Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 Northern California Cross Country Awards

Now that the 2012 XC season is in the books, here are my awards for this past cross country season (here are last year's winners).  Feel free to share your comments below.

Most Valuable Runner (boys)-John Lawson Sir Francis Drake HS
Most Valuable Runner (girls)-Julia Maxwell Branson HS

Most Impressive Performance (boys)-John Lawson Sir Francis Drake HS 9th at National Footlocker
Most Impressive Performance (girls)-Maggie Bell Granite Bay HS winning State Div. II race

Most Impressive Performance (boys' team)-St. Joseph Notre Dame winning Division V state meet
Most Impressive Performance (girls' team)-St. Francis, Sacramento, 2nd place in Division I at State

Most Inspirational (boys)-Yohaness Estifanos Milpitas HS
Most Inspirational (girls)-Sophie Hartley Granada HS

Most Improved Runner (boys)-Daniel Bereket Carlmont HS
Most Improved Runner (girls)-Danielle Katz Los Gatos HS

Lifetime Achievement Award (boys)-Richard Ho Leland HS
Lifetime Achievement Award (girls)-Madeleine Ankhelyi Vista del Lago HS

Buster Posey (rookie of the year)-Ben Zaeske Los Altos HS
Buster Posey (rookie of the year)-Maggie Bell Granite Bay HS

Best Robin to Batman (best supporting actor)-Clayton Hutchins Sir Francis Drake HS
Best Robin to Batman (best supporting actress)-Anna Harleen Branson HS

Boys Coach of the Year (Directing)-Tony Fong St. Joseph Notre Dame
Girls Coach of the Year (Directing)-John Du Cray St. Francis, Sacramento

Transfer of the Year (boys)-Aidan Goltra Campolindo HS
Transfer of the Year (girls)-I am stumped!

Any other awards?


Mike DeVries said...

Big miss on the most impressive boys team performance. D1 NCS champ's SRV win this one hands down.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about that... SJND's state win. I think a state championship trumps all.

Anonymous said...

Ben Zaeske is from Los Altos, not from Lynbrook HS.

Albert Caruana said...


Coach Puppione said...

Yeah, tough to beat a State Championship performance. Definitely SJND Boys over DLS. And transfer of the year? An award for that? Really?

alamedamom said...

Yes, SJND earned the Boy's Team Performance award - no other NorCal boys team has pulled it off. If De La Salle or SRV had won their state race, they would have gotten that award without much discussion.

Also, I thought that the comment about a Transfer of the Year award a while back was a snide comment, not a serious suggestion for another award!

Anonymous said...

If DLS wins for a 3rd place seeded race at Stanford, what about SJND's 2nd in the Mt. SAC seeded race?

Anonymous said...

State Championship no doubt top performance. Carlmont's CCS win and course record at Toro is #2.

Transfer of the year? What is this MLB and we're looking at "trades" now. The kid transferred for sports, did his time and ran really well at section and state. While Lawson gets runner of the year this is in the running for performance of the year.

And what about team of the year?

And how about picking a coach for other reasons than a win for once.

Albert Caruana said...

Transfers are a reality whether you accept them or not.

As for best performance by a team, there are clearly lots of candidates. Feel free to add more.

Finally, there is a big difference between the Stanford seeded race (which included eventual national champion Arcadia) and the Mt. SAC Division V seeded race.

Doug Griffith said...

Looks like SJND had the most impressive team resume. Definitely deserve the recognition for best team performance. SRV and DLS had very good seasons, and SRV's NCS win is a solid 2nd best team performance. Don't think any boys team wins this award going away. Agree with the Transfer of the Year Award discussion...really?

Anonymous said...

I understand the competitiveness of Stanford and good job by DLS. But the end of the season is what matters. SJND and SRV have good points.

Anonymous said...

Yeah it seems a bit weird to have 3rd place at Stanford over a State title, a little suprised by that Albert. Transfer of the year?...

Mike DeVries said...

On a positive note, Sophie Hartley is a great choice!

Anonymous said...

Since these awards are pretty much slanted toward NCS despite being much larger and not as good here are my pics for CCS:

Runner of the Year:
Yohaness Estifanos - runs at Toro Park and Crystal Springs are the best performances in Nor Cal this year hands down.

Vanessa Fraser - Two time state champ speaks for itself.

Team Of the Year:
Carlmont - Bellarmine was the best team but Carlmont owns Bell at CCS and their performance at CCS was the best team run in the Nor Cal this year. Just in a tough division and hasn't figured out State.

Aptos - lose the top runner, lose another top 5, still the best.

Coach of the Year:
Albert Caruana - Three section titles, two runner ups in 5 years.

Dan Gruber - Did I mention they were the top team in CCS despite losing 2 of their top 5.

Freshman of the Year -
Ben Zaeske
Lauren Jacobs

Dark-horse Award
Vanessa Estrada - Top runner always in the mix.

Miguel Vasquez - D1 Champ as a soph and never got any respect.

