Friday, October 24, 2014

Podcast with Santa Cruz junior runner, Cate Ratliff...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Catching up with Branson School coach, Steve Reinertsen...

Today we chat with Branson School coach, Steve Reinertsen (left in photo directing 2014 Branson grad and 3-time state XC champion, Julia Maxwell). He is a 1982 graduate of the school who has coached there multiple times including his current assignment which started in 2010. Last season, his girls won their league championship (MCAL), finished 2nd in NCS (resting their #2 runner Anna Harleen) and won the school's first state championship in cross country.

1) What was your own athletic experience in your youth? What sports did you play?
I played football, baseball, basketball and soccer as a kid. 

2) Who were the coaches that had the biggest impact on you and what did you learn from them?
Dave Nelson coached me at Ross School. He showed me what a little gruff TLC could do for a kid. George Olive coached me at Branson. I wanted to be like him when I grew up—smart, irreverent and kind. Not quite there yet, but still trying. 

3) What led you into coaching and did you have other experiences before Branson School?
I started at Branson as an assistant when I was a senior at Cal. My good friend, former Branson teammate, and flat-out idol Pete Mclaughlin asked me to help, and I was hooked. I worked for Pete from 1985-1987. In 1992, Branson athletic director Tom Ryan called a week before the season, saying the head coach had quit unexpectedly, and asking if I could come fill in. I thought I was just going to do it for that one year—I was about to get engaged and figured the stipend could help with the ring—but I ended up staying through the 2002 season. I stepped away at that point because my wife and I had two young sons, and she thought I should be spending afternoons with them rather than with other people’s kids. I coached lots of my sons’ youth football and baseball teams, and thoroughly enjoyed that, but also always hoped I could return to Branson once things calmed down on the home front. During the ’09 xc season, I opened the sports page to see that Branson was now forfeiting races, meaning they had fewer than five per gender. That broke my heart. I showed it to my wife, and she said our boys were old enough, I could go back to it. I called Tom, and he said the door was wide open, so I returned for the 2010 season.

4) When did you start coaching at Branson and what was the state of the program?
The program was robust when I ran from 1978-1982. It was in good shape when I worked under Pete, and we were solid from 1992-2002. As I said, it was in a real down cycle when I came back in 2010.

5) What changes did you make? What did you keep the same? Who were the runners that really bought in to your program and had a big impact to your success last season?
I don’t know that I made any changes. I just came back and did what I’d always done, which was try to attract runners, and coach ‘em up, while making it as fun as I could. Julia Maxwell, three-time D5 state champ now at Stanford, and Anna Harleen, who finished second to Julia at state her junior year—and we were fourth!...that tells you something about the importance of a full team, went one-two and still didn’t win the thing!—and now runs for Williams, were freshmen in 2010. They were our pillars, but their classmates Allie Williams, Sophie Breck and Sayles Day were also a huge part of the renaissance.

6) Your girls won the state division V championship last year. When did a state championship first appear on the radar for you and the team? Looking back, what would you say were some of the key aspects that led to the championship?
State championship first appeared on radar in 2011, when Julia won state and Anna finished 9th. Trick was just to get a fifth runner, really. Would have had it easy in 2012, when Julia and Anna went one-two, but no fifth. Got a freshman last year, Ashley Delgado, who ran fourth for us, and helped us over hump, as did #5, Lizzie Reeves (Ashley not with us this year unfortunately; playing volleyball instead). We might have even been a little bit cocky at beginning of ’13 season, thought we had real good shot at it, but then both Julia and Anna got hurt, and so it was very touch and go. Championship itself was a delightful surprise.

