Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NCS Division III boys' pre-season rankings/analysis by Bishop O'Dowd runner Karsten Kaufmann

           As summer training begins and cross country seasons lurks around summer’s bend, hundreds of athletes put in countless miles, and hours of training in order to prep for one early morning in late November.  In NCS, Division III has consistently been the most competitive and has showcased some of the most dominant performances in NCS history, such as the 2008 Campolindo team. With a team time of 1:17.55, they put all of their top 5 runners under 16 minutes, leaving them with a score of 37 points. However, their victory did not come easy. With a score of 42 points Petaluma took home the silver with a team time of 1:18.02. Their 5th man ran 16 minutes exactly.  These performances were no surprise; since 2006, Petaluma has won 4 NCS titles and finished second twice.  Campolindo has a long line of success as well. To put it into perspective, the last time they finished worse than 3rd, was in 1998. They’ve won 5 titles since 2003, along with a handful of 2nd place finishes. Overall, these two teams have dominated NCS, and this year will be no exception. Or will it? Along with the Cougars and Trojans, other teams have had their fair share of success, while some teams don’t see the trip down to Fresno as an annual vacation. 
Las Lomas started their road to success in 2003. After a 18th place finish in ’03, along then a 14th place finish in ’04, they placed 6th in ’05. Finally in 2006 they placed 4th and earned a trip to the state meet. Since then, they have collected their fair share of bronze medals finishing in 3rd place 4 years in a row. Piner is rather new to the success they experienced in 2010. After finishing 13th in 2003, they did not compete in NCS until 2008. They finished 14th that year, behind freshman sensation Luis Luna, who qualified to state individually that year. In 2009 they started to improve finishing 9th, while in 2010, they qualified to state as a team finishing 4th overall. Acalanes has a successful history of their own considering they haven’t finished worse than 7th since 1999. Acalanes has a thing for even numbers, finishing either 2nd, 4th, or 6th, from 2000-2008. 09’ and 2010, they decided to try something new and finish 5th and 7th. Maria Carrillo won team titles in ‘05 and ’06, while finishing 2nd in 2007. 

Miramonte has the largest winning streak in NCS besides University, and won 5 team titles in a row (1958-1962). They won one more title in 2001. In more recent years, they have held their own in competition, finishing no worse than 9th from 2000-2010. Northgate won 1 team title in 2004, and has been struggling to get back in the top 10 ever since. Each year  since 2006 they have slowly made their way up in the final standings which put them in 8th in 2010; Their best year since ’04. Eureka days of glory lasted from 1999-2001, winning 3 years in a row. Since then, they have been a very erratic team, finishing anywhere from 16th to 2nd from 2003 to 2010. Bishop O’Dowd has competed in every division but division V since 1968. After winning a division 1 title in 1995, their success strung from 2001-2005, finishing with a handful of 3rd place finishes.
Each of these teams has their story, they have all had their ups and most have had their downs, but this year could be special, considering almost all of them have the ability to make the trip down to woodward park this fall.

1.       1)   Petaluma 65 (4)
2.        2)  Campolindo 80 (3)
3.        3)  Las Lomas 144  (3)
4.        4)  Piner 124 (1)
5.        5)  Acalanes 163 (3)
6.        6)  Maria Carillo 185 (2)
7.        7)  Miramonte 200 (2)
8.        8)  Northgate 210(2)
9.        9)  Eureka 219 (5)
10.    10)  Bishop O’Dowd 246 (0)
Posted above are the top 10 teams from last year at NCS, along with their score, and the number of possible returners/ not seniors they have. After thorough in-depth analysis, I have concluded  each team this year with an exception of 2 has a chance of making the trip down to Woodward park this fall.

Petaluma: As stated before, Petaluma has a history of success, and is known for producing young powerhouses. Although when a team loses 4 of their returning runners, it can make one skeptical. Leading the charge of the Trojans will be juniors Ryan Douglass(2:02.38, 4:21.02), and Kevin Potteracke (4:38.36, 9:54.52) The two went 4,5 at NCS Last year and have a very good chance of doing that again if not better. Petaluma’s next top runner according to this past track season would be Duncan Gardner (4:50.55, 10:37.13) Although he did not run Varsity last year at NCS, he looks like he could be the  # 3 man for them this season. Also Returning from last year’s NCS team is Noah Forrey(5:01.69).
Ups: 2 Returning studs with impressive track season.
Downs: May not have the depth they usually have.

