While not as deep as the boys, the girl’s competition in Division III is still a showcase for some of the best teams in the entire NCS. Much like the boys, this division has been dominated by Campolindo which has won the past 2 team titles and has won 7 out of the last 12 team championships as well as state titles in 2001 and 2010. Last year was no different as the Campo machine; known to some people as Chuck’s Army, smashed the Hayward course record for team time by 78 seconds to run 90:29. Unfortunately an off day the next week at the State Championship caused the Cougars to end up finishing 4th. This upcoming season should prove to be equally exciting as DFAL rivals Acalanes and Las Lomas will try to close the gap on a rebuilding Campo squad looking to defend its 6 year DFAL title streak in addition to its NCS title streak. As with the boys rankings I have used NCS times from last year and track times from 2012. These rankings do not take into account any incoming freshmen, so if anyone knows of any incoming freshmen that could make an impact then please feel free to leave a comment. The teams are listed in no particular order below, with THE ACTUAL NUMBERED RANKINGS at the BOTTOM of the page for the impatient ones out there.
REDWOOD: The Giants return their top 3 from last year’s 4th place team but will need to add in some more depth if they want to make a return trip to Fresno. Megan Bordes (18:50), Molly Hunt (18:52), and Julia Hansen (19:12) did not put up any track times this year so it remains to be seen if they can replicate their past performances again this year (if anyone does have track times for them or anyone else mentioned just post them in the comments below!). Senior Sophie Epstein had a solid track season running 12:11 for 3200 but Redwood will need to find other girls to step up onto their varsity team in order to remain competitive.
Ups: Return a core group from last year’s team
Downs: May not have the depth at the back end to nail down a top 4 performance
BISHOP O’DOWD: Much like the boys, the Bishop O’Dowd girls team narrowly missed out on a state championship berth last year, coming within 4 points of 4th place. However, it looks as though the Dragons have all the pieces in place to make another run at snatching up a state berth. Soph Meredith Nix had an impressive track season running 5:15 for 1600. If she is able to continue that success this fall she will give the Dragons a solid frontrunner. Junior Emily Fieberling (19:44) also make some good progress in the 1600, clocking a 5:36 while Alyssa Byer (19:45) also notched an improvement to bring her 1600 time down to 5:30. Those 3 along with Page Robertson (19:50) should supply O’Dowd with a great starting point to work off of. If they can add in one or two more quality runners look for the Dragons to make it back to state.
Ups: Great track season and great tradition sets them up nicely
Downs: Pack margin needs some work
NORTHGATE: The Broncos will look to punch their ticket to state for the first time since 2004 and bring back a good group of returners from last year’s 10th place squad. Junior Caitlyn Mundrane (18:54) had a good season during the spring, clocking a 5:27 1600. In addition Senior Ami Boucher (19:37) continued her steady improvement by running 5:26 and 11:55 in the 3200. Right behind them is sophomore Brittany Swystun who ran 12:00 in the 3200 and Meredith Peterson (19:50) who also had a nice track season running 5:30. These four will give Northgate a great pack that should keep them in contention for a state spot; however, in order to firmly secure a spot they will need step up performances from Kelsey Bowman (21:17) and Alex Mora (22:56).
Ups: Top runners continue to improve at a steady and consistent rate
Downs: Big gap between #4 and #5 runners could be costly
TAMALPAIS: Tam is a relative newcomer to this division, but they held their own last year to finish 7th and look to improve upon that this season. The Hawks return Isabella Amyx (19:07), Madison Kwasny (19:44), Amanda Barrisca (20:38), Meghan Tanel (20:42), and Grace Dougherty (21:15). However, Meghan was the only one of the bunch to post any track times as she ran 5:37 in the 1600 and 12:29 in the 3200. What makes Tam a contender for a state spot is that they had a good amount of other girls step up in track, and if they can continue that progress throughout the summer Tam will be able to compete with all the other teams eyeing a top 4 finish. Kate Bartschat, Gianna Garza, and Morgana Sidhum ran 12:36, 12:49, and 12:50 respectively during track. If they are able to adapt to the longer distances in XC that will give Tam a great deal of depth to work with, something essential to breaking into the top 4.
