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MBL Preview

2004 Monterey Bay League Cross Country Championships Preview
The North Monterey County Condors return to defend their 2002 and 2003 titles and seek their 8th league title in the last 11 years. They are currently ranked 1stoverall in CCS and have been ranked 1st in the state in DII most of the year. They have enjoyed a very successful 2004 campaign with an undefeated dual meet record, a victory at the Stanford Invitational, a runner-up showing to Madera at Earlybird, and a great 5thplace finish at the prestigious Great American Festival in North Carolina. They have been laying low for the last month but look for them to let loose for the championship run. They could put all seven runners in the top 10 here. Last year they placed 6 in the top 7 including 1-4! The Condors are led by the trio of Keli Parker (12), Jose Garcia (12) and Ivan Alfaro (11). Keli is the 2002 MBL Champion and is coming off a great win at the Mt. SAC Invitational last week in 15:38 and may use his lethal kick to win a 2ndindividual league title. Defending MBL champion Nathan Huerta (12) usually leads the Condors but will continue to rehabilitate his knee and will join the crew at CCS and State. Alisal , the 2001 MBL champs, come in with a 4-1 dual meet record and may be the most improved squad for 2004. They are currently ranked 11th in CCS DI. They feature some good up-front running in junior Enrique Lopez with his 16:30 Toro PR. Enrique would like nothing more than to finish in the top 6 and receive an All-League citation. Seaside was our most improved team in 2003 and 2004 may be the year for this senior-led group. They have a 3-2 dual meet record and have had impressive showings at many invitationals. They are currently ranked 6th in CCS DIII but look for them to have a good stretch run and vie for a trip to state. They are led by Adalberto Corres (12) who has run the table in dual meet competitions and has run an impressive 16:24 at the Stanford Invitational. Look for him to be fighting for a top finish and I'm sure he would also love an individual MBL title as a senior! Last year he broke up the NMC juggernaut with his 5th place finish. Monterey comes in at 2-3 and looks to be just outside the top 3 automatic CCS qualifying spots. The Toreadores will have to upset Seaside or Alisal to advance to CCS. They are led by junior Kody Reed with his 17:23 toro PR. Alvarez comes in at 1-4 and will look to their senior, Chris Toler, with a 17:34 PR to upset the top squads. Monte Vista Christian comes in at 0-5 but represents the league's only DIV team and therefore will represent the league at CCS with an automatic qualifying spot. They are led by one of the hottest youngsters around in Wes Buntman (10). Wes has run a fine 16:32 at the Earlybird Invite and an All-League citation may be in the cards for this youngster.
In the JV and Frosh/Soph divisions, North Monterey County has run the table in meets this year and looks to do very well with their large squad and crushing depth. In fact, the NMC JV and FS teams have competed at several invitationals this year alongside regular varsity squads and have faired very well. Look for them to place 7-8 runners in the top 10 of each race. Jose Esparza (9) from NMC looks to be the favorite in the FS race with a 17:40 PR from Clovis and Roberto Romero (11), also from NMC, looks to be the favorite in the JV race. Look for the Alisal JV group and the Monterey FS group to also fare well.

The North Monterey County girls are also looking to defend their 2002 and 2003 titles and should do it in fine style. They are currently ranked 8th in CCS in the very competitive DII. They feature a great leader and a very strong pack that has interchanged throughout the year. They are 5-0 in dual meets and have had impressive showings at many invitationals. Look for Adrienne Tabag (12) to win the race. She's coming off a fine 19:30 at Mt. SAC. Tanya Ferreira (11) and Jessica Santos (12) will lead the chase pack in fine style. The last 2 years the Condors have placed 5 girls in the top 8. Look for much the same this year. Alisal will be playing the role of spoiler. When healthy they are the squad that could challenge NMC for the win. They come in at 4-1 and looking to make some noise with their young squad. They are ranked 13th in CCS DI. They are led by super soph Adeline Sanchez that has ran 20:56 at Toro. Seaside is 3-2 and is looking for that coveted top 3 finish that will get them to CCS. They are led by Maddy Carriles (12), she ran a 21:27 at Earlybird. Monte Vista Christian is much improved in 2004 and comes in at 2-3. They are led by senior Janae Jordan with a 22:58 toro PR. They are ranked 9th in CCS DIV and will once again represent the MBL at CCS in DIV. Alvarez is 1-4 and are led by Loris Nguyen with her 22:30 Toro PR. Monterey has newcomer Li Schmitt (9) leading them with her 22:36 PR. They come in with a 0-5 record.
In the JV division, North Monterey County comes in at 5-0 and has crushing depth that should be enough for a convincing victory. Both Alisal and Alvarez come in at 3-2 and will score well.
Races begin at 9:30 AM at Toro Park in Salinas with the featured Varsity Girls race at 12:30 PM and the Varsity Boys race at 1:30 PM. Good luck to all runners! It should be a great meet!!

Gustavo Ibarra

Monterey Bay League Rep

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