Sunday, July 31, 2011

2011 Northern Section pre-season cross country rankings...

Thank you to one of my reliable sources up north for the following rankings...

Individuals -
1.  Dylan Chamberlen (12) Paradise D3
2. Tim Williams (12) Yreka D4
3.  Eric Neill (12) Yreka D4
4.  Tony Meredith (12) Foothill D3
5.  John Whelan (11) Etna D5
1.  Kody Atkins (12) Chico D2
2.  Stephanie Rasmussen (12) American Christian D5
3.  Autumn May (10) American Christian D5
4.  Hannah Dorman (11) West Valley D4
5.  Melanie Hickman (11) Pleasant Valley D2
Teams -
1.  Yreka
2.  Chico
3.  Shasta
4.  Enterprise
5.  Foothill
1.  Chico
2.  Shasta
3.  Foothill
4.  West Valley
5.  Enterprise

Friday, July 29, 2011

Northern Section Rankings will be up next...

Will post this weekend.  

Also stay tuned for 2 coaching interviews.  If you have any coaches and/or athletes that you would like to see interviewed, please feel free to name those candidates below.  I can't guarantee that I will get the interviews but I will definitely ask.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Help spread the word about Cross Country Express

If you are a coach and have a team website, please add to your links.

If you are a runner on a team, please share this blog with your teammates and your coaches.

If you are a parent, please share this blog with the rest of the parents on your child's team.

Thank you in advance for your help.  

CCS Boys' Division I preview by Valley Christian SJ coach, Josh Small

Boys DI

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let me begin by saying thank you to Hank Lawson for all the hard work he puts in to give us all the stats we could ever need over there at Walt VanZant’s team comparisons are pure gold to a stat geek like me trying to pass the summer before the start of the season. In all the discussions of great coaches and programs you cannot leave out those who have contributed in providing us with the history we seek to surpass!

Now onto the “‘inconsistent’ ranking/preview/unfair listing of things/puff piece that people can randomly crap on even though it means nothing in the end" thing. Or whatever you want to call it…

Leading the way in DI and the entire CCS is once again Bellarmine High School in San Jose. The Bells are one of those annoying teams that seem to have it figured out year after year… 15 CCS titles (8 consecutive from 1993-2000) and they are still hungry for more! The defending champions have not finished lower than 2nd in the last 5 years and time and again field a squad that will compete for a CCS title; 2nd place feels like a down year. How can it not feel that way when you go to meets with 2-3 buses packed with 75 boys (and still leave people at home)? To top it off their JV team very well could be in the top 10 over-all list of teams in CCS!

To gain an appreciation of the dominance of this team read the Bellarmine history from Hank's site before going any further! (Go ahead… CLICK HERE). After you scroll down a ways you will see that as of April, 2010 it took 15:45 just to break into their top 100 list for Crystal Springs. Probably even harder now!

In 2010, Bellarmine was 10th across all divisions at the state championship meet. I asked Coach McCrystle how his team is looking for this year and despite being the historical machine, his humility is obviously one of the things that keeps his team grounded and hungry for more. “I think we have a chance to be pretty good this year,” he said. He was also quick to point out that some good DI schools are coming up in the south part of the section like Hollister, Alisal and Salinas. He was also more than eager to point out that Menlo Atherton is going to be a huge threat this year and looks really good.

Bellarmine returns three boys who ran sub 16:00 last year at the Crystal Springs course, more than any other team in the section. Jack Bordoni returns as the top runner for the Bells and had a solid spring running 4:25 for the 1600 meters. He will be joined by Adrian Hinojosa (9:39 for 3200 meters this spring) and Esteban Valencia (4:32, 9:36) to make up the powerful 1-2-3 combo. Jose Sandoval ran 16:15 last year at Crystal (as well as 4:39 & 10:28 this spring) and will be joined by Charles Deanda (4:48, 9:44) to round out the top 5. Simply put, Bellarmine is going to be tough to beat with the depth they have and a JV team (that is better than most Varsity teams) made of runners battling to get in the top 7. The Bellarmine machine rolls on.

The great thing about cross country is there is never a guaranteed win, never an easy race for a title. There is always a team trying to upset the favorite; chasing the ones with the target on their back. If Bellarmine has the target, Menlo-Atherton are the hunters. Led by Jack Beckwith (9:44 for 3200 meters last spring) and Mike Hester (4:22 for 1600), who are both hovering at the 16-minute mark for the Crystal Springs course, M-A shows potential to be a title threat. They have a strong top 5 who were all near 17 minutes or under last season including George Baier (10:19) and John Lovegren (10:04). They will also add depth with Jordan Scandlyn who ran 4:33 for 1600 last spring.

Hollister is a big school with solid community support. With a solid core of varsity runners returning, they have a real shot at a state meet spot. Omar Vasquez leads the team with a 16:16 season best but the strength of this team is their depth. Said Hernandez ran 16:40 at Toro last year and followed that up with a 9:52 for 3200 in the spring. Ricardo Esqueda also had a solid showing at Toro last year posting 16:43 and ran 10:03 for 3200. Another top runner for the Haybalers is Steven Valarde (16:41 at CS last season) and David Kret, who had a breakthrough spring running 4:36 for 1600 meters in the spring.

I’m going to go out on a limb and pick Salinas as my #4 pick. Not to slight Monta Vista or Carlmont, those two are right in the mix for a top 5 spot, but the southern part of the section has quietly been having a resurgence as of late. The top five Salinas runners hit between 9:43 and 10:17 for 3200 meters last spring and Coach Chagnon knows how to get his boys ready for the big show. They tend to get over looked because they don’t come to Crystal Springs when CCS is not held there but following last year’s 5th place finish and a very solid spring, I’m penciling them in as my dark horse pick of 2011.

