Preseason "Terrific 20" Team Rankings: Teams 1-4
IP: 23.243.18.17

4. Palisades

League: Western

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

Where they finished last year: 4th at City Finals

Strength Rating: 8

Depth Rating: 9

Reserves Rating: 10

Projected Top 7:
Jacob Pollack, Jr. (15:55/Pierce, 4:37/1600, 9:55/3200)
Ben Hamer, So. (16:07/Pierce, 4:41/1600, 9:54/3200)
Connor Smith, Sr. (18:03/Pierce, 4:43/1600, 10:18/3200)
Jonathan Amiri, So. (20:00/Pierce, 4:40/1600, 10:23/3200)
Jack Hockley, Jr. (17:01/Pierce, 4:51/1600 10:29/3200)
Finn Cawley, So. (17:15/Pierce, 2:08/800, 4:51/1600)
Jonathan Flores, Jr. (17:20/Pierce, 4:54/1600, 10:43/3200)

Notes: Palisades returns 5 of their top 7 from last yearís 4th place team and are led by the young, dynamic duo of Pollack and Hamer, both of whom have broken 10 in the 3200. Amiri was one of the best improvers in the City in a breakthrough track season and will be looking to carry those performances to the upcoming season. If he and Smith can close the gap between themselves and their top 2, watch out. As usual, Palisades has among the best depth in the City with 14 recording a 5 flat or better in the 1600 this past season and the possibility is there for their top 7 to be all under 17:00 at Pierce. However, their most impressive stat is the 10:11.8 average 3200 of their top 5. Track performances donít always reflect XC times, but on paper, they have a great chance of making it to State for the first time since 2011. With only one projected Senior, this could be the team of the future and the present.


3. Granada Hills

League: West Valley

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

Where they finished last year: 3rd at City Finals

Strength Rating: 9

Depth Rating: 5

Reserves Rating: 3.5

Projected Top 7:
Andre Shahinian, Sr. (16:12/Pierce, 4:33/1600, 9:52/3200)
Ben Tiber, Jr. (16:17/Pierce, 2:04/800, 4:33/1600)
Jose Gonzalez, Jr. (16:14/Pierce, 10:25/3200)
Jacob Seeman, Sr. (16:35/Pierce, 4:59/1600, 10:56/3200)
Alfredo Hernandez, Sr. (17:18/Pierce, 2:01/800)
Jacob Lee, So. (18:32/Pierce, 2:11/800, 4:50/1600)
Matthew Rios, So. (4:56/1600)

Notes: Granada Hills returns a solid, hungry 5 from last yearís team that missed out on a trip to State by just a single point. Overall, Granada didnít have the best track season, but Shahinian lowered his PRs further in another impressive campaign and Tiber was the F/S 1600 City Champ this year. Their projected top 3 finished in the top 29 last year and another low score from them definitely seems to be in the cards. The difference between a trip to State and missing out will be their 4-5 runners. Even though Granada has the highest enrollment in the City Section, they have a small team and depth could become an issue, especially if Hernandez, who did not run Track this season, does not return. If that is the case, someone will have to step up big time.


2. Monroe

League: East Valley

Varsity Returners: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7

Where they finished last year: 7th at City Finals

Strength Rating: 8.5

Depth Rating: 9

Reserves Rating: 9.5

Projected Top 7:
Carlos Martin Del Campo, Jr. (16:11/Pierce, 1:54/800, 4:24/1600, 10:10/3200)
Anthony Medina, Sr. (16:25/Pierce, 4:46/1600, 10:19/3200)
Pedro Valencia, So. (16:54/Pierce, 4:38/1600, 10:33/3200)
Guadalupe Gonzalez, Sr. (16:47/Pierce, 4:43/1600, 10:52/3200)
Daniel Perez, Jr. (16:59/Pierce, 4:48/1600, 10:26/3200)
Abraham Martinez, So. (17:58/Pierce, 4:54/1600, 10:29/3200)
Manuel Tapia, Jr. (17:04/Pierce, 4:54/1600, 10:51/3200)

Notes: A young Monroe team is led by stud Carlos Martin Del Campo who exceeded all expectations and qualified to State Finals in the 800 as a Sophomore. Although known more as a shorter distance guy, expect MDC to be in the mix for City Champion in the upcoming season. Monroe returns 6 of 7 from their Varsity members from last year and adds a solid crop from their Frosh-Soph group as well. They had impressive showings on the track and had great representation at City Finals at the Frosh-Soph level in particular. Valenica was the 3rd place finisher in the 1600 as a Frosh and Perez and Martinez dipped under 10:30 at Finals. Like Pali, Monroe has the potential to have all 7 under 17:00 and with more development from their youngsters, a State berth is very possible.


1. El Camino Real

League: West Valley

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

Where they finished last year: 1st at City Finals (16th at State Finals)

Strength Rating: 10

Depth Rating: 10

Reserves Rating: 10

Projected Top 7:
Ethan Estrada, Jr. (15:34/Pierce, 2:00/800, 4:32/1600)
Justin Hazell, So. (16:08/Pierce, 4:29/1600, 9:33/3200)
Brodie Collette, Sr. (17:37/Pierce, 4:52/1600, 9:48/3200)
Henry Fitzmorris, Sr. (16:12/Pierce, 4:47/1600, 10:16/3200)
Cody Brdar, Jr. (16:34/Pierce, 4:39/1600, 10:02/3200)
Dominic Yousufi, Sr. (16:36/Pierce, 4:41/1600, 10:42/3200)
Nikita Khromets, Jr. (17:34/Pierce, 5:19/1600, 10:29/3200)

Notes: El Camino Real are the huge favorites to repeat as City Champions. They return 6 from their top 7, 3 under 10:00, and 6 under 16:37 at Pierce from their City Champ team from last year. Hazell had one of the best Freshman performances in recent City history finishing 4th with a 9:33 at City Finals and combined with Estrada, the 6th place finisher from last year in XC, they have 2 low sticks. Accompanying them will be Collette, who exploded onto the scene recording a 9:48 3200 (a 43 second PR), Brdar, who was the 3200 F/S City Champ, and Fitzmorris, who has a 16:12 and 10:16 to his name to round out a truly scary top 5. ECR wonít take challengers from the City lightly, but this is a team likely to be ranked in the top 50 in the State this year by Prepcaltrack which would be an incredible accomplishment given that no City Section schools have ever been ranked higher than 96 since they started ranking teams. Expect big things from this team.


This concludes the preseason rankings. I welcome any questions or corrections to mistakes I made. I will try to have a more formal ending of some sort by the end of the week.

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