Saturday, July 31, 2021

Crystal Springs course clean up

If you are interested in helping prepare the Crystal Springs course for competition this coming season, there will be two opportunities to help. One is on Saturday, August 7th and the other is on Saturday, August 14th. The times for both days will be 8am to 1pm.

You will need to sign up at this link:

Coaches, please pass this along to your athletes.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Stanford Invitationals

The Stanford Track and Field Invitational (high school portion) will return in 2022 on April 1/2.

The Stanford Cross Country Invitational will be back in 2022.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Pre-Season NCS Division IV XC rankings

 D4 - Boys by Piedmont assistant coach, Len Goldman


As noted in the D3 analysis by Andy, for the upcoming Fall 2021 cross country season forecast there is somewhat limited recent results data available and most of it is from Spring track meets. The last NCS championship meet was in 2019 and while there was an abbreviated cross-country season in the Spring of 2021, many schools either did not participate or fielded a partial squad.  In addition, during the Spring, some schools had a concurrent cross country and track season which could be argued allows for some direct comparisons and validation between times for the two sports.  Nevertheless, here is one person’s perspective and I am sure as the season hopefully progresses, more accurate assessments can be made.  Note, two schools were re-classified to D4 this year, JFK-Fremont and San Rafael.

The defending D4 champion from 2019 is Archie Williams (formerly Sir Francis Drake.)  Obviously, graduation, as it has for almost all the schools, caused some turnover in runners.  However, after trying to glean data from Spring 2021 results, the squad from Archie Williams appears to be in a good position to repeat as champions.  Based on a cross country meet at Indian Valley during the Spring, this team had four runners who were sub-17 minutes on the 5K course.  They are led by senior Nate Wolford who ran a 16:32 in the Indian Valley 5K cross country race and 4:29 for 1600m in track.  This squad seems to have a very deep roster, with lots of quality runners and they are the #1 ranked team pre-season.  In addition, Evan Lee had a season's best 9:58 for 3200m, with Jonah Grubb and Eric Overaa not far behind in 10:13 and 10:14 respectively.  Rounding out the varsity 5 was Luke Calegari with a 16:37 5K and 4:55 for 1600. 

After Archie Williams, there are three schools that are contenders for the remaining two qualifying positions for the state meet.  All appear to be evenly matched and it could be a very close contest among them, with one of the schools sure to come away disappointed.  The contenders are Albany, O’Dowd and Piedmont.  Albany is led by junior Sean Morello who could be the top runner in D4 with a 9:09 time for the 3200 and 16:08 for the TCAL Pt. Pinole three mile course. He is ably supported by four other runners, Lucas Cohen, brothers Ben and Jack Elfenbaum, and Kristiyan Klichev, all of whom are sub-11 minutes for the 3200 and also sub 18 minutes for the 3 mile distance.  This team could certainly challenge for the #1 spot as they also have a very deep group of distance runners.

Year in and year out, Bishop O’Dowd is always one of the top teams and that appears to be the case for 2021 also.  By virtue in being in the WACC league, they competed on the Hayward course twice during the Spring of 2021, and they were the first-place team in the final WACC cross country meet of the season.  While two of their top runners have graduated, they return four varsity runners led by Zach Tannebaum who ran a 17:10 on the Hayward course and 10:56 for the 3200 in track.  The other returning runners are Marcus Fong, Griffin Osser, and Ethan Gonzalez, all ran in the mid 17 minute range on the Hayward course. However, the question mark for this team is who will fill the 5, 6 and 7 positions and that could be critically important to their success.

A team on the rise is Piedmont, which has a number of young runners at its core and is led by senior Jack Stein who posted outstanding times during the 2021 Spring season with a 15:59 on the Hayward course and a 9:47 for 3200 in track.  Six other runners on this squad were all under 18 minutes for the Hayward course and also posted sub-11 minute times in the 3200.  One standout runner was Christian Taylor, 17:40 for 3 miles and 4:38 for 1600.  Depth is not an issue in the case of this group, but can they continue to progress in dropping their times and challenge the teams ranked in front of them is the question.

Individually as mentioned, the favorite is Sean Morello of Albany.  After him the possibilities are Jack Stein of Piedmont, Tyler Hunt of Acalanes and Mateo Malko-Allen of St Mary's. 

