Sunday, October 31, 2010

SJS Boys Rankings Pre-Sections by Jason Jimenez

Division 1 (2 State Berths)
1. Davis
2. Oak Ridge
3. Jesuit
4. Lincoln (S)
5. McClatchy

Notes: Halsted returned in style at the BV Invite but then didn't race Mt SAC. After League Champs it's clear Davis' front 3 are very tough. Oak Ridge might have been holding back at DVL Champs but even if that were true, Davis' overall team scorers are just too tough. Maybe the Marauders can make something magical happen and bump Davis/OR out. Unfortunately, this seems unlikely for the perennial favorite - if Jesuit doesn't qualify it will only be the 3rd time in the history of the state meet that they missed out. Think about that for a moment. Currently, they have not gone to State ONLY two times since 1987.  

Individual winner prediction: Halsted (Davis) has already gone sub 16 at Willow Hills. Look for an attempt to go sub 15:50. 

Division 2 (4 Berths)
1. Del Campo
2. Bella Vista
3. Woodcreek
4. Vacaville
5. El Camino
6. Rocklin
7. Ponderosa

Notes: Del Campo could very possibly put 3 in the top 4 at Sections making it virtually impossible to outscore them. BV spread at CVC Champs was 23 seconds, between 16:52 and 17:15, making them the only team of the other hopefuls to have a 5th man knocking on the door of sub 17. Woodcreek and Vacaville have been solid performers all season. Look for them to take the final berths. Unfortunately, for former D3 powerhouse El Camino, D2 is just too tough and even though frontrunner Chris Kigar will give them a very low score, their 4th and 5th scorers are just too far out of the picture. Rocklin and Ponderosa share a similar fate. This division is just TOO tough and 3 defintely deserving teams will not get a chance to compete at the State Meet. 

Individual winner prediction: Kigar (EC) is unbeatable in the SJS. Look for something in the 15:20's. German's course record could face it's first legitimate threat but pretty unlikely to fall.  

Division 3 (3 berths)
1. Sonora
2. Placer
3. El Dorado
4. Vista Del Lago
5. Sierra

Notes: We've got ourselves some excitement in D3. Sonora looks great after League champs but so does Placer. Their spreads are nearly identical. They both looked locked in for the state meet. El Dorado is looking good too though so if they can move up their front group there could be a shift in the order. 

Individual winner prediction: Finkbeiner (Placer) vs Klein (Son). Too close to call. 

Chabot College Festival of Miles of Turkeys

On the Tuesday afternoon, and the early evening before Thanksgiving, November 23rd, Chabot College track and field is going to host a series of mile races that start on the Chabot track circle the stadium and finish on the track. The idea behind this event is to get an idea of what kids can run a road mile in after finishing cross country season.  The event is a low key affair with the winner of each race division winning a 10 to 12 pound frozen turkey. 

Chabot Turkey Day Festival of Miles
Tuesday November 23rd - Race starts and finishes on the Chabot Track

3:30 PM        Community College Women
3:45 PM        Community College Men
4:00   JV High School Girls
4:15   JV High School Boys
4:30   Varsity High School Girls
4:45   Varsity High School Boys
5:00   Middle School Girls
5:15   Middle School Boys
5:30   Open Women
5:45   Open Men
$8 per entry. 
Athletes enter at  
Deadline entry is 5 PM Sunday November 21st .  No race day entries
The winner of each race division wins a Turkey

I hope your kids can be a part of this fun event.

Ken Grace
Chabot College Track and Field

Welsh leads Monterey girls team to first title

5 Questions with Jordan Halleib (Bear River runner)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

CVC League Finals Results (SJS)

Pac 10, Big West and WCC Results

Lots of alumni from local schools in Northern California competing in the following conferences:
Pac 10 (Erik Olson, Steve Sodaro, Nohe Lema, Darius Terry, Deborah Maier, Alex Kosinski, Jennifer Bergman, Chelsea Reilly, Laurynne Chetelat, Heather Cerney)

Big West (Calvin Thigpen, Jonathan Sees, Bhavik Kanzaria, Kevin Griffith, Doug Whichard, Grayson Hough, Nathan Strum, Amanda Moreno, Jenny Bergren, Leanne Fogg, Damajeria Dubose, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Katy Daly, Colleen Lillig, Alycia Cridebring)

WCC (Ganbileg Bor, Jeremy Grace, Will Marquardt, Luca Signore, Weston Strum, Sterling Lockert, Tyre Johnson, Greg Innes, Marcos Hinojosa, Robb Van Wyck, Stephanie Wilson, Kellie Houser, Erin Hicks, Mary Reynolds, Natalie Sojka)
Official Page:

Big 12 Men (German Fernandez)

Big Sky Men (Diego Estrada and Reesey Byers)

Ivy League Men (Matt Duffy, Garrett Rowe, Austin Snyder)

Ivy League Women (Theresa Devine)

ACC Men (Evan Watchempino)

ACC Women (Jacque Taylor)

Big South Men (Josh MacDonald)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Final DVAL Dual Meet Standings:

Final meet results as well as current standings (League championship meet is next Friday):

Prep report: Drake girls cross country caps unbeaten season

Redwood Empire Area league standings...

