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Cross-Country Rankings

By Peter Brewer, Castro Valley HS

Forwarded on 9/18 & Released on 9/21, 2004




2004 North Coast --CC-> Rankings
August 2004
By Petere Brewer, Castro Valley HS

       (Preliminary Note: Yes, I know the season is a good 4 weeks old already, but here is a version of the pre-season Rankings nonetheless. Even as I finish typing up my notes, I know that much of this information is outdated, and some situations are radically different. Still, this is the best prognostication I could do given the previois season and the track season. What happens now is the magic/lunacy of the season in progress.) -PB

      Summer draws to a close, and classes are about to begin. The last hot weekends of the summer linger on, and the crisper autumn afternoons are yet just a hope. Footsteps plod and lungs labor as the next group of cross country stars begin the season that all hope will end in a share of
glory, accomplishment and success.
      The veterans return, the rookies arrive, and the coaches plot in the marvelous mix that is North Coast cross country. This humble missive is just an attempt to sort out the beginning of the current season. The best
preliminary prognostications can do little more than arrange data and make guesses. Be assured that some runners will exceed all expectations and rise to tremendous levels of achievement; others will fall short of their
goals. Unknowns will burst on the scene and astound us all.
       The primarily sources of information for these rankings comes from the NCS-MOCand State cross country results of last year, as well as the league, subsection, MOC, and State Meet track results. Since I had
incomplete track records for league finals and subsections, I may have missed an individual or a time. I apologize. However, that only lends more suspense to the season as previously unknown or undetected
individuals become major players later on. Here is the season-opening salvo that strives to put together an initial commentary on the North Coast cross country scene. Read on.

DIVISION I (1500 +)

1. Amador Valley
The Dons move from D-II to D-I this year and immediately assume the favorite’s mantle. They r return 5 of 7 from last year’s squad that took 6th at the State Meet last year. Seniors Caitlin McDonald (15th-19:44 MOC
D-II, 27th 19:04 State D-II) and Kendall Nemeth (8th-19:25 MOC D-II, 28th-19:05 State D-II) lead the team. McDonald posted quality track times (2:23.37/5:11.32) as well.

2. Monte Vista
The Mustangs are defending D-I champs, and are still a factor. With 4 returnees they have a veteran core to contend with. Sophomore Claire Hoppens (13th-21:18 MOC; 107th-20;37 State) and senior Amanda Swan (14th- 21:27 MOC; 106th-20;36 State) are the team leaders. Hoppens posted a good 5;14.00-1600 and Swan ran 2:24.40-800 during the spring season.

3. Foothill
The Falcons moved up from D-II this year. The maIn returner from last year is sophomore Ashley Stratman (12th-19;39 MOC D-II; 34th-18:56 State D-II). The team however posted some very good track marks. Stratman notched a 5:21.79/11:13.72. Junior teammates Sarah Richmond (5:27.79/ 11:51.15), Jenna Gailey (2:18.52) and Lindsay Briner (2:24.42) provide some potential firepower this fall.

4. Castro Valley
The Trojans return the whole kit and caboodle. Junior Jessica LaPonte leads the troops (5th-20;24 MOC; 96th-19:57 State). She posted track PR’s of 5:34.9-1600 and 12:09.65-3200. The remaining top 5 spent the spring on the swim team.

5. Antioch
Led by sophomore Mellie Regalado (10th-20:58 MOC; 123rd-20:12 State) the young Panthers appear to be on the rise. They bring back nearly everyone and ran last year in a fairly tight cluster.

Honorable Mention: Deer Valley
The Wolverines only return 3 of last year’s MOC runnerup squad, but one of them is team leader senior Jenna Carvajal (4th-20:12 M)C, 42nd-19:28 State) who also ran well in track (2:23.86/11:52.80)

DIVISION II (1150-1499)

1. College Park -- the Falcons are the defending state champions, after all, and return 3 of their top 5 from last year including a horde of developing younger runners. They are also top-ranked in the state in this division. Junior Nicole Pennes (4th-18:53 MOC, 10th-18:24 State) is the lead runner this year. She also had a pretty track season posting 4:55.14/10:57.45 and finishing with an a appearance at the State Meet. She is ably backed up by veterans sophomore Kelsey Delara (5th-19:10 MOC, 14th 18:38 State, 5:05.14/11:11.03) and junior Lizzy Eskildsen (10th-19:31 MOC, 32nd-19:12 State).

