The moment you all have been waiting for has finally arrived - the Dublin Distance Fiesta is here! More than 1000 student athletes representing 43 high schools, great music and fantastic racing headline this wonderful event especially for the distance runners. Three special edition t-shirts or bags are up for grabs in every race (four in the fast heat) and a special sombrero to the fastest time of the day in each event can make for some great opportunities to set personal records. No Distance Fiesta record is safe!
Meet Record – 5:12.80 – Natalie Dimits – Livermore – 2010
In 2010, this event kicked off a record setting evening for American Christian Academy’s Stephanie Rasmussen, who won both the 1600 and 3200 becoming the first person ever to win two individual sombreros at the same meet. A veteran to these parts, she was also t-shirt winner in 2009, taking second place only losing to the current record holder. She has come back for an encore performance this year, but the coveted sombrero will not come easy. Granada’s Maryann Gong (11:17.53 3200 PR) and St. Mary’s Spencer Moore (5:06.68 1600 PR/11:11.33 3200 PR) bring tremendous credentials to this heat. Already posting some amazing times this early season are Miramonte’s Rebekah Ent (2:19.16 800 - #12 in California), Campolindo’s Juliet Farnan (11:12.04 3200 - #20 CA) and Holy Names’ Julia Gullikson (11:24.12 3200 - #28 CA). Looking to add to her collection of winner t-shirts is Liz Hebel of San Ramon Valley, who was third here last year.
Meet Record – 4:17.28 – Erik Olson – Novato – 2009
The crop of talented young men who will be running today will get the Fiesta started off with a bang! Having already run sub-4:20, Half Moon Bay’s Mitch Martin (4:19.16 - #17 CA) looks to be the favorite but Del Campo brings a trio who have already run some fast times as well – Jordon Rushing (4:28.47 1600 - #26 CA/9:30.91 3200 - #20 CA),Tyler Mercado (9:37.24 3200 - #35 CA) and Patrick Jagerson (2:00.81 800 - #42 CA). They will be pushed by the dynamic duo of Tyler Hanson (9:31.61 3200 - #32 CA) and Jaime Fehrnstrom (1:59.14 800 - #26 CA) of Miramonte. Bishop O’Dowd’s Jonathan DeGroot (1:59.44 800 - #30 CA) brings great speed while Campolindo’s Keith Geiger (9:38.78 3200 - #40 CA) brings the endurance. St. Mary’s Duncan Calvert also brings his 4:20.63 personal best to the show.
Meet Record – 2:17.43 – Tamara Purpura – Lowell – 2009
We are in for a treat in this race as two nationally ranked 3200 runners come down in distance to give the meet record a run for its money. Campolindo’s Carrie Verdon has already ripped off a 10:33.38 3200 this year, which is good for #3 in the United States and #2 in CA. Freshman phenom Christine Bayliss of San Ramon Valley has also popped a big one early, pacing to 10:52.00 for the 3200, good for #11 US and #7 CA. National rankings or not, they will be challenged. Granada’s Carina Novell ran 2:19.40 last year for 800 along with a not too shabby 5:00.61 for 1600 while St. Mary’s Spencer Moore could be coming back for her second win of the day.
Meet Record – 1:54.21 – Sebastian Sam – Oak Grove – 2008
This meet director will not be jinxing himself this year after his failed guarantee of 2011 but he can promise you one thing – a rivalry will be reborn! Ah the glory days, when St. Joseph Notre Dame and Bishop O’Dowd would sell out the Oakland Coliseum for regular season basketball games. Fast forward to today (and I mean FAST), and we will get to see one of what could be many great showdowns between SJND’s Nick Ratto and O’Dowd’s Sam Kane. Both have already ripped off sub-1:56’s, with Ratto winning the state indoor championship and Kane opening up with a 1:55.90, good for #2 CA. But I know a few good men who could care less about the shameless plugging of the meet director’s alma mater. How about San Ramon Valley’s Parker Deuel (4:18.26 1600 - #12 CA/9:23.90 3200 #10 CA), who will look to regain the sombrero for SRV after Kevin Griffith won it two years in row in ’09 and ’10. Or what about Trevor Fuhriman from Monte Vista, who has only run the 5th fastest time in the nation in the 1600 this year at 4:16.15 (#4 CA). Thomas Joyce from Campolindo says he sees your 5th place ranking and raise it one spot to #4 in the US for the 3200, clocking 9:16.83 (#3 CA). Kane’s teammate Eugene Hamilton also has run an impressive 1:58.54 (#17 CA) this year as has Miramonte’s Jaime Ferhnstrom (1:59.14 - #26 CA) and Del Campo’s Patrick Jagerson (2:00.81 - #42 CA), both of whom will be doubling back from the 1600. What a showdown!
