Wednesday, November 04, 2015

WCAL Meet Preview courtesy of John Rankr

League Week Continues… Viva WCAL!

WCAL Live Results

First though, my pre-prediction rant:
Lynbrook’s Justin Robinson had a statement race running the Crystal Springs course in 14:59.2 yesterday. With today’s technology of chip timing we should measure to the nearest tenth. Instead it rounds up to 15:00 where it will sit in the record books as such. I know it is “the way it has always been” but not too long ago we also did hand timing in track. But as technology improves so should the accuracy of measurement. Cross Country is more about place, I get it. Courses change, I get that too. But I also get that 14:59 sounds a whole lot better than 15:00. #SaveJustin’sSub15

BOYS:
The smallest of all the league competitions to hit Crystal Springs this week also has some of the heaviest hitters. The Bellarmine juggernaut will continue to steam roll this league and the rest of CCS. The only criticism anyone can ever come up with is they have not won the state meet. In D1. In California. The fact that this division sends multiple teams to the national championship every year I think they are doing just fine.

Seriously though, how deep is this league? We very well could see multiple runners from multiple teams run in the 15’s in the JV and Frosh-Soph races. That is insane to me. But lets talk about something more interesting: the Saint Ignatius vs. Saint Francis feud. This race matters to these programs and I absolutely love it. League is a different beast for these teams than CCS. In this league with 8 teams just 56 runners toe the line, so points are at a premium. Lets start with Saint Francis. They have depth, to emphasize such their 8 & 9 guy ran 16:15 and 16:25 this year at Crystal. But only five guys score and that is where SI has a slight advantage. SI dominated in WCAL #1, looked beatable in WCAL #2. As debated here earlier *if* Olivero ran at WCAL #2 Saint Francis *might* have won. No matter where you stand on that debate it will be settled today and then a redux at CCS.

Individual Pic: Xander Olivero (Saint Francis)
Team Prediction: Bellarmine 
SF vs SI: Saint Francis 

GIRLS:
In my WCAL #2 Preview I called it a dual meet. And outside of a few sprinklings from other teams this holds true again. WCAL #1 went to Mitty by a few points. Saint Francis got the one point win in WCAL #2. So roll the dice on this one. Both teams are good. Both programs take pride in winning the league title. This is so close that it very well could be decided by how the “others” do. What do I mean? Seven of the top 10 were from these two teams. Where athletes from other teams place in the top 10 could be the one or two points that separates these two. Regardless of the outcome they get to go at it again at CCS. How can you not love this sport?

Individual Pic: Julia Lemak (Mitty)
Team Prediction: Mitty (I literally flipped a coin)
Dark Horse: Jackie Fonti (Sacred Heart)

90 comments:

Hank said...

Each timer and/or League decides how to time an event. The SCVAL chooses to time to the tenth of a second for we have found that it can mean the difference between hitting the team At-Large standard and going on to CCS or missing it and staying home. As the timer, I myself like timing to the tenth and reporting it as such. Also as the keeper of the Crystal Springs all-time list, I choose to report the marks as they were officially recorded and not to change any of their values (rounding up, truncating, whatever the flavor of the year was). So, with that being said, Robison's (not Robinson) time will be going down in the books as 14:59.2 (not 15:00), just so you know.

hank

Anonymous said...

Call me cynical, but I am less impressed by private schools that have a bunch of top runners. Bellarmine has 150 runners in their program (150!!!) and as has been suggested and implied many times on here before, they are handpicking some of the fastest middle schoolers to be a part of their program.

To a lesser degree, the same goes for SI and SF. I've never understood how it's a level playing field when you're comparing private schools that focus on athletics vs. public schools that basically are limited to students they can get. Sure, you could argue that in some districts, students can choose to attend a certain school, but it's still far limited in terms of pulling from all over the Bay Area like Bellarmine, SF and SI do.

For that reason, I'm much more impressed with NorCal teams like Davis, Willow Glen, Bella Vista, Campolindo, etc. than I am with Jesuit, Bellarmine, SI, SF, Mitty, etc.

Chip on the Shoulder said...

15:52>15:57

Albert Caruana said...

I have said this before but you are mistaken if you think private schools are going around hand picking runners for their school. First of all, that is illegal. There is no student/runner, no matter how good, that is worth losing your good name and reputation. Second of all, you are assuming that the admission office at said schools are going to fill their freshman class with runners. Think how many programs are at every school and how many students are required to fill out those programs. XC and TF teams are just a small part of a school. Third, those students (families) have to accept a school's admission and be able to afford these private schools.

