San Diego Section Set to Crown Champions at Balboa Park Saturday

This article was written by guest author Steve Brand.

San Diego Section Boys Preview

Serra's Anthony Benitez. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

Division 1 Isaiah Labra led Bonita Vista to a runner-up finish in the section championships in 2016 with his second place finish overall. Labra scored a convincing victory in the Metro Conference meet at 16:02.34 and the Barons had their top five runners just 46 seconds apart. Since the first four returned from last year that made sense. Labra should get plenty of competition from El Camino's Mario Trasvina and the Barons will be pushed by Avocado East champ San Marcos in the team race. 

Division 2: For much of the season the big mystery was what was wrong with state third place finisher Sam Boone of Mt. Carmel, who was the top returnee in that division. Boone appears to be getting healthy quickly as he finished second in the Palomar League finals, just six seconds behind Del Norte's highly-rated Jaron Farnham. The two will square off again with last year's runner-up Zev Feidelberg (Del Norte) and Grossmont Conference champ Brady DeHaven (Granite Hills) also expected to be in the mix. Section No. 1 Del Norte is heavily favored in the team race.

Division 3: If there was any question Cathedral Catholic's Joaquin Martinez de Pinillos had recovered from a foot stress fracture in track, his performances at Mt. SAC and in the Western League championships, where he set a Morley Field record of 18:15.3, erased that. As usual, the push will be provided by Serra's Anthony Benitez, who can't seem to avoid Martinez since they're in the same league, and La Costa Canyon's Stanford twins, Garrett and Jacob. That's four of the top-five ranked runners in San Diego in the same race. La Costa Canyon should battle Scripps Ranch for the team title. 

Division 4: Brad Nelson of Sage Creek is the returning champion and there is no reason to believe he won't repeat off his season-long performances. Running in the Avocado West against La Costa Canyon, the Bobcats still managed to finish 5-6 with Justin Morris stepping up. For the section it might be Daniel Rubin, who was third last year. Another to watch will be San Diego High Tech's Jaden Rosenthal, the Frontier League champ. Sage Creek is the prohibitive team favorite.

Division 5: This would have been an easy pick with Noah Monroy rolling to the tape first last year. But Monroy, who started at Torrey Pines, then transferred to Maranatha Christian, switched back to Torrey Pines and is ineligible by San Diego Section rules for cross country and track. Last year's runner-up Ethan Elisara of Julian and Francis Parker's Tanner Penrose, second in the Coastal League, have the experience and speed. Francis Parker, Julian and Del Lago are the teams to beat.

SDS Rankings: Here's a report from the MileSplit database ranking the top three-mile times for all San Diego Section boys this season. 

Three Mile Run

1Finn Waters2018Cathedral Catholic (SD)14:22.40 1
2Anthony Benitez2018Serra High School (SD)14:30.90 2
3Joaquin Martinez De Pinillos2018Cathedral Catholic (SD)14:32.10 3
4Jaron Farnham2018Del Norte High School (SD)14:37.50 4
5Garrett Stanford2019La Costa Canyon (SD)14:37.60 5
6Zev Feidelberg2020Del Norte High School (SD)14:40.30 6
7Jacob Stanford2019La Costa Canyon (SD)14:43.30 7
8Danny Rubin2019Sage Creek (SD)14:49.10 8
9Alejandro Barranco2020Poway High (SD)14:50.10 9
10Jonathan Velasco2019Mission Hills (SD)14:53.30 10
11Brad Nelson2018Sage Creek (SD)14:56.50 11
12Isaiah Labra2018Bonita Vista Senior High (SD)14:57.50 12
13Stefen Rasmuson2018Mira Mesa Senior High (SD)15:03.00 13
14Nickoli Melovidov2018Mt. Carmel High (SD)15:04.90 14
15Noah Tellez-velazq2019San Pasqual High (SD)15:13.40 15
16Ethan Lamprecht2018Bonita Vista Senior High (SD)15:15.90 16.5
16Morgan Turpin2019Mt. Carmel High (SD)15:15.90 16.5
18Rashad Prince2019Orange Glen High (SD)15:16.70 18
19Sean Caster2019Mission Hills (SD)15:17.20 19
20Samuel Boone2018Mt. Carmel High (SD)15:20.20 20
21David Barajas2019Del Norte High School (SD)15:22.00 21
22Christian Mitchell2018Sage Creek (SD)15:22.40 22
23Mathis Wouters2019San Pasqual High (SD)15:25.80 23
24Chris Suzuki2018Sage Creek (SD)15:26.80 24.5
24Mitchell Scaglione2018Carlsbad High School (SD)15:26.80 24.5
26Armando Campos2018Bonita Vista Senior High (SD)15:27.00 26
27Justin Morris2019Sage Creek (SD)15:27.40 27
28Zak Beckwith2020Poway High (SD)15:27.70 28
29Moise Maombi2018Hoover Senior High (SD)15:28.80 29
30Derek Tingey2019West Hills High (SD)15:29.00 30

For the full database list of 1,000 names, click here.