Saturday, July 06, 2019

NCS Division I pre-season rankings

The largest teams in the North Coast Section are ironically in the smallest division which fields only 8 teams. You can view Divisions I as well as all the divisions at this LINK and you can view the already posted pre-season Division IV rankings at this LINK.

Last year, due to the bad air quality, the NCS meet was not completed fully although both Division I races were able to compete. The Dublin boys nearly swept their race scoring 18 points while Dougherty Valley edged Amador Valley by one point to claim the second and final state meet berth. Dublin senior Loic Scomparin captured the individual title.

For the girls, Amador Valley captured the section title with 35 points and finished just 8 points ahead of Daugherty Valley. Dublin finished in 3rd place as Amador Valley sophomore Hope Bergmark captured her first individual title.

This coming season, the Dublin boys will be strong favorites to win their 4th section title in a row. They won the Division II titles in 2016 and 2017 before winning Division I last season. They will be led by senior Christopher Middleton-Pearson (4:09.46/9:09.19) who finished in 2nd place at the NCS meet and 8th place at the California state meet. Dublin will return 3 other runners (Surya Marimuthu, Kyle Elias and Rohan Fonseka) from last year's section team. From the 2018 Track & Field season, Dublin will have 24 sub 5 minute 1600 runners returning and 8 of those runners dipped under the 10-minute mark for the 3200.

Amador Valley should be the next strongest team and will be led by Jack Gray (4:34.66/9:44.30) and Aidan McCarthy (4:21.21/9:37..24). A real wildcard for Amador Valley is rising junior John Lester (1:52.99/4:29.92). He made the transition to the 800m last season with a spectacular 7th place finish at the California state final.

For Dougherty Valley, Michael Schneider (4:38.01/9:51.95) and Nirmal Ayyagari (4:43.84) are the top two returners from last year's section meet and will hope to spring another upset on the field in order to qualify for another state meet.

The Amador Valley girls swept the top 3 individual spots last year to win their first team title since 1995 when they won their first section title in the Division II race. Although they return the top 2 returning runners from last year's race, Amador Valley will start the season as slight underdogs to Dougherty Valley.

The Wildcats will be led by 2 rising sophomores, Rhea Braganza (2:27.21/5:17.96/11:58.61) and Eva Shen (5:39.61/11:59.51). They last won this section in 2017 and will hope for their 3rd section title in their school's still brief history.

Amador Valley will have both the defending individual champion in Hope Bergmark (2:22.59/5:10.55/10:46.50) and the runner-up Derica Su (5:22.98/11:34.38) from last year's section event. They will need to shore up their varsity with the graduation of 4 key runners if they want to repeat in 2019.

Maia Marquez finished in 5th place at last year's section final as a freshman. She will be looking to lead Dublin to a top 2 finish and a very coveted state meet berth.

Division 1 Boys (Top 2 Advance to State)
1) Dublin-The best overall team in this section the past few seasons.
2) Amador Valley-Missed the state meet by one point in 2018.
3) Dougherty Valley-Section champs in 2016 and 2017.
4) James Logan-The largest school in the section should not be overlooked.
5) California-Good program that finished in 4th here last year.

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2018 NCS meet time:

Christopher Middleton-Pearson (2) Dublin 15:00.6
Surya Marimuthu (5) Dublin 15:15.2
Kyle Elias (6) Dublin 15:22.1
Jack Gray (7) Amador Valley 15:23.4
Aidan McCarthy (9) Amador Valley 15:27.9

Division 1 Girls (Top 2 Advance to State)
1) Dougherty Valley-Their depth places them as the favorites this fall.
2) Amador Valley-Defending champion will need to replace 4 seniors.
3) Dublin-Finished 3rd last year but hoping for top 2 finish next fall.
4) California-Strong top 2 runners make them a dangerous threat.
5) Castro Valley-Will need to race well to repeat last year's 5th place finish.

Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2018 NCS meet time:
Hope Bergmark (1) Amador Valley 17:45.0
Derika Su (2) Amador Valley18:27.0
Maia Marquez (5) Dublin 18:42.6
Rhea Braganza (6) Dougherty Valley 18:48.6
Madeleine Liem (8) California 18:54.6

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 comment section below.

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