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2012 California Preseason "Hot 100" Boys XC Teams 62 to 80

Despite hosting an almost entirely new roster, look for Coach Chuck Woolridge's Campolindo Cougars to remain a statewide and North Coast Section force this fall.


BOYS TEAMS FROM #62 TO #80 CONTINUE 2012 CROSS-COUNTRY COUNTDOWN
By Rich Gonzalez
Editor, DyeStatCal/ESPNHS

(ARCADIA, Calif.) - As the 2012 California high school cross-country season quickly approaches, we continue our Boys "Hot 100" Teams countdown with squads 62 to 80, based on data available to date. Next up will be boys squads 41 to 61.
Read the "Hot 100" preview teaser to familiarize yourself with our rankings process.
Enjoy!


NOTE: Due to incomplete/incorrect data, two previously considered teams have since fallen out. Also, two other teams with very limited depth have lost a key runnerthis summer to drop out, going from #61 and #72 all the way to outside the Top 120. With no depth, those two losses (one transferred, one back injury) are a big impact. As a result, several teams have since moved up 2 to 4 spots (depending on where they were initially) and new new teams will move into the Top 100 tonight. - Rich


Rank: #62
Team: Murrieta Mesa Rams
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 2
League: Southwestern
Head Coach: Aaron Ballou
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #1, #2, #4, #5, #6, #7
Top Returnees: Tanner Long, Sr. (15:14/MSAC rain course, 4:30.08/1600); Loghin Livingston, Sr. (15:23/MSAC rc); Riley Cox, Sr. (15:39/MSAC rc); Mason Figge, Jr. (15:46/MSAC rc)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 6th in its heat in CIF-SS Division 2 Prelims
Team Outlook for 2012: Expect the greed to start taking hold. A year ago, the Rams continued their rise through the regional hierarchy to make their first ever trip to the Southern Section Prelims. This year, that won't suffice. Murrieta Mesa will be seeking its first trip to the Southern Section Finals - and we think they are going to make it. Led by returning First-Team all-leaguer Tanner Long and solid senior Loghin Livingston, the Rams have a solid duo up front, a solid #3 man in Riley Cox and respectable depth from there. Given the toughness of opponent in league action, look for the Rams to be battle tested once the big meets arrive in November. While the Big VI League might be the deepest (beyond three teams) league in the Inland Empire, it's not the strongest (through the top three teams) league. Thanks to Murrieta Mesa, that distinction goes to the Southwestern League.


Rank: #63
Team: Moorpark Musketeers
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 2
League:Marmonte
Head Coach: Scott Mangers
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #1, #3, #4, #5
Top Returnees: Michael Picchini, Jr. (15:09/Mt. SAC rain course, 9:56.29/3200); Teerth Patel, Sr. (15:14/MSAC rc, 9:54.10/3200); Michael Keller, Sr. (4:36.99/1600, 10:08.98/3200)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 5th in its heat at CIF-SS D2 Prelims
Team Outlook for 2012: Damned if they do, damned if they don't. A talented Moorpark lineup probably wishes it didn't have to expend too much energy in its league battles so it can conserve for postseason. But so many formidable league opponents means the squad can't afford to ease off the accelerator too much. Michael Picchini and Teerth Patel might not be household names, but both are solid. Patel clocked 16:16 under hot conditions at Mt. SAC; Picchini led three others at sub-17:00 that day as well. The Musketeers project to be in a fierce battle for the precious last few spots to CIF-SS Finals in Division 2.


Rank: #64
Team: Arroyo Knights
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 2
League: Mission Valley
Head Coach: Ramon Lopez
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7
Top Returnees: Samuel Garcia, Sr. (15:05/MSAC rain course, 9:31.47/3200, 4:21.91/1600); Andres Aparicio, Sr. (15:18/MSAC rc, 4:29.44/1600, 9:49.75/3200); Diego Lopez, Sr. (15:38/MSAC rc, 10:03.33/3200)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 8th in its heat at CIF-SS D2 Prelims
Team Outlook for 2012: One of the biggest surprises we came across when formulating the "Hot 100" was the emergence of Arroyo, which was a perennial statewide power back in the 1980's, but has been a dormant program come championship time since roughly 1990 or so. Not so in 2012. With everyone returning from a respectable squad of a year ago, blue chip talent Samuel Garcia (9:31/47/3200) should lead the Knights back to the promised land. Andres Aparicio and Diego Lopez were another hot pair for Arroyo down the stretch last year, with Aparicio also experiencing a solid track campaign.


Rank: #65
Team: Laguna Hills Hawks
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 3
League: Sea View
Head Coach: Chris Lynch
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #1, #2, #3, #4, #6, #7
Top Returnees: Collin Wasley, Sr. (15:08/MSAC rain course; 9:46.71/3200); Eric Koch, Sr. (15:20 MSAC rc, 4:37.70/1600); Kyle Koch, Sr. (15:22/MSAC rc, 9:43.16/3200)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 7th in its heat at CIF-SS D3 Prelims
Team Outlook for 2012: Laguna Hills seems destined to be among the top dozen teams in the state in Division 3 this fall. But the big challenge is to be among the seven best teams in the Southern Section. That's exactly how many squads from the most powerful section in the state advance to the state championships in Fresno. As of now, it appears the Hawks are a mere few spots away. That said, Laguna Hills has the makings of a very successful season. Collin Wasley excelled at last year's section prelims meet while both he and Kyle Koch were solid across 3200 meters in track. Eric Koch is a third star up front, but the rest of a seasoned varsity crew will need further improvement for the improving Hawks to fly past even more opponents.


Rank: #66
Team: Santa Ana Valley Falcons
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 2
League: Orange
Head Coach: Jose Sanchez
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #1, #3, #4, #5, #6
Top Returnees: Pedro Antunez, Jr. (15:08/Mt. SAC rain course, 4:30.79/1600); Luis Avalos, Sr. (15:24/MSAC rc, 4:37.37/1600); Isais Campuzano, Sr. (15:48/MSAC rc, 4:35.96/1600)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 6th in its heat at CIF-SS D2 Prelims
Team Outlook for 2012: Back in the good ole' days - and we're talking about maybe two decades ago - the Falcons were among the more successful programs in Orange County year in and year out. It looks like "Valley" is making clear headway to get back to those successful roots. Pedro Antunez should be the frontrunner, despite being another year away from graduation. His 15:08 on the flat rain course at Mt. SAC and 4:30 for 1600m signals fine promise. Seniors Luis Avalos anf Isais Campuzano will need to keep the momentum going from last year, with the Falcons well equipped to make the section finals in 2012.


Rank: #67
Team: Fillmore Flashes
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 4
League: Tri-Valley
Head Coach: Kimberly Tafoya
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #1, #2, #3, #4, #7
Top Returnees: Jose Almaguer, Sr. (16:09/CIF-SS Finals); Anthony Rivas, Sr. (16:17/CIF-SS Finals); Adrian Mejia, Sr. (9:56.44/3200); Hugo Valdovinos, Sr. (4:32.26/1600)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 14th in State Division 4
Outlook for 2012: This program is anything but a flash in the pan, despite being known as the Flashes on the cross-country course. Fillmore had difficulty being its sharpest at last year's state meet, but a much more seasoned crew appears primed to change all that in 2012. Four quality seniors stake the program to the key ingredients for success, with Jose Almaguer and Anthony Rivas keying the team's prospects. Both Adrian Mejia and Hugo Valdovinos enjoyed their own success on the track in the springtime. Their continued development could make the Flashes not only a Southern Section title favorite, but a key player for the state title as well.


