Saturday, July 21, 2018

Former Scotts Valley runner Vanessa Fraser runs 15:09.62 5K

Scotts Valley '13 graduate Vanessa Fraser was a 2-time Ca state champion in cross country in Division IV. She also qualified for 3 state championships in the 3200m with 3rd place finishes at those 3 qualifying meets and 4:54.32 and 10:28.63 personal bests. She may have also been overshadowed during her high school career by Nikki Hiltz and Anna Maxwell who all ran in the SCCAL. 

Fraser continued to develop as a runner at Stanford University and was one of their top distance runners the past few seasons. 

She has continued to race well after her NCAA season ended this season and recorded a 4:09.74, 1500m PR on July 14th. Today, Fraser finished in 7th place in the women's 5K with a new PR and Stanford record 15:09.62 at the Nacht van de Atletiek in Heusden, Netherlands. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

"World Record" attempt this Thursday at the Los Gatos All-Comer meet

According to an anonymous poster below, Jeremy Kain ran 4:35.4. A pretty good time for a 13-year-old about to start high school in a month or so.
This Thursday at 6pm, Jeremy Kain (center in photo to the left) of Scotts Valley will be attempting to set another unofficial world record in the mile. Last year as a 12-year-old, Jeremy set a new record with a time of 4:36.80. You can read about his attempt last year as well as watch a video of that race at this LINK. You can also find a link to all the world age group records in that article if you are interested. 

The current record for 13-year-olds is 4:29.0 which was set by Andrew Barnett in 1969. 

This will be the 5th LGAC meet of the season. You can find results of the previous four meets at this LINK.

Also, as posted below, there is another world record holder in Northern Californis, Daniel Skandera. In fact Daniel has broken 34 world records including a 4:53.4 mile as a 10 year old. BAREFOOT! You can read more about Daniel in this LINK.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

2018 NCS Division V pre-season Cross Country rankings (Boys)

With the divisional changes that took place two seasons ago, Division V will still have the majority of the teams under the past cutoff of 500 (only seven teams are above that number). Although the top end of this division now goes up to 600, the top teams will remain the usual suspects who compete for the state qualifying spots year after year.

During the 2017 season, SF University proved to not only be the best boys' Division V team in BCL and NCS but in the entire state. At the California state XC meet, University won their first boys' state championship in school history. They had podiumed 7 times before under the tutelage of former coach Jim Tracy with two 2nd place finishes and five 3rd place finishes.

This season, University will be favored to win their 2nd straight section title. University has won 12 section Division V titles and 16 section titles overall. Should they win their 17th section title, that amount would tie them with De La Salle for the most NCS titles in cross country.

University will be led by two strong juniors in Charlie Kennedy (1:56.26/4:24.23) and Clay Mills (4:35.5/9:56.11). They graduated two seniors from last year's top five but have plenty of back up with Ezra Parkhill (4:39.96/9:59.78) and three runners who all ran faster than 4:50 in the 1600m (Nick Pantelick, Colin Cooper, and Chase Leffers).

The next three best teams seem to be very similar and could all be competing for 2nd place. St. Joseph Notre Dame missed making the state meet for the first time since 2008. They return their entire lineup from last year's team and will be led by super talented junior, Zavier Annis (6th at NCS). Annis was also a sprinter during the Track and Field season with 11.29, 22.49 and 20'3.75" personal bests. Quite a combination of endurance and speed.

College Prep has been another strong program in this division and will contend here once again. They will be led by the duo of Jacob Lehmann Duke (4:41.31/9:57.53) and Kabir Bhansali (4:40.43/9:57.66). Lick-Wilmerding finished in 3rd place at the state meet last year but will be in rebuild mode this coming season. They will have one of the top runners in this division with Nick Harris (1:59.89/4:24.34/9:56.60) and always have a lot of depth.

The battle for the 5th and final qualifying spot for the state meet should be a very competitive one considering there were 26 complete teams at last year's section final. One of the teams that will be in contention will be Rincon Valley Christian. They finished in 14th place last year but the entire team returns and they were very impressive during this past Track and Field season. They will also be led by coach Harry Skandera who used to coach Santa Rosa Christian before the school closed it's doors in 2011.

