It's never too early to peek ahead at the upcoming 2015 Cross Country season so per tradition, we begin with the NCS Division III individual rankings thanks to Campolindo assistant coach, Andy Lindquist. Feel free to leave your comments below and let us know if we missed anybody.
Boy’s individuals: With the Burke twins graduating, it will be up to Nick Downs to continue the recent hot streak of superstar frontrunners for Bishop O’dowd. Last year’s runner up, David Frisbie will also be in contention along with a cluster of athletes from the DFAL.
1. Nick Downs – Bishop O’Dowd (Sr) Continued to impress this track season, running 9:18 in the 3200, giving him the best returning mark for this XC season. Also showed good range running 4:19 for 1600m.
2. David Frisbie – John F. Kennedy (Sr) After a surprising end to the cross country season which saw him finish 7th at the state meet, Frisbie seemed to stagnate during track, failing to make the finals at MOC in the 1600m. Still posted quality marks of 4:21/9:38 in the 1600/3200 so don’t count him out just yet.
3. Cameron Gaskell – Acalanes (Sr.) Despite battling illness and injury throughout the season, Gaskell still managed to post some solid times, running 4:25 in the 1600 and running 9:28 in the 3200. Past results indicate the talent is there and with a healthy summer of training he will put himself in great position to challenge the top 2.
4. Jared Yabu – Campolindo (Jr) After being a solid contributing team member the past 2 years, it appears that Yabu is ready to step up as the top gun for the Cougars this fall. His marks of 4:29 and 9:29 in the 1600/3200 point to great potential, especially considering the success Campolindo has had churning out top notch individuals in recent years.
5. Tom Robey – Las Lomas (Sr) Continued to be rock solid during the track season, running personal bests in the 3200 (9:30) and running 4:25in the 1600 to advance to MOC in that event. Getting to run against the rest of the rugged DFAL will provide him plenty of chances to compete against top level talent.
6. Danny Jervis – Las Lomas (Sr) After a breakout XC season, Jervis continued that trend during track running 9:42 in the 3200 and 4:25 in the 1600. DFAL competition plus a talented training partner in Robey should help Jervis continue his upward momentum this fall.
7. Nathaniel Sauerberg – Campolindo (Sr) A somewhat confounding cross country season gave way to an impressive track season for one of the critical pieces of the Campolindo machine. A solid time in the 1600 (4:31) plus a great performance in the 3200 (9:41) positions Sauerberg right next to his DFAL foes and the rest of the NCS, giving the Cougars a strong 1-2 punch that will be vital in the team battle as well.
8. Munir Kabbara – San Rafael (Soph) Impressed during his freshman campaign and seems poised to take over the mantle from his older brother Nassim. His 4:32 and 9:51 performances in the 1600/3200 point to great fitness and great potential for the youngster, making him a dark horse to move up the list.
9. Will/Jack Dunbar – Petaluma (Soph) The twins kicked it into high gear this track season running near identical times in the 1600 (4:33/4:34) showcasing a nasty double threat for the Trojans, who are seeking to make an impact in the team race. While track times do not always correlate with XC performance, look for the Dunbars to continue their wicked improvement curve this fall.
On the Bubble: Jonathan Semenza (Campolindo), Aidan Carpenter (Piner) Christian Gonzalez (Miramonte)
Girl’s individuals: Last year’s NCS/State champion Chloe Hansel returns for her senior year, looking to defend her titles. However, after a somewhat disappointing track season, the gap has been closed considerably as Bishop O’Dowd’s Grace Taylor enters the season with the best marks in the 1600 and 3200, beating Hansel head to head in the 1600m final at NCS MOC. Transfers and freshmen will shake up these rankings but for now this is how it looks.
1. Chloe Hansel – Las Lomas (Sr) After a phenomenal cross country season where she captured the NCS/State Div. III tiles and also qualified to NXN, Hansel seemed to regress this track season only managing to run 11:11 in the 3200 and 5:05 in the 1600. Despite this, she enters the season as the favorite if she can return to her form from last fall.
2. Grace Taylor – Bishop O’Dowd (Sr) Came on strong at the end of track season to run an impressive 5:03 in the 1600 at the NCS MOC finals to enter the fall season on a big upswing. Also ran 10:54 in the 3200 which gives her the best 1600/3200 times from this track season. She should challenge for the individual title.
3. Hana Sun – Campolindo (Sr) Sun flew under the radar during most of the track season as her teammates stole the headlines for Campolindo, but she still managed to have an impressive spring season, making it to the finals at MOC in the 3200 and running 10:59.
4. Hannah Ruane – Campolindo (Soph) Another solid contributor to Campolindo’s impressive distance squad, her marks of 5:17 and 11:13 for 1600/3200 bode well for this upcoming season.
5. Jourdan Amen – Bishop O’Dowd (Jr) One of the most consistent performers for the Dragons during the fall, Amen continued that trend during the spring running 5:17 in the 1600 and 11:23 in the 3200 to make MOC finals. Her 5th place finish at last year’s NCS XC meet indicates plenty of upside and should give O’Dowd the upfront presence to challenge for the team title.
6. Lizzy Labeeuw-Anderson – Tamalpais (Jr) The top returner for last year’s 3rd place team, she made the finals in the 1600m at the NCS Meet of Champions this spring and with a 1600m personal best of 5:12, she has placed herself firmly in contention to land in the top 10 and help her team nab another state meet birth
7. Marissa D’Atri – Alhambra (Soph) Solid performances during the recently completed track season including a 5:12 clocking in the 1600m, place her in contention to advance to state as an individual this upcoming season. Plenty of opportunities to race against talented runners in the DFAL will no doubt help D’Atri to continue to progress this fall.
8. Jenna Miles – Campolindo (Soph) Raced sparingly during the 2014 XC season but impressed with a 7th place finish at the NCS finals. While hampered by some injuries during the track season, Miles still showed impressive upside in running 5:23 and 11:29 in the 1600m/3200m.
On the Bubble: Sarah Cella (Campolindo) Sammy Taketa (Acalanes) Megan Bartschat (Tamalpais)