7) What would you say are the positives and challenges of coaching at Branson School?
Coaching at Branson is great in many different ways. Our daily training grounds are amazing—five minute jog on paved roads gets us to Phoenix Lake, gateway onto Mt. Tamalpais...hundreds of miles of trails and fire roads (Friday we did our annual Branson-to-beach jaunt, running from school to Stinson Beach). The kids are fantastic—smart, conscientious, funny, ambitious, hard-working, wholesome and thoughtful. Families very supportive and appreciative. Also very rewarding for me as an alumnus, someone who ran on team, just the continuity and tradition. Fun to coach kids of parents who attended Branson with me. The main challenge is finding and retaining enough talented, committed runners. School size 320, many of whom have very rich, full lives, so it can be hard to scrounge enough sometimes. Club soccer for girls the bane of our existence. 

8) What does a typical training week look like for your team? What days are the workouts? Typical workouts? Long run distance for most varsity athletes? Strength work?
Our Marin County Athletic League races are usually on Thursdays. Monday is generally a max VO2 day, anywhere from two to three miles worth of 400s, 800s, 1000s. We’re lucky—we have a shaded and secluded flat dirt road we jog out to, we call it our ‘job site,’ where we run our repeats. We mark every 200m, so all the kids ever have to know is their 200 split, plus the amount of rest; keeps things very simple. Paces are individualized, tied to recent race performance. Runners train with similar-speed runners (co-ed). Usually three or four runners will miss Monday, in which case we’ll give them an abbreviated speed workout for Tuesday—not ideal, but better than nothing (not enough to waste them for Thursday race). Tuesday is typically medium, Wednesday easy (we do progressive muscle relaxation and race preview in classroom before easy run). Race Thursday. Friday either easy for six-day runners or “long” (all relative) for five-day runners. Sat optional long day for six-day kids—try to run somewhere special, love west Marin in particular. Long is 8-12 miles, usually pretty hilly and often trails, given where we are. Emphasis more on fun and nature than training quality, but still covering ground. Sunday off. No real strength work. Branson has a great trainer, and I could do a better job utilizing him, but not there yet. Try to keep things as streamlined as possible for our athletes (seem to attract a lot of academics-first runners, so they appreciate our 4:40pm short-day conclusion/5:10 longer-day conclusions). 

9) Who are the coaches that have been mentors for you and that you lean on to this day?
Tom Ryan was Branson’s athletic director for over twenty years (he’s also coached both boys and girls soccer at the school forever). He now works in Alumni Affairs, but he’s still the best man/coach I know. Even when I took time away from high school coaching to raise our young sons, I’d still go up to school often, just to talk with Tom. He has two sons, a few years older than my boys, so he was a great resource in that department (always insisted family comes first, well before work), and he’s just so wise, humble, and encouraging. Hanging with him is an incredible privilege. Jonas Honick is another mentor. He was a longtime basketball coach at Branson, now “just” a history teacher. He won three state championships, and has been described as “the most intense guy you’ll ever meet.” In some ways we are polar opposites, but I still admire the heck out of him, love his keep-it-real sense of humor and feel honored to be his friend. He’s taught me to be true to myself, and to disregard the external chatter. I enjoyed coaching his daughter Rachael a decade ago, and this fall she’s been a great help to the team as an assistant (we lost her last Friday unfortunately...after a couple years in Senegal with the Peace Corps, she got her master’s in public policy from Duke last spring, and finally got a job in her field last week, in Washington DC). 

10) What would you say are the biggest changes you have made as a coach from when you started coaching to now?
Email and internet have probably prompted the biggest changes. Neither was around when I first started. Plenty of positives—can communicate with runners and families much more readily than could back then; fun to get race info and results over the web—but sometimes it feels burdensome too. More work. More generally, I’m probably more easy-going and understanding than I was as a younger man. I’ve had kids of my own, and I remember what it was like to be a kid myself. I now realize that I’m supposed to be there for them, not vice versa. Won enough, lost enough (not just xc, but football and baseball too), that can pretty much roll with anything; wasn’t true when I was younger. Took it more personally, needed them to make me look good. 