There is no question that different sports programs do get a reputation and their success does attract top notch athletes. That is different than "handpicking" or recruiting. I don't think anybody can argue that private schools don't have an advantage when it comes to attracting better athletes. They are drawing from a larger area than public schools.

Lastly, I think that the key to good programs are the coaches. All the teams you mentioned have had the same coaches in place for many years. That gives those programs stability which attracts incoming talent.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to St. Francis Varsity Girls! WCAL Champions. Congrats also to St. Francis Varsity Boys for beating SI!

Albert Caruana said...

Obviously congratulations to the St. Francis girls and Bellarmine boys. Both hard earned victories in a tough league. Very nice victory and time for Julia Lemak of Mitty. She had some very tough races last year and has had an outstanding senior season. The St. Francis boys had a 6.7 second 1-5 gap with a freshman leading the way.

Anonymous said...

Did the SF freshman do enough for the Buster Posey award or do we have to wait for CCS to make the final determination?

Anonymous said...

What about Bell Freshman who ran 16:17? Or sophomore who won Varsity?

Why not mention that top 5 Varsity Bells went under 15:40? What other team has done that?

Anonymous said...

Umm 16:17 is slower than 15:48...

Anonymous said...

Ross is great and will have an impact on the Bells in the near future. A D1 team going under 15:40 (didn't bother to verify) is very good but not unexpected. M B-R winning the varsity race as a sophmore is simply amazing. But even he did not run 15:48 at CS as a freshman like the SF kid did today. Props to everyone for working hard and killing it at the WCAL!

Anonymous said...

No doubt M B-R's win is huge, great kid too. But again the course was fast, really really fast...if conditions stay the same you'll see some HUGE times at CCS Finals in a week and a half. Also FR Colton Colonna is legit regardless. Running 15:48 isn't something to shrug about. Another great kid who has always worked hard since Middle School. We should celebrate such an amazing talent in our local schools!

Anonymous said...

Albert, I hear you on the private schools not officially recruiting, etc... But you can't tell me it's pure coincidence that the incoming freshmen happen to be the fastest in the section.

Regardless, I just wish the private schools had their own division in CIF...

Anonymous said...

Remember, only 20% of non Catholics get into Bellarmine too. I've notice that that percentage is much much higher for kids who run sub 5:00 for 1600 in 8th grade. Albert is in denial. They may not do things that are blatantly illegal, but once again, they have coaches and parents in place at the Jr. High, and clubs that get the job done for them. I guess if you want o run 16:02, and be JV your whole career that's your choice.

Anonymous said...

Bellarmine definitely does NOT recruit runners. The two top Varsity runners yesterday and 3 out of the top 5 NEVER ran before Freshman year. Attribute it to a great program and great coaching.

Sal said...

At SF, 3 of the top 7 didn't even run their freshman year, and 1 ran 23:40 at toro. The only one that ran at a high level in middle school is the current freshman. If the SF coaches are recruiting, then they are doing a really bad job of it. What is really happening is that they are recognizing and developing the talent they have. Lots of kids go to Bell, SI, SF or other schools thinking they are going to play football, soccer, baseball, etc. and find that they are just not good enough. They turn to running because they ran a lot on the field and are pretty fast. Some find out that, with a lot of hard work, they can get good and make a mark in XC. Good coaches develop these ball sport kids over a few years to become great runners with the desire to win. The SI vs SF "feud" this year is aresult of a lot of good runners with a football player mentality, on both sides. This should be celebrated and not played off like these are a bunch of recruited athletes that somehow got more advantages because they chose to go to a private school.

Anonymous said...

@10:51 - Correct, it's not a coincidence, are you surprised that the most talented kids want to go to the best schools? Visit the campuses of some of the private schools mentioned above and you'll see why these kids make this decisions they do. Face it, it's the kids handpicking the better schools, not the other way around...

Anonymous said...

Way more impressed with WG, but you're right. It's absolutely amazing what the private schools are doing with so little athletic talent and so few of the top county runners.

Anonymous said...

How is shadowing, and touring facilities not recruiting?

Anonymous said...

How is having a JO coach who works within the Catholic school system, and facilitates the enrollment process for top club runners not recruiting?

Anonymous said...

Kids shadow at public schools too. Also, most of the public school facilities in the Bay Area have better facilities than some of the private schools, especially regulation tracks bought and paid for by the taxpayers. What are we arguing about here? Why can't we talk about great running on a running blog. Maybe, to take out the raw emotion of the private vs public debate, we should limit our discussions to individuals instead of teams. At least until a few of us get over our bias or jealousy at the scourge of non-existant recruiting. 5:30 and 5:56 made very compelling cases but instead of addressing those thoughts, the comments turn back to imagined recruiting devices like shadowing at a facility that a 14-year-old kid would spend 4 of the most important years of their young lives. GET OVER IT!

