The following are the top 15 boys and girls team ranked by Valley Christian SJ coach Josh Small. He posted this on the dyestatcal.com message board and with his permission, I am posting this on here as well to get the feedback from coaches, athletes and parents out there. If you have any input or information that may effect the following rankings, please chime in below in the comment section.
My “officially unofficial” ranking for BOYS 2009 CCS XC
(My opinion poll for individual rankings next week...)
1 Mountain View (D2)
Top 3 boys return, including Rowe who is coming off of an 8:55 for 3200 at state. With the best 1-2 combo in the CCS and a strong Frosh-Soph group last year I don’t see any team that is close to the level of Mountain View. There is no question here: this team should dominate once again.
2 Carlmont (D1)
This team is loaded and returns 8 of their top 10 runners from last year, 6 of them now Juniors. This team very well could have 5 runners all in the 15’s for Crystal this fall.
3 Palo Alto (D2)
MacQuitty leads the return of 5 seniors. They will need runners 4 & 5 to step up, which I would safely bet on.
4 Gunn (D2)
Returns their top 6 runners, 5 of whom are seniors. Summers leads the team but will need help from the core runners if they expect to move up the rankings.
5 Los Gatos (D2)
8 of their top 9 runners return. There is no standout but all the runners are close and just might take a big jump together. If they do they could be ranked as high as 3rd.
6 Aptos (D3)
4 of their top 7 return but they lose some heavy hitters. I wouldn’t worry too much, Aptos seems to be one of those teams that always have someone developing, just waiting to move up.
7 Salinas (D1)
They didn’t run Crystal last fall but ran very well over their home course at Torro. They return 5 of their top 7, but the question is how will they fare against the northern schools away from their home course?
8 Bellarmine (D1)
Rae is the top returning runner on a team that brings back only 3 of their top 7. This is another one of those teams that seems to have underclassman step up every year, and this year will not be any different. Expect 7 runners all in the 16’s or faster at Crystal.
9 St. Ignatius (D3)
Only 3 return this year as Birsinger and Innes have graduated. I won’t go as far as to say this is a rebuilding year but they will not be as strong as in the past.
10 Pioneer (D3)
Led by the Strum brothers this team has potential! Returning all 7 runners they will need for runners 3-5 to step up big. This is my "dark horse" pick of 2009.
11 St. Francis (D2)
4 of their top 7 return, all in the 16’s last year at Crystal.
12 Serra (D1)
Their top 3 all return, all of whom were in the 16’s at Crystal…but the big question is: who will fill the big gap left by six graduating Seniors?
13 Lynbrook (D2)
Returns 4 of their top 7, including Singnore who broke 16 at Crystal last year. Will need the underclassman to step up to be a factor this year.
14 Woodside (D2)
3 of their top 5 return but the team lacks depth from the 4-7 runners.
15 Menlo-Atherton (D2)
Returns their top 7 runners but lacks a star. They are grouped very close together but to see success will need everyone to improve 30-45 seconds over last year’s Crystal times.
Teams to Watch:
Monta Vista (D1) – Returns all 7 runners, all in the 17’s at Crystal last year. If they work hard over the summer they could surprise some people this year.
Evergreen Valley (D1) – Graduation hurt this team as 3 of their top 5 graduated. One of the biggest schools on the east side should replenish and be a factor though.
Cupertino (D2) – Returns their top 5 runners.
My “officially unofficial” rankings for GIRLS 2009 CCS XC:
(I'll post my thoughts on the boys tomorrow)
1 Mountain View (D2)
Sturges Returns and will likely be one of top runners in CCS; 3 quality runners graduate but this school is a machine and turns out top runners to step up and fill the missing links. Expect Mountain View to dominate once again.
2 Aptos (D3)
Their top 6 all return, including Ferrante who was hit and miss her sophomore year. When she is on, she is one of the top runners in CCS. This team very well could have 5 runners all in the 18’s at Crystal but all 5 will have to have their best race to take down Mountain View.
3 Carlmont (D1)
Loses #1; Returns 6 of the top 7. Peterson will be solid and Top 5 returnees have all run sub 20 at Crystal.
4 Gunn (D2)
Mayer is a big loss to graduation but many younger runners are there to make up the difference. 7 out of top 10 return. Could be ranked as high as #2 if track success coverts to the trails this fall.
5 Saint Ignatius (D3)
With Hinds, perhaps the top returning runner in CCS, this team will be tough but is missing the 1-2 punch they had last year with Daly.
6 Presentation (D2)
5 of top 7 return including top 2; Needs a number 5 runner to step up.
7 Los Gatos (D2)
Loses #1, but has a strong group of runners returning. They will be a top contender, as always!
8 St. Francis (D2)
Returns 4 of their top 6 runners and if freshman 800 runner Healy does cross country they will have a solid top 5 and be a top competitor.
9 Lynbrook (D2)
Top 5 return led by 800 State qualifier Huang. If the 3-5 runners step up they could be a top contender.
10 Leland (D2)
If their freshman 800 runner Parmeshwar runs XC she could be the 1-2 punch for Leland that returns many quality runners already.
11 Mitty (D2)
6 of the top 7 return. No standout #1 but the core of runners in their top 5 could all be sub 20 at Crystal this year.
12 Gilroy (D1)
Loses #1; Returns 4 runners in the low 20’s but needs a #5. Should be strong this year.
13 Valley Christian (D3)
Loses Bergman, which is a big hit and why they dropped so much from last year’s rankings. Top 6 of 7 return, plus Higgins who took a year off due to injury. Needs the core of runners to step up big.
14 Palo Alto (D2)
Big loses to graduation but a good group of runners return!
15 Carmel (D4)
Returns 6 of the top 7. No star but a good group in the 20’s for Crystal
Teams to Watch:
Evergreen Valley (D1) - This team should be in the top 15...but where? Samantha Garcia had a great track season and could very well be a top runner this fall. That said this is a very solid team. With a number 5 runner they could be ranked as high as 5th.
Castilleja (D5)– Returns top 7 runners. Needs a number 5…
Woodside Priory (D5) – 3 runners in the 19’s last year at Crystal. With a decent 4 & 5 runner could be a top team!
Comments: It was tough to rank 6-10...these teams could mix it up in any order and are all very close. The difference is the top 5 teams all have a solid 7 runners which allows someone to have a bad day.