Teams to Watch
During our countdown to XC, the Chico boys made their way into our rankings with an impressive group of seniors. Last year, Chico outdistanced one of the top teams in the section, Yreka 55-85. Despite losing one of their top runners, Ty Thompson, Chico will be a veteran team that should repeat as section champions and will be the lone Division 3 section representative at the state meet. Their main competition and what appears to be the best team in Division 4 will be University Prep. They finished in 3rd place last year and will once again battle it out with Yreka for the top spot in this division. Paradise and Enterprise appear to be in the mix as well for one of the two qualifying spots in Division 4 but will both need an improved back-end to their pack in order to get past University Prep and Yreka. The leading contender for the lone Division 5 spot appears to be Colusa. They finished 2nd last year behind Hamilton but this year, Colusa returns the most firepower in this division. Mt. Shasta should be the second best team in this division when looking at all the returning runners from last year's section final.
Athletes to Watch (Full Rankings)
The favorite to win the individual title will be Chico senior, Charlie Giannini. Last year, Giannini was the lone runner at the section final to dip under the 16 minute mark with a winning time of 15:44.80. He was also impressive on the track with 4:27.67 personal best as well as an impressive 9:24.50 at the California state Track and Field meet. His main competition should come from the following group of athletes: Kyle Johnson-Pleasant Valley (1:57.94/4:36.78), Justin Matties-University Prep (4:30.36/9:58.48), Donovan Freer-Pleasant Valley (4:40.71/10:10.99) and Bretten Farrell-Chico (1:59.99/4:27.04/9:59.74).