Includes Sonoma County League (SCL), North Bay League (NBL), and Coast Mountain Conference (CMC).

Cross country: Mental toughness will decide champions

Mt. SAC Invitational stats...

courtesy of and

Thursday, October 28, 2010

MCAL Dual Meet Results

 3 mile

 10-28-2010  at Symons Grove

To view complete boys and girls results go to the following link:

Local Middle School, High School and College news...

Ralston Cross Country Teams Win Four Titles at ADAL Championship Meet

Gunn sweeps girls' cross country at city championships

Wilson Aims to Repeat as Cross Country Prepares for WCC Championships

CA State Meet information...

2010 CIF State Cross Country Handbook

2010 CIF State Cross Country Team Entry Information

Past Championship Results

Individual Champions

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Saucony/Heart and Sole Redwood Empire Runners of the Week!

From Contra Costa Times

Falcons shine at Mt. Sac

  • The College Park High boys cross country team proved it is a player on the statewide stage, winning its Division I race at the Mt. Sac Invitational in Walnut on Oct. 23. Jeff Bickert led the charge, finishing second individually with a time of 15 minutes, 6 seconds. The College Park girls also did well, finishing third in the team standings.
    -- Ben Enos
  • Stars of the week
    Jamie Fehrnstrom, Miramonte boys cross country -- Fehrnstrom took first at the DFAL Center meet on Oct. 20 at Shadow Cliffs Park (2.95 miles) in a time of 15:29.5 seconds.
  • Latest CCS Rankings courtesy of (as well as state rankings)

    Individual and Team:

    CCS Time Comparisons:

    State Rankings courtesy of Espn RISE following Mt. SAC Invitational:

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Top 15 NorCal Teams (Boys and Girls) at Mt. SAC Invitational

    1)  Bellarmine (CCS) 77:58 Division I
    2)  College Park (NCS) 79:16 Division I
    3)  De La Salle (NCS) 80:11 Division I
    4)  Los Gatos (CCS) 80:12 Division II
    5)  Davis (SJS) 80:53 Division I
    6)  Mountain View (CCS) 80:55 Division II
    7)  Monte Vista (NCS) 81:12 Division I
    7)  Carlmont (CCS) 81:12 Division I
    9) Maria Carrillo (NCS) 81:35 Division III
    10)  Menlo Atherton (CCS) 81:39 Division I
    11)  Castro Valley (NCS) 81:49 Division I
    12)  Livermore (NCS) 81:54 Division I
    13)  Alisal (CCS) 82:36 Division I
    14)  Tamalpais (NCS) 82:37 Division IV
    15)  El Camino (SJS) 83:03 Division II

    1)  Castro Valley (NCS) 95:39 Division I
    2)  Carlmont (CCS) 95:44 Division I
    3)  College Park (NCS) 96:26 Division I
    4)  Del Oro (SJS) 96:33 Division II
    5)  Monte Vista (NCS) 97:46 Division I
    6)  Clayton Valley (NCS) 97:46 Division II
    7)  Mountain View (CCS) 97:47 Division II
    8)  University (NCS) 97:49 Division V
    9)  Los Gatos (CCS) 97:55 Division II
    10)  San Lorenzo Valley (CCS) 98:24 Division IV
    11)  Carondelet (NCS) 98:35 Division II
    12)  Lodi (SJS) 98:50 Division I
    13)  Livermore (NCS) 98:54 Division I
    14)  Davis (SJS) 100:10 Division I
    15)  Valley Christian SJ (CCS) 100:40 Division III

    If you spot any errors or omissions, please let me know.

    Catching up with Bellarmine coach Patrick McCrystle...

    Since a lot of visitors to this blog are new, I am going to repost some past interviews with coaches and athletes that are still pertinent to this current cross country season.  I will start with the coach of the top ranked boys' NorCal team, Pat McCrystle of Bellarmine HS.  This interview was originally posted on October 6th, 2008.
    Today's interview is with Bellarmine Cross Country coach Patrick McCrystle (pictured here standing far right). Coach McCrystle ran for one of the best coaches in CA, Jesuit's Walt Lange and is now continuing the legacy of another CA coaching icon, Terry Ward. His current Bellarmine team is ranked #1 in CCS and is ready to start league competition in the tough WCAL.

