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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

USF men’s cross country preseason underway

Season preview for the USF Dons including former Jefferson runner and 2007 CCS Division III champion, Ganbileg Bor (picture to the left courtesy of the USF website).  Bor outdistanced Willow Glen's Mohamed Abdalla in the '07 race 14:56 to 15:08 in what many considered an upset victory.  Bor continues to roll in college and you can read more about him and his team at the link below:


http://www.usfdons.com/sports/c-xc/2010-11/releases/20100820sxy2s6

Rick Milam

Just added on the CCS website front page, a note about the passing of Rick Milam.
www.cifccs.org
===========
Coaches,
If you happen to receive this e-mail, please accept my advance apologies. I tried to make sure that it only happened once.

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of Rick Milam (pictured here to the left, holding an award, courtesy of sportsimagewire.com at the 2010 Stanford Track and Field Invitational) tonight, Aug. 23. He was on his way to overcoming cancer. But in a short time period, starting Sunday afternoon, he suffered two heart attacks. He died with his brother and two close friends at his side at the hospital.

Some of you may not have met him, but if you attended either the CCS cross-country championships, the CCS track and field meet or at a Los Gatos All-Comers meet, he was there with his booming voice announcing races. He was a very good clerk and a better man. I will miss him very much, especially next spring when track season goes off and he won't be there.

Mark Foyer
HMB Review

Here is a link to a tribute at the same meet, as found on Keith Conning's blog:

A very sad loss for the cross country and track and field communities.

Monday, August 30, 2010

POWERADE FAB 50 ESPN RISE - 2010 GIRLS TEAM RANKINGS

From the worldwide leader in sports:
"Longtime message board poster and DyeStat contributor Rob "Watchout" Monroe returns to the front page with the first of our weekly POWERADE FAB 50 ESPN RISE team rankings. Look for weekly FAB 50 updates from Rob from now through the end of the cross country season."

Coming in at #27 is the Campolindo HS girls although they are incorrectly listed as NCS champions from last year.


You can check out the complete list at the following link:

http://rise.espn.go.com/track-and-xc/rankings/FAB-50-XC/2010-girls/Fall-2010.aspx

Boys' list is here:
http://rise.espn.go.com/track-and-xc/rankings/FAB-50-XC/2010-boys/Fall-2010.aspx

Stanford XC 2010 preview

Courtesy of the Bootleg, here is a season preview of the Stanford's mens and womens teams as they head toward their first race on September 3rd. in Reno.
http://stanford.scout.com/2/996994.html

Included in the preview is former Davis HS runner and now Stanford senior Brendan Gregg.  Here is an interview I did with Brendan in February 2009.
http://www.crosscountryexpress.com/2009/02/catching-up-with-former-davis-and.html

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Northern CA XC news...

Gunn cross country teams rebuilding
http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_15919965

5 Questions:  Woodcreek Cross Country Runner runs her competition into the ground
http://granitebaypt.com/detail/157381.html

SRV Cross Country Preview:  Wolves Looking to Build Off Strong 2009
http://danville.patch.com/articles/srv-cross-country-preview-wolves-looking-to-build-off-strong-2009

Los Lomas Cross Country Preview:  Schreiber Aims for High Finish at State
http://walnutcreek.patch.com/articles/las-lomas-cross-country-preview-schreiber-aims-for-high-finish-at-state

Amador Valley Cross Country Preview:  Dons Committed to Success (Just added)
http://pleasanton.patch.com/articles/amador-valley-cross-country-preview-dons-committed-to-success

More season previews coming up...

Similar articles out there covering NorCal XC teams?  Send the links to albertjcaruana@gmail.com or feel free to post the link below in the comment section.

Alberto Salazar after Webb´s 1500m and 5.000m in Merksem

Good advice for both coaches and athletes from Alberto Salazar as he describes Alan Webb's comeback effort:

Rieti 2010 Results

New world record in men's 800m.  New American record in men's 3000m.  Lots of great runs by Americans all across the board including Shannon Rowbury in the women's 1500m.

