What is toughest CCS At-Large distance mark?

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Northern California Pre-Season Top 10 Teams (Boys and Girls)

Boys
1) Davis (SJS) One of top programs in NorCal. Great improvement during track season.
2) Jesuit (SJS) Resurgent team ready to compete at state level once again.
3) Bellarmine (CCS) Deepest team in NorCal. Lots of young talent to replace 2015 seniors.
4) St. Ignatius (CCS) Lose #1 (Ben Osipow) but everybody else is back.
5) Campolindo (NCS) Competitive year in, year out.
6) Willow Glen (CCS) Another deep CCS team that reloads yearly.
7) St. Francis, Mt. View (CCS) Will be tested by Bellarmine early and often.
8) Las Lomas (NCS) Will be led by two talented runners and ready to do damage in DFAL and NCS.
9) Monte Vista (NCS) Everybody is back looking for first section title since 2007.
10) College Park (NCS) One of top NCS teams returning top 5 runners.

Girls
1) Bella Vista (SJS) Finished 2nd in Division I last season and return majority of team.
2) Campolindo (NCS) Most consistent program with young runners ready to fill void.
3) Redwood (NCS) Best NorCal Division II team last season with 6th place state finish.
4) Davis (SJS) Led by one of the top runners in the nation with lots of depth behind her.
5) Monte Vista (NCS) Lots of talent returning with freshmen help on the way.
6) St. Francis, Sacramento (SJS) They lose their top 2 runners but everyone else is back.
7) Aptos (CCS) One of best programs in CCS that could challenge at state level in Division III.
8) St. Francis, Mt. View (CCS) Lots of returners make them favorite for CCS Div. II title.
9) Homestead (CCS) Tough Division I program that will be led by sophomore star.
10) Bishop O'Dowd (NCS) One of the top teams in NCS with tough divisional foe.

Comments on above teams encouraged. This is first version so highly possible that I missed a team or two. What teams deserve to move up? Who is going to contend for a top 3 finish at state? Who is looking good this summer? 

64 comments:

Bill. said...

That's a tough call between Bella Vista and Campolindo. If you go strictly by State Meet results (and other meets) from last year, Campolindo has the edge.
But if you look at who is returning, Campo will be losing their #1, #2, #3 and #6. BV will only be losing their #5. That might give BV the edge in the rankings. Will be interesting also with the incoming frosh.

Projected line-up for BV Varsity squad this fall: Kendall Derry, Hannah Wohlenberg, Cessair McKinney, Brook Eberle, Emily Smith, Kaitlin Derry, Kelli Vierra

Anyone know how deep Campo is?

Anonymous said...

Bill,

Just to clarify, these aren't the rankings. It's just the top 10 Norcal schools from the 2014 State Meet. There is already a NCS D3 preview on this site where you can read about Campo girls.

Anonymous said...

How about Monte Vista for a comeback? They didn't even make the list of last year's top ten NorCal teams at state but should shine against Campo, Bella Vista, and St. Francis this fall. They only lose one scorer and have four girls with sub 5:10 1600m times from this track season who should (will?) run XC in the fall.

Bill said...

@2:39 PM.

Thanks I missed that.

Anonymous said...

CCS Bias :-)

The Ranker said...

First off Aptos will be the top girls team again. They get 2-3 superstar freshman every year. Even without a new crop of incoming talent they are too good to lose. Saint Francis has a good recruiting class but Aptos is too good.

For CCS boys Bellarmine will be dominant again. And should be, they have the largest male population in Nor Cal. How they do not have a handful of state titles with that kind of talent is baffling and my only criticism. They should have 5+ boys running sub for 5k every single year.

Anonymous said...

For CCS D2 the top three teams in contention for the section title are St. Ignatius, St. Francis, and Willow Glen, as Lynbrook just narrowly missed the cut.

Anonymous said...

I presume the comment above about CCS D2 contenders is for boys. For girls, I would expect top competitors be similar to last year, including St. Francis, Mitty, Los Gatos and Los Altos.

Anonymous said...

SI girls have to be the favorite. Check out their JV runners alone. Plus this is a school GUARANTEED to get 2-3 very fast freshman. SF is the favorite on paper. Mitty we will see. There's a new coach this year, we will see if they can keep going.

Anonymous said...

