We have only progressed one day in the countdown, but according to the numbers we use to prepare this list we just made a pretty significant leap. The six teams remaining, including Dublin, all rank in the top 10 in California (regardless of division) for all four rankings sets we pulled! The Gaels have great returning numbers in both the 5K and the 3 Mile, not to mention excellent team times from track season. This team did lose their top 2 runners from the 2017 squad that finished 2nd in Division 2, but they have enough talent returning to be a factor in the title hunt again this year. And did I mention their track times? (I know, I harp on those a lot in this countdown, but spring results are the only hard data we have to evaluate progress since November.) Christopher Middleton-Pearson opened eyes around the state with a 4:12 in the 1600, fronting a group of 7 returners under 4:40 (and 17 under 5:00) along with 4:18 runner Loic Scomparin. Those two went 9:18 and 9:22, respectively, in the 3200 as well, leading 5 more returners under 10 minutes and a total of 9 Gaels faster than 10:15. Dublin has been very good at year-to-year improvement, too, which makes me think they will find another runner to push for a spot in the top 5 and solidify their depth (my bet is on either Ishaan Jain or Kyle Elias). This team has an excellent chance to be every bit as good as they were in 2017, and could even be a little bit better - and a little bit may be all it takes.
- 5K Improvement Rating: 10th
- 5K Returning Rankings: 6th
- 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 8th
- 3200 Returning Rankings: 6th
- 1600 Returning Rankings: 7th