Friday, December 09, 2016


Amador Valley High School
1155 Santa Rita Road
Pleasanton, CA 94566

Saturday, January 7, 2017
  • Session I: 9am-12pm
  • Lunch: 12pm-1pm
  • Session II: 1pm-4pm
Roundtable Leaders
  • Jason Oswalt – Clinic Co-Director
  • Chris Puppione – Clinic Co-Director
Roundtable Features
  • Everyone is a clinician, everyone is a student.
  • Roundtable topics selected by attendees in advance via email.
  • All attendees receive “A Packet of Nuggets”—a compilation of coaching gems from each attending coach.
  • Attendees will also receive a collection of training programs submitted by the other coaches in attendance.
  • Cost for the roundtable discussion is FREE.
  • Event is open to the first 30 coaches to register. 
Contact Jason Oswalt ( to register for the event, as well as to receive further information. This event is for HIGH SCHOOL COACHES ONLY.

Please contact Jason ASAP as spots will fill up fast. Some of the best coaches in California will be at this Roundtable. Don't miss out.

December 6, 2016

Dear Coaches,
Now that cross country season is almost in the books and the track and field season looms on the not-so-distant horizon, we would like to invite you to join us for a clinic unlike any other in the state of California.

On January 7, 2017, we will be hosting The NorCal Distance Coaches Collaborative Roundtable in Pleasanton, CA at Amador Valley High School. The event is scheduled to kick-off at 9am and will be attended by many of the finest coaches from our part of the state. This clinic is unique in format and concept.

Many of us have attended clinics over the years, and although we have been lucky enough to hear some great speakers, the part most of us look forward to is the aftermath—sitting around with your peers, swapping stories, discussing training ideas, asking questions, all while enjoying some good food and drink.

We have decided to get rid of the lectures and ditch the conventional while getting straight to the good stuff—some high-energy shop talk with some of our sport’s finest coaches in a relaxed environment full of friends and soon-to-be friends.  At this event, the attendees will choose the topics. Whether you want to rehash the last cross country season or talk about the track season ahead, you tell us and we will put it on the agenda.

Limited to the first 30 coaches to sign-up via email, this roundtable discussion is completely based on the contributions of all attendees. 

Here is how it works:

Coaches are asked to email Jason Oswalt ( to sign-up for the event.  

Upon receipt of your email, Jason will ask you to submit the following for the clinic by Friday, December 30, 2016:
  • Topics and ideas you would like to discuss or gain knowledge about at the clinic (training, recruiting, nutrition, state of the sport, etc.)
    • This is an absolute necessity, as these suggestions will function as our agenda for the day. This is Part I of your entrance fee.
  • A 1-3 page installment (or “nugget of knowledge”) describing something you do with your athletes that you feel is key to your program’s success (i.e. a particular workout, coaching philosophy, mental training, etc.)
    • All coaches are expected to contribute with this—consider it as Part II of your entrance fee!
    • These “nuggets” will be compiled and all attendees will receive the full collection of notes at the clinic in both print and digital formats.
  • A copy of your training plan and notes from the past cross country season or the upcoming track season.
    • This is Part III of your entrance fee, and coaches are to submit these so that they may be shared with other attendees for review, critique, and to foster discussion of training methods.
    • These training programs will be sent out to all attendees in digital format, and you are asked to print them out prior to the roundtable and make notes on them for discussion purposes.
    • By submitting your training ideas or plans in advance, you can have your season’s training discussed by some of our sport’s greatest coaches, so don’t miss out on this opportunity.
  • All submitted information must be sent in either MS Word or MS Excel docs so that they can be easily formatted for compilation.  
A running tally of coaches who commit to attending the roundtable will be maintained on Albert’s website ( so everyone can prepare any specific questions that they may have for their fellow coaches.  

Prior to the event, Jason and Chris will release a schedule that will outline the topics for the day so that each coach attending may come prepared to participate and contribute.  

THERE ARE NO LECTURERS AT THIS EVENT. We are not presenting a seminar—this is an opportunity to expand the discussion and for everyone to be a student and a teacher.  

Attending coaches are encouraged to bring any information they wish to discuss or share to the event. We will have overhead projectors, LCD projectors, as well as AV equipment—bring it all.  

Also, we would like all coaches in attendance to bring their laptop computers with them, as we will be using internet connections to access information during discussion periods. Please be sure to have your flash drive or memory stick with you so you can steal/borrow info from other coaches.  

