Friday, June 30, 2017

2017 NCS Division IV pre-season Cross Country rankings

Our next NCS pre-season rankings will be Division IV boys (girls will be posted tomorrow). The radical changes made in NCS last year resulted in a more competitive division here. Last season, the Bishop O'Dowd boys won their third section title in school history along with their Division I win in 1995 and Group 1 win in 1957! They outdistanced a game McKinleyville team which finished in 2nd place for the second year in a row. The defending section team champion, Sir Francis Drake, finished in 3rd place. The individual winner was Hercules senior Ryan Cutter (15:13.3) who finished just in front of Arcata senior Kellen O'Neill (15:14.4).

For the upcoming season, we should have a better idea of the leading contenders now that we have seen these teams compete against each other in 2016. We will start with the boys and the favorite at this point is the defending champion, Bishop O'Dowd. They were very impressive at the section meet with their best team effort of the season and followed that up with an 8th place finish at the state meet. They return the best trio of runners (Thomas Murphy 4:36.66/10:02.52, Cole Kretlow 4:36.68/10:05.95 and Spencer Berkins 4:30.52/9:59.18) in the division but will need to replace a couple of seniors from their top 5.

Their competition should come from last year's 3rd place team and the 2015 champion, Sir Francis Drake. They return a bit more than BOD with 4 out of their top 5 but will have to find a way to break up the top 3 runners for the Dragons in order to compete for a section title. They will be led by juniors Cooper McCarthy 4:39.39/9:38.11 and Gabriel Rueter 4:41.10/9:49.02. Sophomore Owen Wolford had a solid track season with 2:02.63/4:45.45 personal bests. Junior Nicco Pompili ran an impressive 1:57.76 at the NCS Redwood Empire area meet.

The chase for the 3rd and final state meet qualifying spot should be led by last year's 7th place team, Piner. They return their entire lineup and will also benefit from teams above them losing strong seniors. Last year's 2nd place team, McKinleyville, will also be in Division V next year. Piner will be led by senior Jonny Vargas 4:34.10/9:43.06 who finished in 5th place at last year's section final.

The race for the individual title will feature the two top returning runners from last year's section final. Muni Kabbara San Rafael 4:20.23/9:38.12 finished in 3rd place last year and will be slight favorite at this point. Piner's Jonny Vargas finished in 5th and is well within striking distance. Reece Proctor Piedmont 1:57.05/4:24.70 finished in 10th last year and will be aiming for a top 3 spot this coming season. The Bishop O'Dowd trio of Thomas Murphy, Cole Kretlow and Spencer Berkins all broke 16 last year at Hayward and will be among the leaders. If you are looking for a wild card in this division, look no further than Miramonte senior James Bull 4:26.50/9:31.88. He finished in 23rd place last year but was quite impressive during the spring track season and will be a definite factor.

In the girls' race, the Miramonte girls enjoyed being back in Division IV by winning their first section title since winning Division III in 2005. Bishop O'DowdPiedmont and Justin-Siena were the next three team that all qualified to the state meet. Miramonte sophomore Cassy Haskell won her first individual section title after finishing in second place in Division III in 2015.

For this coming season, the race for the team section title should be an interesting one. The top two teams from last season, Miramonte and Bishop O'Dowd, will be in rebuilding mode. Miramonte returns one runner from their championship team but that one runner is the defending individual champion, Cassey Haskell (2:21.36/5:17.61 season bests). They will need a major influx of talent and improvement from their returning runners but starting out with potentially the best runner in the division is always a good problem to have. The Bishop O'Dowd girls will also be replacing much of their lineup but will have a little more coming back with juniors Isabella Brusco 2:32.55/5:25.30/11:42.96 and Jeneva Toolijan 5:25.30/11:57.98 and sophomore Kalea Fong 2:36.96/5:36.15.

The slight favorite at this point is Piedmont. They finished in 3rd place last year but return the majority of that team (5 out of top 7). They will be led by Margo Donahue who finished in 11th place at the 2016 NCS meet. Justin-Siena finished in 4th place for the 2nd year in a row and will be hoping for at least another top 4 finish. They return 3 of their top 5 including their #1 runner, Hannah Chau 2:29.33/5:20.51. Marin CatholicMoreau Catholic, Piner and Albany have all been solid teams in this division and could break into the top 5 with a solid summer of training.

The race for the individual title will look very familiar to last season. Cassy Haskell Miramonte won last year but had a very average track and field season dealing with injuries. 2nd place finisher Marissa D'Atri Alhambra (2:11.77/5:07.47/11:34.49) and 3rd place finisher Gabrielle Peterson Healdsburg (2:19.11/4:47.74/10:59.75) both had impressive track and field seasons and will be aiming squarely for the win. 5th place finisher Cynthia Rosales Piner also had an injury riddle season and will look to rebound to past form in the fall. Shelby Nelson Encinal 5:07.35/11:11.92 finished in 7th place and finished this past track and field season in a flurry.

