Monday, July 31, 2017

Tully Runners National Team Rankings

For those of you that are familiar with the Tully Runners rankings, you know the pre-season team national rankings were posted yesterday. The rankings, thanks to Bill Meylan (photo courtesy of Stephen D. Cannerelli), have been around since 2000 and are based on his speed rating. In total, 18 California teams (8 NorCal) are ranked or at the very least mentioned. You can find the girls and boys rankings at the following links:

Friday, July 28, 2017

What would you like to see next?

Here is your chance to come up with the next topic, rankings or any other idea you may have for this site. We are getting close to the start of the cross country competitive season. I know it's still July but September is not that far away. Feel free to be creative and all topics will be considered.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pre-season California Top 10 XC boys

Check out which NorCal boys made the list at this LINK along with Bellarmine senior Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau. An interesting note on Meika is that his 15:09.7 from last year's state meet makes him the 4th fastest CCS runner on that course. Here are the top 3 runners:
Jason Balkman Lynbrook 14:58 1994
Garret Rowe Mt. View 15:03 2008
Garret Rowe Mt. View 15:06 2009
Justin Robison Lynbrook 15:06.4 2015

For those of you wondering, Cate Ratliff (Santa Cruz) holds the CCS record for the girls with her 17:04 in 2015.

Here is the LINK to the top 10 NorCal marks all-time.

One runner that was also very strongly considered was Andrew Hill senior Jorge Estrella. He may still make the top 10 during the season but for now, he is outside the top 10.

Lastly, for those of you that are familiar with the NY site Tully Runners, their national individual rankings have been posted and his top 3 match mine although in a different order. You can view his national boys rankings at this LINK with the girls at this LINK.

Monday, July 24, 2017

2018 Track and Field At-Large Standards

For those of you that are interested, you can check out and compare last year's at-large standards at this LINK.

Which event do you feel is the toughest standard for the boys? Girls? 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sonoma Academy coach Danny Aldridge to be inducted in Cal Poly SLO 2017 Hall of Fame Class

You can check out the official announcement from Cal Poly SLO as well as Danny's accomplishments at this LINK. You can also check out his high school accomplishments at Petaluma HS at this LINK thanks to Jim Crowhurst.

Unofficial mile world record set at Los Gatos All Comer meet

You can check out the article which includes the video of Jeremy Kain's 4:36.8 mile at this LINK. Kain is just 12 years old.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Daniel Komen 7:20.67 3000m world record (1996)

That would be 58.7 per 400m and at 3:55.3 for the first mile. Komen also holds the world record for 2 miles with a time of 7:58.61. Unbelievable times and in my mind pretty skeptical.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Catching up with Arizona St. coach Louie Quintana...

Originally posted August 19, 2010. Quintana is now the new head Track and Field/Cross Country coach at Oregon State.
Today we chat with former high school phenom, college All-American and current Arizona St. coach, Louie Quintana (photo to the left by Elaine Rosenfeld/photo below courtesy of  You can check out his bio as part of another interview done by Doug Speck in 2004 at the following link:

1) Going back to the beginning of your running career, how did you get your start with cross country and track and field?
 I got my start in running when I was in junior high school. I was in 7th grade and my PE class had a 6 week cross country unit. Every day we would run a 1.5 mile course and our times got recorded. My PE teacher kept a top ten list and it was posted on a huge board in the locker room…it was a very big deal to get on the board. I wanted to be on the top of the list and when I got to the top I wanted to run so fast that no one else could beat my time.

 2) When did you first realize your talents in the two sports? What were some of your successes during your first two years in high school? 
I felt that early on I had the potential to be pretty good. Running was effortless in many ways for me growing up. I was always the fastest on my baseball and basketball teams and was always singled out for being the “fastest.” Naturally, I gravitated towards cross country as a freshman and experienced immediate success. 1987 was the first year of the California High School State Cross Country Meet and there was a lot of buzz around the sport that year…I finished 7th in 15:30 at Woodward Park and the rest was history.

