Countdown to XC Day 20: Homestead Boys

Three things jump out at me about the 2018 Homestead squad. First, I believe this will be a highly motivated team. There is veteran leadership up front: the Mustangs are projected to have 6 seniors with a chance to run in their top 7, which should add a sense of urgency to this season. Homestead also barely missed going to the state meet in 2017, finishing 4th in the Central Coast Section finals. That should have left the Mustangs with a sense of unfinished business, even though they only had a single senior in that race. Second, this a deep team, with  as many as 12 runners that are in direct competition for varsity spots. Many of those runners are rising juniors and even sophomores, which means they may still have significant improvement ahead of them. Regardless, when you can draw from a large pool of talent and you have kids competing in practice to get into your top 7, it adds strength to your team and helps insure against injury. Third, Homestead showed strong improvement during track season, putting 6 returning runners under 4:40 and 18 under 5 minutes, led by a 4:21 from Ryan Ma. I think the 2018 Mustangs will be in contention for the CCS D1 title, and will have a chance to make the top 10 in Division 1 come November.

Team Statistics:

  • 3 Mile Improvement Rating: 35th
  • 5K Returning Rankings: 34th
  • 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 28th
  • 1600 Returning Rankings: 10th

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.