Monday, August 05, 2013

NCS Pre-Season Division IV Rankings...

1.     St. Mary’s Berkeley-Most consistent team in this division.  Last year's 4th place finish was their worst since 2004.
2.     Arcata-Jose Lopez, who ran 1:55.28 to finish 4th at the NCS MOC, will lead the way for the Tigers.  He will be an individual favorite and could give Arcata two teams champions with a probably girl's title.
3.     Piner-They have their own individual favorte in Efren Reyes who finished 6th last year in the NCS Division IV race.  Piner is another team who has proven to be a contender in whatever division they compete in each year.
4.     Sir Francis Drake-They lose quite a punch with the graduation of John Lawson and Clayton Hutchins but the cupboard is not quite bare.  They return four runners from last year's 2nd place team including two rising sophomores.
5.     San Rafael-Another perennial contender in this division including a state championship in 2010.  They won this division last year over favored Sir Francis Drake but will need to reload after losing 4 out of their top 5 runners.

Top 5 individual runners returning from last year's NCS MOC XC meet:
6)  Efren Reyes Piner HS 16:32
8)  Jose Lopez Arcata HS 16:55
10)  Nassim Kabbara San Rafael HS 17:01
13)  Josh Dull St. Mary's Berkeley HS 17:16
14)  Graham Dean Piedmont HS 17:17
17)  Jake Yandle Marin Catholic HS 17:19

1.     Arcata-They will be as much of a favorite as any team in NCS in any division.  They are two time defending NCS champions, finished 2nd in state last season and return their top 5 runners.  Last year's NCS individual champion, Chloe Pigg, will lead the way.
2.     St. Mary’s Berkeley-Senior Spencer Moore will lead the way once again for this team.  They finished 2nd here last year and have been a consistent state meet competitor for many years.
3.     Piedmont-They finished 3rd here last year and return 6 of their top 7 runners.  Junior to be, Sophia Mills, was impressive on the track running 2:25.73 and 5:09.34.
4.     Sir Francis Drake-Another consistent state meet contender in this division, Drake will be led by rising junior, Sophia Noto, who ran 11:48.33 at the NCS MOC meet.
5.     Piner-This team has only recently joined the Division IV ranks (in 2012) but they have the program that will be competitive in both team races.  They finished 5th here last year and return 6 of their top 7 runners.

Top 5 individual runners returning from last year's NCS MOC XC meet:
1)  Chloe Pigg Arcata HS 18:23
2)  Elisa Ford Arcata HS 19:31
3)  Spencer Moore St. Mary's Berkeley HS 19:31
4)  Morgin Coonfield McKinleyville HS 19:36
5)  Zoe Ziegler Arcata HS 19:45


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Sammy Puebla for Saint Mary's

Anonymous said...

Don't forget German Fernandez from Arcata

Anonymous said...

Is Sammy Puebla a returnee or a freshmen?

Anonymous said...

Where's Arcata?

Anonymous said...

Probably the furthest NCS team there is. They are pretty close to the state of Oregon ..up on hwy 101. Why Curious ..why wouldn't they be part of the Northern section?

Albert Caruana said...

That is a very good question. Anybody know why Arcata is not part of the Northern Section?

Anonymous said...

I heard that John Lawson is transferring to Cal. Is this true?

Nils said...

Arcata is literally on the coast. The Northern Section schools are in the interior. See

for simple map.

Anonymous said...

Is John Lawson really transferring?

Anonymous said...

to Nils..

but still closer to northern sections than going over 270 miles to the east bay.

Nils said...

to Anonymous 2:01 pm,

Maybe the sections were set up back in the day of covered wagons and coastal clipper ships? :)

Anonymous said...

The schools in the Big 5 (Crescent City to Fortuna) are closer to the center of Northern Section than the North Coast Section. But I would assume bus travel on highway 299 (artery between coast and Redding) is not as safe, especially in the winter, as the extra mileage south down highway 101 to Santa Rosa and beyond. This is similar to the schools in San Luis Obispo county being in the Southern Section and located closer to the Central Section. Has the Big 5 looked into competing in Oregon championships like the California Truckee/Tahoe area schools compete in Nevada championships?

Nils said...

Anon 8:56 PM-
Good point about the danger of east-west travel in Northern California from coast to interior. There's literally no good way to go from,say, Redding to Arcata in the winter. The result, of course, is that NCS tends to have two-day track finals where SS can have prelims one *week* and finals the next- travel time is a couple of hours, not a day! But that just makes 'em tougher up North, obviously!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:42 AM

Arcata is just north of Eureka. Furthest north NCS team is Del Norte located way up in the NW corner of CA just a few mile from Oregon. Arcata is a good 100 miles south of Oregon border or close to it.