Unfortunately, results data for schools that might be on the bubble is pretty sketchy so rather than list any right now, I think it best to wait until mid-September when the picture should be a bit clearer.


D4 - Girls


It appears that for the Spring 2021 season, many girls opted not to compete in track or cross country, as the numbers for most schools were down from the previous year.  With a “normal” sports season in the offing, hopefully the number of participants will bounce back.  As noted for the D4 boys, once the season is underway in September and a few meets have taken place, the picture should become a bit clearer as to who are the contenders.


The defending D4 champion from 2019 is Piedmont and they have several veteran runners returning for their senior year.  However, a girls’ team from the most northern corner of the NCS looks to be the pre-season favorite.  This school enjoyed much success from 2012 to 2015, winning the NCS twice and qualifying for the state meet all four years.


Arcata posted times in both cross country and track during the Spring that are ahead of the rest of the pack.  This team is led by the three MacDonald sisters, Anneli, Mathilde (both seniors) and Soquel (a sophomore).  Anneli had a 3200m time of 10:53 and her twin sister Mathilde ran 11:54, both also posted fast times in cross country, 18:55 and 19:04 respectively for a 3-mile race.  Soquel had a 12:04 in the 3200 and teammates Cassidy Thorpe and Alauna Thompson were sub 13 minutes in the 3200.  Based on these times, this squad seems to have depth and the quality times to go with it.

An up-and-coming team in this division is Acalanes.  While perhaps lacking a star front runner, they have a solid group of runners, especially their top three with Lauren and Megan Yee and Olivia Williams.  All three ran fine times in the 3200 during Spring track season with 11:25 for Olivia, and Lauren and Megan both in at 11:40.  In addition, in the one cross country meet that they ran in during the Spring, all three were under 20 minutes for 3 miles.  Backing them up are three other runners who could be key to their success this season, Elle Casselman, Caroline Crossland and Katrina Ortman.

Miramonte returns a veteran team of runners and could also challenge for the team title.  They have five seniors who have run together all four years in Kate Riley, Sadie Wayne, Jamie Say, Nathalie Green, and Claire Nolet.  All posted competitive times in the 1600 and 3200 during track season, with all five under 6 minutes for the 1600 and 13 minutes for the 3200.  In addition, they are supported by several other runners who add depth to this squad, making a solid group in the 1 through 7 positions.  It could be a spirited contest when this squad meets Arcata and Acalanes at the NCS meet in November.

The defending champion Piedmont appears to lack the strength they have had in recent years and will be hard-pressed to be one of the three teams that move onto the state meet out of the NCS.  The team is lead by Ellie Black who during the Spring won the WACC meet finale on the Hayward course in a time of 19:26. She also ran a 5:40 for 1600 and 12:31 in the 3200 during the track season. The other Piedmont runners were 2 minutes behind Ellie’s time on the Hayward course, with four girls running in the mid-21-minute range for the 3-mile distance. Unless they can improve on those times, they will not be a contender come the November NCS meet.


Finally, mention should be made of the Albany girls’ team.  They are led by senior Sophia Nordenholz, who is the fastest 3200m runner in NCS history with a 10:05.91 set at the Arcadia Invitational.  She is the prohibitive favorite to win the 2021 D4 NCS individual title and could be a state meet favorite as well.  While she has a nice group of teammates behind her, unless they really improve this coming season, it is unlikely that this team will be a contender at the NCS meet. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Incoming 9th graders for 2021 XC Season

Please post names below any impactful 9th graders that will be attending a NorCal high school this fall.

I will start the list here and will add as names are added in the comment section below.

9th Graders
Shea Elmore Los Gatos HS (2:24.93 800, 4:50.33 1500, 10:06.62 3000)
Aydon Stefanopoulos (4:40.69 1600m)
Andrew Burr (4:42.79 1600m)
Chase Cressman (4:45.59 1600m)
Jackson Hein Chico (4:23 1500m)
Landon Pretre Menlo (4:35.09 1500m)

Friday, July 16, 2021

Pre-Season NCS Division III XC Rankings (Girls)

NCS Division III Girls Preseason Rankings by Campolindo assistant coach, Andy Lindquist

Overview: In the before time of 2019, Campolindo rounded into superb form at the end of the season, blowing out the rest of the section to capture the team title and then rolling to a resounding win at the state championships the following week. With the majority of that team lost to graduation, Campolindo will face stiff competition from a vastly improved Maria Carrillo squad hungry for their first section title since 2013.