Meet Record – 10:49.64 – Diana George – Livermore – 2009
Could a possible record be matched or broken for most sombreros in a meet? St. Mary’s Spencer Moore (5:00.68 1600 PR/11:11.33 3200 PR) is signed up for all three individual events and definitely has the talent to pull it off. But these three young ladies will be sure it won’t be an easy run – Holy Names’ Julia Gullikson has already run 11:24.12 which is good for #28 CA and the Campolindo duo of Rachel Johnson (6th at NCS in cross country) and Brighie Leach (12th at NCS in cross country) can all bring the pain for 8 laps of furry!
Meet Record – 9:22.07 – Garrett Rowe – Mountain View – 2009
As has been proven in the past, the 3200 can make for some memorable Fiesta moments and this year is no different with Del Campo’s trio of Jordon Rushing (4:28.47 1600 - #26 CA/9:30.91 3200 - #20 CA), Tyler Mercado(9:37.24 3200 - #35 CA) and Patrick Jagerson (2:00.81 800 - #42 CA) all coming back for what could be their 3rdevent of the day. Could one of them become the first male to win two sombreros in one meet? Will Bellarmine’s Charles DeAnda (9:32.94 3200 - #28 CA) take home another t-shirt as he did last year? Can Bishop O’Dowd’s Sam Kane (1:55.90 800 - #2 CA/4:17.20 1600 - #6 CA) handle another bout with St. Joseph Notre Dame, this time vs. sophomore sensation Gabe Arias-Sheridan who was the NCS champion in cross country? Only time (and our stop watches) will tell.
Girls Distance Medley Relay
Meet Record – 12:35.87 – Livermore – 2009
No stranger to winning this event is Campolindo, who won here in 2010 just missing the meet record by 8 seconds. Coach Chuck Woolridge’s depth will be on full display as he has not one but two teams that could stretch the bounds of the record. With a stable of runners including Carrie Verdon (10:33.38 3200 - #3 US & #2 CA), Juliet Farnan(11:12.04 3200 - #20 CA), Rachel Johnson and Brighie Leach, you could understand why. Looking to break that vaunted 13-minute mark will be Rebekah Ent (2:19.16 800 - #12 CA) lead Miramonte and Carondelet.
Boys Distance Medley Relay
Meet Record – 10:29.89 – Bellarmine – 2011
And now it’s time for the main event! Coach Patrick McCrystle’s army from Bellarmine will look to make it three in a row and defend their DMR sombreros. Nicholas Mantovani (1:59.48 800 - #33 CA) looks like he will be running this fresh and could get some help from Charles DeAnda (9:32.94 3200 - #28 CA) who could do the heroic doubling back from the 3200. But wait just a second...let’s not. Let’s wait 10:25.75, which is what San Ramon Valley has already run in 2012 which is the #2 time in the nation and #1 in the state. They will be lead by a fresh Trevor Holgrem (1:56.69 800 - #7 CA/4:21.98 1600 - #25 CA) and a tough double from Parker Deuel (4:18.26 1600 - #12 CA/ 9:23.90 3200 - #10 CA). Also ranked in the state is St. Joseph Notre Dame (10:44.01 - #12) with Nick Ratto(1:59.32 indoor 800 - #1 CA) leading the charge. There will also be plenty of other teams who have some heavy hitters as well – Livermore with Joel Schmierer (1:57.24 800 - #8 CA), Miramonte with Tyler Hanson (9:31.61 3200 - #32 CA) and Jaime Fehrnstrom (1:59.14 800 - #26 CA), Campolindo with Thomas Joyce (9:16.83 3200 - #4 US & #3 CA) and Keith Geiger (9:38.78 3200 - #40 CA) and Los Altos. What a way to cap off the Fiesta!