Division IV Boys (Top 3 Advance to State)
1) Bishop O'Dowd-Tough top 3 could led them to 2nd straight section title.
2) Sir Francis Drake-You can make a case for them being favorites above BOD at this point.
3)  Piner-Return their entire top 7 from last year and will be aiming for a top 3 finish.
4) Miramonte-4th place last year and could once again could be in the mix to qualify for state.
5) Piedmont-Hoping for top 3 finish after just missing the state meet in '15.
On the bubble: Albany, Marin Catholic, Moreau Catholic

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2016 NCS meet time:

Munir Kabbara (3) San Rafael 15:21.7
Jonny Vargas (5) Piner 15:29.0
Thomas Murphy (8) Bishop O'Dowd 15:54.2
Cole Kretlow (9) Bishop O'Dowd 15:55.9
Reece Proctor (10) Piedmont 15:56.1

Division IV Girls (Top 4 Advance to State)
1) Piedmont-Over past 3 years, they have two titles and a 3rd place finish.
2) Bishop O'Dowd-Mostly new lineup but promising track and field season.
3) Justin-Siena-Have qualified for last two state meets and return 5 from last XC season.
4) Sir Francis Drake-Been on the cusp of making state and will hope to finish here.
5) Miramonte-Defending champions return one runner but defending individual champion.
On the bubble: Albany, Marin Catholic, Moreau Catholic, Piner

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2016 NCS meet time:

Cassy Haskell (1) Miramonte 17:34.8
Marissa D'Atri (2) Alhambra 17:54.1
Gabrielle Peterson (3) Healdsburg 17:55.6
Cynthia Rosales (5) Piner 18:05.2
Shelby Nelson (7) Encinal 18:18.4

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. Did I miss anybody? How would you rank this division differently?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2017 Pre-Season North Coast Section (NCS) Division IV/V Cross Country Rankings

These will be posted in the next couple of days. Feel free to comment on either or both divisions and who you think will be the top teams and individuals. One change from the past few seasons is that McKinleyville, one of the top teams in Division IV, will now be competing in Division V.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017 State Meet XC auto team qualifiers

You can check out the qualifiers for the 2017 meet at this LINK (updated). The only changes from 2016 to 2017 are as follows. The Central Coast Section loses one state meet spot for boys' Division I which goes to North Coast Section Sac-Joaquin Section. The other change is that the Central Coast Section loses a spot in boys' Division III which goes to the San Diego Section.

The second change is no surprise at all as Division III (especially on the boys' side) has become the weakest division for CCS. The first change is quite surprising but since it's based on the past four years, the average brings another spot to the 8 division 1 teams now competing in NCS (this is possibly an error and is being double checked). You read correctly, 8 TEAMS! 3 out of 8 competing teams at next year's NCS boys' Division I race will advance to the state meet. Those numbers will change in the next few years but tough pill to swallow for teams that were normally in Division I in past NCS meets and now must face a much tougher road in lower divisions. It looks like after the CIF Office went back and looked at the numbers for the past four seasons, CCS did indeed lose a spot in Division I and now SJS will now have 3 teams advance to state meet in the same division.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

2017 Nike Cross Country Coaches Clinic at Dublin HS

First speaker...
Timo Mostert American Fork HS (boys' team has qualified for last 8 NXN races including three 2nd place finishes) also 4 x mile national record at Arcadia Invitational. You can check out my interview with Timo from 2012 at this LINK.

5 Things that changed our program...
Written Plans
Capillary Runs
Power Runs

Next speaker...
Alex Mason St. Joseph Notre Dame HS (aka Cooper Teare's coach)
Training Design
Base Mileage
Alactic Hill Sprints
Tempo (LT) Repeats
Fartleks above or at LT pace
Extensive Strength Endurance Circuits
Intensive Uphill Strength Endurance Circuits
Igloi/Portuguese Intervals
CV Repeats
Lactic Capacity training
Lactic Resistance
Lactic Capacity vs Lactic Resistance
Long Run Fast

Now speaking...
Chris Williams Dublin HS (aka Dublin Distance Fiesta meet director extraordinaire)
Believe "The Plan" "The Players" "The Power"

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2017 Cross Country Invitational schedule

I will be adding invites as I find them. In the meantime, feel free to add any invites/dates in the comment section below.


August 25 Lodi Flame Invitational at Lodi Lake
August 25 Run On The Green at Woodland HS
August 26 Oakmont Invitational at Maidu Park
August 31 Jaguar Invitational at Eagal Lakes


September 1 Bill Springhorn Classic at Shasta College Course
September 2 Lagoon Valley Classic @ Lagoon Valley Park
September 2 San Benito Dry River Run
September 2 Thunder Two-Miler at Buhach Colony HS
September 5 Monte Vista Invitational at Oak Hill Park
September 8 Las Plumas Invitational at North Forebay State Recreation Center
September 9 Chieftain-Spirit Classic at Toro Park, Salinas
September 9 Ed Sias Invitational at Hidden Valley Park
September 9 Lowell Invitational at Golden Gate Park
September 9 Sierra Invitational at Legion Park, Modesto
September 9 Stevenson Invitational
September 9 Yreka Showdown at Greenhorn Park
September 12 Lynbrook Center Meet
September 15 Mt. Shasta Invitational at Shastice Park
September 16 Bret Harte Frogtown Invitational at Angels Camp
September 16 De La Salle/Carondelet Invitational at Newhall Park
September 16 Earlybird Invitational at Toro Park
September 16 Farmer Invitational at Hayward HS
September 16 Josh Ruff Memorial Invitational at Willow Hills Course
September 16 Viking Opener at Spring Lake Park
September 23 Ghebray Invitational at Quarry Lakes Regional Park (Fremont)
September 23 Pacific Tiger Invitational at Elkhorn Golf Course
September 27 Fall River Invitational at Fall River Course
September 27 Foothill Showcase at Foothill HS
September 27 Salinas City Championships
September 29 Golden West Invitational at Cutler Park
September 30 Capital Cross Challenge at Haggin Oaks
September 30 Westmoor Ram Invitational at Westmoor HS
September 30 Scott Bauhs Invitational at Shadow Cliffs
September 30 Clam Beach Invitational (on