To round out the top 5 you have Monta Vista, Carlmont and Alisal all fighting for a top 5 spot. The depth of DI is getting better every year and this year you have 7-8 quality teams all with hopes for a top 2 finish and trip to state. Alisal is led by Francisco Salvador and Robert Valencia who both were very solid this spring. They have a solid core of 6-7 runners and could bring the heat. Kevin Bishop had a spectacular spring that included a CCS title and a time of 8:59 for 3200 meters. Takuto Doshiro and Michael Lu also had good runs in the 1600 meters this spring both running in the 4:30’s. Carlmont was last year’s runner-up and lost their top 2 runners to graduation but return 3-5. Ryan Dimick had a breakthrough spring running 9:51 for 3200 meters and could bridge the gap of the top 5 runners. So with three teams so close it really is a “you pick ‘em.” At this point it is anyone’s game to win or lose.

The race for the individual DI title will likely be the best of the day as defending champion Miguel Vasquez of Andrew Hill will defend his title against Yohaness Estifanos (Milpitas) and Kevin Bishop (Monta Vista). Throw in Jack Bordoni and Adrian Hinojosa of Bellarmine and you have one heck of a race!

DIV. 2 BOYS: Team Pre-Season Rankings
1.  Bellarmine
2.  Menlo-Atherton
3.  Hollister
4.  Salinas
5.  Alisal
Others Teams of Note: Monta Vista, Carlmont

DIV. I BOYS: Top Returning Individuals
(From the 2010 CCS Championship)
1.  Miguel Vasquez, Andrew Hill
2.  Yohaness Estifanos, Milpitas
3.  Jack Bordoni, Bellarmine
4.  Kevin Bishop, Monta Vista
5.  Adrian Hinojosa, Bellarmine

One Final Note:
Now that this is wrapped up and has taken us through most of the dog days of summer I encourage you all to prove the “rankings” wrong…or right, wherever you may lie in the pointless puff piece. Run every day, sometimes twice if you have to. Run faster, run further, and discover how far you can really push yourself! Most of all remember: the rankings are always wrong and flawed…and that is why we run the race!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Coming up tomorrow...

CCS Boys' Division I Cross Country Pre-Season Rankings by Valley Christian SJ coach Josh Small...

Who are the top teams in this division?  Individuals?  Surprises?

Find out tomorrow morning when the last of the CCS rankings are posted.

Shannon Rowbury's Basic Core Routine

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

14-year-old Adrian Lemke credited in water rescue of well-known runner: Council to honor teen Tuesday

Top returning NorCal runners from last year's state meet (girls)

2 Carrie Verdon                    JR Campolindo               3 NCS 17:14.3  5:33 
3 Clare Carroll                    FR Granite Bay              1 SJS 17:23.8  5:36 
26 Anna Maxwell                     FR San Lorenzo Valley       4 CCS 17:54.8  5:46 
27 Vanessa Fraser                   SO Scotts Valley            4 CCS 17:55.8  5:47 
35 Sophie Hartley                   FR Granada                  1 NCS 18:04.4  5:50 
42 Madeleine Ankhelyi               SO Vista Del Lago           3 SJS 18:06.4  5:50 
54 Spencer Moore                    FR St. Mary's College Hs    4 NCS 18:18.2  5:54 
55 Annie Marggraff                  SO Acalanes                 3 NCS 18:19.9  5:54 
56 Carina Novell                    JR Granada                  1 NCS 18:20.2  5:55 
60 Alexandra Tate                   JR Clayton Valley           2 NCS 18:21.9  5:55 
67 Bridget Blum                     JR San Francisco Univ       5 NCS 18:24.7 5:56 
69 Maryann Gong                     SO Granada                  1 NCS 18:26.7  5:57 
70 Lauren Kraus                     SO Maria Carrillo           3 NCS 18:27.8  5:57 
71 Nikki Hiltz                      SO Aptos                    3 CCS 18:27.9  5:57 
80 Rachel Meadows                   JR Campolindo               3 NCS 18:31.7  5:58 
91 Kendall Hacker                   FR St. Ignatius             3 CCS 18:34.8  5:59 
92 Allison Sturges                  JR Mountain View            2 CCS 18:35.3  5:59 
95 Ashley Moffett                   SO Casa Grande              2 NCS 18:36.0  6:00 
101 Kayla Knapp                      JR Los Gatos                2 CCS 18:37.4  6:00
105 Becky Hobby                      JR Hughson                  4 SJS 18:38.3  6:00
106 Cassidy Daley                    SO Lodi                     1 SJS 18:38.4  6:00 
109 Reaghan Emrick                   FR Oak Ridge                1 SJS 18:39.1  6:01 
119 Nina Anderson                    JR Notre Dame Salinas       4 CCS 18:41.6  6:01 
126 Amy Hollshwandner                SO Acalanes                 3 NCS 18:45.5  6:03 
130 Brooke Ruppenthal                SO Ponderosa                2 SJS 18:47.1  6:03 
132 Jessica Diaz                     JR St. Francis (sjs)        1 SJS 18:48.2  6:04 
138 Karina Nunes                     SO Woodcreek                2 SJS 18:49.0  6:04 
142 Katie Alioto                     JR Soquel                   4 CCS 18:49.9  6:04 
144 Anna Welsh                       JR Monterey                 3 CCS 18:50.4  6:04 
147 Julia Maxwell                    FR Branson                  5 NCS 18:51.1  6:05 
154 Katy Lee                         SO Sonoma Academy           5 NCS 18:52.3  6:05 
159 Laura Vasquez                    JR Presentation             2 CCS 18:54.7  6:06 
160 Mimi Eckhardt                    JR Santa Cruz               3 CCS 18:54.8  6:06 
161 Jennifer Morgan                  SO Vista Del Lago           3 SJS 18:55.2  6:06 
162 Morgan Lira                      SO Valley Christian         3 CCS 18:55.2  6:06 
168 Killeen Kathleen                 JR Redwood                  3 NCS 18:57.1  6:06 
172 Sarah Robinson                   FR Gunn                     1 CCS 18:58.7  6:07 
177 Lalida Maokhamphiou              JR Wilcox                   1 CCS 18:59.6  6:07 

Monday, July 25, 2011

39th annual Wharf to Wharf: Oakland's Lewy Boulet cruises to women's title

Overall Results (You can view more specific results on the left hand side of the page):

How many current and former Northern California high school stars can you identify from the race results?  What high schools did they attend?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bay Area Running Camp

Please help spread the word with your teammates or runners.  
Hi folks-

Wanted to send one last reminder in case you have any interested athletes.  We're looking forward to a great week!