11) What is your advice for a coach taking over a Division V team with aspirations of competing at the state level?
Advice for a coach taking over a D5 team with state aspirations: chuck the aspirations...and I say that only partly tongue-in-cheek. I really feel like I just did time, learned the craft, and then one day, all these neat, talented kids showed up. I don’t know that I could have made it happen any sooner than it did. Maybe someone more driven and less slacker than I could have done it. If a coach loves to run, and loves kids and families, he or she will enjoy the job, and if he or she is lucky, at some point, the right athletes will appear and they will take her on a ride she’ll never forget. At least that’s what happened for me.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
Additional: so grateful to the kids I’ve gotten to coach over the years, especially those who continue to drop by our house unannounced, even now that they are in their twenties and thirties. It’s a privilege to coach with Will Kennedy, Branson ’03, whom I coached back when he was a student at the school. I love having Alex Varner around, too (look him up...now there’s a perfect developmental arc for a distance runner!). “With all of our running and all of our cunning If we couldn’t laugh we’d all go insane.” Jimmy Buffet, “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.”

Thank you very much for your time Steve! AJC

Your best workout this season?

Let's hear about your best workout this season. What did you do? At what pace? How much rest? What is the reason for the workout? Benefits? How long was your warm-up? Cool down? Have you repeated this workout during this season? Improvement?
Anyone?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Updated Toro Park Records thanks to Gus Ibarra

Updated 10/20/14
Top 10 Boys' Team Times
1 Carlmont 79:58 2012
2 Mountain View 80:13 2008
3 Madera South 80:17 2014
4 Bellarmine 80:43 2011
5 Los Gatos 80:45 2006
6 Los Altos 81:05 2012
7 West Torrance 81:08 2014
8 North Monterey County 81:10 2003
9 Willow Glen 81:23 2006
10 San Benito 81:28 2011 
 
Top 10 Girls' Team Times
1 Los Gatos 96:01 2006
2 Mountain View 96:11 2008
3 Carlmont 96:22 2006
4 Aptos 96:43 2014
5 Monta Vista 96:56 2014 
6 Gunn 96:59 2002
7 Mitty 97:14 2012
8 San Lorenzo Valley 97:17 2004
9 Homestead 97:47 2014 
10 Half Moon Bay 98:20 2004
 
Top 25 Boys All-Time
15:02 Estifanos, Yohaness 12 Milpitas 2012
15:05 D’Acquisto, Domenic 12 Enterprise 2010
15:12 Petrillo, Matthew 12 Los Gatos 2006
15:13 Abdalla, Mohamed 12 Willow Glen 2007
15:14 Herrera, Jose 12 Madera South 2012
15:20 Estrada, Diego 12 Alisal 2007
15:20 Ho, Richard 12 Leland 2012
15:21 Mineau, Jeremy 11 Menlo Atherton 2002
15:21 Geiken, Will 12 Los Gatos 2010
10 15:22 Fitzpatrick, Dylan 12 Carmel 2004
11 15:24 Morales, Ben 11 San Benito 1998
11 15:24 Dunn, Alex 11 San Lorenzo Valley 2002
13 15:26 Sum, Steven 12 Saratoga 2014
14 15:27 Johnson, Tyre 11 Palma 2007
14 15:27 Lema, Nohe 12 Willow Glen 2008
14 15:27 Corvese, Ryan 12 Sobrato 2012
14 15:27 Vasquez, Miguel 12 Andrew Hill 2012
18 15:28 Hunt, Rylan 12 Aptos 2008
19 15:29 Rowe, Garrett 10 Mountain View 2008
19 15:29 Schuh, Parker 11 Mountain View 2009
19 15:29 Herrera, Eduardo 11 Madera South 2014
22 15:31 Sitler, Ben 11 St. Francis 2004
23 15:33 Strum, Weston 12 Pioneer 2009
24 15:34 Huerta, Nathan 11 North Monterey County 2003
24 15:34 Nelson, Tim 10 Liberty Christian 2000
24 15:34 Sartor, Matt 12 Enterprise 2000
 