You can find results here:  http://www.rietimeeting.com/info/results/index.html

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rick Milam Memorial Service

As posted on www.lynbrooksports.com (Date of memorial as well as a touching tribute by Willie Harmatz):
http://www.dyestatcal.com/ATHLETICS/XC/2010/milam.htm

also, Rick Milam by Mark Foyer of the Half Moon Bay Review
http://www.dyestatcal.com/ATHLETICS/XC/2010/foyer.htm


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Richard Ho races to win in 37th Dammit Run

By Kevin Sparrer, for Silicon Valley Community Newspapers
Posted: 08/23/2010 07:42:32 PM PDT

 The race to the finish line in the 37th annual Dammit Run looked a lot like the finish in a Central Coast Section meet during the 2009 high school cross country season.

 The Dammit this year was dominated by youth with 15-year-old Richard Ho leading the charge and 18-year-old twins Weston and Nathan Strum close behind.

 Ho, a member of the Leland High School cross country squad, finished first in the 5-mile run that beings and ends at the Los Gatos High School track after a trip up to the Lexington Reservoir.

Ho won the Dammit title by completing the course in 28:33. Ho won seven races for the Chargers as a freshman, setting four records during the cross country season.

 Behind Ho were the Strum brothers, who starred in cross country and track at Pioneer High last year. W. Strum finished second to Ho in 28:42 and N. Strum was third in 29:25. Behind the Strums were Charles Deanda, 15, a standout at Bellarmine, and Kevin Bishop. DeAnda completed the course in 29:30, while Bishop was right on his tail in 29:36.

 W. Strum set as record in the 3,200-meter run in the Los Gatos hosted Top 8 Track and Field Classic, snapping a mark that had been set in 1981. N. Strum also starred in the meet, finishing first in the 1,600- and 800-meter races.

To read the rest of this article, go to the following link:
http://www.mercurynews.com/los-gatos/ci_15872140

Bay Area Track Club Marathon/Half Marathon Training Talk

Below is a link for the first of the three part speaker series the Bay Area Track Club (BATC) is having at the Sports Basement this fall.  Magdalena Lewy-Boulet and Peter Gilmore will be speaking about Marathon and half marathon training this Wednesday night.

Here is the link below to the flyer on their website:



Tony Kauke
President/Co-Founder
Bay Area Track Club
www.bayareatrackclub.com
cell - 510.913.3792



Monday, August 23, 2010

LA84 XC Coaching Manual

Good reminder by Hank Lawson and his go to site (www.lynbrooksports.com) that the LA84 Foundation offers a free cross country coaching manual that you can find at the following link:
http://la84foundation.org/3ce/manuals_frmst.htm

Whether you are a new or veteran coach or just somebody that wants to learn more about the sport of cross country, this manual will be a worthwhile read for you.


Any other links out there that might be of interest to visitors of this site?  Feel free to add them in the comment section below.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sac-Joaquin Section Girls' Pre-Season Rankings for Divisions I-III

Thank you to Jason Jimenez for the following rankings.

GIRLS

Division 1 (2 Berths)
1. Oak Ridge
2. Davis
3. Lodi
4. Grace Davis
5. Napa

Notes: This division should just be called the Youth Division. One thing was striking when calculating next year's possible positions. There were almost no seniors in the 2009 Section final. And a majority of those few seniors came from one school: Davis Sr. Legendary Coach Bill Gregg will have his work cut out for him to reboot his empire, but I don't see any reason why he wouldn't be able to. The obvious story here is that Oak Ridge is virtually unbeatable, losing only Hayley Scott. Lodi looks strong too however, especially with the track credentials of #1 Cassidy Daley. If Davis or Oak Ridge stumble seriously, Lodi might be ready and waiting.

Division 2 (3 Berths)

1. St. Francis
2. Oakmont
3. Vacaville
4. Ponderosa
 5. Del Campo

 Notes: I suspect that Woodcreek may have a secret stash of 21-flat Willow Hills girls waiting for November 2010, but for the time being, it looks like Woodcreek is out of contention for the 2010 season. St. Francis will be there though, possibly with a Top-10 in the State type team. Barring any dramatic improvements from Oakmont's 3-4-5 scorers, St Francis appears to be ready to roll through Section finals. Vacaville, Ponderosa and Del Campo return full squads with experienced leaders. Look for these 3 teams to pick up the pieces if St Francis or Oakmont fall by the wayside and/or move divisions. Additionally, a lot of us will be wondering what Bella Vista will do. Will they run their freshmen and sophomores down again like last year or will they unleash them on the varsity scene? With no results on their prowess at the 5km distance it is hard to guess what type of team BV could be. If they do run them all up, expect Bella Vista to cause some sort of stir.

