2017 North Coast Section MOC XC Meet Preview

North Coast Section
November 18, 2017-Hayward High School
NCS/Les Schwab Cross Country Championships Race Schedule and Preview

 Welcome to the 2017 North Coast Section Cross Country Meet of Champions.  Hayward High School will once again be the host for the 14th straight year with a slightly altered course due to construction.  The three-mile course features multiple loops, which allows spectators to view much of the course from the middle of the grass fields.

RACE SCHEDULE (Same order as CA State Meet)
WALK THE COURSE 7:00am - 8:15am
8:30am      Division V Girls' Race
9:05am      Division I Girls' Race
9:35am      Division V Boys' Race
10:05am     Division I Boys' Race
10:35am     Division II Girls' Race
11:05am     Division III Boys' Race
11:35am     Division IV Girls' Race
12:05pm     Division II Boys' Race
12:35pm     Division III Girls' Race
1:05pm       Division IV Boys' Race 

Awards Schedule: (in the gymnasium)
10:00am     Division V Girls
10:20am     Division V Boys
10:40am     Division I Girls
11:00am     Division I Boys
11:20am     Division II Girls
11:50am     Division III Boys
12:25pm     Division IV Girls
12:55pm     Division II Boys
1:30pm      Division III Girls
1:55pm      Division IV Boys 

The NCS Divisions are as follows:
Division I        2,665 and above        
Division II       1,880 - 2,664           
Division III      1,300 - 1,879           
Division IV       601 - 1,299 
Division V        600 and fewer           

NCS Preview:
Thank you very much to all the coaches and athletes who helped me break down each division.  The following is my best attempt to predict the top 5-7 teams as well as the top individuals for each division (boys and girls) in today's section meet.  The teams from this meet that will qualify for the State Meet at Woodward Park in Fresno on November 25th are noted for each division.  The top 5 individuals from each race will also qualify to the state meet provided they are in the top 12 when 2 teams qualify, top 14 when 3 teams qualify, top 16 when 4 teams qualify, top 18 when 5 teams qualify and top 20 when 6 teams qualify.

The winning teams in each division will receive plaques.  The top 2 teams in each division will receive pennants.  The top 3 teams in each division will receive medals.  Seven (7) medals will be provided per team of seven.  The top 7 individuals in each race will receive medals. 

Division I
Girls - (Top 2 teams advance to state meet):
1.    Dougherty Valley
2.    California
3.    James Logan
4.    Berkeley
5.    Castro Valley

The favorite to win the individual title is a familiar name to Track and Field fans. As a sophomore and junior, California's Alyssa Brewer became the dominant 800-meter runner in our state. She captured two state titles in the event and will be favored once again in the spring. This fall, Brewer has participated in cross country for the first time and has more than held her own against some of the top runners in this section. The runners that will keep her honest include Polina Popova and Aushmitha Grewel of Dougherty Valley, Brewer's teammate Kayla Neuman and Jiana Cortero of Freedom. 

Boys - (Top 2 teams advance to state meet):
1.    Dougherty Valley
2.    James Logan
3.    Castro Valley
4.    California
5.    Berkeley

Dougherty Valley 2017 grad Neil Braganza won the section title last year and collected a state meet medal with his ninth-place finish. One of his former teammates should secure the victory here and at this point, Tommy Bell is the runner trending upward. He finished seventh in the uber competitive EBAL final. Castro Valley senior Reilly Berberian is the top returner from last year's section meet as he finished in fourth place behind three seniors. Bell's teammate, Lucas Badcock, has proven that he can certainly contend for the individual title as well and has a season best of 15:00 on the shortened Hayward course at the Mariner Invitational. 

 Division II
Girls - (Top 3 teams advance to state meet):
1.    Granada
2.    San Ramon Valley
3.    Monte Vista
4.    Liberty
5.    Dublin/Amador Valley/College Park 

Just as the Granada girls will be strong favorites to win, their lead runner, Colleen McCandless, will be favored to win the individual title. She has carried the mantle of #1 runner all season and is coming off an individual league title. Teammates Gracie Dupuis and Kalea Bartolotto finished right behind McCandless and will be looking for a similar finish here. San Ramon Valley senior Amanda Olla and Monte Vista sophomore Kelly Wilson will be looking to lead their respective teams with strong individual finishes. Two more runners to keep an eye on both won their respective league titles and they are Julia Gonzalez of Liberty and Myrthe Bellers of Irvington.