The Bay Area Running Camp is coming on August 1-5!

Our mission is to provide a local and accessible running camp opportunity for kids ages 12-18. 

All campers receive a pair of New Balance trainers with registration (fitted by Fleet Feet Menlo Park staff).

Why a day camp?
  • No need to get away for an entire week if a busy schedule can't accommodate the trip
  • An affordable alternative a sleep away camp
  • Not all kids are prepared to run twice a day without risking injury
  • Some novice kids are still deciding whether the sport is for them and we want to nurture that interest
  • Some teams may have a few kids who want to try camp, but not enough to go as a whole team
We'll group the kids according to age and ability level, and have a great roster of speakers and activities planned. Topics will include form analysis, nutrition, injury prevention, resistance/ core training for distance runners, introduction to distance hurdling (steeplechase) and more!

Some financial assistance is available - we don't want finances to stand in the way of a motivated kid.

Coaches are more than welcome to attend.

Team discount codes are available to further reduce costs.

We are located on the campus of Woodside Priory School, nestled amongst the trails in Portola Valley, just off the 280.

DON'T MISS OUT!  Space is limited...

Registration is available until July 27th only.

Please do not hesitate to email with any questions.

Dena Evans

Thursday, July 21, 2011

CCS Girls' Division I preview by Valley Christian SJ coach, Josh Small

Girls DI

The Division 1 Rankings at last…

Out of the top 30 runners at last year’s CCS finals 24 of them are back for more. So outside the two big departures of Jessie Peterson and Erin Robinson, my thought is this year’s pre-season rankings will pretty much be rehashing of last year with some teams mixing it up to get in the top 5. We all know that with girls one star freshman can vault a team from contender to champion so anyone is in the mix but love it or hate it, if anyone tends to get those super-fresh freshies it tends to be Carlmont and Gunn. So once again I am guessing they go 1-2... or at least are in the driver’s seat for the two state spots up for grabs.

Calmont has won 5 of the last 6 CCS Championships in DI and looks to add on one more in 2011. Led by Sarah Schreck who ran 19:16 at the CCS finals last year she will be joined by a solid supporting cast in
Mei-Lin Okino and Corin Soelberg, who both had solid track seasons that included both of them running 5:20ish for 1600 meters. Lindsay Hendershott is a strong number 3 or 4 runner who had a huge run at state covering the 5k Woodward Park course in 19:43. They will need a number 5 to step up to solidify another title and while they are not as strong as the record setting teams in the past Carlmont is once again in the driver’s seat.

So who was that team that broke up Carlmont’s streak of 4 straight (by the slim margin of 3-points in a 39-42 victory)? Gunn High School in Palo Alto… who once again is in the hunt. Gunn brings back a solid core of runners that include the top returner from last year’s finals, Sarah Robinson. Kieran Gallagher who qualified for the state meet at 800 meters also returns adding the top 1-2 punch in the division. The team has lost some depth as compared to the past few years but Gunn is one of those schools that tend to get talent year after year. And with Coach Tomkins and Coach Lee at the helm, magic seems to never be too far away.

But before you think this season is wrapped up before it even gets started you better watch out for Hollister! Running away with the TCAL title last season, Vanessa Estrada led the Haybalers to the league championship and a 4th place finish in last year’s finals. Not only is Hollister one of the largest schools in the section, they have quickly grown into one of the top teams as well. Large numbers, good coaching and solid talent they could easily surprise some teams this year!

A slew of teams are in the mix for top 5 spots: Evergreen, Leland, Wilcox, Homestead. Each has a strong #1 runner but will need some support if they want to challenge for a top 3 spot. Homestead looks like they are trending up with 5 girls under 21:30ish last year at the Crystal Springs course. It will be a good battle to move up the ranks that is for sure!

I’m going to work hard for those boys rankings but am going out of town as of Friday to enjoy some good golf and time with the family so it might be next week… After-all, with quality teams like Bellarmine, Menlo-Atherton and Hollister I need to do them right!

DIV. I GIRLS: Team Pre-Season Rankings
1.  Carlmont
2.  Gunn
3.  Hollister
4.  Evergreen Valley
5.  Leland

DIV. I GIRLS: Top Returning Individuals
(From Last Year’s CCS Finals)
1.  Sarah Robinson, Gunn
2.  Vanessa Estrada, Hollister
3.  Sarah Schreck, Carlmont
4.  Lalida Maokhamphiou, Wilcox
5.  Samantha Garcia, Evergreen

Coming up later today...

CCS Division I girls' pre-season rankings by Valley Christian SJ coach Josh Small.

In the meantime, feel free to let me know what else you would like to see on this site during the summer.  Any ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

CCS Boys' Division II preview by Valley Christian SJ coach, Josh Small

Boys DII

Los Gatos took back the title in 2010 and look to hold onto it as they are the team to beat this fall. The defending champs are loaded once again this year led by Grant Foster, who is the top returner from DII last year where he finished 3rd. Los Gatos brings back 4 of the top 20 returners this season including Henry Mannng and Ben Wagner who both were in the 16’s at Crystal Springs last season. This spring saw some big jumps from their 4-5-6 runners including Aru Rubin who ran 10:04 for 3200 meters.

Los Altos was runner-up last year by just 10 points and it looks like this fall will be a rematch between the top two teams. Austin Bowie leads the veteran squad running a season best 16:18 at Crystal Springs last fall. Bowie had a great spring running 4:25 for 1600 meters and looks to make the jump this fall and has to be considered one of the top contenders for the individual title. The strength of Los Altos though is their depth as they return 4 of the top 13 runners from last year’s CCS Finals. Looking at the stats it is going to be a tight battle for the team championship and is going to come down to the strength of the team’s #5 runner. Los Altos had some solid showings on the track this spring which will hopefully give them a bit of momentum coming into the fall. No matter how you look at it DII is going to be a tightly contested run for the team title and Los Altos is one of the heavyweights in this division.