Rank: #68
Team: Don Bosco Tigers
CIF Section:Southern
State Division: 4
League: Del Rey
Head Coach: Sal Perez
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #2, #3, #5, #7
Top Returnees: Gabriel Castro, Sr. (16:13/CIF Finals, 1:59.94/800); Ruben Dominguez, Jr. (16:36/state, 9:56.81/3200); Justin Avellan, Sr. (16:19/Mt SAC Inv, 9:54.51/3200)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed third at state meet in Division 4
Team Outlook for 2012: Few smaller-division Southern Section programs have tasted as much November success as Don Bosco over the years (two state titles among five state meet podium appearances), with the trend expected to continue again this fall. An outstanding trio of frontrunners will make the Tigers very dangerous come championship time, with Gabriel Castro, Ruben Dominguez and Justin Avellan being an excellent starting point toward the march to a possible championship. Veteran coach Sal Perez's challenge will be to squeeze more quality depth from the rest of his roster, which would make the crew very tough. A carefully selective approach to filling out the competition calendar is often what makes the Tigers well prepped and primed for the big races.


Rank: #69
Team: Roosevelt/Corona Mustangs
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 1
League: Big VI
Head Coach: Joe Robles
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #2, #4, #5
Top Returnees: Kyle Warrick, Sr. (15:33/CIF-SS Finals, 4:17.94/1600); Jeremy Beck, Soph. (16:14/CIF-SS Finals, 4:33.91/1600); Tyler Satterfield, Sr. (4:29.88/1600; 9:47.60/3200); Michael Bravo, Sr. (15:47/MSAC rain course); Tyler Satterfield, Sr. (4:29.88/1600; 9:47.60/3200)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 9th in CIF-SS Division 1 Finals
Team Outlook for 2012: The new season will be full of major challenges for a rising Roosevelt program, starting with battles in one of the premier leagues in the state and culminating with a war within typically the deepest sectional division meet in the nation. Kyle Warrick and Tyler Satterfied are two excellent talents igniting the attack, with talented underclassmen Jeremy Beck now challenged to make the big step up to a new level as a sophomore. A huge key will be for Michael Bravo to flex his muscle and challenge the others in filling out the scoring positions with quality. The group is talented. If the core leadership is strong, this group could surprise for the last spot to state by season's end.


Rank: #70
Team: Paso Robles Bearcats
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 3
League: Pac 7
Head Coach: Jon Paul Ewing
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #2, #3, #5, #6, #7
Top Returnees: Matthew Kwiatkowski, Sr. (16:09/CIF-SS Finals, 9:54.85/3200); Aidan Farrell, Sr. (16:12/CIF-SS Finals, 4:25.48/1600, 9:59.81/3200); Noah Yoshida, Sr. (16:28/CIF-SS Finals)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 9th in CIF-SS D3 Finals
Team Outlook for 2012: One of the very few surprises of the Southern California campaign last year was the emergence of the Bearcats to earn a berth to the Section Finals. With an excellent three-pronged attack among its returnees, a return trip to the championships will be expected this time around. Matthew Kwiatkowski and Aidan Farrell are solid bets to break 16:00 on the Mt. SAC course while Noah Yoshida leads the rest of Paso Robles' chase pack.


Rank: #71
Team:Claremont Wolfpack
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 2
League: Sierra
Head Coach: Rob Lander
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #1, #2, #4, #5, #7
Top Returnees: Jimmy Baeskens, Sr. (15:59/MSAC, 9:54.37/3200, 4:30.00/1600); Aric Crowell, Sr. (16:06/MSAC, 10:00.96/3200, 4:28.35/1600); Mike Lowrie, Soph. (16:34/MSAC)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 4th at Sierra League Finals
Team Outlook for 2012: The Wolfpack endured a rough time trying to survive the Sierra League last year, but should fare better and be strong enough to earn an auto berth into postseason. From there, however, the challenge will be steep as Claremont tries to advance to the Southern Section Division 2 Finals. Jimmy Baeskens and Aric Crowell are a pair of excellent up-front talents to start the mission. The real deciding factor, as is often the case with teams on the bubble, is how well the Wolfpack's final two scorers fare. Mike Lowrie was among the division's top frosh a year ago, posting a fine 16:34 effort on the Mt. SAC course.