    1) How did you get your start in running?I started running track my sophomore year at Jesuit High School Sacramento. I played football, basketball and baseball my first year in HS, and football and basketball my sophomore year, but my PE teacher—Walt Lange—talked me into coming out for track, and I loved it because in football and baseball so many guys on the team didn’t work very hard, and if we didn’t win it seemed very frustrating to have worked hard but have the outcome rest on people who hadn’t worked very hard, but in track you HAD to work hard or it would be pretty clear you were slacking, and at J-High the distance runners were tough. So, I just decided to give cross country a try. My dad had given me a book called The Worlds of Brutus Hamilton when I was in 8th grade, all about the famous Cal distance coach, but of course I wanted to be like the guys on TV…looking back, I wish I had read it and been mature enough to go out for XC my freshmen year, because I could have used those two years of training!

    2) You ran for one of the most decorated coaches in California, Jesuit's Walt Lange. From your experience under his tutelage, what are some of the reasons for his successl?
    Walt is successful for several reasons, but one of the biggest, I believe, is his understanding of the ‘big picture.’ He looks at each athlete on his team as an opportunity for improvement, and he trains them with that in mind. Of course, many other coaches do that as well, but Walt develops training sessions with the whole season in mind, looking at how he can get the most out of each of his teams near the end of the season. The Sac-Joaquin Section has championships at 4 levels (Frosh, Soph, JV and Varsity; why can’t other sections do that? What a great way to build up interest in the sport!), and if one researches the J-High records at those levels one would find tremendous success for the Marauders, because Walt is not focusing on one level or group of runners.

    Walt also understands distance running very well, and neither under or over-trains his teams, in my opinion. Also, Jesuit HS is the sort of school that has tremendous school spirit, and most of the students want to be a part of the athletic program, so he gets a lot of eager and motivated students out for cross country. And, perhaps the secret weapon for J-High is the American River Parkway, endless miles of dirt trails going in both directions away from J-High, running along the banks of the American River, linking up with several big parks that have enormous, flat, well-maintained grass fields. Jesuit runners never have to run on concrete!

    3) You started out as a hurdler (I believe) and eventually moved to the 800 recording a 1:50.70 during high school. How did that transition come about?I was a triple jumper and hurdler my sophomore year, but Walt put me in the 400 a few times, and then told me I should run the 800, and that I should come out for cross country, too. So I did, though the actual moment that sold me both on track as well as longer races happened at Arcadia. We had a miler named Pedro Reyes (4:06.01/2nd 1600 1980 state meet…who also started as a 400 man) who was running the 1600 at Arcadia, and Walt asked me to run the 400 on a Distance Medley team, which would be anchored by Pedro (4:17 that night, his third sub-4:20 1600 in 24 hours!) I weighed about 100 pounds and couldn’t have been more than 5’2”, but I got the baton, put my head down and tucked in behind some huge guy from LA and Pr’ed by 2 seconds. We finished 4th and received a medal and Pedro was my hero and all I wanted to do was run after that. I kept running hurdles and triple jumping and running the 400 and 1600 in dual meets, depending on what the other team’s strengths were, but the 800 was my event for the big meets.

    4) How long have you been at teaching/coaching at Bellarmine? Any other coaching experiences?
    I started teaching English at Bellarmine in 1989. I have been teaching History here since 1990. I also taught at Jesuit High Sacramento from 1986-1988, and at Mitty for one year (1997-98), so 19 years teaching at three Catholic schools. I coached football and track at Jesuit for two years, and soccer at Bellarmine for 9 years and Mitty for 1…I am proud that all 9 years I was in the soccer program at BCP, we won section soccer championships, though I was the JV coach. I coached track at BCP for three years in the early ‘90s, and I am the head track coach as of this year. I do consider myself more of a teacher than a coach; I teach World Cultures, AP European History and Conflict in the Modern World.

    5) Tell us a little about Terry Ward and what he has meant to Bellarmine HS.
    Well, for over 30 years Terry is and has been an ambassador both for the sport of distance running as well as Ignatian education (he is a graduate of SI in San Francisco and taught and coached at SI before coming to BCP.) In my experience, one of Terry’s finest qualities is his wonderful kindness and acceptance of all people. I always marvel at Terry when we are at meets together; everybody—EVERYBODY—knows Terry, and he knows everyone, and more than that he always has something kind to say and remembers something personal about the person. I have tried—and largely failed—to emulate that. As a coach, Terry was extremely flexible in how he coached his charges. He understood that some athletes require more miles while some need periodic breaks. I learned a lot from him in that regard, and having coached under both Terry and Walt Lange, I think it says something about me that my teams have never come close to their success…perhaps I am a poor student!