Cupertino is trending up and on paper looks really good. So good in fact some might argue they should be #1 this pre-season. However, my rankings are based primarily on where you finished last season and who is coming back. Last season Cupertino finished 9th in the SCVAL Championship and did not have a scoring team in the CCS Finals so for now I will place them in the #3 spot. But don’t count them out the title hunt; last year was a funny year with muggy heat waved that really hit some teams hard. My guess would be that Cupertino will rebound and run a purpose this year as they will have something to prove. ‘Tino is strong up front with arguably the best 1-2 punch in D2 this year in Peter and Thomas Anthony. Peter had a stellar track season running 4:19 for 1600 and 9:28 for 3200 meters while Thomas was not far behind running 4:30 and 9:47 respectably. They will be joined by Shubhankar Jain and Bryce Chen-Campbell who were both in the 16:35 range at Crystal Springs last year.

Rounding out the top 5 are Aragon and Willow Glen. Aragon also has a strong 1-2 combo led by Rory Beyer and Christian Pedro. Pedro ran just 17:12 last year at Crystal Springs but had a fantastic track season running 4:30 for 1600 and 9:30 for 3200 meters. With solid 3-4-5 runners Aragon could surprise some people this year and really make a push for a top 3 spot. Willow Glen is also in that battle to get a top 3 spot and punch their ticket to the state meet. Last year’s DIII champions they got bumped up to DII in this year’s CBED’s. The team took a hit with graduation but if they can keep McCabe healthy and get a few runners to step up they are right there in the mix.

It seems odd not placing Mountain View in the top 5 of their division as they have been so strong as of late.  I really think they will rebuild after the graduation of some top runners so I am going to take the easy route and give you my contenders list. These teams are all quality programs that could very well see themselves in the top 5: Mountain View, Leland, Lynbrook, St. Francis and Mitty. All quality programs in a tough division!

DIV. II BOYS: Team Pre-Season Rankings
1.  Los Gatos
2.  Los Altos
3.  Cupertino
4.  Aragon
5.  Willow Glen

DIV. 2 BOYS: Top Returning Individuals
1.  Grant Foster, Los Gatos
2.  Richard Ho, Leland
3.  Peter Anthony, Cupertino
4.  Henry Manning, Los Gatos
5.  Dane Kreisman, Los Altos


Monday, July 18, 2011

Marin Briefs: Two Marin mountain bikers win national titles

Current Branson HS cross country runner Kate Courtney is also an accomplished biker.  Courtney finished in 10th place last year at the NCS MOC Division V race and finished 20th at the state meet

(Photo to the left courtesy of

Saturday, July 16, 2011

NCS Division I pre-season rankings by Amador Valley coach, Jason Oswalt...

And last but definitely not least, Division I.  Thanks to Amador Valley HS coach Jason Oswalt for the following rankings.  Feel free to comment on the following rankings in the comment section below.
NCS Division I pre-season Cross Country Rankings link

More CCS rankings to follow this week and eventually I will get rolling with the SJS rankings once the CBEDs are posted.  Until then check out the SJS site for all the current updates and past section results.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CCS Girls' Division II preview by Valley Christian SJ coach, Josh Small

Girls Division II
To put it simply, Girls Division II is going to come down to survival of the fittest. Looking at the powerhouse schools in DII you very well could have 6…7…8 teams slugging it out for just 4 spots. Who makes to the state meet could very well come down to everyone’s #5…or who has a runner with a huge breakthrough. At this point it’s all just a roll of the dice as is could take one bad day from one runner to be the difference in who goes to state and who stays home. It took me a few extra days to sort out the madness. The top 10 schools all have a strong tradition of great teams, strong JV and Frosh-Soph teams, strong feeder programs which leads to large numbers and all have great coaching. Take your pick from the reasons just listed above as to why this division will mostly likely end the season with 6 or 7 of the top 10 teams in the section. Year after year these teams bring it and will once again this year.

To reward the competitiveness and accomplishments at the state meet level in the past few years, CCS Division II has been awarded an additional state birth this year. But that doesn’t help settle the murky waters of DII. With 4 state meet spots up for grabs, a top ranked team could still be left on the outside looking in. With the addition of Saint Ignatius, the defending DIII Champs, the division got that much tougher.

If there is one team that stands out above the rest, it has to be Mountain View HS. For the last three years, this team has been the #1 team in CCS and in my opinion once again leads the way. Every year they lose 2, 3 or 4 of their top 7 and every year, young talent fills those roles. You can go for a run during any random afternoon in Rancho San Antonio and you can see that momentum is still rolling along. Despite losing two huge contributors, MV has 4 of the top 13 returning runners in DII and has some incoming talent that arguably make them the favorites to once again to repeat as theCCS top team. I know MV wants to downplay the fact they are the favorites but they are the one’s with the target on their back…after all they are the three time defending champs! Led by Allison Sturges, the Mercury News Runner of the Year the past two seasons look for this team to once again be #1.

St. Francis won the WCAL Championship last year in a season that had the league title up for grabs between 5 teams into a 20 point blow-out. Runner-up Saint Ignatius was closely followed by Presentation, Sacred Heart Cathedral (DIII) and Mitty. St. Francis was also last year’s runner-up in DII and has been rolling the last few years  and this year is no different. Morgan Healy returns as the Lancers #1 runner and will be joined once again by standout Madeline Roemer. The 3-4-5 runners have graduated but St. Francis has a very deep JV and Frosh-Soph teams that will step up nicely. Coach Roberta Chisam does a fantastic job getting her girls ready to compete well at the end of the season and I would expect them to challenge for a top 4 spot and make the trip to Fresno come November.

Los Gatos was #3 last year and so I’m going to take the high road and plug them in there this year once
again! They have a killer 1-2 punch in Knapp and Katz and a bunch of runners who can run in the 20-21 minute range for three miles. Traditionally they get a large turn-out every year from Fischer middle school who had to cut their track team down to 200 athletes this past spring. A slew of 5:30-6:00 min. girls coming in will only strengthen the wildcats chances of finishing in the top 3.

