Wednesday, December 23, 2009

San Mateo Daily Journal Runners of the Year...

Catch me if you can (Jessie Petersen-Carlmont)

The curious case of Benjamin Heck
(Carlmont HS)

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

She runs 85 mpw... impressive.

Anonymous said...

No mention of mystery surrounding Heck's absence at state meet. No comment from current Carlmont coach, only ex-coach Gilkey. Odd.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am also curious as to why Heck did not run at the state meet. I remember reading an article before states that said Heck was no longer with the team, although I'm not sure what that meant. Perhaps he went on a family vacation for Thanksgiving, or maybe he failed to comply with coach Randazzo's "contract", so was kicked off. Does anybody know what happened?

Anonymous said...

Could you get an interview up with Erin Hicks? I am curious to see how much she runs now too...

Albert Caruana said...

Working backwards.

I will see what I can do about getting an interview with Erin Hicks.

In regards to Heck and missing the state meet, the title of the article is after all "The curious case of Benjamin Heck". There has been nothing in the papers for the reason of his dismissal before the state meet.

One correction on the Petersen article, she finished 23rd in the Footlocker West Regional. The article makes it sound like she finished 23rd in the National meet.

Anonymous said...

Is this why you don't hear much about Carlmont runners in college?

Anonymous said...

It's obvious from the articles that Gilkey continued to train Heck and Peterson throughout the season, which was in violation of Randazzo's "contract". I guess the stars of the team got a free pass.

Anonymous said...

Sad that the FORMER coach is quoted in the pieces...SAD, SAD, SAD... Great message sent to the team and CURRENT coaches... Maybe next time the former coach could ask the reporters to contact the current coaches if the reporters have no clue...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:10am. Please check your facts before you make such statements!

Heck was forced to quit the team after CCS because he disagreed with the current coach's treatment of a fellow team mate.

Anonymous said...

To clarify a few things about Ben Heck. First Ben did not run State because he asked his school Admin. to protect him from what he percieved as mental abuse from his school coaches and the Admin. refused.
Second- Ben runs club in the summer and in between cross country season with Jeff Gilkey. He Never ran For Gilkey while he was on his school team. As for why the school coach was not interviewed who knows. Maybe they did not want to be.

Benjamin Heck said...

For everyone that is curious, I will clarify EVERYTHING that has been said, becuase there has been A LOT of lies, exaggerations, and wrong information. This is Benjamin Heck.

First things first, whoever said you never hear anything about Carlmont runners, maybe you need to do some research, because I have kept up with all of the runners that have graduated.

Next thing, the state meet. I was left with no other choice but to quit the team due to Carlmont's lack of leadership, maturity, and ability to do their job. I personally, and many other Carlmont and non Carlmont parents witnessed, Jennifer Randazzo verbally harrass a young runner to the point she was trembling and crying. I have PERSONALLY been verbally harrased by Jennifer and her siblings, especially Mike Randazzo. The reason why no one has heard of this experience is becuase the school does not want to accept that this has happened. My parents and I have made a formal complaint and write up of the situation not only to the Carlmont Administration, but the School District. After the meeting I had with the athletic director, vice principal and principal, where I described these unacceptable crimes, they told me to either deal with it or quit. I have too much integrity for myself to be treated like this, and refuse to surrond myself with people that treats minors in this way. That is why I did not run the state meet, it was not the decision I wanted to make, but Jennifer and the Carlmont Administration left me with no choice.(instead I ran the Junior Olympic Regionals and won).

Now, the reason that Jennifer was not interviewed in the recent article is simple, she's new. I have known Jeff Gilkey for 3 years, in which we have grown extremley close and he is a great friend of mine. He is a true inspiration to the point even when he was not coaching me, his wisdom of the sport carried with me even without his training. That is a true coach. As soon as I left Carlmont, I began working with Jeff Gilkey as a club team and I have to say it's nice to be around someone that cares about you. Driving down from half moon bay every day at 7 in the morning, calling you almost every night to see how you feel, and doing everythin that they can to help you reach your goal is what Jeff is about, and this is why he was interviewed over Jennifer. He knows me.

Benjamin Heck said...

This is a continuation of my previous comment.


I am very offended by the comment in which Jessie Peterson and I were accused of cheating and breaking the rules. This is outrageous, no where in the article does it say either of us were training with Jeff. Has it occurred to anyone that our success was due to hard work and the will to do well? Think outside the box.