Sign-in on January 7th will begin at 8:30am with the roundtable beginning promptly at 9am. We will section the day into topics picked by our attendees.  

We will break for lunch at noon, and then reconvene for further discussion starting at 1pm. The roundtable ends at 4pm.  

While this is an open discussion, Jason and Chris will serve as leaders for the event. These coaches will act as guides for the discussion, keeping the roundtable focused while moving the group through the agenda and moderating input from all coaches. They will offer their insights as well, but they are not clinicians or panelists.  

On the day of the event, all attending coaches will receive the following:
  • “A Packet of Nuggets”—a compilation of coaching gems from all attendees
  • A collection of all attendees training programs
  • Great conversation with amazing colleagues  
It is our belief that this collaborative roundtable will be of great benefit for all coaches—rookies and veterans alike. Please join us for this amazing event by emailing your registration to Jason Oswalt (

Be a part of the excitement—be a part of the conversation. Join us January 7, 2017 at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, CA for The 8th Annual NorCal Distance Coaches’ Collaborative Roundtable.

Yours in running,
Jason Oswalt
Chris Puppione

List of Attendees
  1. Jason Oswalt  Amador Valley High School
  2. Chris Puppione
  3. Albert Caruana Crystal Springs Uplands School
  4. Brandon Lawrence Hercules
  5. Chris Williams Dublin
  6. Patrick McCrystle Bellarmine
  7. Josh Small Valley Christian SJ
  8. John Hotchkiss Mission San Jose
  9. Gus Ibarra North Monterey County
  10. Andy Chan Sacred Heart Cathedral
  11. Diana Fitzpatrick Marin Catholic
  12. Craig Lee Presentation
  13. John Maloney Archbishop Nitty
  14. Francisco Cornejo Palma
  15. Jorge Chen Menlo
  16. Benny Willers Archbishop Riordan
  17. Peter Brewer Northgate
  18. Ruth Seabrook Northgate
  19. Hilary Liver Bishop O'Dowd

Thursday, December 08, 2016

2016 All-NorCal Teams have now been posted

Feel free to comment below on any of the selections. My own NorCal cross country awards will be posted after the Footlocker national meet tomorrow.

NorCal Track & Field Power Events Clinic

The clinic will take place on Saturday, January 7th from 8am to 5pm at Prospect HS. All info can be found at the following link:

Monday, December 05, 2016

All-NorCal Cross Country Awards

This will be the 6th year for these awards and they will be posted after the Footlocker national meet this coming Saturday. If you want to check out all the award winners the past 5 years, you can check out the following link:

If you have a deserving athlete, team or coach, please feel free to add them below in the comment section.

Interviews with the four NorCal coaches whose teams made the podium at CA state XC meet

Aptos coach Dan Gruber (October 17, 2008)

Campolindo coach Chuck Woolridge (September 22, 2008)

Davis coach Bill Gregg (October 5, 2007)

Nueva coach Jeff Gilkey (was coaching Carlmont at time of this interview, September 26, 2007)

You can check out all my other coaching interviews at this link:

If there are other coaches that you would like to see interviewed, feel free to email me at or post the name in the comment section below.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Bellarmine's First All-Comers Meet on Saturday, December 10th

The 9:00 am 2 mile will be broken into heats and used by us, at least, as a Postal time trial… runners can run fast heats of the 3200 for Postal. All events will have Brad Lindemann timing FAT with our FinishLynx system.

Here is the link to the meet information:


Thursday, December 01, 2016

Catching up with Campolindo senior, Ray Diaz

Today we chat with Campolindo senior runner, Ray Diaz. This past Saturday, Diaz and his Campolindo teammates finished in 3rd place in the Division III race at the California state meet to win another state trophy for the Cougar boys' squad (four total for the boys in school history). Diaz was on the Campolindo varsity last year as the boys won their 3rd straight NCS title and had a near podium performance at the state meet with a 6th place finish. A motivated group returned this year to repeat as NCS champions and more importantly, make the podium again with their 3rd place finish. In the merge scoring, Campolindo was the top ranked NorCal boys team.

