As I mentioned in the Countdown to XC, this could be an extremely interesting year for boys team competition in the Northern Section. If you look at 3 Mile returning rankings Chico comes out on top (again), but the margin is razor-thin: 70 points to 80 for Sutter and 85 for Shasta. Using 5K rankings, Chico and Shasta tie at 59, with Sutter not scoring nearly as well. Can the Chico machine keep grinding out championship quality teams despite losing their top 5 runners from last fall, or is this the year that another team steps up and takes the throne?
2019 will represent a near-complete turnover among the individual boys with title hopes, and again the door is pretty wide open for multiple contenders. The top 6 boys (indeed, 10 of the top 12) from last year's section final race graduated. That leaves Nick Torres (Enterprise) and Bryce Harper (Sutter) as the top returners from that meet, and therefore the most obvious candidates for the title this fall. The state meet presented another challenger in Alexis Ramirez (Mt. Shasta), who was the top finisher from the section in Clovis. Also, keep an eye on Mario Giannini (Chico), who had the Northern Section's fastest 3200 time in the spring - he was the JV section champ last fall, and of course is the little brother of 2018 overall winner Charlie.
Returning Northern Section Boys from the CIF State Meet