Albert Caruana said...

I have coached in CCS and NCS and I can tell you that this is primarily a CCS issue. Most of the top programs in NCS are public and you never hear people griping about the advantages of private schools. You can choose to complain about other schools or you can make it happen at your school. I know there are plenty of successful public schools in CCS who have chosen that path and have been very successful for many years.

Anonymous said...

The kids are certainly choosing the private schools but for many different reasons.

Bellarmine is not seeking out these atheletes. The athletes want to run for a successful program. The club runners that joined Bell are all south bay kids. Likewise most of them of that club's runners are running for their plublic schools, Branham, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Lynbrook, Monta Vista, Homestead and doing very well there.

It probably has as much to do with location than anything as much as it did with following their teammates.
BCP is centrally located in the south bay by major highways and train stations.
AM is in a great location on an expressway.
SF is pretty tucked away in and expensive area. (probably only works if you live nearby)
VC is up on a hill with one road in and out for crying out loud.

And some families would prefer a college prep environment to their student/athelete. 90%+ go on to a 4yr college.

Let's face it for some public schools, XC is an afterthought. If you're a promising distance runner and your local school has no sub5 M/sub6 F runners. Maybe its better to look around.

I commend Willow Glen (Victor), Los Gatos (Matt, Brad), Homestead (Sealy),Leland (the sharp dressed man at Quicksilver), Lynbrook, Westmont and Cupertino. These are some of the south bay public school coaches I've seen working their butts off for their kids.

These coaches are doing it right. They are out at the local trails, beach trips, and traveling invitational/road trips. They are making it fun for the kids, not just running up and down the neighborhood sidewalks. (If you're one of the sidewalk coaches and you've never taken your kids beyond a dual meet. Quit now!) Let someone else have a try.

If more of the public schools were doing this, we'd be spending more time praising the kids instead of bashing the schools.

Anonymous said...

@8:48am - great comments.

One thing I've heard on this board that I vehemently disagree with is that "great coaching" can turn a kid who has never run before into a sub 16:00 runner at Crystal Springs his freshman year. Please. You can't tell me that BCP's or SF's coaches are so superior that they get non-runners to all of the sudden be superstars overnight. That is such an arrogant statement. And taking "football players" and turning them into star runners... that's very rare.

Albert Caruana said...

I don't think anybody is saying that. Colton Colonna ran 2:07.10 and a sub 4:50 mile. He was a very good runner in MS and 15:48 on the Crystal Springs course is spectacular for a freshman.

The other part is that there are students who have running talent but might be out for other sports. Some of them don't get playing time or don't make the cut and end up turning to cross country and track where they discover their real talent.

I think both BCP and SF have excellent coaches along with great team culture and expectations. Kids thrive in such environments if they are willing to fully commit and work hard.

Anonymous said...

Albert is correct about what was said in regard to developing kids that came from other sports. That's why Sal @5:56 said "Good coaches develop these ball sport kids over a few years to become great runners..." Over a few years, not "overnight" and certainly not in their freshman year. Point/Counterpoint arguments have to be factual about what has been said by others or it just turns into a rant.

Anonymous said...

Making kids faster at running is not an incredible hard formula. One thing that greatly impacts team success is an increased talent pool. I think that's why we have divisions. The private schools have an unlimited amount of athletic talent. It doesn't matter if they're former soccer players, or kids who ran 4:59 in 6th grade. One of the main reasons XC is an after thought at most schools is because the competition is so unfair, and you must have the approval of the clubs if you are to be allowed to coach a gifted child. Most of the public schools named above either have their own clubs, so they can train year round, or have coaches who are affiliated with the clubs. The devide has grown way too big. There will only be the private schools, and a few public programs from here on out. Great for the most talented kids, but bad for the sport. Some think the JV race at WCAL shouldn't be stronger than a 24 team league that encompasses most of the city of San Jose.

Anonymous said...

Your right the formula is pretty simple. So are running clubs and groups is pretty simple. We're not talking about hockey or football. I know two clubs. One is free and the other is only $100. Kids spend more than that to get the latest smartphone.

So start a running group in your community. It's a grass roots effort.
Tell your local the middle school coaches and PE teachers about it. They know which of their students have potential.

Just make it a fitness thing. You don't have to compete. Have a weekly easy fun run for the kids. That shouldn't cost you or them anything but time.
Most parents would be thrilled to have their kids away from the electronics on weekends.

Run at the busiest park or trail you can find. It will catch on.
You'll find a few stars that will feed right to your local high school.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the typos. I'm in a rush.