Division 3 (3 Berths)

1. Del Oro
2. Vista Del Lago
3. El Dorado
4. Placer
5. Woodland

 Notes: Note to self; Del Oro is loaded. Looking at their frosh-soph team, it appears DO could be dominating this division once again for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, another perennial D3 power seems to have lost their hold on those coveted State berths. Placer loses Shannon Harcus and it hurts them quite a bit. The Hillgals do have a decent frosh-soph team that may be able to replenish their Varsity squad, but look to Vista Del Lago to keep hold of their berth and then it will likely be El Dorado, returning a strong front 3 with frosh-sophs ready to reinforce. If any of these teams falter however certainly Placer and Woodland are strong enough to take advantage.

-- Jason Jimenez

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fall Sports Preview: Boys Cross-Country

Coach: Coach Bill Taylor starting coaching track and cross-country in 1977. This year, he is joined again on the boys team by Rod Berry – one of the top former Marin County high school runners.
Highlights of 2009 Season: The boys team lost one dual meet in the 2009 season, but are hoping to improve upon last year's performance with a number of returning and improving runners.
"They are bigger now, experienced, ready to let fly," said Taylor. "They could be a championship team this year."
In addition, a number of the runners performed well in the spring 2009 track season, including Carroll Oliver, who advanced to the top nine finals in the 800m at the Meet of Champions.
For the rest of this article, go to the following link:
http://sananselmofairfax.patch.com/articles/fall-sports-preview-boys-cross-country

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Catching up with Arizona St. coach Louie Quintana...

Today we chat with former high school phenom, college All-American and current Arizona St. coach, Louie Quintana (photo to the left by Elaine Rosenfeld/photo below courtesy of http://thesundevils.cstv.com).  You can check out his bio as part of another interview done by Doug Speck in 2004 at the following link:
http://www.dyestatcal.com/news/xc2004/September/04QuintInv.htm

1) Going back to the beginning of your running career, how did you get your start with cross country and track and field?
 I got my start in running when I was in junior high school. I was in 7th grade and my PE class had a 6 week cross country unit. Every day we would run a 1.5 mile course and our times got recorded. My PE teacher kept a top ten list and it was posted on a huge board in the locker room…it was a very big deal to get on the board. I wanted to be on the top of the list and when I got to the top I wanted to run so fast that no one else could beat my time.

 2) When did you first realize your talents in the two sports? What were some of your successes during your first two years in high school? 
I felt that early on I had the potential to be pretty good. Running was effortless in many ways for me growing up. I was always the fastest on my baseball and basketball teams and was always singled out for being the “fastest.” Naturally, I gravitated towards cross country as a freshman and experienced immediate success. 1987 was the first year of the California High School State Cross Country Meet and there was a lot of buzz around the sport that year…I finished 7th in 15:30 at Woodward Park and the rest was history.

 3) What are some of your proudest accomplishments in high school in both sports? Who were some of the more notable competitors?
 I had a couple of moments that really stood out in high school. Ironically, both coming during my sophomore year of high school. First, our team won the 2A CIF Cross Country Title…it was one of the most exciting moments of my career. It was the first and is still the only title my high school ever won in Boys cross country. Second, a few weeks later I PR’d by 25 seconds and ran 15:02 at Woodward Park to finish 5th at the Kinney (Now Footlocker) West Regionals to make the national meet. I was stunned after the race…I can still remember how much that race hurt…it seemed like I was red-lining the whole way…I was determined not to break.

4) Looking back at your high school training, what do you feel really worked for you and what do you think you could have done differently?
 I think that my training was really sound. We were a moderate mileage team and I think physiologically we had a good plan. If I could have done anything different I would have been more disciplined with the little things. I ate like crap and was very inconsistent with my long run. Sometimes I would run on Sunday and sometimes I wouldn’t.


