Friday, October 31, 2008

Top 20 Northern California Teams and Individuals at Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational 2008


By Keith Conning
e-mail: conning@aol.com

All Boys’ Teams Combined (462 complete teams)
Northern California Record: Jesuit SJS 1985 1:17:57
Rank Place School Section Division Points Team Time Average Runner
01 009 Davis SJS D1 0878 1:19:55 15:59
02 028 De La Salle NCS D2 1284 1:21:17 16:15
03 030 Amador Valley NCS D1 1369 1:21:33 16:18
04 034 Fairfield SJS D2 1473 1:21:25 16:17
05 055 Santa Rosa NCS D2 2162 1:21:49 16:21
06 072 St. Francis CCS D2 2525 1:23:27 16:41
07 078 Franklin, EG SJS D2 2711 1:23:29 16:41
08 089 Monte Vista NCS D1 2905 1:23:28 16:41
09 090 San Ramon Valley NCS D1 2921 1:23:42 16:44
10 098 Livermore NCS D2 3217 1:24:19 16:51
11 100 El Camino Fundamental SJS D3 3263 1:24:10 16:50
12 104 Castro Valley NCS D1 3392 1:24:30 16:54
13 107 Los Gatos CCS D2 3578 1:24:45 16:57
14 110 Monterey CCS D2 3609 1:24:45 16:57
15 115 Christian Brothers SJS D4 3737 1:25:04 17:00
16 121 St. Mary’s NCS D4 3972 1:25:11 17:02
17 131 Redwood NCS D3 4383 1:25:48 17:09
18 137 Palma CCS D4 4478 1:25:17 17:03
19 141 Del Oro SJS D3 4640 1:26:14 17:14
20 153 Maria Carrillo NCS D3 4961 1:26:42 17:20

Boys’ Individuals (7,121 finishers)
Northern California Record: Nelson, Tim 12 Liberty Christian NS 2002 14:33
Rank Overall Place Race Place Last First Grade School Section Time
01 019 62 03 Mcleod, Rory 12 Santa Rosa NCS D3 15:15
02 021 69 07 Johnson, Tyre 12 Palma CCS D4 15:15
03 025 68 13 Petersen, Matt 12 Davis SJS D1 15:19
04 043 69 12 Litwiller, Nathanael 12 Clayton Valley NCS D2 15:30
05 067 62 09 Lester, Jared 11 Fairfield SJS D2 15:40
06 068 82 03 Roderick, Mike 12 Monte Vista NCS1 15:40
07 084 85 01 Ruegg, Kurt 11 Napa SJS D1 15:46
08 085 15 01 Olson, Erik 11 Novato NCS D3 15:46
09 088 62 15 Byers, Reesey 11 Santa Rosa NCS D3 15:47
10 102 68 35 Petersen, Drew 12 Davis SJS D1 15:51
11 105 69 20 Haworth, Chris 12 Kennedy SJS D1 15:53
12 121 38 13 Bornstein, Evan 12 El Camino SJS D3 15:55
13 126 62 20 Singh, TJ 12 Fairfield SJS D2 15:56
14 131 62 21 Johnson, Paul 11 De La Salle NCS D2 15:57
15 134 68 46 Shaw, Dillon 11 Davis SJS D1 15:57
16 157 68 52 Ward, Garrett 12 Amador Valley NCS D1 16:02
17 166 60 07 Ahmann, Jonathan 12 Pleasant Grove SJS D2 16:03
18 176 61 10 Graves, Simon 11 San Ramon Valley NCS D1 16:05
19 184 60 08 Edwards-Anderson, Kyle 12 Franklin, EG SJS D1 16:05
20 186 59 02 Arveson, Jake 12 Monterey CCS D3 16:06

Girl’s Teams (376 complete teams)
Northern California Record: Carondelet NCS 2007 1:31:59
Rank Overall Place School Section Division Points Team Time Avg.
01 12 Livermore NCS D2 660 1:35:11 19:02
02 13 Carondelet NCS D2 744 1:34:55 18:59
03 15 Castro Valley NCS D1 781 1:36:00 19:12
04 22 Davis SJS D1 1084 1:37:14 19:26
05 43 St. Mary’s NCS D4 1701 1:39:26 19:53
06 44 Casa Grande NCS D2 1738 1:37:51 19:34
07 51 Maria Carrillo NCS D3 1955 1:39:54 19:58
08 52 St. Francis SJS D2 2011 1:39:31 19:42
09 57 San Ramon Valley NCS D1 2070 1:40:34 20:06
10 63 Monte Vista NCS D1 2247 1:40:57 20:11
11 70 Del Oro SJS D3 2400 1:41:25 20:17
12 75 Santa Rosa NCS D2 2520 1:41:08 20:13
13 77 Galt SJS D2 2562 1:41:35 20:19
14 86 Irvington NCS D2 2820 1:42:29 20:29
15 96 Alhambra NCS D3 3289 1:42:37 20:31
16 101 California NCS D1 3451 1:43:24 20:40
17 106 Piedmont NCS D4 3586 1:44:15 20:51
18 112 Vacaville SJS D2 3744 1:44:40 20:56
19 120 Presentation CCS D2 3858 1:44:59 20:59
20 131 Redwood NCS D3 4137 1:45:43 21:08
Girl’s Individuals (4,302 finishers)
Northern California Record: Trotter, Amber 12 Ukiah NCS 2001 16:16
Rank Overall Race Place Last First Grade School Section Time
01 006 66 05 Taylor, Jacque 11 Casa Grande NCS D2 17:20
02 021 66 11 Cerney, Heather 11 Carondelet NCS D2 17:58
03 023 17 01 Bergman, Jennifer 11 Valley Christian CCS D3 18:01
04 025 89 01 Lillig, Colleen 11 California NCS D1 18:04
05 031 66 13 Houser, Kellie 12 Carondelet NCS D2 18:12
06 042 67 18 George, Diana 12 Livermore NCS D2 18:20
07 044 57 01 Mendoza, Nicole 12 St. Francis SJS D2 18:22
08 050 39 02 Hamilton, Sammy 11 Half Moon Bay CCS D4 18:27
09 051 67 20 Santisteban, Kelsey 10 Castro Valley NCS D1 18:27
10 054 55 01 Mitchell, Rachel 12 American NCS D2 18:35
11 066 29 01 Johnson, Michelle 12 West Valley NS 18:40
12 071 67 28 Bowlus, Christine 11 Davis SJS D1 18:42
13 081 58 04 Lozoya, Kristine 11 Oakmont SJS D2 18:51
14 085 67 33 Gregg, Abigail 12 Livermore NCS D2 18:52
15 092 56 02 Rozga, Suzi 11 Santa Rosa NCS D2 18:56
16 113 67 45 Dimits, Natalie 9 Livermore NCS D2 19:01
17 122 67 50 Roque, Robin 12 Livermore NCS D2 19:05
18 143 19 03 Curtin, Lauren 11 Maria Carrillo NCS D3 19:10
19 146 39 08 Heflin, Tiffany 10 Lassen NS 19:11
20 153 58 09 Bradshaw, Danzel 12 Fairfield SJS D2 19:13

Note: Rank 2 Overall 19 Race 61 Place 112 Andrews, Jewell Alhambra NCS 17:57 is not included on this list, because someone else wore her bib number in the boy’s race.

Keith Conning

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Mt. SAC Reflections...













