad, which makes it easier to imagine 1 or 2 runners stepping up to fill the gap between their returning 4 and 5 runners, which is the team's greatest weakness on paper. Still, the Lancers rank 10th in the Southern Section (all divisions) in returning 3 Mile rankings, which means this is a bona fide contender.

Team Statistics:

  • 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 13th
  • 3200 Returning Rankings: 8th
  • 1600 Returning Rankings: 11th

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.