5) How did you end up choosing Villanova and what were some of your accomplishments there?
 I had a lot of options during my Senior year. Looking back on it, I was pretty na├»ve about the recruitment process and have a very narrow scope when looking at schools. That’s not to say that I was looking at bad programs, it’s just that I didn’t do a lot of research and was quick with saying no to some schools. I definitely liked my recruiting trip to Villanova and was hosted by Terrence Mahon (Team USA California Coach Now)…he was a big influence on my decision to attend Villanova. He was a fellow Californian who was having success as a student-athlete and he was helpful with me making the transition across country. I had a moderately successful career at Villanova, but maybe not as successful as many would have projected. I was an All American 9 Times and finished 4th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships when I was just 19. I was banged up quite a bit during my career, but managed to string together some memorable performances. 

6) What was the biggest positive change for you in terms of your training?
The biggest positive change was the long run and that really didn’t come into play until my 2nd year at Nova. I ran 3:41 as a freshman for 1500m and I was really doing a lot of speed work. My coach, Marty Stern and I, starting to reflect on my disappointing freshman cross country season and we made some adjustments in the training. Mainly, adding a 15-18 mile long run on Sunday. I was real consistent in my training and my confidence just grew. I began to dream everyday that I would win the NCAA Title that fall. Every run I envisioned racing side by side with Bob Kennedy. I progressed fantastically that fall and finished 4th at the big dance.

7) Who inspired you to get in coaching and when did you realize this was what you wanted to pursue? 
I think that I secretly always wanted to get into coaching. My Dad was always a coach while I was growing up and I really respected his ability to reconstruct bad teams and get them to believe. I’ve always been that way I guess. I never wanted to be on the “IT” team, I always liked to play for the underdog. It was probably my biggest reason for choosing Villanova. They hadn’t made the NCAA in cross country for over 10 years and I was adamant to change that. I think that was my biggest attraction to Arizona State in the beginning. I wanted to work with Walt Drenth who was known for turning programs around…that really excited me about ASU.

8) Who have been your coaching mentors? 
Walt Drenth and Greg Kraft at ASU have really showed me the way. I spent many an afternoon and early morning just soaking everything in from Coach Drenth. He is one of the best college coaches in the country. I admire Coach Kraft’s ability to construct a well rounded track and field program. He has really been the most influential coach that I have come across in my career.

9) How did you end up at Arizona St? How long have you been the head cross country coach? What are some of your proudest achievements for your teams? 
I started at ASU in the Winter of 2002 and really was the product of fantastic timing. ASU is known for it’s mentoring of Graduate Assistants and I called Walt Drenth that fall to put my name into the hat to be the next GA. They currently had a GA (Corey Ihmels – Now the Head Track Coach at Iowa State and Coach of Lisa Kohl). Corey got offered the Cross Country job at Iowa State that Fall and Walt called me immediately. I packed up and moved to Tempe with my wife who just happened to be from Phoenix. It really was just great timing. In 2004, I took over the duties of Coaching the Cross Country and Distance team…so I’m going into my 7th season as the Head Cross Country Coach. We have been fortunate to really have some great moments and achievements these past few years, but one of the achievements I’m most proud of was the 2007 Women’s Cross Country team that finished 4th at the NCAA Cross Country meet. That team defied expectation that day. They just believed they could do anything.

10) Since your days of competing in high school, what do you feel have been the most important changes in how runners train today?
 Biggest change is access to information. There is great info out there that is easily accessible that has really helped how young distance runners train. We are seeing our great distance runners develop a greater aerobic foundation that is beginning to pay off at the international level. I think we’ll see several more distance runners from the US run under 13 minutes for 5K over the next 5 years. It will be extremely difficult to make US National teams.

11) What is your advice for high school coaches who want to have competitive teams year in, year out and have students who have a positive experience in cross country? 
 I think at the end of the day we want the students to really come to enjoy running. We want them to continue to pursue running as an integral part of their lives. It doesn’t matter if they continue competing in college, but if they enjoy running it will change their life.

Thank you very much for your time Louie!  AJC

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Selby resigns at DLS

From Phil Jensen and the East Bay Prep Corner
http://www.ibabuzz.com/prepcorner/2010/08/17/selby-resigns-at-dls/

De La Salle High announced that Kevin Selby has resigned as head track and field coach and will be succeeded by assistant coach John Harvey.

