Monday, July 30, 2012

Two Olympians. One High School. No Home Track.


Ghpadd said...

Another great story and link Albert!!

John Rankr said...

Nothing really going for CCS so I'll post this here: (Part 1)

With all the rankings going on for divisions and individuals I thought it would be fun to dish it back to the coaches. Here is my list of the top program coaches in the CCS. (Nor Cal feel free to laugh all you want, you’re next). Disclaimer: I do not know these coaches other than what I read, see online and hear from parents, other coaches and friends. I am not here to kiss ass so I have decided to include some criticism, rumors, and gossip as well. It is just my opinion, feel free to be offended and rant all you like.

1. Dan Gruber (Aptos).
One of two coaches to win CCS as an individual and as a coach, Gruber is one of the best. I haven’t spent time digging through results but I don’t know of any coach who has had more League, CCS and State Champions on the track and cross country than Gruber. My only criticism is despite all their state champions and podium finishes they have yet to create a culture to get the numbers out for cross country and are a very small team (under 10 runners). But then they go and thump everyone anyways, so in the end does it really matter?

2. Jenn Randazzo (Carlmont).
Amazing how we are still talking about the 2009 dismissal of Jeff Gilkey and how it continues to create discord for Coach Randazzo. Anyone who has to deal with this kind of situation and still finds a way to build a winning program, let alone stick around is clearly in it for the kid’s best interests and one of the best coaches in CCS. The only question here is would Carlmont be as good if Gilkey cut his connections with Carlmont? Perhaps in another 3 years we will have our answer, but probably not. He was advised to cut the cords in 2009 and is still around. Only time will tell.

3. Patrick McCrystal (Bellarmine).
The Bells are expected to be the best of the best year after year. It can be hard on a coach where the expectation is to win or the season is a failure but McCrystal and crew have done a great job getting his boys to live up to expectations. But it’s hard to feel sorry for a coach with the situation that he is set up with there. While they are dominant team in the CCS, they should be! They are an elite institution and one of the largest schools in the section. Bottom line McCrystal needs to build Bellarmine into a team that is a player at the State level. But let’s be honest… first he needs to find a way to get past Carlmont.

4. Rob Collins (SLV).
They had one of the best track and cross country teams ever to come through CCS then dropped off the map for a bit, but they have built themselves back into a powerhouse on the CCS and State level. The cougars are an example of a solid all-around program. I don’t know how Coach Collins does it but he has a good thing going. He just needs to get past Aptos who seem to be a thorn in their sides.

5. Matt Tompkins / Ernest Lee (Gunn).
Some of the best XC teams the past 10 years have come out of Gunn High School. And when you have a soccer player who is also one of the best runners in CCS History you are doing something right. The team depth has dropped off as of late but the top individuals are still the best in the nation. The debate of Sarah Robinson to run or not to run could be a turning point for this program and school culture.

John Rankr said...

(Part 2)

6. Matt Snee (Los Gatos).
What else is there to say, the Wildcats win. Both boys and girls teams are at the top year after year. They have a good thing going over there with a great school culture for distance running. Things to improve: At times private coaching can cause division be it ever-so-slightly. They would be better if they worked as a team instead of individuals.

7. Nicholas Alvarado (Saint Ignatius).
SI has great history as both boys and girls are a perianal power in the CCS. This is another example of a great all-around program with focused and dedicated athletes who have been some of the top individuals in the section. There has been a bit of a revolving door for the head position the last few years which I think has hurt the boys team a bit as there seems to be a lack of continuity between cross country and track but things look to be improving.

8. Jess Morales (San Benito).
Call it San Benito, call it Hollister…call it whatever you like, some incredible runners come out of this school. Of all the southern schools this one is one of the best. They have had some problems taking down Carlmont and Bellarmine when it counts, but both the girls and the boys are improving and will be players this season. Is this an upward trend or just a fad? Talk to me in a few years and I’ll let you know.

9. Victor Santamaria (Willow Glen).
The other half of the CCS Athlete / Coach Champion combo comes from Coach Santamaria of Willow Glen. The Rams have had some amazing runners the past decade, especially on the boy side. They were dominant in D3 but have had a tough time since moving up to D2. They push hard which is good but can lead to injury problems. The funny thing is as soon as you think the talent had graduated and the team will need to rebuild runners go and drop low 9 minutes for 3200. We will see what Victor pulls out of the hat this year.

10. Josh Small (Valley Christian).
This school gets a bump for producing some of the best cross country and track individuals the past 10 years. The Girls are regularly amongst the Top 10 teams in CCS and are continuously in the hunt for a State berth. Coach Small has done well with getting runners ready to compete at the college level but while he has had good results with individuals his team has yet to take the title or be able to compete well at the league level. Davis was a highlight this past year but the boys are awful and they need to get it going.

Why are these teams not on the list?

Sacred Heart Cathedral- Ranked #3 in the girls pre-season poll and having two alumni in the Olympics the coach with the funny hat (Andy Chan) probably should be #1 on the list… I mean does any of the above coaches have an athlete make the Olympics? I think not. I know… I suck.

Mountain View- One of the best teams in CCS the last 10 years has a revolving door at the coaching position. What in the world is going on there and who do we choose as the coach to highlight?

Mitty- Good solid teams and improving on the girls side but boys need to be better. They haven’t had a consistent history of top individuals on the CCS / State

Carmel, Half Moon Bay, , Leland (am I leaving anyone out?)- You are right, they deserve to be on the list. Section Championships, State Berths what the hell am I thinking? Someone please do write-ups for these coaches and programs because I am going to go have a beer.

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