California State Championships Preview



November 28, 2009 @ Woodward park in Fresno, CA

State Meet Page 


(Historic Woodward Park, CA) -- The 23rd Annual CIF-State Cross Country Championships plays a continued role in determining the top programs in the State of California and Nation. For the third season in a row the CIF meet, the final state championship, has served a large role in at-large berths for the Nike Cross National Championships. Several top programs and individuals will compete for state supremacy. A few will headline NXN National Championships a week later.


CIF Section Championships
CIF Southern Section
CIF San Francisco Section CIF Los Angeles Section
CIF North Coast Section
CIF Central Section CIF San Diego Section


Division I Boys

Favorite: Ammar Moussa, Arcadia - Milesplit Ranked #8 Nationally
Contenders: Lane Werley-M.L. King; Travis Edwards-Royal; Jantzen Oshier-Trabuco Hills; Blake Ahrold-Dana Hills
Darkhorse: Pablo Rosales-San Pedro - CIF Los Angeles Section Champion


Team Favorite: Royal, (Coach Ryan Luce)- Milesplit Ranked #1 Nationally, have been undefeated on the season until the Southern Section Championships. They are the Asics Clovis Invitational and Mt. Sac Invitational champions. They have faced the top teams in the nation each week. In a state rich with competition the final could be a mini-national championship with four teams who could walk away champions. I believe Royal will step up and claim their top spot again heading into NXN National Championships.


Darkhorse Team: Dana Hills, (Coach Tim Butler) - Harrier Ranked #6 Nationally, this team has seemed to be on and off all season. Finally able to put the best team on the field at the Southern Section Championships where they upset US#1 Royal while topping possibly two other top 15 teams in Trabuco Hills and US#12 Arcadia. Could the team be poised for a return to the NXN National Championships?



Division I Girls

Favorite: Megan Morgan, Torrey Pines - Milesplit Ranked #10 Nationally
Contenders: US#6 Molly Grabill-Rancho Bernardo - CIF San Diego Section Champion
DarkhorseAlaina Alvarez-Dana Hills - CIF Southern Section Champion


Team Favorite: Great Oak, (Coach Doug Soles) - Milesplit Ranked #13 Nationally, Great Oak suprised everyone with an Asics Clovis Invitational victory. Averaging 18:38 over the 5000 meter course with a 1:02 1-5 split Great Oak arrived on the national ranking map. The highly anticipated matchup with nationally ranked programs happened at Mt. Sac. when Great Oak finished 3rd to US#8 Mira Costa and US#2 Saugus. Great Oak was within 6 points of Mira Costa while Torrey Pines was a distant 4th by over 53 points. At Mt. Sac, Great Oak ran a 43 second 1-5 spread.


Darkhorse Team: Torrey Pines, (Coach Brent Thorne) - Harrier Ranked #16 Nationally, went to all the big meets to begin the season and won against enormous competition. At the Stanford Invitational, Torrey Pines defeated 134 teams in combined team scoring with 179 points. They ran an 18:44 average over the 5000 meter course. Opened the season with a win over 50 teams at the Mt. Carmel Invitational, with over a thousand competitors in combined scoring Torrey Pines still placed three varsity scorers in the top seven places. Last season Torrey Pines finished second to Dana Hills with no at-large berth to NXN. A loss to Great Oak could produce a similar outcome. Must win situation for Torrey Pines. As Benjamin Franklin penned, "Little Strokes fell great oaks."


Division II Boys

Favorite: Elias Gedyon, Loyola Los Angelos - Milesplit Ranked #8 Nationally
Contenders: Matt Mcelroy-Edison - Milesplit Ranked #14 Nationally
Darkhorse: Heyden Wooff-Camarillo - Milesplit Ranked #10 Nationally


Team Favorite: Mountain View, (Coach Evan Smith) - Finished 5th at the Asics Clovis Invitational behind some Division I superpowers. Managed a 15:58 average over the 5000 meter course. Returned most of their varsity starters from a year ago 3rd place finish. Will face stiff competition from Southern Section Champion Glendora.




Darkhorse Team: Glendora (Coach Don Sumner) - Won the Southern Section Championships with 96 points behind a strong front four. The number five will need to close the gap if they hope to defeat Mountain View. Top runners Anthony Castro and Austin Mendoza will need to place as closely as possible preferably ahead of Mountain View's number two runner. Glendora is the Southern Section hope for another suprise finish; last season Loyola shocked the nation with a victory over then nationally ranked #13 Thousand Oaks.



Division II Girls

Favorite: Kaylin Mahoney-Saugus; Defending State Champion
Contenders: Julie Nacouzi-Montgomery; Jacque Taylor-Casa Grand
Darkhorse: Teeny Adams-Esperanza - Nike Pre-Nationals Individual Champion


Team Favorite: Saugus, (Coach Rene Paragaus) - Milesplit Ranked #2 Nationally, was there any question that the defending state champion Centurians are simply one of the best programs the U.S. has seen in the past 10 years? The three time defending state champions will seek to claim a four-peat. They will face the toughest competition they have ever faced at the state meet in US#8 Mira Costa. They narrowly evaded a Mira Costa attack at the Southern Section Championships 41-49.