1) How did you get your start in running? What was your first experience? Any track PRs before HS? What other sports have you played aside from XC and TF?
Funny thing, I never did cross country before high school, I was a basketball player in middle school. The only running I ever did before high school was running the “mile time trial” in physical education class. I think the fastest I ever ran in PE was around a 6:45, which is pretty astonishing looking back at how much I have improved over the past four years.
Running was a struggle for me before high school, I was never really into running at all. In fact, my dad forced me into joining the cross country team. The only reasons I agreed with him were to get in shape for basketball and make some new friends.

2) Any highlights for you as a freshman/sophomore on the cross country and track and field teams? Proudest achievements during your first two high school years? Who were the runners that you looked up to whether that was on the Campo team or other schools?
One athlete I looked up to was Thomas Heutmaker! He once told me before a race, “You just gotta relax man.” He was also a fearless racer too. Freshman year was an adjustment period. It was hard to adapt to the rigorous training that Chuck has implemented. I was really “perplexed” during my freshman season, as Aidan Goltra would say. Anyway, I kept a steady improvement over the course of that freshman season. I started off running a fourteen minute two mile at the Martinez Shoreline Park, and ended up running an 11:18 at the Shadow Cliffs 1.95 mile course that freshman season.  There weren’t many highlights during my freshman / sophomore year of high school, but one thing that I guess is a highlight was winning the 1600m and 3200m at the Frosh-Soph level. Those races gave me a taste of what winning feels like, which feels great!

3) When do you feel like you made the jump during high school from runner to racer, junior varsity to varsity? What led you to making that jump?
When I was a Sophomore, I had the opportunity to be an alternate in the postseason for the 2014 boys’ varsity squad. It motivated me to be more consistent with my training. Although I never raced on varsity that year, it motivated me to get better.  

4) What do you feel was your best races last year as a junior in both XC and TF?
I’d have to say my best race during my junior year of XC was definitely Stanford. I delivered a 16th place finish in a time of 16:16 for the 5k distance.  I wasn’t racing well before that race, mainly because I was sick, but those early races didn’t hurt my confidence. It was the race that made me truly believe.  What was even more exciting was that we beat a southern section powerhouse, Paso Robles, 52-58!

My best track performance was DFAL Championships in the 3200m. I ran a personal record of 9:32 in the 3200m, but four of our top guys broke 9:35 that day, which was even more exciting. I eventually advanced to MOC that year, which was a big step for me before going into my senior year of cross country.

5) Your team won NCS last year and finished 6th place at the state meet? How many returning varsity athletes did you have from last season? 
I was very honored to contribute to  a third straight NCS title, but our main emphasis was on state that year. Our goal was to challenge Brea Olinda for the team title. We were confident going into that race, mainly because we beat a potential podium team earlier in the year (Paso Robles). As you said, we ended up finishing 6th, which stung hard that day. I was devastated that all the hard work we put in over the year didn’t pay off that one day. Paso Robles ended up finishing third, while Brea Olinda won the team title by one point…...

I remember watching the Paso Robles team receive their team medals.  I sat next to my coach Andy, he said to me, “I hope you let this moment sink in and motivate you.”

We graduated four runners (Jon, Nathaniel, Matt, and Miguel), but returned three out our top five (JJ, Richard and myself). At the end of track season, after a lot of effort, we convinced Niki Moore to finally quit football and do cross country. He won MOC last track season in the 800m, so his participation in cross country gave us better depth this year.

6) Did you do anything differently this past summer as you prepared for this cross country season? 
I attended two summer camps. The first camp I attended was Runners Workshop up at Echo Lake. It was a challenge running at altitude for a week, but I learned a whole bunch there. The second camp I attended was Humboldt State Running camp, for the first time! I wasn’t able to go to Humboldt my sophomore and junior year because of family vacations. Our team goes up to Humboldt at the end of July to learn more about the fundamentals of running. That week was a blast, I learned so much from the amazing lectures given by coaches. I also made some friends from other schools too! Other than that, I just kept running consistently and logged all my miles on Xcstats and Strava (Both amazing tools for logging runs, would absolutely recommend to those athletes with GPS watches wanting to upload their miles).
7) What do you feel are the key reasons for the success of the Campolindo teams?
There are a lot of key reasons for the success of recent Campolindo teams, but to me, there are two main reasons behind that success. One of them is Coaching, which I’ll talk about in the next question in more detail. The second is the culture at Campolindo. Everyone on this team, whether they are on varsity, frosh-soph, or junior varsity, all work hard. Everyone is dedicated, they train in the offseason, log their miles, and have a positive attitude when coming to practice.

