Friday, July 08, 2011
After the summer CBEDs dust settled, it’s another departure for another top D3 team as Willow Glen moves up to Division II. With the exit of the defending Champs and a mass exodus of graduating seniors, the door is wide open for a youthful Saint Ignatius team. Last year’s runner-up, they have three of the top 5 returners this season. SI is traditionally one of the top teams year after year in D3, if not the entire CCS and this year is no different. One of the few teams that seems to get hundreds of new recruits every year it should be no surprise that they will be good once again this fall. They will be led by Ciaran Mirphy and Joseph McIntyre but have a solid top 7 who all hit 18:11 or faster last season at Crystal Springs.
Last year Sacred Heart Cathedral was on a mission. Finishing 4th in the WCAL and knocking St. Francis out of CCS in the process, they went on to pull off another great run at CCS finishing 3rd in the CCS finals clinching a state meet berth. SHC loses an outstanding top runner to graduation but returns with a strong core of runners and is the only team in D3 who returns 5 guys who ran sub 18 last year at Crystal Springs. They are led by Austin Quach and Carlos Flores but the strength of Andy Chan’s Irish is the 39 second spread from 1-5.
North Monterey County brings experience into this season as their top 6 returning runners are all seniors. NMC returns a strong top 4 who all ran mid 17’s last season led by Andres Guerrero. Erik Lopez, David Parry and Esteban Gonzalez add big time depth to the team. This spring saw big jumps from their 5 & 6 runners Michael Vargas and Jonathon Nolasco as they ran mid 10’s for 3200 meters. NMC could very well have 5 runners 17:30 or better at Crystal and Challenge for the title. At this point, the team championship is up for grabs as the top 3 all match up evenly. It will be a close and exciting race and no doubt nerve-racking for the coaches who are trying to add up scores as the runners come cross the finish!
Rounding out the top 5 and expected to challenge for a state spot is Aptos and Mills. Aptos finished 5th last year and have a solid 5 runners returning from last year’s CCS finals. Led by Colby Meyer, Aptos has 5 boys all in the mid-18’s last season. Mills who finished 9th last year at CCS has potential this season to move up big and is one of those teams on the move. Led by Grant Murphy and followed by a solid core of runners who were mid-18’s or better last year at Crystal Springs they are trending up.
Ciaran Murphy is the top returner this season and had a fantastic spring running 4:24 for 1600 meters. He will be joined by teammates Joeseph McIntyre and Patric Cummins. Expect Grant Murphy of Mills and Daniel Chiriaev of Prospect to also make a run for the individual title.
DIV. 3 BOYS: Team Pre-Season Rankings
1. Saint Ignatius
2. Sacred Heart Cathedral
3. North Monterey County
DIV. 3 BOYS: Top Returning Individuals
1. Ciaran Mirphy, SI
2. Joseph McIntyre, SI
3. Grant Murphy, Mills
4. Daniel Chiriaev, Prospect
5. Patrick Cummins, SI
Photos courtesy of Margaret Gallagher and www.sportsimagewire.com. Feel free to comment on the above rankings in the section below. Thank you once again to Coach Josh Small for his work with the CCS rankings.