Sunday, July 31, 2016

2016 NCS Division IV pre-season Cross Country rankings (girls)

Division IV has been another strong division for the North Coast Section when it comes to state meet success. Individually, Morgin Coonfield McKinleyville finished in the top 3 the past three seasons ('13 3rd, '14 2nd and '15 2nd). Jeremy Leary Sir Francis Drake finished in 5th place last season. Team wise, the Piedmont girls finished in the top 5 during the same time period ('13 4th, '14 5th and '15 5th). The Arcata girls finished in 2nd place in 2012 while the San Rafael boys landed on the top spot in 2010.

This coming season, 3 boys teams and 4 girls teams will automatically qualify to the state meet from this division. Several teams who have been Division III teams in the past will now compete in this division including state meet contenders Bishop O'Dowd and Miramonte. Without further ado, here are my pre-season rankings for teams and individuals that will potentially contend for state meet berths on slightly changed Hayward HS cross country course.

For the girls, the team favorite will be the already mentioned Bishop O'Dowd. The school has competed in Division III for over a decade now but the last time they competed in this division in 2004, the result was a section title. BOD was led by individual section champion Ariel Wright and then unknown freshman, Alexi Pappas. She will be competing in the upcoming Olympics for Greece and you can read about her in the just posted article in Rolling Stone magazine at this LINK. BOD returns their entire team from last year's Division III 2nd place team including individual champion, Grace Taylor (17:30.1 at Hayward). They will be challenged by the defending Division IV section champion, Piedmont. The Highlanders return 6 of their 7 participants from last year's section meet and will be led by sophomore, Erin Hong (5:31.30/11:57.36). Miramonte, another Division III competitor last year, finished in 5th place but will be looking for a state meet qualifying spot this year. Also in the mix will be '15 state meet qualifiers McKinleyville and Arcata. Both teams lost their #1 runner but will have the majority of their team members back.

One thing for certain is that Morgin Coonfield will not win the individual title. Following a 4th place finish as a freshman in 2012, Coonfield ran with three straight individual titles. She will be taking her talents to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo which means that Division IV will have a new individual champion. It is however possible that a returning champion from last year could win this division. Grace Taylor of Bishop O'Dowd won the Division III race with a time of 17:30.1. She will compete in this division but her status is up in there air as she did not compete in the spring Track and Field season. The favorite, regardless, will be Cassy Haskell (4:52.29/10:51.37) of Miramonte who finished finished just behind Taylor in the NCS Division III race and had the fastest time at the state meet by a non senior. Piner's Cynthia Rosales (2:22.50/5:27.60), Bishop O'Dowd's Jourdan Aman (2:24.17/5:16.89), Alhambra's Marissa D'Atri (2:17.61/5:11.21) and Piedmont's Erin Hong will all race up front and will be in contention for an individual spot should their teams not automatically qualify to the state meet.

Division IV Girls (Top 4 Advance to State)
1) Bishop O'Dowd-Aiming for first section since 2004 in same division.
2) Piedmont-2-time defending team champion with lots of talent returning.
3) Miramonte-No team in this division can match up with the Mats at the front.
4) Justin-Siena-Made state last year however the challenge is greater this year.
5) McKinleyville-Lose all-world Morgin Coonfield but program will continue to thrive.
6) Arcata-Tigers have been perennial contenders in this division.
On the bubble: Albany, Piner, St. Mary's Berkeley

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2015 NCS meet time:

Grace Taylor (1 in Division III) Bishop O'Dowd 17:30.1
Cassy Haskell (2 in Division III) Miramonte 17:38.4
Cynthia Rosales (5 in Division III) Piner 18:16.7
Jourdan Amen (6 in Division III) Bishop O'Dowd 18:18.5
Marissa D'Atri (7 in Division III) Alhambra 18:21.8
Fastest returning individual runner from 2015 Division IV race
Erin Hong (2) Piedmont 19:01.8

The boys pre-season rankings will be posted next. Comments? Do you know of impact freshmen that will attend at any of the above schools? Feel free to chime in the comment section below.

Friday, July 29, 2016

2016 NCS Division III pre-season Cross Country rankings (Boys) courtesy of Campolindo assistant coach, Andy Lindquist

With the new divisional realignment in the NCS this division has drastically changed over last season, with perennial powers Bishop O’Dowd and Miramonte moving down into Division IV with Maria Carrillo and Redwood moving back in from DII, which should create a number of interesting matchups for this season.

Boys Overview:
Campolindo still appears to be the team to beat this season, with the 3 time defending champions returning a solid portion of last year’s title team along with a great deal of talented upstarts from the frosh-soph level. Redwood and Maria Carrillo will both be in contention for the title as well as the two schools return a great deal of talent as well.
1. Campolindo
The Cougars lose 4 varsity members to graduation but they return a very solid front end which will be tough to beat. Senior Jared Yabu had an electric fall last year, finishing in 2nd place at NCS and following that up with an 8th place finish at state. While illness and injury derailed the majority of his track season, he still is firmly one of the favorites for the individual section title. Fellow senior Ray Diaz had a remarkable spring in running 9:32 for 3200m and advancing to MOC in that event. If he continues his upward momentum he could also factor into the title discussion. Veteran Richard Gong also excelled in track running 9:49 for 3200m which gives “Campo” the best front end in the section.  After those 3 there is some uncertainty as to who will fill out the rest of the lineup but the Cougars have plenty of talent to fill those gaps. Teddy Buckley and Cameron Iniguez-Reyes had fantastic freshman campaigns in track, with the duo clocking 10:16 and 10:25 in the 3200m respectively. Thibault Gourlin, Ethan Sauerberg, and Tim Sams also had productive track seasons at the F/S level and should help fill out the back end. 2015 DFAL JV champ Kyle Flett has experience at the varsity level and should contribute as well. The biggest X factor for Campolindo this season is the addition of NCS MOC 800m champion Niki Moore, who will be doing cross country for the first time this fall. While middle distance performances do not always translate to a 3 mile/5k, Moore ran a solid 4:31 over 1600m during the spring. While they may be a bit short on experience coming into this season, Campolindo has the ability to capture another section title and are the favorites at this point in time.