Rank: #72
Team: Orange Lutheran Lancers
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 3
League: Trinity
Head Coach: J.T. Ayers
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #1, #2, #5, #6, #7
Top Returnees: Jacob Grant, Jr. (15:27/MSAC rain course); Kolby Kiernan, Sr. (16:53/Mt SAC); Blaine Mengert, Jr. (15:35/MSAC rc)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 7th in its heat at CIF-SS D3 Prelims
Team Outlook for 2012: The Lancers earned their way into postseason last year based on multiple quality showings down the stretch, good enough to secure an at-large berth behind a first-year head cross-country coach and a youthful lineup. Despite no true frontrunner projected for a second consecutive year, Orange Lutheran boasts a balanced yet potent attack well equipped to advance to the section finals this time around. First-team all-league returnee Jacob Grant leads the Lancers, wih Kolby Kiernan and Blaine Mengert pretty much on the same performance tier as well.


Rank: #73
Team: Campolindo Cougars
CIF Section: North Coast
State Division: 3
League:Diablo Foothill Athletic
Head Coach: Chuck Woolridge
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #6, #7
Top Returnees/Newcomers: Kevin Fong, Sr. (16:44 at state); Adam Hathaway, Sr. (4:32.64/1600); Rod Farvard, Sr. (4:36.46, 9:50.72/3200); Cameron Sun, Sr. (16:29/Stanford)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 4th in State Division 3
Team Outlook for 2012: How on Earth can a team with not a single scoring returnee from a year ago make the preseason "Hot 100" this time out? We'll let the Cougars do what they do best: Let their feet do the talking. For starters, Kevin Fong was a quality #6 team placer for a Campolindo squad that missed the state podium by a single point last year. Cameron Sun, who wasn't in the postseason race-day lineup, showed much promise earlier in the year at the Stanford Invitational while Adam Hathaway (off day at state) and Rod Farvard caem along nicely during the recent track season.


Rank: #74
Team: Santiago/Corona Sharks
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 1
League: Big VI
Head Coach: Kristof Gross
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #1, #2, #4, #5
Top Returnees: Brett Moulton, Sr. (14:50/MSAC rain course. 1:51.49/800); Joseph Lopez, Sr. (15:16/MSAC rc); Robert Lopez, Sr. (15:28/MSAC rc, 9:33.97/3200)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 6th in its heat at CIF-SS D1 Prelims
Team Outlook for 2012: You know what they say about sharks that smell blood in the water, right? Well, these Sharks not only smelled blood last year, they tasted it while advancing to the Southern Section prelims from among the tougher leagues around. Now that Santiago has tasted success, the Sharks attack looks even more dangerous in 2012. They'll need to be since the eight-team Big VIII League has been revamped into the six-team Big VI League, which means three auto berths into CIF rather than four. Brett Moulton, a national talent in track across 800 meters, is the program's big gun, but Joseph and Robert Lopez stake the Sharks with quality backup as well, the latter coming off an excellent track season.


Rank: #75
Team: Crespi Celts
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 4
League: Mission
Head Coach: Vacant
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #2, #3, #4, #5, #6
Top Returnees: Jo-Jo Cortez-Adams, Sr. (16:27/state); Warren Bonilla, Jr. (16:47/state); Alex MacMiller, Sr. (16:52/state)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 5th at the state meet in Division 4.
Team Outlook for 2012: The drive toward a state meet podium appearance in 2012 hit a major speed bump when successful young coach Ryan Emery stepped down at the end of track season to accept an administrative post at another school. As it was, the Celts didn't show much or compete much this past track season in the distances despite having talent available. The attitude of team members under a new coach will play the major role in determining the team's fortunes. Jo-Jo Cortez-Adams will be among those entrusted to lead a group that, on paper at least, should challenge for postseason hardware.