2. Granada -- The Matadors have senior Elizabeth Ottenheimer (21st-20:23) who also put in a 5:16.47/12:11.64 track season. She is joined by 5 returning teammates who missed out on a state meet team berth by one place last year. Sophomore Annica Stull-Lane (12:41.61) and junior Satina Sanford (12:48.01) had solid track seasons as well.

3. Eureka -- the Loggers return the entire squad from the Del Norte league. Their frontrunners are senior Nicole Beare (28th-20:22 MOC, 5:39.93) and sophomore Kesslyn Martin (36th-20:46 MOC, 5:43.87)

4. Northgate -- the Broncos move up a division this year, and have 5 returnees. Junior Jenny Perham (11th-19:56 MOC, 42nd 19:32 State) and senior Kelly Cureton (23rd-20:43 MOC, 2:32.08) will pace the team in the ultra-tough DFAL.

5. Clayton Valley -- The Eagles drop down a division this year, and have 6 veterans to stock the varsity with. Juniors Elise Fox (12th-21:16 MOC, 5:29.15) and Lindsay Vanderstraten (15th-21:19 MOC, 5:41.12/12:37.97) will lead their effort this year.

Honorable Mention: Carondelet -- The Cougars will have to rebuild, but they start with formidable upfront power in returning senior Ashleigh Montgomery (19th-18:52 MOC, 21st-18:49 State, 6:23.08/5:06.30/11:28.24) to handle the upfront chores for them.

DIVISION III (811-1149)

1. Miramonte -- the defending state champions get the nod here again. The Matadors bring back 6 veterans and have one of the largest squads in the section to draw on for replacements. Sophomore Jenny Bergren is the remarkable lead runner (2nd-18:39 MOC, 4th 18:12 State, 2:23.19/506.49). She is backed up by a strong squad which includes sophomore Lindsay Chan (8th-19:47 MOC, 21st 19:20 State), sophomore Becky Penskar (10th-19:53 MOC, 30th-19:35 State), senior Diana Chernikova (13th-20:20 MOC, 31st-
19:37 State, 5:39.00/11:49.0), junior Kelsey Casey (16th-20:00 MOC, 70th 20:30 State, 2:25.95) and senior Lauren Pinzer (17th-20:26 MOC, 32nd-19:37 State, 5:32.0/12:13.0). They will be bolstered by junior Bret Scorfiero who showed good improvement in track (2:30.93/5:27.83). Miramonte also has been anointed number 1 in the State Rankings as well.

2. Maria Carillo -- If it were not for Miramonte, Maria Carillo could have grounds for claiming top state ranking. As it is, they hold 5th place in the state pre-season rankings. This is a young squad, but they are all veterans and very deep. Senior Amy Robinson is the power up front (7th-19:22 MOC, 12th-18:33 State, 5:00.19/11:21.40). She is very capably backed up by junior Leanne Fogg (16th-19:46 MOC, 49th-19:35 State, 11:34.74), sophomore Kristin Sanzari (23rd-20:11 MOC, 78th-20:11 State, 2:14.38) who also appeared in the State track meet in the 800, and junior Kristin Fladseth (26th-20:23 MOC, 2:22.76).

3. Campolindo -- The Cougars are no slouches them selves. Runners-up to Miramonte at the league, NCS and State levels, they bring back 4 pretty good runners. Sophomore Catherine Murrillo looks to be the leader this year (7th-19:43 MOC, 17th-19:14 State, 5:26.80). She is supported by senior April Dyer (21st-20:40 MOC, 51st 20:04 State), junior Mira Patel (25th-20:48 MOC, 69th-20:30 State, 2:26.28) and junior Marie Casabonne (26th-20:48 MOC, 28th-19:28 State, 11:38.70). Campolindo enjoys a high state ranking in 6th place.