2. Redwood
The Giants rolled to a 2nd place finish in DII last season and return an abundance of talent which will put them in contention for the section title this year in DIII. Liam Anderson had a remarkable freshman year, making the final in the 1600 at MOC and running 4:18. He was also stellar last fall and will no doubt be looking to make another massive jump this year. Andrew Thomas peaked masterfully down the stretch in track to qualify for the state meet in the 800, running 1:55. He was a scorer last XC season for Redwood and is primed to make another big jump this year. Junior Zach Martinez flashed great potential in running 4:31 for 1600m as did sophomore Austin Patel who ran 4:42 over the distance. Throw in James Conant (10:08 for 3200m) and Ollie Sagatsume (10:14 for 3200m) and you have the makings of an incredibly deep and solid team. The big challenge will be getting newcomers up to speed when it comes to running the longer cross country distance.  If the Giants are able to do this they will be right in contention to pull out the victory come November.

3. Maria Carillo
The Pumas captured the DII title last season and will look to contend for the section title once again this season. They are led by the dual threat of Ben Lawson (4:23/9:57) and Scott Kruetzfeldt (4:32/9:38) who are both coming off of great track campaigns and will provide a low scoring 1-2 punch. Zach Lindemann (10:08) and Jacob Wright (10:15) look to be next up in the order and should they continue their improvement curve will give Maria Carrillo with a fantastic starting point. After that there is a bit of a drop off to Taylor Ingram, who clocked a respectable 10:43 for 3200 and Cooper Moore who ran 4:48 for 1600. In order for the Pumas to close the gap on the top 2 teams they will need to address this issue with their back end and cultivate some more depth. As it stands now they have the potential to be in the mix for the title with their great front end, but depth is king in cross country and in order to truly close the gap they will need to be able to go 7 deep. For now things look good!

4. Las Lomas
The Knights lose a ton from last season’s NCS runner ups but they return two mega talents in Preston Norris (4:25/9:50) and Parker Wilkerson (2:01/4:46) who are both coming off of impressive freshman track seasons. Both of them were regular varsity members last cross country season and should have no problem stepping up into big time roles on the team this year. Underclassmen Preston Rodriguez (4:49) and Jacob Renaghan (4:53) had productive spring seasons and will look to step up and become contributors in 2016. There is a big drop off after that but Las Lomas regularly has one of the largest teams in the section year in year out (with over 120 athletes on average) so finding the talent to plug in should not be much of a problem for them. With an even keeled approach to the season the Knights will be in prime position to return to the state meet.

5. Northgate
The Broncos find themselves in new territory this year, not only moving down from DII but also moving into the new Diablo Athletic League where they will get to compete against talented squads from Campolindo, Miramonte, Las Lomas, College Park, and Clayton Valley. This should prove a good measuring stick for Northgate as they try to put themselves in contention for a state berth. Omar Kabani, Wyatt Abranches, Connor Kugler, and Michael Wheeler all ran under 4:50 for 1600 this track season which gives the Broncos the needed depth to compete with Las Lomas for the final state meet berth in this division. Add in sophomore Joseph Momich who posted a solid 10:45 in the 3200 as a freshman and Northgate looks like they will be a solid contender this fall. If they can focus on racing and training as a pack, feeding off of each other and working together, the Broncos will be much improved this season.

1. Liam Anderson (Redwood) – 4:18 as a frosh is the real deal, looks fantastic coming into this season
2. Jared Yabu (Campolindo) – Has the fastest returning times from Hayward/Woodward and despite a stagnant spring, he has all the tools necessary to take the win
3. Ray Diaz (Campolindo) – One of the biggest improvers over the course of the track season, should continue that trend this fall
4. Omar Maklaf  (Livermore) – Continued to impress during track, running 4:20 for 1600 and 9:39 for 3200
5. Scott Kruetzfeldt (Maria Carrillo) – His 9:38 performance for 3200 points to great potential
6. Ben Lawson (Maria Carrillo) – Training with talented teammates in one of the section’s most consistent programs will pay huge dividends this season
7. Preston Norris (Las Lomas) – The talent is there, another year of training should put him in contention for an individual medal
On the Bubble: Andrew Thomas (Redwood), Richard Gong (Campolindo),  Parker Wilkerson (Las Lomas)

Northern California Top Incoming Freshmen

We will start a list here. Please list the top incoming freshmen for both Cross Country and Track and Field.

Evan Franco 1600 4:41.41
Gabe Rosado 1600 4:42.38
Garrett MacQuiddy 1600 4:48.68
Colin Peattie 1600 4:49.37 (rising 8th grader)
Marco Dal Canto 4:50.57 CA Willow Glen
Ben Piekarz 4:53.86 CA Cupertino
Aidan Choy-Marshall 4:56.47 CA Willow Glen
Ashwin Provine 4:39.87 1500 Mission San Jose HS

Isabella Fauria (St. Francis, Sacramento) 800 2:16.30, 1600 5:02.70, 3000 9:56.19
Katie Bowen Sonoma Academy 1500 4:50.51, 1600 5:10.97 (mile conversion), 3000 10:16.98
Annika Paylor 5:07.93 CA Los Gatos HS
Jana Dawson 5:22.59 CA Bret Harte (San Jose)
Oriana Jalal 4:39.36 1500 Los Gatos HS

If there are other athletes that you feel should be included in the above list, please list them in the comment section below along with their PRs.

Monday, July 25, 2016

2016 NCS Division V pre-season Cross Country rankings

With the divisional changes taking place this coming season, Division V will look very similar since the top teams in this division are all under last year's cutoff of 500. Although, the top end of this division goes up to 600, the top teams will remain the usual suspects who compete for the state qualifying spots year after year.

Looking back at the past few seasons on the boys side, Urban School boys edged out St. Joseph Notre Dame 64 to 65 to win their first NCS cross country section title in 2010. SJND then ran off 4 consecutive section titles as well as 4 state podium finishes which included 2 state titles in 2012 and 2013. Marin Academy, perhaps in the shadows of SJND, had a nice run of their own during the past few seasons that included last year's section team title and two 2nd place finishes at the state meet in 2013 and 2015.

This coming season, the SJND boys will be the favorites once again to win the team title. They return the best runner in this division, Cooper Teare (more on him later), as well as 6 of their 7 competitors from last year's section meet. The next best team appears to be Lick-Wilmerding. Sean Laidlaw (4:44.43/9:51.43) will be their #1 runner after competing in his first Track and Field season. The next group of teams all finished in the top 7 last season but will need to replace some talented seniors from the 2016 class. University, Athenian and Sonoma Academy will all be in the mix for a top 5 finish and each team will return their #1 runner. University finished in 5th place at last year's section meet but rebounded with an 8th place finish at state. They will be strong up front with Spencer Small (1:57.06/4:26.16) and CJ Dowd (1:59.60/4:31.90). SA returns 6 out of 7 and coach Danny Aldridge has had a lot of success coaching at Maria Carrillo and Sonoma Academy. College Prep lost their #1 runner Alex Glavin but will still have a strong #1 in Ethan Ashby (9:35.36). Marin Academy have lost some very talented runners over the past few seasons. They lose their top 3 runners from last year's team but based on their success the past few seasons should not be counted out.