 3) What are some of your proudest accomplishments in high school in both sports? Who were some of the more notable competitors?
 I had a couple of moments that really stood out in high school. Ironically, both coming during my sophomore year of high school. First, our team won the 2A CIF Cross Country Title…it was one of the most exciting moments of my career. It was the first and is still the only title my high school ever won in Boys cross country. Second, a few weeks later I PR’d by 25 seconds and ran 15:02 at Woodward Park to finish 5th at the Kinney (Now Footlocker) West Regionals to make the national meet. I was stunned after the race…I can still remember how much that race hurt…it seemed like I was red-lining the whole way…I was determined not to break.

4) Looking back at your high school training, what do you feel really worked for you and what do you think you could have done differently?
 I think that my training was really sound. We were a moderate mileage team and I think physiologically we had a good plan. If I could have done anything different I would have been more disciplined with the little things. I ate like crap and was very inconsistent with my long run. Sometimes I would run on Sunday and sometimes I wouldn’t.

5) How did you end up choosing Villanova and what were some of your accomplishments there?
 I had a lot of options during my Senior year. Looking back on it, I was pretty na├»ve about the recruitment process and have a very narrow scope when looking at schools. That’s not to say that I was looking at bad programs, it’s just that I didn’t do a lot of research and was quick with saying no to some schools. I definitely liked my recruiting trip to Villanova and was hosted by Terrence Mahon (Team USA California Coach Now)…he was a big influence on my decision to attend Villanova. He was a fellow Californian who was having success as a student-athlete and he was helpful with me making the transition across country. I had a moderately successful career at Villanova, but maybe not as successful as many would have projected. I was an All American 9 Times and finished 4th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships when I was just 19. I was banged up quite a bit during my career, but managed to string together some memorable performances. 

6) What was the biggest positive change for you in terms of your training?
The biggest positive change was the long run and that really didn’t come into play until my 2nd year at Nova. I ran 3:41 as a freshman for 1500m and I was really doing a lot of speed work. My coach, Marty Stern and I, starting to reflect on my disappointing freshman cross country season and we made some adjustments in the training. Mainly, adding a 15-18 mile long run on Sunday. I was real consistent in my training and my confidence just grew. I began to dream everyday that I would win the NCAA Title that fall. Every run I envisioned racing side by side with Bob Kennedy. I progressed fantastically that fall and finished 4th at the big dance.

7) Who inspired you to get in coaching and when did you realize this was what you wanted to pursue? 
I think that I secretly always wanted to get into coaching. My Dad was always a coach while I was growing up and I really respected his ability to reconstruct bad teams and get them to believe. I’ve always been that way I guess. I never wanted to be on the “IT” team, I always liked to play for the underdog. It was probably my biggest reason for choosing Villanova. They hadn’t made the NCAA in cross country for over 10 years and I was adamant to change that. I think that was my biggest attraction to Arizona State in the beginning. I wanted to work with Walt Drenth who was known for turning programs around…that really excited me about ASU.

8) Who have been your coaching mentors? 
Walt Drenth and Greg Kraft at ASU have really showed me the way. I spent many an afternoon and early morning just soaking everything in from Coach Drenth. He is one of the best college coaches in the country. I admire Coach Kraft’s ability to construct a well rounded track and field program. He has really been the most influential coach that I have come across in my career.

9) How did you end up at Arizona St? How long have you been the head cross country coach? What are some of your proudest achievements for your teams? 
I started at ASU in the Winter of 2002 and really was the product of fantastic timing. ASU is known for it’s mentoring of Graduate Assistants and I called Walt Drenth that fall to put my name into the hat to be the next GA. They currently had a GA (Corey Ihmels – Now the Head Track Coach at Iowa State and Coach of Lisa Kohl). Corey got offered the Cross Country job at Iowa State that Fall and Walt called me immediately. I packed up and moved to Tempe with my wife who just happened to be from Phoenix. It really was just great timing. In 2004, I took over the duties of Coaching the Cross Country and Distance team…so I’m going into my 7th season as the Head Cross Country Coach. We have been fortunate to really have some great moments and achievements these past few years, but one of the achievements I’m most proud of was the 2007 Women’s Cross Country team that finished 4th at the NCAA Cross Country meet. That team defied expectation that day. They just believed they could do anything.

