Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2014 Northern California Track and Field Distance Preview

The Defending Champion
Just like the 2013 track and field season, the defending girls' 1600m. champion currently resides in the SCCAL, CCS and NorCal.  Anna Maxwell outlasted 2012 champion Nikki Hiltz to claim the 2013 state meet 1600m. in a time of 4:47.33.  She recorded a lifetime personal best time of 4:42.57 at the CCS final along with other superb marks during her spectacular season which included 2:09.34 in the 800m. and 10:10.51 in the 3200m.  She just completed her best cross country season to that which culminated in a 5th place finish at the national Footlocker meet in San Diego.  Maxwell committed to the University of Washington in the fall and will look to be the first state 1600m. repeat champion since Christine Babcock of Woodbridge won three straight state titles in a row in 2006-2008.

The "Rookie"
Marin Academy junior Trevor Reinhart finished in 9th place at the CA state XC meet as a freshman.  He had an even better sophomore season sweeping the league, section and state meet races.  Following each season, Reinhart participated in lacrosse in the spring and was part of victorious section winning team as a freshman.  This past season, Reinhart won the league XC title for the 2nd straight season and stormed to a record setting 14:44 time at the section meet on the Hayward HS course.  He finished in 2nd place at the state meet behind Flintridge Prep runner Alan Yoho.  Reinhart punched his ticket to the Footlocker national meet with a 5th place finish at the West Regional race.  He completed his XC season with a 12th place finish at the national meet.  That San Diego trip may have been the final impetus for Reinhart to turn his attention to track in the spring.  He is still undecided on his event of focus but judging from his superb kick in XC, Reinhart will be a main state meet contender in any of the 3 distance events.

The chase for a sub 9:00 3200m.
Last season, John Lawson of Sir Francis Drake dipped under the 9:00 mark at the Arcadia Invitational running 8:58.19.  He was the only NorCal runner to surpass the usually elusive mark in the 8 lap event.  In the past 10 track and field seasons, here are 17 NorCal runners that own a 3200m. PR that starts with an 8 (biggest surprise to have broken 9:00?).
2013-John Lawson Sir Francis Drake 8:58.19
2011-Trevor Halsted Davis 8:51.96, Luis Luna Piner 8:55.43, Ben Eversole Castro Valley 8:59.07, Chris Kigar El Camino 8:59.22, Dominic D'Acquisto Enterprise 8:59.58, Kevin Bishop Monta Vista 8:59.82
2010-Weston Strum Pioneer 8:56.42, Kurt Ruegg Napa 8:57.86, Erik Olson Novato 8:59.01, Reesey Byers Santa Rosa 8:59.89
2009-Erik Olson Novato 8:55.06, Garrett Rowe Mt. View 8:55.71, Dan Mitchell Del Campo 8:56.56
2008-German Fernandez Riverbank 8:34.23
2007-Brendan Gregg Davis 8:59.48
2006-Ben Sitler St. Francis 8:53.47
2004-Yosef Ghebray James Logan 8:52.42

So the question now is who are the NorCal runners aiming to join the above elite company.  Here are the fastest returning 3200m. runners and their personal records:
Aidan Goltra Campolindo (NCS) 9:10.26
Blair Hurlock De La Salle (NCS) 9:11.47
George Miao Rocklin (SJS) 9:15.92
Steven Sum Saratoga (CCS) 9:18.97
Chris Foster Los Gatos (CCS) 9:21.86
Edward Chance Del Campo (SJS) 9:21.92
Paul Zeiss Granite Bay (SJS) 9:22.66
Gabe Arias-Sheridan St. Joseph Notre Dame (NCS) 9:22.77
Jose Pina Lincoln (CCS) 9:24.08
Steven Grolle Sonora (SJS) 9:24.97
Abdul Hamid Sheldon (SJS) 9:25.84
Ryan Anderson Maria Carrillo (NCS) 9:26.07
Cooper Sloan Homestead (CCS) 9:26.09
Logan Marshall Half Moon Bay (CCS) 9:26.83
Corey Gonzales Harker (CCS) 9:28.26
Who from the above list will dip under 9:00?  Who else will join the chase that is not listed?