Individually, Cooper Teare will be the overwhelming favorite to repeat as section champion. He ran 14:46.4, which is the 2nd fastest time on the Hayward HS course for a Division V athlete trailing only the 14:44 run by Trevor Reinhart (Marin Academy) in 2013. The course will be slightly different this year so Teare should establish the course record on the "new" course. Looking back at his junior season, Teare won the CA state meet in an epic finish over Jack Van Scoter of Flintridge Prep 15:07.313 to 15:07.316. He also won the state 3200m title by an even closer margin over Cole Spencer of Great Oak 8:51.845 to 8:51.847. Brian Schulz El Molino finished in 2nd place at last year's Division IV race and will be a section and state contender in this division in 2016. Eli Horwitz (1:57.83/4:20.63) Stuart Hall and Dawson Reckers (2:04.98/4:24.02) Athenian finished in 4th and 5th place respectively. Other contenders include Sean Laidlaw L-W, Ethan Ashby CPS, CJ Dowd UHS and Kheva Mann SA.

Division V Boys (Top 5 Advance to State)
1) St. Joseph ND-Will be motivated to win 5th section title in the past 6 seasons.
2) Lick-Wilmerding-Looking to win first male section title since winning Division III in 1989.
3) University-The most successful team in this division aiming to return back on top.
4) Sonoma Academy-Return 6 out of top 7 from last year's section meet.
5) College Prep-They will be in the mix with solid #1 and typical depth.
6) Athenian-Will need some freshman help to contend once again for a Fresno trip.
7) Marin Academy-On the outside looking in at this point but may surprise in November.
On the bubble: Roseland University PrepStuart HallUrban

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2015 NCS meet time:

Cooper Teare (1) St. Joseph ND 14:46.4
Brian Schulz (2 in Division IV) 15:28.3
Eli Horwitz (4) Stuart Hall 15:38.0
Dawson Reckers (5) Athenian 15:41.3
Sean Laidlaw (7) Lick-Wilmerding 16:01.0

The girls pre-season rankings will be posted next. Comments? Do you know of impact freshmen that will attend at any of the above schools? Feel free to chime in the section below.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Central Coast Section Time Comparisons for all 2016 XC Divisions thanks to Walt Van Zant

Top 10 Boys/Girls teams according to Walt
1) Bellarmine
2) Palo Alto
3) Homestead
4) St. Francis
5) San Lorenzo Valley
6) Willow Glen
7) Greenfield
8) Gunn
9) Los Gatos
10) Mitty

1) Aptos
2) Homestead
3) St. Francis
4) Mitty
5) St. Ignatius
6) San Lorenzo Valley
7) Mountain View
8) Santa Cruz
9) Monta Vista
10) Gunn

Feel free to comment on any of the divisions in the comment section below.

Hayward HS 2016 3mi XC Course

If you spot any errors, please email Jesuit HS coach Walt Lange at
You can also view the rest of the other already completed maps at this LINK.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mt. Pleasant HS (CCS) grad high jumps 7'4.5" to win silver at IAAF U20 Championship

The mark sets a new CCS record as well as ties the all-time California mark of Maurice Crumby of Balboa in 1983. Nationally, the mark is the 9th best time in US history. Congrats to Darius for an incredible senior season.

CSM job posting and coaching clinic

College of San Mateo Track & Field/Cross Country is currently seeking qualified candidates for the position of Assistant Track & Field/Cross Country Coach for the jumping events including high jump, triple jump, and long jump. This is a part-time position assisting the Head Track & Field and Cross Country Coach with all duties involving administering a high level track and field program, including assisting with practice, recruiting, hosting events, and more. Past collegiate competition or coaching experience preferred. Drivers license and bachelor’s degree required. Please submit a cover letter, three references, and resume to Head Coach Matt Layten at

Coaching Clinic
San Jose State Cross Country will be hosting a brand new coaching clinic catering to the sport of cross country on August 20, 2016 at San Jose State University. The clinic will be featuring speakers who have coached high-level athletes and teams at the collegiate and high school levels. Speakers include Brad Wick of San Jose State University, Matt Layten of College of San Mateo, and Patrick McCrystle of Bellarmine College Preparatory.

The clinic is open to all who are interested and will cover various aspects of coaching cross country, including training design, supplemental training components, program building, and more.

Signups will occur online at sjsutrackclinics.comand there will be signups at the door on the day of the clinic from 12:30pm to 1:00pm. More information can be found at our website: .

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Catching up with Clayton Valley coach, Anthony Munch

Today we chat with Clayton Valley Cross Country and Track and Field coach Anthony Munch. Last season, his boys' XC team qualified for the California state meet by placing in 3rd place in the Division II race, one point ahead of Granada. This was the first state qualifying team for Clayton Valley since 2002 when the boys finished in 2nd place in the Division I race. Munch is also an alumni of Clayton Valley and as a senior, his team finished in 2nd place at the NCS Division III race and 5th place at the state meet. He went on to compete at Diablo Valley College and Chico State. 

1) What was your own athletic experience? What high school did you attend? Highlights?
I participated in XC and Track starting my senior year in high school.  I attended Clayton Valley.  During cross country, we placed second in the section behind eventual 3rd place state meet  Livermore team (1994), going on to finish 5th in state.  In track, I ran the 800, 1600, and 3200.  I went on to run at DVC and then Chico State.  I picked up the steeplechase during my freshmen year in college, having moderate success including a trip to the state meet my sophomore year, and a few all-conference awards in junior college and at Chico.

2) Who were your coaches before and during high school and what did you learn from them?
I was coached by Ron Silveira and John Millar in high school, Kevin Searls  and Jim Costa at DVC, and Gary Towne and Kevin Selby at Chico.
I learned an enormous amount about running and life through my coaches. I was very lucky to have exceptional coaches throughout my running career.  They were all  very knowledgeable and patient. Although I started running relatively late (senior year in high school), it changed my life in dramatic ways.  I highly doubt I would be a teacher if it weren't for running, and I certainly wouldn't be a coach. I learned how to work hard and be a dependable teammate.  I learned how to compete with good sportsmanship, and I learned how important a role a coach can play in a young person's life.

3) Aside from coaching, what else do you do at Clayton Valley? How long have you been at the school?
I have been at Clayton Valley since spring 2012.  I teach world and US history in the Clayton Arts Academy.  I also teach Sociology and coach track.

