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)


Unknown said...

This is gonna be a fun and interesting year for sure!

Unknown said...

I'd love to see a D5 preview. Its looking to be a great Crystal vs Lick battle.

Albert Caruana said...

Don't forget Menlo.

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