While most teams in the area were able to get in a relatively full track season this spring, it still remains to be seen how athletes and teams adapt to running big-time cross country in the fall. Track times are not always indicative of cross country success, however, the performances from this past track season are the best data points available, so they factored heavily into these rankings. 4 teams make it to state in this division so these rankings will be 4 teams deep.

1. Maria Carrillo: The Pumas are coming off an impressive track season in the middle distances in which they had 5 athletes all well under 5:30 for 1600. This type of depth means that Maria Carrillo is ready for another big jump this fall. Gracie Trenam was the breakout star for the Pumas this past spring, rolling to a 5:14 clocking in the 1600 with Ashley Busienei (5:16) and Rebekah Taylor (5:19) not too far behind. Vivian Mattice and Avery Hedden also made big jumps in the 1600 as well, giving Maria Carrillo one of the deepest squads in the state. While the Pumas did not focus on the 3200 all that much during the spring, projected #6 runner Brooke Cregan rolled to an impressive 11:55 performance in the event.

Division III is shaping up to be one of the deepest and most competitive fields state-wide, and Maria Carrillo is in a position to compete for not only a podium spot but the state title as well. The only glaring weakness is the lack of an outstanding frontrunner, but look for that to change this fall as this team continues to develop.

2. Campolindo: Since taking over as head coach in 2006, Chuck Woolridge has had a run of unpreceded success in winning 11 NCS team championships (including an active streak of 7 in a row) and 4 state championships. Prior to Covid-19 putting a halt to high school sports in the state, the Cougars were on a roll, coming off an 80-point blowout win at the 2019 state meet. Junior Ellie Buckley is the lone returner from that squad and is coming off a very strong spring track season, clocking personal bests of 5:08 and 10:55 in the 1600 and 3200. Backing her up are the sophomore duo of Makena Weberski (11:34 3200) and Shea Volkmer (11:24 3200), giving the Cougars an impressive 1-2-3. These 3 will be critical to Campo’s quest for an 18th section title and a 6th state title. The biggest issue facing the Cougars this summer is the big gap from their #3 to #4/5 runners. Daisy Penny and Caroline McCool had very productive track seasons, running 12:13 and 12:17 respectively in the 3200 but such a large gap will be costly in a big cross country race.

It seems like every season Campolindo manages to notch massive improvements, so while they start the summer as underdogs, don’t be surprised if they close down the gap come November.

3. Livermore: In his 35+ years of coaching at Livermore high, Eddie Salazar has become known for putting together many good teams seemingly out of nowhere, and you should expect the same this cross country season. While the Cowgirls don’t have a large contingent of returners, they had a very solid track season with Angelina Guzman (5:23 1600) leading the charge along with 4 other returners under 6:00 in the 1600. While it would take a lot of work to close the gap on the top 2 teams, Livermore is primed for a medal position at NCS and a trip to Woodward Park on Thanksgiving weekend.

4. Las Lomas: With only an abbreviated spring track season to look it, it can be hard to figure out where a lot of these teams stand and even harder to project how they will do during a full cross country season. Las Lomas raced sparingly during the spring but with 5 returners all running 6:15 or better for 1600, look for the Knights to contend for a top 4 spot.

On the bubble: Carondelet, Santa Rosa, Newark Memorial

More pre-season rankings including the rest of NCS as well as all the other sections in Northern California. If you would like to contribute to the pre-season rankings, please reach out to me at

Willie White Memorial

Former Berkeley coach Willie White recently passed away on June 29th and his memorial will be held next Saturday, July 24th at Berkeley HS at 10am.