Two more reflections today with 2 of the best runners in Division IV, Sammy Hamilton of Half Moon Bay and Dan Maxwell of St. Mary's Berkeley. Sammy finished 2nd in race #39 with a time of 18:27 (time was in the top 10 of Northern CA runners). Dan won race #26 with a time of 16:15 as his St. Mary's Berkeley teammates shared in his victory by claiming the first place team title as well.

1) Was this your first experience at Mt. SAC? If not, how many years have you attended the meet?

Sammy: This was my third year racing at Mt. Sac.; my fourth experience will be racing at Footlocker this December.
Dan: Yes, this was my first experience at Mt. SAC.

2) Transportation to the meet, drive or fly?

Sammy: Our annual trips have been completed by plane; however, it is possible that we might take a road trip next year.
Dan: We flew. The one hour flight was much more attractive than the seven hour drive!

3) Best part of the Mt. SAC Invitational?

Sammy: The best part of the Mt. Sac Invitational is the meet in its entirety. It is one thing to be racing in the advertised "largest cross-country meet in the world", but challenging yourself against the conditions of the meet- namely the heat and the hills- comes as a great experience every year. The atmosphere is very lively and has a certain energy because of its prestige.
Dan: The moment when my team stood on the podium, all wearing medals around our neck.

4) What is the toughest part of the course?
Sammy: In my opinion, the toughest part of the course is the back section following "Poop Out", just over the two mile mark. It is the most secluded part of the course in which if one is not careful, one can lose focus and "fall asleep", so to speak.
Dan: Ironically, I think the start was among the toughest parts of the course. Even though there were absolutely no hills in the beginning, there were over 200 runners squeezed on a 50 ft. starting line. Any wrong move within the first 100 yards could result in a fall with possible injuries. On top of that, the start was on merciless asphalt pavement. It was very important to stay alert and somewhat aggressive.

5) Describe the course for runners who have never run on it.

Sammy: I see Mt. Sac as an "ideal" cross-country course. It is complete with flat sections on dirt, switchbacks, rolling hills, steep hills, and gradual inclines. The camaraderie is very important. Many races are going on at once, and they are often displayed on a big-screen in the warm-up section. The course is lined with many people, and spectators are also able to see the outlines or runners advancing up the hill, which is very neat.
Dan: The course simply consists of three loops. The first loop, which you run twice, is completely flat. The second loop consists of steep switchbacks, reaching the highest hill of the course. The course then continues on to the third loop, which starts with the short, but steep, "Poop-Out Hill". There is one more hill with a gradual climb called the "Reservoir Hill". Once your at the top of this hill, there are only 800m to go until the finish line.

6) What was your strategy before the race?

Sammy: My strategy was to establish a position up front early on in the race, and run to win. Although I finished second, it was an overall improvement from last year's third and a PR.
Dan: When there are hills, my strategy is to save nothing for the last. It is too big of a risk to hold back in the beginning, in anticipation of catching up in the end.

7) How will competing at Mt. SAC help you with your future cross country races this season?

Sammy: Competing at Mt. Sac is a good precursor for the upcoming meets because the competition level in the varsity sweepstakes race is pretty high; in addition, Mt. Sac never fails to remind athletes to hydrate throughout the day....
Dan: Mt. SAC was a preview of the competition that I, along with my team, will be facing at the state meet. It was an opportunity to compare results between different teams and individuals, this late into the season.

8) Did you get to do any fun activities while down there?
Sammy: I personally enjoy the Mt. Sac Invitational because it serves as a great team bonding experience. We spend three days as team doing virtually everything together. Every year we follow up a the meet by staying at a hotel and going to Disneyland, which is sometimes more of challenge than the meet itself..
Dan: Other than playing ping-pong in our hotel room for hours, we took a campus tour of the Claremont Colleges.

Thank you both. Best of luck with the rest of your seasons.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NCS Division I Rankings by Peter Brewer (Part 6)


North Coast Division I rankings
October 28, 2008

Boys

1. Amador Valley -- the Dons rebounded after a little slump at Clovis and defeated EBAL foe Granada at the last EBAL center meet. They then went to record the fastest NCS team time at Mt. SAC while testing the waters in the Sweepstakes race.

2. Granada -- the Matadors are experiencing a bit of a lineup shift, as their top runner changes occasionally. After a lights-out race at Clovis, they still ran strongly at the EBAL center meet and beat a good DeLaSalle team.

3. College Park -- the Falcons have rampaged unimpeded through the newly constituted DVAL league.

4. Monte Vista -- the Mustangs are still the Mike Roderick show up front and they ran well at Mt. SAC even in the heat.

5. Castro Valley -- The Trojans ran in the heart of the heat at Mt. SAC, and so their team time suffered but they were able to pull of a top team finish in their race.


Girls:
1. Castro Valley -- the Trojans ran in the Sweepstakes race at Mt. SAC and were able to upset a few state-ranked teams.

2. Monte Vista -- the Mustangs are quitely amassing their team behind Livermore in the tough EBAL, and easily won their race at Mt. SAC

3. College Park -- The Falcons continue to literally walk through the DVAL.

4. California -- Colleen Lilllig continues to roll, and the Grizzlies took 2nd in their race at Mt. SAC.

5. Granada -- the Matadors ended the dual meet season 5th in the tough EBAL.

Thank you Peter!

Monday, October 27, 2008

2008 Mt. SAC Reflections...





























The following are the reflections of five Northern California Cross Country runners who took part in the biggest 2 day cross country event in the US, the Mt. SAC Invitational. The athletes are in order, Colleen Lillig of California (winner of race #89 in a time of 18:04), Matthew Day of Berean Christian (2nd in race #27 in a time of 16:33), Rachel Mitchel of American (winner of race #55 in 18:35), Erik Olson of Novato (winner of race #15 in a time of 15:46) and Nathanael Litwiller (12th place in race #69 in a time of 15:30).


1) Was this your first experience at Mt. SAC? If not, how many years have you attended the meet?

Colleen: This was my first time.
Matthew: No, this was my third year. I ran Mt. SAC in 2006, 2007, and this year.
Rachel: I competed in the Mt. SAC Invitational my sophomore year, and of course this year, my senior year.
Erik: No it was not. The team and I went last year and then decided that since we had so much fun we should go again this year instead of going to Clovis as the team trip.
Nathanael: It was my first time racing there.

2) Transportation to the meet, drive or fly?

Colleen: Drive.
Matthew: Our team drove from Walnut Creek down. It is a long drive.
Rachel: My team decided to fly down Friday morning and fly back Sunday morning, but we rented vans to take us to the hotel and Invitational.
Erik: Driving. Partying the whole way down in the big white and big green vans. Allowing time to fly by while playing the ABC game, texting, and reading magazine articles out loud in weird accents.
Nathanael: Drove

3) Best part of the Mt. SAC Invitational?

Colleen: The fans and getting the chance to run on such a famous course.
Matthew: The atmosphere: I get a little with all of the people who go to the invitational, but at the same time I love how it never stops. It claims to be the largest Cross Country meet in the world, after all. And the medals given to the top 15 runners are good quality medals, so it's cool to win one.
Rachel: The best part of it all would have to be watching runners like Jordan Hassay and ALex Dunne run in the individual Sweepstakes. I was also blown away by the Saugus girls performance.
Erik: The atmosphere and the competition.
Nathanael: The size of it.

4) What is the toughest part of the course?

Colleen: Poop out is really a poop out.
Matthew: Personally, I find the switchbacks to be the most difficult part of the course. After running the valley loop twice in 5:00, it's mentally hard to go up a hill that seems like it doesn't have a summit. All three of the main hills are hard, but at least what comes up goes down.
Rachel: The toughest part of the course would have to be probably the last part of poop out hill, because it is toward the end of the race.
Erik: The last hill (Reservoir Hill) and having to race at the hottest part of the day (90+ degrees)
Nathanael: The last mile for sure

5) Describe the course for runners who have never run on it.

