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
4. Evergreen Valley
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