The new 2019 league realignments for track & field had everyone scrambling to try and figure out how to advance towards NCS and state berths.
The new North Bay League Oak division should be a dominate league in the North Coast Section Redwood Region.
Problem was the NCS had decided that the NBL Oak plus the NBL Redwood divisions would only get 6 entries total for both leagues. See break down below.
NBL 6 entries for 12 schools
HDNL 4 entries for 5 schools
VVAL 4 entries for 7 schools
MCAL 4 entries for 9 schools
Plus the next best 6 marks from all 4 large school league championships.
Plus up to 3 entries from Lower Lake if they place in the top 4 of their CMC finals.
That left the NBL coaches with a tough decision on what to do with those six spots.
Do they have normal separate meets and divide up the 6? Say 5 or 4 for the Oak and 1 or 2 for the Redwood?
At least for this year they have decided to have a combined finals with all 12 schools.
The NBL trials (May 1st) will be a mixture of both leagues with the top 16 marks advancing to the finals.
In the laned races, for the finals (May 3rd), that will include one heat with the top 8 qualifiers and the other eight in another heat. Times from both heats will be eligible for the top 6 automatic advancers with the others being eligible for the next best 6 marks from all 4 league championships.
Not likely but we could send as many as 12 to the NCS Redwood Regional meet.
There will be pluses and minus to all this.
Does a combined 12 school final sound to weird to you, that the qualifiers from both leagues, will come out of one meet.
In 1970 the NBL was saying the opposite. That was the year they stopped having a combined meet to send on qualifiers.
Before then that is exactly how it use to be.
The NBL I finals sent 5 to NBL combined finals, while NBL II sent 3.
From the NBL combined finals the top 5 advanced to NCS divsion III Redwood finals. The CMC schools also advanced to that meet.
The NCS had two other regional meets besides the NCS divsion III Redwood that would advance to NCS MOC those being NCS divsion III Bay Area regionals and the NCS divsion I regionals.
Here is how the 1969 season looked. There were a total of 13 NBL teams back then.
The top 5 from the NBL I finals advanced with the teams placing like this.
Vallejo 50, Montgomery 47, Hogan 30, Napa 33, Ukiah 32.5, Santa Rosa 28, Petaluma 13.
The top 3 from the NBL II finals advanced with the teams placing like this.
Analy 78, Piner 73, Sonoma Valley 33.5, El Molino 32, Healdsburg 20.5, Cardinal Newman.
In the NBL combined finals the 13 teams placed like this.
Vallejo 48, Hogan 44.5, Montgomery 41, Piner 24, Analy 22, Ukiah 14, Santa Rosa 12, El Molino 11, Napa 10, Petaluma 9, Sonoma Valley 6, Healdsburg 3, Cardinal Newman 2.
One thing that is new that I am unaware of ever happening before is the multiple pennants.
This year pennants were awarded to the school in each division Oak/Redwood who had the best dual meet records.
Those were decided at the final dual meets on April 24th and you can see how that came out here but the 2019 dual meet pennant winners are
Boys NBL Oak: Maria Carrillo
Girls NBL Oak: Santa Rosa
Boys NBL Redwood: Analy
Girls NBL Redwood: Analy
The new/old NBL combined finals will be like this.
Montgomery will host on their new track with the trials on Wednesday May 1st and the finals on Friday May 3rd.
Because of the number of athletes expected from the 12 schools another new feature is qualifying standards for the varsity events and the Honest effort rule.
The NCS Redwood Regional will be hosted by Maria Carrillo this year on May 11th.
Puma coach Greg Fogg sent me this chart that shows how the advancement works from league to state.
See that here
I understand why the schools decided on this new combined method, and believe it is probably the best option for this year but I am a little blue about how it will take away half the number of kids who would have been able to say they won their league championship in an event.
In some cases a kid, instead of getting to be the winner in their league championship, will now end up possible 4th or 5th in the finals with runners from the other league ahead of them.
Take the boys 800 as an example. No telling how it will come out but seniors Dante Godinez of Healdsburg (NBL Redwood) and Vince Corday of Windsor (NBL Oak) both would have been favorites to win their leagues if the leagues were separate. Now only one boy will get to stand on the top of the podium.
The Big Day
We are going into this meet with big questions about how this will turn out but I have no doubt that the athletes are going to put on a show like most of us have never seen before.
I’m hoping to have time schedules and heat sheets or performance list entries as soon as they are available.
A coach suggest to me that when seeking donations, to keep this site going, that I encourage people to do the monthly donation rather than a larger one time. Does anyone know if you can do monthly support using the family and friends method so Paypal doesn’t take part of it?