Wednesday, July 26, 2006

NCS Division V Pre-Season Rankings

Division V was added to the XC State Meet in 1996 and no other girls' team has dominated NCS and State Meet competition like University HS. From 1996 to 2004, UHS won every NCS championship race and went on to the state meet to record 6 State Championships (1996-98, 2001-03) and 2 second place finishes (1999, 2000). The 6 state championships won by University are the most titles by any girl's team in any division. McFarland with 9 and Jesuit with 8 are the two leaders for the boys.

The Crystal Springs Uplands girls defeated University at the NCS meet last year to break their string of 10 consecutive NCS championships (9 in Div. V and 1 in Div. IV). CSU then ran their best race of the season at the State Meet to record a 2nd place finish behind a very strong Mt. Shasta team. The Gryphons should be the NCS favorite this year returning 5 out of the top 7 along with a strong group of JV runners. Maddie Rozwat will lead the team coming off a very strong Track season recording 5:23.67 and 11:46.55 times.

The teams that will be CSU's main pursuers are University and Lick Wilmerding. The UHS girls return their top 5 runners that includes the defending NCS champion, Andrea Imhof. Her time of 18:17 on the Hayward Course was the 2nd fastest ever run by a Division V athlete (behind only 3 time state champion, Clara Horowitz of Head Royce) and tied for the 7th fastest time in all Divisions in 2005. Imhof also had a fine Track season qualifying for both the 800 and 1600 in the NCS Meet of Champions with fine 2:16.91 and 5:07.67 clockings. Lick Wilmerding will have a strong pack with loads of potential considering their top 4 were all freshman last year. Emma Smart should be the lead runner following a fine 5:33.15 during Track season.

The battle for the 4th and final state meet qualifying spot should come down to Marin Academy and Berean Christian. Marin Academy will arguably have the best one-two punch (Alesandra Roger and Kimberly Volkman) of any teams in this division. Roger will once again battle with Andrea Imhof for the individual honors after winning the title in 2004. Roger seems primed for battle after recording an 11.22.10 for 3200 meters at the NCS MOC to finish in 7th place. She also secured her 3rd black shirt at the famed Dipsea race on June 11th. BC will be lead by seniors, Ruth and Marta Adamiec, who powered their team to the NCS Track Class A Team title with some very inspired racing.

The University boys have enjoyed their own string of NCS victories and their streak is still alive at 7. That ties them with the Livermore team (1990-96 in Division III) for most consecutive victories in XC. Although they have had some close races in NCS before, this year could prove to be their biggest challenge. College Prep returns their full ensemble from last year and seem motivated to knock off the Red Devils. Matt Katz had a huge breakthrough in Track recording the following times: 800-2:02.0, 1600-4:32.51, and 3200-10:12.95. He will do battle with St. Helena's Brian Cole for individual honors.

In what will be a very competitive team battle, the next two teams (Crystal Springs Uplands and Lick Wilmerding) also return strong teams that could challenge the top two. CSU will be lead by four year varsity member, senior Simon Neely and Sean Faulk, who qualified for state as an individual last season and enjoyed a successful track season running 2:01.80 for 800m. LW will have a very strong pack that could have a different lead runner at each of their races. Going into the season, it appears the above mentioned teams seem to be out of reach for the rest of the division but don't count out a young Head Royce team along with two time state meet qualifier, Santa Rosa Christian and their top runner, Zac Nave.

Division V Boys (Top 4 Advance to state)
1) University-Can this group lead to another NCS title?
2) College Prep-Seems poised to break the UHS streak.
3) Crystal Springs Uplands-Tough senior group also hungry for title.
4) Lick Wilmerding-Nice close pack that will contend.
5) Head Royce-Chase Wilson will lead young group.
On the bubble: Santa Rosa Christian, Berean Christian, and Chinese Christian

Top 5 Returning Individuals, (place) & time 2005 NCS meet:
Chase Wilson (2) Head Royce 16:29
Parker Brown (4) University 16:53
Zac Nave (6) Santa Rosa Christian 17:01
Patrick Wendell (8) University 17:09
Thomas Bliska (10) Marin Academy 17:15
Also: Brian Cole (10th in Div. IV) St. Helena 16:20

Division V Girls (Top 4 Advance to state)
1) Crystal Springs Uplands-Senior Maddie Rozwat leads Gryphons.
2)University-Can topple CSU with some freshman help.
3)Lick Wilmerding-Emma Smart leads Tigers after nice Track season.
4)Marin AcademyRoger and Volkman need help to hold spot.
5) Berean Christian-Will have to battle to break into top 4.
On the bubble: Convent, and College Prep

Top 5 Returning Individuals, (place) & time 2005 NCS meet:
Andrea Imhof (1) University 18:17
Alesandra Roger (2) Marin Academy 19:17
Maddie Rozwat (4) Crystal Springs Uplands 19:34
Kimberly Volkman (6) Marin Academy 19:57
Aimee Raleigh (7) Crystal Springs Uplands 19:59


Anonymous said...

Dear Albert, Thank you for the inciteful analysis of D-5 for 2006.
I have a few questions.
1) Are you sure that Brian Cole from St. Helena will be D-5 this season? If so, his 2005 mile time of 4:16 would make him a prohibitive favorite for NCS individual d-5 title.
Also, what happened to Chase Wilson during this past track season? Was he injured? I don't recall seeing him at the Class A Track Championships and was unable to ask his coach.
Also, there is a kid from South Fork who should play a part in the D-5 NCS individual competition at Ukiah. I do not recall his last name, but he goes by Hank, I believe he was injured last Cross Country season but won the 2 mile at the Class A Meet in Track.
Sincerely, Harry Skandera

Albert Caruana said...

You can view all the divisions for 2006 season on the NCS website at this link. It shows St. Helena as being in Division V this coming season which as you said would make Brian Cole the favorite based on his 2006 Track times.

Chase Wilson didn't run at the BCL final due to an injury so hopefully he will be healed and ready to run this coming season.

Hank Carl is the runner from South Fork who won the Class A meet 3200 meters. He qualified for the XC State Meet as a freshman but is not listed in last year's race (injured?). He will be in the mix of top runners.

Anonymous said...

Dear Albert, Sam Steyer of Uni is listed as a Senior on the results for Hayward 2005, but he is listed as a freshman for Ukiah, 2003. Is he graduated or will he be a senior this season?
Harry Skandera

Albert Caruana said...

I am not 100% sure but I think Sam Steyer was a senior last year. Yes he was listed as a freshman in 2003 (presumably a mistake) but was listed as a junior in 2004 and a senior in 2005 on the NCS results. He was also listed as a senior in the state meet results last year.

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