Anonymous said...

Just one datapoint for thought:

Having a child who is a varsity runner for a highly ranked XC team at a CCS private school: There was absolutely no recruiting of my child and no contact with any coach, other than when my child as an 8th grader approached and briefly spoke with a coach at an open house at the high school.

I know the coach was aware of my child, because once my child's freshman year started, the coach tracked my child down to make sure my child was planning to go out for the XC team...

Anonymous said...

Who is writing this stuff? Have you tried to get to Mitty in the morning? It takes 90 min for my friends child to go 10 miles. Bell in downtown traffic is just as bad. So let's not pretend convenience is a reason kids go to these schools.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

How about we get rid of the recruiting rules for the public schools to level the playing field, or the Privates can just have their WCAL and be done after that meet. I know many and old coach who would say let them do whatever they want, but we shouldn't have to compete against them.

Anonymous said...

Cry me a river. My kid has never gone to a public school and never will. That means I pay for your school and theirs. If they are good enough to compete, what is the difference if they attend a Marxist school or if I send them to a socialist one?

Anonymous said...

@5:07 my point was somewhat lost. Bell and Mitty are relatively accessible private school choices if you live in the south bay. Traffic is a mess everywhere.

I know kids are coming from other counties to attend some of these school. I seriously doubt they are doing just for a sports program.

Without getting political about it, yes, we pay twice.

Anonymous said...

Your choice. We know you guys won't show up as soon is its not important to you anyway, or you don't need the public schools to use as fodder to pump up your superior programs. Just Serra like in Football.

Anonymous said...

Look, let's remember that the vast majority of kids don't make the decision of where they go to high school based on cross country! Most of these kids choose to go to private schools because they are better schools in general, going beyond just athletics. The reason why there is so much talent at schools like Bellarmine, SF, and SI is because those coaches do an excellent job developing the talent they have, as has been stated by several commenters above. I get that you're upset about always losing to WCAL schools, but blaming it on "recruiting" sounds like an excuse to me. Suggesting that WCAL schools shouldn't get to go to CCS is absolutely ridiculous, it's not these schools fault that they're so much better than public schools, and they shouldn't be punished for their successes.

Anonymous said...

On the contrary. I'm going to smoke the WCAL schools in my division. Public school programs shouldn't be punished because we can't draw talent from where ever we want. You need us. We don't need you.

Anonymous said...

Punishing success is what Marxists do. Let them complain and pass legislation to prohibit the evil private schools from ruining their perfect idea of what society can be without competition. Solve that puzzle and pass out the participation trophies.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:21 You personally? Maybe. Your team? Lol no.

I can't wait to see the WCAL teams wipe the floor with the public schools next weekend

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see all the WCAL kids sitting on their butts next spring cause they can't hit that auto mark in track. Cry me a river.

Anonymous said...

That will be dealt with next spring. For now, just remember to clap when the WCAL schools get called up to collect their first place trophies at the awards presentations. Maybe next year public schools... (But probably not)

Anonymous said...

Here's why kids choose local private schools.

Bellarmine is steeped in legacy parents. Tradition, strong academics and it has been around forever. It's basically a fraternity.

Presentation, because you are afraid your daughter will get pregnant.

Saint Francis, because you drink the cool aid after attending an open house. They say they are the best so they must be right?

Mitty, because you have so much money you can pay for a public education.

Valley Christian, because it's a million dollar view and you got rejected to Bellarmine

Saint Ignatius, tradition, legacy parents and because you live in the rich area of San Francisco.

Sacred Heart, because you live in the city.

Riordan, because it was once an academic powerhouse and maybe colleges think it still is.

Serra, because Barry Bonds and Tom Brady went here. Who says cheaters never prosper.

And one non WCAL for fun:
Harker, because you don't want your kids around the inferior middle class.

Anonymous said...

Make the auto mark and go to CCS, don't and you go home. Even a Marxist can't complain about that. The fact that many WCAL kids, who are better than their public school rivals, will not get to CCS because the completion is too good actually argues for more kids to go to the inferior public schools if that is all they care about. Maybe inferior teachers and Marxist ideology has something more to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Teachers in private schools are not as good as public school teachers. Yes there are some bad ones just due to sheer volume but 9 out of 10 private teachers aren't employable in the public school system.

Anonymous said...

I must say that the comment at 8:45 is pretty funny - even though my kid attends one of the schools in the list!

Anonymous said...

Why you attend a public school over a private school barring financial reasons:

Better academics? No
Nicer campus? No
Athletics maybe? Hahaha
More successful future? Not really...

Hmm wait what category are public schools better than private schools in?