    6) How do you attract so many runners to run cross country? What is the size of this year's team?This year we have 134 runners on the team. Obviously the size of Bellarmine contributes to that; we have somewhere around 1600 students, all boys of course, one of the biggest schools in the CCS, so how could we NOT have a huge team? But, beyond that, I think our numbers are a result of the three other coaches on staff: Dave Barone, Casey McCullough, and Richard Nevle. All three are truly excellent, and popular, teachers here at Bellarmine, so we are in constant contact with the student body, encouraging students to come out for the team. The average Bellarmine student is a fairly motivated young man, looking to get involved, and at Bellarmine there is a least one sport each season that is ‘no-cut’ so that any student who wants to compete in athletics can have the chance. Cross Country is that sport in the Fall, though we call it ‘self-cut’ because anyone who comes to practice every day can be on the team, but they have to come to practice every day. That policy has worked out for us well; Kyle Tuttle ’07 ran a 9:48 1600 time trial his freshman cross country season, and a 9:48 3200 in the WCAL track finals his senior year. He just showed up to practice every day and did what he was asked.

    We also try to make the sport fun, especially by running off campus as much as possible, including yearly ‘mystery runs’—the athletes don’t know where we are going, and we run somewhere we have never run before. Our next mystery run is October 15th. This year we have relied on Senior and Junior leadership to interact even more with the young runners, hoping to inspire them to become leaders themselves, while also making them feel more a part of the team. On some recovery days this year we have played ultimate Frisbee, and we always have the beginning of the season pot luck, during which we encourage parents to come to as many events—including practices—as they can, which increases the amount of food that shows up at meets and workouts, which makes the runners happy too! Maybe not the most inspiring list, but I think it all adds up to a big roster every year.

    7) Tell us a little about what you want your runners to accomplish during the summer.
    Summer running is a real conundrum for me. Chad Evans, the outstanding coach at SI, gave me a line I use all the time: the three most important words in cross country are June, July, and August. And I agree with that; no runner will maximize his or her potential without putting in the miles over the summer. But, at Bellarmine, like at all schools, I have many student-athletes who have varied interests, and during the summer they have opportunities to explore those interests in ways they cannot during the school year because of academic responsibilities. So, I encourage them to go to music camp and space camp and Boy Scout Camp and everything else that will enrich their lives. At Bellarmine, we are blessed to have immersion trips that take students to El Salvador and Guatemala during the summer, and many of our students travel with Amigos de las Americas, and this summer one of our better runners actually worked with the Sisters of Charity (Mother Theresa’s order) in India…how am I going to say no to opportunities like that? I WANT them to do those things! So, I say run when you are here. As far as the running goes, we take it easy in general. 40+ mile weeks for our better runners, though if their bodies can handle more, then I encourage them to add in long runs when possible. We do absolutely zero quality work, nothing until late August. In the end, I wish our guys ran more during the summer but I am happy with the sorts of things most of them do in lieu of running, so on balance it all works out.

    8) What training areas do you primarily use for your practices?Running around Bellarmine is horrible. We are bound by the Alameda, I-880, the SJ airport, the Cal train tracks and Taylor Street…nothing but pavement and traffic in every direction. We do have two city parks close by, and we use them quite often. But we go to Rancho San Antonio once a week, Alum Rock once a week, and the Los Gatos Creek Trail once a week. We also use Quicksilver Park during the season. The highlights of the season, though, are the weekend runs we do at the Forest of Nicene Marks State Park in Aptos, Rio Del Mar beach and my personal favorite, Waddell Creek State Beach, where we run up into Big Basin State Park. Of course, this means buses 4 days a week, so thank heavens for our outstanding AD’s office and maintenance crew.

    9) Your team competes in the WCAL which is an incredibly competitive league for many sports. How does competing in this league prepare your team for CCS and beyond?Well, it prepares me because the other coaches are excellent coaches and even better people; I have to try to keep up with them! And, much of what I have learned has come from them…thanks especially to Al Berran at SI! We know that every year our League is going to be very competitive on all four levels, and that all seven schools will field competitive teams on all four levels, so we will have to be mentally focused at all three of our League meets or we will be beaten soundly. Ironically, I think it may hurt us as much as help us at CCS. Of course it helps in that we have run three intense races, but I also think it can take a lot out of us. Our three League meets happen on three Wednesdays, run every other week over a five week period. We are pretty ‘run out’ by the end of that, and I wish our League would change that so that we could be fresher at the end of the season. Also, in trying to prepare for our League Championship (which counts for ½ the team total), we choose not to go to meets like Mt. Sac, which I think would help us prepare for State.

    10) From your experience as a competitor and coach, what does it take to be a successful distance runner?I believe that successful distance running requires many things, but for me the absolute ‘musts’ are consistency and discipline. Runners must run consistently for a long period in order to build the cardio-vascular fitness that can then be fine-tuned. I don’t think four days a week will do it. And, so many intangible items inhibit or boost one’s running that discipline is huge. Runners must live a healthy life, obviously staying away from alcohol and drugs, but also incorporating healthy foods into their diet and getting the hours of sleep that their body—and mind—needs. They must limit the time they spend in front of a video game console or IM screen on the computer; do your homework and go to bed, that’s my coaching credo!! In addition to those two things, I think having like-minded teammates is key, because a season of running long and hard on your own can be emotionally draining, while sharing the challenge of hard training with teammates not only enhances the experience but can push a student-athlete way beyond what they may have perceived as their limits.

