Thursday, July 21, 2011

CCS Girls' Division I preview by Valley Christian SJ coach, Josh Small

Girls DI

The Division 1 Rankings at last…

Out of the top 30 runners at last year’s CCS finals 24 of them are back for more. So outside the two big departures of Jessie Peterson and Erin Robinson, my thought is this year’s pre-season rankings will pretty much be rehashing of last year with some teams mixing it up to get in the top 5. We all know that with girls one star freshman can vault a team from contender to champion so anyone is in the mix but love it or hate it, if anyone tends to get those super-fresh freshies it tends to be Carlmont and Gunn. So once again I am guessing they go 1-2... or at least are in the driver’s seat for the two state spots up for grabs.

Calmont has won 5 of the last 6 CCS Championships in DI and looks to add on one more in 2011. Led by Sarah Schreck who ran 19:16 at the CCS finals last year she will be joined by a solid supporting cast in
Mei-Lin Okino and Corin Soelberg, who both had solid track seasons that included both of them running 5:20ish for 1600 meters. Lindsay Hendershott is a strong number 3 or 4 runner who had a huge run at state covering the 5k Woodward Park course in 19:43. They will need a number 5 to step up to solidify another title and while they are not as strong as the record setting teams in the past Carlmont is once again in the driver’s seat.

So who was that team that broke up Carlmont’s streak of 4 straight (by the slim margin of 3-points in a 39-42 victory)? Gunn High School in Palo Alto… who once again is in the hunt. Gunn brings back a solid core of runners that include the top returner from last year’s finals, Sarah Robinson. Kieran Gallagher who qualified for the state meet at 800 meters also returns adding the top 1-2 punch in the division. The team has lost some depth as compared to the past few years but Gunn is one of those schools that tend to get talent year after year. And with Coach Tomkins and Coach Lee at the helm, magic seems to never be too far away.

But before you think this season is wrapped up before it even gets started you better watch out for Hollister! Running away with the TCAL title last season, Vanessa Estrada led the Haybalers to the league championship and a 4th place finish in last year’s finals. Not only is Hollister one of the largest schools in the section, they have quickly grown into one of the top teams as well. Large numbers, good coaching and solid talent they could easily surprise some teams this year!

A slew of teams are in the mix for top 5 spots: Evergreen, Leland, Wilcox, Homestead. Each has a strong #1 runner but will need some support if they want to challenge for a top 3 spot. Homestead looks like they are trending up with 5 girls under 21:30ish last year at the Crystal Springs course. It will be a good battle to move up the ranks that is for sure!

I’m going to work hard for those boys rankings but am going out of town as of Friday to enjoy some good golf and time with the family so it might be next week… After-all, with quality teams like Bellarmine, Menlo-Atherton and Hollister I need to do them right!

DIV. I GIRLS: Team Pre-Season Rankings
1.  Carlmont
2.  Gunn
3.  Hollister
4.  Evergreen Valley
5.  Leland

DIV. I GIRLS: Top Returning Individuals
(From Last Year’s CCS Finals)
1.  Sarah Robinson, Gunn
2.  Vanessa Estrada, Hollister
3.  Sarah Schreck, Carlmont
4.  Lalida Maokhamphiou, Wilcox
5.  Samantha Garcia, Evergreen

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Considering Sturges and Hacker aren't in D1 I'm guessing we won't have as much discussion! haha

MVMoose said...

Coach Small:
Nice job!
After the Boys D1, are you planning to rank the entire CCS?
The only significant differences we see so far on the girls are your high (my low?) ranking of SI and your favoring Leland over Homestead. I'd say that's small potatoes.
Enjoy the golf and...
Here's to a great Cross Country Season!

Anonymous said...

MARK MY WORDS, HOMESTEAD IS GOING TO BE IN THE TOP 3.

Coach Small said...

Moose,

You did such a great job with your ranking earlier this summer I'd just be tweeking something that doesn't need it.

I do admit to favoring SI, but that is mostly because my own team has been beaten up by them year after year. They seem to always find a way to get it done.

Leland / Homestead? It was a toss up for me for like you said, small potatoes... and you are probably right in the end.

My only disagreement is my team isn't #16 yet. But we hope to get there.

Off to go play some Army golf (left-right-left right!)

Anonymous said...

And the Robinson dynasty continues...

Anonymous said...

I heard that Sarah Robinson isn't running XC this year. Does anyone know if this is true? Does anyone know where Erin is going to college and if she planning on running there?

Anonymous said...

Erin is going to UCLA from what I heard. I don't know if she's running there. That's odd that you say that Sarah Robinson isn't running XC this fall. I don't know if that's 100% true and if it's true I don't know why.

Anonymous said...

I just looked on UCLA's cross country roster and didn't see Erin Robinson's name. Next, I went to USC's roster and saw Erin Robinson from (Gunn HS). Wow, this is a shock. Oh well, good luck to Erin. IMO she will get solid coaching and individual attention at USC.

Anonymous said...

What??? Why did she decide USC??!

Anonymous said...

Who knows why Erin chose USC? I do know one thing for sure. I know people that have gone to UCLA and fallen into that black hole over there. They just and disappeared from site. Just maybe, Erin won't disappear from the face of the earth. I hope she runs at USC has and has a good career there.

Anonymous said...

People have fallen into a black hole at USC too...

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the decision was made for academic reasons. Maybe Erin prefers USC, the school, to UCLA.

Ernie Lee said...

After Erin visited both schools, she just liked USC more. Sometimes the simplest explanation is the correct one.