4) What was the state of the two programs before you started coaching?
Clayton Valley was a solid program for years under Michelle Howisey, and a year under Greg Fister, especially on the girls' side.  I inherited some very motivated runners and a solid team culture which I have tried to carry on.

5) What changes did you make that you feel helped getting the cross country team heading in the right direction?
I was fortunate to have five years of track and cross country coaching experience at Oroville High School, before I started the job at Clayton Valley.  I had a great deal of success at that school, coaching alongside Michael Buchanan, including three division IV section championships between the boys and girls. That experience was very valuable in learning how to motivate a team, temper my own expectations as a former college runner, learn how to include runners of all abilities into the team, and transfer my own running knowledge into coaching ability.  My experience at Clayton Valley has been an extension of that. I'm proud to be able to coach at my former high school.  We experienced some very competitive league seasons that last few years and I have been happy to coach against coaching greats like Peter Brewer and Gil Llacuna.  The competition is always friendly, and I feel  like everyone in the former DVAL prioritized the interest of the student-athletes regardless of the teams they were on.

6) What were some of the team highlights from the 2015 season?
Sophomore Kelly Osterkamp and senior Claire Olson had solid improvements to finish First-Team All-League DVAL.  The boys won their first league title since 1994, going on to place third in a squeaker at NCS for Division II. First year runner Dylan White finished 5th at NCS with a big PR.  My team worked as hard as any team I have ever coached or been part of, so it was rewarding for them to experience deserved success.

7) What are your expectations for your team during the summer? Team camp? What are some of the incentives for your runners to get the work done during the summer?
My biggest expectation, especially for returning runners, is for the team to put in the work to make success a possibility during the season. I understand that summer is a time for family and vacations, and I encourage my athletes to get our and have fun over the summer.  I also remind them that if they aren't running, there are plenty of people that would love to grab their spot, especially on varsity.  We do a Mt. Diablo hike at the beginning of each season and try to fit in a pancake breakfast, a BBQ, a movie night, and a few other social events to keep the teams' enthusiasm up. We run a time-trial to make varsity and to run in uniform shortly after practice officially begins in the fall.  Although positions aren't static for the season, the athletes know that coming to the season in shape is a huge advantage.

8) Who are your coaching mentors and who are the ones that you bounce ideas during the season?
Without a doubt, the person I bounce the most ideas off of is my wife, Deborah (Osteen) Munch. She also ran at CV in high school, having an exemplary high school career and going on to run at Nebraska.  She went on to coach at Southern Mississippi, before she came back to the Bay Area, coaching track at CV for eight years.  We ran together for a year in high school and reconnected through track, in 2012 at Clayton Valley, when I became her assistant distance coach.  We just celebrated our two year wedding anniversary.  She has a masters degree in sport psychology and is definitely the brains behind my operation!  I keep in close contact with former CV XC coach Michelle Howisey, who is a huge fan of the team.  As far as mentors, I use workouts and ideas from all of my former coaches and give them great credit for any of the success I am able to achieve from my runners.

9) What does a typical week look like for your team during the season with a Saturday invite? Typical workouts? Weekly Mileage? Ancillary work? 
We don't shy away from hills. In fact they are one of the strongest keys to our success.  I wouldn't say we are a high mileage team, but we do have at least two high intensity workouts a week, in season.  The last few years have been very competitive in the DVAL, so we had to focus on league meets.  With the huge new league we will be in, we will be looking at a few more invitationals to participate in. We do core work at least twice a week, something that we are expanding on this season.

10) What do you feel are the keys to being a competitive distance runner in high school? 
I learned this after conversations with my former coach Kevin Searls, twenty years ago:  If you want to be a good distance runner, it has to be one of the most important things in your life!  Most people have room for about three major things in their lives. As a successful student athlete, if those aren't family, academics and your sport, your are either truly exceptional, or you are probably skimping pretty heavily on one or more of them.  Of course, when you add dating into the mix, it can be a huge help that cross country and track are usually co-ed!

11) The North Coast Section divisions have dramatically changed from past seasons. Do you feel like division II will be more competitive this coming season?
Yes, division II is going to be very competitive.  Monte Vista was a Division I powerhouse last year, and it will be fun to compete against them. Moving around the enrollment numbers in a more equitable manner for each division should really help the NCS in the long run to compete with other sections. The new Diablo Athletic League is going to be very competitive as well.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
I'm happy to be part of the running community hear in the North Coast Section.  I feel that I am surrounded by extremely knowledgeable coaches and elite athletes.  I try to constantly remind my athletes of the importance of good sportsmanship in the running community.  We are competing against ourselves as much as anyone else, and you never know which one of your competitors may be on your team in the future.  My hope is that my student athletes will go on to have a life-long relationship with running regardless of their ability.

Thank you very much for your team Anthony! AJC

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Catching up with former Jesuit HS runner, Paul Thomas...

I am going to start posting some of my favorite interviews from the past that may be new to some of our younger visitors. Here is the first with former Jesuit HS runner, Paul Thomas.
Today we chat with one of the all-time greats from Jesuit High School, Paul Thomas (on the right courtesy of Bill Leung Jr).  He graduated from Jesuit in 1987 so unfortunately was never able to compete at the California state XC meet individually and with his talented teammates (1st year of the CA state meet was in the fall of '87).  You can check out Jesuit HS's incredible depth, especially in their distance events at this link.  He still had plenty of success in high school such as winning the 1987 3200m. race and running a leg on the then national record in the Distance Medley Relay (9:56.3 still stands as the California record).  The Jesuit 1985 XC team with the Mastalir twins and with Thomas as the 3rd man still holds the Crystal Springs course team record at 76:15.4.  You can check out that list here. Thomas went on to compete at the University of Arkansas for legendary coach, John McDonnell.  Thomas still gets his competition on by cycling and is just as successful in that sport.

1) How did you get your start in running? Aside from XC and TF, what other sports did you play before and during high school?
I started running at the age of 10.  I was playing Pop Warner football, where my running talents were noticed by a parent as we ran laps before and after practice.    I was a sub par player, but ran circles around everyone on the laps. Thankfully that parent was there to realize my lack of ability on the field and potential on the track.  I ran a 4:35 1500m a few months later at the age of 11.  A year later, I ran 33:52 for a 10k.  I was now 100% free of splinters from my bench time in team sports which require hand eye coordination.