    11) Rumor is that you are quite adept at figuring out team scores as cross country races progress and before the results are even announced. How does one acquire such a skill?Uhm, you have been talking to Sean Laughlin! Wasting countless hours as a kid calculating baseball stats without a calculator in competition against my brother Timothy; trying to figure out 1600 relay splits in my head; luck.

    12) Anything else you would like to add.Thanks to you Albert for running your site. I am a fan, because anything that celebrates the sport of running is a boon. I love coaching these young people, and I truly believe a positive athletic experience can help them to realize their potential as humans, which is why I wish we could attract even more kids away from computers and video games and out on trails…and anything which shines a light on our sport helps that. While simply running on your team should be enough as an intrinsic reward, I feel the sport could use some more positive publicity. I wish we had better places to train and race, or perhaps I should say more places to train and race. And, it is an honor to work with and compete against so many other wonderful people, all these great coaches in Northern California. Other than that, thanks for asking and go Red Sox!!

    Thank you very much for your time Patrick! AJC

    Top 10 NorCal Teams at Mt. SAC later today...

    When I get a moment, I will post the the top 10 teams (boys and girls) from Mt. SAC this past weekend.  If somebody has already compiled that list, feel free to email it to me at and I will post or you can add it to the comment section below.

    Here is a listing of the top CCS runners and teams courtesy of  Teams are listed in alphabetical order:

    Who was the most impressive runner from NorCal this weekend for boys and girls?  Who was the biggest surprise?  What about the teams?  Who looked ready to challenge for a state title?  What was the best part of your Mt. SAC experience?

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    Videos of Mt. SAC races courtesy of and

    History of the Mt. SAC Invitational courtesy of

    Watch live streaming video from xcinvite at

    Top NorCal Runners at Mt. SAC

    Please let me know if I missed any runners.  Not all the result links are working on the Mt. SAC site.

    Boys (Sub 16:00)
    1)  Kevin Bishop Monta Vista CCS 14:50
    2)  Chris Kigar El Camino (Sac) SJS 14:51
    3)  Daniel Milechman Tamalpais NCS 14:55
    4)  Parker Schuh Mountain View CCS 14:59
    5)  Ben Eversole Castro Valley NCS 15:03
    6)  Jeff Bickert College Park NCS 15:06
    7)  Will Geiken Los Gatos CCS 15:12
    8)  Anthony Ortolan College Park 15:18
    9)  Brian De La Mora Davis SJS 15:22
    10)  Kyle Rae Bellarmine CCS 15:24
    10)  Grant Foster Los Gatos CCS 15:24
    12)  Bryan Crook Mountain View CCS 15:26
    13)  Chris Grimble Kennedy (Sac) SJS 15:30
    14)  Esteban Valencia Bellarmine CCS 15:34
    15)  Daniel Hauptman Maria Carrillo NCS 15:39
    15)  Jack Bordoni Bellarmine CCS 15:39
    15)  Adrian Hinojosa Bellarmine CCS 15:39
    16)  Tony Ferrari Bellarmine CCS 15:42
    16)  Braed Van Deynze Davis SJS 15:42
    18)  Kyle Williams De La Salle NCS 15:45
    19)  Cameron Trinh Skyline OAK 15:48
    19)  Jeffrey Stalun Carlmont CCS 15:48
    21)  Connor Van Meter De La Salle NCS 15:55
    22)  Marc Eteve Livermore NCS 15:56
    23)  Evan Quigley Alhambra NCS 15:57
    24)  Michael A. Johnson De La Salle NCS 15:58
    24)  Anthony Martore Castro Valley NCS 15:58
    24)  Will Holland College Park 15:58
    27)  Aviv Weinstein Homestead CCS 15:59
    27)  Josh Smiley Monte Vista NCS 15:59

    Girls (Sub 19:00)
    1)  Kelsey Santisteban Castro Valley NCS 17:24
    2)  Jessie Peterson Carlmont CCS 17:25
    3)  Anna Maxwell San Lorenzo Valley CCS 17:41
    4)  Holland Reynolds University NCS 18:05
    5)  Emma Freeman Del Oro SJS 18:07
    6)  Bridget Blum University NCS 18:14
    7)  Cassidy Daley Lodi SJS 18:15
    8)  Spencer Moore St. Mary's Berkeley NCS 18:16
    9)  Natalie Dimits Livermore NCS 18:19
    9)  Morgan Lira Valley Christian (SJ) 18:19
    11)  Alexandra Tate Clayton Valley NCS 18:24
    12)  Lauren Kraus Maria Carrillo 18:27
    13)  Ashley Moffet Casa Grande NCS 18:28
    14)  Emily Blaha Valley Christian (SJ) CCS 18:36
    15)  Caitlin Devitt-Payne Del Oro SJS 18:42
    15)  Allison Sturges Mountain View CCS 18:42
    17)  Sarah Litwiller Clayton Valley NCS 18:46
    18)  Isabelle Demetz Dougherty Valley 18:47
    19)  Sarah Schreck Carlmont CCS 18:51
    19)  Kayla Knapp Los Gatos CCS 18:51
    21)  Katie Castro Los Gatos CCS 18:56
    21)  Samantha Smith Sonora SJS 18:56
    21)  Kenda Stuscavage College Park NCS 18:56
    24)  Danielle Katz Los Gatos CCS 18:58