The rest of the contenders will include Marin Academy, Convent & Stuart Hall, and Head-Royce.  All three teams took a bit of a hit with graduating seniors so they will need their younger runners to step it up this coming season. Marin Academy has one of the top runners in Rob Hudson and returns two additional runners from their varsity team last year. Convent & Stuart Hall also returns three runners, finished in 4th place last year and have been in the top 10 the last three years. Head-Royce is another program on the rise which finished in 9th place last year. They return 5 runners from last year's team and could be a factor in November.

The race for the individual title may be not quite as wide open as last year. Andre Williams of Sonoma Academy is the top returner and will be slightly favored to win his first section title over Nick Harris of Lick-Wilmerding. Keeping them honest will be the University duo of Charlie Kennedy and Clay Mills as well as Marin Academy junior Rob Hudson. College Prep's Jacob Lehmann-Duke and Kabir Bhansali both broke 10 minutes for 3200m. on the track and could be in the mix as well. Zavier Annis of St. Joseph Notre Dame could be another dangerous runner considering the speed he displayed during this past track and field season.

Division V Boys (Top 5 Advance to State)
1) University-Defending state champions are the best team returning.
2) St. Joseph ND-They missed making the state meet last year but could finish as high as 2nd.
3) College Prep-Another solid top 3 level team 
4) Lick-Wilmerding-Last title before last year was Division III in 1989. Poised now for back to back.
5) Rincon Valley Christian-Finished in 14th place last year and will finish much higher this year.
On the bubble: Head RoyceMarin AcademyStuart Hall

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2016 NCS meet time:

Andre Williams (3) Kelseyville 15:44.8
Charlie Kennedy (5) SF University 15:53.8
Zavier Annis (6) St. Joseph Notre Dame 15:54.1
Clay Mills (8) SF University 15:56.0
Rob Hudson (10 Marin Academy 16:12.9

Which four students would be on the Mount Rushmore at your school for XC and/or TF?

Moving this back to the top. Let's add more teams and individuals in the comment section below. 
There are lots of these kinds of lists so why not one for Northern California Cross Country and Track and Field? In the comment section below, name the four students/athletes that stand above the rest in your school's history in both XC and TF. You can name four students for each sport or four students for both sports. These lists will be co-ed which will definitely make it the best of the best. Thank you in advance for your nominations. 

Who else? Who are the all-time greats from your school?

George Washington-SF
John Pettus 100-200
Ernie Provost 100-200
Ollie Matson 100-200
Willie Eshman 1600

Miramonte High School:
Dixon Farmer Sprints/Hurdles
Adam McAboy 1600/3200
Marilyn Davis Distance
George Coon 800

You can view the rest of the teams if you click the headline above...

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Northern California state podium teams over past 5 years

2013 (7)
Division I Girls-Davis SJS (2nd)
Division III Girls-Campolindo NCS (1st)
Division IV Boys-Yreka NS (1st)
Division IV Girls-San Lorenzo Valley CCS (1st)
Division V Boys-St. Joseph Notre Dame NCS (1st)
Division V Boys-Marin Academy NCS (2nd)
Division V Girls-Branson NCS (1st)

2014 (7)
Division I Girls-Bella Vista SJS (2nd)
Division I Girls-St. Francis, Sacramento SJS (3rd)
Division III Girls-Campolindo SJS (2nd)
Division IV Boys-King City CCS (2nd)
Division IV Boys-Scotts Valley CCS (3rd)
Division V Boys-St. Joseph Notre Dame NCS (2nd)
Division V Girls-Sonoma Academy NCS (3rd)

2015 (7)
Division I Boys-Jesuit SJS (3rd)
Division I Girls-Davis SJS (2nd)
Division II Girls-Bella Vista SJS (2nd)
Division III Girls-Aptos CCS (1st)
Division IV Girls-Santa Cruz CCS (2nd)
Division V Boys-Marin Academy NCS (2nd)
Division V Girls-St. Joseph Notre Dame NCS (2nd)

