PREVIEW The elite male distance runners in CCS

Now that the shortened cross country season is concluded, we can turn our attention to track and field. Last year's very short TF season came to a sudden stop in mid-March and that was certainly a major disappointment for many athletes and coaches.

Today, we turn our focus to the distance races in the Central Coast Section. Below, you will see all the top contenders based on the 2019 TF season (800m CCS final above), the very short 2020 TF season, the recently completed XC season as well as other sources who helped out for this article.


We will first start out with the fastest and perhaps most exciting distance races of them all, the 800 meters. CCS boys have had quite a bit of success in recent years in this event including the 2018 California state champion, Jason Gomez of Westmont. It should also be noted that the HS record holder in the event, Michael Granville, also coaches in CCS at Gunn HS.

Trying to figure out the top contenders in this event is very difficult but you are here still reading this, so here goes. We took a look at the 2019 CCS final results and there are two athletes who made that final as a 9th and 10th graders, respectively.

The first is El Camino freshman Yutaka Roberts who finished an impressive 7th in the final, just missing the podium. He ran 1:57.75 in the final and had a lifetime best time of 1:56.37 in the semifinals which you can see below. WHAT. A. FINISH!

The second athlete to make the final was sophomore Andrew Bachman of Monte Vista Christian. He finished 12th in the final and had a season-best of 1:58.03 in the semifinal race.

Looking at the MileSplit database, we also have to include Garret Hedlund of Pioneer who had a personal best time of 1:57.31 at the Don Bell Quicksilver Classic.

The next fastest returning athlete is Palo Alto senior, Aleksei Seletskiy who ran 1:57.94 at the SCVAL championship meet to finish 2nd behind Gunn HS junior, Justin Chiao.

Also from that same SCVAL race, Homestead freshman Varun Saraf ran 1:58.20 to finish in fourth place. 

For our final three contenders, we are going for three wild cards as all three athletes will more than likely choose other events. If for some reason, they choose to run the 800, both will be definite contenders.

The first is Bellarmine senior, Colin Peattie. As a sophomore, Peattie won both the 1600 and 3200 at the CCS finals. He had a best of 1:57.08 in the 800m which puts him right up there with the best runners in the section.

The second contender is Scotts Valley junior Jeremy Kain. As a freshman, Kain had a best of 1:58.05 in the 800m. He is also the world record holder in the mile for 12-year-olds. In 2017, Kain ran 4:36.80 at the Los Gatos Track to set a still-standing world record for that age. 

The last wild card is Menlo senior, Calvin Katz. His main event is next but you can't count him out in this event as he ran 1:57.59 last year officially.


The top contenders in the 1600m are a bit more straightforward. We have already mentioned a couple of them so here goes.

The favorite in this event will be Bellarmine senior Colin Peattie. He is the section record holder for freshman and sophomores and is the defending section champion. As a sophomore, Peattie finished in 2nd place at the state meet with a time of 4:09.99.

Going into the official cross country season in the fall, the Bellarmine boys were one of the top-ranked teams in the nation by many publications. Aside from Peattie, the Bells also had the Topper twins, Galen and Nolan. Galen Topper had a best of 4:29.95 as a sophomore but also ran a 4:13 time trial last spring. His brother Nolan Topper finished right behind him at 4:16.

Another leading contender will be Menlo senior, Calvin Katz. Although he never raced officially for Menlo last season, Katz did run the fastest time for CCS athletes with a time of 4:16.20 at the Desert Dream-Last Hurrah Meet in Arizona.

Although mentioned in the 800m above, this is definitely Jeremy Kain's bread and butter event. He had a best of 4:24.04 at the CCS Top 8 Classic and has been tearing it up in the current XC season.

Evergreen Valley's Advait Krishnan just recently ran a 4:23.79 personal best time at the Sundown Track Series Meet #1.

Los Altos senior Kevin Andrews finished in 2nd place as a sophomore in the SCVAL final with a personal best time of 4:24.04.


The favorite in this event has to be the defending champion, Colin Peattie. He has proven to be tough as nails at the end of the season with a great kick to boot. His best time from his sophomore season was 9:09.17 which he ran at the state final that you can see below.

The next best runner in this event is also a Bellarmine runner, fellow senior, Nolan Topper. He chased Peattie all season and just narrowly lost to him at the state final with a PR of 9:09.89. His brother Galen will also be in contention for a state meet berth and had a sophomore best time of 9:30.31.

Menlo senior Kamran Murray will also be in contention as one of the top runners in the section in this event. As a junior, Murray had a best time of 9:28.2 and has recently run 15:12 on the Crystal Springs course.

The section is very strong in this event and the front pack will be very competitive. Along with the previous runners, you can also add Monta Vista senior Rohun Agrawal. He had a best of 9:35.6 in his only effort in this event at the 2020 Rustbuster Invitational.

Another Bell should also be a contender in this event and that is senior Clem Welsh. He had a best of 9:29.69 at the Stanford Invitational in 2019.

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Albert Caruana is a regular contributor to MileSplitCA and serves as the Northern California editor.