Division 1 Boys
Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau of Bellarmine is the top D1 returner from 2016. (Orlando Ramirez/USA Today)
Runner to beat: Justin Hazell, El Camino Real
Team to beat: Great Oak
Justin Hazell of El Camino Real is a two-time LA City champion and favorite at State. (Jeffrey Parenti)
El Camino Real senior Justin Hazell is the state leader at both three miles and 5,000 meters. The LA City champion was fourth at the CIF State Meet as a junior and appears ready to take the title. Bellarmine's Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau is the top returner from last year's State final but his posted times are well off those of the relentless Hazell. Nine of the top 20 from last year are back, including Great Oak's Carlos Carvajal and Roosevelt's Tyler Spencer. They finished 13-14 among team-scoring runners last year. Spencer was third and Carvajal fourth at Saturday's CIF-Southern Section final, won by Loyola's Shane Bissell (14:39.40) who out-sprinted Crescenta Valley's Colin Fitzgerald to win by .50 seconds. Fitzgerald was 23rd as a sophomore. Don't sleep on Dana Hills' senior Jack Landgraf. He has the No. 3 three-mile time in the state, was 12th overall at State last year, and was 10th as a sophomore. He got caught up in the huge pack that dominated the section final and crossed in 20th. Redemption can be a huge motivator. Two other 2015 top-40 sophomore stars are Burbank Burroughs' Jagdeep Chahal and Rancho Cucamonga's Darius Riley. They were 31st and 36th, respectively, as sophomores. (Beaudion-Rousseau was 38th.) Riley was 17th last year and is the No. 8 returner. Chahal and Riley went 5-6 at Saturday's section final. Non-seniors to watch include juniors Simon Fuller (Dana Hills), William Frankenfeld (Long Beach Poly), Marcus Mota (Stockdale) and sophomores Gabriel Abbes (Great Oak), Jace Aschbrenner (Newbury Park), and Matt Strangio (Charmichael Jesuit).
Great Oak, the Flo50 top-ranked team, shoots for a fourth consecutive State D1 title. (Jeffrey Parenti)
Would you believe that Great Oak's consecutive State title streak is actually longer than it's CIF-SS Divisional streak? It's true! The Wolfpack, who have now won three consecutive section titles, are going after their fourth consecutive State D1 crown. Only two of their seven on the 2016 State Final line were seniors. In returning four runners who competed for the Wolfpack at NXN last year, it's no wonder Great Oak is the prohibitive favorite here and the nation's top-ranked team in the lastest Flo50 Rankings. In that streak, they've scored 101, 43 and 66 points last season to beat runner-up Dana Hills each year. Eastvale Roosevelt was a distant second to the Wolfpack at the Section final, just five points in front of third-place Dana Hills. A virtual meet breakdown of the top teams at three miles and at 5K, give Dana Hills the win over Great Oak, El Toro, Crescenta Valley and Long Beach Poly at three miles. McFarland is second to Great Oak with Dana Hills third, followed by Roosevelt and Crescenta Valley at 5K. The Woodward Park State Championship course is 5,000 meters.
Roosevelt's Tyler Spencer (414), Great Oak's Carlos Carvajal (241): Top runners on top teams (Lizette Adams)
More CIF State Meet Coverage:
State Leaders: Three Mile Run
State Leaders: 5,000 Meters