Friday, July 16, 2010

My “officially unofficial” pre-season ranking for BOYS 2010 CCS XC

The following list was compiled by Valley Christian SJ coach Josh Small.  Feel free to comment on the list below.  Who are the teams on the bubble? What teams belong on the list?  Please identify yourself with your comments.

20)  St. Francis (22) Has a solid top 3 but needs the supporting cast to step up.  Another strong program with good coaching and a high turn-out.  My guess is they will find a few runners to fill the gaps and be a top 15 contender.

19) Woodside (12) Top two runners are studs running 4:16 and 4:27 in the 1600 this past track season.  The rest of the team is solid 17:30-18 guys.  If the 3, 4, 5 guys improve 30 seconds for the 3 miles this year they could be very, very good!

18)   Los Gatos (17) Another team with lots of tradition.  A huge number come out for cross country every year at this school which means you can never count them out.  The Wildcats have a very good #1 runner but is going to need a lot of help.  My guess they will be top 10 at the end of the year.

17)   Monta Vista (11) Kevin Bishop had a great track season but he can’t carry the team by himself  and is going to need some help from the team's 3, 4 & 5 guys.

16)   Salinas (6) Lost their star power to graduation so who will step up?  They have a solid group returning and they always run well at their "home" course at Toro Park.

15)  Gilroy (19) 7 guys return who have run under 17:30 at Toro Park.  Need the big guns to get low or sub 16’s to move up but a very strong team that is grouped together well.

14)   Los Altos (14) Good team that is very solid from top to bottom.  Needs those top guys to really step up if they want to gain ground on the schools in the top 10.

13)   Stevenson (13) Another quiet team that is once again very good.  They surprised everyone a year ago with their 13th ranking a year ago.  There are a good team but out of sight down there at Pebble Beach.  Well they are on the radar now and should be very good once again!

12)   Gunn (4) 4 of top 5 graduate and enter the season ranked 21st in the team time category.  Rebuilding year?  We’ll see…

11)   Aragon (NR) Slowly building up a good team.  They could make some noise this season.  Are they the darkhorse of 2010?

10)   Alisal (21)  6 of the top 7 return and should do well on the Salinas home turf.

9)   Menlo Atherton (15)  Solid team, could do some damage this season.

8)   San Benito (16)  Big school, big time runners. All scoring members should be in the 16’s but needs someone to step up to the next level.

7)   Serra (8)  This team was off the radar for most people last year but not me. They ran really well at CCS and will have a very solid 5 runners this season.

6)   Carmel (26)  Solid on Toro Park last year and they are all back. Watch out!

5)   Willow Glen (20)  This is a good team and a solid group returns. McCabe need to stay healthy and finish a season to contend for the D3 title.

4)   St. Ignatius (5)  Besides Bellarmine this is the only team I’ve seen that needs 3-4 busses to go to a meet. Coach Pup takes the reins of a very solid SI team that could be #2 or #3.

3)   Carlmont (2)  The word on the street is Carlmont is full strength and everyone will be back to run for Coach Randazzo. If true could give Bellarmine a run for their money. Some good summer performances at JO’s shows they are going to make a run for it this year.

2)   Mountain View (1)  Graduates 4 of their top 6, can the machine replenish?  They have the top returning individual this year which certainly helps! I always hate those polls that drop the defending champion before the season even starts which is why I am not willing to drop the Kings of Cross outside of #2. These guys know how to win. They have their work cut out for them, but so does anyone who wants to beat them.

1)   Bellarmine (3)  This is Bellarmine’s year. They return four proven cross country guys who all went sub 10 guys on the track this spring. They could easily have 5 guys in the 15’s at Crystal and have a history of being tough on the Toro course. Rae leads the team and will be one of the top individuals this season. These guys are tough!

Feel free to comment on the above list.  Want to take a shot at listing the top 10 teams?

You may post using the anonymous button but you will have to identify yourself.


Woodside XC Fan said...

Woodside is going to be in the Top 10 - they should have 2 in the Top 5 at D-2. Rumor from McGhee at M-A is he's not running XC this year, going to train with ISC for the 800.

Albert Caruana said...

I think we all agree that Woodside has the potential to be very good.

That would be sad news if McGhee chooses to not run XC this fall. I would say the majority of the top 800m. runners run XC as well.

Doug Griffith said...

Have to agree with Coach Caruna. My son, Kevin Griffith, attributes much of his senior year success to running XC for the first time. Gave him a base he had never had before. Also, ended up having a great XC season and gained more recruiting interest. Most importantly, he had a great time running a team sport. McGhee is same position as Kevin was last year. I would encourage McGhee to run XC. He'll have plenty of time to prepare for track season once XC ends. Every kid in the State 800M final ran XC...not a coincidence.

Bellarmine Fan said...

I will eat my boots if Carlmont beats Bellarmine at CCS... again. Who knows what can happen. That said, I hope Carlmont has a great season and whoever wins DI has to earn it.

Albert Caruana said...

Considering the Carlmont boys have won CCS 5 times in a row, I would be careful about making such claims.

So in the case they do win again...

NCR said...

McGhee not running cross is just ridiculous. Can someone name the last CCS champion at 800 who did not run cross country?

Dear club coaches who steal athletes away from their cross country team so they continue to pay you in the off season: Do you know who Clyde Hart is? Do you know he has his 400 guys do mile training and cross country runs (be it short ones) in the off season in the fall? Do you know the best 800 runners in the world run 12 mile long runs and average 50-60 miles per week? The base does not hurt your 800, especially in high school. These boys are still growing and getting stronger, don't steal their high school experience. Let their college coaches decide what they want to do. They are young, let them enjoy running before you burn them out and ruin it for them.

