Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Benefield: Sonoma Academy's Andre Williams turning on the jets in cross country

It was not your normal pre-race prep.

The Sonoma Academy cross country team was scheduled to compete at the 35th annual Mariner Invitational in Hayward on Saturday. Normally, an out-of-town meet calls for demands of early bedtimes and proper hydration the night before.

Granted, the Mariner is not a huge race, but it can be hugely important for some runners at this point in the season because it’s on the same Hayward High School course that will be used for the North Coast Section race on Nov. 17.

But Saturday was also the day after Sonoma Academy’s homecoming dance.
And senior Andre Williams may run light and fluid, but apparently, he dances hard

To read the rest of this article, go to this LINK.

Monday, October 22, 2018

2018 Mid-Season Northern California Top 10 Cross Country Teams (Boys and Girls)

Updates after this weekend?


1) Dublin (NCS) Division I
2) St. Francis, Mt. View (CCS) Division II
3) Bellarmine (CCS) Division I
4) Granada (NCS) Division II
5) Amador Valley (NCS) Division I
6) Davis (SJS) Division I
7) Jesuit (SJS) Division I
8) Maria Carrillo (NCS) Division III
9) Sir Francis Drake (NCS) Division IV
10) De La Salle (NCS) Division II
10) Campolindo (NCS) Division III
10) Placer (SJS) Division IV

1) St. Francis, Sacramento (SJS) Division II
2) Granada (NCS) Division II
3) Vista del Lago (SJS) Division III
4) Amador Valley (NCS) Division I
5) Davis (SJS) Division I
6) Monte Vista (NCS) Division II
7) Carlmont (CCS) Division I
8) Oakland Tech (OAK) Division I
9) Menlo (CCS) Division IV
10) San Ramon Valley (NCS) Division II
10) Maria Carrillo (NCS) Division III

Here are the CCS rankings as voted on by a select group of coaches:

Feel free to comment below. I tried my best to rank teams that haven't raced each other this season. If you feel like I left a team from the above list that belongs, go ahead and comment on their season below.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Mt. SAC Invitational updates

Please feel free to add any updates for athletes and/or teams that are participating at the Mt. SAC Invitational this weekend. I saw that Riley Chamberlain won her heat today with a time of 17:42. Any other impressive efforts?

You can find the results of the meet at this link:

King rises again, this time at Chico State

Eddie King finished second to last in the 1600-meter run of the 2014 Central Coast Section Track and Field Championships. But out of all the runners in that race 4 ½ years ago, few—if any—have distinguished themselves in college as King has done. The Chico State senior is enjoying a terrific cross country season, a byproduct of staying healthy, great coaching and a determination and talent that was just waiting to be tapped.

To read the rest of this article, go to this LINK.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Northern California Invitational results

Jim Tracy Challenge (NEW)

BCL East 2 (NEW)

Bella Vista Bronco Cross Country Invitational (NEW)


Castro Valley Invitational

From Alhambra coach Peter Brewer:
Rich Parris brought his Clovis West team up, and snagged the varsity girls' team title.   

Madison Kackley of Gergori (Modesto) won the GV by over a minute with a 12th best All-Time time of 19:02.   She is coached by Loretta Fillpot, former Castro Valley runner 1983.    

Max Waechter of Heritage pulled away late in the race to win the boys' varsity run.   Casa Grande nipped College Park for the team title.  

Monterey Invitational

Rough Rider Invitational

If you know of other result links, please post them below.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Woodward Park All-Time Top 10 NorCal (boys and girls) times

1) German Fernandez Riverbank (SJS) 14:24 (course record) 2007
2) Jay Marden Mission San Jose (NCS) 14:42 1980
3) Matt Strangio Jesuit (SJS) 14:44 2019
4) Calvin Gaziano Castro Valley (NCS) 14:49 1984
5) Luis Grijalva Armijo (SJS) 14:50 2016
6) Michael Vernau Davis (SJS) 14:52 2016
7) Mark Mastalir Jesuit (SJS) 14:53 1985
8) Liam Anderson Redwood (NCS) 14:56 2018
9) Matt Farley Jesuit (SJS) 14:57 1993
9) Eric Mastalir Jesuit (SJS) 14:57 1985
10) Jason Balkman Lynbrook (CCS) 14:58 1994
Also sub 15:00
Cooper Teare St. Joseph Notre Dame (NCS) 14:59 2016
Trevor Reinhart Marin Academy (NCS) 14:59 2014
Eric Olson Novato (NCS) 14:59 2009