2016 (4)
Division I Girls-Davis SJS (2nd)
Division III Boys-Campolindo NCS (3rd)
Division III Girls-Aptos CCS (3rd)
Division V Girls-Nueva CCS (3rd)

2017 (10)
Division II Boys-St. Francis, Mt. View CCS (1st)
Division II Boys-Dublin NCS (2nd)
Division II Girls-Granada NCS (3rd)
Division III Girls-Campolindo NCS (1st)
Division III Girls-Vista del Lago SJS (2nd)
Division IV Boys-Sir Francis Drake NCS (2nd)
Division V Boys-University NCS (1st)
Division V Boys-Lick-Wilmerding NCS (3rd)
Division V Girls-University NCS (2nd)
Division V Girls-Lick-Wilmerding NCS (3rd)

Total Count:
North Coast Section-17
Sac-Joaquin Section-9
Central Coast Section-8
Northern Section-1

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

2018 NCS Division V pre-season Cross Country rankings (Girls)

This division has been the most successful division for NCS at the California state meet since the addition to a 5th division in 1996. The girls have been especially potent at the state meet led by the incredible run of state meet titles by San Francisco University. Last year, NCS placed three teams in the top ten led by SF University and Lick-Wilmerding who both placed on the podium with 2nd and 3rd place finishes respectively (St. Joseph Notre Dame finished in 7th place). With the great depth of teams, six girls teams qualify to the state meet from NCS which is the most of any division in the section as well as any other section outside of the Southern Section.

Lick-Wilmerding won last year's section race by the thinnest of margins as they defeated SF University by the 6th man tie-breaker. This was after University defeated L-W 31 to 35 at their league final in their previous race. At the state meet, University finished with 120 for 2nd place while L-W scored 128 for 3rd. Two very evenly matched teams.

This year, L-W will be the slight favorites over their league, section and state rivals, University. They return their entire varsity team and will have the best one/two punch of any teams in this division (Maya Lacamp-2:17.09/5:10.94 and Mira Terdiman-5:18.66/11:46.04). L-W is also one of the largest competitive schools in this division and usually has very competitive JV teams. Considering their top two runners as well as their depth, they will be slight favorites at this point.

Just like last year, the SF University girls will challenge L-W and they could very easily be considered co-favorites. Last season, they just missed winning their first section title since 2012 but they more than made up for that with a second place finish at the state meet. University graduated their top runner Claire Jackson as well as their fourth runner Christina Howard and will be led by Eileen Gu (5:31.98/11:55.88) and Ella Shenkar (5:29.00/11:52.59).

The next best two best teams should be St. Joseph Notre Dame and Marin Academy. SJND won the section titles in 2015 and 2016 and finished in 3rd place last year. They will be led by one of the best runners in the state in this division in senior Emily Perez (2:17.74/4:57.94/10:44.94). They will also return the majority of their varsity from last year. Marin Academy finished in 6th place last year and could potentially move up with a strong returning group as well as a strong freshman class. They will be led by Sierra Cameron (14th at NCS).

The next group of teams that could potentially contend for state qualifying spots will include Branson, Head Royce, Athenian and College Prep. Branson will be led by one of the top runners in the section, Callie Jones (5:07.67/11:16.62). Head Royce qualified to the state meet last year with a 4th place finish and seems to be a program built for the long run. Athenian runners had solid spring seasons and appear to be in contention as well. Athenian and College Prep are two more BCL East teams that will be in the mix as well.

The race for the individual title should be between two runners. Emily Perez is the defending individual section champion and finished 2nd in the state behind 3-time champion Riley Bowen of Sonoma Academy. Now that Healdsburg has dropped down to Division V, senior Gabrielle Peterson will now contend for a section title in a new division. Last year, Peterson won the Division IV section title and had a breakthrough track and field season with 2:18.62, 4:48.91 and 10:34.44 personal bests. Callie Jones of Branson is within reach of the top two runners and may be able to close the gap during the upcoming cross country season.

