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)

No comments:

Popular Posts