Colleen: It's just as much downhill as uphill. It's really nice because you run on soft dirt the majority of the race, it was dusty and really hot when I ran, but overall it was one of the greatest courses I've run on. Every part is a different challenge.
Matthew: You start off on a street and make your way to the Valley Loop, which you go around twice, equaling about one mile. Right after come the Switchbacks and a little extra uphill, and then you come back around and go downhill back to the street you started on. Then you make your way to a different hill known as Poop Out Hill going up and down it, going around the back side of the hills and reaching the two mile mark. Then you come back around the front side of the hills and go up another hill called Reservoir Hill and back down, once again, toward the street you started on, and make your way toward the finish right by the track. The course is dirt other than the street on which you start on, so the runners make a lot of dust.
Rachel: It is a fast course with some tough hills. There are cutbacks and hills such as poop out hill. However, there are a fair amount of downhill after the hills along with time to recover before approaching the next one.
Erik: The course is flat for the first mile since you run two 880 yard loops. Then you go up Switchbacks which isn't too bad since its early in the race and you have got momentum from the fast first mile. Then you go downhill for about a half mile reaching Poop-out hill, which is short but steep. At the bottom of Poop-out is the two mile mark. Then it's a long flat straight away leading to Reservoir hill. When running this you must be sure to stay focused because there is no one there to cheer you on. Once you reached the top of Reservoir hill, you have a half mile of downhill/flat to the finish. Then you must make sure you run through the finish line because there is a slight bunny hill 10 meters before the finish that many runners slow down to get up. The Spark notes of all of this is there is more downhill than up. Make sure you run a fast first mile and run hard down all the hills.
Nathanael: Even if you walk and study the course thoroughly before racing it you still will not know what your up against until you have done it.

6) What was your strategy before the race?

Colleen: I made sure to loosen up from a 7 hour car ride, tried to stay hydrated and cool, get pumped mentally, and visualize parts of the race.
Matthew: I wanted to get out fast so that I didn't get caught up in the dust the other runners produce. Other than that, I don't really plan much for my races. I did want to win my race, which I did not do, but I at least got second. I could have gotten less had I not worked up Reservoir Hill and kicking the last 400 meters.
Rachel: I knew I had to go out with the lead pack and I really wanted to push on the hills and open my stride on the downhill to create a gap.
Erik: Get out to a fast first mile and run hard down all the hills.
Nathanael: To run the first mile at my own pace and settle in then catch the leaders and go crazy after reservoir hill.

7) How will competing at Mt. SAC help you with your future cross country races this season?

Colleen: I think competing at Mt. Sac will help me to prepare to take on any race where I need to travel to run and not have my usual pre-race schedule. Also learning to run at a big invitational with the best runners and huge crowds. This year I've really felt like a I can hold my own at big meets like this for the first time.
Matthew: I know that I can run a 16:33, so I'm hoping that I'll get in the low 16's for state.
Rachel: Competing at Mt. Sac helped me compare myself in direct copmpetition and times of girls in m Section. It allowed me to know how much harder I need to work from now until the North Coast Section meet.
Erik: Well running Mt. SAC helps prepare me for running the Footlocker West in a little over a month. But it also helps me figure out how far I can truly push myself in the most extreme conditions. When I race in heat I always tell myself that this is nothing compared to Mt. SAC. Therefore, it gives me confidence that I can race in any type of weather and on any type of course.
Nathanael: It will make the rest of the courses seem easier; the course tests your mental strength.

8) Did you get to do any fun activities while down there?

Colleen: We didn't really do any activities. Our team just hung out and had a fun time laughing at each other and meeting runners from other teams.
Matthew: The night before, my team and I went to Medieval Times for dinner. After the race, we went to Downtown Disney and hung out. The next day after the race, we went into Disneyland.
Rachel: Aside from watching the amazing talent on Saturday, I spent most of the Friday and Saturday after the race at Disneyland and California Adventure with my team.
Erik: Well after the race, we got massages at the race venue, hung out back at the hotel, and attempted to party it up with some of the girls (Alhambra and Bret Harte) in the Hot Tub. We then learned that we were not as smooth as we suspected. But my team and I did get some numbers and still feel relatively good about our pick-up lines (though one of our girl teammates called them lame). We then boarded the Big White and Big Green party vans and drove back up the next day to go to our homecoming.
Nathanael: Ya I visited my assistant coach's college and went to a giant mall.

Thank you again all. Best of luck with the rest of your seasons.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Top Norcal Teams/Individuals at Mt. SAC compiled by Keith Conning

Boy’s Teams (462 teams)
Pl School, Section
9 Davis, SJS
26 De La Salle, Concord, NCS
29 Amador Valley, Pleasant Hill, NCS
31 Fairfield, SJS
53 Santa Rosa, NCS
71 St. Francis, Mountain View, CCS
78 Franklin, Elk Grove, SJS
87 San Ramon Valley, Danville, NCS
93 Livermore, NCS
94 El Camino Fundamental, Sacramento, SJS

Boy’s Individuals (7121 finishers)
Pl Time Gr First Last (School, City, Section)
20 15:15 –Rory Mcleod (Santa Rosa, NCS)
21 15:15 –Tyre Johnson (Palma, Salinas, CCS)
25 15:19 –Matt Petersen (Davis, SJS)
42 15:30 –Nathan Litwiller (Clayton Valley, Concord, NCS)
65 15:40 *Jared Lester (Fairfield, SJS)
82 15:46 *Erik Olson (Novato, NCS)
83 15:46 *Kurt Ruegg (Napa, SJS)
85 15:47 *Reesey Byers (Santa Rosa, NCS)
96 15:50 –Mike Roderick (Monte Vista, Danville, NCS)
98 15:51 –Drew Petersen (Davis, SJS)

Girl’s Teams (376 teams)
Pl School, Section
12 Livermore, NCS
13 Carondelet, NCS
15 Castro Valley, NCS
22 Davis, SJS
43 St. Mary’s, Berkeley, NCS
44 Casa Grande, Petaluma, NCS
51 Maria Carrillo, Santa Rosa, NCS
52. St. Francis, Sacramento, SJS
55 San Ramon Valley, Danville, NCS
63 Monte Vista, Danville, NCS

Girl’s Individuals (4303 finishers)
Pl Time Grade First Last (School, City, Section)
4 17:00 –Michelle Johnson (West Valley, Cottonwood, NS)- Wrong time, more than likely in the 18s.
7 17:20 *Jacque Taylor (Casa Grande, NCS)
20 17:57 **Jewelz Andrews (Alhambra, Martinez, NCS)
22 17:58 *Heather Cerney (Carondelet, NCS)
24 18:01 *Jennifer Bergman (Valley Christian, San Jose, CCS)
26 18:04 *Colleen Lillig (California, San Ramon, NCS)
32 18:12 –Kellie Houser (Carondelet, NCS)
43 18:20 –Diana George (Livermore, NCS)
46 18:22 –Nicole Mendoza (St. Francis, Sacramento, SJS)
50 18:27 *Sammy Hamilton (Half Moon Bay, CCS)
51 18:27 **Kelsey Santisteban (Castro Valley, NCS)

Keith Conning
THE CONNING TOWER
[ http://hometown.aol.com/conning/myhomepage/index.html
]http://hometown.aol.com/conning/myhomepage/index.html

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mt. SAC Reflections and coverage on the way...