Anonymous said...

Good picks so far!

One important achievement that should be noted was Davis High School sending 57 (!) runners to the SJ Section Meet. That's 7 kids in each of their 7 races, plus another 10 individual qualifiers.

Seems like it has to be the most a team has ever sent - can anyone confirm/deny?

Steve Palladino said...

1) Most improved male runner? Ryan Anderson. Not even in top 10 at JV NBL meet as a soph, NCS champ as a junior. You might have missed that one.
2) Despite transfers being a reality, there is no place for an award for such. Tisk, tisk.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 7:30
Julia Maxwell is also 2 time state champion and Footlocker Finalist. That probably tops Fraser

Chris Williams - Dublin said...

I am a bit of a "homer" here (SJND Class of 1998) but how does any INVITATIONAL finish trump a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP?!

Albert Caruana said...

I don't think the awards are slanted toward NCS. I tried to be as fair as possible.

As for most improved, Daniel Bereket was also on the JV team last year and this year was the #1 runner on one of the best teams in the state and finished 11th in the Division I race.

The public has spoken so I will make the change with the boys' performance.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 2:29 PM... your coach comment is a valid one. But I would read a little more into it before making that claim on theses coaches.

Albert Caruana said...

What other coaches would you like to acknowledge?

Anonymous said...


I think those "pics" are for CCS.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with your St. Francis Girls coach as coach of the year.

A few suggestions for "honorable mention" consideration from the SJS (don't know coaches names) - - Davis Sr. High coaches - both boys and girls qualify for states; Whitney (Rocklin) - both girls and boys qualify for State; Woodcreek - both girls and boys qualify (and girls did with some injuries). Just some thoughts . . .

Craiggypop The Angry Panda said...

First off, congratulations to all the student-athletes and coaches who worked their butts off this year and thanks to everyone who supported the sport and their teams.

If you haven't realized it yet, picking awards are always tough as there are often times many individuals and teams that are deserving of praise. I think the categories and the choices are fine with the exception of "Transfer of the Year" (I don't think that category was necessary).

Perhaps, one possible solution to please more folks is to do what Annoymous at 7:30pm did and to list your official/unofficial picks for section awards. The NorCal awards can stay the way they are and additional teams, individuals, and coaches from each section can be praised by you the posters on this board. People's choice awards?

Anyways, Happy Holidays everyone!

Craig Lee

Anonymous said...

I think the transfer of the year award is completely rude and uncalled for. To qualify Goltra's achievements in the context of the transfer does nothing but perpetuate the image of him as an opportunistic "free agent" and will only draw further scorn for him on these boards. Goltra is a big kid who can stand tall by his objective achievements, if he didn't win an award, he knows it's on him. To patronize him by creating a subjective category just to have him on the list somewhere (I mean, seriously, the category didn't even have a female counterpart, it's pretty clear why it was created) is entirely unnecessary and does nothing but degrade the stature of the list (and thereby the other runners' inclusion).

I would ask that you please remove the category.

Albert Caruana said...

I had transfers of the year in 2011 and nobody said peep. Kids are allowed to legally transfer by the CIF. I can understand why everybody would be up in arms if rules were broken but this is not the case. It's been a part of high school/college/pro sports for decades. I am fairly certain that nobody is going to transfer so they can win my coveted award.

Anonymous said...

Lets be honest, we all know why people really transfer, and it all can be"legal" under CIF but the fact of the matter is they do it for sports reasons. Just because its within the so called rules still doesn't make it right. No stud runners would ever transfer to my school. I wonder why? No need for that category. How about a most improve team category.

Anonymous said...

@12:27 is Chuck's Army General Chuck himself.

alamedamom said...

Merry Christmas to all of you coaches, parents and athletes. It has been an enjoyable and exciting season. Best wishes to all in the new year (and track season)!

Anonymous said...

How many stud xc and track kids go to a WORSE track/xc program for better academics (aka "AP's). None.

It is in bad taste and at some level we find it wrong. But we all want what we feel is best for our kids so today that means precieved athletic success over loyalty and commitment.

By the was DLS had a transfer right?

Anonymous said...

Merry X-mass and happy holiday sto Albert and thank you for giving us this website!

Anonymous said...

The coach for Davis Senior High School, Bill Gregg, deserves mention--the team qualified 57 runners to the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships, the most in SJS history, ever.

InTheKnow said...

You can now legally transfer anywhere as long as you sit out 30 days. Transfers are going to start making a HUGE difference in the next few years. Once parents and runners get the guts to transfer like Adrian did LEGALLY we could see some really great teams. If you don't think this matters look at Phillip Rocha the frosh from Arcadia, 10th at D1 Stae - he was able to shop around for schools (he also looked at Dana Hills, Trabuco Hills and Brea Olinda). Quit complaining to Albert when Transfer of the Year is a totally legit category. Thanks for another great year Albert.

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in making an all-star team to take down Bell let me know. Transfer in and the all star team will be full speed in 30 days!

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