    Top Team Times to follow.  Please let me know if anybody else is missing from above lists.

    Byron Marshall is one of nation's top juniors

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Mt. SAC Invitational Results

    You can find live results from this weekend's meet (Friday and Saturday) at the following link:

    Congratulations to Jesuit HS coach Walt Lange for his induction into the California High School Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame at Mt. San Antonio College:

    Here's an interview I did with coach Lange in 2009:

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    DFAL and EBAL results coming up...

    DFAL #2 Results courtesy of Hank Lawson:

    EBAL #2 Results courtesy of Mike Davis:
    Standings after 2 of 2 Center Meets (The races are all scores as multi-dual meets, not invitational-style.):
    De La Salle     13 - 1
    San Ramon Vly     12 - 2
    Amador Vly     11 - 3
    Livermore     8 - 6
    Monte Vista     6 - 8
    Granada     4 - 10
    Foothill     2 - 12
    California     0 - 14

    Granada     14 - 0
    Amador Vly     12 - 2
    Monte Vista     10 - 4
    Carondelet     7 - 7
    San Ramon Vly     7 - 7
    Foothill     4 - 10
    Livermore     2 - 12
    California     0 - 14

    For complete Varsity results of the 2nd EBAL meet, go to the following link and scroll down:

    WCAL #2 Results

    Varsity Boys:
    Varsity Girls:
    JV Boys:
    JV Girls:
    Sophomore Boys:
    Frosh/Soph Girls:
    Freshmen Boys:

    All above results courtesy of

    How to Push Past the Pain, as the Champions Do

    From the NY Times
    To his surprise, it was an elite runner, Kim Smith, a blond waif from New Zealand. She has broken her country’s records in shorter distances and now she’s running half marathons. She ran the London marathon last spring and will run the New York marathon next month.

    That day, Ms. Smith seemed to be struggling. Her breathing was labored and she had saliva all over her face. But somehow she kept up, finishing just behind Stefan and coming in fifth with a time of 1:08:39.
    And that is one of the secrets of elite athletes, said Mary Wittenberg, president and chief executive of the New York Road Runners, the group that puts on the ING New York City Marathon. They can keep going at a level of effort that seems impossible to maintain.
    To read the rest of this article, go to the following link:

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Catching up with Piner HS runner, Luis Luna...

    Today we chat with one of the top runners in California, Piner HS junior, Luis Luna. I still remember the first time I saw him race which was at the 2008 Crystal Springs Invitational.  I was at the 2 mile mark getting splits when this runner shot past me, leading the freshman race by a wide margin.  Luis finished that race in 15:58 (close to one of the fastest times for a freshman on the famed course) to establish himself as a runner to watch.  He qualified for the state cross country as a freshman and a sophomore.  He qualified for the state track and field meet last year finishing 3rd at the NCS MOC meet trailing only two sub 9:00 3200m. runners, Erik Olson and Reesey Byers.

    1) How and when did you get your start in distance running?

    I started running in seventh grade because the physical education teacher who was the XC coach wouldn't stop asking me to come out.  Looking back, I am glad that she introduced me to XC.  I also joined the team because some of my friends were participating as well.  I ran track in 7th grade but  didn't do XC.  In 8th grade, I ran xc and track.  Before XC, I played soccer.

    2) What was the first race you remember that gave you an idea of how good you can be in either cross country and/or track and field?
    The first race that gave me an idea of how good I could be was in 8th grade when i ran a 4:56 mile.  After that, I had to decide if I wanted to play soccer or run xc in high school and I ended up choosing XC.  I'm glad I did that.

    3) What was the highlight of your freshman season in xc?
    The highlight during my freshman XC season was when I went to the state meet and ran 16:26 to finish 73rd.

    4) What about track and field?
    i didn't get to run that many races during my freshman year during track because of a stress fracture.  My best race was at the NCS Redwood Empire where I ran 9:44 in the 3200 with basically no training.

    5) What do you feel was your best xc race last year as a sophomore?
    I think that the best race I had my sophomore year during XC was at NCS where I finished 2nd behind Erik Olson of Novato HS with a time of 15:08.

    6) What about your best race on the track as a sophomore?
    The best race during the past track season was at the NCS MOC where I ran 9:16 for the 3200, finishing 3rd behind Olson and Reesey Byers of Santa Rosa HS.

