This division has been the most successful division for NCS at the California state meet since the addition to a 5th division in 1996. The girls have been especially potent at the state meet led by the incredible run of state meet titles by San Francisco University. Last year, NCS placed five teams in the top ten led by Lick-Wilmerding which finished an agonizing one point out of a top three podium finish. With the great depth of teams, six girls teams qualify to the state meet from NCS which is the most of any division in the section.
SJND won the last two section team titles for the girls led by Kiera Marshall, Emily Perez and Beatrice Levy. Marshall won her first section and state titles as a senior in 2016 and will be competing at the University of Washington in the fall. Losing Marshall will be a big blow for the Pilots but they will still have Perez (5:13.95/10:52.87) and Leavy (5:22.00/11:59.51), two of the better runners in this division.
The favorites at this point are the SF University girls. They finished in 3rd place at the 2016 NCS MOC meet and followed that up with an 8th place finish at the CA state meet. They will be led by Claire Jackson (2:23.87/5:17.29/11:41.61) who will have plenty of help from Sadie Scott (2:39.47/5:44.54/12:12.08), Ella Shenkar (5:53.63/12:11.12) and Maya Swain (12:16.57). They will be very strong, depth wise and if they can get a couple of their front runners into the top 10, UHS will be tough to beat.
Another contending team will be Lick-Wilmerding which finished in 2nd place last year. They will be led by sophomore Mira Terdiman (2:24.18/5:13.76/11:22.80) who will be backed by two fellow sophomores Viva Donohoe and Jeannie Moreno who both finished in the top 25 at the NCS meet. Senior Maggie Drew was one of their top 5 runners who was impressive on the track running 2:22.95. They will also be bolstered by incoming freshman Maya Lacamp who has been impressive with season bests of 2:22.38 (800m) and 4:55.54 (1500m)
Sonoma Academy will be led by the Rylee and Kate Bowen and return the majority of their team. They will also be aided by not having soccer in the fall which could result with added depth behind the talented sisters. Branson will have their own dynamic duo, Grace Dailey (2:17.56/5:01.92/11:09.69) and Callie Jones (5:02.69/11:11.78) and will return the majority of their 2016 team. Urban should contend for the last state qualifying spot and will be led by sophomore Sophia Stephens (2:20.48). College Prep and Convent will be in rebuild mode but don't count them out especially College Prep.
Rylee Bowen won section titles as a freshman and sophomore and finished in 2nd place last season. She will be favored to win again as a senior and her biggest competition will be from another St. Joseph Notre Dame runner, Emily Perez. Grace Dailey of Branson and Kate Bowen both finished in the top 5 and will be in contention as well. Callie Jones of Branson and Lick-Wilmerding sophomore Mira Terdiman are both capable of running in the low 18s on the Hayward Course which will have them at the very least involved with the front pack.
Division V Girls (Top 6 Advance to State)
1) University-Was the most impressive team during the past spring Track and Field season.
2) Lick-Wilmerding-One of the largest and most consistent NCS Division V teams.
3) St. Joseph ND-Will be aiming for their 3rd section title in a row without defending section champ.
4) Sonoma Academy-They are ranked 4th here but could easily be in the top 3.
5) Branson-Very strong top two punch but will need help to finish here.
6) Urban-Don't sleep on this team as they have quietly been in the mix for many years.
On the bubble: College Prep, Convent, Head-Royce
Top 5 returning individuals, (place) and 2016 NCS meet time:
Rylee Bowen (2) Sonoma Academy 17:38.9
Emily Perez (3) St. Joseph Notre Dame 17:42.5
Grace Dailey (4) Branson 18:02.0
Kate Bowen (5) Sonoma Academy 18:09.6
Callie Jones (6) Branson 18:13.1
Comments? Do you know of impact freshmen that will attend at any of the above schools? Feel free to chime in the section below.