October 4 Escalon Invitational at Woodward Reservoir
October  4 Redding Christian Invitational at Redding Christian
October  6 West Valley Co-Ed Invitational at West Valley HS
October  7 Artichoke Invitational at Half Moon Bay HS
October 7 Crystal Springs Invitational at Crystal Springs course (moved to this date)
October 7 Pacific Grove Invitational at Pacific Grove HS
October 7 Yreka Elks Invitational at Greenhorn Park
October 7 Clovis Invitational at Woodward Park
October 13 Chico Autumn Invitational at Hooker Oak Park
October 14 Bella Vista Bronco Invitational at Willow Hills Course
October 14 Castro Valley Invitational at Canyon Middle School (on
October 14 Hughson SuperCross Invitational
October 14 Merced County Championships at Atwater HS
October 14 Monterey Bay Invitational at Toro Park, Salinas
October 14 Wildfire Invitational at Foresthill Course
October 18 Aragon Center Meet
October 21 Mariner Invitational at Hayward HS
October 21 Soquel/Ken Thomas Memorial
October 26 Lynbrook Invitational at Lynbrook HS


November 4 CIF Sac-Joaquin SubSections at Angels Camp
November 9 CIF Northern Section Finals at West Valley HS
November 10 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Finals at Willow Hills Course
November 11 CIF Central Coast Section at Toro Park
November 11 CIF Central Coast Section at Toro Park
November 15 CIF San Francisco Section at Golden Gate Park
November 18 CIF North Coast Section at Hayward HS
November 25 California State Meet at Woodward Park

December 2 FootLocker West Regional at Mt. SAC, Walnut
December 2 Nike Cross Nationals at Glendoveer GC
December 9 FootLocker Championships at Balboa Park
December 9 USATF Junior Olympics

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2017 Pre-Season North Coast Section (NCS) Division II Cross Country Rankings

Here are the raw pre-season rankings with the top teams in NCS Division II as well as top returning individuals. The division breakdowns for all NCS teams can be found at this LINK. The amount of teams that qualify to the state meet in each section and division can be found at this LINK.

Division II Boys (Top 3 Advance to state)
1) Dublin-Most talented team in all of NCS. 
2) Granada-One of the best dual programs in entire section.
3) De La Salle-Couple of years missing the state meet makes this group hungry for top 3 finish.
4) Amador Valley-Two freshmen gained valuable varsity experience last year.
5) Mission San Jose-Impressive young group of runners could crack top four.
On the bubble (alphabetical order): Clayton Valley, Heritage, Liberty, Monte Vista

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2016 NCS meet time:
John Bennett (4) Granada 15:18.1
Gaurav Phanse (6) Dublin 15:20.4
Adrian Schroeder (7) Dublin 15:24.7
Dylan White (8) Clayton Valley 15:28.7
Loic Scomparin (9) Dublin 15:29.4

Division II Girls (Top 3 Advance to state)
1) Granada-Two-time defending section champions will be aiming for three in a row.
2) Monte Vista-Lose their #1 runner but return everyone else.
3) San Ramon Valley-Another talented group of girls who could challenge top 2 teams.
4) Amador Valley-Will need an influx of talent and current athletes to improve to break into top 3.
5) Liberty-Has front end runners to compete but will need to shore up the rest of the pack.
On the bubble (alphabetical order): College Park, Dublin, Santa Rosa

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2016 NCS meet time:
Colleen McCandless (2) Granada 17:29.2
Amanda Olla (3) San Ramon Valley 17:31.8
Kalea Bartolotto (5) Granada 17:57.2
Gracie Dupuis (6) Granada 18:06.7
Sidney Isom (7) Monte Vista 18:12.0

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?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Catching up with St. Mary's, Berkeley '17 grad, Owen Woo

Today we catch up with St. Mary's, Berkeley 2017 grad, Owen Woo. This past Track and Field season, Woo was one of the most improved runners in Northern California that culminated with a 9th place finish at the California state meet at Buchanan HS. As a junior, Woo had bests of 4:30.05 and 9:39.68. He improved this past season to 4:19.38 and 9:03.77 (time accomplished at NCS MOC meet).

1) You ran 9:11.86 at the CA state meet to finish in 9th place. What was your plan before the race and how do you feel about your final high school race?
My plan before state was to not get out too fast in the first 400 but then move into the front pack for as long as possible. My goal was to podium so I was a little disappointed about not doing that but I was happy being in the top 10 and just getting an opportunity to race at the state meet.

2) The week before, you ran a personal best 9:03.77 to finish in 3rd place. What were your expectations going into that race and how satisfying was it to make state in track?
At MOC, I was hoping to be in the top 3 and I thought I would be able to run about 9:10. I was super excited when I saw the time and qualified for state.

