As we head into the league championship part of the season, here is my fourth version of the NCS Rankings. I will have have another set of rankings heading into the NCS meet followed by a breakdown of the statistical data following the section meet. Feel free to comment on the following rankings. I do not have all league results to peruse so your feedback is appreciated.
Division I Boys (Top 2 teams qualify to state meet)
1) Amador Valley-They have been the most solid team in this division. Shawn Daut leads a battle tested group that has not shied away from competition.
2) Monte Vista-Great effort at Mt. SAC to finish 2nd in their race running 81:30. They packed in six runners between 16:07 and 16:47.
3) Deer Valley-They have put themselves back in the hunt for a state meet berth. Narrow loss to DLS in league meet followed by an impressive win at the Castro Valley Invitational.
4) Castro Valley-Their strong top three includes the streaking Jack Leng but their #4 and #5 are inexperienced freshmen. Just as this division, anything can happen with this team.
5) College Park-Defending NCS champions might be putting it together just in time for a run at another state meet.
On the cusp: Liberty, Foothill, San Ramon Valley, Granada and Antioch.
Division I Girls (Top 2 teams qualify to state meet)
1) Castro Valley-Strongest team in this division that has run up and down the coast and has lots of depth waiting in the wings if necessary.
2) College Park-Defending champions with the individual defending champion, Alycia Cridebring, leading the way.
3/4) California/Granada-Two league rivals have battled all season with no clear cut winner so far.
5) Monte Vista-Strong showing at the Tri-Valley Classic with individual winner Chloe Wood.
Division II Boys (Top 3 teams qualify to state meet)
1) Petaluma-They are still top team in this division and in Northern California. Won the Mariner Invitational while missing one of their runners who has since returned.
2) De La Salle-Major depth for this team with a strong frosh/soph group. Might be closer to Petaluma than people think.
3) Montgomery-Solid pack that has had the upper hand over rivals Santa Rosa in league action including a 26-31 effort at last meeting.
4) Washington-Nice effort for them at the Castro Valley Invitational as they finished 5th behind 3 Division I schools and Del Campo.
5) Santa Rosa-Rory McLeod gives them a strong #1 runner which could get them closer in a big field.
Division II Girls (Top 3 teams qualify to state meet)
1) Carondelet-Winning NCS is just mere formality for this nationally ranked team.
2) Livermore-Have run under the radar for most of the season but that is no longer the case following their Mt. SAC run. Their #1, Diana George, is one of the best in Northern California.
3) Casa Grande-Despite dropping one spot, they are still in position to earn state meet berth.
4/5) Montgomery/Santa Rosa-Montgomery won the last battle between two teams but Santa Rosa was missing a few runners. League championship will break tie.
Division III Boys (Top 4 teams qualify to state meet)
1) Acalanes-In head to head battle with Las Lomas at their last league meet, Acalanes won to finish the DFAL at 8-1 after early season loss to Campolindo. Provided that they can win the DFAL league championship meet, Acalanes will be favorites to win NCS.
2) Las Lomas-Section's most dangerous team that could put it together for NCS title run.
3) Maria Carrillo-Not too many head to head battles with their Division III rivals. Victorious effort at the Cal Poly Invitational.
4) Campolindo-They are putting it together at the right time and will be ready by NCS. Capable of beating teams above with inspired run.
5) Redwood-They are the best team in the MCAL this year. Finished 5th last year at NCS MOC.
Division III Girls (Top 4 teams qualify to state meet)
1) Campolindo-They finished the DFAL schedule undefeated despite some aches and pains toward the last few weeks.
2) Maria Carrillo-Their last effort was a victorious one at the Cal Poly Invitational.
3) Acalanes-They have done well in the always tough and competitive DFAL which will prepare them well for their post-season stretch.
4/5) Redwood/Miramonte-Tough to separate these two teams. At lone head to head meeting, Miramonte came out on top of Redwood, 124-127 at Lowell.
On the cusp: Las Lomas
Division IV Boys (Top 3 teams qualify to state meet)
1) St. Mary's-Ranked 4th in state and clearly number 1 in this division.
2) Moreau Catholic-Team that has done historically well in this division. They have a strong front runner in Brian Fix.
3) Sir Francis Drake-Thomas Oliver leads the way for the Pirates who have held their own in MCAL competition.
4) San Rafael-Despite having their top runner transfer to another school, this team could put it together come NCS time with a combination of veterans and youngsters.
5) Piedmont-This is a rebuilding year for them but come NCS time, they could be ready to move up the ranks with a young team.
Division IV Girls (Top 3 teams qualify to state meet)
1) St. Mary's-They are now ranked #1 in this division for the State of California.
2) San Rafael-Strong duo up front and with the usual small field in this division, that should be enough to put them here.
3) Moreau Catholic-Ran well at final HAAL meet and with a strong 5th could challenge San Rafael for the #2 spot.
4) Arcata-Best team in the H-DNC with an experienced crew led by Allie Maher.
5) Piedmont-The defending champions' lowest finish in the past six years was a third in 2004.
Division V Boys (Top 5 teams qualify to state meet)
1) SF University-No superstar front runner for the this group but their depth makes them #1.
2) College Prep-They have two runners that will finish ahead of the UHS pack but the return of injured runners back to form will be needed to upend the Red Devils.
3) Berean Christian-The top three teams in this division should safely move on to the state meet. With some luck and good running at Hayward, the BC pack could upend their East rival.
4) South Fork-Hank Carl ran impressively at Mt. SAC establishing himself as the individual favorite.
5) Stuart Hall-They have the runners that could take this team to the state meet for the first time in school history. With lots of early season injuries, do they have enough time to put it all together?
Division V Girls (Top 4 teams qualify to the state meet)
1) SF University-Putting it together at the right time. In last league meet vs. CSU and MA, UHS soundly defeated both teams.
2) College Prep-They have been trying to close the gap between their 1-5 runners at their league meets.
3) Crystal Springs Uplands-2 time defending champions have not run their best race yet this season.
4) Marin Academy-This could be the wild card team in this division with the defending individual champion and a 9th grader hot on her heels.
5) Lick Wilmerding-They finished 3rd behind CSU and MA at the BCL Challenge. Will need a perfect day from all their runners to move past any of the top four teams.
Fire away! I am not opposed to anonymous posts because I don't want to limit comments but using your name and school will add a little more credence to your post.