“As my sons have gotten older (they are ages 5 and 7), the demands of a dad have increased. It was a reluctant decision and a difficult decision, and I totally support John Harvey. He’s a proven coach,” said Selby, a 1991 De La Salle graduate. “He has kind of been a co-head coach.”

Selby will continue to be a physical education and health teacher at the school. “I could see myself coming back to coaching at some point,” said Selby, who was the 2009 Bay Area News Group East Bay Boys Track and Field Coach of the Year.

He coached three years in his second stint as the Spartans’ track and field head coach. De La Salle won North Coast Section Meet of Champion team titles all three years and were tied for sixth at the 2009 California Interscholastic Federation state championships . He was also the school’s head coach from 2000 to 2002.
Harvey has coached De La Salle’s sprinters and also the long jumpers and triple jumpers the past four seasons, including 2009 California Interscholastic Federation state long jump champion Chase Wheeler. Previously he was the head coach at Merrill West-Tracy from 1999-2005, which included a CIF state girls team title in 2005 and five individual state titles, and Wilcox-Santa Clara from 1992-98.

“I think the goal is always to continue to build the program … the goal is to continue to develop the kids,” said Harvey, an off-campus coach. “I’m honored to be there as a coach.”

Petersen a national champion

August 17, 2010, 01:22 AM By Emanuel Lee, Daily Journal Staff

Jessie Petersen is still a relative novice when it comes to the steeplechase.

In sports, however, few things trump sheer athleticism and hard work, and Petersen is Exhibit A in that regard.

Competing in the steeplechase for just the fourth time in her career, the incoming Carlmont High senior blew away the field to win the event two weeks ago at the AAU Track and Field Junior Olympic Games on the campus of Norfolk State University in Virginia.

Competing for track club RF United, Petersen won the 2,000-meter steeplechase in the young women’s division in a personal-best time of 7 minutes, 11.79 seconds. How dominant was Petersen? Oteia Prince of Tennessee was a distant second, nearly 35 seconds behind.

Petersen has three firsts and one second-place finish to her credit in the event, with the runner-up finish coming at last summer’s Junior Olympics in Des Moines, Iowa. Petersen was elated with her performance, especially when you consider the fact that she only trains — for a couple of weeks, tops — for the steeplechase during the summer club season.

To read the rest of this article, go to the following link:
http://smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=138724&title=Petersen%20a%20national%20champion

Coaching certification and concussion information...


From the CIF state website:
All Coaches, paid or unpaid, must be certified in Coaches Education by December 31, 2008. Coaches can now become certified online for $52 or in a classroom setting by one of California's Instructors. Click the links below for more information.
  • "Fundamentals of Coaching" is a general coaching course that will count towards CIF certification. It is listed under core courses at the NFHS web site. Please note that the courses at the NFHS site with a specific sport name attached WILL NOT count for this certification. The above link will take you directly to the correct course.

    The same site that offers the coaching certification course also has a new course (FREE) on concussions in sports.  I highly recommend you taking the course which only takes 30 minutes.  While cross country is not one of the leading sports in numbers of concussions, you just never know.  You can get the certification at the following link:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Who is the best in Northern California?

 Moved this back up to the top since many comments are being posted.  Feel free to chime in and answer the following questions.
 =================================
Your turn to answer the following questions as we head closer and closer to the start of XC '10.

What is the best boys' cross country team in Northern California?
What is the best girls' cross country team in Northern California?

Who is the best male runner?
Who is the best female runner?

What is the best combined program (boys and girls) in Northern California?
What is the best boys' only cross country team in Northern California?  (Single sex schools)
What is the best girls' only cross country team in Northern California?  (Single sex schools)

Who is the best coach?

What NorCal  teams will end up on the podium at the state meet this year (top 3)?

Let's hear it.  Why did you make your selections?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Danny Cox Petaluma High paralyzed in swim accident

We had a very unfortunate accident happen to one of our graduated athletes Danny Cox. He was a star Long jumper, 400 athlete. He suffered a spinal injury in a water accident in Tahoe this week.He is currently paralyzed from the chest down. 

