Thursday, July 20, 2006

NCS Division I Pre-Season Rankings

To spark conversation as well as perhaps motivating some runners out there, here are my pre-season rankings for the 2006 edition of the N.C.S. Cross Country Championship meet. This year’s version will be held at the famed (or soon to be famous) Ukiah Course, which hosted the last sectional championship in 2003 (as well as in 2000). Never heard or seen this course you say? Well here is the Ukiah Course for your viewing pleasure thanks to Chuck Woolridge of College…errr Campolindo High School. You can also take a look at the Top Ten list of the course from all Divisions based on the 2000 and 2003 times.

Who will win those elusive golden tickets to the California State Meet this coming fall you might ask? Will this be the last year for Woodward Park as the host of the State Meet? Talk about a disaster of epic proportions. It would be a greater injustice than the C.C.S. alternating their championship meet between Crystal Springs Course and Toro Park but don’t get me started. That’s like Pebble Beach and a Miniature Golf Course alternating hosting the US Open. CCS is meant to be held at the Crystal Springs Course and the State Meet is meant to be held at Woodward Park. Hopefully the CIF can work this out with the city of Fresno and continue with Fresno as the place to be on Thanksgiving weekend.

So how did I come up with the following predictions you might ask? I left no stone, well website, unturned. The rankings are based on last year's NCS XC meet and times achieved during Track season. When in doubt, I did give the edge to some teams who have done historically well in past championships. Keep in mind that these rankings were made without the knowledge of incoming freshmen (as well as transfers) that will have a greater impact on the girl's side. Although freshmen boys can make an impact with some teams like last year's Petaluma team and in the lower divisions, this is certainly not the norm.

Without further adieu, here are the Division I rankings for both boys and girls. To paraphrase the immortal words of Michael Buffer, “Let’s Get Ready to Rank!” Hmmmm…not quite as catchy.

Division I Boys (Top 3 advance to state)
1) Castro Valley-Strong duo up front.
2) College Park-Peabody will be favorite for individual crown.
3) Livermore-Returns 4 out of top 5.
4) Deer Valley-Could be sleeper this year.
5) San Ramon Valley-Returns top 7 runners.
On the bubble: Granada, Liberty, James Logan

Top 5 returning Individuals, (place) and time 2005 NCS meet:
Andy Peabody (5) College Park 15:35
James Fazzio (9) Castro Valley 16:06
Jack Leng (14) Castro Valley 16:17
Avery James (15) Deer Valley 16:19
Sebastian Schwelm (16) Berkeley 16:19

Division I Girls (Top 2 advance to state)
1) College Park-The cupboard is definitely not bare.
2) Castro Valley-Historically strong program.
3) Livermore-Led by defending individual champion.
4) San Ramon Valley-One of best-combined programs.
5) Deer Valley-Strong upside with Hodges.
On the bubble: Antioch, Foothill, Mission San Jose, James Logan

Top Five Returning Individuals, (place) and time 2005 NCS meet:
Diana George (1) Livermore 17:56
Karlina Beringer (4) Castro Valley 19:02
Alexis Nordine (5) San Ramon Valley 19:07
Zuna Portillo (6) Pittsburgh 19:09
Alyson Finley (9) College Park 19:12

Feel free to comment on the above rankings. Division II will be posted tomorrow.

7 comments:

Joey Drake Kochlacs said...

Finley is good, but lookout for the return of Dallara.

Anonymous said...

You forgot Las Lomas, with 9:32 3200 sophomore Greg Drosky and 4:35 1600 Frosh Mike Jameson. Drosky beat Beach head to head and is even money against Beach and Lockyer.

Anonymous said...

beach is undoubtabley better than drosky. he just is a bit unpredictable about what he will run.

Albert Caruana said...

Las Lomas will compete in Division III this year. They can be a factor there if they can fill out their top 5 behind Drosky and Jamieson.

Anonymous said...

I think that Manny Rin of Dear Valley will get them to State.

Anonymous said...

Watch out for SRV...they are lookin good

Anonymous said...

I don't know college park is looking pretty strong after winning stanford