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.
Crystal Springs Uplands (CC/Division 5)
The Gryphons enter the 2022 cross country season as, arguably, the team to beat in the CIF-State Division V title. Bold prediction? Not so much. Because ...
The team that took the line last November to win the Central Coast Section title and placed third at the State Meet, returns all seven from that lineup. Lick Wilmerding (NC), which won the State title, graduated its top two scorers, including the State runner-up. Santa Fe Christian, which placed third, graduated four of its top five, including the top three who scored 3-4-12.
The boys cross country program at Crystal Springs Uplands has won seven consecutive CCS D-5 titles and 10 in the past 13 seasons.
Sophomore Benjamin Bouie
, a MileSplit Freshman Class All-State selection, leads the Gryphons. He ran No. 1 at both post-season meets, placing third at CCS and 14th (9th among scorers) at State.
Running a consisted No. 2 is senior Furious Clay (pictured)
. He was fifth at the section final at 15th among scorers at State. In the sping, Clay placed third in the 800 meters at the CCS Final and then went on to qualify for the State Meet Final in the two-lap event.
Three rising sophomores, Oliver Boesch
, Tarik Baker
, and Ilya Kipkalov
, scored at both CCS and State as freshmen. Boesch ran third at sections and fourth at State. Baker ran third at State and fourth at CCS. Kipkalov ran No. 5 at both.
Closing out the returning seven are juniors Dean Wu
and Lachlan Guo
. Another junior, Matthew Morris
, should challenge for a top-seven spot. He ran 10:26.53 for 3200m in the spring, ranking fourth on the team behind Bouie (9:33.99), Baker (9:52.51), and Boesch (10:25.32).
Make Your Pick & Sign In :calling:
2021 Returning Times for 5000 Meters
Scoring is against all Central Coast Section teams with returning boys
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Jeffrey Parenti is the State Editor for California MileSplit
Photos by Patrick Corsinita and Dan McSweeney