30 Boys Teams to Watch this Fall: Granada Hills Charter (LA)

It's time to get fired up for cross country! Our traditional XC countdown is back, although it may look a little different this time around - our longtime data analyst Jeff George has moved on, leaving this energizing project to the MileSplit team in CA. Our collective goal is to briefly highlight 30 boys and 30 girls teams that we think will have an impact this fall. We will spotlight one team per gender per day over a 30-day period. Similar to past countdowns, we will provide a cross-sampling of teams from all 10 sections without regard to statewide or even division ranking (those will come later, as will articles previewing each section, and returning athletes to watch). As always, if you catch an error or have updated information for us, email CA state editor Jeffrey Parenti (jeffrey.parenti@flosports.tv) and we'll make the corrections.

Granada Hills Charter (LA/Division I)

The process of identifying the top projected returning boys cross country team in the Los Angeles City Section came down to scoring the top 40 non-seniors from the 2021 LAC Finals. 

In that exercise, the Highlanders prevailed with four among the top 40 that totaled 73 points when scoring the merge, and 42 points for the top four non-seniors when grading the D-1 race.

In both cases, GHC earned this profile over San Pedro, Taft and Marshall. 

The returning four for GHC scored here are Reece Robles, Michael Ward, Ryan Dudley, and Alexander Mendoza. The Highlanders placed third last fall in the Division I Final behind Palisades and El Camino Real, but '21 is history and this is all about projecting the fall XC season of '22. 

Robles, a senior, placed 12th in the '21 section final and is the No. 5 returner from that race. He ran solo at the State Meet and is a top-70 returner from that race. Ward is the No. 8 returner from the LAC D-1 race, Dudley No. 11, and Mendoza No. 18.  That quartet gapped 1:27.40 at the section final. Ward is a senior, the other two are juniors.

Senior Finley Hanson did not run beyond the section prelims but is the team's No. 4 returner for 3 miles and No. 3 for 5K.

2021 Returning Times for 3 Miles

Granada Hills Charter (LA) 
1) Reece Robles16:01.306
2) Alexander Mendoza16:26.0010
3) Michael Ward16:42.4011
4) Finley Hanson16:57.7019
5) Ryan Dudley17:04.9021
Average Time: 16:38.46 Total Time: 1:23:12.30 1-5 Split: 1:03.60
6) Alec Flores17:10.9025
7) Sean Taylor17:42.6038
Scored against all returning boys in the Los Angeles City Section.