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Bellarmine isn't the school who's won D1 7 of the last 10 years. If you wanna run 16:10 at Crystal, and be JV, well then I guess it's better.

Anonymous said...

that's a joke, right? Passing the trash and protecting sexual predators at a much greater rate the the Catholic Church is the hallmark of public schools. If you can't pass a background check, you can't teach my kid.

Anonymous said...

- 9:04 certainly not cross country..

Sal said...

Ok. Enough of this, who wins the D2 CCS crown - SI, SF,or WG? Is that the best race of the day?

Albert Caruana said...

I go out to eat dinner and come back to this...good thing there was a break from racing today. Let's all take a deep breath people.

Albert Caruana said...

St. Francis has to be the favorite. They had a crazy 6.7 1-5 gap at the WCAL meet with their #1 runner not having his best race.

Anonymous said...

Riordan, V.C., or Saratoga?

Anonymous said...

Where are the public schools better?

Community. Something the Bay Area has lost completely.

Diversity. How many Latinos are represented on these campuses compared to the local demographic. How many African Americans that aren't football, volleyball or basketball?

Educational services. Private schools do not have resources to help struggling students or lower achieving demographics.

Toughness. In general private kids are sheltered. Their parents keep them from any kind of adversity.

Just a few ways for you.

Anonymous said...

D2 SF, WG, SI

D3 Saratoga, Riordan, Aptos.

Albert Caruana said...

From league finals

Saratoga
15:53
16:08
16:17
16:58
17:24

Riordan
16:02
16:08
16:15
17:14
17:38

Valley Christian
16:17
16:29
16:47
16:59
17:24

Aptos (Crystal Springs time converted from Pinto Lake)
16:35
16:37
16:53
17:19
17:21

Anonymous said...

@ 9:27 All of your points are completely wrong. All of the WCAL schools have terrific communities, educational services, and diversity.

I think the "tougher" public school kids are going to get another lesson in dealing with adversity next Saturday

Albert Caruana said...

I think there are a lot of misconceptions and generalizations about private schools.

Fortunately, at CCS, all schools will step to the starting line and when the gun is fired, it doesn't matter what school you attend. It's all about who can get to the finish line the fastest. Lastly, in our sport, you also see a lot of great sportsmanship as the runners understand the kind of hard work that goes into the sport.

Anonymous said...

But the Marxist want to make it "fair" by letting the public schools start at the bottom of the first hill. Everyone is equal, only some people are more equal than others!

Anonymous said...

This comment section makes me glad to not go to a school that is in CCS. I wouldn't be able to deal with all these crazy parents. It's unbelievable how insane this comment section is getting. Get a grip. It is high school XC for sake.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:40. Blah, Blah, Blah. Call me when someone in the WCAL can run sub 15:20.

Anonymous said...

@9:51
What are you talking about? This is the best comment section ever. Its a trainwreck. Its like watching the late seasons of Friday Night Lights

Unknown said...

Hahaha all you guys are hilarious!

Anonymous said...

@ 9:40 Two WCAL runners ran 15:23 and 15:27. Assuming these kids have good races, I might be calling you right after CCS.

Anonymous said...

All that talent, and maybe in a week someone will break 15:20? That's the best you guys got. Every county champ for 4 straight years is at Bellarmine now. How come the SCVAL kids can run sub 15:10? I'll bet Sitler is the only WCAL kid with a top 25 time at Crystal the past 10 years. The insecure kids get sucked into being part of the big program. The best of the best like Sum, Ho, Abdalla, Vasques, Estaphanos, Rowe, Roberson all know they are the best, and don't need to pay people to tell them they are. The pool is too big, and the great fish don't get the special treatment they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Okay, let's get out all the crazy. I thought we were arguing that all the good kids go to the private schools and that's not fair, but apparently we are now arguing that none of the kids in the WCAL are good enough. Both points are not correct and that is why this argument will never be settled. Kids go to school where their parents live or where they can afford to go. Maybe XC has something to do with their choice but isn't that a good thing? Choice is good. And the choice of the good kids to go to a private school should force the public schools to hire better coaches (and they have as is listed in one of the posts above). This is the ebb and flow of life. Choice (an open market) and the ability to choose not to go to the public school (which otherwise has a monopoly) makes all of the programs better. So, let's agree to disagree on a kid's ability to choose where they go to school, but let's agree that this area has great runners and great coaches and the programs have been made better by the competition. I would also ask Albert to keep this blog near the top so that we can have a place to argue about the public vs private thing and not have it infect every comment section, no matter what the original post. It gets tiresome.

Albert Caruana said...

Most of the top teams in the state, especially in the upper divisions, are public schools. Great Oak, Dana Hills, Saugus, Arcadia, Brea Olinda, Palos Verdes etc. Big enrollments plus good coaching = very fast teams.

