Thursday, June 30, 2016

2016 Pre-Season North Coast Section (NCS) Division I Cross Country Rankings

For many years, coaches, athletes and even parents complained about the unfair playing field at the California State XC meet. While the sectional races for the most part were quite competitive and fair, the divisional races at Woodward Park, especially in the top 3 divisions, pitted much larger Southern Section schools vs the smaller Northern schools. There is no denying that a larger enrollment is an advantage when it comes to fielding potential podium finishing teams. Over the years, coaches have submitted potential bylaws at their own section level that would potentially even out the state meet fields. All of those proposals did not make it very far until last year when Dublin coach, Chris Williams, was able to get the North Coast Section to change the divisions to this year's FORMAT. The idea was to reconfigure the divisions so that teams could compete against like sized schools at their section as well as the state meet. This year's NCS MOC meet at Hayward HS should be quite interesting. Construction could lead to changes to the regular section 3.0 mile course. Also, some teams are now in state meet contention for the first time while some teams that have booked rooms for Thanksgiving weekend on a yearly basis, now find themselves looking at a far more challenging trip to Fresno.

One of the biggest changes with the new format is in Division I which now only fields 8 potential section participating schools. The usual suspects of teams that have performed well in this division in the past like Monte Vista, De La Salle, and San Ramon Valley are no longer here. Now, the best team on both the boys and girls side appears to be Dougherty Valley which was founded in 2007 and currently boasts 2,330 students. The largest school in NCS is James Logan and with a reenergized track and field team in 2016, their cross country squad could follow suit with two state meet teams. Berkeley should also contend in both races as they attempt to make the state meet as a team. Castro Valley has been one of the top teams in this division and with an enrollment near 3000 students, it won't take much to put them in state meet contention in this division.

Division I Boys (Top 2 Advance to state)
1) Dougherty Valley-Senior Neil Braganza is the best runner on the best team.
2) James Logan-One of the better Division I teams the past few seasons. 
3) Berkeley-New section divisional format gives Yellowjackets hope for a state meet run.
4) Castro Valley-One of the historically strong teams in this division.
5) California-Will need help from some new blood to contend for top 2 finish.
On the bubble: Freedom, PittsburgDeer Valley

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2015 NCS meet time:
Neil Braganza (8) Dougherty Valley 15:49.2
Arman Pabla (15) James Logan 16:17.8
Vincent Friesen (21) Castro Valley 16:26.8
Quinn Schmidt (22) Dougherty Valley 16:26.8
Sebastian Andersson (26) Berkeley 16:38.7

Division I Girls (Top 2 Advance to state)
1) Dougherty Valley-Returns the most firepower left in this division.
2) Castro Valley-Stronger up front than chase teams but not a lock for this spot.
3) Berkeley-Definitely in the hunt for a state meet berth.
4) California-The addition of a certain 800 meter state champion would bolster their chances.
5) James Logan-May surprise teams ahead of them.
On the bubble: Freedom, Deer Valley, Pittsburg

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2015 NCS meet time:
Vanessa Mejia (18) James Logan 18:57.0
Kayla Jindrich (30) Dougherty Valley 19:32.6
Aushmitha Grewal (38) Dougherty Valley 20:09.0
Kayla Neumann (43) California 20:13.5
Kaitlin Manning (50) Castro Valley 20:25.4

Please feel free to chime in on the rankings above. I won't be offended if you strongly disagree as the above rankings are meant to be a launching pad for conversation. Fortunately section titles and state meet berths are decided by the runners themselves. Any impact freshmen that we should know about?

Up next: Continued NCS Rankings

Assistant Coach Position at CSM

"College of San Mateo Track & Field/Cross Country is currently seeking qualified candidates for the position of Volunteer Assistant Coach for the distance events and cross country. This is a volunteer position assisting the Head Track & Field and Cross Country Coach with all duties involving administering a high level track and field program, including assisting with practice, recruiting, hosting events, and more. Past collegiate running or coaching experience preferred. Drivers license and bachelor’s degree required. Please submit a cover letter, three references, and resume to Head Coach Matt Layten at"

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Northern California Top Incoming Freshmen

We will start a list here. Please list the top incoming freshmen for both Cross Country and Track and Field.

