Saturday, January 31, 2015

2015 Stanford Track and Field Invitational meet info now posted

Meet Info:
Tentative Friday Schedule:
Tentative Saturday Schedule:

Looks like the 4 x 800m. relay will not be contested at the Stanford Invite which is a real shame. They will have individual 800m. races now on Saturday.

Donation to Cross Country Express

If you have enjoyed the pre-season and season Cross Country coverage on this website this past fall, a kind donation would be appreciated.  You can do so at the link to the right.  

This site will remain a free service throughout the year but as you know, a lot of time, effort and money goes into the maintenance of a website.

Thank you to all of you that have contributed already.  It's very much appreciated. Those of you that can't donate or feel no reason to donate, no problem. I will always appreciate your frequent visits to my site.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Catching up with James Logan HS XC and TF coach, Lee Webb

Today we chat with one of the most successful coaches in California, James Logan XC and TF coach, Lee Webb. In his 31 years at James Logan, Lee has accumulated 26 NCS girls' Track and Field team championships and 24 NCS boys' Track and Field team championships. He has coached 24 individual state Track and Field champions as well as two state team titles. In Cross Country, James Logan has won 4 NCS team championships, 9 individual champions and one individual state champion. It would be very difficult to find a coach (in any state) that can surpass Lee's accomplishments. He has also done a lot of work with the Special Olympics and is truly one of the class acts in our field.

You can check out the TF school records for James Logan at this link:

1) What was your own experience in sports? What sports did you do in your youth? What did you do outside of your sports experiences that you feel helped you as an athlete? Highlights for you in sports in high school and college?
Did many sports growing up-Cross Country, Track and Field, Basketball, Baseball, Golf and Track and Field. I was All-State in Basketball, Football and Track and Field. 4 Time State Champion. I Went to Southern Oregon State University-Football, Basketball, Track and Field. Finished @ Oregon State University. Drafted by Seattle Seahawks. Olympic Trials Decathlon and Javelin.

2) Who were the coaches that had the biggest impact on you? What did you learn from them that carries over to this day as a coach yourself?
Frank Morris, former Oregon State head Track and Field Coach. He taught the sport and showed the hard work needed to be a Head Coach.

3) How long have you been at James Logan? What was the state of the XC and TF programs when you first started? What changes did you have to make?
31 Years. When we came to James Logan there were 9 girls and 22 boys who were on the team the year before. Many changes were made. We brought enthusiasm to the sport. Made daily announcements, put up posters, encouraged students from all sports and put together a quality coaching staff. I established a track club right away. We had a clinic and camps during the year, went to middle schools and taught all the events in the sport of Track and Field including javelin, hammer, decathlon, steeplechase and race walking.

In Cross Country, there was maybe 15 students on the team when we got to Logan. We started a running club, put fun runs in place in the city, established the club Cross Country team and started a CYO Cross Country team. We do not have a great distance type running community but we seem to keep finding some gems through the programs that are set up.

4) What else do you do at James Logan aside from the coaching? How long have you been involved with that? Highlights?
I work a great deal with Special Olympics, help with parents on the farm in the summer , I have 2 grown-up children, one who had a baby.
I am brand new grandpa. Love to still do all sports.

5) During your time as the James Logan Track and Field coach, what are some of the standout accomplishments by your athletes and teams?
The 2 State Championship teams-boys-2006, Girls 2004, even though the teams that were second in 1995, 1996, and 2004 were better teams-the girls 2004 team was THE DREAM TEAM.

6) What do you feel has been some of the keys to success for your teams? What are absolute necessities that need to be in place for winning programs?
Dedication, promoting the sport every day at school and in the community. Exposing others to the sport with the news, clinics,camps, education of the sport and what the sport can do to help you in all sports.

7) How do you go about juggling all the events and putting a practice plan together for all the athletes and events?
I have learned over time to work with many athletes. For Track and Field, I have many good assistant coaches. but in the off-season and summer, I coach all the events. Doing the decathlon has prepared me to have knowledge in all the events.