DW said...

I am a D1 public school varsity runner in NCS... and all I can say is I'm happy I'm not in CCS. I've never heard an athlete I've raced speak the way the people on this blog have.
On the public vs. private debate, Fiona O'Keefe, Cate Ratliff, and Brooke Starn all go to public schools, and they have most of the fastest times in the state. You cannot leave out cold-hard facts from your debate simply because they do not help you.
From an athlete's prospective, I am deeply disappointed in what I read on this forum sometimes. We run because it's fun, there's friendly competition, and keeps us healthy. Yes, it's also about being the best runner you can be, but it's also about being the best person you can be. I don't see that here. Maybe that's because these are not the actual athletes writing such horrible things - with the anonymous option, we will never know.
Perhaps because I'm a girl and from NCS my comment does not apply to the argument, but I felt an athlete's voice needed to be heard. Also, if anyone wants to discount my comment because I go to a public school, in just a few days I will be signing with a D1 college with a full-ride to run. That school is also public. Please do not discount someone's program simply because the school does not ask for a tuition. I know mine has helped me to reach my goals.

Sal said...

I bet that none of the comments about public vs. private is from the athletes. They come from jealous people that can't stand the fact that kids have a choice. This thread has been building for some time and it is good that we are having it out in a raw and often crazy way. Nobody gets recruited or gets a scholarship to run in HS. Period. If you have evidence about a specific program or athlete, either call them out here or go to the CIF. If not, please spare us all the histrionics so we can talk about the great performances from the last week and the ones to come.

Anonymous said...

Albert,

Can you please create a sticky topic for just this subject. They can debate it there without infecting every other topic.

You have a great site, and you're doing a great service for the NorCal running community. Personally I'm really tired of the vitriol week after week. I'm ready to take my eyeballs elsewhere.

Public & Private School Parent.

LilT said...

In all honesty, I think what's really being ignored here is the fact that excellence recruits itself. If I'm in a (socioeconomic, geographic) position to choose what school my child will attend, I'm going to give them the best possible opportunities I can. So yes, if my child is a promising cross country runner, I'm going to look at cross country programs. If school A regularly makes state meet appearances, goes to the big track meets and regularly turns 8th graders of my child's caliber into college-ready, athletes that may put it over the top of otherwise-equal school B. Is this unfair to developing programs? Maybe. Is it illegal? Certainly not.

Anonymous said...

To Sal@8:21: Exactly...Bellarmine runs 77:46 as a team, and not one person mentions that! All they want to do is vent and perpetuate rumors...their team ran 77:46! That's good...

Albert Caruana said...

This topic will only be allowed on this post. I will delete any future comments on this subject attached to other posts.

Agreed with the last comment in that "winning" programs attract future students/families with their continued success year in, year out.

Anonymous said...

Running (specifically distance running) is generally a wealthy sport. Success in high school sports, in general, requires a lot of wealth. Based soley on this, someone at a private high school (requires wealth to be there) is statistically more likely to be a distance runner. Therefore, a private school's cross country team is statistically more likely to be successful. And when you take into account a sample size as large as the CIF, you will often find that the statistics prevail.

Anonymous said...

Yes, sticky topic so we can limit the P vs. P discussion there. We can all rip each other and get nowhere but at least we can get it out in a safe space. That way, only those looking for a fight will enter and the rest of the site can be about the great sport of XC.

Albert Caruana said...

8:50am Sarcastic much?

Anonymous said...

This topic is certainly emotional, regardless of which side you're on!

For me - when I hear folks on here wanting to "celebrate" Bellarmine's amazing team time at Crystal, I find myself feeling much less impressed knowing that they're pulling from an amazingly large talent pool. Whether that's a fair thought or not, it's my logical reaction. If you have 150 boys in your program, statistics say you will have ~15 elite level runners. So OF COURSE they are going to have an amazing team. For that reason, I am shocked that BCP has never won a state title. I'm not quite sure why -- but it's amazing that they haven't excelled at the state level.

Albert Caruana said...

I would argue that Bellarmine has done quite well at the state meet and most times have exceeded the pre-meet prognostications. Division I in CA is incredibly competitive and for them to finish in the top 10 consistently is a great achievement. Lastly, to win in Division I, you need a couple of runners that can break into the top 10-20 at the state meet which as an example was 15:27 last year for top 10 (about 15:07 at CS) and 15:40 for top 20 (about 15:20 at CS).

Anonymous said...