Evan Franco 1600 4:41.41
Gabe Rosado 1600 4:42.38
Garrett MacQuiddy 1600 4:48.68
Colin Peattie 1600 4:49.37
Marco Dal Canto 4:50.57 CA Willow Glen
Ben Piekarz 4:53.86 CA Cupertino
Aidan Choy-Marshall 4:56.47 CA Willow Glen

Isabella Fauria (St. Francis, Sacramento) 800 2:16.30, 1600 5:02.70, 3000 9:56.19
Katie Bowen Sonoma Academy 1500 4:50.51, 1600 5:10.97 (mile conversion), 3000 10:16.98
Annika Paylor 5:07.93 CA RJ Fisher

Jana Dawson 5:22.59 CA Bret Harte (San Jose)

If there are other athletes that you feel should be included in the above list, please list them in the comment section below along with their PRs.

St. Ignatius seeking assistant cross country coach

St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco, CA (CCS) is seeking a High School Assistant for the Cross Country Program. The SI program is a successful and competitive program in the WCAL and Central Coast Section. An applicant should be willing to work with the existing coach & assistants, and have a willingness to learn and contribute to help the program continue to move forward. High school practices Monday through Friday and some Saturdays. This is a paid position. Interested candidates should email their resume and letter of interest to distance coach Nicholas Alvarado at

Friday, June 24, 2016

San Ramon Valley seeking assistant coaches

Dave Bayliss is the new head coach at San Ramon Valley HS and he is actively looking for assistant coaches. He needs 1-2 full time and 1-3 part time, depending on the mix! Interested parties can contact him directly at

Top 10 NorCal boys' teams returning from 2015 California State Cross Country Meet

1) Bellarmine (CCS) As always lots of depth but much stronger up front this season.
2) Palo Alto (CCS) Young talented team all back led by senior Kent Slaney
3) Jesuit (SJS) Division I 3rd place finishers last season with 5 under 10:05 returning.
4) Monte Vista (NCS) Lose #1 Tim Chrisman but everybody else is back.
5) Bella Vista (SJS) Young talented team with lots of room for improvement.
6) Campolindo (NCS) One of NorCal's most consistent programs will be led by senior Jared Yabu.
7) St. Francis (CCS) Young talent up front who will chase Bellarmine for WCAL supremacy.
8) Davis (SJS) Lose very strong senior class but Michael Vernau returns to lead the Blue Devils.
9) Redwood (NCS) Will be led by 4:18.39 frosh 1600 runner, Liam Anderson.
10) Homestead (CCS) Another consistently good program with young talented runners up front.
10) Del Campo (SJS) Coach Bob King will be coaching his 35th season at Del Campo.

Who are the incoming freshmen that will have the biggest impact on the teams above or other teams on the cusp? Who improved the most during the just completed Track and Field season? What teams are going to challenge for podium spots at the 2016 CA XC state meet? Who are the teams that should or could break into the top 10?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Charity Track and Field Meet at Davis HS on July 16th at 6pm

I'm the club president for the Freedom from Hunger club at Davis High, and we put on an all-comers track meet each summer to benefit the Freedom from Hunger organization. Freedom from Hunger is a nonprofit that focuses on lifting families out of poverty in developing countries. 

Here's the information for this year's meet:

When: Saturday July 16th, starting at 6 PM
Where: Davis Senior High School
What: an all-comers track meet catering to all events, abilities, and ages
Registration information: 
     -Online or at the gate (starting at 5 PM), $10 for adults, $8 for youth (12 and under)

We will have a solid schedule of events including sprints, hurdles, distance events, relays, and a 5k late in the meet for ideal temperatures. There will be categories specifically for youth athletes, as well. Additionally, we will have field events including the long, triple, and high jumps.

In addition to the races, the Race to End Hunger features a raffle with prizes ranging from gift cards to backpacks. We will also have FAT for all races.

