Thursday, June 28, 2007

Division V Pre-Season Rankings

Boys 800: 1:54.73, 1:54.88, 2:00.37, 2:00.53
Girls 800: 2:15.39, 2:15.65, 2:24.39, 2:25.22
Boys 1600: 4:11.74, 4:25.73, 4:27.40, 4:31.38
Girls 1600: 4:57.35, 5:17.86, 5:18.35, 5:20.58
Boys 3200: 9:45.52, 9:50.25, 9:52.94, 9:54.03
Girls 3200: 11:35.87, 11:44.37, 11:54.98

Division V is a lightly regarded division but as you can see by the above times from the just completed Track season, there is certainly no lack of talent. Those times were all recorded by North Coast Section (NCS) athletes. If I were to expand to times from other sections, I would have to include a certain sophomore from Mission Bay, who happens to also be a Division V athlete.

SF University (UHS) had their streak of 10 NCS girls' titles broken by Crystal Springs Uplands (CSU) two years ago. The boys had their own streak of 7 broken last year by College Prep (CPS). Now if you were to conclude that the UHS team is on a downslide, think again. The Red Devils finished in 2nd in both Division V races last year with scores of 62 for the girls and 68 for the boys. During Track, they had two runners qualify for the state meet (Andrea Imhoff in the 1600 and Elliot Wehner in the 800). Both teams return the majority of their top 7 from last year and will be a factor once again.

Based on the success of the Division V boys' team the past three years, the NCS gained one more entry into the state meet this season. At last year's state meet, 4 NCS teams placed in the top 11 with the top two teams, CPS and UHS, in 2nd and 4th respectively. With the extra entry this year, more teams will now have the incentive for a state meet run. The top two teams will once again be CPS and UHS. They return the most experienced group from last year's teams with College Prep getting the nod based on the strength of their top three runners, Jamie Lawrence, Casey Knudsen and Charlie Sauter. The rest of the top five will be a battle between Bay Counties League West rivals Lick Wilmerding, Stuart Hall and Crystal Springs Uplands. Berean Christian with the return of all their talented sophomores will be in the mix as well. Several teams from up north could be a factor with South Fork and their two impressive seniors while Rincon Valley Christian and St. Vincent return their entire top 7. St. Joseph Notre Dame drops down to Division with their top four runners returning.

With the graduation of St. Helena's Brian Cole, the individual favorite will be Hank Carl of South Fork who finished 2nd last year. Carl had a 10th place finish at the CA state XC meet and went on to record times of 4:35.64 and 9:49.84 around the oval. His teammate, Michael Radenbaugh, finished 16th last year in Hayward but watch out for him this coming season. He recorded 2:00.53 and 4:36.64 during the 2007 Track season. Victor Ho is the next best returner from last year's NCS XC meet with a 4th place finish. Time will tell if he is ready to challenge for the individual title as he had a subpar ending to his Track season. The remaining contenders for the individual title will all be seniors this year: Zach Nave of Santa Rosa Christian (2:05.03 and 4:31.38), Thomas Bliska of Marin Academy (4:39.87 and 10:02.55) and Jamie Lawrence (4:35.10).

The girls race should shape up to another clash between CSU and UHS. Both teams lose a senior who has been instrumental in their success the past four years, Maddie Rozwat for CSU and Andrea Imhof for UHS. They both return 5 out of their top 7 and will be formidable again in this section. An impact freshman will be necessary for both teams to get back to the state meet podium. Marin Academy is the next best team but their success will hinge on a healthy return of Alesandra Roger. College Prep returns 4 out of their top 7 from last year and will be in contention for the state meet after just missing last year. The best team out of the north appears to be Sonoma Academy and their front runner, Grace Hafner, a state meet qualifier last year.

The girls' individual battle will be an interesting one. Defending champion, MA's Roger, will be a senior but had her track season curtailed by a back injury. Her health is still in question so we won't know of her status until mid-season. CSU has the next top returners with senior Alysha de Souza and junior Aimee Raleigh. de Souza recorded personal records on the track running 5:28.85 and 11:44.37 while Raleigh recorded a 9th place finish at the XC state meet. UHS could possibly have their own dynamic duo with Margaret Wehner who had an outstanding freshman Track season with 2:24.39/5:17.86 clockings. Cecilia Furlong was impressive on the track with 5:31.76 and 11:35.78. She has played Volleyball in the past so her participation is questionable.

Division V Boys (Top 5 Advance to state)
1) College Prep-Have the best firepower up front.
2) University-They will, at the very least, finish 2nd.
3) Lick Wilmerding-Return 5 of top 7 from 4th place team.
4) Berean Christian-Young team finished 5th last year.
5) Stuart Hall-Poised to make 1st state meet in school history.
On the bubble: Crystal Springs Uplands, South Fork, St. Joseph Notre Dame

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) & 2006 NCS meet time:
Hank Carl (2) South Fork 16:01
Victor Ho (4) Chinese Christian 16:08
Jamie Lawrence (7) College Prep 16:21
Zach Nave (8) Santa Rosa Christian 16:23
Thomas Bliska (9) Marin Academy 16:28

Division V Girls (Top 4 Advance to state)
1) Crystal Springs Uplands-Can win their 3rd straight NCS title.
2) University-In position to reclaim their crown.
3) Marin Academy-Finished here last year.
4) College Prep-Ready to join boys to state meet.
5) Lick Wilmerding-Consistenly good program.
On the bubble: Convent, Berean Christian, Sonoma Academy

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) & 2006 NCS meet time:
Alesandra Roger (1) Marin Academy 18:29
Alysha de Souza (3) Crystal Springs Uplands 19:11
Aimee Raleigh (7) Crystal Springs Uplands 19:24
Margaret Wehner (6) SF University 19:59
Emily Erickson (9) College Prep 20:11

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you are referring to Jordan Hasay as the certain sophomore in this article, please note that she attends Mission College Prep (or Mission Prep for short) in San Luis Obispo, not "Mission Bay".

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