Countdown to XC Day 5: Newbury Park Boys

The past two cross country seasons have brought major time improvements for Newbury Park, even though the Panthers didn't make it to the state meet in 2017. Normally we see the opposite with developing contenders: a big step forward one season, followed by breakthrough success the following year. In this case, though, the team has had such a mix of different classes in the top 7 that things haven't quite come together yet. That should change this fall, as they return 5 of 7 from the squad that fell just short of the state meet. That disappointment clearly added fuel to the Panthers' off season training, as evidenced by a track season in which 6 returners ran 10:03 or faster for the 3200 (plus 8 at 4:40 or faster). Nico Young certainly had a breakthrough in the spring, running 9:05 to lead Newbury Park's two-milers as Ethan Ronk's 4:22 paced the team's milers. With three seniors projected to contend for spots in the top seven in addition to Ronk, the time for the Panthers to push for a podium finish has arrived.

Team Statistics:

  • 5K Improvement Rating: 20th
  • 3 Mile Improvement Rating: 25th
  • 5K Returning Rankings: 8th
  • 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 3rd
  • 3200 Returning Rankings: 5th
  • 1600 Returning Rankings: 9th

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.