The 2019 season Cross Country season was another ho-hum successful season for North Coast Section girls' teams and individuals. Along with winning two more state team titles, St. Helena junior Harper McClain won the Division V state championship and qualified for the NXN race as one of the five fastest individuals in the entire meet.
The Campolindo girls won their 5th state title as they easily outdistanced the Division III field. The Lick-Wilmerding girls won their 2nd straight team title finishing ahead of league rival San Francisco University.
As with most seasons, quite a few NCS girls' teams return the majority of their lineups and would have been quite formidable if the state meet was held. Below I listed my top five teams for the upcoming season but unlike the boys, I listed them in alphabetical order.
#1-Amador Valley HS
The Amador Valley girls won their 2nd straight Division I section title last year led by a 1-2-3 finish. Senior Derica Su won the individual title finishing ahead of talented junior Hope Bergmark who dealt with an injury during the tail end of the season. AV returns their entire lineup past Su and Bergmark is a very talented runner who could run with the best runners in the state.
The Campolindo girls have won 9 of the last 10 section titles in Division III including the last 7. They won their 5th state team title in 2019 and seem like they are set up to continue their highly successful run. They will continue to compete in Division III and when section and state meet races return, look for them to compete for more championships in the years to come.
#2-Dougherty Valley HS
Dougherty Valley is a league rival to Amador Valley and has finished 2nd behind AV at the last two section finals. They return their entire team from last year and will continue to be competitive for years to come. An interesting note about DV is that they won a section title in 2009 in Division IV as their school was in it's infancy and won their last section title in 2017 in Division I. I would have to do a bit of digging but I am not sure if there are any other schools that have won section titles in those two divisions.
The Granada girls won their 5th straight section title led by their super junior Shae Hill. As noted in the boy's article, Granada has been one of the best-combined programs in the section. Their girls have been especially good and have been super-successful in the section and been able to compete with the best Division II teams in the state.
Laura and Jake Schmitt retired from coaching at Redwood HS a few years ago. They had a nice run of success that included an NXN individual champion. While some programs typically take a dip after a successful run by a longtime coach, Redwood has continued to shine under Coach Nykky Graydon. The girls' team the past two years has been especially young and very talented. The majority of the team will be back and should contend with the best teams in the section.