In the next week, I will be posting reflections from Northern California runners and coaches about their experiences at the Mt. SAC Invitational.

You can find all the results of the meet at the following link:
Dyestatcal coverage and results all here

With the conclusion of Mt. SAC, there are just a few more invitationals left and then we dive into league championship season.

Any thoughts on the most impressive individual(s) and team(s) at the Mt. SAC Invite? Who made the biggest statement? What teams and/or individuals are really rolling right now?

Mountain View certainly had an impressive showing at the 2nd Center Meet at Crystal Springs:
Results from Center Meet #2

I changed the settings for comments so anybody can post but please do identify yourself by saying who you are at the end of your comment.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Northern California Cross Country Newspaper coverage...


I added a few more articles at the top of this list. If you have any newspaper articles that you would like to share, please email me the links to albertjcaruana@gmail.com.

Hornets start run toward NCS, state meets (Alamada HS)

Roderick runs to EBAL Center Meet victory (Contra Costa Times)

Restani still running to stay ahead of it all
(Half Moon Bay Review)

Mt. SAC is part carnival, part state preview (San Francisco Chronicle)

Berean Christian seniors set fast pace (Contra Costa Times)

Boys, girls split in cross-town cross country (NapaHS/Vintage HS)

Falcons thrive with team-first concept (College Park HS)

Eureka, Arcata racing down the stretch (Eureka Reporter)

Cross-country coach runs with experience
(Scott Abbott Sac. State coach)

Cross-country: NMC back to winning ways (Register-Pajaronian)

Fall is about more than Football (Inside Bay Area, brief mention of XC)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

NCS Individual Rankings


Here is my best attempt to rank the individuals to this point for each division in NCS. Thank you to all the coaches and athletes that helped compile this list. If you feel that we have left somebody off the list, please go ahead and state their case in the comment box below. If you have pictures of any of the runners ranked below that do not have a picture link, please send me their picture or send me a link to a picture of them online.

Girls' Division I

1) Colleen Lillig (California)
2) Alycia Cridebring (College Park)
3) Hayley Swanson (Granada)
4) Kelsey Santisteban (Castro Valley)
5) Rosie Smith (College Park)
On the bubble: Kyla Aiuto (Monte Vista)

Boys' Division I
1) Austin Snyder (Berkeley)
2) Mike Roderick (Monte Vista)
3) Alex Summers (Granada)
4) Brett Hornig (Amador Valley)
5) Garrett Ward (Amador Valley)
On the bubble: Who should be here?

Girls' Division II
1) Jacque Taylor (Casa Grande)
2) Diana George (Livermore)
3) Heather Cerney (Carondelet)
4) Nicole Hood (Carondelet)
5) Kellie Houser (Carondelet)
On the bubble: Rachel Mitchell (American)

Boys' Division II
1) Wyatt Landrum (Liberty)
2) Nathanael Litwiller (Clayton Valley)
3) Rory McCleod (Santa Rosa)
4) Danny Thomas (Arroyo)
5) Aria Kiani (Montgomery)
On the bubble: Andrew Zellman (Ukiah)

Girls' Division III
1) Lauren Curtin (Maria Carrillo)
2) Isabel Andrade (Petaluma)
3) Damajeria Dubose (Bishop O'Dowd)
4) Jordan Davis (Maria Carrillo)
5) Ellie Ryan (Sir Francis Drake)
On the bubble: Carrie Verdon (Campolindo)

Boys' Division III
1) Sterling Lockert (Petaluma)
2) Robert Pulford (Campolindo)
3) Erik Olson (Novato)
4) Devin Lockert (Petaluma)
5) Ross Geiger (Campolindo)
On the bubble: Who should be here?

Girls' Division IV
1) Theresa Devine (Marin Catholic)
2) Taylor Lawson (St. Mary's Berkeley)
3) Alex Choy (St. Mary's Berkeley)
4) Alice Baker (St. Mary's Berkeley)
5) Allie Maher (Arcata)
On the bubble: Jamie Kent (Piedmont)

Boys' Division IV
1) Dan Maxwell (St. Mary's Berkeley)
2) Dan Milechman (Tamalpais)
3) Tony Levine (St. Mary's Berkeley)
4) Alec Govi (Marin Catholic)
5) Brian Hernandez (San Rafael)
On the bubble: Brian King (Cardinal Newman)

Girls' Division V
1) Lucy McCullough (Marin Academy)
2) Emily Erickson (College Prep)
3) Jessica Ho (Chinese Christian)
4) Holland Reynolds (University)
5) Kai Wilson (College Prep)
On the bubble: Evi Steyer (University)

Boys' Division V
1) Steven Iglehart (Branson)
2) Tyler Deniston (Berean Christian)
3) Josh Macdonald (Redwood Christian)
4) Skyler Thomas (Mendocino)
5) Charlie Sauter (College Prep)
On the bubble: David Kealhofer (University)

Comments encouraged! Thank you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nutrition (Part II) by Chris Puppione...

- Between Gatorade and water, what is best for you before the race?
Cue up your DVD of “The Waterboy”, folks…

“Gatorade…”
“H2O!”
“Gatorade…”
“H2O!!”

Adam Sandler had it right here, people. I definitely feel that hitting the water hard, early and often is far better for an athlete prepping for a race. And lets make something else clear as well—water will not cause you to cramp. There is no need to discuss it here other than to state clearly that at no time is water a dangerous thing for the high school runner—or for the competitive runner at that. Hyponatremia is only a danger for people running for an incredibly long time and consuming blindingly large quantities of fluid, so there is no real threat here for the athletes we will work with at the prep level.

As I mentioned in Part I of this topic, there is a danger on race day of causing a sugar-insulin reaction which can lead to an eventual blood sugar crash, and due to the concentration of these fluids, an athlete could risk crashing by drinking these prior to exercise (if not timed out correctly).

Can you drink a sports drink before a race? Sure. Is it advisable? No.

Drink water—there is nothing better for hydration and there is no risk of altering your blood sugar level adversely. And drink a ton of it while you are at it—the sedentary person must consume a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day—that is 4 regular-sized bottles of Crystal Geyser or Arrowhead or Evian.

But that is for the sedentary person—you know, the own sitting on a futon eating Cheetos and watching South Park re-runs between 8-hour bouts of World of Warcraft.

As for runners…try doubling that number. That’s right—shoot for 8 bottles of Aquafina a day. Coaches, ask your athletes to drink one bottle per hour during the school day—that is 6-7 bottles easy before afternoon practice. Yes, I know this increases bathroom trips, but that is far better than a trip to the ER or bonking in a workout or run.

- Following a race or workout, what are the best things to eat or drink for recovery?
I was waiting for this question because this is great stuff—and where the most damage can be done—good or bad, depending on the choices an athlete makes.

Before we talk about what to eat or drink, we need to address when an athlete should eat or drink following a run, race, or workout.

Answer—DO IT NOW!

The numbers say it all here—you can replenish and store more than double the amount of glycogen in your system by consuming food and drink in the first 120 minutes following intense exercise than after that window. Even more specifically, by hitting up a carb and protein rich snack in the first 15 minutes following a race or workout is the most beneficial. This could be as simple as any kind of protein bar and a small bottle of Gatorade while you stretch.

Basically, bring a snack to practice to eat and drink as soon as you are done. This will accomplish the following:

- optimize recovery from the immediate fatigue
- increase positive blood flow and get rid of waste
- enhance glycogen recovery for your next training session
- aid in muscle building and repair
- boost the immune system to avoid illness

So that takes care of the when, now for the what—and I am only going to give one specific example, because it is pretty interesting…

Chocolate milk. Seriously.