Gunn and top-10 Gillian Meeks move from CCS D1 to D2 this year - could also be a big factor

Anonymous said...

St. Francis girls and Mitty girls should finish as the top two in CCS D2 and WCAL. They basically bring back their top returning girls for Varsity from last year, and they posted more impressive track times as a group. SI had some great individual performances, but altogether they didn't perform as well as their previous Cross Country season could have predicted.

Anonymous said...

In these preseason lists and comments on teams, how do incoming freshman factor and, if they do, is that only for the girls or the boys too?

Anonymous said...

In Norcal, it appears on paper, given track times especially, that Davis will be the cream of the crop. Madera South will have three superb front runners, but Davis will have the depth. Bellarmine has only one retuner from last year's state team!!!

Andrew said...

Oh interesting, Albert. What 9th graders are going to Monte Vista that are already known (and can make an impact on that team)?

And, right now, I have College Park boys in a much different spot. I'll look it over.

Anonymous said...

Lowell girls?

Anonymous said...

THIS IS NOT THE SAME LIST ALBERT POSTED EARLIER; THAT WAS TOP TEAMS FROM LAST YEAR'S STATE MEET. I believe this is Albert's initial pass at a NorCal preseason Top 10...and a pretty good one at that! I have to do some research to see if I differ, but this looks pretty good...

Anonymous said...

@11:44

Bellarmine does only have one state meet returner, but at WCAL Frosh-Soph finals they had 4:23 / 4:25 / 4:28 / 4:31 in the 1600, and that's not including Micallef with a 1:53.9 either.

Anonymous said...

On boys side Division 3, Placer lost their top 5 runners so I don't think they'll contend this year. El Dorado and Vista Del Lago each lost a couple of core runners, but both have deep squads where their top-5 could all go well under 18:00. Those two schools are my picks for the state meet, but Rio Americano has an up and coming squad, let by Noah Wallace, that could be the spoilers.

On girls side Division 3, Placer are the up and comers, and might end Vista Del Lago's section streak this year. With two strong returning frosh and Vista losing most of their squad, it will be interesting. My 3 picks for state meet are Placer, Vista and El Dorado and Rio Americano battling out for the final place.

All the teams mentioned, have very heavy schedules with a lot of big meets, over a variety of terrains, so injuries could also be a factor.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:44

Bellarmine has always been so deep that they are able to reserve their top 7 periodically and still win WCAL races. If you look at the Stanford Invite results, you can see that they were able to send two varsity squads - one that had their main seven while the other had their next lineup - and compete very well against the rest of Northern California. The extra rest the Bellarmine runners receive always benefit them when it matters most (CCS, WCAL). They have a couple othat can move up to their top 7, a loaded sophomore class, and two of the best freshman on CCS.

Maybe it's not the talent that's there, but it also may be that the coaching at Bellarmine is performed so well that each runner can perform to his best ability at the right team when the team needs him to. Every runner on that team knows what he needs to do to win for the Bells.

Anonymous said...

One might argue that Bellarmine, with that kind of talent year in and year out, is under performing. You have the top runners year in and year out yet you can not win State or get on the podium? They couldn't even win CCS with the best runners in the section for years.

Lets be honest, if you have 1750 BOYS at your school who are hand picked to go there, there is no excuse for not winning. They are twice the size of anyone else in their league and the largest team in CCS. They hold camps and hand applications to the fastest runners hand picking the best incoming freshman EVAERY YEAR. How is it you do not have at least 5 boys every year who can run 15-15:30 for Woodward park?

They win but there is no magic there. It is a great school and strong academics. I would argue that they underperform more than any team in the CCS (other than Aptos girls at the State meet). They have the talent and the numbers but just can't win a state title.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. They usually recruit, or club coaches with inside connections recruit 5 of the top 10 kids every year. Including the past 4 Santa Clara County individual champions. Depth should be automatic. Great coaching, but wasting 2 years on FS and ending your season on Halloween is not what worked best for Steven Sum, Chris Foster, Miguel Vaques, Roman Munoz, and on, and on. These high caliber kids they convince to pay to go there almost never break 15:40, or 9:30. They consistently underperform at big races like CCS, and CIF, with what basically amount to all star teams. Great place to go if you want to be top 25 in CCS but not top 10. Never top 3.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Monte Vista boys can finish top 10 in state

Anonymous said...

