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August 20, 2010 > Prep cross country preview

Prep cross country preview

By Jacob Schabert

The fall season is approaching high schools around the Bay Area in a hurry. And with a new fall season, brings a new cross country season. Here's what to expect for this season in the Mission Valley, Hayward Area, Bay Counties and Santa Clara Valley athletic leagues this fall.

The Mission Valley Athletic League will kick off on Sept. 22. Mission San Jose, the 2009 MVAL champions, will look to start where they left off when they face the John F. Kennedy Titans. The Mission San Jose Warriors men's team completed league play undefeated in '09, and won the MVAL league finals title.

The Warriors are favored to compete for the title again this season, especially with the expected return of seniors Evan Dankiewicz and Joey Uken.

Mission's Lady Warriors also are coming off a share of the league title a season ago. The Lady Warriors won the dual meet season but couldn't hold off Washington at the league finals.

The James Logan Colts men's team was edged out of a MVAL title last season by one point as they were beaten by Mission San Jose. The Colts will start their quest for a league championship when they take on Irvington on Sept. 29.

The Lady Colts are also a strong favorite to finish at or near the top of the league standings when it's all said and done. Six key runners from last season's team, which finished third in the standings last season behind Washington and Mission San Jose, will return this year.

Castro Valley Trojans will look to repeat their success from a year ago, when both the men's and women's team won the league championship. The Trojans are expected to return two of the top runners in the North Coast Section from 2009, Ben Eversole and Anthony Martore.

The Lady Trojans will also look to have a strong showing again this season. Castro Valley will begin their year with the Monte Vista Invitational on Sept. 7.

The runner up in the HAAL from a season ago was Bishop O'Dowd High School. The Dragons boasted two first teamers -- Samuel Kane and John Calvin -- in 2009, and both will return this season for their junior years.

The lady dragons, also the HAAL runner up from a season ago, will return a very talented runner in Marie Diaz, a first team All Leaguer who finished 12th in the NCS championships last year.

The Arroyo Dons, a young team on the rise, will try to gain ground on the rest of the field in 2010. The boys team finished last season with a 4-4 record, and placed fifth in the league. The Lady Dons are looking to improve upon a 2-6 record in 2009.

Moreau Catholic Mariners' boys team will be a team to look out for in 2010, with a squad that will be expecting a return of five runners from the 2009 NCS championships that finished in the top 50. The Lady Mariners team will be led by the third-place finisher in the NCS championships last season, Anika Adeni.

One of the more up-and-coming teams to look for this year has to be the Mt Eden Monarchs. The Monarchs are expected to return every single runner from last season that had an impact at the NCS championships.

The San Leandro Pirates, and the Tennyson Lancers, both very young, raw teams from a season ago will place high hopes in the presumed return of a couple key runners.

The BCL West cross country league Championship was won last season by San Francisco University High School. It looks like it will be SF University's division to lose again this year as University will be returning every runner from last year's championship-winning team.

On the girls side, it looks like it will be San Francisco University and Lick Wilmerding High School battling it out for a shot at the league title. Lick Wilmerding finished second to University last season in the BCL West Finals, and will be expecting the return of three runners that placed in the top 20 in last year's NCS Championships, led by Rachel Prensky-Pomeranz, who placed eighth overall.

The BCL East cross country league will start with the CPS Invitational on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at Point Pinole Regional Park hosted by College Prep. Last season, The BCL East women's cross country title was won by College Preparatory High School.

Last season, The Monte Vista Matadors captured the Santa Clara Valley Athletic league crown. Many of the key contributors to last season's men's team have graduated, but not all. Kevin Bishop, who placed third in last years league finals, will be looked at to lead the Matadors to the top of the division again in 2010.

Bishop will be entering his junior year. Second place finishers in 2009, Los Gatos, were also a very senior laden team a year ago. The Wild Cats are expecting the return of Will Geiken, a second place finisher of a year ago as a junior in the league finals.

The Los Gatos Lady Wild Cats dominated the field in 2009 to capture the SVCAL crown. The Lady Wild Cats finished with four runners placing in the top 10 overall. Not to mention, all four will be retuning in 2010.

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