Division V Girls (Top 6 Advance to State)
1) Lick-Wilmerding-One of the largest and most consistent NCS Division V teams.
2) University-2nd at NCS and state in 2017.
3) St. Joseph ND-Seems to be firmly positioned for a top 4 finish.
4) Marin Academy-Word is a strong freshman class could make this team more formidable.
5) Branson-Very strong top runner who will need help to qualify to state meet.
6) Head-Royce-Another program on the rise looking to qualify for 2nd straight state meet.
On the bubble: AthenianCollege PrepConventUrban

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2017 NCS meet time:

Emily Perez (1) St. Joseph Notre Dame 17:43.20
Callie Jones (4) Branson 18:06.70
Mira Terdiman (9) Lick-Wilmerding 18:46.10
Maya Lacamp (10) Lick-Wilmerding 19:06.50
Eileen Gu (11) San Francisco University 19:20.20

The boys' pre-season rankings will be posted next. Comments? Do you know of impact freshmen that will attend at any of the above schools? Feel free to chime in the comment section below.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Donation to Cross Country Express Site

If you have enjoyed all the Track and field coverage this past season, a kind donation would be appreciated.  You can do so with the link to the right.  If you don't do online payments, you can email me at and I will send you an address where you can send a check.

This site will remain a free service but as you know, a lot of time and effort goes into the maintenance of this website.

Thank you very much to those of you that have already donated.  If I haven't done so already, you will hear from me in appreciation.

2018 Sentinel Girls Athlete of the Year: Santa Cruz High’s Mari Friedman

2018 Sentinel Girls Athlete of the Year: Santa Cruz High’s Mari Friedman broke several records, won countless awards and is ‘one of the best to ever come out of this area’

You can check out the article at this LINK.

2018 Pre-Season Northern California Top 10 Cross Country Runners (Boys and Girls)

1) Liam Anderson Redwood (NCS) Senior
2) Matt Strangio Jesuit (SJS) Junior
3) Owen MacKenzie Los Altos (CCS) Senior
4) Colton Colonna St. Francis, Mt. View (CCS) Senior
5) Damian King Bella Vista (SJS) Senior
6) Christopher Middleton-Pearson Dublin (NCS) Junior
7) Connor Livingston De La Salle (NCS) Senior
8) Eric Eng St. Francis, Mt. View (CCS) Senior
9) Loic Scamparin Dublin (NCS) Senior
10) Henry Saul Palo Alto (CCS) Senior

1) Caroline Garrett Oakland Technical (OAK) Senior
2) Colleen McCandless Granada (NCS) Senior
3) Emily Perez St. Joseph Notre Dame (NCS) Senior
4) Gabrielle Peterson Healdsburg (NCS) Senior
5) Kalea Bartolotto Granada (NCS) Senior
6) Kelli Wilson Monte Vista (NCS) Junior
7) Quinn Hagerman Merced (SJS) Senior
8) Rayna Stanziano Concord (NCS) Senior
9) Anna Mokkapati The King's Academy (CCS) Junior
10) Sophia Lodigiani Davis (SJS) Senior

It's tough to narrow it down to just 10 runners so if you feel there are other runners that should also be considered, please add their names and accomplishments in the comment section below. If you feel the order should be different above, please feel free to add your own top 10 below as well. Are there any incoming freshmen that could make either of the above lists? 

You can check out the top 10 teams (boys and girls) at this LINK.

Friday, July 13, 2018

New head XC and TF coach at Gunn HS (CCS)

Now that PattiSue Plumer (right) has moved to the University of Texas, HS 800m record holder Michael Granville (below) has been named the new head coach of both the XC and TF teams at Gunn HS. He was an assistant coach for both programs at Palo Alto HS the past two years. You can check out the Palo Alto Online article detailing the hire HERE.

Some of us were lucky enough to be in the stands when Granville broke the hs record at the 1996 State meet trials. The time of 1:46.45 stands to this day.

You can check out my interview with him from a few years ago at this LINK.

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