While we are trying to create a fun community event and a fast track meet, the most important function of the Race to End Hunger is as a fundraiser for the Freedom from Hunger organization. As such, we are welcoming donations from corporate sponsors and community members. Individuals and companies can register for the meet or donate at the following link:

For more information on the Race to End Hunger, please visit our website at

Thanks so much,
Fiona O'Keeffe

Top 10 NorCal girls' teams returning from 2015 California State Cross Country Meet

1) Davis (SJS) Return 5 out of top 7 with 3 sub 18 girls at Woodward Park. 2nd place NXN (Maggie McManis photo above).
2) Aptos (CCS) Also return 5 of their top 7 as defending Division III state champions.
3) Granada (NCS) Lose top 2 but next five were freshmen with impressive track seasons.
4) Monte Vista (NCS) Return 2-5 with senior Meredith Corda taking over lead role.
5) San Ramon Valley (NCS) Top 5 all back led by talented Tavella twins.
6) Homestead (CCS) Top 6 back led by junior Elena Kamas.
7) Santa Cruz (CCS) Lose NorCal runner of the year Cate Ratliff but still plenty loaded.
8) St. Francis (CCS) Consistent contender led by senior Emily Skahill.
9) St. Francis, Sacramento (SJS) Gets major boost from freshman Isabella Fauria.
10) Redwood (NCS) Very strong up front but will need to replace 4 graduated seniors from lineup.

Who are the incoming freshmen that will have the biggest impact on the teams above or other teams on the cusp? Who improved the most during the just completed Track and Field season? What teams are going to challenge for podium spots at the 2016 CA XC state meet? Who are the teams that should or could break into the top 10?

Boys will be posted next...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Cooper Teare's 2016 Track and Field season

Heck of a season for St Joseph Notre Dame junior Cooper Teare. He had other races but the following are his best times of the season. Along with Luis Grijalva Armijo (4:07.68/8:59.98) and Michael Vernau Davis (4:13.67/8:54.58), NorCal has quite a trio of runners returning next year in both cross country and track and field.

1600 Meters
4:07.78 Sacramento Meet of Champions

3200 Meters
8:56.07 Dublin Distance Fiesta
8:54.14 Arcadia Invitational
8:55.13 Mt. SAC Invitational
8:51.85 California State Meet

2 Miles
8:53.74 Brooks PR Invitational

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Donation to Cross Country Express

If you have enjoyed the pre-season, season and section Track and Field coverage on this website this past winter and spring, a kind donation would be appreciated.  You can do so at the link to the right via PayPal.

This site will remain a free service throughout the year but as you know, a lot of time, effort and money goes into the maintenance of a website.

Thank you to all of you that have contributed already.  It's very much appreciated. Those of you that can't donate or feel no reason to donate, no problem. I will always appreciate your frequent visits to this site.

Looking for assistant coaches

Crystal Springs Uplands School: is looking for two cross country assistant coaches for the 2016 fall season. CSUS is located in Hillsborough and competes in Division 5. This is for the 2016-2017 school year. A zest for distance running, a positive attitude, and running experience is a plus. Practice will start on August 5th and will run until the end of November. Stipend is available. Interested individuals should send a resume with references to athletic director Michael Flynn at and Albert Caruana at

Girls track and field Athlete of Year Hannah Waller of Buchanan

You can check out the article at this LINK

Hannah Waller has been one of the best sprinters in California winning the 400 meters in 2015. Yesterday, she won the Brooks PR 400 in 53.18. Her mom should be familiar to Central Coast Section fans, Annette Coleman, Carlmont HS '89. She ran 11.58 and 24.15 in the two sprints and long jumped 20'7".

2016 Brooks PR Invitational, Saturday, June 18th

Brooks PR Invitational Results LINK (New)
Also for those that are interested, NBN Results LINK (New)

Northern California Competitors

100 meters: NONE
100 meters Hurdles: Reonna Collier 13.66 and Kaylah Robinson 14.09
400 meters: Kirsten Carter 56.96
800 meters: Alyssa Brewer 2:10.35
Mile: Rylee Bowen 5:10.37 and Brooke Starn 4:55.39
2 Mile: Morgin Coonfield 10:41.87 and Fiona O'Keeffe 10:05.63

100 meters: NONE
110 meters Hurdles: NONE
400 meters: NONE
800 meters: NONE
Mile: NONE
2 Mile: Cooper Teare 8:53.74

Live streaming of this meet will start at 1:30pm at this LINK. This is a free event and will not require login.

Popular Posts