Saturday, September 30, 2006

N.C.S. Division V Mid-Season Rankings

Stanford is always a good middle of the season barometer for many teams come late September or early October. NCS Division V teams (namely BCL teams) flexed their collective muscles this year as they claimed the top 4 teams in the boys race, 5 out of the top 6 individuals in the girls race as well as a 2nd place finish for the Crystal Springs Uplands girls' team.

Making a major statement at Stanford were the College Prep boys who handily defeated the 7 time defending NCS champions University HS by a score of 54 to 105. CPS is well on their way to their first NCS title with a deep and talented team. They will definitely be a player at the state meet with potential for a top 3 finish and a coveted podium appearance.

While their 11th NCS title might elude them this year, the UHS boys will still be formidable. Without Parker Brown (injured?), their 2nd place finish at Stanford puts them on track for another Fresno trip. The last two spots for the state meet will come down to a battle between Lick Wilmerding (nice tight pack), Berean Christian (rebuild nicely after graduation of the Todd twins) and Crystal Springs Uplands (not at full strength yet).

This year's boys individual battle should be the most competitive in recent memory. Leading the way should be Brian Cole of St. Helena who has the best track credentials of all the runners competing in this division. Challenging closely will be Hank Carl of South Fork and Matt Katz of CPS who will keep the race honest with his fearless front running style. Victor Ho of Chinese Christian, Sean Faulk of CSU and Mark Friese of UHS will all be in contention and could possibly upset the previously mentioned runners. The dark horse in the race will be Troy Calandra of International HS who makes his triumphant return to the BCL and NCS battles after attended Head Royce as a freshman. Calandra ran an impressive 2nd at the Lowell Invitational as well as a 12th place finish in a very competitive Ram Invitational.

The road to the girls' NCS title will once again go through CSU. After losing two seniors from last year's podium team, CSU still has the runners to compete with any Division V team in the state with potential for more as their freshmen round into form. Chasing CSU will be University and Marin Academy with their strong one-two punch of Alesandra Roger and Kimberly Volkman (currently injured?). UHS has yet to run their top 7 runners all together at a major meet so watch out for them come November. The last state meet birth should come down to a three way battle between College Prep (inspired by their boys?), Convent (always in the mix) and Lick Wilmerding (could upset teams ahead of them at this point).

Individually, Alesandra Roger and Andrea Imhoff will battle head to head multiple times this season and round 1 and 2 went to Roger as she defeated Imhoff in a cluster meet and by an impressive margin at Stanford. Behind those two will be the CSU duo of Maddie Rozwat and Alysha de Souza who both recorded top 5 finishes at Stanford. Berean Christian has their own duo with the Adamiec twins, Ruth and Marta. Convent's Michelle Gantos will be the closest pursuer following her impressive early season results.

Division V Boys (Top 4 Advance to state)
1) College Prep-On their way to a season for the ages.
2) University-Can this group regroup for another NCS title?
3) Lick Wilmerding-Close pack from one through seven.
4) Berean Christian-Sophomores lead way for possible state meet birth.
5) Crystal Springs Uplands-Has the runners to break into top 4.
On the bubble: Chinese Christian

Top 5 Individuals based on season so far:
Brian Cole St. Helena (12)
Hank Carl South Fork (11)
Troy Calandra International (11)
Matt Katz College Prep (12)
Mark Friese (12) University (12)

Division V Girls (Top 4 Advance to state)
1) Crystal Springs Uplands-Can they return to podium this year?
2) University-Soundly defeated MA in cluster meet.
3) Marin Academy-Without Volkman upended UHS at Stanford.
4) College Prep-Close pack will have to battle for last state meet spot.
5) Convent-Senior Gantis has run well as lead runner.
On the bubble: Lick Wilmerding

Top 5 Individuals based on season so far:
Alesandra Roger Marin Academy (11)
Andrea Imhof University (12)
Maddie Rozwat Crystal Springs Uplands (12)
Alysha de Souza Crystal Springs Uplands (11)
Ruth Adamiec Berean Christian (12)

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