Jennifer is not a coach, she is immature and has much to learn about coaching and how to treat human beings (in my opinion). However, it is very sad that I am the only one that exercises his freedom of speech, and the only one that stands for what he believes in. Jennifer has instilled so much fear into her kids not to speak out against her that no one will speak out becuase they are afraid of getting kicked off the team( in my experience). It's ashame that (in my opinion) Patrick Smith (athletic director) does not care about the well being of the cross country kids, and therefore makes his own irrational decisions. In the meeting with my parents and I, he constantly was rolling his eyes when my parents and I were speaking. This is why I am so upset, no body takes minors seriously. May I remind everyone that this same problem happened last year in the track season with Dylan Shelley in which the long distant kids and I complained about the way he treated us, and the school did nothing. After 3 months he was then fired because he gave a punishment to his football kids in which the skin on the palms of their hands peeled back to the point it bled.

The last thing I have to say is how disgusting this whole thread is. I want everyone to think about exactly what they are doing. How old are you? Some of you maya be in your 20's 30's 40's or even older. Jessie and I are 16 and 17 years old. Do MINORS who only want to run deserve the things that are being said? I am tired of people making accusations and giving their 2 cents when they have no experience in the situation. You have not been dealing with the situation for the last 3 months, and therefore have no say in whatever happens. No more rumors, no more lies, no more ignorant comments. The fact are simple, reconstruction in the Carlmont Administration is crucial in order for the kids to feel safe and secure; becuase after all, isn't that what it's all about?

Merry Christmas

Everything that has been said is in my own words and will not be connected in any way with any of the other distant kids.

Anonymous said...

Carlmont runners DON'T do anything in college. Rhoades, Surh, Palladino, Fedronic... NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

At least, Carlmont runners under Gilkey (yes I know there were that pair of twins but they graduated a long time ago).

Anonymous said...

Really? Is that what you think? Well Brad Surh runs for Berkley, Federonic for Standford. Get your facts straight before you make comments as stupid as that. Palladino isn't running because it's difficult to run and get a 4.0in college at Berkley. It's comments like yours why Benjamin is so disgusted with this thread.

Anonymous said...

I think the point was that they know these runners are running in college, it's just that they haven't done much in college.

Anonymous said...

both are track people, which hasnt started yet, i also think that they both red-shirt'd. that's why you havent heard much

Marianne Asaro said...

Carlmont's contract in the 2009 XC season was unprecedented. Runners were distressed because the contract combined with the coaching situation to prohibit them from working to be their best. But they all stuck with the school's program anyway, in the interest of the team. As a parent, I observed that the contract was honored by my child yet its tenets were unidirectional, not applying to coaches. Likewise a CIF code of conduct for coaches apparently exists but was chronically violated by the Carlmont running coaches.

As Ben's post points out, these runners are minors. In high school one expects both training conditions and psychological treatment that are Safe Enough. Neither condition was met here, in the opinion of way too many athletes and their parents. Parents eventually become involved because the students are minors, but the athletes themselves communicated problems at length.

There will always be coaches that are disliked, by somebody, in any sport and at any level. In lesser cases one might take the stand that this is life: accept it or leave the team. In this case, to accept is to negate the core of human decency as well as the sport; not a message parents are able to send to their children.

Ben is not alone in having communicated serious concerns. Nine Carlmont families took that big step too, in sending documentation along with a formal letter of complaint to our distict's school board about repeated inappropriate behaviors by XC coaches this past season.

If a high school athlete is privileged to participate, is it then a right or a privilege that he or she be provided physically safe training and psychologically healthy treatment?

This as yet unresolved situation poses quite a dilemma for these serious young athletes.

Anonymous said...

I'd say that this thread is not the place to dog Carlmont alumni or make generalizations about their achievements. Whoever keeps bringing it up, feel free to go out on a run and remember what this is all about.

As for "The curious case of Benjamin Heck"- think about what happens when a team needs unity and a leader, while the coaches work to destroy both. Someone steps up, and it sure as heck doesn't come from a "free pass" of illegal training.

Good article Emmanuel, way to focus on the running.

Albert Caruana said...

As always, if you have something to say that is YOUR OWN opinion, please use your name along with your comment.

Pretty easy concept.

Nathan Lee said...

Sorry about that, here I am.

Albert Caruana said...

To the last poster (not Nathan), I cannot allow such an inflammatory post if you can't even identify yourself.

The purpose of this blog is to promote the sports of cross country and track and field.

I hope you understand.