1997 University 3rd Place
1998 University 3rd Place
1999 University 3rd Place
2000 University 3rd Place
2001 University 2nd Place
2006 College Prep 2nd Place
2007 University 2nd Place
2008 University 3rd Place
2011 St. Joseph Notre Dame 3rd Place
The St. Joseph Notre Dame boys finally reached the top of this division last year with their narrow 1 point defeat of 2nd place Flintridge Prep. They return 4 out of their 7 runners and seem to have reloaded quite well for this season with some solid performances during this past track and field season. Senior Gabe Arias-Sheridan will once again lead the Pilots after his best track and field season to date. At the NCS MOC meet, Arias Sheridan finished in 4th place in the 3200m. with a lifetime best time of 9:22.77. Just as Stanford had Frick and Frack (The Hausers), St. Joes have the Murphy twins (Michael 10:12.54 and Matt 10:04.71). They will be juniors this coming season and although they haven't gotten the publicity like Arias, Luis Rodriguez and Nick Ratto, they have been just as important to the success of the team. Senior Chris Melendez has been in the top 7 mix over the past two seasons and will look to make more of an impact this coming season. As one rival coach said, "Like everyone else, I believe SJND is untouchable."
Whether that is the case or not, they will still run the races and there are teams in this section that will keep the Pilots honest. The top contender at this point appears to be the Marin Academy boys. They have two runners who are more than likely the best tandem for any CA team in this division. Junior Trevor Reinhart improved his 9th place finish from his freshman season to win the state title last year as a sophomore. Teammate and senior to be James Kinney also finished in the top 10 with a 6th place finish. As a team they finished in 7th place at the state meet and with 6 of their top 7 returning this year, MA will be in the hunt for their first league and section title. The key to their season will be sophomores Michael Dunne (4:48.01/10:22.22) and Henry Fleming who can close the gap with the top 5 teams in the state with improved efforts from them.
The next best team appears to be be the Lick Wilmerding boys. They won the BCL West meet last year (ending University's stranglehold of the league at 18 years), placed 4th at the NCS MOC meet and 11th at the CA state meet. Aside from the SJND boys, LW will have the best pack from 1-7. Their challenge will be to get a couple of their top runners to mix it up with the leaders up front in the bigger races. Their top runners will include Matt Jenkins (10:04.75), Steve Page ( 4:34.27/10:14.80) and Corey Robinson (1:58.44). They will also return 6 of their 7 state meet runners and their JV boys team steam rolled the rest of the BCL West competition. They are definitely a team to watch and could leap from Marin Academy for 2nd place.
The rest of the teams in the hunt for the final two state meet berths all have potential but will need to restock their artillery for this coming season. Athenian has the best two runners in this group and will challenge once again for BCL East supremacy. Tanner Shaw (4:29.78/10:03.70) and Gabe Elliott (4:37.52) have helped revive the Athenian program over the past two seasons with state meet qualifying efforts and a 6th place team finish last year at CA state meet. Danny Aldridge has brought Sonoma Academy to prominence in the same way he did with Maria Carrillo. Last year SA finished in 2nd place at NCS and just missed the state meet podium with a 4th place team finish. Patrick Loftus (4:40.81/10:33.x) will be their lead returning runner after a solid junior season. College Prep has been a consistent contender in this division and look to have an up and coming team following their performance on the track in the spring (Matthew Romer 4:41.26/10:25.50, Stephen Sloan 4:40.47 and Tristam Dodge 10:22.26). University will be led by Ben Tracy (10:21.66) and Jack Tannenbaum (2:01.89) and with the addition of a couple of formidable freshmen could be contenders once again. Stuart Hall showed signs of being competitive during cross country following their track and field season with Thomas Namara (4:47.07/10:31.02) and Dunham McBride (4:55.64).
The race for the individual title has a lot of subplots. The favorite based on his 2012 XC season is Trevor Reinhart. He won the Stanford Invitational, BCL West, NCS and state meet races. Not bad for a sophomore who dabbled in running the summer and fall. His main competition should come from 2011 NCS MOC champion and Hayward HS Division V course record holder, Gabe Arias-Sheridan. You will notice he is not listed below among the top five returners due to multiple falls during last year's section mudfest but Gabe is a really tough competitor and his 9:22.77 performance on the track demands attention. Another contender is Reinhart's teammate, James Kinney, who had an outstanding junior XC season and who's track season ended prematurely due to a stress fracture. The front pack could also include Michael and Matthew Murphy of SJND and Tanner Shaw of Athenian.
Division V Boys (Top 5 Advance to State)
1) St. Joseph ND-Overwhelming favorites at this point.
2) Marin Academy-Best duo in this division with Reinhart and Kinney.
3) Lick Wilmerding-Could easily be ranked #2.
4) College Prep-Young group that could impress in the fall.
5) Athenian-Tanner Shaw leads the way for the Owls.
6) Sonoma Academy-Coming off best season in school history.
7) University-Always a dangerous threat and can't be counted out.
On the bubble: Berean Christian, Stuart Hall, Urban
Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2012 NCS meet time:
Trevor Reinhart (1) Marin Academy 15:51
James Kinney (3) Marin Academy 15:57
Michael Murphy (5) St. Joseph ND 16:08
Matthew Murphy (6) St. Joseph ND 16:08
Tanner Shaw (8) Athenian 16:24
Comments? Who did I miss? What can you add to my rankings? Also feel free to link this article to your team website/facebook etc.