High School 1327
Losing #1 runner Amir Barkan to graduation last spring hurts, but the Pirates have the rest of their 2019 top 8 returning (and 10 of the top 12). With their top 5 projected to be seniors this winter, the urgency should be there to push them to make the best of their final cross country season.
Maria Carrillo Boys
The Pumas got hammered by graduation, losing six of their top 8 to the Class of 2020, including their top 4. The team has enough depth, though, to be competitive in Division 3 again this year, and this program does a good job of developing new talent from year to year.
The Dons had one of the younger squads in the section in 2019, with only 2 seniors in their top 9. They also had two freshmen and a sophomore running with the varsity, and their development should be more than enough to keep Acalanes competitive in Division 4. Their returning 5K times are particularly impressive, and they were run on legitimate courses.
San Francisco University Boys
This has to be one of the deepest D5 programs in the state! The Red Devils had 38 runners that posted 3 Mile or 5K times in 2019, and only 7 of them graduated (although that did include 3 of the top 4 from last season). With that much talent in the pipeline to develop, expect very little drop-off here.
Monte Vista Boys
The Mustangs were hurt less by graduation that most boys programs around the state, and their current junior and senior classes are definitely capable of making up for the runners that did depart. If I'm right, they should be right in the thick of the NCS D2 battle this winter.
Marin Catholic Girls
The Wildcats have a loaded senior class - the Class of 2021 accounts for their top 6 returners! That's a formula for continuity in an incredibly difficult year and a good omen for success this winter. Depth is a concern, though, so it would be nice to see some of the sophomores and juniors step up to push for varsity spots.
It's easy to look at the Cougars' returning runners and assume they will be down this winter; 6 of their top 10 from 2019 graduated, including three of the top 4. If you've been paying attention over the past, oh, decade or so, you know that's a false impression - Campolindo always reloads. In fact, it looks like the Cougars will be sophomore-heavy this season, which allows them to take a long term view while still being competitive.
College Park Girls
Remarkably, the Falcons didn't have a single senior that recorded a 3 Mile or 5K time in 2019, and they only have one current senior according to our database. For all practical purposes, their entire team will be returning next year, and a good chunk are current sophomores. For a team that's projected to be competitive in the NCS Division 2 race this year, that's incredible depth. Watch out for College Park next fall!