The private schools kids work just as hard, and have just as much heart as the public school kids. I just believe that talent pool is the biggest reason for success. Stop pumping up these programs that don't ever produce top individuals, and only dominate because they benefit from an unfair advantage that most other teams can't benefit from. Bellarmine had better have a great team time. Are you kidding me? They have a BVAL/SCVAL All Star team. Give me 50 kids with a personal best of 4:50 or better for 1600 and I'll set that CCS team record. The real feat is constructing this network with the clubs and Jr. High coaches so all the talented kids get funneled into certain programs. All the while claiming nobody ever talks or recruits anyone. B.S. Everyone knows the playbook on how to skirt the rules. Just move B4 high school, or get that new family friend's address once your parents separate. Let's not act like the Peidmont Hills situation is an anomaly. SCCAL is the new hotbed for kids just appearing at schools magically. Kids aren't supposed to be moving for athletic reasons or because they might not get the right training for that scholarship. This is not what H.S. sports is about. Skirting the rules has become a way for the privileged to act like they're kids interest is more important than the next, and the clubs and private coaches are there to say "yes they are". Here's how you do it. Now pay me. If everyone was so concerned for the sport, there'd be more of a "grass routes movement" to install better coaches at the public school level. Not just move the kids who they feel deserve the proper training, or to find a program that allows them to train exclusively with their club, or on their own.

Anonymous said...

As a varsity runner from a WCAL team, I thought I might add an opinion from an actual athlete on this thread. The sport of cross country is about high school kids training as hard as they can to compete to their best of their ability in races, all while having fun in the process. The sport of cross country is also about having great coaches to guide runners to become the best they can be. And that is all it is about, the athletes and their coaches, not the parents commenting on this thread. As an athlete I can tell these comments are not originating from athletes because these subjects do not matter to them, they put aside all the politics and just compete. It is unfortunate that all these athletes, teams, and coaches are having these negative comments being directed towards them when they are just trying to enjoy a great high school running experience. Please do not continue to turn this great website into a collection of negative comments and remember the sport is about the athletes not the parents. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Well said, 10:34. Thanks for being the voice of sanity.

Anonymous said...

@10:34 Agreed. The public vs private dispute has been settled and it is over! Both have great attributes and provide the kids with excellent opportunities to succeed. Let's not speak of it again.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be so sure these comments are coming from parents. Remember there's a ton of us Marxist out here who aren't So "Rah Rah" About getting our teeth kicked in by teams that get to benefit from an unfair advantage. There are plenty of good coaches that feel this way. You say I'm jealous, and I say the system is rigged to favor a few. This message board is a nice way for people to vent. Albert usually plays peacemaker. I totally understand. This is not what his site is about.

Anonymous said...

I disagree on distance running being a wealthy sport. McFarland proved that.
Skiing, golf, Swimming, and Polo are wealthy sports. Whereas football, hockey, and baseball require some investment in gear.

Distance running is about as cheap as basketball and soccer. And very very few get wealthy distance running.

However it takes a long time to get really good. Months of preparation for a small window of peak performance. The only people watching are your relatives and teammates.

Schools need to have a culture around running. Build some excitement to attract a large enough pool of kids from which to find the stars.

The Santa Cruz schools are small but they manage to get good talent.
Aptos 1382
Santa Cruz 1147
San Lorenzo Val 719

Bellarmine should definitely do better based on their size and the work the coaches and athletes put in month after month. My best argument for them CONSISTENCY. They win League the divisions year after year. Let me pause there and say that's huge. Some of the underclassmen may never make varsity, but being part of a team that wins the freshman, or sophomore, or JV division really means something to these guys.

Continuing... Bell wins or places well at CCS year after year. Few very schools can make that claim.

Lastly they take a team to the state meet on a regular basis.

Most importantly the kids stay with the program.

Anonymous said...

please post your athletic.net profile in your comment before you criticize anyone

Anonymous said...

What about Greenfield? The town is so small they barely get a sign on 101.
Small School 964 students.
Likely under privileged or ESL. 3/10 Great Schools score. 632 API. Only 20% go to 4yr.

However they managed these rankings in CCS according to Hanks handy website referenced below.
#12 for boys, Between Gunn and Saratoga.
#14 for girls. Between Mt View and Presentation.
King City is #18 for boys.

Palo Alto, Saratoga, Mt View, Willow Glen are some most priviledged areas in the south bay and they are getting worked over by migrant worker schools. From the running perspective they are doing something right. Someone should make a movie about that.

http://lynbrooksports.prepcaltrack.com/ATHLETICS/XC/2015/ccs_pred.htm
http://www.greatschools.org/california/greenfield/3253-Greenfield-High-School/

So most of us are tired of this. Quit whining or go somewhere else.
Become a better coach, GET A BETTER ATTITUDE, coach at a different school. Better yet, give the stopwatch to someone else.