The Underrated
According to one online dictionary, the definition of underrate is to underestimate the extent, value, or importance of (someone or something).  In the just posted All-NorCal XC teams, the debate for female NorCal runner of the year came down to Fiona O'Keeffe and Anna Maxwell.  Two terrific runners who each had a season for the ages.  Lost in the shuffle was one runner who had a quite a season for herself and in most other seasons, she would have ended up as the NorCal runner of the year.  Gunn HS runner Sarah Robinson became the 6th girl to break 17 minutes on the famed Crystal Springs course, she won at Stanford and CCS, finished 4th at the state meet and wrapped up her season with an 11th place finish at NXN.  During the last track season, Robinson recorded PRs of 2:14.44, 4:48.37 and 10:26.65.  At the CA state track and field meet, Robinson finished in 3rd place in the 1600m. and 5th place in the 3200m. recording PRs in both races.  She will be a force to be reckoned with during this coming season.

The 2014 "At-Large" Standards:  You can check out all the "At-Large" standards here.  Just as a reminder, the state meet qualifiers from each section is as follows:  CCS (3), NCS (3), SJS (3), NS (1), OAK (1) and SF (1).  The 2013 at-lark mark is noted in parentheses so you can compare the mark from the previous season.

Boys ("toughest" to "easiest")
1:52.98 (1:52.92)
9:08.64 (9:09.03)
4:14.24 (4:16.38)

Girls ("toughest" to "easiest")
10:35.79 (10:39.88)
2:11.80 (2:12.10)
4:55.15 (4:59.51)

More will be posted later including the underrated, the chase for sub 9 and more.

Before we peak ahead to the upcoming Track and Field season, let's quickly review the just completed Cross Country season.  We can safely say that it was a mighty successful one for many Northern California teams and individuals.  NorCal won 5 state team championships (Campolindo girls-Div III, Yreka boys-Div IV, San Lorenzo Valley girls-Div IV, St. Joseph Notre Dame boys-Div V and Branson girls-Div V) and four individual state championships (Fiona O'Keeffee Davis-Div I, Aidan Goltra Campolindo-Div III, Anna Maxwell San Lorenzo Valley-Div IV and Julia Maxwell Branson-Div V).  In total, 34 runners made the podium at the state meet (top 10 finishes) along with 2 more teams (Davis girls and Marin Academy boys with their top 3 finishes).  The Davis girls qualified for NXN with their 2nd place Division I finish and became the third NorCal girls team to qualify for that national meet after their SJS rival St. Francis Sacramento girls qualified the previous season and the Carondelet girls in 2006.  Trivia Alert:  Who can name the only NorCal boys team to qualify for that race?  Aidan Goltra and Sarah Robinson (Gunn) both qualified as individuals and finished 23rd and 11th respectively.  Anna Maxwell and Sarah Robinson became the 5th and 6th girls to dip under the 17 minute mark at the famed Crystal Springs course.  Blair Hurlock of De La Salle broke the all-time Hayward HS course record with a spectacular run at the NCS MOC meet.  St. Joseph Notre Dame ran their best race of the season on the same day and just narrowly missed setting the new team time mark.  Hurlock, along with Trevor Reinhart and Anna Maxwell all qualified to the Footlocker National meet and all walked away with top 12 finishes.  Fiona O'Keeffe set the Willow Hills course record on two consecutive weekends and went on to win the state cross country meet in a new sophomore course record time.  She also led the Davis girls at NXN with a 4th place finish time that surpassed the previous course record time.


Anonymous said...

Must be the off season, we are recycling old news over and over.

Albert Caruana said...

Yes, all the 2014 section track previews are all recycled. Right.

Andrew said...

wow, the girls 1600 at-large moved 4 seconds faster!

Albert Caruana said...

It was definitely the softest distance mark last year.

Anonymous said...

The recap of xc is like in its 5th edition Albert. Looking forward to next week's recap of the 2013 cross country season.

Anonymous said...

Definatly some rude people on here

Anonymous said...

Is there more preview coming, Albert? Great stuff, so far. Thanks.

Albert Caruana said...

I have a few more ideas but if anybody out there has some else, please feel free to share them here or you can email me and I can take it from there.

Anonymous said...

would love to see a more in depth look at what you think you could happen in the boys 1600 and boys and girls 800.

Anonymous said...

Owen Woo a freshman, broke 5 min in the 1600 on saturday at the skyline inviational running 4:57.25 on his first ever high school race

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