You can find all info to the event at this link:

Here are a few articles about Coach White if you are interested in learning a bit more about one of the more legendary Track and Field coaches in California.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Pre-Season NCS Division III XC Rankings (Boys)

 NCS Division III Boys Preseason Rankings by Campolindo assistant coach, Andy Lindquist

Overview: This fall season will be like no other in recent memory as we are coming off of nearly 2 years of covid-19 restricting high school sports in the North Coast Section. The last season that a full XC season took place (2019), was one of the greatest in section history, with Campolindo and Maria Carrillo finishing 1-2 at state. Much has changed since then as graduation losses and the upheaval caused by the pandemic have significantly changed the landscape for many teams.

While most teams in the area were able to get in a relatively full track season this spring, it still remains to be seen how athletes and teams adapt to running big-time cross country in the fall. Track times are not always indicative of cross country success, however, the performances from this past track season are the best data points available, so they factored heavily into these rankings. 4 teams make it to state in this division so these rankings will be 4 teams deep.

Maria Carrillo had an incredible spring track season and is loaded with talent, while upstart programs from Tamalpais and Newark Memorial have made astounding progress as well and will challenge for the title.

1. Maria Carrillo: The Pumas are one of the most consistently good teams in the entire NCS, especially over the previous few seasons. From 2017-2019, Maria Carrillo won 2 NCS team titles, had 3 top 10 finishes at state, and in 2019 landed on the podium with a 2nd place team finish as well as having the individual state champion in Colton Swinth. The Pumas rolled to some fantastic performances during the spring track season with Jacob Donohue (9:19 3200) and Noe Vieyera (4:22 1600) impressing the most. Both runners seem poised for a big fall and having such an impressive 1-2 punch will make a big difference in close races. However, it was massive improvements from Adam McCorquodale (4:34 1600) and Oswaldo Rodriguez-Lopez (4:34) that have made the biggest difference for the Pumas, firmly stamping them as not only the favorites to win the section title but also challenge for that elusive state title as well.

The only missing piece for Maria Carrillo heading into the summer is the back end, as there is a bit of a drop-off after #4. Youngsters Sean Gubera and Jonathan Donohue looked solid during the spring track season and if they can continue to progress this fall, it will be tough for anyone to challenge Maria Carrillo for the top spot.

2. Tamalpais: During the previous 3 full XC seasons (2017-2019), this division went back and forth between Maria Carrillo and Campolindo, but that is expected to change in a big way this fall as Tamalpais has emerged as one of the most improved teams in the entire state.

It starts with junior Caden Carney, whose rapid improvement this spring was impressive as he clocked 4:16 for 1600, one of the fastest times in the entire section. If he continues on that trajectory, he will be the heavy favorite to win the individual title and provide that crucial low stick for the red-tailed hawks. However, what makes this team so dangerous has been the development of the 2-5 runners, as Thomas Sternfels (4:37), Ethan Lin (4:32), David Grijabla (4:43), and Sven Toernqvist (4:43) all massively improved in the 1600 over the spring. The challenge will be adapting that skillset to a 3-mile cross country race, but all the pieces are there for Tamalpais to challenge Maria Carrillo for the title and be very competitive at the state level as well.

3. Newark Memorial: Coach Tyler Jorgens has quietly built Newark Memorial into a very solid team with plenty of depth, making them the darkhorse to move up these rankings and surprise the favorites at the end of the season. The Cougars are led by the tandem of Tad Kawabata (9:45 3200) and Chance Tokubo (9:46 3200) who both had very solid track seasons. Talha Ahmed, Angelo Frese, and Diego Ochoa all ran under 4:50 in the 1600 during track season as well, so the cougar’s match up very well with other teams in this division at the critical 4th and 5th positions. For Newark Memorial to move up in these rankings they will need to focus on honing down their pack margin from 1-5 to counter the strong frontrunners from Tamalpais and Maria Carrillo. If they can do that, look for them to surprise come championship time.

4. Campolindo: For the past twenty years, “Campo” has been the standard in this division. The Cougars have won 11 section titles in that span in addition to 6 combined podium finishes at the state championships. When the CIF last held a full cross country season, Campolindo won the DIII Boys’ state title with a very low score of 47 points.

