A few cross country thoughts

After watching four league meets this season (BSAL, BVAL, EBAL, DFAL), here are some observations. Bear in mind that I understand that many teams/individuals were not tapered at these meets.

The best team I saw, male or female, was the Carondelet squad. The Cougars have two league champions (Nicole Hood and Sara Aliotti, who won the BVAL title last year) and Ashley Chavez (who has finished in the top eight at the BVAL championships the last three years) in their top five. They not only placed five runners in the top eight at the BVAL championships, but they had seven in the top 11 in that race. They are talented and certainly deserve their No. 1 Division II state ranking on DyeStatCal.com.

Three local runners have already shown that they are could be contenders for individual state titles: Hood, St. Mary’s Matt Duffy (Division IV boys) and Valley Christian’s Robbie Knorr (Division V boys). Knorr won the CCS Division V championship last Saturday with the ninth-fastest time for all divisions.

This is becoming the Year of the Freshmen in local girls cross country. Besides Hood, the outstanding freshmen include DFAL individual champion Alycia Cridebring of College Park and California’s Colleen Lillig, who finished second in the EBAL championship race

There’s good news for local teams who didn’t want to possibly travel to Southern California for future state championships: the CIF has announced that Woodward Park in Fresno will remain the home of the CIF state championships through 2009.