Sunday, November 09, 2008

San Joaquin Section Preview (Boys Divisions I-III)

Sac Joaquin Section Boy's Preview Division 1-3

Division 1 (2 Team + 5 Ind. State Qualifiers)
Section Meet Team Qualifiers: Davis Sr, Franklin, Modesto, Grace
Davis, Sheldon, Galt, Kennedy, Vintage

Preview: Expect Davis to not take Sections as easy as they did
Subsections. A controlling victory will give the Blue Devils much
confidence going into the State Meet - for which they are most
assuredly going to qualify. Senior Matt Peterson of Davis will lead
the charge in an exciting race up front. Look for a winning score
below 40.

The race for the final State team qualifier will be a little more
exciting. However, it looks as though Franklin (Elk Grove) is in a
position to simply defend their positions and let the race unfold in
their favor. Superman-like performances will not be needed for
Franklin but expect them to run very hard to close the gap as much as
they can on Davis.

The battle up front will possibly be the most compelling in this
contest. Juniors Roberto Rosas (Grace Davis) and Kurt Ruegg (Napa)
will battle the Seniors Matt Peterson (Davis) and Chris Haworth
(Kennedy). Neither of these four young men are afraid to run fast up

Individual Qualifiers: Roberto Rosas (Grace Davis), Kurt Ruegg (Napa),
Chris Haworth (Kennedy), Chris Izquierdo (Grace Davis) and Andrew Deck
(Vintage) will all fight for those coveted 5 individual State

Predictions: Davis Sr wins another banner, Franklin (EG) gets the
plaque and another 2 weeks of life. Matt Peterson (Davis) and Chris
Haworth (Kennedy) wage an epic battle in the last mile with Peterson
breaking away in the final half-mile to win. If the weather's nice in
Folsom/Willow Hills, winning time of 16:10-16:20.

Division 2 (4 Team + 5 Ind. State Qualifiers)
Section Meet Team Qualifiers: Oak Ridge, Del Campo, Fairfield,
Woodcreek, Jesuit, Ponderosa, Rocklin, Granite Bay

Preview: At 11:05am on November 15th 2008 you will want to be at
Folsom HS/Willow Hills Reservoir to watch this perfect example of BIG
TIME team competition. With all major teams having major
front-runners, the race for the low score will be fantastic for the

Unless Del Campo improves their squad by adding in an injured #3-#4
runner, expect Oak Ridge's top 4 to take care of business in the team
contest. If DC does add that #3-#4 runner (Robert Pflasterer), the
story might become one of the "Mighty Mighty Cougars!" - with
Fairfield, Woodcreek and Jesuit running for the final qualifiers.

I admit that Fairfield is the sleeper here. They are running great and
barring complete calamity, they have to be a lock for at least 4th
place (and that final state berth). The question then becomes "How
easy did Jesuit run at Subsections?" With their capability, finishing
5th at Subsections was probably not an ideal way of heading into
Sections. However, one can bet that these particular Marauders were
made well aware that Jesuit does not NOT qualify for the State Meet 2
years in a row. So expect a 5-man throng of Red and Gold up near the

In the front, you have Seniors Garrett Seawell (Woodcreek), Dan
Mitchell (Del Campo) and Emilio Garcia (Jesuit) and then Juniors Amjed
Aboukhadijeh (Oak Ridge) and Josh Mercado (Del Campo) all capable of
running really fast. Which of these young men will be left standing at
the finish?

Individual Qualifiers: Garrett Seawell, Zachary Zadrozna (Rocklin),
Seth Lawerence (Ponderosa), Jon Ahmann (Pleasant Grove) and Sam O'Hair
(Rocklin) will likely be the 5 individual qualifiers.

Predictions: Given that Benji Xie (Oak Ridge) will run much faster and
the uncertainty of Robert Pflasterer's return to Del Campo, I have to
say Oak Ridge will come out with the banner. Del Campo, Jesuit and
Fairfield will follow in that order. Expect Mitchell and Seawell to
drop the rest of the front-runners just after 2 miles and then
complete their local xc seasons with what I hope will be a fastest
time of the day performance. Count on Seawell's superior 3200m PR to
outlast Mitchell's better 1600m PR. Winning time sub-16:10 if the
weather's nice.

Division 3 (2 Team and 5 Ind. State Qualifiers)
Section Meet Team Qualifiers: Placer, Sonora, El Camino, Del Oro, St.
Mary's, Weston Ranch, Woodland, Sierra

Preview: It will be a GREEN PARTY battle! Placer, Sonora and El Camino
all have green in their school colors. The black tops of El Camino and
the white/green/yellow of Placer will all be near the front. Placer
outscored El Camino by nearly 50 at Subsections but don't expect the
same result on Saturday. Both teams have strong 5-man squads with
similar time spreads over most courses. Get out your pen and paper for
this one. If Placer's 5th man beats El Camino's 5th man, they win. If
it's the other way, El Camino wins. Don't sleep on Sonora however. The
message boards on DyeStat stated that Sonora was without their usual
3rd runner. If that's true, then expect a 3-team battle of 5th men.

The race for first will be just as exciting as the team battle. El
Camino, Placer and Sonora all have 1 or 2 guys that can handle
winning. The pace will likely go out relatively conservative (most D3
races are slower in general). Watch for El Camino's duo of Senior Evan
Bornstein and Sophomore Chris Kigar, Placer's duo of Junior Lucas
Stancliff and Freshman Christian Finkbeiner, and Sonora's Senior John

Individual Qualifiers: John Glick, Alejandro Garcia (Ceres), Roberto
Alvarez (Weston Ranch), Juan Segundo (Livingston), John Bowers
(Sierra) will likely qualify as individuals.

Predictions: El Camino's entire team was in the Top 15 at the mile
mark at Subsections while wearing trainers. They then stepped off the
gas and cruised their way into the Section qualifier. Placer ran very
hard and were amply rewarded. Both teams are capable of winning. I am
going with my gut on this one. El Camino hasn't won an XC Section
banner in 45 years. It's been a long time coming. El Camino will get
the title by a very slim margin.

Evan Bornstein and Chris Kigar (El Camino) battle John Glick (Sonora)
all the way to the line. Bornstein wins, Glick 2nd, Kigar 3rd...
Winning time 16:30-16:40.

Division 1
1 Davis
2 Franklin
Division 2
1 Oak Ridge
2 Del Campo
3 Jesuit
4 Fairfield
Division 3
1 El Camino
2 Placer

Jason Jimenez
El Camino High School

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