Countdown to XC Day 11: Loyola Boys

There aren't many programs in the nation, let alone in California, that could overcome the graduation of a staggering six seniors from the top 7 that narrowly missed making the top 3 in Division 1 in 2017. Loyola's legendary depth and ability to reload will be tested sorely this summer, but we already have signs that the recovery is ahead of schedule. Rising junior Anthony Stone led the team (including those seniors) in the 1600 this spring with his 4:17 mark, one of 5 returners to break 4:30 and 16 under 5 minutes. Look for Roberto Ruelas and Ethan Stauber to push for spots on this year's varsity seven after breaking 10 in the 3200 on the track. Stone looks like a potential star in the making, and behind him the Cubs should have an interchangeable pack that pushes each other in practice and supports each other in races - an excellent formula for a quick rebound. Interestingly, Loyola doesn't grade out as high in our Improvement Ratings as you might expect, but I think I know why: their athletes are already well trained and running fast before they step into the top 7 as varsity runners, and as a result they make the small but consistent gains that you expect from high-level runners (rather than big leaps forward from less-experienced runners stepping up). The proof of the Cubs' year-to-year prowess is in their yearly high finishes at the state meet, and with their projected move down to Division 2 I expect that trend to continue.


Team Statistics:

  • 3 Mile Improvement Rating: 30th
  • 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 18th
  • 3200 Returning Rankings: 14th
  • 1600 Returning Rankings: 5th

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.