8) How long have you coached the cross country team at James Logan? What are your expectations for your kids in the summer? 
Who have been some of the top distance runners and teams at James Logan?I have coached Cross country 24 out of my 31 years at Logan. My expectations in the summer is they run. If you want a Good team obviously you have to train.
We have Camps in the summer at Logan and the Cross country team goes in the mountains for a week . They have established their own camp-the alumni and current runners. Here are a few:

Aaron Richberg-1.48.40/4.21 ran the 1600 one time in a dual meet in high school Had a 3.03 split for 1200 meters. 1.47 split on the Sprint Medley-ran down Obea Moore-Auburn
Ghebray Brothers-Giliat-4.12/9.07-Cal and Yosef-4.11/8.52-Cal
John Lockard-1.53-Purdue
Kim Wilkes--11.06-
Mei-Ling McNamara-5.00.25
Mason Hartwell-1.55 Idaho
Marcus Jones -1.53.
Scott McDonald -4.18/1.56-Brown
Jami Hardy-2.11-Howard
Thandi Stewart-2.10-Miami
Jennifer Bridgeman-2.12-Arizona state
Danielle Price-2.12-Arizona
Amihan Agustin-2.14/5.11 UC Riverside
Sarah Perrin-5/06-Cal State East Bay
Sky Baumbach-5.09/2.16 Reno
Bahati Bodden-2.14
Victoria Humphrey-2.14 Sacramento State
Tiffany Monslaud-St. Marys
Matt Cobette-4.19., 1.55 Cal Poly
Daniel Embaye-4.18 Chico St
Abraham Epinoza-4.25-Sac State
Alexandra Newsom-2.19/5.13/11.20 Current
Cristian Monslaud-1.56./4.24 6.22 Steeplechase Current

9) What changes do you feel need to be made for the benefit of cross country and track and field in California?
For the most part I like the way Cross Country works.

Track and Field, I think for our section, the many days of qualifying to get to the State Meet hurts us. Now, we have on 3 spots based on that fact.

10) Heading into another Track and Field season, what continues to motivate you to continue coaching?
I love to work with students. Love to see them improve. Love the challenges to put on events. Love competition and sport in general.

11) What advice would you give a new coach who has aspirations on competing at top level in either cross country and/or track and field?
Takes time takes work and the ultimate dedication.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
There are so many experiences and things that have happened to me and the school since I started coaching. Many athletes represent the US in international competitions, being on 3 USA staffs and currently have up to 300 students on our team for Track and Field and 125 in Cross Country.
We had 12 students from our school who qualified for the last Olympic Track and Field Trials.
I was selected to 2 USA teams

2004 Team NACAC Team
2011 Jumps Coach World Youth Team
2013 Head Coach World Youth Team

There are many many more athletes, experiences to mention-I would need a book!

Thank you very much for your time Lee! AJC

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Catching up with Placer High School coach, Randall Fee...

Today we chat with Placer High School Cross Country head coach (SJS), Randall Fee. This past season, Placer HS qualified both teams (boys and girls) to the CA state meet as their boys won the Division III race with the girls in 2nd behind Vista del Lago. The boys' victory was their 4th section championship in a row. The boys finished in 5th place at the CA state meet in their race and 2nd overall out of all Northern California teams, trailing only Bellarmine HS. Coach Fee has coached at Placer for 14 seasons, taking the helm of the team from Ron Hyatt, whose daughter Lindsay, won the CA state 800 title 4 years in a row. On a side note, Placer was established in 1897 which makes it one of the older public schools in California (117 years old!).

1) What was your own experience in sports? When did you start and what sports did you play? Proudest accomplishments?
My first experience in sports was little league baseball. I enjoyed playing baseball thru high school and finally at Oregon State University.