After that, it’s a “you pick ‘em”… Presentation has a ton of talent returning led by Laura Vasquez. Saint Ignatius won the DIII title and was the runner-up in the WCAL Championship last fall. They lost last year’s #1 but return Kendall Hacker who finished last season as the 6th fastest CCS runner at the State Championship (18:34). Lauren Crowshaw leads a strong Aragon team that has been trending up the last few years and is looking to have a huge impact this season. Mitty also lost their #1 but are always tough and get quality runners year after year. And then there’s Willow Glen who has also been steadily getting better over the last few years and you can never count out Gilroy.

So as you can see, this is a mess and I am certain you all can do a better job than me. The good news through it all is that the CCS girls have really has a surge of depth over the last 5-10 years and we all know the stronger your 3-4-5 runners are the better you do in the big races. It is good to see the smaller CCS schools go and compete against larger Southern California schools and be able to do some damage. Another exciting division that makes racing exciting. It is certainly good for the sport!

DIV. 2 GIRLS: Team Pre-Season Rankings
1.  Mountain View
2.  St. Francis
3.  Los Gatos
4.  Presentation
5.  Saint Ignatius
In the hunt: Mitty, Aragon, Willow Glen

DIV. 2 GIRLS: Top Returning Individuals
1.  Kendall Hacker, Saint Ignatius
2.  Allison Sturges, Mtn. View
3.  Lauren Croshaw, Aragon
4.  Danielle Katz, Los Gatos
5.  Kayla Knapp, Los Gatos

Feel free to comment on the above rankings.  Thanks once again to Coach Small for his work on the CCS rankings.

Yet one more NorCal Top 10 boys' list

Posted below in the comment section.  A terrific list by a visitor to this site:

This is just another random persons opinion... And before I start, apologies to those who I may have accidentally overlooked. 
1. Luis Luna (Piner) NCS
2. Kevin Bishop (Monta Vista) CCS
3. Thomas Joyce (Campolindo) NCS
4. Grant Foster (Los Gatos) CCS
5. Jordan Rushing (Del Campo) SJS
6. Parker Deuel (San Ramon Valley) NCS
7. Yohaness Estifanos (Milpitas) CCS
8. Peter Anthony (Cupertino) CCS
9. Adrian Hinojosa (Bellarmine) CCS
10. Trevor Fuhriman (Monte Vista) NCS

Jack Bordoni (Bellarmine) CCS
Trent Brendel (Granite Bay) SJS
Jamie Fehrnstrom (Miramonte) NCS
Richard Ho (Leland) CCS
John Lawson (Drake) NCS
Riley Ruppenthal (Ponderosa) SJS
Esteban Valencia (Bellarmine) CCS
Miguel Vasquez (Andrew P. Hill) CCS

Gabe Arias (St. Joseph) NCS
Vinson Compestine (Campolindo) NCS
Alex Conner (Sonoma Valley) NCS
Ryan Douglas (Petaluma) NCS
Aidan Goltra (Las Lomas) NCS
Sam Hales (King City) CCS
Jacob Huston (Center) SJS
Mitch Martin (Half Moon Bay) CCS
Tyler Mercado (Del Campo) SJS
Evan Molineux (De La Salle) NCS
Ciaran Murphy (St. Ignatius) CCS
Christian Pedro (Aragon) CCS
Kevin Poeteracke (Petaluma) NCS
Andrew Prior (Gunn) CCS
Connor Van Meter (De La Salle) NCS
Chris Waschura (Woodside) CCS - If he decides to run

I think the previous lists have been banking heavily on this past track season. Keep in mind, this is a cross country list. 

I believe the top 7 on most people's list will look the same. The 8-9-10 spots can be interchangeable with the people 
on the notables list. 

The sleepers list is more comprehensive. It acknowledges all those who had great 2010-2011 seasons and are people we should keep an eye on throughout the fall.

One more NorCal Boys' Top 10 List

From an anonymous CCS coach:
1. Luis Luna Piner NCS
2. Kevin Bishop Monta Vista CCS
3. Thomas Joyce Campolindo NCS
4. Jordan Rushing Del Campo SJS
5. Parker Deuel San Ramon Valley NCS
6. Grant Foster Los Gatos CCS
7. Yohaness Estifanos Milpitas CCS
8. Riley Ruppenthal Ponderosa SJS
9. Trevor Fuhriman Monte Vista NCS
10. Jamie Fehrnstrom Miramonte NCS

Thoughts on this list?

Monday, July 11, 2011

NorCal's Top 10 boys cross country runners...

Posted below by an anonymous fan...

1) Luis Luna - Piner (NCS)
2) Kevin Bishop - Monta Vista (CCS)
3) Thomas Joyce - Campolindo (NCS)
4) Grant Foster - Los Gatos (CCS)
5) Johanness Estifanos - Milpitas (CCS) 
6) Parker Deuel - San Ramon Valley (NCS)
7) Miguel Vasquez - Andrew P. Hill (CCS)
8) Christian Pedro - Aragon (CCS)
9) Jack Bordoni - Bellarmine (CCS)
10) Adrian Hinojosa - Bellarmine (CCS)

Who is missing from the above list?  I know a couple of SJS runners were brought up.  Comments?  Who would lie to put together a girls' list?

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Cross Country Express Poll

Who are the top 10 cross country runners (boys and girls) in Northern California this coming season?

Feel free to comment and list the runners in the section below.  Rank them 10 to 1.  Remember that runners in consideration compete in either CCS, NCS, SJS, NS, Oakland or San Francisco sections.

Friday, July 08, 2011

CCS Boys' Division III preview by Valley Christian SJ coach, Josh Small

Boys Division III

After the summer CBEDs dust settled, it’s another departure for another top D3 team as Willow Glen moves up to Division II. With the exit of the defending Champs and a mass exodus of graduating seniors, the door is wide open for a youthful Saint Ignatius team. Last year’s runner-up, they have three of the top 5 returners this season. SI is traditionally one of the top teams year after year in D3, if not the entire CCS and this year is no different. One of the few teams that seems to get hundreds of new recruits every year it should be no surprise that they will be good once again this fall. They will be led by Ciaran Mirphy and Joseph McIntyre but have a solid top 7 who all hit 18:11 or faster last season at Crystal Springs.