As for Woodside, they have tons of potential but do you guys remember Pioneer last year? Two top runners and the rest 18 guys and they didn't finish inside the the 25. Very similar to Woodside this year.

togarunner said...

Sebastian Sam never did XC and won CCS.. McGhee and Sam both train with ISC.

Albert Caruana said...

Comparing apples to oranges with Sam and McGhee.

Kevin said...

At risk of sounding like a shameless self-promoter, I wouldn't count out Monta Vista when championship season rolls around. We had an excellent track season, getting 4 runners under 5 in the 1600m (me 4:36, Lu 4:42, Rao 4:45, Yeung 4:58), and this was without Hasan, our projected #3/4 runner, who was already a sub-5 guy. And this just in, incoming freshman Takuto Doshiro just ran a 4:37 at the last LGAC meet on 1 day a week of training. I think if Rao can translate his success (2:02/4:45) in track into success in XC, and with the return of Hasan (missed track to train for XC) to full form, we can be a force to reckon with come CCS, and possibly contend for a State Meet berth, even without any seniors on the projected varsity squad.
Of course, it's on us to perform up to our potential and avoid injuries in a competitive D1 (teamwise, at least) this year.

Reality check said...

Well, 4 runners under 5 is a big accomplishment... if you're a middle school team. Most contenders for a CCS championship are likely to have their whole top 7 under 5:00, if not their whole JV squads as well. Unless Yeung can keep up that 4:58 for 3 straight miles, he's not going to be a viable threat in a competitive race. I wouldn't have them ranked any higher than St. Francis... and they are.

Evan Smith said...

It is always interesting to me how harsh people can be when they don't attach their name to their post. Kevin, ignore the naysayers. After looking at Walt's data on Hank's site and throwing in your 4:37 freshman, it looks to me like your #5 is either a 16:46 Crystal guy, or a 4:42 1600 guy. That is very solid in my mind. While I would still put Bellarmine and Carlmont in front of Monta Vista, your top 5 are definitely in the ballpark with the San Benitos and Serras of CCS D1. To me, it basically all depends upon what is happening right now. The teams that do the work in the summer will be successful in the fall.

Also, I just want to point out that three seasons ago, Mountain View had a preseason #23 ranking in CCS. We ended up going to state as the D2 #3 team. So I believe what you are proposing is possible. I have been impressed with Monta Vista's current junior class since they were freshman, and I believe they do have the potential to achieve exactly what you are hoping for. Good luck this season!

Kevin said...

Thanks Coach Smith, I was happy to hear that one of the CCS coaching legends will be rejoining the sport again, and good luck to Mountain View in the upcoming season. I'm looking forward to racing Parker and the rest of your guys a lot this season (I may race in the seniors race at Earlybird just to get a crack at Parker and Will Geiken).

As for a so-called reality check, I never promised a CCS championship, just that we would be in the mix for a state meet berth. But you are right on a couple counts: 4 runners under 5:00 would be a huge accomplishment for a middle school team, considering that most struggle to get even one runner under 5:00. On a more serious note, and as I previously admitted, we will have to step it up to get there, and not just Yeung either. All I'm asking is that you not be surprised when we do.

Luca said...

How come the Lynbrook guys are always left out of the pre-season rankings? Has everyone forgotten that we came in fourth in DII last year, losing only to the powerhouses of Mt.View, Gunn, and Palo Alto? Although we did lose a big part of our Varsity team, Andrew Kuo ran 4:32 in 1600 and ran 16:36 on Crystal on very little training last year and we had a good amount of runners near the 17:00 mark, I'm not pushing for a Lynbrook CCS Championship, but some of the teams ranked in the top 20 are only there because Toro Park is their "home course", last time I checked Crystal Springs Uplands wasn't setting any records at Crystal Springs despite being on 7 miles away. I do not wish to put down any other teams and I wish everyone the best of luck, but I truly believe that Lynbrook deserves to be included somewhere in the top 20 even if it is the 20th spot.

Also on a side note; Kevin don't listen to what anyone tells you about Monta Vista not having what it takes, this year it's your turn to step up and be a leader for your team so give it all you've got to be the best you can be and to make your team the best they can be. Good luck man.

Coach Small said...


I know how you feel... my team often gets left out of the rankings too (when I am not writing them). Regarding Lynbrook, last year I had you guys #13 pre-season and you finished a respectable 10th! So you are certainly on the radar. The key is to remember, these are rankings by some old coach on the internet who doesn't have inside info. The idea of pre-season rankings is just to get people excited about XC when there isn't a whole lot going on.

You are probably right about Lynbrook being in the top 20 but all I have to go on is last year’s stats. The Monterey Bay schools like Alisal, Salinas, Carmel, San Benito, Stevenson look pretty tough so its more than "home turf." Soem schools return 5 guys all in the 16's!

Of the returning runners St. Francis (#20) edged Lynbrook in 3 of the 5 head to head match-ups and in team time. It’s not a diss, I really looked hard at Lynbrook and tried to fit them in. They are a good team and could end up the season in the top 20 but who gets bumped?

Albert Caruana said...

Actually the closest school to the Crystal Springs course is Carlmont and they have only collected 9 CCS titles in the last 5 years.

Kevin said...

Thanks Luca, means a lot coming from you.

CrystalK said...

I'd imagine Los Gatos is moving way up this list, with the addition of Grant Foster.

BCP123 said...

This just in...In the inter-squad race Bellarmine is looking great!!! Bourdoni and Hinojosa 1st and 2nd. Rae, having a bad day comes in 3rd. Sophmore DeAnda climbs to a number 5 spot and Valencia not far behind in 6th. Ferrari finishes in 4th and Jain holds on for a top 7 spot.

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