Tuesday, August 23, 2022

NCS DIII Girls Rankings by Campolindo assistant coach, Andy Lindquist

Overview: Campolindo has ruled this division for a decade now and last season was no different as the cougars held off an upstart Tamalpais squad for the section title, then narrowly captured their 6th state title in division 3 the following week. With Campo returning 6 of their top 7, expect more of the same this year.

1. Campolindo: The Cougars have won every contested NCS title since 2013, with their last loss coming all the way back in 2012. With the Cougars returning the bulk of their state championship team from a year ago, they’re the clear favorites to win another section title. With one more victory, Campolindo will break a tie with SF University for most girls' NCS team championships. What makes Campolindo so dangerous is not just that they return section runner-up Ellie Buckley or section medalist Shea Volkmer, but it’s the fact that few teams develop talent so quickly as Campo. Sophomore Sloan Pullen was not much of a factor last cross country season but she made incredible gains during the spring season, running 5:13 for 1600 and 11:42 in the 3200. Along with varsity veterans Daisy Penny, Caroline McCool, and Makena Weberski, the cougars are primed to defend their state title and be one of the best teams in California regardless of school size.

2. Maria Carrillo: The Pumas have been a steady presence at the section level for decades now, and look for that to continue this fall. Gracie Trenam had a productive track season in lowering her best time in the 1600 to 5:11 and figures to be the top runner in every race for Maria Carrillo. Backing her up are a solid group of girls who all broke 5:40 in the 1600 last spring, with Rebekah Taylor leading the way with a solid 5:25 best for 1600. It will be a tough task to catch up to Campolindo, but a top 10 finish at state and a runner-up finish at NCS are in the cards.

3. Montgomery: The Vikings will effectively score 4 runners in every race they are in as defending state champion Hanne Thomsen will continue to dazzle up front and should be favored to win every race she’s entered in next season. The biggest revelation for Montgomery was the continued development of Seelah Kittlestrom, who had a monster freshman season in track, clocking 5:10 in the 1600 and 11:09 in the 3200. With two talented frontrunners, the task becomes much easier for a Montgomery team seeking to qualify as a team to state for the first time in quite a while. Amrie Lacefield and Hope Martin both made big gains during the spring in breaking the 5:40 barrier in the 1600. The biggest question mark is whether or not Montgomery can develop a solid back end, as the Vikings do not return any other girl who has broken 6:00 in the 1600, which will really run up their team score in big races. If they can address that, the Vikings could move up these rankings and potentially finish in the top 10 at state, which would be a massive improvement for a team that did not even qualify last season.

4. Northgate: The Broncos return a solid group from their state qualifying team from a year ago, with Ella Kopper leading the way. Since Northgate competes in the same league as Campolindo, they will have plenty of chances to test themselves against the best team in the state, which should prove to be very advantageous later on in the season. Northgate returns a total of 7 girls with sub 6:00 credentials in the 1600, and that kind of depth will be needed if the broncos are to catch the teams ranked in front of them.

5. Las Lomas: The Knights just barely missed out on a state berth last year, and they find themselves in a similar position this season. Lily Montilla continued her steady progression in the spring, running 5:21 in the 1600 and looks to continue that progress this fall. The Knights do return 4 girls under 6:00 in the 1600 but there are some big gaps after that. As it stands now, Las Lomas is just a few steps behind the top 4 teams, and it will take some solid work throughout the season to close the gap.

Individual rankings:
Barring injury or illness, Hanne Thomsen is the clear favorite to repeat as section and state champion.
  1. Hanne Thomsen (Montgomery)
  2. Ellie Buckley (Campolindo)
  3. Shea Volkmer (Campolindo)
  4. Seelah Kittlestrom (Montgomery)
  5. Gracie Trenam (Maria Carillo)
  6. Ellery Barnes (Tamalpais)
  7. Sloan Pullen (Campolindo)
  8. Caroline McCool (Campolindo)

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

NCS DIII Boys Rankings by Campolindo assistant coach, Andy Lindquist

Overview: Despite graduation losses and the impact of the COVID pandemic, Campolindo surprised absolutely no one by rolling to another section title over an upstart Newark Memorial team at the NCS finals. They followed that up with a narrow 2nd place finish to West Torrance at state and wound up being the best NCS team in the overall merge of all divisions. This year, Newark Memorial faces heavy graduation losses while Campolindo appears primed for another section title.