International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2006, 16, 78-91

This study was done at Indiana University and it basically found that chocolate milk is an easy source for all the nutrients an athlete needs to enhance recovery following a workout, race, or run. The key is the blend of carbohydrates and proteins found in flavored milk that bears a great similarity to the desired carb to protein ratio of 4:1. The study concluded that chocolate milk was just as beneficial as any commercial sports drink. Look it up—it is no lie, and who doesn’t love chocolate milk?

Bottom line, eat and drink a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein, and do so as close to the conclusion of your workout as possible. The first 15 minutes is ideal, but you can drift out to the two-hour mark and still reap great benefits and enhance recovery from the session.

- Besides soda, what other foods should athletes stay away from while in training?
A few years ago, I had the chance to meet and talk with Karen Harvey, the head women’s cross country coach at Florida State University. Harv was a great athlete in her own right, and has had great success as a coach, taking the ladies from the University of Illinois from the cellar of the Big Ten to the podium at XC Nationals in less than five years before moving to FSU and taking that team to the podium in her first year and a current top-5 national ranking in 2008.

Harv feels that much of the success she has had with her athletes is due to her attention to detail as it relates to nutrition. She feels that there are some definite no-nos for the endurance athlete, especially as it relates to maintaining good bone health (i.e. no stress fractures):

- sodas
- sugars
- caffeine
- salt
- alcohol

These items all contribute to the leeching of calcium from bones, leading to a poor structural foundation and acting as catalysts for injury in the endurance athlete. These, then, are definite food items to avoid.

Also, athletes should avoid carbs that are high on the glycemic index because they have a poor energy return. Low-glycemic index carbs provide more energy and release it more slowly, keeping the athlete free of the aforementioned blood sugar crash.

High-glycemic index carbs to avoid would be cakes, cookies, doughnuts, white bread, sugar cereals, frozen yogurt, ice cream, dried fruit, French fries, potato chips, coleslaw, and potato salad.

Low-glycemic carbs that you want to shoot for would be peanuts, milk, grapes, brown rice, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, spinach, tomatoes, and just about any fruit you can get your hands on.

- Final thoughts?
Some quick hitters and then a big finish…

1. Eat several small meals a day—this avoids the crash, spikes the metabolism, keeps energy stores replenished, and keeps the athlete from getting hungry and eating too much junk food.
2. Have a Cheat Day—if an athlete can buy into a well-balanced diet and follow it for six out of seven days of the week, then they deserve a day to reward themselves for their commitment. On this day, the athlete can make any choices they want with their food intake—it lets them feel a little more normal and free—although they often continue to follow the healthy plan they are on.
3. Fiber—get it where you can. It improves digestion, regulates blood sugar levels, and aids in basic lifetime health.
4. Breakfast is the #1 meal of the day—do not skip this…EVER. Break the fast—get it? When you wake up, your energy levels are low, so get something in you and fire up your metabolism so you will get something out of the rest of your food for the day.
5. Take a multi-vitamin daily—always good to have your bases covered.
6. Calcium—this is a big one, especially for the young ladies that we coach. They need to know that 90% of their peak bone mass is created by the time they are 18, so they cannot afford to be without their calcium-rich foods—milk, leafy greens, yogurt, cheese, enriched cereals, and salmon. Again, credit Karen Harvey for helping me with this one.

Okay, and now for the big one…IRON.

Iron deficiency is a potential problem for all distance runners, especially if they do not address their needs through their daily diet. Here is the issue—iron aids in oxygen transport, oxygen storage in the muscle, and fuel metabolism. This is huge, then, as low iron levels would mean:
- less oxygen being carried to muscles to perform their tasks
- less oxygen being readily available at the muscle because of insufficient stores
- an inhibited ability to break down fuel necessary to perform a run, workout, or race up to par

Athletes lose iron through bowel movements, menstruation, and through their feet (heel strike anemia). Since none of these things can or should be stopped, iron intake must become paramount for the endurance athlete. This means proper diet and/or supplementation.

I could go on for quite some time here and get painfully scientific, but I will just offer some guidelines and FYIs as it pertains to iron, courtesy of the great Dr. David Martin (worked with Peter & Seb Coe):
1. Shoot for Heme iron—this is in red meats and liver, and is the most absorbale.
2. Supplement with liquid iron if you can rather than pills. Also, when supplementing, be sure to take your iron with Vitamin C as it aids in absorption, and without it, you may just be popping pills for sport and seeing no benefit.
3. Part of getting fit for better race performance is accomplished with iron-intake—50% of aerobic metabolism is dependent upon iron, and without sufficient amounts, the athlete will never be as fit as they can be.
4. Lose the Teflon and go with cast-iron skillets—seriously, it helps.
5. If you are getting your iron sources from egg yolks, baked beans, spinach, or broccoli, take some Vitamin C or chug some OJ with it—you need to convert the nonheme iron in these foods to the more absorbable iron in the ferrous state (F++). Trust me—just do it.
6. A 1gm/dl drop in your hemoglobin due to low iron levels can reduce VO2max by 3%--that is a good :30 slower over the 5k distance! And that is just 1gm/dl drop, and in many athletes with low iron, it is far worse.

Dr. Martin has stated on many occasions that iron is the one single atom that is the most crucial for an endurance athlete’s success. To quote Ron Burgundy, “It’s science…”

Finally, why is good nutrition important?
- Health
- Fuel
- Recovery
- Oxygen transport

All of which lead to better performance—so eat your way to a PR.

Chris

If anybody would like the Chocolate Milk study article, please email me at albertjcaruana@gmail.com and I will send it to you. Unfortunately, I am not able to attach pdf files to this blog.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nutrition (Part I) by Chris Puppione...

- Explain how carbo-loading works.
Carbo-loading is the systematic process of trying to stuff an athlete to the gills with carbohydrates in an effort to boost glycogen stores, allowing the athlete to have a greater amount of energy to draw from over a given period of extended exercise. There are many ways that people go about carbo-loading.

One way that I feel is beneficial is to go through an unloading of carbohydrates over a period of 2-4 days, where the athlete all but eliminates carbohydrates from their diet, thereby depleting the system of glycogen stores and sending the body into crisis. Following this unloading period, the athlete would hit the carbs hard over a series of days, leading up to the 48 hours prior to the peak race. Because the body was placed into crisis mode due to the withholding of carbs, when they are re-introduced to the system, the body will overcompensate and store more glycogen than normally possible in a response to the previous deficiency. By going through this process, an athlete could conceivably store enough glycogen to last for two hours of continuous exercise.

Of course, the most common practice of carbo-loading is the “stuff and store” technique of just piling as many potatoes, pasta, and breads onto a plate and throwing them back until you can’t move. (You may tell from my tone here that I am not a fan of such careless and sloppy preparation).

Carbo-loading is extremely beneficial for your marathoners, ultra-marathoners, and triathletes, and other people who participate in extended bouts of exercise.

- How beneficial is carbo-loading for an athlete running a 5k race?
Simply stated, STOP HAVING PRE-MEET PASTA PIG-OUT DINNERS!

Okay, so here is a nicer way to explain this….

I appreciate the importance of having team dinners the night before meets—they build team comradery and provide a great social outlet for the kids (and parents as well). However, the menu at these events is often all wrong, centering on buckets of pasta, piles of French bread, the stray dozen or 100 cookies, bottles of soda, and causing more harm than good in some situations.

