State Meet Preview: Division I


Great Oak's Tori Gaitan (left), Jesuit's Matt Strangio (center) and the Great Oak duo of Cole Sawires Yager and Chris Verdugo are among the many senior stars taking the line Saturday in Division I. 

(Credits: Raymond Tran/Dan Tyree/DeAnna Turner)


Boys Division I Preview

Individual Competition

Defending champion, Jesuit senior Matt Strangio, comes in as the favorite especially considering that he broke 14:50 on the same course back in October while not 100% healthy!  

The Great Oak barrage that should place all of their scorers in the top 20 should include Chris Verdugo, Cole Sawires-Yager and Gabriel Abbes all gunning for top-10 finishes. 

But the favorite to earn the runner-up medal is Isaiah Galindo of Clovis North.  In breaking 15:13, he placed seventh at last year's State Meet.  Right behind him for eighth place in 2018, Dublin's Christopher Middleton-Pearson will put away memories of the Clovis Invite, where he competed sick and unable to break his 15:15 Woodward Park course best.   Bellarmine Prep junior, Colin Peattie is also projected for a top 10 finish. 

In a minor upset, Upland's Jeremiah Castellano pulled away for the Southern Section victory with 400 meters to go last week.  Right behind him, and also a surprise, Redondo Union sophomore Christoph Waligorski earned runner-up honors. 

Also, watch for Crescenta Valley's Dylan Wilbur and the Roosevelt duo of Raul Chavez and Michael Sahagun.  Keeping it closer to home, Paso Robles' Damian Gavilan impressed in breaking 15:20 on this course at the Central Section Finals.  

Team Competition

The men of Great Oak are not only the overwhelming favorites but since their come-from-behind victory over Newbury Park on this same course six weeks ago, they have been perched atop the national rankings. The Wolfpack should earn their sixth consecutive Division I team title as they rest their top six last week in capturing another Southern Section title.  

Northern Californian powerhouses should battle for the other two spots on the podium.  Bellarmine Prep and Dublin interchanged places in the rankings early on, but Bellarmine, especially when they set the course record at Crystal Springs late last month, emerged as the favorite to earn the runner-up plaque.  As they were seventh as a team last year, they will return everybody in 2020! 

Meanwhile, Jesuit, led by Strangio, continues to improve and will threaten the aforementioned two for the hardware.  They were fifth a year ago. 

Clovis North, the hometown favorite here, is all too familiar with the course but they will have to hold off fast charging Crescenta Valley and Roosevelt from the Southern Section.  Roosevelt had not been on anybody's top 10 team rankings (we had them 11th) going into last weekend as they also bring veteran experience from their runner-up squad from 2017. 

The Falcons of Crescenta Valley were eighth as a team last year.  San Diego Section champion Torrey Pines will be in the mix for a top-five finish while Burbank's consistency continues to impress, as evidenced by its fourth place finish at the SS Finals last Saturday.  Finally, Amador Valley, runner-up to Dublin at the North Coast Section Finals, and Long Beach Poly from the Southern Section, will fight for top-10 finishes.  Don't be surprised if La Serna, in its very first State Meet appearance, leapfrogs into the top 10 as well as Davis, the Sac-Joaquin Section runner-up.   

State Boys 5K Individual Leaders in Division I (Full list)

State Boys 5K Individual Leaders in Division I (Full list)

1Great Oak High School (SS) (CA)29
1) Leandro Candray15:04.502
2) Christopher Verdugo15:10.203
3) Cole Sawires Yager15:13.606
4) Parker Smith15:16.208
5) Gabriel Abbes15:17.4010
Average Time: 15:12.38 Total Time: 1:16:01.90 1-5 Split: 12.90
6) Joshua Abrenica15:20.8015
7) John Worthy15:22.1017
2Dublin High School (NC) (CA)233
1) Christopher Middleton-pearson15:18.4711
2) Daniel Trampe15:37.2030
3) Ishaan Jain15:41.8038
4) Rohan Fonseka15:55.4074
5) Kyle Elias15:56.9080
Average Time: 15:41.95 Total Time: 1:18:29.77 1-5 Split: 38.43
6) Joshua Turpin16:14.22137
7) Cole Turpin16:17.34149
3Jesuit (SJ) (CA)281
1) Matt Strangio14:39.901
2) Spencer Pickren15:25.6019
3) Michael Chambers15:50.4056
4) Braden King16:03.80100
5) Chase Gordon16:04.90105
Average Time: 15:36.92 Total Time: 1:18:04.60 1-5 Split: 1:25.00
6) Jacob Swanson16:08.50120
7) Nicholas Salonites16:19.10155
4Vista Murrieta (SS) (CA)305
1) Noah Murasmith15:28.5021
2) Malachi Davis-mcclaron15:31.0023
3) Wyatt Hagerman15:55.1071
4) Michael Holland15:57.4082
5) Jacob Zerecero16:05.80108
Average Time: 15:47.56 Total Time: 1:18:57.80 1-5 Split: 37.30
6) Isaiah Aves16:22.50177
7) Brandon Calderon16:22.60179
5Clovis North (CS) (CA)353
1) Joshua Ochoa15:13.304
2) Isaiah Galindo15:14.797
3) Nick Carter15:53.1166
4) Spencer Mueller16:07.60117
5) Thomas Allen16:19.40159
Average Time: 15:45.64 Total Time: 1:18:48.20 1-5 Split: 1:06.10
6) Paean Ocampo16:20.39168
7) Andrew Cape16:21.80173