Preseason "Terrific 20" Team Rankings: Teams 5-8

EDIT (7/20/15): It has come to my attention that Anthony Ho, a rising Sophomore that attended Downtown Magnet last year, has transferred to Bravo. Ho impressed last year as a Frosh finishing 3rd overall in the Varsity Central League Finals with a 4:51 1600. He should be a scorer for Bravo this season and adds to their already impressive depth.

8. Birmingham

League: Valley Mission

Varsity Returners: 5,6

Where they finished last year: 4th in Heat 1 of City Prelims

Strength Rating: 5.5

Depth Rating: 6.5

Reserves Rating: 7.5

Projected Top 7:
Carlos Rivera, Jr. (17:11/Pierce, 1:59/800, 4:41/1600. 10:08/3200)
Vicente Almanza, Jr. (17:50/Pierce, 4:44/1600, 10:26/3200)
Randy Naranjo, Jr. (17:17/Pierce, 5:07/1600, 10:58/3200)
Moses Merino, So. (17:28/Pierce, 10:59/3200)
Abel Rodriguez, So. (17:41/Pierce, 2:14/800, 4:50/1600)
Luis Andrade, Sr. (17:49/Pierce, 4:47/1600, 10:52/3200)
Eliseo Arevalo, So. (18:11/Pierce, 5:08/1600, 11:09/3200)

Notes: Despite losing Ceja and Alexander, the reigning Frosh-Soph LA City Champs are looking to convert their success there to the Varsity level after missing out on the big dance last year. Leading a young, balanced Patriot group will be Rivera, who recorded a solid PRs in all events last year, and Almanza, who improved nicely as well. They will be looking to build off their 5 Frosh-Soph that were under 17:51 last year at Pierce and their success will be determined by how well they can develop. If they can, Birmingham will surprise a few teams come November.

7. Bravo

League: Northern

Varsity Returners: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7

Where they finished last year: 8th at City Finals

Strength Rating: 8

Depth Rating: 7

Reserves Rating: 10

Projected Top 7:
Christopher Guerra, Sr. (16:33/Pierce, 4:32/1600, 9:56/3200)
Vidal Gutierrez, Jr. (16:49/Pierce, 2:04/800, 4:43/1600, 10:13/3200)
Daniel Morales, So. (2:08/800, 4:45/1600, 10:21/3200)
Anthony Ho, So. (19:06/Griffith, 2:19/800, 4:51/1600)
Horacio Gonzalez, Sr. (18:04/Pierce, 4:56/1600, 10:26/3200)
Jesus Roman, Jr. (17:34/Pierce, 5:09/1600, 10:41/3200)
Gustavo Zambrano, Sr. (17:34/Pierce, 2:08/800, 5:11/1600, 11:22/3200)

Notes: The largest program in the City Section returns a strong contingent with Guerra and Gutierrez as their frontrunners. The emergence of one of the best Frosh in the City in Morales is extremely helpful to their cause and it will be interesting to see how his track performances will convert to the dirt. The rest of the group is very even and their positions are almost interchangeable. The jostling and competition for Varsity spots should make this team a contender for the podium come November.

6. San Pedro

League: Marine

Varsity Returners: 1, 3, 4, 7

Where they finished last year: 5th at City Finals

Strength Rating: 7

Depth Rating: 8

Reserves Rating: 6.5

Top Returners:
Wyatt Kircher, Jr. (16:23/Pierce, 4:36/1600, 10:21/3200)
Mitchell Marino, Sr. (16:41/Pierce)
Leo Jimenez, Jr. (17:32/Pierce, 2:04/800, 4:34/3200)
Steve Ortiz, Sr. (17:44/Pierce, 4:41/1600, 10:21/3200)
Jessi Cuellar, Jr. (16:52/Pierce, 2:22/800, 5:04/1600)
Jose Villarreal, Sr. (17:49/Pierce, 2:06/800, 4:44/1600)
Javier Paz, So. (20:12/Peck, 2:11/800, 4:54/1600, 11:04/3200)

Notes: The Pirates had the biggest improvement from City Prelims to City Finals last year going from the 9th ranked team heading into Finals to placing on the podium. Jimenez had an outstanding Sophomore campaign as the 800 m F/S City Champ and runner up in the 1600 and Ortiz also progressed well on the track recording huge PRs. San Pedro has a tight knit group and has great depth, but to place higher, they must have individuals that can score low points as all the teams above them have that.

5. Santee

League: Exposition

Varsity Returners: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Where they finished last year: 6th at City Finals

Strength Rating: 8

Depth Rating: 8

Reserves Rating: 7.5

Projected Top 7:
Jesus Cortes, Sr. (15:56/Pierce, 4:37/1600, 9:45/3200)
Salvador Rodriguez, Sr. (16:13/Pierce, 4:52/1600, 10:51/3200)
Carlos Reyes-Cortez, Jr. (16:25/Pierce, 2:07/800, 4:43/1600, 10:20/3200)
Usiel Ulloa, Sr. (16:55/Pierce, 2:06/800, 4:44/1600, 10:19/3200)
Eric Gutierrez, So. (17:52/Pierce, 4:50/1600, 10:42/3200)
Benito Reyes-Cortez, Jr. (17:16/Pierce, 2:05/800, 4:57/1600, 10:46/3200)
Oscar Ulloa, Sr. (17:21/Pierce, 5:14/1600, 11:38/3200)

Notes: Perennial contenders Santee return 6 of 7 from last year’s team and are led by Cortes who had a fine showing on the track finishing 9th in the 3200 with a PR of 9:45. Despite being known as a better cross country team, several members had excellent track seasons with 3 breaking 10:21 in the 3200. Gutierrez impressed as a Frosh and will be looking to carry his success and become a scorer. Their front three are among the best in the City and with better depth, they will have a legitimate shot at making it to State.

Per usual, please inform me of any incorrect information or runners not returning. The final set of rankings covering teams 1-4 will be out on Wednesday.

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