Boys - (Top 3 teams advance to state meet):
1.    Dublin
2.    Granada
3.    De La Salle
4.    Amador Valley
5.    Heritage 

The leading returner from last year's meet is John Bennett of Granada. He finished in 2nd place at this year's EBAL final behind fellow senior, Adrian Schroeder of Dublin. Loic Scamparin and Gaurav Phanse should give Dublin quite a presence up front. DLS duo Connor Livingston and Harrison Fisher will be aiming for a top finish here. Heritage senior Jett Charvet, who stunned many with his 800m state title, should not be overlooked and if he is within striking distance, watch out.

Division III
Girls - (Top 4 teams advance to state meet):
1.    Campolindo
2.    Maria Carrillo
3.    Alameda
4.    Livermore
5.   Carondelet/Las Lomas

Glennis Murphy and Gillian Wagner recorded an impressive top 2 finish at both section and state meets last year. With Murphy now competing for Dartmouth, Wagner has emerged as the favorite here. She should be followed by the two Campolindo girls, Isabella Chao and Jenna Miles. Maria Carrillo's lead runner, Syndie Rivas as well as Lauren Lum from Alameda will also contend for a top finish as they both try to lead their respective teams to the state meet. Concord's Rayna Stanziano will not be afraid to join lead pack and will be a dangerous threat.

Boys - (Top 4 teams advance to state meet):
1.    Maria Carrillo
2.    Campolindo
3.    Redwood
4.    Las Lomas
5.    Tamalpais

If you ask for the biggest, hands down, individual favorite in the entire meet, Redwood's junior Liam Anderson, is your runner. His resume during his first two high school years can be compared favorably against some of the all-time section best. He qualified for NXN as a sophomore and recorded personal bests of 4:11.74 and 9:03.40 on the track. He will look to lock up his second section title before taking on the best runners in the state at Woodward Park. The runners that will try to keep Anderson within sight include Preston Norris of Las Lomas, Teddy Buckley of Campolindo, Ben Lawson of Maria Carrillo, Michael Wheeler of Northgate and Greg Aufderheide of Livermore.

 Division IV
Girls - (Top 4 teams advance to state meet):
1.    Piedmont
2.    Bishop O'Dowd
3.    Miramonte
4.    Sir Francis Drake
5.    Arcata/Moreau Catholic

Haskell did win the section individual title comfortably last year but at this point, she is a wildcard competitor. The girls in contention for an individual title include Marissa D'Atri of Alhambra (second last year), Gabrielle Peterson of Healdsburg (third last year), Hannah Chau of Justin-Siena (tenth last year) and Riley Harmon of Albany (twelfth last year). A couple of other runners who also placed highly last year are Cynthia Rosales of Piner and Shelby Nelson of Encinal. The front pack should include all the runners I mentioned and we could have quite a fantastic finish to determine this year's individual champion.

Boys - (Top 3 teams advance to state meet):
1.    Sir Francis Drake
2.    Bishop O'Dowd
3.    Piner
4.    Moreau Catholic
5.    Miramonte/Piedmont/Marin Catholic

The top returner from last year's section meet is San Rafael senior, Munir Kabbara. As a freshman, Kabbara was part of his school's section winning team and this will be his last opportunity for his first individual section title. He will be chased by a very familiar Sir Francis Drake pack that will include Gabriel Reuter, Cooper McCarthy and Nicco Pompili. Other individuals that shouldn't be overlooked are James Bull of Miramonte, Jonny Vargas of Piner, Lyle Rumon of Marin Catholic and Cole Kretlow and Thomas Murphy of Bishop O'Dowd.

 Division V
Girls - (Top 6 teams advance to state meet):
1.    SF University
2.    Lick-Wilmerding
3.    St. Joseph Notre Dame
4.    Sonoma Academy
5.    Marin Academy
6.    Head-Royce/College Prep

Sonoma Academy senior Rylee Bowen captured two section and state titles in her first two high school seasons. She finished in second place at the section meet last year and will be aiming for a third section title this year. She will have another S.J.N.D. runner to contend with as junior Emily Perez is now one of the top runners in the state. One of those two runners should win this race with Perez as the favorite considering her outstanding performances this season. Bowen's sister Kate should also be up near the front along with Lick-Wilmerding sophomore Mira Terdiman and much improved SF University senior, Claire Jackson.

Boys - (Top 5 teams advance to state meet):
1.    SF University
2.    Lick-Wilmerding
3.    Sonoma Academy
4.    College Prep
5.    McKinleyville/Stuart Hall

Several male runners in this division have a chance to dream about an individual section title now that St. Joseph Notre Dame grad, Cooper Teare, has finally 'left the building'. Seniors Sean Laidlaw of Lick-Wilmerding and Isaac Teuscher of Head Royce should battle for the individual title while Sonoma Academy teammates Kheva Mann, Andre Williams and Brendan Loftus will more than keep them honest. Lick-Wilmerding junior Nick Harris did not race at his league finals but will be back for this meet which adds one more runner to the lead pack.