1) Julia Stamps Santa Rosa (NCS) 16:43 1996
2) Amber Trotter Ukiah (NCS) 16:55 2001
3) Alex Klox Vista del Lago (SJS) 16:57 2019
3) Fiona O'Keeffe Davis (SJS) 16:57 2014
5) Maddy Denner Oak Ridge (SJS) 16:59 2017
6) Kristen Gordon Carondelet (NCS) 17:01 1996
7) Cate Ratliff Santa Cruz (CCS) 17:04 2015
8) Morgin Coonfield McKinleyville (NCS) 17:08 2015
8) Anna Maxwell San Lorenzo Valley (CCS) 17:08 2013
10) Rebecca Chamberlain Leigh (CCS) 17:09 1984
Also sub 17:15
Laurie Chapman Gunderson (CCS) 17:10 1985
Harper McClain St. Helena (NCS) 17:11 2019
Riley Chamberlain Del Oro (SJS) 17:13 2018
Sara Bei Montgomery (NCS) 17:13 2000 (Former #10)

Which is more impressive?

Redwood senior Liam Anderson winning the boys race with a 14:57.8 personal best?


Del Oro freshman Riley Chamberlain getting 2nd in girls' race with a time of 17:12.7?

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

American Fork HS

Some of you may be familiar with American Fork HS since they are frequent participants at NXN. They have also been Utah state team champions 8 out of the last 9 years. Two years ago, their 4 x 1600m relay team set a new National record at the Arcadia Invitational with a time of 16:41.30.
You can learn a bit about their program in an interview I did with their coach (Timo Mostert) at this link:

For those of you that enjoy listening to podcasts, you can check out an interview with Timo at this link which was just posted courtesy of the Ben Rosario podcast:

You can check out a workout wednesday below that features one of their famous workouts, The Grinder.

You can check out all of Coach Mostert's achievements at American Fork HS at the link above but his most impressive achievement may be that he has never had a cell phone!

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Northern California Invitationals taking place today

Serra Invitational live results:

Artichoke Invitational results (NEW)

Jackie Henderson Memorial Preview

Jackie Henderson Memorial Invitational results

Clovis Invitational live results:
Liam Anderson with 14:57.8 winner that is NCS #3 all-time. Del Oro frosh Riley Chamberlain finished 2nd overall with 17:12 scorcher that is frosh #4 all-time on the course. Any other outstanding marks for individuals and teams?

Aragon Center Meet #1 results:

Please feel free to comment on any results taking place today at any of the above meets or any other meets taking place.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

North Coast Section Division IV update thanks to Piedmont assistant coach, Len Goldman

D4 - Girls
At this early juncture of the season, there is no heavy favorite on the girls' side as there is on the boys' side.  For the defending D-4 champion Piedmont, some of their top runners have been sidelined by injuries and only now have started to race and are still rounding into competitive shape.  At the Stanford Invite, most of the top female NCS D4 teams competed with the exception of Miramonte.

Although there are still limited results and some of their top runners have not run in every meet, Miramonte has posted some impressive results.  They are being spearheaded by a dynamic trio of 3 freshman runners who have gotten out of the starting gate very quickly, Jaime Say, Claire Nolet, and Kate Riley.  Providing veteran leadership for this group is Cassidy Haskell, a senior and a past NCS D4 champion and sophomore Audrey Allen who has the 3rd fastest 5K time thus far in D4, 18:42.  Based on results to date, this team is the early front-runner for the top seed.  One potential area of concern is depth among the varsity seven runners, but that is true of the other teams also.

Going into the season, O'Dowd, had two quality runners up front, Jeneva Toolajia and Isabella Brusco.  Both runners have 5K times that place them in the top 10 for the NCS-D4.  The question was who would be their supporting cast.  So far reviews are good as a freshman, Lillian Yu has been a solid #3, and their #4 and #5 runners have been good enough to place them in 2nd place in the rankings. However, in order to hold this place throughout the season, the back-end of their scoring team will have to continue to improve and race well.

Marin Catholic has been the early-season surprise team and their success has been due in part to the runner with the best time to date in the 5K for NCS D4 teams, Samantha Wallerstrom in 18:40.  She has a competent group of runners supporting her, all of whom are very closely matched time wise and if they continue to develop, could help secure a state meet place come to the NCS meet.