3) When did you feel like you had a chance to make the state meet this year?
I first thought I had a chance for state after I won my heat at Stanford because I ran a fast time without really any doing any speed-work.

4) Runners makes jumps in their running careers. When do you feel like you made the jump to your current level?
I think I realized I had made a jump after Dan Gabor because I ran a big PR in the rain and wind in the first race of the season. After that I had a few more PRs which showed me that I had made a jump.

5) Did you do anything differently over the winter to prepare for your senior track season? 
During the winter kept my mileage high much more consistently than I had in the past. I also did a lot more lifting to get stronger.

6) What did a typical week of training look like for you during this track season? Weekly mileage? Any morning runs? Any repeated workouts? Distance of long run? 
Monday: Uphill run on Arlington Ave. First .75 miles warm up, next 6min easy pace, next 6min long run pace, next 6min tempo. Then turn around and go back down the hill. After, fast strides.
Tuesday: AM: 2 mile run
PM:Hard workout. 3 mile warm up. Workout is usually some shorter repeats with some combination 200s, 400s, and 800s.
Wednesday: AM: 15-20min crosstrain
PM: 7-10 mile run depending on time of season.
Thursday: AM: 2 mile run
PM: Hard workout. 3 mile warm up. Usually longer reps like miles or a run with fartleks. Sometimes I have a league meet which I usually do 3 or 4 events.
Friday: AM: 15-20min crosstrain (if there is no race next day)
PM: Easy run or shakeout run. Usually 4-8 miles depending if there is a race the next day.
Saturday: AM: 2 mile run
PM: Race or another hard workout
Sunday: Long run
My weekly mileage is usually in the 60s during the track season. It sometimes went up to 70 and went down during the end of the season until 40 the week before state. I usually do short morning runs before hard workouts and races to wake up my legs. During the middle of the season I did lots of sets of 200, 200, 400 or 200, 200, 800. My long runs are usually from 12-14miles.

7) Looking back at your four cross country seasons, what are your proudest achievements and what do you feel was your best race?
My proudest achievements in cross country were running at the state meet when I was a freshman. I think my best race was at Stanford this year.

8) When did you get your start in running? What other sports did you play before high school?
I started running cross country in 6th grade but only 2 days a week. I started running seriously my freshman year. Before high school I played baseball for a long time.

9) How did you get your start in running? What was your running experience before high school? What other sports did you play?
When I was in middle school I knew I was too small to play flag football so I decided to run cross country in the fall. I had a good time so I decided to keep doing it. I only ran 2 days a week in middle school but I had a fun time and did well in a few races. In middle school, I also played Basketball and Baseball.

10) Favorite track event? Favorite track invitational? Favorite track workout? Favorite cross country course? Favorite cross country invitational? Favorite cross country workout? Favorite long run? Favorite free time activity?
My favorite event is the 3200m because it is not as chaotic as some of the shorter races. There is also a lot of time to move up in the race. My favorite invitational is Arcadia because of all the great competition and the environment at the meet. My favorite workout is 3 sets of 1000m tempo with a minute or rest then 400, 400, 200, 200 fast with a lap jog after each. It's my favorite because it is long which makes it satisfying when it's done. My favorite cross country course is the TCAL league course at Point Pinole. My favorite cross country invitational is Mt. Sac. My favorite cross country workout is long repeats in Tilden Park because it is so scenic. My favorite long run is starting from Berkeley and going to and onto the Bay Bridge and back. My favorite free time activity is going to get food with my friends or playing basketball.

11) Where will you attend college and how much running was a factor in your decision?
I will be attending Pomona-Pitzer. Being at a place where I could run and enjoy it was important but so was how I liked other aspects of the school and the academics.

12) Who are the coaches, adults and fellow runners that made the biggest impact for you and what did you learn from them?
My coaches Rogers (cross country) and Mohun (track) have been amazing guiding me through my running for the past 4 years. I've learned a lot about being patient, hard work, and how to be a smart runner. The older runners on my team have made a huge impact on me. Especially the 2013 cross country team who really got me into the sport of running. They taught me all the basics of running and how to have a good time while doing it.

13) Anything else you would like to add.
I'd like to give a shout-out to the St. Mary's Cross Country/Track team and NAGO Track Club (runners, coach, and fan/fans) for being some great training partners and friends. I also want to thank everybody who has supported me in my running. Thanks for the interview Albert!

Thank you very much for your time Owen! AJC

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Brooks PR NorCal competitor results

Boys 2 Mile-Luis Grijalva Armijo 8:46.68 (2nd place)
Boys 2 Mile-Michael Vernau Davis 8:49.36 (4th place)
Boys 800-Alex Scales Bellarmine 1:54.24 (10th place)
Girls 100m Hurdles-Kaylah Robinson El Cerrito 13.72 (1st place)
Boys 110m. Hurdles-Deion Lightfoot Kimball 14.04 (3rd place)
Girls 400-Tierra Robinson-Jones Bishop O'Dowd 54.16 (5th place)
Girls 400-Alexis Surrell Newark Memorial 54.80 (6th place)
Girls 400-Kirsten Carter Santa Rosa 58.61 (8th place)
Girls 800-Alyssa Brewer California 2:07.79 (5th place)
Girls Mile-Rylee Bowen Sonoma Academy 5:04.88 (11th place)
Boys Mile-Cooper Teare St. Joseph Notre Dame 4:02.56 (2nd place)

If you were curious about other results, you can find them at this LINK.

