Who is the Best Female HS XC Runner in California History?

At the beginning of this season, we wanted to identify the top XC program in California history. We narrowed the field down to 16 teams, and then you chose the winner through a bracket-style series of polls.

This week, we want you to help us decide the top individual runners ever from our state!  We're going to use a similar format, but we have more candidates so we're separating the girls and boys in two different "tournaments." There are so many potential candidates, in fact, that we needed some outside perspectives to assist us in narrowing down the lists. We contacted several long-time California coaches, most notably Ken Reeves, currently at Foothill Tech and the former architecht of the very successful Nordhoff program (one of the teams in our earlier tournament). Most of the comments below are his, but some are mine (which are aided by the input of Walt Lange, Hal Harkness, Peter Brewer, Bill Leung, Jeremy Mattern, John Pelster, and Charles Alexander).

Here is the raw list of top runners in state history that we generated, in no particular order. They will be seeded, and we will begin voting tomorrow!

Voting is Open!

Round 1 - Round 2 - Round 3 - Round 4 - Round 5

The #1 Seeds

Jordan Hasay, Mission Prep:

4 time state champ in D5, had fastest time of all divisions in 3 of those 4 wins.  2 time Footlocker National Champ. 10th All-Time at Woodward Park, #2 All-Time at Mt. SAC. Two-time USATF Junior XC champion, two-time USATF Junior 1500 champion. Ran 4:39 for 1600, 9:52 for 3200.

Julia Stamps, Santa Rosa:

Course record performance to win regionals at Woodward Park (16:45). Won nationals in 1994 in 16:41. Crashed in 1995 just before the end and DNF, falling just before the finish in 1996. 3 time state champ. #2 performer in Woodward Park history to this day, with #3 & #4 times there.

Deena Drossin, Agoura:

First four time Ventura County Champion in cross-country, Deena was also a 3-time CIF SS and 3-time California State Champion. She was also a four-time Kinney National qualifier, finishing 6th as a senior. She ran a best of 17:07 at Woodward Park and 17:16 at Mt. Sac and was the former freshman course record holder at Mt. Sac. Was selected for CIF SS 100th anniversary as one of the 100 best athletes in Southern Section history. 

Sarah Baxter, Simi Valley:

4 time state champ, Mt. Sac Record Holder. NXN national champion in 2011 and 2012. All-Time Woodward Park record holder at 16:40 (also ran #2 time of 16:43).

The #2 Seeds

Sarah Bei, Montgomery:

3 time Footlocker top 10, 2000 National Champ. 10th as a frosh. One of 3 4-time state champs (Hasay and Baxter are the others).

Amy Skieresz, Agoura:

Three-time Ventura County, CIF SS and California State champion in cross-country. She had a best of 17:24 at Mt. Sac and 17:27 at Woodward Park. Amy was also a two- time Footlocker National qualifier, finishing third in 1992. Improving as a collegiate, Amy won seven individual NCAA championships as a runner at University of Arizona and earned 10 All American awards during her career.

Vickie Cook, Chaminade and Alemany:

3 time Kinney top 10 finisher (2nd in 1980), 2 time CIF SS champion, 7 CIF SS track individual titles, 3 time CA state champion in 3200.  Fastest 3200 meter runner in nation in 1980.

Kauren Tarver, Serrano:

One of 3 SS athletes who have captured 4 individual SS CC titles (Elaine Canchola and Sarah Baxter are the other two). 2 time state champion and four time Footlocker National Qualifier.

The #3 Seeds

Kim Mortensen, Thousand Oaks:

Kim was the 1995 Ventura County champion and the 1994 and 1995 CIF SS 1A Champion. She finished second in the state meet and then won the Kinney National Championship, becoming the only girl in Ventura County history to do so in 1995. Kim ran 17:14 at Mt. Sac and 17:25 at Woodward Park.

Amber Trotter, Ukiah:

Maybe a one year wonder, but was extremely impressive. 2001 Foot Locker National Champion in 16:24, winning by 40 seconds. Doug Speck called her "probably the top harrier in Golden State history on this day." 2nd in state as a junior, D1 state champ as a senior. 16:16 at Mt. Sac. #3 All-Time Performer at Woodward Park.

Kira Jorgensen, Rancho Buena Vista:

1987 Foot Locker National Champion. 1987 D2 state champ, 1988 D1 state champ. 

Polly Plumer, University of Irvine:

Star of the University team that held Mt. Sac team record for years, considered one of the best high school teams ever assembled.  Polly also had the national mile record and the team set the national DMR record that stood for 18 years (11:44.53)

The #4 Seeds

Tania Fischer, Chaminade

1983 National Champ. finished her high school career with 2 CIF SS titles and finished high school with the #4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 marks on the Mt. Sac course.

Kristen Gordon, Carondelet:

1996 Foot Locker National Champion. D3 state champion in 1996, 2nd in 1995, top 10 all 4 years.

Fiona O'Keeffe, Davis Senior

2013 & 2014 CIF State Champion, 4th at NXN in both years. Tied for 4th all-time at Woodward Park.

Anita Siraki, Hoover:

1999 & 2000 CIF State Champion (4th in 1998). 4th in 1999 Foot Locker Nationals, 2nd in 2000. Tied for 4th all-time at Woodward Park, one of 6 CA girls ever to break 17 there. Two-time 3200 national champion.

The #5 Seeds

Milena Glusac, Fallbrook:

2 time state champ and national 3K champ. Undefeated senior year until taking 2nd at Kinney Nationals.

Cory Schubert, Del Mar

Former national record holder in the 3200. 3rd at Kinney in 1982. Won state in 1600/3200 the next spring with 4:44 and 10:08 double

Kirsten O'Hara, Palos Verdes:

5th at Kinney in 1983--undefeated senior year in CC. Set the Mt. Sac record at 17:16 that year and won state 3200.

Cheri Williams, Livermore:

Former National record holder in 2 mile. won state 16 and 32 in 1978. Best of 10:09.8. 2:09.2 800, 4:43.4 16.