1. Campolindo: With Alex Lodewick, Blake Webster, and Connor McGhee all returning, the Cougars appear primed to run away with the section title this season. All 3 broke 16:00 at Woodward Park and finished in the top 15 at last year’s section championship. With the ever-improving Alex Thomasson and uber-talented sophomore Maxson Cook backing them up, it seems unlikely that anyone in the NCS will be close to Campo this season. The Cougars don’t have as much depth heading into the season as in previous years, but that will surely be addressed by the time the postseason comes around.

2. Maria Carrillo: The Pumas surprised everyone with a fantastic peak at the end of last season to finish on the podium at state. While Maria Carrillo loses a lot to graduation, they return a talented group, with sophomore Jack Wilson looking like the next great runner from the storied program. Wilson had injury issues last fall but he flashed his talent in track season running 4:39 in the 1600 as a freshman. Sean Gubera, Jonathan Donohue, Grant Sanderson, and Gabriel Sitton all ran in the 4:40’s for the 1600 last track season, so the pumas will have a tight 2-5 grouping.

3. Tamalpais: Despite losing state champion Caden Carney to graduation, Tam returns a talented group of middle distance runners who could make some noise this fall. James Lyons made huge strides this spring by clocking 4:31 in the 1600 and if he is able to continue his rapid improvement curve, he could be looking at a top 7 finish at the section meet. Behind him are a solid group of returners, with the red-tailed hawks bringing back 6 boys who broke 5:00 in the 1600 in track. It will be hard for anyone to catch Campo this year, but Tam is certainly in position to challenge Maria Carrillo for 2nd place.

4. Newark Memorial: One of the best stories last cross country season was the rise of Newark Memorial, which qualified to state for the first time in school history. The Cougars finished runner-up to Campolindo at the section meet and then nabbed a top 10 finish the following week at state. While NM loses most of their team from a year ago, they still have enough talent coming back to qualify to state again. Talha Ahmed, a key piece to last year’s run, will be back and that gives the cougars a great starting point to build off of. Chris Martinez and Michael Wood both made big improvements during the spring and should be huge factors as well.

5. Northgate: The Broncos finally got over the hump and qualified to state for the first time in many years last season. With Nicholas Knisley and Robert Benard returning, Northgate will have a great front duo that will help them stay in contention with all of the aforementioned teams. The challenge for Northgate will be bringing along their younger athletes and getting them acclimated to high-stakes varsity races. If they can do that, expect Northgate to be in the hunt for a spot to state

Individual rankings:

Campolindo will figure predominately in these rankings based on their returning performances. Alex Lodewick has the inside track for the individual win but Jude Devries has flashed plenty of potential in the past and will also challenge for the top spot.

  1. Alex Lodewick (Campolindo)
  2. Jude Devries (Montgomery)
  3. Blake Webster (Campolindo)
  4. Connor McGhee (Campolindo)
  5. James Lyons (Tamalpais)
  6. Nicholas Knisley (Northgate)
  7. Jack Wilson (Maria Carrillo)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Stanford Cross Country Invitational

I have gotten a lot of questions about the potential return of the Stanford Cross Country Invitational and it sounds like that Invitational will not be taking place this season once again. There is a possibility that it might return in the future but for now, it will not take place in 2022. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Crystal Springs Course clean up day this Saturday (8:00am to 1:00pm)

If you are free this Saturday (August 13th), there will be a group of coaches and athletes cleaning up the Crystal Springs course in preparation for the 2022 season. Please check out this LINK for all the info about this event. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Former Monte Vista runner Brooke Starn wins SF Marathon


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