I am attaching the article from the papers.  He will be going to Vallejo in the next week for three months of rehab. He is surviving on Facebook Posts by our community and athletes. Perhaps we can flood him from the state level.

Donations for rehab costs can be sent to
"Danny Cox Rehabilitation Fund".
First Community Bank
100 2nd street
Petaluma Ca 94952
707-636-9030

Thanks
Jim Lynch

2010 CCS Cross Country Schedule (Tentative)

The schedule will be finalized at the CCS organizational meeting on Wednesday, September 2nd. but if form holds from previous seasons, here is when teams will compete on Saturday, November 14th at Toro Park.

Division V:      Girls 10:00AM      Boys  10:30AM
Division I:       Girls 11:05AM       Boys  11:35 AM
Division II:     Girls 12:10 PM       Boys 12:40 PM
Division III:   Girls 1:15 PM         Boys 1:45 PM
Division IV:    Girls 2:20 PM        Boys 2:50 PM

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Awesome Cross Country Site...

If you love high school cross country and enjoy looking back in history of some of the great teams and individuals of the past, then you have to check out XC Nation.  Be prepared to be on the site for a while looking back at years and years of data and information.


Interesting to look back at the Postal National Championships (5 x 2 miles) and the listing of several CCS teams including Palo Alto HS, Hillsdale HS, Carlmont HS, Mills HS and Burlingame HS who either finished 1st or 2nd in the national "meet".


You can find a complete list of the winners here:
http://www.xcnation.com/XC_LEGACY.html

Also from the site, a great video "The Bill McChesney Jr. Story"


Hopefully someone with a greater span of cross country history than I can respond to this but who is the best boys' team to come out of Northern California?  What about girls?  Is German Fernandez the best individual or is there someone else that we are overlooking?  Who is the best girl?  Amber Trotter? Julia Stamps?  Sara Bei?  Other?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Harrier XC 2010 Pre-Season Super 25 High School Team Cross Country Rankings By Marc Bloom

Thanks to Track and Field News for posting the pre-season list by Mr. Bloom (pictured here to the left courtesy of Donna Dye)

You can find all the teams posted at the following link:

http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&id=178&Itemid=115

Unfortunately, no Northern California teams are currently ranked this year but that doesn't mean that can't change during the season.  It has happened before so who are the teams ready to compete at that level?  


You can check out Mr. Bloom's all time rankings which made their debut in 1989:
http://www.theharrier.com/marcbloomrunning/theharrier/super25historical.php

You can also find his complete season rankings for the 2008 and 2009 seasons at the following link:
http://www.theharrier.com/marcbloomrunning/theharrier/super25.php

Who are the NorCal teams that have the potential to be one of the best at the state level?  National level?




Tuesday, August 10, 2010

NCS Pre-Season Top 10 Individuals (Boys and Girls)...

Boys
10)  Robin O'Connell Eureka HS Division III
9)  Nick Kraus Eureka HS Division III
8)  Anthony Martore Castro Valley HS Division I
7)  Dylan Laucher Campolindo HS Division III
6)  Forrest Shaffer Petaluma HS Division III
5)  Parker Deuel San Ramon Valley HS Division II
4)  Ben Eversole Castro Valley HS Division I
3)  Jeff Bickert College Park HS Division I
2)  Daniel Milechman Tamalpais HS Division IV
1)  Luis Luna Piner HS Division III

Girls
10)  Amber Peirsol Windsor HS Division II
9)  Kelsey Santisteban Castro Valley HS Division I
8)  Elaine McVay California HS Division I
7)  Natalie Dimits Livermore HS Division I
6)  Grace Orders Campolindo HS Division III
5)  Holland Reynolds University HS Division V
4)  Jennie Callan University HS Division V
3)  Carrie Verdon Campolindo HS Division III
2)  Lucy McCullough Marin Academy Division V
1)  Julie Nacouzi Montgomery Division II

Feel free to comment below.  Who should move up?  Down?  Who did I miss?  

