Tuesday, July 17, 2018

2018 NCS Division V pre-season Cross Country rankings (Girls)

This division has been the most successful division for NCS at the California state meet since the addition to a 5th division in 1996. The girls have been especially potent at the state meet led by the incredible run of state meet titles by San Francisco University. Last year, NCS placed three teams in the top ten led by SF University and Lick-Wilmerding who both placed on the podium with 2nd and 3rd place finishes respectively (St. Joseph Notre Dame finished in 7th place). With the great depth of teams, six girls teams qualify to the state meet from NCS which is the most of any division in the section as well as any other section outside of the Southern Section.

Lick-Wilmerding won last year's section race by the thinnest of margins as they defeated SF University by the 6th man tie-breaker. This was after University defeated L-W 31 to 35 at their league final in their previous race. At the state meet, University finished with 120 for 2nd place while L-W scored 128 for 3rd. Two very evenly matched teams.

This year, L-W will be the slight favorites over their league, section and state rivals, University. They return their entire varsity team and will have the best one/two punch of any teams in this division (Maya Lacamp-2:17.09/5:10.94 and Mira Terdiman-5:18.66/11:46.04). L-W is also one of the largest competitive schools in this division and usually has very competitive JV teams. Considering their top two runners as well as their depth, they will be slight favorites at this point.

Just like last year, the SF University girls will challenge L-W and they could very easily be considered co-favorites. Last season, they just missed winning their first section title since 2012 but they more than made up for that with a second place finish at the state meet. University graduated their top runner Claire Jackson as well as their fourth runner Christina Howard and will be led by Eileen Gu (5:31.98/11:55.88) and Ella Shenkar (5:29.00/11:52.59).

The next best two best teams should be St. Joseph Notre Dame and Marin Academy. SJND won the section titles in 2015 and 2016 and finished in 3rd place last year. They will be led by one of the best runners in the state in this division in senior Emily Perez (2:17.74/4:57.94/10:44.94). They will also return the majority of their varsity from last year. Marin Academy finished in 6th place last year and could potentially move up with a strong returning group as well as a strong freshman class. They will be led by Sierra Cameron (14th at NCS).

The next group of teams that could potentially contend for state qualifying spots will include Branson, Head Royce, Athenian and College Prep. Branson will be led by one of the top runners in the section, Callie Jones (5:07.67/11:16.62). Head Royce qualified to the state meet last year with a 4th place finish and seems to be a program built for the long run. Athenian runners had solid spring seasons and appear to be in contention as well. Athenian and College Prep are two more BCL East teams that will be in the mix as well.

The race for the individual title should be between two runners. Emily Perez is the defending individual section champion and finished 2nd in the state behind 3-time champion Riley Bowen of Sonoma Academy. Now that Healdsburg has dropped down to Division V, senior Gabrielle Peterson will now contend for a section title in a new division. Last year, Peterson won the Division IV section title and had a breakthrough track and field season with 2:18.62, 4:48.91 and 10:34.44 personal bests. Callie Jones of Branson is within reach of the top two runners and may be able to close the gap during the upcoming cross country season.

Division V Girls (Top 6 Advance to State)
1) Lick-Wilmerding-One of the largest and most consistent NCS Division V teams.
2) University-2nd at NCS and state in 2017.
3) St. Joseph ND-Seems to be firmly positioned for a top 4 finish.
4) Marin Academy-Word is a strong freshman class could make this team more formidable.
5) Branson-Very strong top runner who will need help to qualify to state meet.
6) Head-Royce-Another program on the rise looking to qualify for 2nd straight state meet.
On the bubble: AthenianCollege PrepConventUrban

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2017 NCS meet time:

Emily Perez (1) St. Joseph Notre Dame 17:43.20
Callie Jones (4) Branson 18:06.70
Mira Terdiman (9) Lick-Wilmerding 18:46.10
Maya Lacamp (10) Lick-Wilmerding 19:06.50
Eileen Gu (11) San Francisco University 19:20.20

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.


Anonymous said...

When will you be posting NCS D2 pre-season rankings?

Albert Caruana said...

This week.

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