World-Class Track and Field at Stanford, June 29th

Witness Track Town USA's new professional track and field series at Stanford’s Cobb Track and Angell Field on Thursday, June 29th. While the world class athletes compete for individual victories and team points, fans will be up front and center, close to the action on the infield and in the outside lanes, or track-side in the beer garden. Professional events are slated to begin at 6pm with the Men's and Women's Hammer, followed by the remaining field and running events at 7pm and concluding at 8:30pm.

TICKETS for all areas are $10 and may be purchased HERE  (

In addition to the professional events and an elite high school boys mile, you can PARTICIPATE in the action through these activities:
All-comers’ 400m, Mile and 100m: $10 entry into the all-comer’s events (starting at about 5pm) includes entry into the TrackTown Summer Series!
Open 4x400 and Community 8x400: Grab your friends and co-workers for a chance to race on the Stanford track!  Each participant will receive a tee shirt and a drink ticket for the trackside beer garden.
Kids’ Half-Lapper: The meet will conclude with a 200m (half-lap) race for kids 12-and-under where they will be cheered on by the pros! Pre-registered kids will receive FREE entry into the meet.
Volunteer: All volunteers will receive a tee shirt and free entry into the meet.
To register for the community events, or to volunteer, click HERE (

Thursday, June 15, 2017

2017 North Coast Section Division III Girls pre-season rankings by Andy Lindquist

Much like their male counterparts, the 2016 NCS championship came down to the wire between Campolindo and Redwood, with Campolindo prevailing to win their 4th consecutive team title. With the Cougars returning most of their team from a year ago they are primed to capture yet another title. Maria Carrillo returns a strong contingent of runners and will look to improve upon their 4th place finish from a year ago while the 3rd and 4th positions are wide open.

“Campo” seeks to capture their 15th girls team title since 1996 and are the heavy favorites now. Not only do the Cougars return their entire scoring 5 from last season but they are all coming off impressive spring track seasons. Hannah Ruane and Isabella Chao were dynamite last fall as they both finished in the top 10 at state and that success continued this past spring with Chao running 10:51 in the 3200 and Ruane running 5:02 in the 1600. However, the emergence of Jenna Miles has really tipped the scales in Campo’s favor with the senior breaking out at MOC running an astounding 10:49 for 3200. With these 3 leading the way it will be tough for any team in the division and as usual, the Cougars have plenty of depth to back them up. Last year’s #4 scorer Jessie Foxworthy also had a solid spring in running 11:53 for 3200. Paloma Hancock (5:3312:24 1600/3200) and Alicia Hober (5:36/12:24) lead a strong contingent of underclassmen who dominated the Diablo Athletic League at the F/S level this spring and if they can continue their improvement curve Campo will be even better than advertised. As it stands now Campolindo should roll to another section title and challenge for a podium position at Woodward Park in November.

The Pumas return most of their 4th place team of a year ago, including their top 3 and will look to make another trip to Fresno come November. Aimee Armstrong had a fantastic track season in advancing to the finals of MOC in the 1600 and running 5:03 while Sydnie Rivas ran 11:36 in the 3200. Throw in Talia Leano, who finished 10th at last year’s NCS meet and Maria Carrillo has a great starting point. Sophomore Jasmin Hirth flashed great potential during her track season in running 5:29 for 1600 as did Megan Field who notched personal bests of 5:39 and 12:17 for 1600/3200. Put these performances together and the Pumas will have a lot of momentum coming into the season and should be one of the most improved teams in the section by season’s end.

The Cougars narrowly missed out on a state birth last season in finishing in 6th place, only 8 points away from the 4th and final qualifying spot. Look for Carondelet to get over the hump this season and secure a top 4 finish. Clare Schumann appears to be the frontrunner now, with her 3200 best of 11:28 being one of the top performances in the division and pointing to great potential for the fall. The Cougars have great depth backing her with Dana Cross (12:12 3200), Sofia Green (12:20), Kasey DeMaria (12:24), and Kelsey Dempsey (12:40) all having massively productive track seasons. The challenge for Carondelet will be working on closing the back end of their scoring 5 and improving the pack margin between their 5th and 1st scorers. For now, the Cougars have set themselves up well to be in contention for a highly coveted spot on the awards stand and a thanksgiving trip down to Fresno.  

The Broncos finished a respectable 8th at last year’s NCS meet and they will look to make the big jump to contenders this fall. Northgate had an impressive track season, getting big improvements from many of their projected top 5 runners, with Sara Wheeler (5:18) leading the way. Also notching big personal bests in the 1600 were Nichole Markiewicz (5:39), Jessie McCann (5:39) Jessica Biddle (5:44), Sydney Kupsh (5:47), and Isabelle Antolin (5:48) who should all play big roles for Northgate in cross country. They were also solid over 3200, with Northgate returning 5 under 13:00. The biggest advantage Northgate has is that they will get to face off against top ranked Campolindo throughout the season in the Diablo Athletic League, which will give them a good barometer for how they stack up against the best in the division.

