Friday, March 15, 2013

Dublin Distance Fiesta Meet Preview by meet director, Dublin HS coach, Chris Williams

The Dublin Distance Fiesta is here! 41 high schools, 1000+ student athletes, fantastic tunes and hundreds of personal bests help make this such a marquee event for the distance runners. Three special edition t-shirts or bags are up for grabs in every race (four in the fast heat) and the vaunted special sombreros to the fastest time of the day in each event all leads up some courageous performances for athletes of all ability levels.

Girls 1600
Meet Record – 5:12.80 – Natalie Dimits – Livermore 2010
The 2012 version of the DDF produced no meet records, but something tells me that the young ladies in this event will put an end to that streak. Maryann Gong of Granada is no stranger to the winner shirts, taking a close second in ’12 with the 5th best all-time DDF performance of 5:18.77. She has already clocked 5:16.50 which is good for 6th in the North Coast Section. Teammate Sarah Franklin also has experienced some great success here, running 2:22.83 for the 800m last year, good for the best sophomore performance ever! They will be heavily challenged up front by Los Altos’ Lauren Jacob, who brings a very impressive 11:02.26 3200 performance to the table, good for 2nd in the Central Coast Section. If it turns into a kickers race, watch out for Half Moon Bay’s Kylie Freeburg, who is already 7th in the CCS in the 400m with a 61.72 and has the 2nd fastest freshman 1600 time ever at the DDF. They will be pushed by some DDF
veterans – Ashley Feldkamp of Bella Vista (littered all over the all-time lists), Sara Lack of Bella Vista (#5 Sophomore 3200) and Petaluma’s Kirby Franklin (#2 Sophomore 3200).

Boys 1600
Meet Record – 4:17.28 – Erik Olson – Novato – 2009
Every year, this race helps blossom a young man into a star and this year looks to be no different. Petaluma’s Ryan Douglas has already run 2:02.06 (10th NCS) and 4:27.7 (4th NCS) and looks to be the favorite, but better not get hit with the cross fire of the renewed cross section rivalry between Del Campo’s Patrick Jagerson and San Rafael’s Joey Morris. Jagerson nipped Morris at the line in ’12, 4:28.02 to 4:28.11 for the 4th and 5th best junior performances at the DDF, respectively. Bella Vista teammates Brynn Sargent (2:02.88 - #17 San Joaquin Section) and Daniel Gow (2:03.34 - #18 SJS) are well tuned up while Dillon Read of Miramonte may have the “home” track advantage, having just run 4:29.09 (6th NCS) here on Wednesday at a dual meet. Lurking in the shadows could be our freshman 800m record holder Ricardo Avila of Bellarmine, who has opened the season very well at 2:02.97 (#8 CCS) and teammate Miles Meijer, whose 9:46.08 3200 is good for 11th in the CCS.

Girls 800
Meet Record – 2:17.43 – Tamara Purpura – Lowell – 2009
This race might turn into a one woman show with San Leandro’s Nijae Jones towing the line. She is a multiple state meet qualifier and 2012 finalist in the 800 and has already run 56.52 for 400m which is the fastest time in California this year. The clock and the conditions might be her only challenge. But there are two ladies who are not too shabby themselves – Jena Pianin of Amador Valley and Claire Bowie of Los Altos. Pianin has already run 10:46.60 for 3200, good for 2nd in NCS while Bowie’s 2:26.12 is good for 12th in the CCS. Not to mention that she also has the junior class record set last year in 2:23.87. Albany’s Suzanne Becker was also in that race, clocking 2:27.64 good for the 3rd best sophomore performance. Half Moon Bay’s Kylie Freeburg will be doublingback from the 1600, trying for her second shirt of the day.

