Countdown to XC Day 16: St. Francis (SJ)

Projecting returning teams is often about accounting for who a team lost - to graduation mainly, but also to transfers. In the case of St. Francis (SJ), though, it's about someone they might get back, and that's what makes this team hard to evaluate. The Troubadours would love to have Isabella Fauria return to her 2016 form after missing nearly a year and a half (he last race in our records was a 1600 in May of 2017). With her up front, this could be a top 10 team in the state overall and a Division 2 title contender (note: we don't know Fauria's status, but we hope to see her healthy and running again this fall). Even if a Fauria return isn't in the cards, though, this will be a formidable St. Francis squad. Their returning top 4 is talented enough to earn the Troubadours the 10th spot in the returning 5K team rankings, although depth is definitely a concern. There was a notable loss, of course, with the graduation of lead runner Sydney Vandegrift, but Haley Silva had a breakout track season: she clocked 5:09  and 2:17 on the track, which indicates significant progress and might signal that she is ready to push for the top spot on the team. The final cause for optimism: St. Francis has been among California's best at year-to-year 5K improvement, which is a strong indication of a self-sustaining program that can develop new talent every summer. The Troubadours aren't going away, in other words, but they should be competing for SJS and state championships again.

Team Statistics:

  • 5K Improvement Rating: 9th
  • 3 Mile Improvement Rating: 19th
  • 5K Returning Rankings: 10th
  • 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 29th
  • 1600 Returning Rankings: 43rd

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.