2) Who were the coaches that had the biggest impact on you and what important lessons did you learn from them? Who are the coaches that you lean on now for advice?
My first Little League Coach, Orville Taylor, had an impact on me. He demanded that we play hard and work on the fundamentals of baseball every game and every practice. Every practice had a purpose that was communicated to us. I try to do this with my teams so they know there is a plan in place.

Today I’m influenced by a couple of my fellow coaches who I believe run great programs and have for a long time. Bob King (Del Campo H.S.) always has the most disciplined teams that always stand out at a X-C Meet. Walt Lange from Jesuit H.S. in Sacramento prepares his teams for big meets like nobody else. Walt’s success in his career is legendary. More on a personal note I love doing battle with Peanut Harms (El Dorado H.S.) and Kevin Ostenberg (Del Oro H.S.). These two always compete hard with Placer on both the Girls and Boys teams. No matter what the outcome is at the end of the meet we always shake hands and can’t wait till we do battle again.

3) What led you into coaching? How long have you been at Placer HS? What else do you do besides coaching?
I have personally been running for 49 years. When I got married in the 80’s I was running marathons and ultra-marathons and racing every weekend. My profession was with P.G.&E. as a Lineman. When my children got older we started running as a family. Both my children, upon completion of high school received D-1 running scholarships. My son, Dustin, (Head track coach at Del Oro) graduated in 2002 and that Fall I was asked to become the Cross Country Coach at Placer. P.G.&E. was great about letting me start my day early so I could Coach in the afternoon. This will be my 14th year at Placer as the head Cross Country Coach.

4) What was that state of the team when you first started coaching at Placer HS? What are some of the advantages and challenges of coaching at that school?
I took over in 2002 after legendary Coach, Ron Hyatt, retired. The program was very strong and Coach Hyatt left me some very talented runners. Placer’s track is the finish line for the Western States 100 mile ultra run, which is held in June every year. We are so fortunate to have the Western States Trail in our backyard for out training runs. We never have to go far to run on hills and trails. Training in canyons does have it challenges. This year we ran into 5 or 6 rattlesnakes and two Mountain Lions.

5) Can you tell us a little about the progression of your seniors since they started with you?
We completed our 4-peat as Section Champions this year and two Runners were a part of all four teams. This group of seniors progressed every year they ran for Placer. Starting as freshman or sophomores running in the high 17’s to finishing their high school x-c career with pr’s at the state meet. Their times at State were from mid 15’s to very low 16’s.

6) What were the expectations of the team heading into the season? Who are the teams in your league and division in SJS that you feel have pushed your runners to better performances?
Our goal in 2013 was to 3-peat at Sections, which had never been done on the boys side at Placer. So naturally in 2014 the team was focused on that 4-peat. Our other goal was to improve our performance at the State meet with a top 10 finish. By far our main competition at the Section D-3 meet has been El Dorado and Del Oro high schools. As I mentioned earlier their coaches always prepare their teams well for the Sections meet.

7) Your boys' team won the SJS Division III race with 28 points. Where did you think they could finish at the state meet? How satisfying was it to finish 5th at the state meet?
In the State rankings they had us ranked 10th going into the State meet. I believe a turning point for us was winning the Clovis Invitational; it made us believe a top 5 placement was doable at the State meet. After the state meet race, they had us initially finishing 7th which we were very excited about. Then, the official results came out and we had actually finished in 5th place...boy, did the party begin then! What an honor it was to see those boys celebrate after all they had put into their running since June.

8) Your girls' team finished in 2nd place in SJS and also qualified for the state meet. What are the similarities and differences of coaching girls compared to boys? 
Right there with the boys 4-peat was the excitement of seeing this young girls team make it to the State meet. All the scorers at the State meet were freshmen or sophomores. We do a lot of team bonding during the season, carbo load dinners before every League Meet and a special dinner for those attending the Stanford Invitational. I believe these times together help to make for good chemistry on our team. We always have a lot of competition for our top 7 which makes for very few top runners ever missing practice. Competitive soccer on the girls side is challenging and something we face every year.