The two teams on the bubble, Piedmont and Arcata could possibly move up as the season progresses but at this point are chasing the teams ahead of them and have some catching up to do.  For Piedmont, it's a matter of getting several of their runners healthy and in competitive racing shape and keeping them there.  Stanford was the first meet this season where they had all their top runners racing.  Arcata has two very solid runners at the front-end of their squad, but after that there is a pretty big drop off.  If they can narrow the gap with their 3 through 5 runners, they could contend for one of the three state berth slots.

Projected Top Teams:  Miramonte, O'Dowd, Marin Catholic  
On the bubble: Piedmont, Arcata

Top Individuals:  Samantha Wallerstrom-Marin Catholic, Audrey Allen and Cassidy Haskell-Miramonte, Riley Martel-Phillips-Arcata
On the bubble:  Thea Norlund-Arcata, Jeneva Toolajian-O'Dowd

D4 - Boys
Even at this early stage, the overwhelming top team remains Sir Francis Drake, the 2017 NCS titleist and one of the favorites for the state D4 title this year.  
At the recent Woodbridge Classic, their top 5 runners Cooper Mccarthy, Nicco Pompili, Owen Wolford, Amir Barkan and Oliver Arnesson had a team time for the 3-mile course of 1:16:42 or an average of 15:20 per runner.  For comparison purposes, their winning time at last year's NCS meet was 1:19.00, granted the Woodbridge Course is a real speedway, still, it shows what kind of talent this team has.  This past weekend at the Stanford Meet they opted to run in the more competitive seeded section rather than the D4 race, and their team time was 1:21:42, an average of 16:20 per runner.  The winning time for the D4 boys race was, 1:23:07 by Scotts Valley so they could have easily won this race had they chosen to run in it.

Who the other contending NCS teams for a state berth might be is a bit more problematic at this early phase of the season, with just a few meets in the record books.  Marin CatholicPiner, Albany, Moreau Catholic, and O'Dowd have all posted respectable times.  However, all these teams are still a work in progress as they develop their team chemistry and talent.  It may be a few more weeks before things become a bit more defined. 

At this point, however, it appears that Marin Catholic would have the edge for the #2 ranking but they need to develop their 2 through 5 runners on the team to be a more serious contender.  They do currently have the runner with the top 5K time in D4, 15:45 for Lyle Rumon. After him, there is a pretty big time differential to their #2 runner, about a minute and a half.  The good news is that all their runners at the 2 through 5 positions have a 5K time under 18 minutes.   

In a close call for the #3 ranking is Piner.  There is not that big a separation between Piner and the other teams who are in the hunt for a state berth, the biggest difference being their top 5 runners are closely packed, just a 35-second difference between their #1 and #5 runners.  However while closely bunched, they lack a #1 runner who is in the very top echelon of the NCS D4 boys and this could perhaps be a deciding factor at the NCS meet when placings in the top ten are critical.  If Nathan Hayes can move to the front of their squad like he did last year, this would certainly help their chances.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention briefly the other teams on the bubble, any of them could move up when the next rankings are announced.  Moreau Catholic has very few races on their record so far, but they could definitely challenge for a state berth.  They have two runners near the top for the 5K, Michael Vickers, 16:57 and Cole Pineda, 17:02.  Plus the spread from their #1 to #5 runner is just 43.4 seconds.
Both O'Dowd and Albany are very closely matched.  They both have a top front-runner, Tommy Murphy for O'Dowd with a 16:23 5K time, and Calder Abbott for Albany with a 16:44.  It's at the #4 and 5 positions where both squads need to improve if they are to contend at the NCS meet.

Projected Top Teams:  Sir Francis Drake, Marin Catholic,  Piner
On the bubble: Moreau Catholic, Bishop O'Dowd and Albany

Top Individuals:  Lyle Rumon-Marin Catholic, Cooper McCarthy, Amir Barkan, and Nicco Pompili all from Sir Francis Drake
On the bubble:  Henry Denberg-San Rafael, Tommy Murphy-O'Dowd and Owen Wolford-Sir Francis Drake

Shadow Cliffs and Scott Bauhs All-Time Lists

Monday, October 01, 2018

Interviews with Claremont XC coach, Bill Reeves

This past Saturday, Claremont HS swept the varsity seeded divisions at the Stanford Invitational. Both teams will be among the favorites to win the California state team titles in Division II.

You can check out a couple of interviews with their coach, Bill Reeves at the links below.

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