With Laguna Beach graduating the majority of their squad from nearly a picture perfect 2018 season, defending their title will be a tall task. But the boys of Cathedral are back with the majority of their squad after placing fifth a year ago. They were the 2017 Divisional and State champions and a crucial member from that squad, Tyriq Granillo will lead the Phantoms in 2019. He was sixth at the divisional finals a year ago after placing third as a sophomore. On paper, they are the overwhelming favorites as juniors Juan Sanchez and Bryce Granillo will also up front seeking top ten spots at the divisional finals while incoming freshman Santiago Orozco should also insert himself as a scorer.
Can anyone challenge Cathedral?
With the rest of the top squads congested and not too far apart from one another (at least, on paper), Ocean View and Fillmore are heavy favorites to qualify for the California State Meet. Ocean View is looking to return back to the State Meet (they were sixth a year ago) for a third straight season and are led by Miguel Flores. Fillmore was tenth a year ago and should advance to the State Meet for the first time since 2012. Junior Fabian Del Villar will lead the Flash in their quest in 2019. The aforementioned Laguna Beach squad do return Logan Brooks and Mateo Bianchi, who were important cogs in the 2018 State Meet machine that set a new record on the Woodward Park course. Meanwhile, do not count out Foothill Tech. They are led by junior Oliver Pick (more below). Junior Josh Villasenor will also be up front for the Dragons.
Other squads that can sneak into the top seven?
Despite a major transfer moving away, Pioneer will be in the hunt for a State Meet berth. JSerra, led by Anthony Grover, is looking to add depth for a return trip to Fresno. Big Bear, Barstow and Burroughs of Ridgecrest will also looking to leapfrog some squad for a trip to Fresno.
Other Top Returners: