Saturday, June 23, 2012

2012 NCS Division V Pre-Season Rankings (Boys)

The boys team race has a clear favorite in defending champion St. Joseph Notre Dame.  They had quite a season last year winning the NCS title in dominating fashion (38 points) and garnered their first plaque at the state meet with a 3rd place finish by 1 point.  They lose a great runner in the recently graduated Nick Ratto but return a formidable lineup nonetheless.  Leading the way will be junior Gabe Arias-Sheridan (4:36.95/9:45.29) who broke the NCS Division V Hayward course record (15:16) with his victory last season.  Louis Rodrigues finished 8th at NCS last year and qualified to the NCS MOC in the 1600m. this past season, running 4:25.09 in the final.  The rest of the Pilots will include Michael Murphy, James Lafollette, Sam Levy-Wendt and Chris Melendez (brother of Bishop O'Dowd's Andrew Melendez).

The University boys are in the hunt to regain their place atop this division.  In the past 15 years, UHS has won 11 NCS championships although they had a short stay in Division IV in 2010.  Leading the way for the Red Devils will the state individual favorite, senior Connor Clark.  He finished in 3rd place last year at NCS but improved to 2nd place at Woodward Park.  Three years ago, Clark along with four other freshmen (James Burton, Chris Mah and Liam Gallivan) helped UHS win their 15th NCS XC championship.  Can the now senior group bookend NCS Championships?  We'll see.

The dark horse in this race will be Athenian.  If cross country was scored through 3 runners only, Athenian would be co-favorite with SJND but that is not the case so for now, they are a dangerous threat to both SJND and UHS.  The three headed monster for Athenian includes juniors Gabriel Elliott (4:36.41/10:04.32) and Tanner Shaw (4:34.17/9:56.51) and senior Cameron Taylor (4:45.60/10:04.41).  Senior Charles Thimesch gives Athenian a very competitive fourth runner so don't go to sleep on the Owls (ha!).

Sonoma Academy finished in 4th place last year at the NCS MOC XC meet (highest placing in school history).  They have the majority of their team returning including Jax Reiff (4:49.38/10:33.45), Patrick Loftus (4:50.22/11:02.96), Jacob Gaynor (2:09.14/4:40.51) and Austin Orr (2:00.56/4:57.00).  Their coach, Danny Aldridge, got the Maria Carrillo program rolling before taking over the reigns at SA.  Marin Academy finished in 5th place last year led by super frosh, Trevor Reinhart.  He finished 4th at the NCS meet and 9th at the state meet.  He was part of the NCS Division 2 championship Lacrosse team in the spring and was the fastest high school boy in the recently completed Dipsea race.  Junior to be James Kinney had a nice track season with 2:01.36/4:31.07 personal records and that gives MA quite a 1/2 punch.  Their supporting cast will need to improve if they are going to make to make the state meet again this year as a team.

With five teams going to state, other schools are still in the picture for the last remaining state qualifying spots.  Another team in contention will be Lick Wilmerding and their upside is quite high.  They return 11 of their top 12 runners from last year and that doesn't include freshman Troy Mock (10:25.94).  LW will be quite deep with several other runners also under 11:00 for 3200m.  That list includes Jack Crawford (10:29.72), Avery Rock (10:32.21), Ivan Barrales (10:41.64), Zac Oji (10:57.30) and Matt Jenkins (10:59.77).  Their potential #1 (Corey Robinson) finished 2nd for them last year at the NCS MOC XC meet and was on his way to quite a sophomore Track and Field season (2:01.04/4:39.99) before the onset of an injury.  College Prep has been a frequent competitor at the state meet and they have a rejuvenated coach (Jack Coakley) returning from sabbatical.  Two young teams with room for improvement are International and Berean Christian (3 freshman in the top 5 last year, Tobin Bolter, Ross Deniston and Eric Windt).  If their young runners can continue to improve, both teams could be a threat.  Urban is only 2 years removed from their section title.  Walker Willett (2:02.30) will lead the way for the Blues along with Shane Bannon (2:04.41).

The race for the individual title will be an interesting one.  The defending champion, Gabe Arias-Sheridan, broke the Hayward HS course record for Division V runners (15:16) previously held by Nick Neely of Crystal Springs Uplands (15:23).  Connor Clark finished in 3rd place last year behind Arias-Sheridan and teammate Nick Ratto but moved up to 2nd place at state behind St. Margaret's Billy Gaudreau.  Based on track times (4:13.89 and 9:14.72) Clark should be the favorite but you can't count out Arias-Sheridan.  Sophomore Trevor Reinhart will be in the hunt as well showing tremendous talent with an eye-opening freshman XC season.  The trio of Athenian runners (Elliott, Shaw and Taylor), MA runner James Kinney and SJND runner Louis Rodrigues will keep the runners up front honest.  