Campolindo: Once again, the cougars have a good chance of finishing in the top 2 this fall. While they lose 3 of their top 5, depth should not be an issue for Campo.  They had a very successful track season, with lots of individual success as well as relay accomplishments. They ran a time of 17:59.6 at the Mt. Sac Invite 4 x 1600m., as well as a 10:44.91 at Stanford in the distance medley.
 Leading their team, as well as coming off a very impressive track season is Thomas Joyce (2:02.11, 4:22.83, 9:18.06).  Thomas ran at Arcadia, Sacramento MOC, And NCS MOC, just missing out on a state appearance in the 3200. Be ready for Joyce to make a run for the individual title this season. Up next for Campo would be Vinson Compenstine (4:26, 9:35). Vinson had a very successful track season this year and ran at NCS MOC with Joyce for the 3200 as well. Leland Wong (2:01.08, 10.23.14) also had a respectable track season and will be a major contributor for cross country.  Another solid runner for Campo this year will be Keith Geiger (4:36.67, 10:11.05) . Up  next for the cougars are the young-guns. Adam Hathaway (4:39.04, 9:55.80) and Cameron Sun (4:45.32, 10.11.06). These two did not even run varsity for last year’s cross country season, but should play a huge role this year for their team.
Ups: tremendous track season. 8 returners under 5 minutes in the 1600, along with 8 returners under 11:00 in the 3200. 3 returners under 10:00.
Downs: N/A.

Las Lomas: After a 3rd place finish at NCS last year, Las Lomas will try to make the trip down to Fresno again this year. Leading the Knights is  the 2010 NorCal freshman of the year Aidan Goltra (4:39.26, 9:03.41 (3000m.)9:59.63) Goltra finished in 8th place overall last year in NCS and ran a 16:04 at state. He also had a respectable track season, competing in the 3000M at the Stanford invitational, while also putting up some nice PR’s of his own.  The next returner from the Knights is Gavin Ramos (9:57.21)he finished 27th last year at Hayward and went under 16:30 and should be a solid # 2 runner. Up next for the Knights could go to anybody. Ryan Kinney, their #5 from last year failed to put up any marks during the track season, while Sean Alyward, their #7 focused more on the sprints this season. Although their track season was not spectacular, keep in mind they did win F/S DFAL championships last year in XC. They should be able to throw together a good squad.
Ups: Goltra And Ramos trained hard through the winter, and should be ready for Hayward in the fall.
Downs: May not have had the track season they were looking for in preparation for cross country.

Piner: As of right now, Piner has arguably the fastest runner in all of Division III in California .Luis Luna already has brought the prospects of an individual title, but can he lead his teammates to their first team title since 1976? Piner finished 4th last year at NCS and only lose their 7th runner, but after looking at their outstanding track season, they should be able to fill his shoes. Piner also had some relay success this year, running a 10:35.57 for the DMR, (3rd fastest time in NCS). Now for the individuals. Luis Luna (4:14.17, 8:55.81) ran the fastest 3200 time in all of NCS, and placed 6th in CIF for the 3200. Up next is Jamie Silva (4:35.79,  9:35.14) also had a successful year for track. He ran in the 3200 for MOC as well as Luna, and at one point in the race, Piner was going 1-2. Epi Nunez(4:33.78, 10:23.80) is looking like Piner’s #3 runner, also throwing up some nice PR’s this past track season. Jason Saler (2:07, 10:14) also had a respectable track season, and should be a strong runner for the prospectors again in 2011. Efren Reyes (9:57) who did not run at Hayward last year had a phenomenal track season, breaking 10:00 in the 3200. Other possible Varsity runners are Zekaryas Mebrahtu (4:37) and Josue Lopez (4:42.89)
Ups: Fantastic track season, 5 Under 4:45, 5 under 10:30, 3 under 10:00
Downs: ?

Acalanes: After a surprising 5th place finish last year, the Dons hope to improve on their previous spot this season. Leading Acalanes will be the familiar duo of Adler Faulkner (1:56.62, 4:29.73), and Tyler Troxel (4:42, 10:21) The two finished 6th and 7th last year and both qualified for state individually. Faulkner had a successful track season, particularly in the 800M, where he made an appearance in the Sacramento MOC, as well as NCS MOC prelims just missing out on a spot in the finals. Troxel didn’t have a super year, but he still put up some good marks so don’t count him out for XC. Speedwalker Sorenson is currently at Torrey Pines High school in San Diego and will take his talent elsewhere for 2011 XC. Keenan Bryne, who ran a 16:51 last year for the Don’s 5th spot had a respectable track season runnig a 5:02, and 10:36. Vikis Agaratha( does anyone know who he is?) ran a 4:31.03 although his grade level is unknown.
Ups: 2 leaders had a respectable track season.
Downs: Loss of their seniors may have put the dons in a hole.

Maria Carillo: *Moved to Division II.