Look, when we ingest carbohydrates, we are essentially swallowing sponges that suck in and retain water. This can make the athlete bloated and heavy if too much is eaten, and for no good reason at all when they are competing in any race shorter than the half-marathon.

Basically, THERE IS NO WAY AN ATHLETE WILL EVER BECOME DEPLETED OF GLYCOGEN WHEN COMPETING IN EVENTS LASTING LESS THAN 60 MINUTES. And that is even considering that they do not eat a very balanced diet!

A better menu for the pre-meet dinner would be grilled chicken, fruits, vegetables or salad, and plenty of water to drink—now that is a quality meal that is easy to put together! You can still have your pasta, but I would encourage athletes to eat a smaller portion of the noodles in favor of some more vegetables or chicken. Also, ditch the white bread at these dinners in favor of multi-grain goods. The heavier the bread and the more grains you see the better it is for the athlete the night before the race.

I am not saying that carbohydrates are bad—far from it, really. The endurance athlete needs carbohydrates for energy and recovery purposes. I am simply pointing out that there is a huge misconception surrounding these pre-meet pasta dinners that are so popular, and I just want to let people know that there is a better way to fuel for race day.

- What foods should you stay away from on race day?
Well, you can go a couple of ways with this one, honestly. I could give you the traditional list, like no soda, sweets, dairy products, and greasy dishes.

Then again, I could tell you that when I competed in high school (and ran reasonably well), my race day lunch consisted of two packages of Hostess Ho-Hos and a can of Dr. Pepper! People may think it is irresponsible of me to put this out there as an example of a pre-meet meal, but it helps me illustrate a point here—BE CONSISTENT AND GO WITH WHAT YOU KNOW.

I always ate my Ho-Hos and my Dr. Pepper—without fail—and I never cramped or crashed. However, there is a special circumstance involved here…

I had a great breakfast every morning, snacked well during the day, and my mother cooked amazingly healthy and tasty dinners every night. I had such a great nutritional base that I could not possibly ruin myself on race day, unless I ate something that would make me sick or was different than my routine. Therefore, on race day, I had to have my Hostess and DP because I BELIEVED IN IT AND WAS USED TO IT. I was being consistent and sticking with that which was familiar—albeit completely twisted and unnatural.

Now, unless your athlete is getting all the proper nutrition at every other meal and can survive the mid-day sugar rush as I did back then, do not follow this plan. Chances are good that most of the young athletes today are not eating very well, so the traditional route is advised.

So again, it is advised to dodge spicy food, greasy food, sodas, sweets, foods that are acidic, foods that are high in fiber, as well as dairy products. These foods will have either a poor energy return, or may cause stomach upset or be hard to digest.

The bottom line is this: stick with food that is familiar and you know you can digest well and drink plenty of fluids (water and sports drinks). In addition, some athletes may find that they perform better on race day when they eat smaller amounts of food because they do not have a bloated, heavy feeling as they step to the line.

- What foods should you eat on race day?

As with any endurance athlete’s daily diet, the race day diet should be predominantly carbohydrate-based sprinkled with a generous amount of protein. Stick with the 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein—this is a safe bet. This does not have to be measured out specifically—just be sure to have some protein along with your carbs.

For an afternoon race, a sample day of eating leading up to the race could look like this:

Meal #1 (9-10 hours prior)
- Small bagel w/ peanut butter & jelly
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of yogurt
- Small glass of fruit juice
- Water

Meal #2 (6-7 hours prior)
- Apple sauce snack cup
- Crackers
- Water

Meal #3 (3-4 hours prior)
- Turkey sandwich
- Power Bar
- Piece of fruit
- Water

In the last hour before the race, athletes should focus on just drinking water—do not eat anything, as this can cause a sugar-insulin reaction, thereby lowering the athlete’s blood sugar and potentially causing dizziness or a light-headed feeling within the early portions of the race.

If the athlete were hungry in the period between Meal #3 and the final hour before race time, some good quick fixes would be cereal or energy bars, grapes, or another easily digestible small snack.

This is not complicated—it just calls for some proper planning and good decision making on the part of the athlete.

If you have any comments on the above, please feel free to do so in the comment section below. Part II will be posted in the next few days.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Northern California Cross Country Newspaper Coverage...


Local Report: Ferrante wins Monterey Bay Invitational in cross country (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Varsity cross country boys win Monterey Bay Invitational (The Paly Voice)

Vaca cross country runs at Bella Vista
(The Reporter)

Local roundup: NMC hangs back at cross-country meet (Register-Pajaronia)

'Balers post upset with win over Palma (Hollister Free Lance)

Girls' Cross Country Wins WBAL Meet at Shoreline Park (Menlo School)

Riberbank Boys Claim Escalon Invitational Title (The Riverbank News)

Banged-up Dons have high hopes (Acalanes HS)

Any other newspaper links I may have missed, please email them to me at albertjcaruana@gmail.com

NCS Individual Rankings will be posted this week. Please email me with your thoughts on any individual rankings in any divisions. I will post top 5 runners in each division so if you think a runner is running under the radar and belongs in that group, please let me know.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Catching up with Aptos coach Dan Gruber...

The following interview is with one of the most successful coaches in CCS, Aptos HS coach Dan Gruber. His boys' team is currently ranked 2nd overall in CCS while his girls are ranked 3rd. Over the years, Dan has had some of the best runners and teams in the state as you will see below. He is also one of two coaches (I believe along with Willow Glen coach Victor Santamaria) to have won CCS as a runner and coached a CCS champion(s) in cross country. Last year, the Aptos boys finished in 3rd place at state in Division III to claim their first podium plaque. With the majority of their team back (as well as most of the girls), Aptos will once again be one of the favorites to claim those elusive state meet berths and place highly at state.

1) How did you get started in the sport of running?
I ran in junior high school as a warm up for the high jump and was beating most of the other runners...then my freshman year I got talked into going out for cross country to get in shape for basketball...I was successful and made varsity as a freshman (we weren't very good) so I stuck with it. Besides, my older brother heard I was going to go out for football but at 5 foot 90 lbs he thought I would get killed and he threatened to beat me up if I played football...so cross country was the only thing left to do.

2) What high school did you attend and tell us a little about your achievements during hs and beyond?
I ran for Aptos High School. It opened up my freshman year. I ran cross country and track all four years, I was CCS champion back then and was selected to the all-Nor Cal XC team my Jr. and Sr. season (we didn't race after CCS back then, no Nor-Cal or State). I had a pretty good high school career and went on to San Jose State on scholarship and won the conference 5,000m and 10,000m in track in both 1976 and 1977 track seasons.

3) What lead you to teaching and coaching? What do you teach at Aptos?
I am not sure what led me to teaching but I started coaching basketball in 1979 and loved it. I found that coaching distance running back then was very frustrating because I couldn't quite get the laid back attitude of the Aptos kids into training. So I decided not to coach distance runners and stayed with basketball for several years. It took a while until I could mellow and coach the kids here. I did coach at Cabrillo College track for a couple years and helped Willie Harmatz at Los Gatos for a few years in the 80s. It wasn't until 1996 I started to coach a couple distance runners at Aptos High School. It started out as the coach asking me to help with a kid, Gary Passanisi (state track champion 3200m 1998), who had no one to run with and the coach wasn't sure how to train him. So I inherited him and another runner asked me to coach her (Anelise Smith, state track medalist in 1600m 1997 and 1998) and then the head track coach and AD asked me to take over the whole distance crew. I teach Modern World History and Advanced Placement European History, I used to teach Earth Science also when I met Gary Passanisi and gave him a D during his Freshman year.