2) Looking back at your high school experience in both sports, what were your personal and team highlights?
To this day, I have great results when I am brand new at something.  My first race as a 114lb freshman was at the Clovis Invite on the famed State Meet course at Woodward Park in the Varsity race.  I ran 15:08 for the 3 mile course, finishing second behind a senior from Mt. Whitney HS.   The premature success probably limited me in some ways. I really did not like the pressure or responsibility to be the top runner, especially with the huge respect I had for the upper class-men on the team, not to mention the Mastalirs in the class ahead of me.  I only ran a few track races my freshman year.  The summer following my freshman year, on a whim ran a 10k in William Land Park where I posted a 32:01 10k with a blazing 5:45 for the last 1.2 miles.

Fast forward to 1987, my senior year, I started off with some great indoor races.  I ran a handful of reasonable times off very slow paces.  At the Indoor Nationals at Yale I was the crowned the National Champion, although losing to a Canadian, Brendan Mathias, running 4:10.? for 1600m, with a 1:58 last 800m.  A few hours later, I found my way to the starting line where I had low expectations, but running
8:58.8 3200m. finishing right behind Marc Davis and Todd Williams. Arcadia was a few weeks later, where I ran 8:53 with another fast closing 800m., besting Marc Davis for the win.

Although I won the California State Meet in the 3200m. (video link here), I had my head hanging low before and after, as I really wanted to win the 1600m, which was a few hours prior..losing to Bellarmine's Scott Robinson (video below).  (Scott, if you are reading this, I want a rematch!)

As far as team results that created happiness, there were many! Coming to Jesuit in the era which I did, I was a kid in a candy shop.  I still scratch my head thinking what a fantastic opportunity we all took part in.  It was not until a bunch of years had gone by where I realized what a dynasty we helped create.

As a freshman, we took a very young team to the Mt. SAC XC Invitational.  I had previously run on the famed Mt. SAC course in an age group (Junior Olympic) XC race and loved the course.  We won the Team Sweepstakes with 3 sophomores, 1 junior, 2 seniors and 1 freshman.  We would come back 2 years later, setting the coveted team time record.  That year, 1985, we had a phenomenal team.  Our top 3 were unreal with a solid top 5, but lacking a 6 and 7.  Had the top 5 all performed at 95% on that same day, they would have renamed the race to the "Jesuit Sweepstakes!".

Track season of my Junior year was highlighted with a National Record in the DMR, where the Mastalir duo, Dan Cahill and I ran 9:53 at UC Davis.  I will never forget the energy of the entire stadium.  While all schools in attendance were competitors/rivals throughout the year, collectively, the stadium was behind the our record attempt. We took a 10 year standing record away from South Eugene, only to lose it the following year to The Woodlands, where my future Arkansas roommate (Eric Henry) anchored a 4:03.  On the same UC Davis track, Eric, Mark  and I swept the 3200m at the Section meet.  There is nobody who was happier to get 3rd place in so many races than me.  I loved it!

3) Tell us a little about your high school coach, Walt Lange and what was his biggest influence on you and your teammates?
Walt Lange is Mr. Consistency.  Over the years, hundreds have inquired about the secret formula that he had to make us so fast.   In reality, there was no magic formula.   What sticks out the most about Coach Lange is what he delivered at the beginning of my freshman year in 1983.  Well before internet, he passed out loads of information stapled together:

-"Jesuit All Time Bests" for each of the scheduled meets.
-previous year's results
-Arthur Lydiard training philosophies
-history on the great runner's who passed through Jesuit
-dietary recommendations

He used to always tell us to Eat, Sleep and Run like a clock.  It was not until years later that I realized he borrowed that quote from the great Jumbo Elliot.

It was consistently being consistent that brought Lange so much success.  There are only a few programs that rival Jesuit, but accomplished success by big numbers.  York HS and The Woodlands ran huge miles.  Lange had tried all of the above in his 13 years of coaching before I arrived.  There are many ways to achieve results.  His simple recipe was perfect for the masses.  Not many injuries.  It seems like we all had pretty good leg speed.

Today I use this same wisdom:  Apply sustainable efforts and success can be achieved for years to come.

4) You finished in 2nd place at the CA state meet 1600m. as a senior. What do you remember about that race?
I touched base on this above, a bit. Of course I don't dwell on it.  However, if I could go back and make changes in one race, this would be it.  I recall it being very easy.  I think we went through 800m in 2:08.  With 600m to go, the plan was to make it fast.  I believe I ran 28 flat for that next half lap, followed up with a 30. A friend forwarded me the Youtube video a few years ago.  Maybe I should have either waited til the end or not went so hard with 600m to go.  Maybe I should have went harder?!? Did I say I don't dwell on it?   Do you have the number for Uncle Rico from Napolean Dynamite?  I need to someone to console me!

5) You attended the University of Arkansas. What led to your decision in choosing Arkansas? What other colleges were in the mix?
It was odd that I ended up at University of Arkansas.  They would have never contacted me, as Coach McDonnell would later ask, "Why would a kid from California want to come the Midwest...or South?"   While I went to the best high school program in the US, I thought I might as well do the same for college.  It seemed like the logical thing to do at the time.  In hindsight, maybe I should have chosen to go to the school and state I did my 5th grade book report on: University of Oregon.  I was a huge Salazar and Dellinger fan when I was 11 years old. What 5th grader trades heroes Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach etc. in for Coe, Ovett and the Oregon program?  The reason why Oregon could have been a better option is because of my mentor, Harold Kuphaldt. Harold was 5 years ahead of me, where he and I shared similar abilities and age group program, The Roseville Gazelles.   I respected (and still do) so much, I would have been more likely to stay on track with the Walt Lange mantra of a clean and simple life. At Oregon, maybe I would have kept the nights short and the choices of beverages light.  Oregon did not reach out to me until April of 87 where I had already signed a letter of intent with the Razorbacks. Just like the State 1600m......coulda shoulda!

6) You ran for legendary coach John McDonnell at Arkansas. What do you remember most about him and why do you feel he was so successful?
John McDonnell was successful with same tools as Coach Lange.  There were no secret workouts.  Initially, he did not have the blue chippers coming to Arkansas.  He built it from scratch.  While he recruited from Ireland, his country, he was lucky to get the kids from the surrounding states.  Even when I got there, the non foreign runners were from Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, etc.  The late Dan Gabor and I were the first to come to Arkansas west of Kansas.

His training regime was simple.  Run 50-60 miles week during the summer. You ran with the team 7 days/week.  If you did this with proper sleep and nutrition, you would do well.  If you didn't, it was going to be tough.  It was tough for me and others.

John McDonnell was a motivator.  He could have been one hell of a NFL coach.  You would leave the team meetings wanting to conquer the world.  Only if he scheduled the team meetings at 9pm on Friday and Saturday nights!