Miramonte: After a 7th place finish at NCS last year with a score of 200 points, the Matadors did a good job of setting themselves up for the 2011 cross country season. Some highlights of their track season consisted of a 4x800 time of 8:11.17, the 6th fastest time in NCS. They also had a strong Distance Medley Relay this past track season running a 10:46, putting them in the top 10 for NCS. Individual success was also present for Miramonte this year. Senior to be Jamie Fehrnstrom (1:58.71, 4:15.79, 10:08.59) had a very productive track season as he was the only runner from division III to run the 1600 in state prelims. Tyler Hanson(2:03, 4:29, 9:43) also had a strong track season making himself the 3rd fastest sophomore in the 3200 this year. Matt Stewart (4:39.77, 9:58.08) Miramonte’s # 3 from last year, had a nice track season, and should be a very solid runner for the matadors. Adam Roeder(4:38.65, 10:30.79) had some nice PR’s this season, and will play a key role for Miramonte. Dillon Read ( 4:46.52) had a respectable track season this year, which might land him a varsity spot in the fall. Lawrence Han (10:44.49) Miramonte’s #7 runner from last year also had a prodictive track season. Other names from Miramonte consist of Jason Blore, Bobby Veres, and Charlie Zamanin who all ran mid 4:50’s this season.
Ups: Miramonte put together some solid runners this track season, putting themselves in position for a state qualifying spot in November.
Downs: May have trouble producing a solid 5th man

Northgate: After finishing 8th last year at NCS, the Broncos have done well this past track and field season putting 5 returners under 5:00 in the 1600, 3 under 4:50 and 1 under 4:40Northgate’s #1 returner is Danny Salters (4:40.28, 10:03.70) who had an exceptional season running in the 3000m. at Stanford this year. Mike Valeriani (4:32.31) had a nice season, making him the fastest Junior in the DVAL for the 1600. Other Names are Joel Sumner (4:45.23, 10:42.03) and Ian Frazier (4:51.33, 10:17.67) Frazier was Northgate’s 5th man last year at NCS, and Joel did not run at Hayward. If Jack Reemy (2:00.44) decided to take his speed to the XC team, he could be an impact for the broncos as well.
Ups: Threw down some respectable times during track season and brought out some new faces
Downs: May not have the depth to reach the top 4 this year.

Eureka: Last year might be better than last for the loggers considering they were the only team in Division III able to field a team of 5 seniors. The only returning runners are Ezra Carlson and Jordan Krupka. Carlson was Eurekas 3rd runner last year at NCS, however he  failed to put up any marks during the 2011 track and field season. Krupka however, ran a 4:52.68, and a 10:26.13. The only other non-senior that put up any times during track is August Hale (5:08.53). XC season isn’t looking too good for the Loggers, but Eureka has always been known for their stealth, will the loggers be able to pull an upset?
Ups: If there was an all seniors race last year at NCS, Eureka would have beaten 3 teams
Downs: It really takes a toll to a team when they lose 5/7ths of their team, and it just so happened to be the Loggers that drew the short straw this year.

Bishop O’Dowd: The Dragons had a breakthrough track and field season putting themselves in a good striking position for the upcoming cross country season. O’Dowd was the only team in DIII to not lose any runners from 2010 and will attempt to take advantage of that position. The Dragons had strong relay success this year, putting down some great times. O’Dowd won the 2011 Twilight Relays in San Rafael with a time of 10:41.98 giving them the 8th fastest time in NCS. The Dragons also put together a successful 4x800 team running a PR of 8:06.70 making them the 4th fastest 4x800 team in NCS. Leading the Dragons will be  Sam Kane (1:57.26, 4:27.98). Sam finished 19th last year at Hayward with a time of 16:09. He had himself a fine track season, running at the NCS MOC in the 1600. Jonathan DeGroot (1:58.26, 4:35.78) also showed great improvement this track season, making an appearance in MOC for the 800. Also running at Berkeley for the 800 this year was Jake Schwartz (1:59.67, 4:49.23)O’Dowd also boasts an all NorCal freshman Andrew Melendez (4:43.20, 10:31.15) who had an impressive track season as well. Karsten Kaufmann,(4:45.01, 10:15.86)  will also be a key runner for the dragons along with Senior Calvin John (4:45.34, 10:22.64).
Ups: The Dragons really showed improvement this past season with 5 runners under 4:50 in the 1600m. and for sending 3 to NCS MOC.
Downs: They might not have the power runners other teams do this year to make the trip down to state.

Redwood:  They return the entire pack of 7 from last year's cross country team which finished in 11th place.  With a strong group of freshmen and sophomores, this team could have the biggest upside of all the teams already mentioned above.  The leadership this year will come from the mom/son coaching duo of Laura and Jake Schmitt and senior Tommy Warfel (1:59.24/4:24.36) who was the top Redwood runner last year at the NCS MOC XC meet with a 28th place finish.  Their 2nd runner was Kyle Ryan who as a sophomore on the track ran 4:28.76/9:56.58.  Freshman Fred Huxham and Jack Bullock finished 1st and 2nd respectively at the Ed Sias Invitational last year.  Huxham didn't compete for the Giants at the section XC race but did have an impressive track and field season running 4:26.45 and 9:56.58.  Competing in the tough MCAL should prepare this group for the rigors of Division III.
Ups:  A young motivated group with a solid summer could be dangerous in the fall.
Downs:  They compete in the toughest division in NCS.