9) What does a typical training week look like for your runners? What changes as you get closer to the SJS meets and the state meet? Morning runs? Weights? What else do you think were keys to the success of your runners?
Our season starts in mid June and goes for 5 months so pacing our season is extremely important. We start the first part of our summer building our base mileage, then in the second half we start to build in hill workouts and long runs on the weekends. During early October, we quit the hill repeats and build more on long speed workouts (1000 meter repeats). Once our league championships are over we move to 600 meter repeats (on a flat grass course) and bring their mileage down. We also bring in Alumni for motivational talks. We do ice baths and use rollers after every hard run and I believe this really helps with a long season.

10) What do you feel have been some of the biggest changes for you as a coach and for the two sports (XC and TF) since you started coaching?
One of the biggest changes for me is having to be more flexible with the runner’s schedules. Students today are involved in more activities than when I first started coaching. Between band, club soccer, jobs, and AP classes my runners are maxed out and I want to work with them as much as possible.

11) Concerning the CA state XC meet, what changes do you think can take place which will make for a better meet?
I believe the CIF board needs to communicate with all-sections on what enrollment numbers we use in making out our divisional format. I believe when you get to the State level you should be on an even playing field. Currently the Sectional makeup for divisions is left up to each individual Section.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
Thanks for this opportunity to talk about my program.

Thank you for your time Randall! AJC

Monday, January 26, 2015

Track and Field 1st Official Practice dates

Northern Section-First Meet Date: Monday, February 23rd
North Coast Section-First Practice Date: Monday, February 9th
Sac Joaquin Section-First Practice Date: Monday, February 9th
Oakland Section-First Practice Date: Monday, January 26th
San Francisco Section-First Practice Date: Monday, January 26th
Central Coast Section-First Practice Date: Monday, February 2nd
Central Section-First Practice Date: Monday, February 2nd
Southern Section-First Practice Date: School Site Decision
San Diego Section-First Practice Date: Saturday, February 21st
Los Angeles Section-First Practice Date: Monday, February 2nd

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Steve Adams (Cardinal Newman HS) Thrives as a Runner Despite Epilepsy Diagnosis (1/21/15)

Cal All-Comers Results (Check out individual race/field results for familiar HS names)

Here are some of the more notable results. Feel free to include others in comment section.
Reonna Collier Piedmont Hills (CCS) 8.56 60m. Hurdles/57.25 400m.

Cristian Monsalud James Logan (NCS) finishes 2nd in 800m. with 1:57.04.

Cooper Teare St. Joseph Notre Dame (NCS) edges out Alexander Glavin of College Prep (NCS) 9:42.47 to 9:42.48 in the open 3200m.

Isaiah Holmes Oakmont (SJS)6'4.75" High Jump

Marshall Godsil Bellarmine (CCS) 52'1.75" Shot Put

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sacramento Running Association Hall of Fame Bio: Jesuit HS coach Walt Lange

(First in a series highlighting the six members of the Sacramento Running Association’s 2015 Hall of Fame class. Today: Walt Lange).
Walt Lange has mentored plenty of great running talents in his long, illustrious coaching career at Jesuit High School.
Michael Stember. Eric and Mark Mastalir. Matt Farley. Paul Thomas. David Welsh.
What really motivates Lange, though, is helping the lesser lights find a way to shine.
“You get noticed for the stars; they come along every few years,” said Lange, one of six inductees in the Sacramento Running Association’s 2015 Hall of Fame class.
“You’re working with more average talents every day. That’s really what it’s all about … it really is a privilege to be out there working with young people.
To read the rest, go to this link:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Multi-sport athletes on Ohio St. Football team

This has been making the rounds the past couple of days so if you haven't seen it already, here you go. It's a great visual and message to share with current high school football players who may be on the fence about joining the Track and Field team in the spring.

Are football players encouraged to do Track in the spring at your school?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2015 Southern Section Distance Races State Meet Contenders

The top 6 qualify to the state meet from the Southern Section unless you can qualify by surpassing the 2015 At-Large Time Standards.  Additions?  Changes?  Comments?

