Division 3 Sweepstakes (completely biased view from under my Rubidoux coach's hat)

First off, who won’t be there: #1 ranked Brea Olinda will be in the race but without their super star Austin Tamagno. The top runner in the state will be racing in the Individual sweepstakes race on Saturday. Number 2 ranked Agoura will be racing in the Saturday Team Sweepstakes race on Saturday. Palos Verdes, ranked #3 traditionally does not race here with their varsity teams and that is the case again in 2014.

So who IS running? Teams first: Although #1 Brea Olinda will be without Tamagno, the remainder of the varsity group will race. State #4 Rubidoux, state #5 Paso Robles, state #6 St. John Bosco, state #8 University City, SS #7 Yorba Linda, SS #9 Moorpark and SS #13 Baldwin Park are the ranked teams also competing. Deer Valley of Arizona also is entered and they are completely a wild card with little information about them.

Individually: State #2 ranked runner Steven Sum of Saratoga is listed as an entrant but in a recent interview he stated that he would probably not be racing at Mt SAC. The highest ranked runner (from the latest rankings by Rich) is St. John Bosco’s Branden Estrada at #6 followed by his SJB teammate Carlos Barrios who is ranked #7. Zach Chamberlain (Paso Robles) at #9 and another SJB runner, Ezra Sotelo at #12, are the only other ranked runners in the field. However, a trio of Brea Olinda runners, Orellana, Escobar and Shellito should be in the top group mix. The top runner in the field may be Luis Ramos of Rubidoux who has been well off the radar this season after being the #2 returner from the State Championships last year. Rubidoux’s Sandoval and Alvarez should also play a role in the front group.

The team battle looks to be a 4 team race as Rubidoux, Paso Robles, St. John Bosco and Brea Olinda (even without Tamagno) should be battling for 3 podium spots.

Rubidoux has been off in its two major meets this year with a dismal performance at Woodbridge and only a marginally better showing at Laguna Hills. They did rebound with a very solid performance at the Brea Olinda Invitational based on times but with a relatively weak field. We are still waiting to see how good this team can be after being very highly ranked in the summer.

Paso Robles has run big races by going to both Stanford and Clovis Invitationals and has looked pretty good at each. Their strength is in the small time gap from 1-5, at Clovis this was only 31 seconds. Only 2 runners under 16:20 at Clovis is a cause for some concern if they are looking down the road to the end of November.

St. John Bosco has a very solid front 3, although not an elite #1. They do drop off significantly after #3 though. Three runners under 16:00 at Clovis but no one else under 16:35 can definitely hurt in a fast field like Mt. SAC Sweeps. The front 3 will keep them in the hunt for a top 3 finish though.

Brea Olinda has a strong team in the race and are coming off its second win at Orange County Championships as well as 2 defeats of Canyon (Anaheim) in league meets. These guys ran phenomenal times last year at Mt. SAC Invite and post-season races on the course. Look for them to do the same here.

University City ran well at Stanford with 4 runners under 16:15 but there is a significant gap back to #5 (37 seconds). With a strong field and a much hillier course in this race, that time gap will be crucial.

On paper, the team race looks like Rubidoux’s race to lose. They are beginning to run well and are the highest ranked full squad in the field. Paso Robles got the better of St. John Bosco at Clovis by placing 6 runners in front of the SJB #5. The same should happen here. Brea Olinda should be able to break up the party and might just be deep enough to win the whole thing without their #1.
Converting times from Clovis (18 seconds slower than Mt. SAC) and OC Championships (10 seconds faster then Mt SAC) help to see the picture.

Brea figures to have runners at 15:18, 15:30, 15:35, 15:47, 15:57.
Paso Robles: 15:35, 15:46, 16:02, 16:04, 16:06
SJB: 15:26, 15:28, 15:37, 16:19, 16:38
Rubidoux: 15:10, 15:30, 15:30, 15:45, 16:00