Countdown to XC Day 3: Claremont Girls

It's back to back days of recognition for Claremont, one of the very few teams in California to have both boys and girls in perennial state-wide title contention. The Wolfpack girls particularly stand out in the returning 5K rankings, where they are 2nd overall despite losing two seniors off of their 2017 Division 2 championship squad. On paper, I think there will be a close contender for the title this fall, but I have to admit that Claremont's strong record of year-to-year improvement and their development during track season makes them the team to beat in that division. Claremont has 11 returning girls that broke 5:30 in the 1600, and the same number went under 12 in the 3200 - with their top 3 returners all at 11:01 or faster. Keep an eye on Kalinda Reynolds, who seemed to have a breakout in the spring with her 10:46, and Angie Gushue, who clocked 5:04. Those two don't have to be superstars for this team to defend, and neither does returning #1 Sydney Hwang (although she very well could be) - if Hwang can just repeat her 2017 season and the team can fill the shoes of departed senior Tess Rounds, the Wolfpack will be in the driver's seat yet again. 

Team Statistics:

  • 5K Improvement Rating: 12th
  • 3 Mile Improvement Rating: 6th
  • 5K Returning Rankings: 2nd
  • 3 Mile Returning Rankings: 4th
  • 3200 Returning Rankings: 3rd
  • 1600 Returning Rankings: 3rd

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.