The 2018 cross country season is just on the horizon and to predict the top individuals and teams this season, we're releasing watchlists for each category.
To get a fuller picture of how returning athletes might fare this year, I used lists of the Top Returning Teams for 5km from last season, the Top Returning Teams for 1600m, and the Top Returning Teams for 800m from this spring so that I could rank teams based on consistent performances over the past year. We begin with Division IV Girls Teams and are working down to Division I Boys Teams.
*Special Note: Please understand that these previews are meant only to profile some of the top teams and athletes in each class and are by no means as a way of excluding certain teams/athletes for any reason. Civil discussions on subjective rankings are encouraged and embraced. Comment with anyone you think we left out and please send any private questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DIV Girls Teams - DIV Boys Teams - DIII Girls Teams - DIII Boys Teams - DII Girls Teams - DII Boys Teams - DI Girls Teams - DI Boys Teams
Last year's State Champions from Northland Prep graduated four Seniors this year including 4x State Champion Maya Smith. Meanwhile, the Hopi Bruins look very formidable on the girls' side as well with several seasoned veterans. St. Michael's and Chandler Prep also return. The top 5 teams on this list are separated by only 33 points and little over 20-seconds. Unless we see a super-outlier by November, it's looking like a very close race among Division IV Girl teams.
Check out the other boys teams aiming for top-ten finishes at Cave Creek Golf Course this November in our subjective list of Division IV Boys Teams to watch over the 2018 cross-country season beginning with a few honorable mentions and counting down to our top pick.