These are the traits that make Campolindo such a great program.
8) Tell us about your coaches and how they have helped you get to your current level as a runner.
Oh man, I don’t know where I would be without Chuck, Andy, Joey, and Jeff today! They’ve really been huge role models in my daily life. Chuck has really taught me the basic principle of working hard towards achieving your goals and how to be more organized. Andy, Jeff, and Joey are great assistant coaches. They’re easy to talk to, good role models, and great examples of dedicated people!

9) What was the race plan heading into the state meet for the team and you personally? How did the race go for you? What was the toughest part of the race? When did your team find out they made the podium? Reaction?
Going into the race, the plan was to go out fast first mile while trying to stay relaxed. Our coaches told us if we didn’t get out hard in the first mile and go sub five, it would be almost impossible to make up ground because you're eating the dust of 100+ runners. The coaches also emphasized not leading the first mile, but rather staying in contention. After the first mile mark, our team was in fourth position, which was perfect for us. We then had to make a big push during that middle mile, which was the main emphasis going into the race. Picking up a bunch of places during that middle mile was the toughest part for me, but it put me in position for a good day. After the second mile, we were supposed to hold on and channel that inner belief / inspiration.

Before the race, I was actually nervous. I don’t get nervous before races usually, but this race was an exception.  I knew it would be my last XC race in a Campolindo uniform, so that played a part. I ended up running a 15:55.3 to finish 31st. I don’t think it was that great of a race for me individually. I would’ve liked to finish in the top 25. Right when I crossed the finish line, I was pretty exhausted. About thirty seconds after finishing, I heard the announcer say, “Cathedral Catholic, West Torrance, and Campolindo with five runners across the finish line” but, I was convinced we got fourth. When our we were walking back to our team area, Andy started jumping up and down, saying “We did it!!” It brought me to tears. It was gratifying. It was our first podium finish in 8 years, after coming so close in 2013, and 2015. It was a dream come true for me.

10) Favorite XC course? Favorite XC invitational? Favorite XC workout? Favorite long run? Favorite TF invitational? Favorite TF event? Favorite TF workout? Favorite free time activity?
Favorite XC Course: Hidden Valley Park
Favorite XC invitational: Roughrider for sure, mostly because we miss school for the day and get to ride on a charter bus.
Favorite XC workout: 25 minute tempo run @ 20k pace
Favorite Long run: Old Moraga Ranch Trail behind the Saint Mary’s College campus, very hilly + lots of cow pastures. Also an amazing view of the entire East Bay from above!
Favorite TF Invitational: Dublin Distance Fiesta! Great atmosphere, Dublin does a really good job of running the meet there, even when there are 2000 + athletes running.
Favorite TF Event: 3200m
Favorite Track Workout: This is a tough one, I don’t really have an answer to that question, other than all track workouts are my favorite!
Favorite free time activity: Listening to music or watching the amazing Golden State Warriors play! Beauty to watch them play on national television. They are the perfect example of excellent teamwork.

11) As you turn your attention toward the track season, what are your goals and races you are most looking forward to in 2017?
Oh man, I’m really looking forward to this track season! This will be my last high school season before heading off to college to study and run. Time really does fly. One race I’m looking forward to is the Stanford Track invitational. For the past couple of years, Chuck has sent a Distance Medley Relay team down to Palo Alto. This season, we want to break our school record (10:28). We came close the last time we ran at Stanford (10:31). Another race I have my eyes on is Arcadia! Our coaches haven't sent a boys team down to Arcadia in quite some time, but that will hopefully change this year. We would like a shot to break the 4xMile school record (17:43). As of now, our top 1600m times are 4:26-JJ, 4:27-Niki, 4:30-Me, and 4:31-Richard. Some personal goals I’ve made are sub 9:20 in the 3200m and to enjoy my last season! I’d also love to get in the top 6 at NCS Meet of Champions in the 3200m.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
Shout out to my teammates for stepping up to the challenge at state this year! Thanks for the interview!