4. Acalanes -- The Dons the best 4th ranked team in the NCS. State ranked at 8th, they too have a large, deep, and talented veteran squad returning for 2004. Junior Mo Huber is the power here (3rd-18:53 MOC, 6th 18:27 State, 4:57.41) and also appeared in the track State Meet in the 1600. She is closely followed by senior Drusia Dickinson (9th-18:50 MOC, 14th-19:13 State, 2:15.82)

5. Redwood -- Another deep and experienced squad vies for recognition is the very strong D-III division. The Giants are led by senior Amanda Stewart (15th-20:18 MOC) and cluster all 7 girls with 1:20 of her. This
is a good pack to start with, and most of them showed good speed during track as well. Stewart (12:07.70) and sophomore Megan Schmitt (12:22.06) did well in the 3200, junior Claire Ross (5:20.55) and senior Sarah Kinney (5:22.84) paced the squad in the 1600, and seniors Kelly Coplin (2:22.80) and Natalie Kohn (2:27.33) handled the 800 chores.

Honorable Mention -- Tamalpais -- This veteran team is among many others that return all of their top 7. 10th in the D-IV state meet last year, Tam is led by senior Robin Hextrum (8th-20:02 MOC, 24th-19:53 State). The pack stretches out at the back.

An individual to watch for is Drake sophomore Katelyn Cavelli who competed in D-IV last year (1st-19:09 MOC, 5th 18:49 State). She also did very well in track (5:13.75/10:49.54) and was a state meet performer in the 3200.

DIVISION IV (351-810)

1. Piedmont -- The Highlanders are the story here. They enjoy a #3 state ranking, even though they return but three of last year’s excellent squad. However, these are the top 3 for them. The senior Sparks twins again lead the way. Jehan (3rd-19:25 MOC, 6th-18:58 State, 5:03.79/ 11:20.16) is narrowly the leader. Sister Naomi is right behind (6th- 20:14 MOC, 26th-19:54 State, 2:13.31) and took that 800 time to the state meet in track as well.

2. Arcata -- Junior Yasmine White leads this young, but veteran, team that returns its top 7 intact. White (10th-20:44 MOC, 29th-19:53 State) had a breakthrough in track and took a 10:50.69 3200 to the state meet in the spring.

3. Ursuline -- The Bears feature front running junior Mariele Ponticello (11th-20:53 MOC, 43rd-20:21 State). Behind her a pack of 5 returning veterans spreads out over about 90 seconds.

4. Moreau Catholic -- The Mariners always have a large squad, and will be relying in large part on the front-running talents of their lead runner senior Corinne Yee (7th-20:36 MOC, 20th 19:35 State, 12:00.0)

5. Healdsburg -- Junior Amanda Atkinson (5th-20:08 MOC, 46th-20:09 State) will be leading the squad again this year.

An individual to watch out for is the talented senior Gabi Rios-Sotelo of St. Mary’s (4th-20:07 MOC) who came on strong during track (4:55.49/ 11:18.52) to earn a trip to the state meet in the 1600.

DIVISION V (1-350)

1. University -- It seems to be a perpetual tune, ranking the Red Devils #1 each year, but as defending state champions returning 6 out of 7 varsity girls, I’d say they deserve it. They are also top ranked in the
state. Senior Grace Hunter (1st-20:20 MOC, 6th 19:36 State, 2:22.16/ 5:07.39/11:27.37) isthe clear leader, closely followed by sophomore Andrea Immof (3rd-20:36 MOC, 4th-19:26 State).

2. College Prep -- Junior Diana Trump (6th-21:10 MOC, 8th-20:09 State) leads a pack of 6 veterans into the 2004 season. College Prep holds down #5 on the state rankings so far.

3. Lick Wilmerding -- With all seven veterans returning, hopes are high here. Junior Charlotte Gjested (8th-21:12 MOC, 9th-20:11 State) is the team leader. Lick is also ranked in the state polls, coming in at #10.

4. Convent -- Again, a sea of veterans returns for the 2004 season. Junior Morgan McGovern (5th-21:05 MOC, 38th-21:09 State) is the force in front.