Ups: Lots of depth
Downs: Frontrunners will be needed to match the top end talent of other teams
LAS LOMAS: The Knights bring back a great crop of talent and competing in the DFAL will give them a season long preview of both Campolindo and Acalanes. Top returner Clare Orton (18:43) ran a respectable 5:30 1600 and 11:55 3200 during track while Madison Hight (19:05) was right behind her in 5:32. A little bit farther behind those two are Megan Wenzel (19:08), Sydney Carroll (19:30), and Rachel Gemar (19:38) who will all look to hone down the pack margin in order to bypass the strong front running of rivals Campolindo and Acalanes. Competing in the DFAL does give Las Lomas an advantage over the other non-dfal teams vying for a top 4 spot because the heightened level of competition prepares them well by the time NCS rolls around.
Ups: Return a solid pack
Downs: Competes in the DFAL and Division III
ACALANES: The Dons return everyone from last year’s 2nd place team and will attempt to capture their first section title since 1986. Leading the charge is Annie Marggraff (18:09) who had a stellar track season running 5:17 for the 1600 and 10:58 for the 3200. Amy Hollshwander (18:16) focused more on the sprints during track but she did finish 4th overall last season so don’t count her out just yet. Next in line is Kelly Collins (18:31) who ran 11:51 during the spring and Kelli Berge (19:24) who clocked a 2:23.26 800 time to go along with a 5:26. Junior Tara Bozzini (18:38) will also be a huge factor for Acalanes. Rounding out the returners are Caith Wright (19:50) and Kyra Ruegg (19:59). Getting to face quality schools such as Las Lomas and Campolindo during league competition will provide the necessary conditioning for the Dons to challenge for the NCS title and improve upon their 7th place finish at the State Championships last season.
Ups: Everyone returns
Downs: The gap between their #5 and #6-7 runners needs to be closed down to bolster their depth
CAMPOLINDO: The two time defending champs have one of the best post-season traditions in the NCS with the Cougars qualifying to the state meet every year since 1995 to go along with their 10 team titles in that span. This upcoming season they will feature a great front end presence with Rachel Johnson (18:21) having had a very successful track season clocking a 5:10 1600 and 11:07 in the 3200. Not to be outdone, Mary Orders (18:20) ran a spectacular 11:01 in the 3200 to compliment a fine 5:14 1600. These two will give Campo plenty of firepower to match or surpass any other team in the division at the front end. Sophomore Brighie Leach (18:50) had a good track season running 5:27 and will give the Cougars a great 1-3 attack. The top returner from last year’s meet, Megan McMillan (18:02) was sidelined by injury during the track season so it remains to be seen if she can make it back up with the other 3. The biggest question mark here is whether or not Sarah Orders and Haley Shipway, two critical members of Campo’s 2010 state champion team, can rebound from an injury riddled fall and spring. It appears they have with Sarah running an 11:59 and Haley running a 5:47 this past track season. With them back in the mix in addition to always strong jv and frosh soph teams, look for Chuck’s Army to compete with the best the division has to offer.
Ups: Strong front running that can match any other team
Downs: Lack of depth could be an issue if one of the frontrunners goes down with illness or injury.
3. Las Lomas
4. Bishop O'Dowd
1. Annie Marggraff- Acalanes
2. Rachel Johnson- Campolindo
3. Mary Orders- Campolindo
4. Amy Hollshwander- Acalanes
5. Meredith Nix- Bishop O’Dowd
6. Clare Orton- Las Lomas
On the bubble: Brighie Leach (Campolindo), Kelly Collins (Acalanes), Isabel Moon (Novato)