Anonymous said...

Albert,

How about an interview of the Greenfield coach(es)?

Ron Ernst said...

This thread is great! Love all the people hiding behind "Anonymous"; one of the most mature comments is from @10:34 am - a student.

Private schools with great programs are able to get the attention of the kids and this allows them to sometimes have kids attend their schools who might not otherwise. If that introduction/awareness comes from their JO Coach, club coach, family friend, XC Express, or wherever, it doesn't matter. These schools had to build their great programs, that is not an easy task. Traditionally, great programs are built by great coaches (Sorry @10:29). The schools don't need to recruit but they do have an evangelical like following, why wouldn't they when they have such a great program.

XC programs are best when you can get as many runners as possible to come out for the team. Coaches make the sport popular on campus and a fun atmosphere for the students. More runners participating allows for more pack runs, more competitive practices, and a stronger team The results do not come from a coach giving the same workout to all the kids who come out to practice that day. It takes a great deal of time, knowledge, coaching and attention.

Schools with this level of coaching do well. McCrystle (Bell), Sanataria (Willow Glen), Sealy (Homestead), Wilmurt & Hale (Menlo Atherton, White & Lawson (Lynbrook), and arguably the G.O.A.T Peanut Hamrs (El Dorado Hills-SJS) are all great coaches. They deserve their praise for building amazing programs. They do a lot to help students turn into adults. Their impact is felt far beyond the XC course or track. They often do it by themselves without the help of assistants (>70 kids:1 coach - what a ratio!).

Kids are going to go to school where their parents decide, end of story. My son runs at a public school, we love the program and would not want to trade it for anything. We have family friends with a runner on Bellarmine, they love that program (BTW, kid never ran a race in his life before HS and is now on Varsity-100% not recruited).

Next time you see a "successful" program, check out the attitude of the JV team. If they are having a blast while running 30-40 miles/week then that is a good coach and a positive environment, tip your hat to them instead of being so negative. It doesn't cost you a thing to give credit, heck, with all that positive thinking you just might end up remembering your name and being able to post it above your comment.

PS - Hank, thanks for the clarification on Robison's time. Glad he will be logged as a sub 15 guy; amazing race.

Marcos Hinojosa said...

As a former Bellarmine XC runner I am glad to see that the program I graduated from is now on the minds of many. I usually never post anything and mostly read the articles posted and sometimes venture on the comments, but I felt a need to post as to what some have posted suggests a sense of recruiting. Honestly I could care less about recruiting. If a kid can get a good education and better themselves in athletics hats off to them, but what the suggestion of recruiting does is diminish what Coach Patrick McCrystle has done with the program. He's turned Bellarmine into a consistent program which is something very hard to do considering most of the kids in that program have never run a day in their life. Yet, it's through a great coaching staff that the program succeeds. I've seen and been a part of what the program was and what it is now with the large turnout each year. I can say honestly while I was running we took great joy in our numbers and being the team to beat in our league and in some cases our section, but we learned a sense of respect for those we ran against and each time we went to state we went to go represent not only our school, but our section that was never looked at the same way the south was.

To say that a private school has an unfair advantage to a public school in the sport of cross country I think is a little unusual. I don't know what advantages I gained from running at Bellarmine in my athletic career other than phenomenal coaching. Compared to the public schools we ran the same trails, had the same type of equipment, and probably the same support we received from our school. I lost to a lot of public school teams. Some great ones. Never once did I believe we lost or should've won because of what school I went to. Rather we felt we just lost to some great runners. The only advantage/disadvantage that does occur I think is the disadvantage that all XC teams in WCAL receive due to some football rules that prevents incoming Freshman from practicing with the team during the summer. That leaves all WCAL teams with very little time to get their Freshman up to speed before their first race.

The strength of the program comes from the coach's ability to find runners out of the woodworks to come to practice day in and out and give it everything they have that given day to improve their skill. I was one of those runners who never ran a lick, but through the coaching staff was able to progress and be successful enough to continue to run after high school. So when I feel someone suggests of unfair advantages athletically within private school program just remember you diminish the hard work and dedication that many of these not only coaches but teachers put in with their respective teams, and honestly who would cheat on high school cross country.

Bing said...

Marcos - thanks for your great perspective. I sense that the general feeling is that private schools do have an unfair advantage because they can pull from a much wider area than the public schools. And yes, coaching can make a big difference and attract athletes to the school. That being said, there are plenty of great public HSXC coaches. It would be interesting to see what Victor Santamaria at Willow Glen could do with 150+ boys coming out for his cross country team.

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