2011 NCS Meet of Champions (XC) Division V Results Boys
2011 CIF State Championship Division V Results Boys

Division V Boys (Top 5 Advance to State)
1) St. Joseph ND-Only University has repeated as NCS champions in Div. V history.
2) University-Clark needs help to overcome St. Joseph ND.
3) Athenian-Much improved program aiming for top 2 finish.
4) Sonoma Academy-Finished 4th last year to qualify for 1st state meet.
5) Lick Wilmerding-Great sophomore class with big upside.
On the bubble:  Berean ChristianCollege Prep, InternationalMarin Academy, Urban

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2011 NCS meet time:
Gabe Arias-Sheridan (1) St. Joseph ND 15:16 (Course Record for Div. V)
Connor Clark (3) University 15:32
Trevor Reinhart (4) Marin Academy 15:34
Gabriel Elliott (6) Athenian 16:13
James Kinney (7) Marin Academy 16:16

Comments?  Who did I miss?  What can you add to my rankings?  Please keep it civil.  Use your name when posting as anonymous posts may be deleted.  


Anonymous said...

it's going to go
1. connor clark (close to 15 flat)
2. gabe arias (15:10 ish)
3. trevor rinehart (15:20-30)
4. louis rodrigues (15:50 ish)
you heard it here first

NCSftw said...

does anyone know if Gabe Arias-Sheridan was injured during the track season? He started pretty slowly (based on his xc season and previous track times) and ended up only running about the same times as he did as a freshman. Could just be a so-so season for him but it made me wonder....

Anonymous said...

he was injured.

NCSftw said...

I would place University 3rd at best. Don't get me wrong, University has a great track record (hehe) at NCS and have a really good program, but I feel this year they are a bit overrated. Connor Clark is exceptional and in my opinion the favorite for the state title, but other than that I don't think that the team deserves to be second (but I'm sure they'll still do well and easily qualify for state)

Gabe Elliott said...

just for the record, the 3200m times for Athenians' runners are actually 10:04.32 (Gabe Elliott), 9:56.51 (Tanner Shaw), and 10:04.41 (Cameron Taylor) :)

Albert Caruana said...

Thanks Gabe. Fixed.

Fong Dynasty said...

SJND could very well be the first NCS D5 team to win the state meet. They return 6 guys from a team that ran the best team time in NCS d5 history and have multiple sub 5 milers competing for the 7th spot. They have a mix of frontrunners and depth that makes them one of the best teams in NCS regardless of division. D5 as a whole will be one of the most competitive divisions in NCS at the state level. NCS could possibly have 5 teams in the top ten at state, with UHS and Athenian both having shots at the podium and SJND with a shot at the state title.
Also in terms of the individual race, its a true tossup. Gabe ran a 4:27 split for the 1600 at Stanford before getting hurt. Should be a great battle and it will likely come down to who has a better day. Rienhart could be a factor if he progresses nicely, but hes not a major threat to the other two at this point.

Anonymous said...

I think that people are underestimating Trevor Reinhart a bit. Look at the Dipsea race, he beat every other high schooler including Connor Clark (although Clark probably wasn't training for it and had just completed a long track season). Still, I think that Reinhart could be a legitimate threat to the NCS title as he appears to be a really nice talent (9th at state as a frosh) and improving nicely.

Fan said...

SJND just has a really strong distance program all around right now, and there is little doubt that they wont win NCS if they stay healthy. They return 6 of 7 from a team that set the team time record for D5, and if the course conditions are as good as they were this last year it's possible they break it again. I would say the real question is whether or not they have enough to win State. The great coaching at SJND with Tony Fong (coach of the year) helped Ratto thrive and finish 3rd in the state. Also last year Gabe Arias Sheridan did set the NCS D5 record on the course, and regardless of him coming back off of an injury (according to anonymous comment) it's fairly likely that he'll be either first or second behind Clark. Notably two other Pilots had surprising track seasons with Senior Louis Rodrigues (NCS final 1600, 4:25.09) and Junior Chris Melendez (NCS qualifying, 2:00 PR) doing well. Does anyone know more about Rodrigues or Melendez? They seemingly came out of no where this track season. On top of that it looks like SJND returns a very good 4-6 that includes Michael Murphy who ran one of the best frosh times at last years Championships, and looking at BSAL track results SJND had three freshman going 4:50's in the 1600 so no doubt they'll have a solid 7. Clark is the clear favorite to take the individual title. He had a monster track season that included a narrow miss of making the trip to Buchanan high school for the State Championships, and a top time of 4:13. He also set the NCS d5 record for Windward last year. A big question is the UHS v Athenian mathch up. Athenian has a bundle of young talent that matches up as a whole better than UHS's 1-3, but their lack of depth brings into question whether or not they can really beat a school like UHS which consistently has a deep team, and returns a good amount of runners to boot. Sophomore Ben Tracy from UHS is going to be a wild card for the division, and a lot of UHS's success is going to come from him running well. Marin Academy should be sending two individuals to State with Reinhart and Kinney, but the same can't be said for the team. The progression of Reinhart as the season moves on should be fun to watch, and he should be in the mix for a top three finish. Sonoma Academy brings an assortment of good runners to the table, and their consistency 1-5 should take them to state. It's going to be a very competitive year for NCS d5 both at home, and on the state level as they try to put Multiple teams in the top 10.

Anonymous said...

Albert you should do individual rankings that aren't just returning times. Take the track seasons into account and make your list that way so there can be more discussion about the individuals

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Where does SJND rank in NCS as a whole? You should do all NCS rankings

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