When will Walt create his preseason list for CCS? That will be the basis for how we can predict Bellarmine's potential performance and see what "underperforming" is to them.

Anonymous said...

Underperforming for Bellarmine:
Remember they have 1750 boys and some of the most talented runners in CA

Win WCAL
Win CCS
Anything less than top 2 at state.

Anonymous said...

Bellarmine should try creating a B team that can run as the CCS title team so that their A team would avoid having to race too much, and after CCS (which they would most likely win even with a B team, a testament to that school's depth) their A team could step into the state meet rested, prepared, and not peaked at all.

A Bellarmine B team could potentially be a force in the WCAL and may as well even capture a league title.

Anonymous said...

D2 is going to be a meat grinder. I'd watch out for Lynbrook too. What bout D3 with SI moving out?

Anonymous said...

That might not be a bad idea for Bell but with two weeks between CCS and state there is plenty of time to recover. Plus they have their hands full plenty of years with Carlmont.

Anonymous said...

Who are some of the top freshmen that might impact the rankings? Will there be a new thread started this? Keep an eye on Jasmine Powell who set an Oakland CYO record in the 800 with a 2:19.3. She will be attending BOD. Don't know though if she will be running XC because she also won the 400 Diocese championship meet.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:56 am. You must be new here. A few user guidelines:
1. 400 and 800 times mean nothing to XC.
2. There are a lot of old men really interested in HS girls running
3. There is no such thing as talent. Coaching is why a team is good
4. All private schools "recruit"

That will get you started.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:09 Give her some base training and she'll be up there. She already has the speed (and some endurance training in the 800); now she just needs the proper endurance training.

Albert Caruana said...

Bellarmine has been one of the top XC programs for many years now and for anybody to say they have been underperforming has not been paying attention. Based on their CCS performances, Bellarmine has exceeded the pre-state meet rankings and finished in the top 10 at state multiple times in the toughest division at state (Division I). They have done that with great packs of solid runners (sub 16 at Woodward Park). In regards to them recruiting athletes, unless you have proof, please be careful about making such accusations. This is fairly typical of successful programs to be accused of recruiting as opposed to tipping your hat to them and acknowledging that maybe they are doing something really well to be so consistently good.

Anonymous said...

Who is the best in the CCS at developing 9th grade boys? Do they always have to run FS and JV or can they gain more experience running varsity? Does every boy have to give up 2 years for a chance at running in Fresno?

Anonymous said...

@ 9:09 What's your point about the user guidelines, especially #2 & 4? Just asking about the top incoming freshmen, girls & GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Those are the general ideals commonly conveyed here. that is all.

As for Bell, no one is arguing they are not good. But 16 flat is not good enough for the kind of talent they get. They should be as good or better than Arcadia and Great Oak. That simple.

I agree that they have too many kids that never develop in that system. Too bad too.

Anonymous said...

They have coaches at the jr. highs, and one prominent local club inperticular who help ensure the "right kids" are included in the application process. Call it whatever you want. I've seen the machine in action for years. It's no accident a certain group of young men are ending up there.

Anonymous said...

The club sport coaches, parents, and kids do all the dirty work now. As long as its perceived as being in someone child's best interest anything goes. I'm pretty sure the rules say undue influence from anyone. We know it's not changing, but at least let's not pretend to be so naive in acting like it's an even playing field. As we found out with our state champ hurdler, no one polices this stuff anyway. At least not until it doesn't matter anymore.

Anonymous said...

And yes. Winning most divisions with the 8-21 guys they have rotting on FS, and JV wouldn't be too hard. No bonus points for depth.

Anonymous said...

@12:00

For D3 I would have to go with either Riordan or Valley Christian. Yes, both of those schools did not even make CCS last year as a team. Yes, they have no recent history of cross country success, but if you look at their track times this previous spring, you can see they have improved a lot in terms of 1600/3200 times. Whereas most schools in D3 only have 2 or 3 guys under 11:00 for the 3200, both schools have at least 6 guys under that mark. This improvement can translate well into cross country.