Recruiting and stretching a scholarship is what really set him apart from all other coaches.  He did not leave any meat on the bone, which was wise.  My freshman year I was on a flu scholarship.  He immediately made everyone an in-state student, lowering his cost per athlete.  Most of us were from non-affluent families, therefore qualifying them for Pell Grants. By the end, I was not on a full scholarship, but never had to pay.  However, it was baffling to see how many phenomenal athletes were on little aid.

7) What were your college highlights and proudest accomplishments?
I was a rare case as a freshman, making the Varsity XC team. Although I made the traveling team, I should have red shirted and gathered my bearings.  It was a huge transition for me: I can go on with all of the changes that led to a rough year and college career. It really came down to lack of sleep.   I was an uncaged animal that was finally let out when I left to college.  To this day, I am the last to leave a race venue or party. In college, I was the last to shut the door to my dorm.   I never really had a huge season or moment in college.  While I was on a handful of NCAA Championship teams, my individual efforts were never up to par.  The greatest results were coming off a summer/winter break where I returned from Colorado where my parents where now living.  I recorded the best result on the team in the VO2 Max test in August of 88.  The problem was that it was August.  The best actual race was the SWC Indoor Championships where Falcon, Reina and I crossed the line in the 3000m.  Again, this was just off a winter break where I was back at the nest, eating, sleeping and running like a clock....just like that high school coach repeated!

8) At what point did you transition to cycling? What are the biggest similarities and differences between running and cycling?
As far back as high school, I always felt sufficient/fast on a bike.  The Mastalir's, my brother and I always talked about doing triathlons.  If I looked back in my year books, each annual's note from the Mastalirs would reference doing triathlons together.  Two wheels were always in my future but did not make the leap until summer of 1993.  In high school I read the triathlon publications.  The sport of biathlon (later turned duathlon) was pretty big; led by Kenny Souza.  In 87 I thought maybe someday I would duke it out with this long haired, Bon Jovi look-alike.  My entrance in duathlon was similar to my arrival at Jesuit.  I won the US Pro Championships in April beating Souza, Tinley and the other names I used to read about.  A few months later, I was 4th at the ITU World Champs in Tasmania, Australia, winning the World ITU Series at the same time.  My entrance to Jesuit was a foreshadowing of my debut as a multi-sporter.

The transition to cycling was pretty easy for me.  I gave a feeble attempt to learn to swim.  Swimming is much more of a technique based sport.  If my last name was Mastalir, I probably would have won the Ironman a half a dozen times, as they were club swimmer growing up.

Efficiency and technique are also required in cycling.  At least your legs are somewhat trapped in a circle where you can't deviate much from a perfect linear plane.  Most think that cyclists are big and bulky.  At 6 feet in height, the average Tour rider weighs between 150 and 160lbs.  On the world level, Chris Solinsky is an anomaly.  In reality, my morphology was much more compatible to being a cyclist.

I did not turn to bike racing until the age of 40 when I returned to Tucson.  My wife had went to law school a the U of A.  After suffering from allergies, asthma and sinus surgeries over her 40 years, she recalled that Tucson was the place where she had great health.  We moved here in 2008.   After going full throttle at work and life for 10 years, Tucson provided a more balanced life than San Diego, for theboth of us.  I started riding to get back to fitness.  I reach back to the memory bank and really started to eat, sleep, exercise like a clock.....for the very first time in my life.   Now that I was getting older, I decided I wanted to be healthy and fit for the long haul. Cycling has been awesome. The cycling community here in Tucson is the best.  Having the the correct setting has made the athletic side of me sustainable.

In the last 5 years, I have defied the rules of age.  While I do not train or live like a pro, I have used some wisdom and given genetics to somehow perform at a national level, although I type here at age 45.  Some would say, including me, that I left a lot of meat on the bone in my formidable years as an athlete.  If I could hypothetically go back and do it right, with the caveat of being done at age 27 vs. doing it the way I have, I think I would take the same rocky road;being healthy and fit for a life time.

9) From your perspective as an experienced runner and cyclist, what would you say really worked for you training wise in high school and what do you wish you did differently?
What worked for me in the good times is the same that works for anyone that performs at a high level.  Live like the clock Lange once spoke about.  Of course there are athletes who respond better to volume and some better to quality.  It takes a bit of intuition to find what works best for you.  It can take years to figure this out.  If you have zero intuition, you may never know.  To this day, Coach Lange or McDonnell could better tell you what worked for me than myself.  An endurance athlete inevitably has to have a big aerobic system.  In HS, I recall doing two 70 miles weeks each spring.  These 14 days built a good foundation to race hard until the end of May.  I recall doing lots and lots of strides.  In my coaching of triathletes, strides are a key ingredient.  They do not tap the anaerobic system and if done on these fancy turf infields, they are easy on the legs!

10) What is your advice for current high school runners with aspirations of competing in college and beyond?
First of all, get a training log.  I still like to use a handwritten log.  I use a weekly planner.  Later in life you get to look at these as story books.    I have logs dating back to 1984.  However, there was a block of years where I did not train much.  When we were evacuated for the San Diego fires years ago, Noreen grabbed the cats. I grabbed my training logs!   Keep a log!  You can always go back and find out what was going on in your life when you were going good.....or even bad.

Have heroes and role models.  Study stats.  Have passion about the sport.  Know more about the sport than the guy standing next to you on the line. Have short and long term goals. Have realistic goals.  Think long term.  Do the base work, do the speed work.  Make it fun so it does not feel like work.  Enjoy your team mates. Help your team mates. Never look at the picture from 2 inches away.  Look from reasonable

Most importantly create your good luck by being placed in the hands of greatness!  Somehow I landed in the hot beds of HS and college programs.  Again in multi-sport, I landed in the hands of the best. Make opportunities come your way.  Just like dating, the girl of your dreams will never come and knock on your door.  Put yourself out there and great things will happen.  Lastly, if your coach tells you to eat, sleep and run like a clock, do it!

11) Anything else you would like to add.
Endurance sports is a cumulative journey. Each years builds on the next.  There aerobic system is much stronger than our legs.  Your heart and lungs have no idea if you are running, rowing, cycling, swimming etc.  I spoke to Jordan Hasay her freshman year in high school at the FL meet.  When I asked her about her training, her data was 60 miles per week with 4 days of swimming 2miles (M-TH)   I assume her 31 other competitors (yes, FL used to have 8 from each region) ran approx 30-40mi per week.  Assuming 40, that is about 4.5 hours of training.  Jordan had 7 hours of running plus her 4 hours of swimming.  The other girls chasing the 14 year old through Balboa Park were only doing 39% of what little Jordan was doing.  Your body can handle much more than you think.  I just finished a 5 day Pro stage race ( at age 45 where I thought for sure I was going to have to DNF.  Know your limitations, but do not be afraid of them.

