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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll make the corrections.
San Francisco University (NC/Division V)
The Devils get the focus article here over Lick Wilmerding based on a couple of factors: SF University won the Division V title at the State Meet in November, the Devils return five from last year's varsity seven, two more than the senior-heavy Lick team in '21, and the SFU girls have won more State titles (11) than any other program, boys or girls.
Of course Lick did win the NCS title for the fourth season in a row, and had won the previous two D-V State titles. SFU hasn't won the section title since winning four in a row between 2009-12. The Devils history at the State Meet is always in streaks: 1996-98, 2001-03, 2009-12, and 2021-?. Will that trend continue in '22?
The difference at the NCS final last November on the Hayward HS 3-mile course was 13 points. The Devils turned that around on the Woodward Park 5K course to win by three points.
Leading the way was 2021 No. 1 Lucinda Laughlin (1571 in photo). The junior returns, as does seniors Mia Giles (1570 in photo), Maya Mason, Alice Sappenfield, and Poppy Chrisman among the top-seven runners from last season.
Giles ran No. 2 at both NCS and State. Mason ran No. 3 at sections and No. 4 at State. Sappenfield ran No. 5 at NCS, and Chrisman ran No. 5 at State. So, a lot of post-season meet experience here with an obvious eye on an NCS-State sweep come November.
|San Francisco University (NC)|
|1) Lucinda Laughlin||19:15.51||161|
|2) Mia Giles||19:30.50||195|
|3) Maya Mason||19:40.65||229|
|4) Alice Sappenfield||19:49.30||249|
|5) Poppy Chrisman||20:04.85||306|
|Average Time: 19:40.16 Total Time: 1:38:20.81 1-5 Split: 49.34|
|6) Erin Wadsworth||20:10.75||329|
|7) Saskia Prillinger Ogirydziak||20:22.30||383|
Scoring is against all returning girls in CA.