Countdown to XC Day 15: Dana Hills Girls

This could be a win-now season for the Dolphins, due to the possibility of having as many as 6 seniors in their top 7. Dana Hills has extremely impressive returning numbers from cross country, but they do run on some of the fastest 3 Mile courses in the state (including their home course). Still, their 5K times can't be dismissed as they came at Woodward Park, and they are among the state's best. Dana Hills returns nearly their entire squad from their 10th-place finish in last year's Division 1 championship race, and that will be valuable experience to build on for a run at the top 5 this time around. I would like to have seen more progress during track season, where the Dolphins had solid team results but no eye-popping individual marks, but that isn't the only way for a team to demonstrate improvement. Dana Hills must cultivate depth over the summer, as they have a sharp fall-off after their returning 6th runner, but this is shaping up to be a very good 6-girl front pack, a group that should be able to push and support each other in practices and races without being dependent on the performance of one particular athlete. Will it be enough to go toe-to-toe with the D1 powers out there?

Team Statistics:

  • 3 Mile Improvement Rating: 30th
  • 5K Returning Rankings: 11th
  • 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 3rd
  • 3200 Returning Rankings: 35th
  • 1600 Returning Rankings: 28th

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.