Top 25 Girls All-Time
17:16 Tyler, Tori 12 Gunn 2004
17:23 Maxwell, Anna 12 San Lorenzo Valley 2013
17:42 Fraser, Vanessa 12 Scotts Valley 2012
17:44 Hiltz, Nikki 11 Aptos 2011
17:46 Katz, Danielle 12 Los Gatos 2012
17:49 Jacob, Lauren 9 Los Altos 2012
17:50 Robinson, Sarah 12 Gunn 2013
17:53 Gallagher, Michelle 12 Sacred Heart 2002
17:54 Estrada, Vanessa 12 San Benito 2012
10 18:00 Hinds, Rachel 12 St. Ignatius 2010
11 18:02 Nevitt, Casey 12 Aptos 2002
11 18:02 Weigel, Maya 12 Mountain View 2012
13 18:03 Goo, Kylie 12 Westmoor 2012
14 18:06 Meeks, Gillian 11 Gunn 2014
15 18:07 Barnett, Stephanie 11 Leland 2007
15 18:07 Ratliff, Cate 11 Santa Cruz 2014
17 18:08 Grelli, Melissa 11 Presentation 2002
18 18:09 Plank, Mckayla 10 Mitty 2002
18 18:09 Viehweg, Ciera 10 St. Ignatius 2002
18 18:09 Peterson, Jessie 12 Carlmont 2010
21 18:15 Fedronic, Justine 12 Carlmont 2008
21 18:15 Bergman, Jennifer 12 Valley Christian 2008
23 18:16 Kirschman, Lindsey 11 Enterprise 2004
24 18:17 Graham, Ruth 12 Gunn 2002
25 18:20 Follmar, Alicia 12 Saratoga 2004

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Night of Two-Mile Madness


Date: Friday, November 14, 2014
Location: Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA

HOKA One One and Heart & Sole Sports invites all middle school and high school individuals and teams to join us for The Night of Two-Mile Madness.

The HOKA One One National Two-Mile Postal Competition has tapped Santa Rosa Junior College as an affiliate site, and we are excited to crank up the stadium lights and let the fast times roll!

We will be running The Night of Two-Mile Madness for individuals and teams of all levels, with the top-5 times from complete high school teams being sent in to HOKA One One for the National Two-Mile Postal Competition.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the new Heart & Sole youth running club.

Coaches, if you have athletes interested in participating, please contact Chris Puppione at coachpup@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jim Tracy Challenge Results (Golden Gate Park 3.1 miles)

Northern California XC Rankings (2nd Version)

Feel free to comment on the teams and individuals below. Did I miss anybody?

Boys Teams
1) Los Gatos HS (CCS) Division II
2) Bellarmine HS (CCS) Division I
3) De La Salle HS (NCS) Division I
4) King City HS (CCS) Division IV
5) Davis HS (SJS) Division I
6) Jesuit HS (SJS) Division II
7) Granite Bay HS (SJS) Division I
8) Placer HS (SJS) Division III
9) Bishop O'Dowd HS (NCS) Division III
10) Granada HS (NCS) Division II

Girls Teams
1) Davis HS (SJS) Division I
2) Campolindo HS (NCS) Division III
3) Aptos HS (CCS) Division III
4) Bella Vista HS (SJS) Division I
5) St. Francis, Sacramento (SJS) Division I
6) Redwood, Larkspur (NCS) Division II
7) St. Francis, Mt. View (CCS) Division II
8) Monta Vista HS (CCS) Division I
9) Monte Vista HS (NCS) Division I
10) Henry M. Gunn HS (CCS) Division I