Simplicity: Lead a very simple life if you want success at sport.  The great Haile Gebrselassie was once asked which of the 5 Mercedes Benz prizes was his favorite to drive.  His reply said that he did not
drive any of them.  If his life got cluttered with complex living, his running would slow down.  Have your basic necessities.  Even too many pairs of running shoes can be bad.  Live lean and maximize your potential with what you have.

Recovery: This is something I should have written a 2000 word essay on. This is an around the clock process.  Recovery never stops.  When I am racing a 100mi stage, the calories I am consuming during the race is setting me up for tomorrow's stage.  Never stop the recovery process.

Sleep:  Sleep a minimum of 8 hours every night .  Structure your life where you go to bed no latter than 10pm.  Even if you sleep 1am-9am, you have disturbed your internal clock.  Sleep is the absolute most important element in getting fast. Hard workouts are 100% useless if you do not get sleep.  Again, sleep supersedes everything and everything.

Nutrition/Hydration:  I drink a minimum of a gallon of water per day.  It does not matter if I am not training.  Hydration is is the key to life.  Food:  I am not a vegan, vegetarian or any known classification.  However, I consume several pounds of produce per day.  It is nearly impossible to eat too many vegetables.  Fruit in
the morning and mass amounts of vegetables in the evening.  As soon as you are done training, have a bottle of liquid nutrition available. 100gm of carbs following training is a step in recovery.

Body work:  This is something that was unheard of when I was younger.  Massage, self massage, epson salt baths, ice baths, compression boots.  There are so many tools in speeding up recovery.  If these are done religiously, you can then imagine going from a 4:20 miler to a 4:05 miler.

If it wasn't  from that first opportunity where my running was discovered by a football dad, I would be elsewhere right now.  You do not have to be an elite athlete your entire life to be successful.  However, being fit, lean and healthy a life time is something my friends really admire.  If you make it feel like work, it will be
short lived.  Do not be the super star from age 14-24 then give in. Live CLEAN!   Create your own opportunities.  Thanks to the many that has contributed to this fine ride I have enjoyed.  Many more
experienced lie ahead!

Thank you very much for your time Paul!  AJC

Saturday, July 16, 2016

2016 Cross Country Schedule (please add your meet)

Please continue to add meets that are missing from the list below. You can add them below or email me the date at

September 1 Jaguar Invitational at Eagle Lakes
September 2 Highlander Invitational at Woodward Park
September 3 Lagoon Valley Classic at Lagoon Valley Park
September 3 San Benito Dry River Run at San Benito High School
September 6 Monte Vista Invitational at Oak Hill Park
September 6 Lynbrook Center Meet at Lynbrook High School
September 10 Lowell Invitational at Golden Gate Park
September 10 Earlybird Invitational at Toro Park
September 10 Ed Sias Invitational at Hidden Valley Park
September 10 Stevenson Invitational at Stevenson High School
September 10 Jesuit/Davis Jamboree at Granite Regional Park
September 10 Sierra Invitational at Legion Park
September 16 9th Annual Bill Springhorn Classic at Shasta College
September 16/17 Woodbridge Cross Country Classic at Silverlakes Sports Park
September 17 Farmer Invitational at Hayward HS
September 17 DLS/CHS Nike Invitational at Newhall Park, Concord
September 17 Viking Opener at Spring Lake Regional Park
September 17 Bret Harte/Frogtown Invitational at Angels Camp
September 17 Josh Ruff Memorial Invitational at Willow Hills
September 24 Ram Invitational at Westmoor HS
September 24 Clam Beach Invitational at Clam Beach State Beach
September 24 Dana Hills Invitational at Dana Hills High School
September 24 Tiger Invitational Elkhorn Golf Course (NEW)
September 28 Salinas City Championships at TBA (NEW)
September 30 Palos Verdes Invitational at Palos Verdes High School
October 1 Stanford Invitational at Stanford Golf Course
October 1 Artichoke Invitational at Half Moon Bay HS
October 1 Scott Bauhs Invitational at Shadow Cliffs Park
October 1 Pacific Grove Invitational at Pacific Grove High School
October 1 Capital Cross Challenge at Hagen Oaks
October 5 Escalon Woodward Invitational at Woodward Reservoir
October 8 Serra Invitational at Crystal Springs Course
October 8 Clovis Invitational at Woodward Park
October 8 Castro Valley/Peter Brewer Invitational at Canyon Middle School
October 8 King City Invitational at TBA
October 8 Wildfire Invitational at Old Foresthill Course
October 15 Bella Vista Bronco Invitational at Willow Hills
October 15 33rd Annual Mariner Invitational at Hayward High School
October 15 Merced County Championships at Atwater HS
October 15 Monterey Invitational at Toro Park
October 19 Center Meet #1 at Crystal Springs Course
October 21/22 Mt. SAC Invitational at Mt SAC
October 22 FLAT SAC Invitational at Gibson Ranch
October 22 Yoshanny Invite at Ukiah HS (NEW)
October 27 Lynbrook Invitational at Lynbrook High School
November 5 SJS Sub Sections at Frogtown/Angels Camp
November 10 NS Championship at West Valley High School
November 12 CCS Championship at Toro Park
November 12 SJS Championship at Willow Hill Reservoir
November 16 SF Championship at Golden Gate Park
November 19 NCS Championship at Hayward HS
November 26 California State Meet at Woodward Park

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

2016 Hayward High School Cross Country Course

Due to construction at Hayward HS, the course for NCS will be slightly altered as you can see to the left. The image can also be found on the NCS website at this LINK.

Coaching job posting for Lick-Wilmerding

Cross Country Team Assistant Coach, Lick-Wilmerding High School
Lick-Wilmerding High School is a small private high  school at 755 Ocean Avenue in San Francisco (one block from the Balboa BART station). The school has an enrollment of approximately 490 students and competes at the Division V level in the Bay Area Conference.

The cross country season begins on Monday, August 15 and lasts until the State Championship Meet in Fresno on Saturday, November 26. The Lick cross country team is expected to number around 80 runners this year with roughly an even number of boys and girls.

 Practice sessions last from 3:30 until 5:45-6:00 p.m. M-F. 4 league meets are held during the week, starting at 4 PM usually, and the team participates in 3-4 Saturday invitationals during the season.

Requirements: Interest in working with high school athletes essential. High school, college, or post-collegiate distance running experience in a structured training program required. 1-2 years of distance running coaching experience preferred, but not required. Experience working with high school athletes preferred.