10) Since your days of competing in high school, what do you feel have been the most important changes in how runners train today?
 Biggest change is access to information. There is great info out there that is easily accessible that has really helped how young distance runners train. We are seeing our great distance runners develop a greater aerobic foundation that is beginning to pay off at the international level. I think we’ll see several more distance runners from the US run under 13 minutes for 5K over the next 5 years. It will be extremely difficult to make US National teams.

11) What is your advice for high school coaches who want to have competitive teams year in, year out and have students who have a positive experience in cross country? 
 I think at the end of the day we want the students to really come to enjoy running. We want them to continue to pursue running as an integral part of their lives. It doesn’t matter if they continue competing in college, but if they enjoy running it will change their life.

Thank you very much for your time Louie!  AJC

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Passing of North Monterey County coach

Some sad news passed along by NMC coach Gustavo Ibarra. Our prayers are with her family and the NMC community.
Tragic news. Jackie Henderson passed away yesterday. She was starting her 3rd year at NMC as a science teacher and coach. She was my assistant in both cross country and track and was about to take over the head girls cross country job this fall. I have never met a more inspiring teacher and coach. The staff and kids are heartbroken.

Coach Ibarra

California Pre-Season Top 10 girls

You can find that list at this LINK. Four NorCal girls made the cut and I am pretty sure you can name them all without looking...right? Will there be more NorCal girls that make the list later in the season? Boys will be posted next when I get a moment this coming week. Feel free to chime in on your choices for the top 10 boys in the state until then.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Walt Van Zant's CCS Time Comparisons now posted at Lynbrook Sports

These are not meant to be rankings according to Walt so keep that in mind when you view them. What do you think? Thoughts? Who will be the top 5 teams? Top 5 individuals? Who are the best incoming freshmen? Biggest surprises? Anything else?

NorCal Pre-Season Top 10 Cross Country runners (boys and girls)

1) Liam Anderson Redwood (NCS)
2) Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau Bellarmine (CCS)
3) Alex Scales Bellarmine (CCS)
4) Robert Miranda Menlo (CCS)
5) Adrian Schroeder Dublin (NCS)
6) Jorge Estrella Andrew Hill (CCS)
7) Collin Ullrich Liberty Ranch (SJS)
8) Jett Charvet Heritage (NCS)
9) Gaurav Phanse Dublin (NCS)
10) Colton Colonna St. Francis (CCS)/Matt Strangio Jesuit (SJS)

1) Maddy Denner Oak Ridge (SJS)
2) Elena Denner Oak Ridge (SJS)
3) Olivia O'Keeffe Davis (SJS)
4) Gillian Wagner Redwood (NCS)
5) Mari Friedman Santa Cruz (CCS)
6) Sydney Vandgrift St. Francis (SJS)
7) Isabella Fauria St. Francis (SJS)
8) Alex Stout Pacific Collegiate (CCS)
9) Marea Zlatunich Aptos (CCS)
10) Hannah Ruane Campolindo (NCS)

Tough to narrow it down to 10 runners as I am sure there are other runners that should be on the list as well. Please go ahead and comment on those runners and if there are runners that are listed already that should be moved up higher than they are currently ranked. 

Saturday, July 08, 2017

2017 NCS Division V pre-season Cross Country rankings

BOYS (added today, 7/8/17)
With the divisional changes that took place last season, Division V will still have the majority of the teams under the past cutoff of 500 (only five teams are above that number). Although, the top end of this division now 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, St. Joseph Notre Dame won four section titles in a row from 2011 to 2014 which included 4 state podium finishes which included 2 state titles in 2012 and 2013. Marin Academy, perhaps in the shadows of SJND during those seasons, had a nice run of their own that included a section team title in 2015 and two 2nd place finishes at the state meet in 2013 and 2015. Lick-Wilmerding won a very competitive section race in 2016 that included 26 complete teams.

