CIF-STATE BOYS STATE TEAM RANKINGS
Released May 31, 2012
By Rich Gonzalez
(CLOVIS, Calif.) -- Under a different format, we'd tab Serra of Gardena as the slight team favorite to win the boys title at this weekend's CIF-State Track and Field Championships (presented by Farmers) at Buchanan High.
But with two rounds of action spread over two days, Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks gets the nod in our final pre-meet prognostications.
The slightly favored Knights appear a solid choice to score from 28 to 32 points, with high confidence in approaching that ceiling range thanks to seasoned junior dasher Khalfani Muhammad. The diminutive speedster arrives at the state meet as the California leader at both 100 and 200 meters and anchors the school's #2-ranked 400-meter relay quartet. Key possible bonus points could come from Eric McDaniel in the 100. With several key names encountering setbacks during qualifying rounds in recent weeks, McDaniel has inched up the depth chart and could steal a few points.
Serra actually brandishes more scoring upside, but its fate would seem more favorable if this was a single-round meet. Instead, Friday's prelims and Saturday's finals should push some of the Cavaliers' key athletes into the "red zone". For example, versatile standout Lloyd Siscard is set to compete in both hurdle races and could see action in both relays. That's a scheduling combination which could result in as many as eight races in a 29-hour span for the improved junior.
The only other programs with a reasonable chance at the title would appear to be Vista Murrieta and La Costa Canyon, but both would need to fare slightly better than the form charts indicate or would need the co-favorites to falter.
The real wild card in all of this? Palo Alto dasher E.J. Floreal, who has been dominating local competition in the Central Coast Section and is perhaps the most intriguing talent on the boys side as his stellar junior season draws to a close. Floreal may be the most dangerous threat to Notre Dame's Muhammad in the scoring wars. If Floreal can shake up the form charts, Serra should benefit the most.
1) Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks (SS) 30 points
2) Serra, Gardena (SS) 29 points
3) Vista Murrieta, Murrieta (SS) 26 points
4) La Costa Canyon, Carlsbad (SD) 22 points
4) Newport Harbor, Newport Beach (SS) 22 points
6) Rio Mesa, Oxnard (SS) 21 points
7) Palo Alto (CC) 17 points
8) St. John Bosco, Bellflower (SS) 15 points
9) Burroughs, Ridgecrest (SS) 14 points
9) San Gorgonio, San Bernardino (SS) 14 points