No. 5 Great Oak (CA)
Analysis: No surprise here. Great Oak is back near the top of the national rankings. The Wolfpack have build a pedigree of state- and national-success, and 2019 seems to be headed in a similar direction. With six of seven returning from the team that finished eighth at Nike Cross Nationals a season ago, Great Oak should be able to capitalize on experience this fall. And don't be surprised if this squad racks up accolades across the season. Led by an incredibly talented squad, and No. 1 Tori Gaitan -- who's one of the best distance runners in the country -- the Wolfpack will have the depth to compete on any course. And that goes beyond the top seven. Head coach Doug Soles, who typically fields a team well over 100, will give younger runners opportunities to battle for vital point-scoring positions on this team.
Biggest question: Will the Wolfpack be healthy in December?
It's pretty simple. If Great Oak can be healthy come state and national season in November and December, the program will be dangerous. Last year's eighth-place finish was good -- but it's likely not where this team's aspirations lie.
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A preseason Q & A with head coach Doug Soles
What's your meet schedule?
Our four focused meets for varsity this fall will be Woodbridge, Great American, Clovis, and Mt. SAC.
What was one important moment over the summer with your team and why? (camp/preseason meeting/Etc.)
We have six of our seven girls from last year coming back and 7+ very good ninth grade girls joining us this season. Focusing on bonding those 2 groups of girls at camp and beyond has been the biggest thing we needed to do over the summer and so far it has gone really well. Our older girls have showed a lot of maturity and leadership by embracing this very talented frosh squad and blending everyone together. I have been very proud of them.
What's the focus on training over the summer for the varsity squad?
We do our main workout concepts through the summer, so just making sure they are building and getting stronger has been our focus this summer.
Which athletes do you see as a probable five/top seven this season?
This is what the varsity top 7 looks like projection wise as the season plays out:
- Tori Gaitan - 12
- Audrey Dang - 12
- Arianna Griffiths - 12
- Brianna Weidler - 11
- Aubrie Nex - 12
- Divine Torza - 10
- Kelli Gaffney - 9
There are another 6-10 girls that are good enough to challenge for a top 7 spot if they progress well throughout the season.
Which athletes have taken a bigger role in terms of veteran leadership? How have they shown it/what will you expect from them in 2019?
We have a lot of leadership on this team with strong seniors leading the way. Many of our designs and concepts come from Audrey Dang and Tori Gaitan. Both senior girls work hard to make sure we are going the right direction as a team.
Who are some new faces who will make an impact in 2019? (i.e. freshmen, transfers, runners who've improved)
- Brianna Weidler - 11 - She has improved a lot since her sophomore season and should play a major role for us this fall.
- Aishling Fabian - 9 - Had a strong season opener, finishing fourth overall at the Big Ditch Invitational. She will most likely run a lot of top 7 races this fall.
- Melinda Dang - 9 - Audrey's little sister is very tough and talented and will battle for top 7 this fall.
Six weeks before the state championships, what's a staple workout that's readying this team for the postseason run?
With the girls we focus on really nailing workouts like 5x 1,000m to show we are race-ready for the end of the season.
What will success look like in 2019 for this team?
I think these girls all coming together to work on the team goals and competing for State and NXN titles is what we will be shooting for.
What's the biggest challenge facing this team this fall?
Winning our eighth state title in a row over a very good Saugus team will be our challenge this season. They have their sight set on an upset and we will do our best to hold them off.
Is there a quote or a saying, or a purpose your team lives by? What is it and why?
World Domination. Our goal is to win all levels at each meet we attend.
What are three big goals for this team in 2019?
- Win 8th state title in a row.
- Bond as a team.
- Podium at NXN.
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Projected Top 5 (Based On Averages Of 2018):
|Great Oak High School (SS) (CA)||649|
|1) Tori Gaitan||17:09.70||4|
|2) Arianna Griffiths||17:49.40||39|
|3) Audrey Dang||18:16.30||104|
|4) Aubrie Nex||18:25.00||133|
|5) Brianna Weidler||19:04.60||369|
|Average Time: 18:09.00 Total Time: 1:30:45.00 1-5 Split: 1:54.90|
|6) Lauren Buckley||19:12.20||440|
|7) Divine Torza||19:39.50||676|
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MileSplit50 Girls Team National Rankings Countdown
25 -- Link
|Aug. 20 -- East Grand Rapids (MI)|
24 -- Link
|Aug. 20 -- Farmington (MN)|
23 -- Link
|Aug. 20 -- North Allegheny (PA)|
22 -- Link
|Aug. 20 -- Zionsville Community (IN)|
21 -- Link
|Aug. 20 -- Flower Mound (TX)|
20 -- Link
|Aug. 21 -- Prosper (TX)|
19 -- Link
|Aug. 22 -- Ann Arbor Pioneer (MI)|
18 -- Link
|Aug. 23 -- Downers Grove South (IL)|
17 -- Link
|Aug. 24 -- STMA (MN)|
16 -- Link
|Aug. 25 -- Lone Peak (UT)|
15 -- Link
|Aug. 26 -- Mountain Vista (CO)|
14 -- Link
|Aug. 27 -- Saratoga Springs (NY)|
13 -- Link
|Aug. 28 -- Edina (MN)|
12 -- Link
|Aug. 29 -- Bozeman (MT)|
11 -- Link
|Aug. 30 -- Niwot (CO)|
10 -- Link
|Aug. 31 -- Desert Vista (AZ)|
9 -- Link
|Sept. 1 -- Yorkville (IL)|
8 -- Link
|Sept. 2 -- Saugus (CA)|
7 -- Link
|Sept. 3 -- Naperville North (IL)|
6 -- Link
|Sept. 4 -- Beavercreek (OH)|
5 -- Link
|Sept. 6 -- Great Oak (CA)|
4 -- Link
|Sept. 6 -- North Central (WA)|
3 -- Link
|Sept. 6 -- Fayetteville-Manlius (NY)|
2 -- Link
|Sept. 6 -- Wayzata (MN)|
1 -- Link
|Sept. 6 -- Summit (WA)|