Boys Individuals
1) Chris Foster Los Gatos HS CCS Division II
2) Steven Sum Saratoga HS CCS Division III
3) Jackson Crose Livermore HS NCS Division II
4) Paul Zeiss Granite Bay HS SJS Division I
5) Trevor Reinhart Marin Academy NCS Division V
6) Sean Kurdy Jesuit HS SJS Division II
7) Drew Childs Bella Vista HS SJS Division I
8) Matt Schumann De La Salle HS NCS Division I
9) Colin Burke Bishop O'Dowd HS NCS Division III
10) Jose Pina Lincoln SJ HS CCS Division II

Girls Individuals
1) Fiona O'Keeffe Davis HS SJS Division I
2) Chloe Hansel Las Lomas HS NCS Division III
3) Megan McCandless Granada HS NCS Division II
4) Brooke Starn Monte Vista HS NCS Division I
5) Gillian Meeks Henry M. Gunn HS CCS Division I
6) Cate Ratliff Santa Cruz HS CCS Division IV
7) Caroline Gee Cupertino HS CCS Division I
8) Brighie Leach Campolindo HS NCS Division III
9) Kathryn Loken Del Campo HS SJS Division II
10) Toni Finnane Campolindo HS NCS Division III

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Top NorCal Individuals and Teams at Clovis Invitational (All boys under 17:00 and Top 10 Teams)

Event 22  Boys 5k Run CC OVERALL
=======================================================================        
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points        
=======================================================================
Results - Men                                                                  
 17 Kurdy, Sean                  Jesuit                15:31.16   15          
 20 Schumann, Matt               De La Salle           15:33.86   18          
 29 Ehrenberg, Andy              Redwood (Larkspur)    15:38.74   27                  
 32 Song, Brian                  Davis                 15:40.27   29          
 36 Burke, Colin                 Bishop O'Dowd         15:43.41   33          
 50 Sanchez, Austin              De La Salle           15:48.35   47          
 74 garcia, alex                 Placer                15:58.17   71          
 75 Schlachte, Peter             Amador Valley         15:58.42   72                  
 79 Armstrong, Austin            Granada               15:59.80   76              
 85 Johnson, Roc                 De La Salle           16:02.10   82                  
 96 Chrisman, Tim                Monte Vista           16:04.45   93          
 97 Downs, Nick                  Bishop O'Dowd         16:04.46   94          
103 Giordano, Joel               Sheldon               16:06.69  100          
112 Katzman, Zachary             Skyline               16:09.76  108                    
113 Goold, Harrison              Granada               16:09.84  109              
118 mccarter, moshe              Placer                16:11.14  114                    
120 Borowsky, Nick               Davis                 16:12.04  116                
122 Hastings, Alec               Tokay                 16:12.16  118          
123 Jervis, Danny                Las Lomas             16:12.91  119              
126 Miller, Tristan              Monte Vista           16:13.72  122                    
128 Browning, Kellen             Davis                 16:14.49  124          
139 Cross, Evan                  Jesuit                16:17.91  135          
149 Flaherty, Colin              Folsom                16:19.89  144              
156 Beston, Zach                 Amador Valley         16:21.00  151                    
158 Harris, Charlie              Davis                 16:21.65  153          
172 Schmidt, Zachary             Dublin                16:23.81  167          
173 Lackner, Michael             Jesuit                16:24.19  168                  
176 Burke, Sean                  Bishop O'Dowd         16:24.74  171          
181 De Leon, Isaias              De La Salle           16:26.00  176          
184 Sickman, Matthew             Jesuit                16:26.29  179          
195 Gaskell, Cameron             Acalanes              16:29.35  190                
197 Glavin, Alex                 College Prep          16:29.59  192                  
199 Barraza, Raul                North Salinas         16:29.71  194              
203 Jones, Brendan               Jesuit                16:30.55  197                  
211 Maneloveg, Daniel            Monte Vista           16:31.90  204                      
213 Buck, Andy                   Amador Valley         16:32.39  205                  
215 Dokter, Derek                Sheldon               16:32.62  207          
229 Gronovius, Joey              Homestead             16:33.93  220          
237 Huitt, Andrew                Jesuit                16:35.49  226          
238 Bagga, Sidd                  Miramonte             16:35.75  227          
239 ploeg, jack                  Placer                16:35.83  228          
251 Skellenger, Leo              Granada               16:38.04  239          
252 Hall, Willie                 Davis                 16:38.12  240            
256 Robey, Tom                   Las Lomas             16:38.59  243          
257 Vernau, Michael              Davis                 16:38.67  244          
270 Vomund, Nick                 Monte Vista           16:39.90  256          
271 Bennett, John                Granada               16:39.98  257          
272 Sawyer, Max                  Homestead             16:40.02  258          
280 Surapaneni, Anirudh          Dublin                16:41.16  266          
285 Reed, Christopher            Homestead             16:42.19  271          
286 Lane, Aaron                  Vacaville             16:42.41  272            
293 DeMartini, Frank             De La Salle           16:44.13  278                      
295 rodriquez, jose              Placer                16:44.34  280          
311 Bhusal, Ashish               Homestead             16:47.43  295              
313 Smiley, Benjamin             Monte Vista           16:47.64  297                
318 Cummings, Patrick            Jesuit                16:48.41  302                
322 Lewis, Andrew                Miramonte             16:49.04  307          
329 Taggart, Logan               Oakmont               16:50.09  312          
342 Blakewell, Joe               Davis                 16:51.43  322                
346 Aitken, Greg                 Folsom                16:51.68  326                    
350 Aldape, Christian            North Salinas         16:52.29  330                
356 Bibiano, Jesus               Granada               16:52.88  335                  
367 Moore, Tanner                Oakmont               16:54.79  345                  
372 Carlson, Nils                Granada               16:55.85  350                
381 mason, josh                  Placer                16:56.38  357                  
383 Torres, Freddy               North Monter          16:56.49  359          
392 Helmers, Drew                Amador Valley         16:57.67  367                                
401 Parker, Derek                Woodcreek             16:58.58  373                    
404 Graves, Daniel               Homestead             16:58.86  376          
                                                                               