Interestingly, Arcata, Eureka, McKinnleyville, St. Bernards, South Fork (Garberville), Del Norte travel over to Redding in the NS to compete in fall events such as xc, basketball, football, and also compete in a number of track meets in NS, so I don't think 299 has anything to do with it.

In addition to the "Big 5," there also exists the "Little 4," Hoopa (way up there in the boonies), St. Bernards (Eureka), Ferndale, and So. Fork.

jered said...

I am probably pretty qualified on this. I grew up in a rural part of the northern section and am now at the northernmost school on the California coast: Del Norte.

We're in the "can't get there quickly from here" part of the state.

Arcata is a long way from Berkeley, but Del Norte is 80 more miles up the coast on a sketchy part of 101. We're talking "2-hour bus ride" sketchy. That's 2 hours because of the terrain and turns; there is no traffic to speak of.

When we traveled to Berkeley in May, we left Thursday morning so that we could take stretch breaks every couple hours, and even let our runners get a workout at Santa Rosa HS. By the way, we didn't get to Santa Rosa until almost 3pm.

The Northern Section isn't much different geographically unless you're in Redding or Chico, though. I grew up going to Trinity HS (Weaverville), and we had no league competitor within 80 miles. Our longest trip was to Modoc HS (Alturas). Check out this road trip. It was so far that we had to arrive hours before the contest so that the bus driver had a legal amount of rest before heading home that night. For football, that meant leaving by 8am and getting home at about 3am.

Suffice to say there's just not an easy way around these distances. I know some of the rural schools in the northern section have gone to "all booster" funding for athletics. Given the transportation costs I would not be surprised to see more and more of the smaller and rural schools drop athletics from their budgets.

Back to Del Norte: since the bus costs the athletic department about $4.10 a mile to operate, an away football match costs over $600 in transportation cost alone. For us to get to Yreka (also at the top of the state - just on I-5) it is a 150-mile trip because to get there we have to go to Grants Pass (north of Medford, OR), and then south.

As to why Arcata (and nearby McKinleyville and Eureka) aren't in the NS, they'd have to go 3+ hours just to get to Redding. There are only 2 public high schools along that trip: Hoopa Valley (already in their league) and Trinity.

Anonymous said...

Regarding John Lawson..UCLA has their roster for 2013-14 listed now and John Lawson is not listed but doesn't mean anything because lots of time first yr runners are redshirted. So his status is still unknown.

Anonymous said...

I saw Eugene Hamilton now listed on UCLA XC team. I thought he was originally going to one of the AZ schools. Maybe Eugene took John Lawson's scholarship.

Anonymous said...

@ jered

Not to highjack this thread, but you brought back a few memories. I grew up in Eureka attending St. Bernards. When we drove to Del Norte - or down to Willets sometimes - we would have to pull over, but not for stretch breaks. For barf breaks! I unfortunately was a recipient in my sophomore year coming back late at night from Willets. Actually, happened twice. The other time was coming back from Santa Cruz!

When they spoke of treacherous 299, they need to take 96 up to Hoopa! Or 36 to Hayfork!

I coach in Redding now, and yes, when these teams from Modoc, Tule Lake, and especially Loyalton come down, it is an all-day, sometimes two-day affair.

And on the money situation, more and more of the public schools are utilizing provide-your-own transportation, i.e., get your mom and dad to drive.

Back in the day, if we made it to sections, it was always weird to be playing a team from the Bay Area. As kids we couldn't figure out why if we lived in Eureka we were playing a Bay Area team for the championships, but that's the NCS!

However, I played in the No/So All Star FB game, and it was held at College of the Redwoods, north coast teams from NCS, right? Well, Trinity had three or four kids in that game! Have never figured that one out!

Albert Caruana said...

Thanks for all the great comments especially the ones that sprouted from the question about the location of Arcata HS.

Anonymous said...

all y'all better watch out for Graham Dean. last year was his first year ever running and he's been puttin in work this summer.

Anonymous said...

Lawson isn't on the UCLA roster and neither is Hamilton. Hamilton isn't on the U of AZ roster either. It takes time for the schools to get the rosters updated, especially if they redshirt.

This happened last year with Carrie Verdon at Colorado. She wasn't on the roster, and then she was. Patience!

Anonymous said...

to anonymous 9:14

Hamilton was originally on the UCLA roster but it was taken off! It didn't have his HS listed (BOD) but it was there at one time!

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