If interested in applying for this position, please contact Coach Jeff Gardiner at 415 730-0522; email:,  or contact Lick's Athletic Director Eliot Smith at 415 333-4021.  Pay on a 5-day week basis starts at $2000 depending on experience.

High School Track and Field/Cross Country Rules Changes Include Assisting Injured Competitor



High School Track and Field/Cross Country Rules Changes Include Assisting Injured Competitor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            Contact: Becky Oakes
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 13, 2016) — Effective with the 2017 high school track and field season, a participant who assists an injured/ill competitor shall not be disqualified if an appropriate health-care professional is not available.
The NFHS Board of Directors recently approved all rules changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Track and Field Rules Committee at its June 13-15 meeting in Indianapolis.
            Becky Oakes, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Track and Field Rules Committee, said the committee determined that this act of sportsmanship extended to an injured/ill competitor when a health-care professional is not readily available should not result in a penalty.
            “The committee wanted to recognize the importance of appropriate healthcare of an ill/injured competitor as well as recognize that at times there may be fellow competitors who may need to assist others who cannot continue,” Oakes said. “Therefore, the committee felt that disqualification shouldn’t be the result of a sportsmanship act.”
            In order to be consistent with current sport trends, the committee revised Rule 5-7-3, which reinforces the concept that competitors in distance races only use a standing start and shall remain motionless for the start without their hand(s) touching the ground.
            The rules committee voted to combine Rule 6 (Throwing Events) and Rule 7 (Jumping Events) into one rule titled “Field Events” to eliminate duplication of definitions and unnecessary language and the possibility of making a change in the throws and missing it in the jumps.
            “The last couple of rules cycles the committee has been trying to eliminate unnecessary and repetitive language. This is the last phase of the clean-up – creating one rule that covers multiple events,” Oakes said.
            For purposes of risk management, the committee revised Rules 6-2-14 and 7-2-5, which state that all warm-ups in a field event may not take place until the venue is declared open and required supervision is in place.
            In Rule 5-6, the committee moved the Note in Rule 5-6-4 to the new Article 4. Oakes said the results of running events are based on head-to-head competition and all contestants should have the opportunity to compete in the heat earned by the competitor’s place and/or qualifying times.
            The committee also approved a change to Rule 3-6-1, which now grants authority to disqualify a runner for a false start to the starter as well as the referee. Also, the starter will now give a signal at the beginning of the last lap in individual races of two laps or more (previously three).
            Another change was made in Rule 3-2-4u, which states that the games committee – not the coach – should have the responsibility of providing liquids during the competition.
            In Rule 3-10-7, when flags are not utilized, the head event judge utilizes the mechanics to call “fair” or “foul.”
            Other changes approved by the committee include:
·        The removal of the Note in 4-3-1b(5), which contradicts the rule by limiting the placement of the American flag to one piece of uniform apparel.
·        Rule 4-6-5g, which states that it is an unfair act when a competitor receives physical aid from any other person during a race or trial, except as provided in Rules 4-6-5 and 9-7.
·        Rule 5-1-3, which notes that, in absence of a curb, if cones are used, they should just touch the inside of the line and be placed about 5 feet apart around the curve.
·        Rule 6-2-17, which clarifies how trials are recorded when a legal implement breaks during competition.
·        Rule 6-5-9e, which notes that if a shot put competitor touches the top or end of the stopboard before leaving the circle, it is a foul.
·        Rule 9-1-3b for cross country states that the race course should include either directional flags and/or directional sign posts.
·        Rule 10-2-2, which notes that when multiple takeoff boards are used in the long jump and triple jump, the 20-meter distance shall be from the foul line farthest from the pit.
A complete listing of the track and field rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page, and select “track and field.”
According to the 2015-16 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, there are 578,632 boys participating in outdoor Track and Field at 16,358 schools and 478,726 girls at 16,309 schools.

Monday, July 11, 2016

California Coaches Association Year End Awards

You can read the press release for the boys cross country coach of the year, Monte Vista's Mike Davis (on the left with former Campolindo coach, Chris Walsh) at this LINK. You can also check out the rest of the award winners at the link below which includes the girls cross country coach of the year, Aptos coach, Dan Gruber and boys track and field coach of the year, Amador Valley's Peter Scarpelli.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

2016 CIF State Meet Auto Team Entries for each section

The only changes from the 2015 season is that the Los Angeles Section gains one spot in Division III for both boys and girls. 

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

2016 Pre-Season North Coast Section (NCS) Division II Cross Country Rankings

Here are the raw pre-season rankings with the top teams as well as top returning individuals.

Division II Boys (Top 3 Advance to state)
1) Monte Vista-Lose their top runner but everybody else is back.
2) Dublin-Missed making 2015 state meet with lots of talent returning.
3) Clayton Valley-Program back to prove 2015 was not a fluke.
4) Granada-Young, developing team with lots of upside.
5) Santa Rosa-Potent top two make them very dangerous to teams above them.
On the bubble (alphabetical order): Amador Valley, De La Salle, Liberty

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2015 NCS meet time:
Daniel Pride (2) Santa Rosa 15:30.6 (Division I)
Anirudh Surapaneni (4) Dublin 15:32.1 (Division II)
Tristan Miller (3) Monte Vista 15:37.4 (Division I)
Dylan White (5) Clayton Valley 15:37.6 (Division II)
Luca Massanti (6) Santa Rosa 15:48.8 (Division I)

Division II Girls (Top 3 Advance to state)
1) Monte Vista-Just like the boys, they lose #1 but return a lot.
2) Granada-League rival who will rely on a strong sophomore class.
3) San Ramon Valley-Another talented group of girls who could challenge top 2 teams.
4) Liberty-Will need to rise to the challenge of upsetting one of three very strong teams.
5) College Park-Return their entire 2015 team. They will need to improve to move up.
On the bubble (alphabetical order): Amador Valley, Dublin, Santa Rosa

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2015 NCS meet time:
Meredith Corda (3) Monte Vista 17:53.5 (Division I)
Myrthe Bellers (4) Irvington 17:53.9 (Division I)
Kinga Bihari (8) Granada 18:37.8 (Division II)
Molly Neach (8) San Ramon Valley 18:38.4 (Division I)
Madalyne Coney (9) Monte Vista 18:40.3 (Division I)

Please feel free to chime in on the rankings above. I won't be offended if you strongly disagree as the above rankings are meant to be a launching pad for conversation. Fortunately section titles and state meet berths are decided by the runners themselves. Any impact freshmen that we should know about?

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