Two of those athletes return for the Cougars this fall in Alex Lodewick and Rhys Pullen, but after that graduation losses and the pandemic have ravaged the roster for Campolindo, making it very challenging for the Cougars to close the gap on the top teams in this division. While Lodewick was injured during the spring track season, when healthy he is one of the best runners in the state. His 15:47 clocking at Woodward Park as a freshman in 2019 is the fastest time in NCS for a frosh, so the talent is undoubtedly there. Pullen managed a solid track season, running a personal best of 9:49 in the 3200. Those two are good starting points but after that, there is a severe lack of varsity experience. Junior Blake Webster showed promise with a breakout track season, running 4:41 in the 1600 and 10:06 in the 3200. However, after that, there is a massive drop-off in track performances, with the Cougars only having one other athlete returning with a personal best under 5:00 in the 1600.

Coach Chuck Woolridge is known far and wide as one of the best motivators in the state, but he will have his work cut out for him this season. For Campo to be competitive on a section level, they will need to develop their younger athletes and work on closing the massive gap that exists between their #2 and the rest of the group.

On the bubble: Northgate, Alameda

Girls rankings will be posted tomorrow.

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Donation to the Cross Country Express Site

If you have enjoyed all the Track and Field coverage this season, a kind donation would be appreciated.  You can do so with the link to the right.  If you don't do online payments, you can email me at and I will send you an address where you can send a check.

This site will remain a free service but as you know, a lot of time and effort goes into the maintenance of this website.

Thank you very much to those of you that have already donated.  If I haven't done so already, you will hear from me in appreciation.

Friday, July 02, 2021

New Jesuit and CCS records set today in boy's 2 mile at Brooks PR

Today at the Brooks PR, Ajani Salcido of Jesuit and Nolan Topper of Bellarmine both ran record-setting 2 mile efforts. Salcido finished in 3rd place with a time of 8:46.32 with Topper in 6th at 8:51.83. Both times converted to 3200-meter times set new Jesuit and CCS records respectively. Salcido's time converts to 8:43.27 while Topper's time converts to 8:48.75.

You can check out the race at the following link: 

The previous Jesuit record of 8:44.95 was set by Eric Mastalir at the 1986 California State meet where he finished in 1st place. His twin brother Mark won 1600 that year in a time of 4:07.81.

The previous CCS record of 8:51.43 was set by Jessie Torres of Independence at the 1981 California State meet where he finished in 3rd place.

Cooper Teare After 4th Place at 2020 Olympic Trials in 5000jm

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Seeking assistant coaches

Crystal Springs Uplands School: is looking for two cross country assistant coaches for the 2021 fall season. CSUS is located in Hillsborough and competes in Division 5. This is for the 2021-2022 school year. A zest for distance running, a positive attitude, and running experience is a plus. Practice will start on August 6th and will run until the end of November. A stipend is available. Interested individuals should send a resume with references to athletic director Bobby Long at and Albert Caruana at

Washington High School is looking for an assistant cross country coach for the upcoming season starting mid August and ending in November. Washington HS is located in Fremont and competes in the North Coast Section. A knowledge of running and wanting to make a difference in high school students' lives is a requirement. A stipend is available. Please send a resume with references to athletic director Regina Quezada at and to coach Ben Vose at

College Park HS is looking for a Track and Field Head Coach to take over a thriving program. Please send your resume and letter of interest to Athletic Director Jim Keck
Cross Country, GirlsHeadCollege ParkWalk Onnot at this timeJim Keck928-682-7670keckj@mdusd.orgCollege Park HS is looking for a Cross Country Head Coach to take over a thriving program. Please send your resume and letter of interest to Athletic Director Jim Keck

Saint Francis High School (Mountain View): We had to say goodbye to two outstanding members of our XC Staff in the past 6 months. If you or someone you know is interested in joining our staff - please reach out to Athletic Director Michael Pilawski ( or complete the application linked below. Running experience is a must, coaching experience is a plus!

Sequoia High School is seeking a head cross country coach. Candidates should have previous coaching experience at an appropriate level. We are looking for an enthusiastic and positive coach who will support the development of our student-athletes and support the goals of our athletics program.

The coach selected must get fingerprinted, have a current CPR/AED, First Aid, Fundamentals of Coaching, Concussion in Sport, and Sudden Cardiac Arrest certifications.  The school will help facilitate this.  The season runs from August through October.

Please contact athletic director, Melissa Schmidt ( if you are interested or have any questions.

If you are also searching for coaches, please send the information to me at and I will add it to this post.

Popular Posts