2010 NCS Division II Pre-Season Rankings...

2010 will have a different look to it in this division as some of the familiar faces will be competing collegiately.  NCS will crown new Division II champions in both races (boys and girls) as the defending champions (College Park) will now wade in the more turbulent Division I waters.  The top five individual boys from the '09 race are also gone from this division.  Jacque Taylor has finally graduated after what seemed like 7 years at Casa Grande (always seems that way when a runner is very competitive as a freshman).  

Taking a look at the boys' field first, the favorite going into next season will be San Ramon Valley which won the ultra competitive Division I race last year.  They lose the majority of that juggernaut team but return junior to be Parker Deuel who will battle for the individual crown.  They also return #6 man Matt Devries who participated on one of the top teams in Northern CA as a freshman and they did field one of the better Junior Varsity teams in this area.  Nipping at their heels will be Santa Rosa (last year's 2nd place team).  They lose their #1 superstar runner, Reesey Byers but return runners #2 through #5 (Kurt Wendler, Jonathan Peck, Jordan Guerrero and Michael Tomasi).

If the two teams above aren't able to live up to their pre-season rankings, then the next team in line will be Casa Grande.  Following a highly successful Track and Field season, Casa will be hungry to improve their 4th place finish from last year's MOC race as they will be led by senior Austin Minnick.  Mt. Eden, last year's 5th place team, returns the whole kit and kaboodle and will be in the mix as well with senior Marvin Nugal.

The race for the individual title will go through Parker Deuel of San Ramon Valley.  Anyway you look at it, he has to be the favorite.  In the Division I final last year, Deuel finished in 5th place running 15:43.  During the Track and Field season, he recorded a 1:57.02 800, 4:17.30 1600 and 9:22.43 3200.  The fastest returning runner in this division will be David Brody of American HS who finished in 6th place here last year running 15:57.  Also in the hunt will be Jamie Goldfield of Montgomery (16:11), Marvin Nugal of Mt. Eden (16:23), and Eric Morford of Heritage (16:27).

Picking the top teams on the girls side is a bit more difficult as freshmen girls tend to make more of an impact.  With that in mind, my picks for this coming season are based on what happened last year and what teams return the most fire power this coming season.  Last year, the San Ramon Valley girls missed a state meet berth in Division I by a mere 4 points to Castro Valley (101 to 105).  They return every runner from a team that will certainly be hungry to match the NCS championship won by the SRV boys last year.  A title this year would give the SRV girls their first NCS title since 1992.

Who has been one of most consistent team in this division over the last 6 years?  That would be Carondelet which has had the following finishes (2004-2nd, 2005-3rd, 2006-1st, 2007-1st, 2008-2nd and 2009-3rd).  Despite losing #1 runner Heather Cerney, Carondelet returns runners #2, #3, #4 and #6.  Based on history and the likelihood that an impact freshman or two will contribute to their team, Carondelet will be a threat.

Next in line will be usual suspects in this division, Santa Rosa and Montgomery.  Santa Rosa returns the majority of their team (#2 Kelly Brooks, #3 Sadia Ibrahim, #4 Eva Herbst, #5 Emily Rozga, #6 Carly Miller and #7 Marina Lecoeuche) but Montgomery returns the #1 runner in this division, defending champion Julie Nacouzi.  Casa Grande edged out Carondelet by a mere point for 2nd place (68 to 69) last season and although they lose Taylor and Dominique Ratto, I suspect they will contend once again this year.

The favorite for the individual title for the girls will be defending champion Julie Nacouzi of Montgomery.  She recorded the fastest time in all divisions running 17:02 and defeated eventual state champion, Jacque Taylor by a convincing margin on the Hayward HS course.  If she runs anywhere close to last year's form, the race will be for second place and will be between the following runners:  Amber Piersol of Windsor (18:31), Alexandra Tate of Clayton Valley (18:35), Liz Hebel of San Ramon Valley (18:35), Megan Beck and Emily Balcewski of Carondelet (19:09 and 19:10).