Darkhorse Team: Mira Costa, (Coach Darren Peters)- Milesplit Ranked #8 Nationally, has come on strong in the last month against the three-time defending state champions. At Mt. Sac they finished second to Saugus 67-86 with a 18:07 three-mile average. At the Southern Section Championships Mira Costa came within 8 points of topping Saugus. This was not unexpected as at the Southern Sectional Prelims Mira Costa averaged 18:24 with a 53 second 1-5 spread to win their flight. While US#1 Saugus ran an 18:27 average and a 1:30 1-5 spread. Mira Costa is improving each week and clearly is the best team poised to defeat the three-time defending state champions Saugus.


Division III Boys

Favorite: Samuel Pons-South Pasadena; Asics Clovis Invitational Champion
Contenders: Erik Olson-Novato; Stanford Invitational Champion
Darkhorse: Erik Olson-Novato; Stanford Invitational Champion


Team Favorite: Palos Verde, (Coach Brian Shapiro) - Twenty years ago Palos Verde's played a role in the first state championship claiming the Division I title.  Palos Verde 2009 were the fastest on the day at the Southern Section Championships where they defeated St. John Bosco 52-62. The previous week at the Southern Section Prelims, St. John Bosco had won their flight with a 16:04 average and 23 second 1-5 split. Palos Verde then claimed victory in their team flight with a 16:08 average and 35 second 1-5 spread. Claimed an early season victory at the Nike Pre-Nationals with an impressive 15:40 5000 meter average with a 44 second 1-5 spread. 


Darkhorse Team: St. John Bosco, (Coach Tim McIntosh) - Defeated US#12 Arcadia and dominant Trabuco Hills at the Woodbridge Invitational with a 15:01 average losing to US#1 Royal. Finished 4th at the Clovis Invitational with a 15:58 average over 5000 meters. Won the team flight at the Southern Section Prelims and then narrowly lost the Southern Section Championships to Palos Verde 52-62. Look for a strong matchup among the 3-4 runners and St. John Bosco could come home champions.



Division III Girls

Favorite: Rebecca Mehra-Palos Verdes - CIF Southern Section Champion
Contenders: Melissa Skiba-Oak Park - Asics Clovis Invitational Champion
Darkhorse: Isabel Andrade-Petaluma - CIF North Coast Section Champion


Team Favorite: Orange Lutheran, (Coach Jack Preus) - Against the big dogs at the Woodbridge Invitational Lutheran finished 4th place with a 17:43 average over 3-miles. Then at the Stanford Invitational placed 4th out of 134 teams! with a 19:21 average over 5000 meters. In this race they first defeated defending state champions Corona Del Mar in the Division III race 52-100 as four Lutheran runners came in before Corona Del Mar's number two runner. Narrowly defeated the defending CIF champions, Corona Del Mar, 49-52 to claim the CIF Southern Section Championships.


Darkhorse Team: Corona Del Mar, (Coach Bill Sumner) - The defending state champions have been the class of the division III for the past decade. Orange Lutheran has stepped up to challenge in recent years dethroning Del Mar in 2007. Del Mar has been competitive this season with strong team finishes at Stanford and most recently narrowly falling short of defending the CIF Southern Section Championship 49-52 to Orange Lutheran. They have history on their side and a tough team ahead of them.If Corona Del Mar are to reclaim the state championship they will need to shore of the 4-5 gap as this will decide the title.




Woodward Park Course Records (Top Ten Team Times: California Only)
Boys All-time Team Times Girls All-time Team Times
1. Dana Hills, 2008, 77:38 1. Saugus, 2008, 90:06
2. Buchanan, 2008, 77:48 2. Saugus, 2007, 90:49
3. Trabuco Hills, 2006, 77:55 3. Dana Hills, 2008, 91:10
4. Thousand Oaks, 1993, 77:59 4. Torrey Pines, 2008, 91:11
5. Loyola, 2008, 78:04 5. Corona Del Mar, 2005, 91:21
6. Buchanan, 2008, 78:10 6. Saugus, 2008, 91:24
6. Buchanan, 2008, 78:10 7. Sultana, 2002, 91:53
8. Royal, 2005, 78:10 8. Corona Del Mar, 2005, 91:55
9. Royal, 2006, 78:12 9. College Park, 2003, 92:23
10. Arroyo, 1987, 78:23 10. Sultana, 2003, 92:35


Woodward Park Top Individual Times All-time
Boys Individual Top Time Girls Individual Top Time
German Fernandez, Riverbank HS, 14:24 (2007) Julia Stamps, Santa Rosa HS, 16:43 (1996)

Course Map