The following list was compiled by Valley Christian SJ coach Josh Small. Feel free to comment on the list below. Who are the teams on the bubble? What teams belong on the list? Please identify yourself with your comments.
20) St. Francis (22) Has a solid top 3 but needs the supporting cast to step up. Another strong program with good coaching and a high turn-out. My guess is they will find a few runners to fill the gaps and be a top 15 contender.
19) Woodside (12) Top two runners are studs running 4:16 and 4:27 in the 1600 this past track season. The rest of the team is solid 17:30-18 guys. If the 3, 4, 5 guys improve 30 seconds for the 3 miles this year they could be very, very good!
18) Los Gatos (17) Another team with lots of tradition. A huge number come out for cross country every year at this school which means you can never count them out. The Wildcats have a very good #1 runner but is going to need a lot of help. My guess they will be top 10 at the end of the year.
17) Monta Vista (11) Kevin Bishop had a great track season but he can’t carry the team by himself and is going to need some help from the team's 3, 4 & 5 guys.
16) Salinas (6) Lost their star power to graduation so who will step up? They have a solid group returning and they always run well at their "home" course at Toro Park.
15) Gilroy (19) 7 guys return who have run under 17:30 at Toro Park. Need the big guns to get low or sub 16’s to move up but a very strong team that is grouped together well.
14) Los Altos (14) Good team that is very solid from top to bottom. Needs those top guys to really step up if they want to gain ground on the schools in the top 10.
13) Stevenson (13) Another quiet team that is once again very good. They surprised everyone a year ago with their 13th ranking a year ago. There are a good team but out of sight down there at Pebble Beach. Well they are on the radar now and should be very good once again!
12) Gunn (4) 4 of top 5 graduate and enter the season ranked 21st in the team time category. Rebuilding year? We’ll see…
11) Aragon (NR) Slowly building up a good team. They could make some noise this season. Are they the darkhorse of 2010?
10) Alisal (21) 6 of the top 7 return and should do well on the Salinas home turf.
9) Menlo Atherton (15) Solid team, could do some damage this season.
8) San Benito (16) Big school, big time runners. All scoring members should be in the 16’s but needs someone to step up to the next level.
7) Serra (8) This team was off the radar for most people last year but not me. They ran really well at CCS and will have a very solid 5 runners this season.
6) Carmel (26) Solid on Toro Park last year and they are all back. Watch out!
5) Willow Glen (20) This is a good team and a solid group returns. McCabe need to stay healthy and finish a season to contend for the D3 title.
4) St. Ignatius (5) Besides Bellarmine this is the only team I’ve seen that needs 3-4 busses to go to a meet. Coach Pup takes the reins of a very solid SI team that could be #2 or #3.
3) Carlmont (2) The word on the street is Carlmont is full strength and everyone will be back to run for Coach Randazzo. If true could give Bellarmine a run for their money. Some good summer performances at JO’s shows they are going to make a run for it this year.
2) Mountain View (1) Graduates 4 of their top 6, can the machine replenish? They have the top returning individual this year which certainly helps! I always hate those polls that drop the defending champion before the season even starts which is why I am not willing to drop the Kings of Cross outside of #2. These guys know how to win. They have their work cut out for them, but so does anyone who wants to beat them.
1) Bellarmine (3) This is Bellarmine’s year. They return four proven cross country guys who all went sub 10 guys on the track this spring. They could easily have 5 guys in the 15’s at Crystal and have a history of being tough on the Toro course. Rae leads the team and will be one of the top individuals this season. These guys are tough!
Feel free to comment on the above list. Want to take a shot at listing the top 10 teams?
You may post using the anonymous button but you will have to identify yourself.