Cross country season is fast approaching! Teams are in the heart of their summer training, and that means a lot has already been determined about their success in the fall. Most of that information won't be revealed until races begin in late August and early September, but we still have quite a lot of useful data to use right now. With that in hand, we're going to point out 30 teams that we think are interesting as we go into the 2019 fall season!
We're starting this year's countdown with two articles of teams that didn't make the final 30, but still deserve recognition. There will always be more teams worthy of preseason recognition than there are spots in the countdown, especially when there are "clusters" of squads that have very similar stats. We've taken some of those that just missed the cutoff for the final 30 and arranged them into two groups: sleepers and honorable mention. We wouldn't be surprised to see any of these teams be very successful this fall!
The purpose of the Countdown To XC is NOT to predict the top 30 teams in the state for the upcoming season. 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. These factors were considered during the selection process:
- Returning 5K & 3Mile team rankings from fall 2017 data
- Returning 1600 & 3200 team rankings from spring 2018 data
- Three-year Improvement Ratings (a custom stat that we will publish in August)
The teams on the following slides were considered for the 30-team countdown and may very well play big roles in the 2019 cross country season!