Rank: #76
Team: Granite Hills Cougars
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 3
League: Desert Sky
Head Coach: Jim McManus
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #2, #4, #5, #6, #7
Top Returnees: Noah Oliver, Sr. (15:52/SS Finals); James Lindstrom, Soph. (16:37/SS Finals)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 10th in CIF-SS Division 3 Finals
Team Outlook for 2012: Onlookers tend to be critical of the Cougars when assessing their track times, but the group annually proves it is truly a different – and more dangerous – beast when it comes to cross-country season. Losing two of its top three will be tough to cover but a necessity if the Cougars are to return to CIF Finals. Noah Oliver and yet another from the Lindstrom running household (this time it's James) be help steer the effort for a fourth trip to state in the last six years.


Rank: #77
Team: Simi Valley Pioneers
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 1
League: Marmonte
Head Coach: Kurt Mjoen
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #2, #4, #5, #6, #7
Top Returnees: Jackson Chirigotis, Sr. (15:35/SS Prelims rain course); Jonathan Feller, Sr. (15:38 Prelims RC, 4:29.92/1600); Nikolaus Utash, Sr. (15:43/Prelims RC, 4:27.74/1600); Kyle Miller, Jr. (15:45/Prelims RC); Byron Rietveld, Sr. (4:32.37/1600, 9:52.45/3200)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 5th in its heat in SS Division 2 Prelims
Team Outlook for 2012: The Pioneers barely made it out of the rugged Marmonte League, but proved their worth by eventually finishing one spot away from CIF Finals. Its league showdowns will be among the toughest in the state again this fall, but the team's top four returnees finished just 10 seconds apart in its heat at CIF prelims. A potential varsity addition could be Byron Rietveld, coming off a solid track season after not competing in cross-country last year. Seventh-year coach Kurt Mjoen could have his best squad to date, but both the league and the division will be handful!


Rank: #78
Team: Corona Panthers
CIF Section: Southern
State Division: 1
League: Big VI
Head Coach: Mark Gardner
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #3, #4, #6
Top Returnees: David Aguilar, Sr. (16:21/SS Finals, 9:43.46/3200); Josh Soler, Sr. (16:33/SS Finals)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 14th in SS Division 1 Finals
Team Outlook for 2012: The Panthers enter the season with work to do after graduating more than half of its varsity roster, including its top two. But five straight trips to the SS Division 1 Finals is proof the program knows how to withstand annual departures. First things first: Corona will need to replenish its depth in order to survive one of the tougher leagues in the state. Formerly the Big VIII League, it's now a six-team alignment, but four of the squads are in the "Hot 100". David Aguilar and Josh Soler are a quality starting point for a lineup that, if tradition holds, will come along nicely by season's end.


Rank: #79
Team: Los Altos Eagles
CIF Section: Central Coast
State Division: 2
League: SCVAL
Head Coach: Dan Oren
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale:
#2, #3, #6, #7
Top Returnees: Terrance Rabuzzi, Jr. (16:35/Woodward Park, 4:23.88/1600); Joshua Cohen, Sr. (16:48/Woodward Park, 4:27.12/1600); Alex Carr, Sr. (9:59.88/3200)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 18th in State Division 2
Team Outlook for 2012: See note above. Will be updated with new rank and new notes.


Rank: #80
Team: Los Gatos Wildcats
CIF Section: Central Coast
State Division: 2
League: SCVAL
Head Coach: Matt Snee
Varsity Returnees from 2011 Season Finale: #3, #4, #5, #7
Top Returnees: Chris Foster, Soph. (16:35/Woodward Park, 4:33.52); Aaron Walker, Sr. (4:33.80/1600)
Team Finish in 2011: Placed 16th in State Division 2
Team Outlook for 2012: See note above. Will be updated with new rank and new notes.