                                   Team Scores                                
=================================================================================
Rank Team                      Total    1    2    3    4    5   *6   *7   *8   *9
=================================================================================
Results - Men                                                                                                                
  14 De La Salle                 601   18   47   82  176  278  481  503        
      Total Time:  1:20:34.44                                                  
         Average:    16:06.89                                                                                                
  18 Davis                       662   29  116  124  153  240  244  322        
      Total Time:  1:21:06.57                                                  
         Average:    16:13.32                                                                                                
  21 Jesuit                      694   15  135  168  179  197  226  302        
      Total Time:  1:21:10.10                                                  
         Average:    16:14.02                                                                                                  
  30 Monte Vista                 972   93  122  204  256  297  574  681        
      Total Time:  1:22:17.61                                                  
         Average:    16:27.53                                                                                                
  32 Granada                    1016   76  109  239  257  335  350  379        
      Total Time:  1:22:20.54                                                  
         Average:    16:28.11                                                                                                
  35 Placer                     1050   71  114  228  280  357  479  944        
      Total Time:  1:22:25.86                                                  
         Average:    16:29.18                                                                                                    
  39 Bishop O'Dowd              1290   33   94  171  403  589  642  683        
      Total Time:  1:22:56.31                                                  
         Average:    16:35.27                                                                                                    
  43 Amador Valley              1385   72  151  205  367  590  593  599        
      Total Time:  1:23:29.13                                                  
         Average:    16:41.83                                                                                                  
  45 Homestead                  1420  220  258  271  295  376  443  468        
      Total Time:  1:23:42.43                                                  
         Average:    16:44.49                                                                                                  
  53 Sheldon                    1577  100  207  397  406  467  536  890        
      Total Time:  1:24:04.13                                                  
         Average:    16:48.83