5. Alameda:
The Hornets had a magical season last year in capturing a 3rd place finish and advancing for to the state championships. To get back there this season, Alameda will have some work to do. While standout Lauren Lum was impressive this spring in running 5:04 for 1600, depth was an issue as only 2 other girls broke 5:40 in the 1600. To match up against the teams ranked ahead of them, Alameda will have to continue to work at bringing some of their younger athletes along and get them closer to the 2-5 scorers of Northgate and Carondelet. While they have a big advantage in bringing back their top runner, the biggest determining factor to their success will be the development of their 4-5 scorers (as is always the case for cross country). Katie Gee (5:36 1600) and Allie Cvitanovic (5:39) both had great track seasons but it will take big step up performances from both Rachel Wellman (5:52) and Elizabeth Cho (5:54) for the hornets to get closer to the depth of teams like Northgate and Carondelet. As it stands now they are slightly behind those teams in the race to land a berth to state.

Individual Rankings
1. Gillian Wagner (Redwood) – Last year’s NCS/State runner up was on fire during track season, ripping a 4:53 for 1600 and sub 10:00 for 3000 and will be tough to beat
2. Hannah Ruane (Campolindo) – Consistent performer for Campo who will benefit from training with a talented group of teammates.
3. Isabella Chao (Campolindo) – One of the biggest improvers in the state last season in landing a podium finish at state and will be even better this fall
4. Jenna Miles (Campolindo) – Huge breakthrough at the end of the track season and will look to continue that momentum
5. Rayna Stanziano (Concord) – Flashed potential last fall but really impressed during track season in advancing to state in the 1600. Remains to be seen if she can translate that to the longer distance but the potential is there
6. Aimee Armstrong (Maria Carrillo) – Steady performer who notched a big personal best in the 1600 running 5:03 at MOC and will look to challenge for the top 5.

On the Bubble:  Lauren Lum (Alameda), Veronica Towle (Las Lomas), Talia Leano (Maria Carrillo)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

NorCals best returning Cross Country runners (boys and girls)

Coming up...

Feel free to name a few runners in the meantime along with the fastest returning runner from the 2016 CA state meet, Liam Anderson of Redwood HS (15:05.3). Who is the top returning female from the 2016 state meet you might be asking yourself? Olivia O'Keeffe Davis 17:28.9 and definitely in the neighborhood, Gillian Wagner Redwood 17:30.7. Top NorCal teams will be ranked as well.

Boys (Top 10 non seniors at 2016 CA state meet)
1) Liam Anderson Redwood (NCS) 15:05.3
2) Meika Beaudoin-Rosseau Bellarmine (CCS) 15:09.7
3) Shyam Kumar St. Francis (CCS) 15:48.2
4) Gaurav Phanse Dublin (NCS) 15:52.6
5) Adrian Schroeder Dublin (NCS) 15:52.7
6) John Bennett Granada (NCS) 15:53.1
7) Loic Scomparin Dublin (NCS) 15:53.3
8) Sergio Lopez Del Campo (SJS) 15:55.1
9) Munir Kabbara San Rafael (NCS) 15:55.7
10) Sean Laidlaw Lick-Wilmerding 15:55.9

Girls (Top 10 non seniors at 2016 CA state meet)
1) Olivia O'Keeffe Davis (SJS) 17:28.9
2) Gillian Wagner Redwood (NCS) 17:30.7
3) Marea Zlatunich Aptos (CCS) 17:40.8
4) Mari Friedman Santa Cruz (CCS) 17:41.9
5) Isabella Chao Campolindo (NCS) 17:48.4
6) Isabella Fauria St. Francis (SJS) 17:49.4
7) Sydney Vandegrift St. Francis (SJS) 17:55.2
8) Maddy Denner Oak Ridge (SJS) 17:55.9
9) Alex Stout Pacific Collegiate (CCS) 17:59.7
10) Hannah Ruane Campolindo (NCS) 18:01.2

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Former Aptos runner, Nikki Hiltz 2nd in NCAA 1500

With coach Lance Harter following her 2nd place finish, just .02 behind the winner Jaimie Phelan of Michigan 4:13.78 to 4:13.80.

Also, former Los Gatos/Saratoga HS high jumper Mady Fagan wins NCAA high jump with a best of 6'3.25".

Davis HS 2016 grad Fiona O'Keeffe with 5th place finish (15:46.93).

Friday, June 09, 2017

2017 North Coast Section Division III Boys pre-season rankings by Andy Lindquist


Last season was one of the more thrilling NCS championships in recent memory, with Campolindo holding off a spirited challenge from Redwood to claim their 4th consecutive section title. The Campo machine marched on the following week to land a podium spot at state and ended up as the top Northern California team. With the graduation of 5 varsity members, the Cougars have their work cut out for them this season as Maria Carrillo brings back a massive amount of depth that really excelled this track season while Redwood returns the best 1-2 punch in the section with Liam Anderson and Zach Martinez.