Saratoga and Aptos are the two fastest returning teams when looking at cross country marks, but now their seniors have graduated, leaving them with whomever backed them up. Aptos' freshmen were absent during track, which raises the question why someone would not want to run track if he had a good cross country season. Saratoga still put in good track times compared to what the rest of D3 did, but both Valley Christian and Riordan were more deep in 1600/3200 last spring. A biggest question is whether the lack of CCS Championship running would be a major obstacle in both teams' success.

Does anyone know about the coaching at the two schools? If it is good or not.

Anonymous said...

Saratoga is changing coaches I think. Only 1 of the WCAL teams is getting out.

Anonymous said...

D3 boys: Riordan and Valley Christian could / should both hit the auto qualifier with those kind of runners. WCAL is harder than D3 CCS so I don't think not having made CCS in a while will have any effect. Their top individuals make it as individuals in the past anyways.

Aptos is the heavy favorite here. Prospect and Aaragon both return 6 of 7 runners are probably 2/3. Then VC and Riordan and Saratoga in there too.

Anonymous said...

Aptos was hit pretty hard by graduation. Even if Olsen is back, I'm not sure I'd say heavy favorites. Mt. Pleasant will be a solid new addition too.

Anonymous said...

@2:08

If this were a prediction based solely on which schools ran the fastest track times, then without a doubt Riordan and VC would definitely be front runners for 1/2. VC was deep in the distances compared to all of D3 (7 guys under 11:00) while Riordan, although not as deep, put in the most solid track times, compared to all of D3 (6 guys under 11:00, but 4 guys under 10:30 and 4:50). However, as well all know, track times do not guarantee success in cross country, so we'll just see how well these teams do in the first couple of races). The lack of major Cross Country times from 2014 definitely undermines these teams' credibility for being potential front runners for the CCS title, but at the same time they definitely had the strongest times compared to all schools. Plus, they return their best guys from last year.

Prospect is a team to really watch, since they have young talent and two/three very solid sophomores (based on track times). Aptos had a solid core of freshmen, plus Olsen... But just like you said, where in the world were they last spring? The lack of track running (for their top three freshmen) can prove to be detrimental to their hopes for another state meet berth. Saratoga loses their top two from last year, but they can still be really solid with whomever the have, while Aragon has a solid six.

I would have to agree with you for Riordan/VC at the top two. Consider adding Saratoga, Aptos, and Prospect into potential state meet teams. Prospect depth is questionable though.

Track times are not guarantees for state meet berths for XC, but they can be indicators of what could potentially happen.

Anonymous said...

D3 sucks. Can we please get back to throwing mud at Bellarmine.

Anonymous said...

D3 Boys. All data taken from Athletic.net. Athletes listed are Sub 11/Sub 5 with the grade level they will be in the 2015 season in parentheses.

Riordan

9:59 / 4:41 / 2:07 (12)
10:25 / 4:46 / 2:12 (11)
10:26 / 4:48 / 2:03 (12)
10:31 / 4:38 / 2:02 (10)
10:53 / 5:05 / 2:18 (11)
10:59 / 5:13 / 2:25 (10)


Valley Christian

10:25/ 4:32/ 1:59 (11)
10:32 /4:51/ 2:18 (11)
10:35/4:46/ 2:25 (10)
10:41 / 4:57/ 2:21 (11)
10:47 / 4:47/ 2:08 (12)
10:51 / 5:05 / 2:17 (12)
10:55 / 2:15 (11)


Prospect
10:00 / 4:44 (11)
10:13 / 4:36 / 2:05 (11)
10:47 / 4:53 / 2:09 (11)


Aragon
4:29 / 2:02 (12)
4:49 / 2:07 (12)
4:56
4:57 / 2:09


Mt. Pleasant
9:58 / 4:41
10:56 / 5:00

Sacred Heart
4:44 / 2:00 (11)
4:55 / 2:05 (11)
5:00 / 2:19 (10)
10:58 / 5:02 (10)


Aptos
10:59 / 4:45 / 2:14 (10)
4:37 / 2:04 (12)

Anonymous said...

@ 9:00

What is this, LetsRun?

Anonymous said...

I'll bite. D3 wouldn't suck so much if Bellarmine would stop stealing all our best runners just so they can beat Carlmont every other year.

Anonymous said...

As a friend of a Bellarmine runner I can safely say that there is no recruiting going on in the program. Kids want to join the team because of the amazing team environment as well as the success the team has achieved over the years. I'm pretty jealous

Anonymous said...