Last year Sacred Heart Cathedral was on a mission. Finishing 4th in the WCAL and knocking St. Francis out of CCS in the process, they went on to pull off another great run at CCS finishing 3rd in the CCS finals clinching a state meet berth. SHC loses an outstanding top runner to graduation but returns with a strong core of runners and is the only team in D3 who returns 5 guys who ran sub 18 last year at Crystal Springs. They are led by Austin Quach and Carlos Flores but the strength of Andy Chan’s Irish is the 39 second spread from 1-5.

North Monterey County brings experience into this season as their top 6 returning runners are all seniors. NMC returns a strong top 4 who all ran mid 17’s last season led by Andres Guerrero. Erik Lopez, David Parry and Esteban Gonzalez add big time depth to the team. This spring saw big jumps from their 5 & 6 runners Michael Vargas and Jonathon Nolasco as they ran mid 10’s for 3200 meters. NMC could very well have 5 runners 17:30 or better at Crystal and Challenge for the title. At this point, the team championship is up for grabs as the top 3 all match up evenly. It will be a close and exciting race and no doubt nerve-racking for the coaches who are trying to add up scores as the runners come cross the finish!

Rounding out the top 5 and expected to challenge for a state spot is Aptos and Mills. Aptos finished 5th last year and have a solid 5 runners returning from last year’s CCS finals. Led by Colby Meyer, Aptos has 5 boys all in the mid-18’s last season. Mills who finished 9th last year at CCS has potential this season to move up big and is one of those teams on the move. Led by Grant Murphy and followed by a solid core of runners who were mid-18’s or better last year at Crystal Springs they are trending up.

Ciaran Murphy is the top returner this season and had a fantastic spring running 4:24 for 1600 meters. He will be joined by teammates Joeseph McIntyre and Patric Cummins. Expect Grant Murphy of Mills and Daniel Chiriaev of Prospect to also make a run for the individual title.

DIV. 3 BOYS: Team Pre-Season Rankings

1.  Saint Ignatius
2.  Sacred Heart Cathedral
3.  North Monterey County
4.  Aptos
5.  Mills

DIV. 3 BOYS: Top Returning Individuals
1. Ciaran Mirphy, SI
2. Joseph McIntyre, SI
3. Grant Murphy, Mills
4. Daniel Chiriaev, Prospect
5. Patrick Cummins, SI

Photos courtesy of Margaret Gallagher and  Feel free to comment on the above rankings in the section below.  Thank you once again to Coach Josh Small for his work with the CCS rankings.

Just getting better (12 year old city of San Mateo track and field star).

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

CCS Girls' Division III preview by Valley Christian SJ coach, Josh Small

Girls Division III
With the departure of the defending champions (St. Ignatius) to Division II, the title is up for grabs in DIII with Sacred Heart Cathedral, Saratoga and Aptos leading the charge. SHC coach Andy Chan has a solid team this season led by standout Sophie Cannata-Bowman who ran 18:53 at Crystal Springs last fall. She missed the 2011 track season but was the WCAL champion at 3200 meters and was a CCS finalist in 2010. The strength of SHC is not just upfront but in their amazing depth. They return 5 runners who ran 21:19 or better at last year’s CCS Championship, all of whom ran under 21 at Crystal as well. All 5 runners have 1600 personal bests of 5:42 or better and 12:30 or better for 3200. This team is going to be good!

Saratoga had a breakthrough at the CCS Finals last year and is poised to have another great season this fall. This is a young team that has depth up front with a powerful trio in Maya Nag, Emily Williams and Courtney Schlossaresk who all ran 20:36 and under at last year’s CCS Finals at Toro. Their front four matches up well with Sacred Heart Cathedral and with the addition of new recruits who showed potential this track season (Stephanie Ho ran 5:28 for the 1600 while Allison Bruno ran 5:49) they could very well make a run for the title.

It is hard for me to put Aptos down at number three…so I am doing so with a “for now” asterisk because they won’t be there for long. (After all this is just a pre-season paper ranking before anyone has even laced ‘em up). As a Santa Cruz native I admit my bias for the SCCAL but both my heart and my brain tells me Aptos will make a run for the title and in all reality are the co-favorites. What can you say about Aptos? Year in and year out they consistently have some of the best athletes and teams in the CCS. They have one of the best places to run in the world, great community, a solid feeder program and awesome coaching. It is a recipe for success! Nikki Hiltz was phenomenal this past track season running 4:43 for 1600 meters placing 3rd at the State Championship meet. She is the top returning runner this fall for DIII and my guess is she is going to bring that dominance to Crystal Springs in November. She is followed by Clare Peabody who ran 20:15 at last year’s CCS Finals but really broke through this spring where she ran 5:08 for 1600 and 11:22 for 3200. They will be supported by Meghan Morse and surfer Maddy Hagerle. If that were not enough, Jackie Stanger showed up on the track this spring and ran 5:13 for 1600 meters. Rumor has it she doesn’t run cross country but I have heard that story before. And just when you thought things might open up for the rest of the section you take a look at some cross country results from Aptos Middle School and you see slew of young talent coming in, including Jade Bowdin who placed 3rd in the Lynbrook Invite Middle School race. The machine is rolling in Aptos.

Also, expecting to make a run for a State birth is Santa Cruz High School. It seems like Coach Greg Brock tells me every year, “We are not going to be as good this year,” and every year they come out and challenge for another state meet spot. And this year is not any different. They return four very talented runners led by Mimi Eckhardt, the #2 returner this season. She is followed by 4 runners who ran 21:38 or better in last year’s finals and with the addition of sub 6 min miler Erin Coffey the Cardinals are in position to make another run for a top 3 spot.

Rounding out the top 5 are my Warriors. I’m not going to lie, 6th place was disappointing for us after 4 consecutive trips to the state meet. Plagued by illness, injury and a couple of bad races the end of the season was not kind to us. But the girls all ran with heart and never gave up all the way to the end.  Refocused and with a determination to get back to the state meet, the girls have a solid shot but will need to work hard and catch a couple breaks if they want to move up. Led by Morgan Lira who won the WCAL championship last season and was 4th in last year’s final,s the Warriors return a group of 5 girls who ran 6 minutes or under this past spring.