4) At one point, you were a basketball coach as well winning a CCS title in girls' basketball in 1983. What are the biggest differences in coaching basketball players and runners?
I have coached basketball at Aptos High School and won our school's first CCS Team Championship. I also coached the men's team in the early 90s. The main difference is that in basketball everyone has to be on the same page, you are only as good as your weakest link. In running you coach the individual to their best then blend them with the other individuals and form a team. I coach each runner differently, in basketball I coach them all the same but talk to them differently. Basketball players have to do things uniformed and the same, runners can arrive at the same destination taking separate paths.

5) Who do you consider to be your coaching mentors?
Without a doubt the one who influenced me the most was my collegiate coach Dr. Don Riggs. He taught me the theory and the application of running, training, and racing. He passed many years back but I would like to think that a little part of him remains in my coaching. He did his Ph.D. work at the University of Oregon during the Prefontaine years.

6) What are your expectations for your kids during the summer?
My expectations for my kids during the summer are very modest. I don't expect the kids to do much. They are to run on their own as they see fit. I give a rough summer program but very few have ever stuck with it. Usually I would like them to start running about 20-30 per week during July and 40 miles per week in August. I don't baby sit them or even meet with them during the summer. This is why we are so bad during September. It can also be said that we may even underachieve during cross country but the motivated kids will run and the others I get in shape when we start school. I probably run the lowest key program in the state but the kids get tired of me over summer and don't want to see me during that time. But I make sure that they perform during the spring.

7) Historically your kids have run very well at the end of the season. What do you think are the factors that contribute to post-season success?
A lot of their late season success is that I keep them training consistently once they get into my hands. They perform well late because I don't worry about early success. I keep my focus on when and where they want to finish not where they want to be each week. It is consistency and patience that I teach. A coach can't let his or her ego get in the way of doing what is best for each runner.

8) What is the training area like around Aptos HS?
The training area around Aptos High School is unique. If we have to stay on campus we will run a 2.5 mile trail we call "Shady", good on hot days or rainy days. During cross country we stay on campus two days a week and run our course which is brutal -- hilly, sandy, dusty, no real good place to run an even pace. Three days a week we try to get over to the Forest and run there. It is for the most part free of cars and a good place to run a good even tempo. There was a time where the administration wouldn't let us drive off campus and we ran through the streets near the high school but that was a coaches nightmare, good roads with variety but kids and cars all over...not great for anything but organ donation possibilities.

9) Looking back at your time in Aptos, who are the runners that really stand out and a few of their accomplishments.
The runners that stand out are obviously guys like Gary Passinisi (state 3200m champ), Brett Gotcher (Footlocker Finalist, multi time state medalist, Stanford All-American), Jacob Evans (1:52, 4:10, Stanford All-American), Scott McConville (7th state 3200m, former UCSB school 1500m record holder), Rylan Hunt (4th state 1600m last season); girls Anelise Smith (state XC medalist and 2-time 1600m medalist, University of Texas All-American), Casey Nevitt (10:32 3200m, 6th state D1 XC, state 1600m finalist), Jessica Van Ausdale (state XC medalist, 3-time 1600m state qualifier), Marissa Ferrante (4:52 as soph. state finalist). I also had a kid who lost 54 pounds in a year and a half and improved from a 17 minute 3200m to 10:12, that was a satisfying moment as his coach.

10) Over the past few years, the times of so many athletes and teams have gone off the charts. What do you think are the causes of all this improvement?
I think there is somewhat of a Renaissance in American distance running and it is manifesting itself in the high schools first. There has been a real effort to improve the coaching in the USA and it is working. There are far better coaches now than when I ran. For example, in high school I ran the same workouts for all of my last three years: Monday-- 5 X 400 @ 75; Tuesday -- 8 X 200 @ 35; Wednesday -- 2 mile jog; Thursday -- dual meet; Friday -- off; Saturday-- invitational; Sunday -- off. And I ran what is the equivalent of a 4:13 1600m off that both my Junior and Senior years. That is not coaching that could develop an athlete.

11) If you could give some free advice to new coaches (veteran coaches as well), what would that be?
My advice is to be patient and define your goals and stick to them. Also, don't train every athlete the same, whether it is mileage, speed, racing schedule, or distance. And listen to the runners, you need to know when to let up and when to work. Also, no matter who shows up coach them. My third man this year ran a 9:40 3200m (league champion) and 4:24 1600m last year as a sophomore. The first two weeks he showed up, three weeks into the cross country season, he ran in Levi's and skater shoes. He was so bad I had to teach him how to skip before I could even hope for him to run like anything except a Neanderthal. He is now a pretty tough runner as a Junior, he's still a goofball but he can race tough.

12) Anything else you would like to add.Aptos is one of the most low key programs in the state (sometimes people aren't even sure we are at the meets) and to be truthful it has been the athletes who have given the program exposure. I just make sure that the kids get entered into the meets and the entry fees are paid and we show up on time.

Thank you very much for your time Dan! AJC

BCL Challenge Results

The following are the results from the annual BCL Challenge that took place on Tuesday, Oct. 14th at Lindley Meadow (Golden Gate Park). The teams that are invited to attend are from the Bay Counties League (BCL) West and East. Photos as courtesy of Nen Tannenbaum of University HS.

Varsity Boys
Results: http://www.sml1.com/ncxc/infores/bcl_chal_vb.txt


Varsity Girls
Results: http://www.sml1.com/ncxc/infores/bcl_chal_vg.txt


Frosh/Soph Boys
Results: http://www.sml1.com/ncxc/infores/bcl_chal_fsb.txt


Frosh/Soph Girls
Results: http://www.sml1.com/ncxc/infores/bcl_chal_fsg.txt

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mid-Season NCS Team Rankings


Here is my best attempt to rank all the NCS teams in each division at this point in the season. Feel free to comment on these rankings at the link below. Your opinions are encouraged.

Division I
(By Peter Brewer)
Boys
1) Granada
2) Amador Valley
3) Monte Vista
4) Castro Valley
5) College Park
On the bubble: Deer Valley, San Ramon Valley

Girls
1) Castro Valley
2) Monte Vista
3) College Park
4) Granada
5) California
On the bubble: San Ramon Valley

Division II
Boys
1) De La Salle
2) Santa Rosa
3) Washington
4) Montgomery
5) Alameda
On the bubble: Liberty, Livermore

Girls
1) Carondelet
2) Livermore
3) Casa Grande
4) Montgomery
5) Santa Rosa
On the bubble: Alameda, Irvington

Division III

Boys
1) Campolindo
2) Petaluma
3) Las Lomas
4) Maria Carrillo
5) Redwood
On the bubble: Acalanes, Miramonte

Girls
1) Maria Carrillo
2) Campolindo
3) Las Lomas
4) Drake
5) Redwood
On the bubble: Alhambra, Miramonte, Petaluma

Division IV

Boys
1) St. Mary's Berkeley
2) Tamalpais
3) San Rafael
4) Justin-Siena
5) Moreau Catholic
On the bubble: Piedmont, Arcata

Girls
1) St. Mary's Berkeley
2) Piedmont
3) Terra Linda
4) Moreau Catholic
5) Arcata
On the bubble: Marin Catholic

Division V

Boys
1) University
2) Berean Christian
3) Redwood Christian
4) College Prep
5) St. Joseph Notre Dame
On the bubble: Head Royce, Lick Wilmerding, Marin Academy
Girls
1) University
2) College Prep
3) Marin Academy
4) Head Royce
5) Lick Wilmerding
On the bubble: Santa Rosa Christian

Feel free to comment on the rankings below. Remember, this is just a starting point. If you feel strongly about a team that should be moved higher or is not even listed, please back up your strong feelings with results. NCS individual rankings will be posted next.

