"We've been really cautious with Fiona the last month," said DHS head coach Bill Gregg.
Just seven runners will compete for the team and individual championship for Davis, but the goal is clear, at least in the eyes of Gregg
"Success is just going to be winning the championship, winning, we always call it the blue banner," Gregg
We're not going to take anything for granted, but I'm confident that the girls are going to win.
That would define success, anything less than that would be a disappointment."
Ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 4 nationally by some polls, should Davis slip up, it'll have extra leeway this year to make the state championship, as the top three teams of the 10 participating will qualify for states rather than the usual two.
"The extra berths are based on a rolling average on how well our section does at the state meet," Gregg
"The girls have been performing pretty well the last few years, so we went from an automatic two, to an extra berth."
If everything goes to plan, Saturday's meet should be merely a warm-up for the Blue Devil girls, who have eyes on the state title.
"If the girls keep running the way they've been running, we just don't see any serious challenges," Gregg
While the local girls could be considered by some to be shoo-ins for the section title, the DHS
boys have more to overcome.
Plagued by injuries to key runners, and a surprisingly strong challenge from rival Jesuit, the defending section champions head into Saturday as a clear No. 2 after the Marauders claimed the Delta League championship.
"Jesuit's got one of the best team's they've had in years, I believe they're ranked third in Division I in California right now, which is pretty impressive, so we've been trying to figure out a way to beat them since the beginning of the season," Gregg
"We're just trying to figure out a way to see what we can do against those guys on Saturday," Gregg
"Super success would be to say, wow we beat those guys ... the big goal is to beat Jesuit and win the section championship.
Aside from that, qualify for the state championships."
As for the course, according to Gregg
, it's highly technical and features lots of elevation change, a challenge for the Davis runners who don't get the opportunity to train on hilly conditions on a regular basis.
To help prepare for the course, DHS
traveled to Willow Hill for a Wednesday workout.
"Jesuit being right there on the American River Parkway ... they get to train in hilly terrain more than we do," Gregg