This coming season, the L-W boys will be the favorites to win the team title. They return the top returning runner in this division, Sean Laidlaw (4:30.14/9:38.33) as well as the top 6 competitors from last year's section meet. Their fifth man from that meet was now senior Erik Stein who recorded bests of 1:56.02 and 4:33.05 this past spring.

The next best team appears to be SF University. They had a nice influx of freshmen last year led by Charlie Kennedy (2:05.36/4:33.90) and Clay Mills (4:46.35/10:12.42). UHS will return their top 3 runners as well as 5 of their top 7 from last year's section meet.

The team that could certainly challenge both Bay Counties League teams will be Sonoma Academy. They finished in 4th place last year led by an outstanding trio of runners that all finished in the top 12. They lose lead runner Joey Johnson but return Kheva Mann (1:57.93/4:27.38) and Brendan Loftus (4:40.12/10:12.22). They will be bolstered by Kelseyville transfer Andre Williams (4:41.04/9:58.86) who will fill in capably for Johnson's absence. If you look at the top returners from last season's section meet, you will see they SA now has 3 of the top 5 returners which give them a lot of fire power up front.

The wild card in this division will be McKinleyville. They finished in 2nd place in Division IV last season but will now compete here. They lost their top two runners but will still have Christian Coley (4:34.33/9:48.53) and Trent Padilla (4:48.31 mile/10:20.70). I don't believe they will be as strong as they were last season but they can still battle for a state meet spot here.

With five teams qualifying for state, another team in the mix will include College Prep. They lose lead runner Ethan Ashby but return the rest of their team. A freshman, Jacob Lehmann Duke (4:45.08/10:17.11), led the team at last year's section meet and will have plenty of returning teammates to form a very solid team. St. Joseph Notre Dame finished in 2nd place last year but do lose their top 2 runners, Cooper Teare and Willie Mein. They return 4 out of their top 7 runners from last season and will definitely have to be accounted for when it comes to the top teams in this section.

One thing for certain is that we will have a different individual champion than the past two seasons. Perhaps, the best runner in section history, Cooper Teare, will now be taking his talents to the University of Oregon. The top returning runner from last season is L-W senior, Sean LaidlawIsaac Teuscher (1:59.45/4:30.84/9:35.76) of Head Royce was right behind Laidlaw in 6th place and will be aiming for an individual title as well. Sonoma Academy could be in line for a team title and their top 3 runners will all be in the mix up front with transfer Andre Williams and returners Kheva Mann and Brendan Loftus.

Division V Boys (Top 5 Advance to State)
1) Lick-Wilmerding-Last title before last year was Division III in 1989. Poised now for back to back.
2) University-Have very strong group returning but have a bit of a gap behind Tigers.
3) Sonoma Academy-They will be very tough up front but will need to close the gap with back end.
4) McKinleyville-Strong program from division IV. 
5) College Prep-They will be in the mix with solid #1 and typical depth.
6) St. Joseph ND-Will be motivated to win 5th section title in the past 6 seasons.
7) Marin Academy-On the outside looking in at this point but may surprise in November.
On the bubble: Stuart HallUrban

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

Sean Laidlaw (5) Lick-Wilmerding 15:35.2
Isaac Teuscher (6) Head Royce 15:36.8
Andre Williams (8) Kelseyville 15:44.8
Kheva Mann (10) Sonoma Academy 15:59.5
Brendan Loftus (12) Sonoma Academy 16:04.4

For girls, click heading above and all those rankings will appear as well.

Looking for assistant coach

Crystal Springs Uplands School: is looking for one cross country assistant coach for the 2017 fall season. CSUS is located in Hillsborough and competes in Division 5. This is for the 2017-2018 school year. A zest for distance running, a positive attitude, and running experience is a plus. Practice will start on August 4th and will run until the end of November. Stipend is available. Interested individuals should send a resume with references to athletic director Rob Cannone at and Albert Caruana at

Monday, July 03, 2017

Central Coast Section Cross Country Pre-Season rankings

The time comparisons by Walt Van Zant will be posted during July at In the meantime, you can comment on any of the divisions (team and individuals) and share your thoughts.

Who are the best teams? Individuals? Rising stars? Top incoming freshmen? Anything else?

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