Daniel Lisenbee went from a 4:50 1600 PR in 2016 to a 4:26 in 2017. More of that sort of thing happened across the Discovery Canyon distance roster.
In case you snoozed through track season this spring, I submit for your consideration the case of the Discovery Canyon boys distance program.
For a long time, Discovery Canyon has been a middling sort of presence in 4A Region 2. Sometimes they've made it to State, and sometimes they haven't. To date, they haven't been on a par with programs like Palmer Ridge and Air Academy.
That could be all about to change. And your first big hints of that came in track this spring.
Juniors Joseph Dicke and Daniel Lisenbee were both well below 4:30 in the 1600. Classmates Kyle Clancy, Nick Shampoe, and Hayden Beck all checked in around 4:43 for the same event.
Moving up to 3200 meters, Shampoe became the leader at 10:13, with three more of the above suspects at 10:35 or better. And some of them only ran the 3200 very sparingly. The 1600 was clearly the featured distance event at Discovery Canyon this past spring.
All of that points to a senior-dense cross country team this fall that is sharply improved over last year's edition of the team. Last year, all five of these guys ran under 18 minutes, with only Dicke breaking the 17-minute barrier.
This year projects to something a lot more like three or four under 17 minutes and five in the low 17s or better.
Junior Noah Watanabe looks to be next up in the order and a measure of insurance in the event that any of the above five get nicked up during the course of the season. It's not immediately clear how much help could emerge from the freshman and sophomore classes at Discovery Canyon this fall.
Last year's team was a solid third at regionals, followed by a 12th at State. Moving up in the regional standings this fall is well within the range of doable; and an enhanced placing at State seems very nearly a certainty. The rub lies in how many places the Thunder can move up at State. That's a story waiting to be told.