1. Maria Carrillo:
The Pumas return the core of their 3rd place team from a year ago and will look to win their 6th section title and first since moving back into DIII last season. The track season Maria Carrillo put together was impressive, with 5 boys breaking the 4:40 barrier in the 1600 and 5 breaking 10:10 in the 3200. Senior Ben Lawson was the team’s consistent frontrunner throughout, notching personal bests of 4:22 in the 1600 and 9:45 in the 3200. Scott Kruetzfeldt rebounded from an injury plagued fall to run 9:58 in the 3200 and should he remain healthy he will be a force to be reckoned with as his best time in the event is 9:38. The biggest surprise of the spring was the rapid ascent of freshmen Colton Swinth (4:34 1600) and Rory Smail (4:39, 10:09 1600/3200). If they can continue this improvement curve Maria Carrillo will be a daunting opponent for any team in the state, let alone the section. Throw in the ultra-talented Junior Will McCloud, who clocked an impressive 1:58 in the 800 and the Pumas have all the makings of a championship team. At this point in time they are the heavy favorites with a strong blend of talented front running and depth.

2. Redwood:
The biggest revelation of last fall was the ascent of Liam Anderson from talented upstart to big time performer, coming on in impressive fashion to capture the section title in addition to a 2nd place finish at state and a top 25 finish at NXN. That trend continued during the track season as Anderson claimed the section title in the 1600 with a scorching 4:12, only to double back with a blistering 9:03 for 3200 meters in the same meet. He took it to another level the following week as he made the podium at the state meet in the 1600. He will undoubtedly continue to be a low stick for a talented Giants team that will look to improve upon their 2nd place finish from a year ago and win their first section title since 2000. Zach Martinez had a breakout spring, with his 4:17 1600 giving Redwood a deadly 1-2 punch that will keep their team score low in big races. Varsity regular Ryan Pole had a solid track season as well running 4:43 and 10:17 for the 1600/3200 and will look to improve upon his 18th place finish at the section meet from last year. While Matthew Phipps (4:43 1600) and Ollie Sagatsume (10:21 3200) both had good seasons, depth is a bit of concern as there is a big drop off after those two. For the Giants to reel in Maria Carrillo it will take a commitment to working on depth at the back end of the scoring positions. As it stands now Redwood will have the front-end power to contend with anyone but still lacks the depth at the 4-5 position to challenge for the championship.

3. Campolindo:
The cougars have put together an impressive 10 year run of dominance, winning 7 section titles in that timespan, including the last 4. However, massive graduation losses leave Campo in a vulnerable position heading into the season and it will take a lot of work to catch up to the 2 teams ranked ahead of them. While the cupboard is not exactly bare, with Campo returning 5 at 10:25 or better for 3200 and 6 at 4:45 or better for 1600, they have the arduous task of replacing 5 varsity members from last year. Teddy Buckley had a solid spring campaign, with the junior-to-be running 9:47 in the 3200 and looks to be the frontrunner heading into the summer. Andrew Tseng is the next best returner, running 10:08 for 3200 but after that there is a bit of a drop off. Charlie Woidat (4:41/10:16 1600/3200) and Owen Hunger (4:40/10:23) both shined at the frosh-soph level this spring but it remains to be seen if they can handle the adjustment to high level varsity racing this fall. Same goes for seniors Timothy Sams (10:22 3200) and Jeremy Ahn (10:23 3200) who have put up respectable performances but will need to make a big jump to make an impact. The two wildcards for Campo are varsity returner Ethan Sauerberg who was injured during the spring, and DAL F/S champion Collin Lekki who did not run track. Considering their upside from last cross-country season, if either one of them could step up and fill in the scoring void for the cougars that could be a boon to their title chances. For the time being, Campolindo is a few steps behind Redwood and Maria Carrillo and will need a huge step up performance from their young talent if they want to close the gap.

4. Tamalpais:
The Red-Tailed Hawks could be one of the surprises of this division as they return a solid group that will look to secure a birth to state. Paul Law had an incredible freshman track season in running 4:34 for the 1600 and looks to be the frontrunner coming into the season. Jake Weisert also posted some solid performances during the spring, clocking 4:37 and 10:24 for the 1600 and 3200. Seniors Nick Wong (10:16 3200) and Ronan Cain (10:25) will look to back them up. If Tam can find a few more people to step up and keep progressing they will be in the mix to finish in the top 4 by season’s end.

5. Las Lomas:
The Knights return 5 members from last year’s 5th place team and they possess the talent to move up these rankings and make it back to state. Preston Norris continued his improvement curve in finishing 4th at last year’s NCS meet and followed that up with a great track season, with his 9:25 performance in the 3200 pointing at great potential for this upcoming fall. Parker Wilkerson was an MOC medalist in the 800 and while he has had more success in track than cross country, he has still flashed plenty of potential in previous years and should be a big factor. Charlie Kisylia and Preston Rodriguez both had solid track seasons but will need to make some big improvements if Las Lomas is to challenge any of the teams currently ranked ahead of them.

Individual Rankings:
1. Liam Anderson (Redwood) – Defending champion and fastest returner state wise in DIII
2. Zach Martinez (Redwood) – Broke out during the spring running 4:17 for 1600 and should continue to improve this fall
3. Preston Norris (Las Lomas) – 4th place finisher from a year ago and primed for another big jump
4. Ben Lawson (Maria Carrillo) – Solid track times of 4:24 and 9:45 for 1600\3200 point to great potential
5. Teddy Buckley (Campolindo) – Had a great finish to the season last year and also this spring, running 9:47 for 3200
6. Michael Wheeler (Northgate) – Dropped his 3200 time down to 9:43 during track season to make him a contender here for a medal position
On the Bubble: Will/Jack Dunbar (Petaluma), Scott Kruetzfeldt, Colton Swinth, and Zach Lindemann (Maria Carrillo)

Thursday, June 08, 2017

2017 Northern California Pre-Season Cross Country

Now that the official Track and Field season is over, we can turn our attention to Cross Country. With the help of other coaches, we will begin to post pre-season rankings for all Northern California sections. 

