Thursday, June 21, 2012

2012 NCS Division V Pre-Season Rankings (Girls)

Now time to tackle the most successful North Coast Section division when it comes to the state meet.  After another stellar showing at the 2011 state meet, the NCS Division V girls added one more state meet qualifying spot (6) for this coming season.  How successful were the NCS girls last year at the state meet you may ask?  Try 6 individuals in top 9 including the state champion (Julia Maxwell) and the 2nd place finisher (Bridget Blum).  The University girls won their 9th state championship (3rd in a row) and College Prep won another plaque by finishing in 3rd place.  Overall, the 5 qualifying NCS teams all finished in the top 7.  Any way you look at it, there is only one word that can be used for those types of results, Dominating!

Without the ridiculous rule that forced teams to move up in divisions if they won 3 section titles in a row, the University girls can continue to wreak havoc on their division V opponents.  It won't be easy considering they lose their top 2 runners from the previous 2 seasons (Blum and Holland Reynolds).  What they do return is a talented #1 runner in senior Jennie Callan who finished 5th at the NCS MOC XC meet, 7th at the state championship and just recently finished 2nd (5:01.23) at the NCS meet to qualify for her first state Track and Field meet.  UHS also returns 5 out of their top 7 including Lizzy Teerlink (5:36.60/12:04.07) and Grace Euphrat-Weston (5:45.31/12:43.02).

University's competition could be quite formidable this year in the form of Branson.  They return the strongest 1/2 punch in the division with defending state champion Julia Maxwell (more on her later) and Anna Harleen (4th at NCS and 9th at state).  Their all sophomore lineup finished 5th at NCS and 7th at the state meet last year.  With an improved 5th runner, Branson could have quite a season in 2012 as they aim for their first section cross country title in school history.

The rest of the challengers will start with the previously mentioned College Prep which returns their coach Jack Coakley from sabbatical, their top 2 runners (seniors Claire Shellem-15th at state and Amanda Glavin-5:49.66/12/12.93) and 4 of their top 7.  In the past three seasons, CPS has won 3 plaques at the state meet so no reason for them not to be considered as a threat at NCS and beyond.   Lick Wilmerding, one of the largest Division V schools, will be led by Andie Von Eschen (5:29.01/12:14.14).  They finished in 4th place at NCS and 6th at state and will be in the mix with a return to health of several of their runners.  Marin Academy finished in the unenviable 6th position last season but that makes state this year so they are in the hunt.  Convent of the Sacred Heart returns all their runners, Head Royce has a talented duo in Aida Julien (2:14.02) and Jasmine Hardy (2:21.60) and Urban will try to reload with a very talented front runner, Molly Carleton (58.64/2:20.66).

The chase for the individual crown starts and ends with Branson's Julia Maxwell.  She went undefeated in the regular season in cross country, sweeping the MCAL, NCS and State Meet.  She continued to improve on the track running 2nd at the NCS MOC to Carrie Verdon in the 3200m. with a time of 10:32.81 and finished a really impressive 4th at state with a new PR of 10:27.99.  The race for 2nd will consist of Branson teammate Anna Harleen and University runner Jennie Callan.  They had some very close battles last year and look to continue that this season.  The rest of top 10 contenders include Andie Von Eschen of LW, Katy Lee of Sonoma Academy, Molly Carleton of Urban, Claire Shellem of College Prep as well as the runners already mentioned above.

Division V Girls (Top 6 Advance to state)
1) University-Until a team knocks them off, they are still #1.
2) Branson-Is this the year, Branson wins their 1st section crown?
3) College Prep-Finished top 3 last 5 seasons.
4) Lick Wilmerding- Can break into the top 3.
5) Marin Academy-Another consistent threat in this division.
6) Convent-In the mix to go to state.
On the bubble:  Head RoyceSonoma AcademyUrban

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2010 NCS meet time:
Julia Maxwell (1) Branson 17:40
Anna Harleen (4) Branson 18:28
Jennie Callan (5) University 18:30
Andie Von Eschen (7) Lick Wilmerding 18:53
Katy Lee (8) Sonoma Academy 19:01

Please feel free to chime in on the rankings above. I won't be offended if you strongly disagree as the above rankings are meant to be a launching pad for conversation. Fortunately section titles and state meet berths are decided by the runners themselves. Did I miss any teams or individuals? Any other impact freshmen that we should know about?

Boys coming up later this weekend...


NCSftw said...

My Predictions

1. University
2. Branson
3. Lick Wilmerding
4. College Prep
5. Marin Academy
6. Head Royce

Anonymous said...

University has dominated, but I think this is the year they drop... all the way to second.

1. Branson. (Get 2 of your 5 runners into top three, and you are really hard to beat. That's what Uni has been doing for years. The team is so young that major improvement across the board is almost inevitable)
2. University (always strong)
3. Lick Wilmerding (returning 4 of the top 40 from last years NCS)
3a. College Prep (also returning 4 out of the top 40)
5. Marin Academy

The sixth spot is tough. Head Royce or Convent, probably. Urban usually makes a mark, but 5 of their top 7 last year were graduating seniors. Sonoma Academy and St. Josephs have depth issues.

Anonymous said...

My predictions

1. University- they may be losing some valuable runners, but they do have several returnees and have such a strong program I think they'll hold on
2. Branson- they are a really strong team, could be close
3. Lick Wilmerding seems to be improving a lot as of late, with a bunch of new runners.
4. College Prep- always good
5. Marin Academy
6. Head Royce

Anonymous said...

I think athenian could be the dark horse in this divsion. Last year they weren't in the running but their frontrunner is vastly improved from track and they have some new freshman that could potentially create a formidable young squad.

Anonymous said...

Athenian's cross country team has close to doubled in size (based on 2012 roster) and has some incoming freshman and sophomore girls that will definetly be huge threats.

Anonymous said...

How often do you really get "impact freshman?" Other than the ultrarare phenom, it seems to me that most girls who have never trained at the high school level are going to need a full season just to get competitive.

If I was looking for breakout runners, I'd look for "impact sophomores."

Bill Cirocco said...

Why not put name to word rather than hide behind a veil of smothered opinion? If you think your school deserves to be included say so and express why- that's what discussion is for. So, even though I have rarely posted an opinion on this blog (once, in favor of Jim Tracy winning coach of the year), I'll try to start a trend. Branson will take the NCS title and Julia Maxwell, of course, should win the individual title. I think that, throughout her running career, Jennie Callan has been overlooked and underrated: she is very talented and has yet to fulfill her amazing potential for various and possibly obvious reasons. Convent should be considered more seriously, especially if we're talking about "impact sophomores"; watch out out for Sarah Selzer and Camilla Bykhovsky. And, yes, Urban has been making a mark these past few years but we lost 5 out of 7, so who the Christ knows. Molly Carleton is a magnificent runner with great potential and Cassidy Elkins should also prove to be excellent, thus I'm hopeful for the future. So, come on people, open up and don't be afraid to let us know who you are and what you think- it's more interesting that way.

John said...

Anonymous said...
"How often do you really get "impact freshman?" Other than the ultrarare phenom, it seems to me that most girls who have never trained at the high school level are going to need a full season just to get competitive."

You really don't know much about girls XC and track do you? There are always freshman girls making an impact every year. Check out NCS results from last year. Every race except DV had freshmen in the top 10.

Behind a veil of smothered opinion said...

^ This.

They may not always be the top dog but the fact is there are many, many girls who are at their best their freshman year before puberty and gaining weight. They may not be #1 but they are in the top 5 of their team "impacting" their depth.

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