5. Berean Christian -- The Eagles have become a major factor recently. Sophomore Ruth Adamaiec (16th-22:07 MOC) is the lead runner with some good track marks to back it up (5:17.12/12:23.5).

DIVISION I (1500 +)

1. DeLaSalle -- The Spartans are the highest ranking NCS team on the state level, and for good reason. They return 5 of 7 off last year’s NCS champikosnhip team that also placed 8th at the State Meet, and rumor has
it that phenom junior Tom Cox is fully back from injuries that robbed him of his entire sophomore season. Junior Alex Harkins(5th-16:47 MOC, 33rd- 16:14 State, 4:34.65) and senior James McGuire (6th - 16:53 MOC, 54th 16:35 State, 4:34.81) are the other top reurnees from a closely clustered bunch.

2. Monte Vista -- The Mustangs may not be as deep as DeLaSalle, but they have upfront the duo of junior Chris Simpson (15th - 17:18 MOC, 4:32.17/ 9:57.80) and senior Matt Bienioser (17th - 17:20 MOC, 4:38.54) and a large team to draw from.

3. Castro Valley -- Sophomore Matt Riley (27th-17:14 MOC) leads a bunched group of veterans.

4. Amador Valley -- Senior Ben Delano (23rd - 17:28 MOC) leads an enigmatic clump who return almost the whole squad. Reclassified up from D-II, the Dons try to redefine themselves on the D-I level.

5. Foothill -- the Falcons apparently will be relying on senior experience led by Eric Francisco who popped a 4:36.42 during track and Brian Mancinie who is their top returner from cross country lawst year.

Equally enigmatic -- Deer Valley and Liberty -- these schools are seriously retooling their teams, but have large squads and aggressvie coaching staffs. After DLS, none of the D-I teams presents a really strong case, so look for some movement in these rankings over the season.

DIVISION II ( 1150-1499)
1. College Park is know for its large squad, and this large pool of candidates is led by seniors Henry Kent (5th - 16:46 MOC, 20th - 16:13 State, 1:54.85) and Jeff Smith (11th - 16:58 MOC, 38th - 16:31 State).

2. San Ramon also boasts large numbers each year, and this year’s version of the Wolves is led by senior Tristan Blair (2nd -- 16:24 MOC, 9th -- State, 4:22.36).

3. Clayton Valley -- the Eagles were the surprise runners-up to DLS in D-I last year at MOC, and now are reclassified to D-II. They will pinning this year’s hopes on seniors Will Moser (10th- 17:05 MOC, 82nd- 16:59 State) and Colin Szenner (18th-17:21 MOC, 77th-16:55 State, 4:34.80).

4. Alameda -- The Hornets are relying on a veteran squad that returns almost intace from last year. The projected front-runners are seniors Ben Mahon (25th-17:31 MOC) and Marty Skeels 27th - 17:33 MOC).

5. American -- The Eagles are coming off two consecutive MVAL titles, and are rebuilding seriously. However, they appear to be forming this year’s squad around returnees Jason Koide and Richard Ho.

Individuals that will impinge on the championship season include junior Ryan Lewis of Ygnacio Valley, who is coming off an injury-filled year but appears to be fully recovered. He won the BVAL meet but suffered a
seperated shoulder in a fall. He came back to record a 4:29.33/9:5/98 double in track. Junior Mauricio Hurtado of Hayward is also one to watch, running 12th -7:01 MOC, 86th-16:54 State as well as running a 2:02.25/ 4:29.79 double in track.

DIVISION III (811-1149)
1. Maria Carrillo -- dropping down from Division II, Maria looks very strong. Junior Michael Brew comes back as their frontrunner (10th - 16:56 MOC, 49th-16:40 State), and is followed by a cluster of 4 fellow returnees not so far behind.

2. Miramonte -- the Matadors were strong last year, and look to be even stronger this year. Seniors Daniel Mejia (6th-16:37 MOC) and Daryl Zalan (9th-17:18 MOC, 29th-16:28 State) lead a nicely bunched pack that also had a good track season.