Thank you very much for your time Ray! AJC

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2017 California Track and Field Schedule

February 16-18 Simplot Indoor Games at Pocatello Idaho
February 25 Capital Classic Relays at Grant
February 25 Clarke Massey Relays at Cosumnes Oaks
February 25 Bulldog Invitational at Folsom
February 25 De La Salle Super Seven at DVC
February 25 Throwers Classic at Fowler
February 25 Ontario Relays at Ontario
February 25 Burbank Relays
February 25 Buchanan Distance Classic at Buchanan

March 3 Steve March Relays at Del Oro
March 3 Pitman Distance Wars at Turlock
March 4 Big Cat Invitational at Santa Rosa
March 4 Dean Andreessen Classic
March 4 Sacramento State HS Track Classic at CSUS
March 4 Tom Moore Relays at Sierra
March 4 Steve Jones Invitational at Burbank
March 4 Vallejo Relays at Vallejo
March 4 Dan Gabor Invitational at Amador Valley
March 4 Willow Glen Invitational at Willow Glen
March 4 Rustbuster Invitational at Monta Vista
March 10 Stanislaus County Meet at Turlock
March 11 San Rafael Twilight Relays at TBA
March 11 KBell Invitational at Los Gatos
March 11 Del Campo Distance Carnival at Del Campo
March 11 Randy Sturgeon Invitational at Granite Bay
March 11 Wolfpack Relays at Merrill West
March 11 Welton Moore Relays at Grant
March 11 Merced County Championships at Golden Valley
March 11 TKA Distance Carnival at TKA
March 15 Pitman F/S Showcase at Turlock
March 17 Calaveras F/S Invite at Calaveras
March 17 LeFebvre Relays at Placer
March 18 Husky Invitational at Sheldon
March 18 Lancer Invitational at Cordova
March 18 Jaguar Invitational at Kimball
March 18 Dublin Distance Fiesta Invitational at Dublin
March 18 St. Francis Invitational at St. Francis
March 18 Cupertino/De Anza Invitational at De Anza
March 18 Garlic Classic at Gilroy
March 24 County Clash V at Oakdale
March 24 Bronco Distance Carnival at Bella Vista
March 25 APU/AHS Invitational at Azusa Pacific
March 25 Firebird Invitational at TBA
March 25 Bay Area Relays at TBA
March 25 Ron Ruptier Memorial Invite at Ponderosa
March 25 Metro Invitational at Burbank
March 25 Mark Macres Invitational at Monterey Trail
March 31 Wolfpack Distance Carnival at Cosumnes Oaks
March 31 Colfax Invitational at Colfax

March 31/April 1 Stanford Invitational at Stanford
April 1 MJC Invitational at Modesto JC
April 7 Cougar Coed Relays at El Dorado
March 7 Friday Night Lights at Inderkum
April 7/8 Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia
April 8 Hughson Invitational at Turlock
April 8 JFK Cougar Invitational
April 8 Thunder Invitational at Rocklin
April 11 Jesuit Easter Invitational
April 11 Rio Linda Invitational at Rio Linda
April 14 Woody Wilson Invitational at UC Davis
April 14/15 Mt. SAC Relays at Walnut HS
April 15 Serra Invitational at Serra
Bearcat Invitational (waiting on date) at San Mateo
April 22 Viking Classic at Montgomery
April 22 CCS Top 8 Meet at Los Gatos
April 21 Del Oro Invitational at Del Oro
April 22 Bella Vista Invitational at Bella Vista
April 22 Northern California Frosh/Soph Championships at Dublin
April 22 Fred Faucett Vallejo Invite at Vallejo
April 22 Halden Invitational at Davis
April 22 Hal Clements Bret Harte Invite at Bret Harte
April 22 Glenn Poole Invitational at Oakmont
April 28 Shedon Distance Carnival
April 28 Frosh/Soph SacTown Races at Whitney
April 29 Sacramento Meet of Champions at ARC

May 5 Gold Rush Elit at Calaveras
May 5 Kays Ostrom Nevada Union/Bear River Invitational at Nevada Union
May 6 JFK Frosh/Soph Invitational
May 17-19 Div I SJS Trials and Finals at Elk Grove
May 17-19 Div II-III SJS Trials and Finals at Bella Vista
May 16-18 Div IV-V SJS Trials and Finals at CSU Stanislaus
May 20 CCS Semi-finals at TBA
May 25-26 SJS Masters Trials and Finals at Elk Grove
May 26 CCS Finals at TBA

June 2/3 California State Track and Field Final at Buchanan 

Ask the Coach

Now that we are into heading the season is over for most athletes, I am moving up the ever popular "Ask the Coach" to the top of this page. If you have any questions in regards to your past season, winter training, Track & Field season or anything that you want answered, please add your question below in the comment section.

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