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2010-08-27 - Running the centerstrip

Pre-Season Analysis
By Tom Gimbel
(September 5, 2010)

Girls - The first goal for the girls team is to run well enough in League Finals (November 4) to qualify for CIF.  This will require a third place team finish.  Keep in mind that our league (Rio Hondo League) is composed of 6 teams.  Two of those teams (La Canada and South Pasadena) are dominant, leaving only one CIF slot available to the other 4 teams.  Temple City took that slot last year. (Lowest total team scores are the best: LC 24; SP 34; TC 83; SM 92.)  We weren’t that far off the third slot.  Last year, we had a lot of young freshman girls. Those girls are now sophomores and have a year of training behind them. The team is led by Senior Danielle Knott who has been working hard all summer.  Expect to see Junior Natalie Sanchez, Senior Saskia Raether, Sophomore Michelle Dominguez, Junior Caitlin Hittner and the Mejia sisters in the second grouping behind Danielle.  Of course, there are always the dark horses who come on strong as the season progresses.  This is a promising team that has the potential to go pretty deep into CIF.

Boys - The guys are coming off a very surprising and successful year.  After losing one of their best runners, they grabbed that last league spot and went to CIF.  On paper, they looked to get bounced in the Prelims but put on a remarkable team effort to qualify for the Finals.  Again, on paper, they looked like last or next-to-last place for the Finals but ran their hearts out and finished 11th out of 16 teams, upsetting several ranked teams.  They did lose a couple of seniors from that team but Senior Michael Gimbel is back along with Juniors Robbie Moreton and Peaky Yuter.  These 3 make up a strong lead core that are expected to run together near the front of every race.  The concern has been depth.  You need at least 5 good runners and ideally, seven.  The big news for the boys has been the influx of new talent this year.  The two most promising are Junior Daniel Covarrubias and Freshman Drew Jack.  Others who may fight for a varsity slot at the end of the season include Freshman Devin Au and Yuvan Wickramasinge.  And you never know what other guys might get fired up and decide to compete to be a CIF runner.  The new talent will determine how far the guys go.  Watch those 3 mile times in the early meets.  The closer we get to having our #4 and #5 runners run under 20 minutes, the better our prospects.

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