    7) Who were the runners that you looked up to as a young runner in high school?

    There were lots of runners that I looked up to when I first started in both sports.  I knew all their personal records hoped to beat them one day.  Some of the runners were Sterling Lockert of Petaluma HS, Rory McLeod and Reesey Byers of Santa Rosa HS and Erik Olson.

    8) Tell us a little about your coach and how he has helped you develop as a person and runner.
    Mr.Rosales is a great person and a great coach.  He is always there whenever I need his support.  He has helped me develop as a better runner by teaching me all he knows about distance running and by helping me recover through some injuries. He is always giving us a speeches that really motivate us.  During his time at Piners HS, he has built a great program.

    9) What was your summer training like before this current season? What was the length of your longest run? Any workouts? What was the most miles you did during a single week?
    The most miles this summer were between 45 to 50 miles per week.  We did lots of hill work outs.  My long runs were about 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

    10) What is your favorite cross country course? Favorite invitational? Favorite competitor(s)? Favorite workout?
    My favorite XC course is the Spring Lake course in Santa Rosa.  That's where we run our league finals. My favorite invitational is the Scott Bauhs Invitational because there is lake where you can go swimming after your race.  My favorite work out is mile repeats.

    11) What races are you most looking forward to the rest of the season?
    There are some races that I'm looking forward to this season.  The main one is the NBL finals, then NCS and finally state.

    12) Anything else you would like to add.
    I just want to thank everyone that supports Piner High School XC.

    Thank you very much for your time Luis!  AJC

    Coming up...Interview with Piner's Luis Luna

    He is ranked #2 on my NorCal list of top 10 individual runners.  You can make a case for him as being #1.  Look for the interview later today.

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Mid-Season NorCal Individual Rankings (Top 10)

    1)  Domenic D'Acquisto Enterprise HS 12 (NS)
    2)  Luis Luna Piner HS 11 (NCS)
    3)  Chris Kigar El Camino HS 12 (SJS)
    4)  Parker Schuh Mountain View HS 12 (CCS)
    5)  Ben Eversole Castro Valley HS 12 (NCS)
    6)  Kevin Bishop Monte Vista HS 11 (CCS)
    7)  Will Geiken Los Gatos HS 12 (CCS)
    8)  Trevor Halsted Davis HS 12 (SJS)
    9)  Parker Deuel San Ramon Valley HS 11 (NCS)
    10)  Donald Plazola Willow Glen HS 12 (CCS)
    Wild Card:  Daniel Milechman Tamalpais HS 12 (NCS)

    #1 Runner in each section
    Sac-Joaquin Section-Chris Kigar El Camino HS
    Northern Section-Domenic D'acquisto Enterprise HS
    North Coast Section-Luis Luna Piner HS
    Central Coast Section-Parker Schuh Mountain View HS
    Oakland Section-Cameron Trinh Skyline HS
    San Francisco Section-TBA

    1)  Clare Carroll Granite Bay HS 9 (SJS)
    2)  Brooke Holt Granite Bay HS 12 (SJS)
    3)  Carrie Verdon Campolindo HS 11 (NCS)
    4)  Julie Nacouzi Montgomery HS 12 (NCS)
    5)  Rachel Hinds St. Ignatius HS 12 (CCS)
    6)  Jesse Peterson Carlmont HS 12 (CCS)
    7)  Sophie Hartley Granada HS 9 (NCS)
    8)  Grace Orders Campolindo HS 12 (NCS)
    9)  Shelby Nickles Dublin HS 12 (NCS)
    10)  Kelsey Santisteban Castro Valley HS (NCS)
    Wild Card:  Cassidy Daly Lodi HS 9 (SJS)

    #1 Runner in each section

    Sac-Joaquin Section-Clare Carroll Granite Bay HS
    Northern Section-Tiffany Heflin Lassen HS
    North Coast Section-Carrie Verdon Campolindo HS
    Central Coast Section-Rachel Hinds St. Ignatius HS
    Oakland Section-TBA
    San Francisco Section-TBA

    Comments are welcome and encouraged.  The lists above are meant to start conversation about the top runners in Northern California.  If you feel like I missed a runner, please state their case for them. Same if you feel like some runners should move up or down the lists.

    New Course Record at Toro Park by Enterprise's Domenic D'Acquisto

    What a great day at Toro Park for the second day of the MONTEREY BAY INVITATIONAL (MBI)! The incredible central coast weather (low 70's and sunshine for the varsity races) made for an awesome day of racing. What did we get to see?