3. Campolindo -- Junior Chris Viscaino (4th-16:35 MOC, 43rd 16:41 State, 9:33.66) and senior Tyler PInes (5th - 16:35 MOC, 14th - 16:16 State, 9:55.96) return for the defending champions, and even though they lose 4 of 7, Campolindo has the largest team in the section (rumored to be over 170) to work with.

4. Acalanes -- the Dons also boast a huge team (125+) and bring back almost the complete team from last year. Sophomore Joe Thomas (18th-17:14 MOC, 1:59.03) and Junior Ryan Lawson (21st-17:18 MOC, 4:37.32) come back as the lead runners. Acalanes has the privilege/burden/curse of being in the toughest league in NCS with College Park, Miramonte, and Campolindo all being state-ranked.

5. Redwood -- the Giants start and end with senior Jake Schmitt (1st-15:55 MOC, 3rd-15:29 State, 4:19.64/9:15.81). This year he has a senior-laden team of returning teammates to bolster the team chances behind him.

A individual to watch out for is senior Dawitt Tesfasilassie of Piner, who despite frequent injury was able to post a 4:16.66/9:39.29 double at MOC track, and carry that 1600 time tot he State Meet.

DIVISION IV (351-810)
1. Moreau Catholic -- The Mariners finished off last year with a top ten finish at the State Meet, and have the audacity to return their top 6. Team leaders include seniors Jonathan Pineda (10th-17:24 MOC, 49th-17:22
State), Tony Quintana (15th-17:42 MOC, 54th-17:08 State, 4:31.42/9:51.86) and Nick Toda (22nd-17:49 MOC, 22nd-16:48 State, 4:38.34).

2. Piedmont -- the Highlanders also return 6 of 7 from a successful 2003 season. Junior Ricky Griffith (5th-17:04 MOC, 17th-16:39 State, 9:50.58) and sophomore Mark Geraldi (6th-17:15 MOC, 20th-16:59 State, 9:41.44) are at the fore of a strong team.

3. Cardinal Newman -- Hoping to repeat their state meet appearance of last year, Newman returns 5 veterans led by senior Tim Cumbo (16th-17:42 MOC, 72nd-17:42 State)

4. St. Mary’s -- the Panthers are an improving program, and have at the front junior Tommy Velasquez (24th-18:01 MOC). It remains to be seen if the veterans can step to challenge for a state meet spot.

5. Arcata -- the team hopes here rest on senior John Figueirido (1st-16:10 MOC, 3rd-15:42 State, 9:19.76). Whether he will have the necessary supporting cast to take a team on to the state meet is the question, but
Arcata has a strong running tradition and typically runs very competitively at the end of each season.

DIVISION V (1-3500
1. University -- In a division that is always hard to call, the one easy pick is University. For the umpteenth year, the Red Devils get the top nod. A tight cluster of seniors Robbie Hagbom and Bremmer Morris, junior
David Lee and sophomore Sam Steyor return, all having run with 13 seconds (17:17-17:30) of each other in the 2003 state meet.

2. Lick Wilmerding -- Lick gets a look here based on three returning seniors Alex Wu (24th-18:29 MOC), Yuta Nakajima (29th-18:53 MOC) and Greg Pantell (30th-19:05 MOC) being able to reprise their clustering.

3. Berean Christian -- The Eagles are becoming a regular feature in the rankings, and look to stay that way as they build a team this year behind junior Todd twins Corey (16th-18:12 MOC, 30th 17:21 State, 10:16.40) and Kyle (17th-18:12 MOC, 49th-17:39 State).

4 Crystal Springs Uplands -- CSU has rapidly established itself as a contender, and hope to fashion their season around sophomore Simon Neely (34th-19:11 MOC) and 3 other returnees.

5. Head Royce -- Senior Conrad Murphy (8th-17:56 MOC, 63rd-18:01 State) is the leading returnee. They h ave some rebuilding to do.

These rankings are the ramblings of Peter Brewer, Castro Valley coach. Please let me know what you think, and how wrong I really am. Send hosannas or hate mail, praise or opprobrium, accolades or acrimony, to


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