Girls 800m.
The favorite:  Amber Gore Redondo Union,
Threats: Anevay Hiehle Redondo Union, Taylor Arco Mission Viejo
Wildcards: Sabrina Janes Saugus, Jacquelyn Hill Etiwanda, Cassie Durgy Huntington Beach, Annie Boos Claremont, Kaylie Grimes Beaumont

Boys 800m.
The favorite:  Jeremiah Bias Vista Del Lago
Threats: Sergio Rodriguez Redondo Union, Isaac Cortez Great Oak
Wildcards: Cooper Kossick Edison, Dillon Beckum Bonita, Thomas Heib Los Alamitos, Isaiah Jewitt Cathedral

Girls 1600m.
The favorite: Destiny Collins Great Oak
Threats: Amanda Gehrich Tesoro, Julia Sienski Edison
Wildcards:  Sabrina Janes Saugus, Claire Graves Citrus Valley, Kimberly Coscia South Torrance, Candela Fernandez Burbank, Talley Hill Arroyo Grande, Amber Gore Redondo Union, Kiyena Beatty Great Oak, Tahlia Adams Roosevelt

Boys 1600m.
The favorite:  Austin Tamagno Brea Olinda
Threats: Phillip Rocha Arcadia, Jake Ogden Dana Hills, George Gleason Huntington Beach
Wildcards: William Ernst San Luis Obispo, Nicholas Doan Great Oak, Caleb Webb Big Bear, Cobie Chavez Temescal Canyon, Millen Trujillo Walnut, Austin Shellito Brea Olinda, Mason Coppi Dana Hills

Girls 3200m.
The favorite:  Destiny Collins Great Oak
Threat: Samantha Ortega Saugus, Kimberly Coscia South Torrance, Caroline Pietryzk Malibu
Wildcards: Emily Beneduce Oak Park, Claire Graves Citrus Valley, Sabrina Hermann Trabuco Hills, Amanda Gehrich Tesoro, Kiyena Beatty Great Oak

Boys 3200m.
The favorite: Austin Tamagno Brea Olinda,
Threats: Caleb Webb Big Bear, Brian Zabilski Saugus, Jake Ogden Dana Hills
Wildcards: Michael Teran Jurupa Hills, Andres Barregan Warren, Benjamin Gonzalez Warren, Nicholas Doan Great Oak, Mason Coppi Dana Hills

Monday, January 19, 2015

Catching up with Bishop O'Dowd runner, Colin Burke

Today we chat with Bishop O'Dowd senior runner, Colin Burke. This past Cross Country season, Burke recorded his finest season to date. He won the Ed Sias Invitational (small school division), Stanford Invitational (Division III race) and Clovis Invitational (Division IV race). He finished in 3rd place at the California state meet Division III race in a lifetime best 15:23. He finished in 10th place the Footlocker West Regional race to qualify for the National meet where he finished in 32nd place. With all the above accomplishments, Burke was named 1st team All-NorCal.

1) How did you get your start in running? How old were you? What was the first success that you remember and made you excited to be a runner?

When I was in elementary school I used to go on runs with my Dad and brother just for fun. I was also very competitive in middle school with our weekly PE mile, but during the fall of my freshman year I actually decided to play water polo instead of run cross country, so I didn’t really start running until track season. The first success I had was at the Dan Gabor Invitational where I ran the 1600. It was after that race when I started to love running.

2) Tell us about your freshmen season in Track and Field? Highlights?

My freshman track season was a great learning experience for me. It was what really got me into running, and it was during that season where I caught the running bug. A performance highlight was breaking 5 minutes in the mile, but one thing I always look back on and laugh at is my best time for the 400m - 71 seconds. 

3) How much convincing did it take to get you to join the cross country team as a sophomore?

After track my freshman year, it didn’t take much convincing for me to join the cross country team as a sophomore. I knew that I liked running and that I was better at longer races, so stepping up to the 5k would be right up my alley. In the past I enjoyed playing team sports, and cross country feels like more of a team sport to me especially when I line up next to my teammates at the start of every race.