Division II Boys (Top 3 teams advance to state)
1)  San Ramon Valley-Parker Deuel leads the way here.
2)  Santa Rosa-How well will they run without Reesey?
3)  Casa Grande-4th here last year, 3rd this year?
4)  Mt. Eden-Everybody back and ready to break into top 3.
5)  Montgomery-Jamie Goldfield strong #1 for team always in the hunt.
On the bubble:  Alameda, Washington

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2009 NCS meet time:
David Brody (6) American 15:57
Jamie Goldfield (11) Montgomery 16:11
Marvin Nugal (15) Mt. Eden 16:23
Eric Morford (16) Heritage 16:27
Austin Minnick (17) Casa Grande 16:33
From Division I-Parker Deuel (5) San Ramon Valley 15:43

Division II Girls (Top 3 teams advance to state)
1)  San Ramon Valley-Strong team ready to challenge for team crown.
2) Carondelet-Consistent top program in this division.
3) Montgomery-It doesn't hurt to start the team score with 1.
4) Santa Rosa-Can they break into top 3 and reserve their ticket to Fresno?
5) Casa Grande-Can they rebound from losing strong senior class?

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2009 NCS meet time:
Julie Nacouzi (1) Montgomery 17:02
Amber Piersol (5) Windsor 18:31
Alexandra Tate (6) Clayton Valley 18:35
Megan Beck (9) Carondelet 19:09
Emily Balcewski (10) Carondelet 19:10
From Division I-Liz Hebel (6) San Ramon Valley 18:35

Feel free to comment on the above rankings.  This division has a lot of teams rebuilding with the departure of some very good runners. Did I miss anybody? Any surprises? Freshmen studs and studettes?

Also, if you have a link to pictures of any of the above runners, please send them to albertjcaruana@gmail.com.  If your team website has been updated or you have a new link, send it my way as well and I will update the link.

New CCS Record at AAU National Championships

From Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Virginia.

2000m. Steeplechase
Jessie Petersen 1st Place 7:11.79 (New CCS Record)
For a complete list, check out http://www.dyestatcal.com/ATHLETICS/TRACK/ccsalltm.htm

Also at the same meet:
3000m.
Jessie Petersen 2nd Place 10:31.37

1500m.
Cindy Huang 5th Place 4:50.33
Jessie Petersen 6th Place 4:52.68

For complete results, check out:
http://image.aausports.org/sports/athletics/results/2010/jogames/COMPLETERESULTS.HTM


Monday, August 09, 2010

Sac-Joaquin Section Boys' Pre-Season Rankings for Divisions I-III.

Thanks to Jason Jimenez for the following rankings:

Boys 
Division 1 (2 State Berths)
1. Davis
2. Oak Ridge
3. Lincoln (S)
4. Modesto
5. Kennedy

Notes: Looks like Davis will once again retain its stranglehold on Division 1 thanks to a group of strong JV returners. Oak Ridge has faced some serious difficulties the last two years, but never count them out. There's something in those El Dorado Hills. Lincoln of Stockton and Modesto don't have high powered teams but they are returning experienced Varsity athletes and that is always a bonus in November at Willow Hills. 

Division 2 (4 Berths)
1. Del Campo
2. Woodcreek
3. Jesuit
4. Fairfield
5. Rocklin
6. Ponderosa

Notes: Del Campo returns possibly the strongest team in the entire section. Look for the Cougars to standby their proven formula for success, racing weekly and slowly but surely dominating all competitors. Woodcreek and Jesuit could be the match-up of the division fighting for second. If memory serves, Jesuit and Woodcreek don't go head to head much during the season so we will have to wait and see how it will turn out. Fairfield, Rocklin, Ponderosa have groups of strong returners but are missing vital pieces to State Championship quality teams. 

Division 3 (3 Berths)
1. El Camino
2. Sonora
3. Placer
4. Del Oro
5. St Mary's

Notes: Despite seeming unbeatable in this division in 2009, El Camino lost the Section Championship because of a weakness at the 5th scorer position. However, this will likely not occur in 2010 as the Eagles return a top-3 capable of scoring 1-2-3 and a stable of more experienced returners capable of filling the 4-5 positions. On paper the only team capable of challenging El Camino is Sonora, and if they really want to make a challenge they too will need some back up for their two superior front-runners. With a newly added State Berth for Division 3, a spot opens up for Placer or Del Oro to make a return journey to Fresno. Placer may have the upper hand in that battle as they have a potential 2 or 3 point scorer in Finkbeiner. 

-- 
Jason Jimenez