Southern Section Cross Country Divisions Revealed

Revealed earlier than normal, the Southern Section office released the breakdown of divisions for the upcoming cross country season.

This is a preliminary list based on CBED information from the 2019-2020 year. The official breakdown of divisions will not be available until October when CBED information for 2020-2021 has been submitted to CIF-SS and the State Department of Education. Schools that incur a gain/loss in enrollment of a minimum of 15 percent in the current year will utilize the new CBED data for division placement.

According to the CIF-SS release on the tentative new enrollment groupings, reporting of the information to the State Department of Education occurs in October of each year school year. Final divisional placement for each school will be determined once this information has been received and compiled.

CIF-SS DivisionsGroupings (tentative until Oct)
Division 12481 and above
Division 22480-2051
Division 32050-1530
Division 41529-601
Division 5600 and below

Division-by-division look at the changes

Four squads move into Division 1 (Eastside, Loyola, Oak Hills and Glendale) while four others (Eisenhower, Patriot, Troy, West Ranch) trade places in moving to Division 2.

The main headliner coming into Division 1 is the Cubs of Loyola.  Arguably, no program times its peak better than Loyola, as Coach Lalo Diaz always reloads, despite what talent may have graduated the year before.  Loyola placed fifth at last year's CIF-SS Division 2 finals before placing fourth at the California State Meet.  Scary thing for their opponents?  The 2019 squad was one of their youngest in quite some time as Loyola boasts one of the best Class of '22 groups in the state.

Four squads move from Division 3 to Division 2: Desert Mirage, Hesperia, Palm Desert, and Royal.

The Highlanders of Royal saw a huge resurgence in 2019, bringing home a runner-up plaque at last year's Division 3 CIF-SS boys finals, before placing seventh at the State Meet.  Royal was the favorite to capture the D3 crown in 2020 but, despite moving to the much tougher Division 2, the Highlanders still project to be a top-five squad as they return ALL seven from 2019!   

Division 3 receives an upgrade on the overall depth, especially on the boys' side despite losing Royal to Division 2.

Mission Viejo, Rancho Verde, Shadow Hills, Simi Valley, Redlands East Valley and West Torrance come in from Division 2.  Meanwhile, Antelope Valley and West Covina move in from Division 4.

The West Torrance, which finished seventh at the Div. 2-SS Finals last year, continues to bounce back and forth on a yearly basis, so it seems, between the two divisions. Injuries derailed them late down the stretch last fall, but they return five from last year and emerge as the immediate favorite for the Division 3 crown in 2020.  Josh Murray and Alex Mainvielle should be among the individual favorites competing for the D3 title.  

Meanwhile, the West Torrance girls placed 18th at the 2019 Div. 2-SS Finals and will welcome the move back to Division 3 where they should compete for a State Meet berth in 2020.  In placing 18th in D2, that same performance would have placed them SIXTH at last year's section D3 finals!   The West Torrance girls return six from that group.  

The boys of Redlands East Valley return a strong lineup in 2020 after placing third at the Division 2 finals last year.  REV, which placed fifth at State, returns five of their top eight from that squad.  They elevate straight to the top of our Division 3 projections and return a strong trio in Matthew Hornung, Liam Mapes, and Simon Opsahl.  

With the move to D3, Simi Valley's girls bolt to the top of the preseason division rankings. They placed sixth at the Div. 2-SS Finals in 2019, before capping off a great season with an eighth place finish at the California State Meet.  Jill Walker placed seventh at the State Meet and will be one of the best in CA for Division 3. Five of her teammates from 2019 are expected to return, giving Simi a deep experienced lineup.  Simi Valley's boys were 14th at the Div. 2-SS Finals and will be rebuilding after graduating their top three.

After their historic run in 2018, Mission Viejo's girls should take advantage of the relative lack of depth in Division 3.  Despite finishing 17th at the Div. 2-SS Finals and graduating two of their top three, the Diablos have the talent to qualify back to the State Meet in 2020.  Their boys are in a similar situation but need to make up for most of their 17th place, 2019 squad that graduated.

Listed in Division 4 a year ago, Portola moved up to Division 3 last October. Their girls placed seventh at the CIF-SS Division 3 finals in 2019 and return most of that squad.

Moving to Division 4 from Division 3 are Compton, Esperanza, Granite Hills, and Indian Springs.  

Esperanza, a campus with over 3200 students in 2005, continues to condense it's student population.  Their girls finished 21st at the Div. 2-SS Finals in 2019, but Nicole Reeves (who placed fifth) will make an immediate impact in Division 4. Their boys placed 13th at last year's divisional finals but have some rebuilding to do as they graduated the bulk of their squad from 2019.

There are no changes to schools in Division 5.


All photos by Patrick Corsinita