Monday, October 02, 2006

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

In day's past, teams would stay undercover until they ran in their league finals, section championship and then hopefully at state. That day has come and gone with the internet boom and the coverage from dyestatcal for California teams. With that in mind, we have some NCS Division IV teams who have managed to hide in the weeds which makes it tough to identify the top teams for ranking purposes.

So that leaves me with the unenviable task of ranking Division IV teams for NCS but here goes. Looking at the top boys' teams, without question, the hottest team to date has been St. Mary's of Berkeley. They are lead by Matt Duffy who is coming into his own as a Junior. With an impressive victory at the Stanford Invitational, Duffy lead the Panthers to a 3rd place finish behind the 6th and 7th state ranked teams, Carmel and Oaks Christian.

Who are the best teams behind St. Mary's of Berkeley? Piedmont has been the most consistent team in Division IV and they oh by the way won the state championship last year. Mark Ceraldi and Jesse Baldridge return giving the Highlanders a nice 1/2 punch. With a traditionally small field in the NCS Division IV final, Piedmont should have enough behind their top duo to make a return trip to state.

The final state meet birth should come down to a battle between Sir Francis Drake, San Rafael, and Arcata. Looking at the Stanford and Lowell Invitational results, the difference between those four teams is minimal at best. It should be interesting what happens in the next month as teams gear up for the post season.

The girls' division IV race should be quite interesting now that Arcata lost the majority of last year's NCS championship team. Before the season, it looked like Piedmont had the most returning firepower but at this point, they remain a mystery. So for now, San Rafael seems to be the team to beat with an impressive 6th place showing at Stanford.

The individual battle has a new contender as Sarah Sumpter of Healdsburg who turned in an eye popping 19:05 at Stanford to finish in 6th place. This is not a surprise considering all her early season times which make her one of the most improved runners in NCS, if not the state. Kelsey Ripp of San Rafael, Allie Maher of Arcata and Lora Morchini of Salesian all recorded top 15 finishes at Stanford. Brittany Escamila of El Molino will find this division to her liking as she moves into this division from the ultra competitive Division III battles.

Division IV Boys (Top 3 Advance to state)
1) St. Mary's Berkeley-Best Div. IV team so far this season.
2) Piedmont-Can they put it together again this year?
3) San Rafael-Dave Buscho leads the way for the Bulldogs.
4) Sir Francis Drake-Will challenge for state meet birth.
5) Arcata-Deep, competitive team that could upset.

Top 5 Individuals based on season to date:
Matt Duffy (11) St. Mary's Berkeley
Mark Ceraldi (12) Piedmont
David Buscho (12) San Rafael
Joe Withers (11) Cardinal Newman
Jesse Baldridge (12) Piedmont

Division IV Girls (Top 3 Advance to state)
1) San Rafael-Looking for their 1st State Meet berth.
2) Arcata They know how to run well in November.
3) Moreau Catholic-Consistent top program.
4) El Molino H.S.-Senior Brittany Escamila leads the way.
5) Ursuline H.S.-They have made state 3 out of the last 4 years.

Top 5 Individuals based on season to date:
Sarah Sumpter (11) Healdsburg
Kelsey Ripp (11) San Rafael
Allie Maher (9) Arcata
Brittany Escamila (12) El Molino
Lora Marchini (12) Salesian

Division III will be posted shortly. Feel free to comment on above rankings.


Calvin said...

i had no idea duffy was just a junior. man, he is smokin'!

Anonymous said...

Ceraldi's first name is "Mark," not "Marc." Also, check the linked website for more recent photos.

Anonymous said...

Rob Riccardi beat Jesse Baldridge in a dual meet. I have no idea what Baldrige's effort was at the day but Riccardi beat Baldridge by about 10 seconds

Anonymous said...

Rob Riccardi beat Jesse Baldridge in a dual meet. I have no idea what Baldrige's effort was at the day but Riccardi beat Baldridge by about 10 seconds

Anonymous said...

freshman Luz mejia-encinal high has to be in the top 5. if you don't believe me, you will this saturday =)

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