     Let's describe the Varsity Boys race. It was all Domenic D'Acquisto from the start of the gun. D'Acquisto (picture to left courtesy of Doug Speck), who previously held the third fastest time on the course took off to the front and had a 10 yard lead at the 1/4 mile mark coming through in 63 seconds. From there he settled into a comfortable pace (if you call running 5:02 through the uphill mile comfortable). Domenic continued to open up as came into spectator alley with about an 80 yard lead at the 1.5 mile half way into the race. His split of 7:28 got the crowd buzzing and wondering might happen.

     Those in attendance last year held on with caution as they remembered last year when he came by a little bit faster and then screamed up the hills only to pay the piper in the last half mile. As we looked up spectator ridge and watch Domenic crest "The WALL" we began to wonder if this could be a record day. Domenic looked as if he was starting the race, not as though he just sprinted straight up a hill that even billygoats go around! We lose sight of him for a while, but got the report that he was at 10:02 for the two mile. The fastest reported split on record. Could he finish? He race the cars along the Hwy 68 corridor and then popped into view through the creekbed crossing with 900 meters to go at 12:10. Could he finish? He looked strong, his stride was smooth, but he was by himself, doing all the work, this isn't how course records are set or is it? 800 meters to go, he is at 12:40. The crowd is getting excited. The announcer is checking his watch to see if this is possible, with 400 meters to go he has turned the last corner and with the slight downhill finish he is 14:00 flat. We are starting to believe! Domenic continued to look smooth and under control as he flew down spectator alley for the second time towards the finish.

     The crowd was yelling, the announcer began losing his voice with excitement, as it became obvious that we were witnessing running history. THE FASTEST TIME EVER ON THE STORIED TORO PARK COURSE! Yes, Domenic D'Acquisto (Enterprise of Redding ... 5 hour trip to get here) set a new course record running 15:05. The previous course record was set in 2006 by Matt Petrillo (Los Gatos) in 15:12 at the CCS Meet. This time there was no "piper to be paid" only a warning that one of the to runners in the state (nation) is geting ready for state. He is flat out good!

     Lost in the excitment of D'Acquisto's run was second place finisher Donald Plazola (Willow Glen) who turned in a very impressive 15:36 to move into the number 20 all time spot. Willow Glen put 5 in the top 15 for an impressive team victory over runnerup Div.4 power Robert Luis Stevenson. Willow Glen team time average of 16:24 has to make them a threat at the state level. The Toro Course tends to run about the same time as that of Woodward Park.

     The girls race was filled with the stars of tomorrow as the top 3 and 5 of the top 6 are sophmores. Vanessa Frazier (Scotts Valley) and Nikki Hiltz (Aptos) shot to the lead and raced side by side through the lower loop. Frazier moved about 10 yards out as they went behind the horseshoe pit and Sophie Cannata boen (Sacred heart Cathedral) move up to join Hiltz. Through the mile it was Frazier trying to distance herself from the strong duo behind her. As they entered spectator alley and the halfway point, Frazier looked in command but with the feared camel humps coming up one never knows what will happen.

     Frazier had never run the course before and was attacking the hills with gusto. It will either make you or brake you when you challenge the ridge. Up over "the wall" and she had stretched her lead to 12 seconds. One more hill, down the S turn to the flat hwy corridor and back out to the lower loop. Would the hills and newness catch up to her? Hiltz was trying to give chase, but as they came out of the creekbed it was all Frazier and Hiltz was having to fight to hold off the strong Cannata boen for second. Frazier finished with a very impressive 18:46 for one of the fastest 10th grade times ever, while Cannata boen turned into a sprinter the last 200 hundred to take over second (18:57) with Hiltz running a fine 19:04 for third. Canneta boen lead her team (Sacred Heart Cathedral) to a nice victory this day over runnerup Leland. Alan Green's Friday report: Another perfect day for running on the central coast.

     The famed course at Toro is actually running a little slower than usual do to the soft sandy dirt stretches. We are in need of some rain to pack down the trails. Great times and efforts considering. Varsity boys and subvarsity results might be switched on the boys attachment...sorry. Check for the faster times as those are from the varsity race. The sub-varsity was formerly known as the JV race. We changed the name because some leagues will not allow seniors to run in a J.V. race. We had 24 teams compete today with another 30 scheduled for tomorrows' version.

    Alan Green North Salinas Coach

    Bay Area Track Club Clinic at Gunn HS on October 30th

    The Bay Area Track Club is putting on a running clinic on Saturday, October 30th at Gunn High School.  
    Details are here:

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    How the World's best runners strike the ground

    Interesting follow up to the Steve Magness interview posted earlier this week.  One of his posts on his blog is "How the World's best runners strike the ground".  You can find that post at the following link:

    Here is the video that he attached to his post that shows the lead women (including eventual winner Shannon Rowbury and 2nd place finisher Sara Hall) in the 5th Avenue Mile.  Take a look at the results and how each woman strikes the ground.

    Comments?  How do you strike the ground?  Did you at a point in your career change how you strike the ground?  How do you teacher foot strike to your athletes?  Do you ever do any barefoot running on the grass?

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