Division III Rankings
1.       1.  Campolindo- The cougars have depth, experience, and the want to take the NCS title this year
2.       2.  Piner- Having 3 runners under 10:00, Piner looks like they can compete with the best now.
3.       3.  Miramonte- After a very strong track season, the Mats are ready for the best of the best.
4.       4.  Petaluma- Known for their successful cross country program, you can’t count the Trojans out.
5.       5.  Bishop O’Dowd- After losing nobody to graduation, and with a strong track season, the Dragons are ready    for that trip to Fresno.
          6.  Redwood-The team that could make the biggest improvement from last year's meet and potentially finish in the top 4.
6.       7.  Northgate- The Mustangs had a decent track season, but might not have the depth to make an impact.
7.        8.  Las Lomas- The Knights might have had a better track season but are still in the hunt considering their F/S win in the competitive DFAL last year.
8.        9.  Acalanes- This might not be the year for the Dons in a very tough division.
9.        10. Eureka-Losing 5 runners from last year, it's not looking too good for the Loggers.  
?         *Tamalpias?!?!? Where do the Hawks belong???

Nolan Tonkyn of Albany Alex Conner of Sonoma Academy Evan Quigley of Alhambra.

Thank you to Karsten for his work on the above rankings.  Feel free to comment and share your thoughts about this division in the comment section below.  Girls' Division III rankings will be posted on Friday.


Anonymous said...

It should be noted that Piner's Mebrahtu actually ran 10:16.9 giving them 6 runners under 10:30.

Andrew said...

Honestly, I was a little skeptical about letting a runner (within the division he is writing about) to write the preview. But after reading it, I am really impressed, Karsten. You showed enough objectivity while of course plugging yourself and your team a tiny bit. By the way, BOD is looking very strong. Its a tough division, but you guys have a strong core returning.

This is way more in-depth than I could have imagined. It really considers pretty much every runner on the 10 teams looked at. Great job, Karsten.

Anonymous said...

Re. the query in the Acalanes section, Vikis Agaratha graduated in June.

Anonymous said...

Alex Connor is from Somoma and not Sonoma Academy
Somoma is a up and coming team to watch. They will need help from their 4 & 5 runner to be competitive at NCS

Anonymous said...

Keith geiger ran PRs of 4:36 and 9:59, giving camplindo 4 runners under 10.

Anonymous said...

Phenomenal write-up and analysis!

Louis Rodrigues said...

great write up! seriously, very nicely done. I think you're being a bit humble putting your own team BOD at 5th behind Petaluma. I think everything was spot on, but personally i think BOD should be favored to make state in the 4 spot. Great job, once again.

Anonymous said...

I would be stunned if the fastest team in the section was not from D3

Anonymous said...

I was skeptical too about a runner from the division writing a preview, but I have to say, the preview was very detailed and unbiased. Overall, this was one of the better pre-season rankings I've seen in a while and many people are it's little articles like these that get everyone so hyped up for the upcoming season. Great job and good luck in the fall.

Anonymous said...

Add to individuals list Michael Sisario of Dougherty Valley (one place in front of Alex Conner at 2010 NCS)

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Dougherty Valley moved up to D2.

Anonymous said...

How does the south look? Could one of these teams take the state title?

Anonymous said...

Tam is D3 this year?

Way to go on the write up. It's going to be a great fight this season.

Anonymous said...

I think the top 4 spots are truly up for grabs between the top 5. This is going to be one hell of a race.

Anonymous said...

His name has been misspelled in every meet we've been too. John Vikas, Vikis Argratha, and now Vikis Agaratha. It should read "Vikas Agartha" (aka Vik da Sneak) and yes, he did just graduate.

Albert Caruana said...

Thank you all for the positive comments.

We have been very lucky to have some great contributors (Chris Puppione, Peter Brewer, Jason Oswalt, Josh Small, Al Berrin, Chuck Woolridge, Andy Chan, Kevin Liao, Matt Duffy etc.) to this site and Karsten is definitely added to that list.

Anonymous said...

Huxham/Redwood ran 9:47 at NCS.

Hal Schulz said...

Look at the redwood high xc team 1971-1975 years. 3/4 ncs titles when they didn't divide up the section by school size. Schulz 4:17/9:03, Mihailoff 4:18/9:25, Berry 8:53/4:14?, MacMillan 4:19/9:40?, Chapman 9:30?, Brock , Skinner, Sweeny, Tracy
Ncs 1975 team champs placed 1,2,3,in team scoring. total score =29points I believe

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