Northern California Newspaper XC Coverage...


Mountain View High cross-country teams push forward (San Jose Mercury News)

Petaluma running up to expectations
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

Allen's strong showing leads Lady 'Balers (Hollister Free Lance)

CROSS-COUNTRY: Aptos boys win, Ferrante takes girls race in midseason meet (Register Pjaronian)

Oak Ridge cross country teams place third at Clovis Invitational (El Dorado Hills Telegraph)

Highlight Reel (Bergman VCSJ, Reynolds Mt. View)

Local report: Santa Cruz's Lynch sets school record, wins Crystal Springs Invitational (San Jose Mercury News)

Around the Horn (De La Salle XC)

College
Cross country team runs to second-place finishes without starters
(The Orion-Chico)

Cross Country Runners Honored (San Jose State)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Catching up with Lynbrook coach Hank Lawson...

For those of you that visit the www.lynbrooksports.com website (many, many times during the day), you are in for a treat as our next interview is with that websites' webmaster, Lynbrook coach Hank Lawson. Besides keeping all the CCS folks in the loop in terms of results, history and much more, Hank has an outstanding group of runners this year with his girls' ranked 4th in Division II and his boys are working their way up the rankings and could be a factor come CCS time. Hank is pictured to the left in his "game day attire".

1) How did you get your start in distance running?
Back in 8th grade I was challenged to a 600 for a Milkshake. I won the shake and been running ever since (it cost the PE coach $.25 - a well spent quarter)


2) High school and college experiences? Highlights?
Still on the School Record boards at Gunn HS & De Anza JC in the 4x1 mile. At San Diego State we were 8th in the NCAA XC Champs my Junior year (I was 7th man but was sick that weekend so I didn't get to race - although my name shows in the results for our 5th man forgot his race # so he had to use mine). Guiness Book of World Recods for the Baby Buggy push. A team of 50 runners ran for 24 hrs pushing a Baby Buggy and we averaged 4:11 per mile (see below). Running Boston and being 2nd Californian.

Yes 4:11 is correct but this is how we did it. We only ran a 220 (yd) at a time so it was very easy (for some that is) to run 31.35 avg for all of our 220's (since some guys were running faster than that). The way it worked was their were 5 teams of 10 runners. When it was your teams turn, each runner had to run 8 x 220 (resting while the other 9 ran their 220). So you got 4 1/2 minutes rest between 220's. Then you got 2-3 hours of rest (sleep) while the other 4 teams ran their 220's. It's just that 4:11 per mile sounds more impressive (and the non-runner was able to relate to that mile time) then saying we ran 8x220 at 31.35 (which means nothing to the non-runner). Remember, we had to market this to the paper so they would cover the story. Funny thing is, we told the paper when we thought we would break the existing record so they showed up 5 minutes before that 'predicted' time - well, we were running so fast that we actually broke the record 45 minutes earlier so the paper missed the 'breaking' of the record and had to settle for just seeing the final record mark. The last 30 minutes, all teams were there and we just threw the order out the window and runners were hopping in to run a 220 when they felt recovered and ready to go (we were all getting our picture taken so lots of egos were getting satisfied).

3) You are still competing to this day. How much of your running is done with the team? on your own? What races do you compete in?
When I'm able to run with the team, I'd say 1/4th of my running is done with them. I can hang with the JV runners unless it's downhill, then I can hang with the Varsity.

4) What inspired you to get involved in coaching?
HS XC was a great experience for me and I wanted to give something back to my HS, so I went and coached at Gunn for 4 years. Then I wanted to be a head coach and when the job at Lynbrook came along, I took it.

5) How long have you been coaching at Lynbrook HS? Previous experiences in coaching? Coaching highlights?
Lynbrook from '94 to present. At Gunn from '88-'92. At Hewlett-Packard (I started the south bay team) from '78-'87. I loved coaching the inexperienced runner when working at HP as a Programmer. Most had never run track, especially the women, and they were all eager to commit to running and to get better. Hs'ers are the same, just younger. Sometimes it takes them a little longer to commit to the sport then adults but when they do they are just as excited about getting better and seeing how far they can go. Coaching Highlites... when I learn that someone I coached is now coaching as well, that's a kick!

6) Who do consider your coaching mentors?
Hal Daner (Gunn HS - he's the one that paid the quarter for that milk shake), Forrest Jamieson (Jr High coach, father of XC in the Bay Area - he was the creator af the National Postal races back in the 60's-80's), Jim Linthecum (De Anza JC) - all great roll models.

7) One of your other interests is acting on stage. How did you get involved in that? Any cross over between acting and coaching?
I was tall for my age so in 2nd grade I was given the part of a dancing pickle - been doing it ever since. With XC I have a captive audience so I am always on stage - life is but a stage. I am very animated and I think that helps loosing the kids up as well and then when I compete and put on my 'game face' they see that as well and know there is a time to play and a time to race - and to take them both very seriously.

8) I, like many other people, visit your website (www.lynbrooksports.com) religiously each day. How did the website get it's start?
In '96 I saw that Lynbrook had a web team and a server on campus that was run by kids. I became the mentor of the web team (I'm a programmer by trade) to try and make the site the place to go to for information on Lynbrook HS (not just sports). The XC & Track section grew the fastest and we were getting lots of visits which helped give the whole site more exposure, which in turn required more support and hardware (success breeds success) and then it just kept growing. It then became too big for itself and was requiring too much band width and disc space (over 10gigs I think) so I needed to move it to another server (thank you DyeStat) which allowed me to keep and grow the history side of the site as well as the current year.

9) Where did you get most of the past results? Who have been your best sources?
Plato Yanicks, coach at Menlo-Atherton from '58-'88, has a garage full of results. One scrapbook for XC and one for Track for every year thru 1990, starting with 1947 (when he started coaching in the East Bay). These books are filled with results and newspaper clippings - an amazing resource. I'm slowly scanning and posting the pertinant data from these books (I'm up to 1963 right now). I also inherited what the old XC/.Track coach at Lynbrook had (Verne Thornburg), although most of the track stuff had gotten tossed so I went to Gunn HS and went thru Daner's files. Lots of coaches have given me access to their files which I then scan and then give back the hardcopy as well as a disc with the information - any other takers out there...?

10) Based on your experience and scanning of so many results in CCS, who would you pick as the five best runners (boys and girls)?
I'm assuming you mean 5 best all time... BOYS- Mitch Kingery (San Carlos), Matt Guisto (San Mateo), Gordon MacMitchell (Gunn, he could've beat Kingery's time if he didn't have to sit out a year), Jesse Torres (Independence) and Chris Carey (Carlmont, he only ran the old Crystal Course). GIRLS - Katy McCandless (Castilleja), Lori Chapman (Gunderson), Roxanne Bier (Independence), Rebecca Chamberlain (Leigh), Alejandra Barrientos (SLV) - Tori Tyler (Gunn) had one fantastic time at Crystal which she won all by herself which would be considered a phenominal performance given no one was even close to her that day.

11) This is your chance to make you plea for any past results (or anything else) that you would like to add to your site.
Coaches - please let me scan your files if you have any, lets not loose the history.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
Please forgive my spelling (Albert, will you clean up for me?) and come see me in "Antigone In the Oval Office" playing at Theatre At San Pedro Square in downtown SJ - I play a Secret Service man protecting the President. I'm a nothing part but my daughter has the lead...

Thank you very much for your time with the interview and the website Hank! AJC