The team title for D3 will certainly be a battle!

The top 5 returning girls in D3 are some of the best in all of CCS. As mentioned, Nikki Hiltz leads a talented group of runners after running 4:43 for 1600 last spring. Mimi Eckhardt was a CCS finalist at 3200 meters and Morgan Lira is the defending WCAL Champion and posted an 11:05 for 3200 this spring and was a CCS Finalist. Anna Welsh of Monterey is one of the best around at 2 miles running a blazing 10:44 at 3200 meters to finish the season with the 3rd fastest time in the section. Sophia Cannata-Bowman rounds out the top 5 and is the 2010 WCAL Champion at 3200 meters and very solid over three miles running 18’s at Toro last fall. It will be a heated battle for the individual and team titles this year and anyone can win. And that is why they run the race!

DIV. III GIRLS: Team Pre-Season Rankings
1.  Sacred Heart Cathedral
2.  Saratoga
3.  Aptos
4.  Santa Cruz
5.  Valley Christian S.J.

DIV. III GIRLS: Top Returning Individuals
1.  Nikki Hiltz, Aptos
2.  Mimi Eckhardt, Santa Cruz
3.  Morgan Lira, Valley Christian S.J.
4.  Anna Welsh, Monterey
5.  Sophia Cannata-Bowman, Sacred Heart Cathedral

Mansoor eager for cross country event

2011 NCS Division II pre-season rankings

Summer cross country pre-season rankings could be disputed and second guessed but what cannot be questioned is that Division II will be highly competitive this coming season with the addition of several schools from other divisions.  College Park and Maria Carrillo have been quality programs that have amassed 18 section titles in the past decade (12 for College Park and 6 for Maria Carrillo).  Dougherty Valley is an up and coming program that just two years ago won a section title in girls' Division IV and now lands in Division II after competing in Division III last season.  You add those three schools along with Newark Memorial (drops down from Division I) to the usual suspects in Division II and this year will be quite a challenge for all the competing teams to at the very last qualify for the state meet (top 3 for both boys and girls).

The pursuit for the boys' NCS team title will definitely have a different look with the new teams added to this division. What could be quite similar is the section champions.  San Ramon Valley steamrolled the rest of the competition by scoring 28 points to win their second consecutive title.   Last year's championship may have been a bit of a surprise as they had to replace 5 of the top 7 from their 2009 Division I championship team.  This year they return 6 of their top 7 from last year's team which includes the defending individual section champion, Parker Deuel.  He finished the track and field season on the disabled list but not before running 4:20.52 and 9:48.18.  Junior Matt Devries finished 4th last year in the section xc meet and ran 4:26.66 in the 1600m.  Fellow juniors Zach Hanze (4:37.23/9:56.29) and Carl Wilke (4:40.40/10:05.50) and seniors Nicco Baumann (2:03.98/4:51.30/10:17.21) and Brian Hardy (1:59.04/4:20.90/10/07.90) give the Wolves quite a lineup and will be the overwhelming favorites going into next season.

The competition for second place should be between Maria Carrillo and Alameda.  MC finished 6th last year in the uber competitive Division III race.  They return 5 of their top 7 and at this point are slight favorites over Alameda.  Senior Austin Rivas was their 2nd man last year running 16:30 on the Hayward course and recorded a pr of 4:43.79 on the track.  The rest of their lineup includes sophomore Dante Hay who was impressive in his freshman season on the track running 1:57.26 and 4:33.33 and junior Harrison Luft who recorded a sub 10:00 3200m. effort on the track with a 9:56.71.

Alameda finished 3rd last year with 4 sophomores and a freshman making up their top 5.  Now junior Steven Carlson finished 17th last year on the Hayward course and had an even more impressive track and field season (4:26.26/9:53.94).  Fellow juniors Duc Nguyen (4:47.08/10:00.78), Reece Kamphuis (2:09.57/4:44.60) and Michael Moler and sophomore Cameron Tu (4:45.38) make the Hornets one of the state meet hopefuls and if the stars align correctly for them, they could challenge the teams I mentioned above.

The rest of the top 5 contenders includes Dougherty Valley which returns most of their 2010 lineup including Michael Sisario (4:53.14) and Anoop Gala (4:49.85) that finished in 12th place in the Division III field.  Arroyo will have 4 of their top 6 back including their top 2, 3rd place finisher Adam White (9:46.71) and 16th place finisher Lorenzo Galindo (4:42.24/10:13.16).  To add to this competitive division, you have several wild card teams who could potentially finish in the top 5 but at this point are on the bubble.  College Park finished 2nd last year in Division I but will need to completely overhaul their lineup save for their 5th man Parker Marson (4:45.80).  Mt. Eden finished 2nd here last year and return runners #3 (Emanuel Morales) and #5 (Giovani Perez).  Casa Grande finished 4th here last year and return runners 4-7 (Harrison Wistock, Stanley Goto, Adam Lundquist, Aaron DalPoggetto).  American HS finished 8th last year with a less than healthy lineup so if their core group of seniors return healthy they could be a factor.

The race for the boys' individual title will go through defending champion SRV's Deuel.  His challengers will be similar to last year including 2nd place finisher Ukiah's Paul Holden (4:53.43/9:53.79), 3rd place finisher Arroyo's Adam White and 4th place finisher SRV's Matt DeVries.  Nolan Petersen of Washington HS finished in 7th place last year and ran 10:11.41 on the track.  Other runners in the mix include the already mentioned Zach Henze and Carl Wilke of SRV and Jose Mendoza of Montgomery HS.  Alameda HS teammates Steven Carlson and Duc Nguyen improved during this past track and field season and should finish in the top 10.  Austin Rivas of Maria Carrillo should also be a contender based on his time last year in the Division III race.

The girls' team race should be another interesting one this year with many teams in contention but with needs to shore up holes left by graduated athletes.   Last year, in all my brilliance, I left Washington HS off the final rankings that were included in the section meet program.  So how did Washington do at the NCS MOC meet at the Hayward course?  They won of course!  Congratulations goes to the Huskies runners and coaches and apologies for my sub-par work.  I will try to do a little better this year with my predictions so here we go.