4) When do you feel you made the biggest jump during your high school career as a runner? What do you think led to that improvement?

I feel that my biggest jump was from my junior track season to my senior cross country season. We did have a coaching change that year, but I sat down with my current coach, Coach David Okikawa, in the summer and we planned out the entire season. It was something that really gave me a lot of confidence going forward. We decided to go up in mileage a little bit, but I believe that focusing on my strength work and nutrition really changed my performances. Sometimes the little things can go a long way, and I attribute that to a lot of my success this year. 

5) Looking back at your just completed cross country season, what do you feel were your best races and proudest achievements?

A race that was a turning point for me was this season was the Stanford Invitational because it gave me a lot of confidence. It was the first time I could see all the hard work I put in over the summer paying off. Ultimately, my proudest moment was when I qualified for Foot Locker Nationals. I spent the last three years watching that race on the webcast. To actually be able to take part in it was a dream come true. 

6) What did a typical week look like for you during cross country season in terms of training? How many workouts? Length of long run? Any morning runs? Weightlifting?

Monday: Medium mileage run at easy pace

Tuesday: Tempo workout (repeats of usually 1-4 miles)

Wednesday: Short mileage run at easy/recovery pace

Thursday: Workout that was usually strength based and a little quicker (hill repeats, 800s on the track, mile repeats on the trails for example)

Friday: Easy/recovery run

Saturday: Long run anywhere from 10-14 miles

We did some morning runs and weight training over the summer, about twice per week, but lightened up on both of those during the season. 

7) You have had several coaching changes during your time at Bishop O'Dowd. What did you learn from each coach and how did each coach help you get to your current level?

Coaching changes can definitely be difficult to deal with as an athlete because each coaching style is different. My advice to anyone going through a coaching change is to just trust your coach and be vocal about how you’re feeling on a day-to-day basis. I believe most of my success came from working with Coach David, and the most important lesson that I learned from him was when to push it and when to back off. Through learning this lesson I was better prepared for the end of the season than I was in years past, and I believe that is why I had so much success this postseason. 

8) Favorite XC course? Favorite XC invitational? Favorite XC workout? Favorite long run? Favorite Track and Field event? Favorite Track invitational? Favorite Track workout?

My favorite cross country course is Woodward Park (because it has a little bit of everything)

My favorite XC invitational is the Stanford Invitational (because of how exciting it was this year)

My favorite XC workout is long tempo (because I think that is what got me stronger)

My favorite long run is a run through the Oakland hills on a trail called the Sequoia Bayview Trail (because it is so scenic)

My favorite track and field event is 3200 (because it fits me the best)

My favorite track invitational Dublin Distance Fiesta (because of the great energy and how well the meet is run every year)

My favorite track workout is 1k repeats (because it’s fast but manageable)

9) Your brother Sean and Nick Downs make up a formidable trio of runners. How much of your running is with them and how often does it get competitive in practice?

Every practice we run in a group of four runners: my brother Sean, Nick Downs, Riley Cooke, and me. I’ve run with them since the beginning of my sophomore year, and it has been a great experience. There’s nobody I would rather train with day in and day out. It can get a little competitive at practice, but we always know we are on the same team working towards the same goals. I do however think the competitiveness is something that has taken us to the next level. 

10) What are you most looking forward to this coming Track and Field season?

I am really looking forward to improving my times as best as I can and seeing how far I can make it through the post season.

11) Have you made your decision on where you will attend college next year and if not, how much will running impact your decision?

I haven’t made my decision yet about where I will attend college, but running is definitely something that I would love to continue into my college years. 

12) Anything else you would like to add.

Just a huge shoutout to all of my teammates and training partners over the years, I could never have done it without you, and thank you Albert for running such a great site and giving me the opportunity to do this interview!

Thank you very much for your time Colin! AJC

Sunday, January 18, 2015