Countdown to XC Day 6: Buchanan Girls

2018 brings good news and bad news for Buchanan's girls. The good news: the Bears return Corie Smith and Meagen Lowe, their star front-runners that finished 1-2 in the Division 1 state meet last fall. The bad news: they graduated a lot of their depth from the squad that placed 2nd as a team (their 4-7 runners, to be specific). Good news: track season brought us evidence of solid improvement across their top 7. Lowe posted 4:48 and 10:26, while Smith ran 4:56 & 10:21; Amanda Dolberg appears to have taken a big step forward; Morgan Hutchinson looks ready to move into the top 5, and Rachel Culver showed that she could be in the top 7 as well. Bad news: that still leaves Buchanan pretty thin, and in need of a strong summer to fill in the gaps (especially between Dolberg and the rest of the top 7). One more piece of good news: this program has been among California's best all-around at year-to-year improvement in cross country, whether you look at 5K or 3 Mile times. Adding it all up, I expect Buchanan to be very good, but it's unlikely they will be as good as they were in 2017 - which is what you would expect for any team losing 4 seniors.

Team Statistics:

  • 5K Improvement Rating: 6th
  • 3 Mile Improvement Rating: 2nd
  • 5K Returning Rankings: 24th
  • 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 16th
  • 3200 Returning Rankings: 15th
  • 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.