In the meantime, feel free to speak your mind in the comment section below. Let's hear your thoughts on the upcoming season. Also, if you have any questions that you would like to ask other runners, coaches and/or parents, feel free to include those as well.

I will start to build the cross country schedule so if you have any dates, please feel free to add those below.

Coming up next: NCS Division III boys pre-season rankings!

Saturday, June 03, 2017

99th CIF State Meet review

WOW! So many different thoughts now that the meet is over. I will have more in the next couple of days but for now, feel free to comment below on any of the events, performances etc.

If anybody doubts what is the best state meet in the country, please!

As always an excellent recap by Darren Sabedra of SJ Mercury News at this LINK.

I also posted this on twitter but as far as the distance races go, here are the NorCal podium finishers for Northern California.

Girls 1600-1, 2 and 4
Boys 1600-1, 4 and 5
Girls 800-1, 2 and 4
Boys 800-1, 2 and 4
Girls 3200-2 and 4
Boys 3200-2, 3 and 4

California State Meet Predictions

For fun, you can enter the winners of all the events at the upcoming California State Track and Field meet in the comment section below. You can see my picks below. There are certain events that I am quite certain of the winner and some events where it is a coin flip. 

Girls 400 Relay: Carson (confident) NOPE
Boys 400 Relay: Rancho Verde (confident) Oaks Christian (had fastest trials time) YUP
Girls 1600: Rylee Bowen Sonoma Academy (ready to win) NOPE
Boys 1600: Luis Grijalva Armijo (Liam Anderson Redwood could upset field) YUP
Girls 100 hurdles: Tara Davis Agoura (confident) YUP
Boys 110 hurdles: Joseph Anderson Upland (confident) YUP
Girls 400: Shea Anderson Norco (confident) YUP
Boys 400: Zachary Shinnick Damien (watch out for Myles Ellis Antelope) YUP
Girls 100: Jasmin Reed Serra (somewhat confident) NOPE
Boys 100: Javelin Guidry Vista Murrieta (Isaiah Cunningham has won 2 out of 3 races this season) YUP
Girls 800: Alyssa Brewer California (lock) YUP
Boys 800: Alex Scales Bellarmine (confident) NOPE
Girls 300 hurdles: Shea Anderson Norco (Jurnee Woodward will give her all she can handle) YUP
Boys 300 hurdles: Joseph Anderson (Wants the double hurdle victory) YUP
Girls 200: Jasmin Reed Serra (Let's see how she does in 100) NOPE
Boys 200: Isaiah Cunningham Rancho Verde (fairly confident) YUP
Girls 3200: Claudia Lane Malibu (lock) YUP
Boys 3200: Cooper Teare (this could be interesting) NOPE
Girls 1600 Relay: Carson (They crushed field last year.) Might be without Roberts so could it be a NorCal school? YUP on the NorCal team winning...BOD!
Boys 1600 Relay: Rancho Verde (They should win) YUP

Girls Long Jump: Tara Davis Agoura (confident) YUP
Boys Long Jump: Bryan Thompson Rancho Verde (Can Sanjay Kettles St. Mary's B hit another big jump?) Matthew DeRoos (comfortably ahead of field at trials but will have to repeat performance in finals) YUP on Sanjay Kettle and huge final jump to win.
Girls Triple Jump: Tara Davis Agoura (confident) YUP
Boys Triple Jump: CJ Stevenson Great Oak (fairly confident) YUP
Girls High Jump: Cassie Ackemann San Lorenzo Valley (ready to win state) NOPE
Boys High Jump: Sean Lee Trabuco Hills (If not Lee, then Sears) YUP
Girls Pole Vault: Rachel Baxter Canyon, Anaheim (lock) YUP
Boys Pole Vault: Tate Curran Redondo Union (fairly confident) YUP
Girls Shot Put: Pamela Amaechi Lincoln (fairly confident) YUP
Boys Shot Put: Jacob Wilson Buchanan (fairly confident) NOPE
Girls Discus: Pamela Amaechi Lincoln (fairly confident) NOPE
Boys Discus: Jonah Wilson Clovis (should win) Robbie Otal only guy over 200 feet in prelims. NOPE
Girls Team Champion: Carson (should win) Need a healthy Roberts to rack up points. NOPE
Boys Team Champion: Rancho Verde (lock) Losing 400 relay hurt but not panicking yet. YUP

Thursday, June 01, 2017

NorCal athletes prepping for California state meet

Rylee Bowen Sonoma Academy (NCS)
You can check out her workout as well as interviews with her coach Danny Aldridge at this LINK. You can also check out an interview with her and her sister at this LINK.

Sanjay Kettles/Kali Hatcher St. Mary's Berkeley (NCS)
You can check out a couple of videos taken yesterday featuring both athletes and coach Jeff Rogers at this LINK.

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