The favorite at this point appears to be the College Park girls.  They finished in 2nd place last year in the always rugged Division I race.  They will be led once again by junior Kendall Stuscavage (2:23.64/5:19.36) who finished in 9th place with a sub 19:00 effort.  They lose their #2 runner Marissa Buckley but will have their #3 runner (Kazune Shidara 2:30.30/5:37.25), #4 runner (Parisa Broomand 5:46.20/11:58.16) and #5 runner (Amelia Lowry) back.  They appear to need another runner to step up as their 5th runner but if you look at their history, this will be a tough team once again in November.

Last year, San Ramon Valley finished a very competitive 2nd to Washington (55 to 66).  They return their #1 runner Elizabeth Hebel who finished in 2nd place running 18:48.  They will also add Christine Bayliss who will be an incoming freshman next year at SRV.  That gives SRV a tough 1/2 punch and considering this is one of the larger schools in Division II on top of being a very good program, there is a very good chance they will reload and compete quite well this coming season.

Maria Carrillo has been a consistent threat in both Divisions II and III.  Since 2004, they won NCS in Division III in 2004, 2008 and 2009 and Division II in 2005.  Their # 1 runner will be junior to be Lauren Kraus who finished in 3rd place in Division III running 18:28 and only losing to the two fastest runners overall in NCS (Carrie Verdon and Grace Orders of Campolindo).  She recorded a personal record 11:05.45 at the always fast Arcadia Invitational.  #2 runner Brynna Thigpen ran 19:39 last year on the Hayward course and recorded a season best 5:21.50 at the NCS Redwood Empire meet.  MC also returns runners #3 through #6 (Kelly Birkland, Gretel Petrie, Sophia Ramos and Trixi Scolari at SRHS now).

Last year's section race had quite a gap between the 3rd place team Carondelet (76) and the 4th place team Clayton Valley (135).  I believe that this year's pursuit of the last state meet spot (3rd) will be much more competitive.  The teams in position to compete for that last state meet berth are a combination of new teams to this division and teams that have experienced success in this division in previous seasons.  Dougherty Valley returns all 7 from last year's team including an individual state meet qualifier, Isabelle De Metz (2:20.24).  Alameda also returns their top 7 and will be looking to improve their 7th place finish of last year.  Clayton Valley and Casa Grande both finished in the top 5 last year and each have a very strong #1 runners.  Ashley Moffett of Casa Grande won the Division II title last year while Alexandra Tate of Clayton Valley finished in 4th place.  Carondelet will be led by Shelby Vaculan who was the #3 runner for Carondelet and then impressed on the track with a 2:20.73 800m.  Washington returns 3 from their section championship team including 8th place finisher Jessica Yee (2:26.03/5:27.70).

The chase for the individual title should be an interesting one.  When you look at the contenders you always start with the defending champion and that is Moffett of Casa Grande.  The fastest runner from last year's races is Kraus of Maria Carrillo.  The next contenders will be Hebel of SRV who was just 5 seconds behind Moffett in last year's race.  Tate of Clayton Valley has been a consistent top 10 runner in this division as has Amber Peirsol (2:25.54/5:10.95) of Windsor HS.  Yee of Washington and Andrea Morales (2:32.89/5:27.80/12:05.65) of American HS also finished in the top 10 last year.  Stuscavage of College Park and De Metz of Dougherty Valley were both competitive in their respective divisions and should also be considered here.

Division II Boys (Top 3 teams advance to state)
1)  San Ramon Valley-This could be their 3rd NCS title in a row.
2)  Maria Carrillo-Proven cross country program returns to Division II.
3)  Alameda-Young talented team could be dangerous come November.
4)  Dougherty Valley-This team competes in tough DFAL and will be battle tested.
5)  Arroyo-Strong 1/2 punch will need to add depth to their lineup.
On the bubble:  AmericanCasa Grande, College ParkMt. Eden

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2010 NCS meet time:
Parker Deuel (1) San Ramon Valley 15:58
Paul Holden (2) Ukiah 16:17
Adam White (3) Arroyo 16:20
Matt DeVries (4) San Ramon Valley 16:23
Nolan Petersen (7) Washington 16:32
From Division III-Austin Rivas (30) Maria Carrillo 16:30

Division II Girls (Top 3 teams advance to state)
1)  College Park-2nd place last year in tougher Division I race.
2)  San Ramon Valley-Lose 4 of top 7 but don't let that fool you.
3)  Maria Carrillo-Competitive team no matter the division.  
4)  Dougherty Valley-Individual state meet qualifier Isabelle De Metz leads the way.
5)  Alameda-Top 7 return and thinking more than just top 5.

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2010 NCS meet time:
Ashley Moffet (1) Casa Grande 18:43
Elizabeth Hebel (2) San Ramon Valley 18:48
Alexandra Tate (4) Clayton Valley 18:58
Amber Piersol (7) Windsor 19:39
Jessica Yee (8) Washington 19:39
From Division I-Kendall Stuscavage (9) College Park 18:55
From Division III-Lauren Kraus (3) Maria Carrillo 18:28
Isabelle De Metz (14) Dougherty Valley 19:12

Feel free to comment on the above rankings.  Lots of new teams now compete in this division. Did I miss anybody? Any surprises? Freshmen studs and/or studettes?

If your team website has been updated or you have a new link, send it my way ( as well and I will update the link.

Coming up later today...

NCS Division II pre-season rankings (I just need to edit so definitely by noon).
CCS Division III girls' pre-season rankings by Josh Small.

I will start working on Sac-Joaquin Section rankings once the section CBEDs are posted.  If you have any pertinent information on the SJS, feel free to email me at

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Monday, July 04, 2011

Coming up this week...

CCS pre-season rankings by Valley Christian SJ coach Josh Small will continue this Tuesday (girls) and Thursday (boys).

The NCS Division II pre-season rankings will be posted on Wednesday.

I am also open to ideas to what else you would like to see on this site.  Feel free to make your suggestions in the comment section below.

Happy 4th of July!

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