Any idea when the CCS rankings are coming out?

Albert Caruana said...

Typically sometime in July. I will post the link when it's posted at www.lynbrooksports.com.

Anonymous said...

@9:39
>>>>"Who is the best in the CCS at developing 9th grade boys?

Removing Bellarmine, I think there is broad representation across the section. In the south bay Willow Glen and Los Gatos seem to have a lot of distance depth year after year.

More interestingly there are just as many schools that are always missing from the ranks. I think it comes down to the "Distance Running Culture" at the school. Distance running requires dedication, and some kids aren't interested. Take a look at your local parks and streets. How many teens to you see jogging, compared soccer, baseball, softball, flag football on any given afternoon. I've spent weekends at Twin Creeks for travel baseball. There are easily 800 kids playing tournaments all weekend, 2-3 times per month year round. That's just one facility.

Without interested kids, why should a coach put in the time. Schools will forego the distance events for sprints and field event. That gives them more year round cross conditioning benefits for soccer, football, or basketball etc.

>>>>Do they always have to run FS and JV or can they gain more experience running varsity? Does every boy have to give up 2 years for a chance at running in Fresno?"

There is no reason a talented F/S runner can get the same training as the varsity runners. No one is holding them back. If a F/S runs the times he can run varsity.

Anonymous said...

W.G. And L.G. both benefit greatly from jr. high feeder programs.

Anonymous said...

Bellarmine has probably 200 XC runners. Take a minute to look at the varsity, JV, Sophomore, and Freshman counts. http://lynbrooksports.prepcaltrack.com/ATHLETICS/XC/2014/wcal_res.htm

However a look at Athletic.net only shows a dozen or so in the CCS top 100 in the 1600/3200.
Participation, yes.
Depth, yes.
Excellence, sometimes. Probably underrepresented based on the depth, as previously noted.


To the point of taking all of the talented runners. They have kids from several counties. So I don't think the complaints hold water. If you take 6 of that top 12 and spread them among the other private/public schools I don't think it would make much difference the CCS team rankings.
Yes the athlete will score some points at their local school but it takes 5 very good runners to make a good xc team.

As for recruiting. I think the majority of the Bell students attended private middle school, so WCAL is the logical next step anyway.

Anonymous said...

@4:32 If by "Jr High Feeder programs" you mean Jr High schools that encourage the sport of distance running, then yes.

Anonymous said...

Willow Glen gets as much talent if not more than anyone in CCS. There's a fantastic JH and club program at the lower lever that feeds the HS. They are destroyed a few years later. I would go to Bell or Valley Chritian too if I was supposed to go there.

Anonymous said...

The kids that Bellarmine has on their FS would do a little better than just scoring points for their local H.S. varsity team. 1 good kid can turn an entire program around. It's hard to build this culture when the top talent is always being funneled off to greener pastures. If by "encourage" you mean have track clubs that work closely with both schools, coaches, and act as a conduit, that's what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

Go check the Santa Clara county XC and track results from years past. You will see plenty of non private school kids finding their way to Bellarmine. Not the slow ones of course.

Anonymous said...

I think in general more athletic transfers occur by public schools than at Bellarmine. XC kids that go to Bell do so not for running but to go to a great school. If you live on the east side and you're an academic oriented person you choose a private school for those reasons. First, Not many choose a school for running. And certainly no one chooses to go to a school for running if the will never make varsity.

Anonymous said...

How many?
http://lynbrooksports.prepcaltrack.com/ATHLETICS/XC/2013/jh_cnty.htm

Anonymous said...

Not everyone gets an invite. 2 of 3 from last year, 2013, and all 4 previous individual XC champions.

Albert Caruana said...

From now on, any further comments for this post will require you to use your real name or your comment will be deleted. It's only fair that if you are going to make accusations, that you should use your name and stand behind what you post.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why some runners compete only in cross country, but not track? I am sure that if you were able to run well in cross country, then you may as well run track.

Anonymous said...

Some play other sports in the spring. Menlo's Lacy played lacrosse for 3 years until she finally ran track and crushed it as a senior. It's not always about ability but conflicts and not specializing.

Anonymous said...

Per the new rules this post and the two above it should be deleted.

Albert Caruana said...

Neither post nor yours were offensive.

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