Girls Rankings: This is why we run the races. Arcadia came out blazing, running an amazing 89:20 at Woodbridge, outpacing SGV rivals Bonita by nearly four minutes. But a month later on the hills of Mt.SAC at Saturday’s SGV One on One Challenge, the Bearcats had turned the tables and bested the now short-handed Apache’s by 30 seconds. Meanwhile, Glendora had the SGV’s best performance at the Clovis Invite, their 98:54 converting to just in between Bonita’s and Arcadia’s efforts from Saturday, and so that’s how we’ll rank them going into this week’s Mt.SAC Invitational.
The quality of the girls teams in the SGV is not quite as deep as the boys, and this means more schools from the lower divisions have a spot in our rankings. Also, the move from flat courses to Mt.SAC can be difficult for some teams, so this weekend’s races will tell us a lot.
1. Bonita (Div. III – Hacienda League) - the Bearcats were CIF finalists in ’10 and have been highly ranked all season. Division winners at Woodbridge and twice League winners, they turned in their best performance at last week at Mt.SAC in winning the SGV Challenge in 97:02
2. Glendora (Div. II – Baseline League) - the Tartans, who feature six sophs and one frosh in their seven, ran well at Clovis and in their opening win at the Bronco meet, but their best performances have been their two wins in the Baseline League meets. Their heat at Mt.SAC is loaded, so we’ll get to see how they stack up.
3. Arcadia (Div. I – Pacific League) - As noted above, the Apaches had an amazing opener at Woodbridge, but as the season progressed they’re been missing at least one key athlete and lost twice last week to Crescenta Valley in the Pacific League and to Bonita at Mt.SAC. They’ll have a chance to turn things around in the Sweeps race Saturday morning.
4. Mayfield (Div. IV – Prep League) – the Cubs have made huge strides this year, starting with a dominating win at Rosemead, and then a divisional win at Clovis, where their top four improved by an average of 78 seconds per person from last year. They’ll be very strong in their own division, but by finishing just seconds behind Glendora at Clovis, they showed they can compete with anyone in the SGV
5. La Caada (Div. III – Rio Hondo League) - Winners at the Bell-Jeff meet, the Spartans have been on a tear, winning their division on the hilly Staub-Barnes course, and then defeating South Pasadena on that same course last week in the second Rio Hondo cluster meet.
6. South Hills (Div. III – Sierra League) – the Huskies ran well at Bronco and Woodbridge and were winners at their own Super XC Classic. They stumbled a bit in the extreme heat of the second Sierra League meet but generally have run their best on hilly courses, which bodes well for them.
7. South Pasadena (Div. III – Rio Hondo) – like Arcadia, the Tigers started with a bang at Woodbridge, but didn’t run quite as well at Clovis. Friday’s Div. III sweeps at Mt.SAC will show if their loss to La Caada was more about their slipping back or the Spartans moving up.
8. Claremont (Div. II – Sierra League) - this young team made CIF finals in ’10 for the first time in a number of years and has been a bit inconsistent this year. Their best efforts have come at Clovis and the second Sierra League meet, so they’re a team that can run tough courses.
9. Flintridge Sacred Heart (Div. IV – Mission League) - the Tologs have run in some big meets, starting well at Fastback and Woodbridge, and showing well at Stanford. They’ve rested or run incomplete teams in recent weeks, and it appears they’ll keep things low-key on Friday, waiting for Finals and CIF to showcase their team.
10. El Rancho (Div. I – Del Rio League) - the Dons (Doas?) have run very well at their two league meets and followed up good early performances at Bosco Tech and Woodbridge with a solid effort at Clovis.
Note: With the exception of La Caada, all of these teams will be competing Friday or Saturday at Mt.SAC.
Boys rankings: Rankings in Cross Country are notoriously difficult. Teams run on flat courses and hilly courses, and in different weather, so that even schools running on the same course on the same day, as will probably happen at Mt.SAC this Saturday, can face very different conditions.
That said, here’s our first attempt to rank the 70 schools of the San Gabriel Valley, regardless of CIF Division. These rankings give preference to recent performances, and to performances achieved on hard and/or hilly courses, since Southern Section XC always points to Mt.SAC and Woodward Park. And so we can have something to talk about before the athletes sort it out themselves at Mt.SAC this weekend, here are the rankings:
1. Arcadia (Div. I – Pacific League) - Easily the class of the SGV, the Apaches ranked #1 in Div. I until last week, the defending National Champs really haven’t stumbled at all, notching meet record wins at Woodbridge and Central Park, two Pacific League wins over a very strong Burbank team, and scoring a big win at the national Bob Firman Invite in Idaho.
2. Glendora (Div. II – Baseline League) – The Div. II ranked Tartans have kept something of a low profile, but have won every Invite they’re entered – their opener at Bronco, a meet record win at Sunny Hills, and the divisional race at Clovis. They were second twice to State #1 Rancho Cucamonga in the Baseline League
3. California (Div. I – Del Rio League) – The Condors continue to build on the their CIF Finals qualification from last year. Starting fast at the Great Cow Run, their biggest honor is their two wins in the highly competitive Del Rio League meets. Ran well at Clovis.
4. Damien (Div. III – Sierra League) - Fast our of the box with a win at the Bosco Tech meet over much of the SGV and ran well again at Woodbridge and won the first Sierra League meet. They stumbled a bit in the second Sierra meet, their only competition in the last month
5. Bosco Tech (Div. IV – Del Rey League) – Ranked #1 in Div. IV all year, the Tigers started with a strong 3rd overall at their own meet, but then struggled mightily with sickness and injuries. Their victory over Div. III ranked Cathedral in last week’s Del Rey League indicates they’re nearly back to full strength.
6. El Rancho (Div. I – Del Rio League) – Fast at Don Bosco and Woodbridge, the Dons best efforts have been their two seconds to Cal in the Del Rey League, while they had a bit of an off day at Clovis.
7. South Hills (Div. III – Sierra League) – #6 SGV at Woodbridge, the Huskies have been third both times in the tough Sierra League, and won their own Super XC Classic.
8. Santa Fe (Div. I – Del Rey League) - Two strong thirds in the Del Rio League meets and a #7 SGV ranking at Woodbridge are their top achievements so far.
9. South Pasadena (Div. III – Rio Hondo League) - Started well with the #4 SGV time at Woodbridge, and held form with two wins in the Rio Hondo League. Had a rough day at Clovis.
10. Claremont (Div. II – Sierra League) - This CIF and State podium team in ’10 was hurt by graduation, and their young team can’t break through in the deep Sierra League. Top performance was an 83:18 at Clovis