Boys 800
Meet Record – 1:54.21 – Sebastian Sam – Oak Grove – 2008
This race has featured some of the best 800m runners in the state in recent memory – Sebastian Sam of Oak Grove, Kevin Griffith of San Ramon Valley and Kick Ratto of THE St. Joseph Notre Dame. While some of the 2013 version runners aren’t household names yet, who could become one? Could it be Sonoma Academy’s Austin Orr, who has already run 1:59.8 (5th NCS)? What about Kevin Poteracke of Petaluma, who’s not that far behind Orr in the NCS (2:01.04 – 9th)? Already holding the freshman 1-2 all-time spots in this event, could sophomore Bellarmine teammates Adam Greenlow (51.98 400 4th CCS; 2:01.63 5th CCS) and Ricardo Avila (2:02.97 8th CCS) begin a tradition of holding ALL the class DDF records by being the first sophomores to break 2 minutes? Will they look back and see the 3rd fastest freshman in DDF history, San Rafael’s Nassim Kabbara unleashing a monster kick? Who will be the king of the Melendez household, with Chris (2:04.95 – 23rd NCS) and Andrew continuing the SJND/Bishop O’Dowd storied clashes? The answers to these questions could lead to some very exciting finishes!

Girls 3200
Meet Record – 10:49.74 – Diana George – Livermore – 2009
The first sombrero up for the eight laps of fury will feature two of the best runners in the North Coast Section of this early 2013 season – and they are both only freshman! Monte Vista’s Brooke Starn has already run 5:11.00 for 1600m which is good for 2nd in NCS.  But not far behind is Chloe Hansel of Las Lomas, with a seasonal best of 5:13.01 in the 1600m which is 4th in NCS. This could be the first of many battles these two could have over the next few years. Also vying for the coveted t-shirts will be Dublin hometown favorite Jillian Colwell, who has the 3rd fastest freshman time in the 1600 in DDF history. In what could be the most impressive performance in recent memory, Albany’s Suzanne Becker will be completing the distance triple after just running in the fastest race of the day in the 800.

Boys 3200
Meet Record – 9:22.07 – Garrett Rowe – Mountain View – 2009
Most likely being the race of the day, this event features some of the fastest times already posted in Northern California. Miramonte’s Tyler Hanson has already run 9:22.91, the fastest time in the NCS and will be looking to be the first boy to break 9:20 at the Fiesta! He will have plenty of distinguished company to help push him along. CCS’ best in the field will be Raymond Meijer of Bellarmine, whose 9:39.25 is good for 8th in the section. The SJS will be represented by Jesuit’s Chris Goode, who has run 4:30.76 in the 1600m, a solid ranking of 10th in the section. History is on Charles DeAnda (9:45.14– 9th CCS) of Bellarmine’s side, as he is the junior class record holder in this event as well as holding the #2 sophomore spot. You could also make a historical reference for St. Joseph Notre Dame’s Gabe Arias-Sheridan (4:36.03 18th NCS), who is the freshman record holder in the 1600m. Sonora’s Steven Grolle can be a player here as well with his 4:31.54 (14th SJS) early season 1600m. Hanson’s teammate Dillon Read (4:29.09 6th NCS; 9:54.38 13th NCS) will have his hands full coming back from the double in the 1600m, but is definitely capable of doing some damage. Whoever wins this sombrero will have earned it!

Girls Distance Medley Relay
Meet Record – 12:35.87 – Livermore – 2009
The DMR is where legends are made. The 2009 Livermore squad featured the likes of Diana George, who was “fresh” off her record breaking 3200m performance when she helped Eddie Salazar’s team set another meet record. Which team will have another heroic performance like that tonight? Los Altos will be dangerous, but most of their runners will be doubling back – Claire Bowie (2:26.62 9th CCS) from the 800, Lauren Jacob (11:02.26 2nd CCS) from the 1600 and Sierra Townsend (2:34.95 22nd CCS) from the 800. And when you couple that with the fact that California will be running the likes of who maybe the best in NCS right now Madison Ricks (2:15.03 1st NCS; 5:06.85 1st NCS) fresh, it’s going to be a great, gutsy race! Oh, and California also has Tyler Carr (59.96 400m 8th NCS) and Heather Donner (2:25.47 12th NCS) at their disposal. What both of these teams can’t claim, however, is that Monte Vista has already broken the 13-minute barrier this season! They will need a George like performance out of Brooke Starn (5:11.00 2nd NCS), who will be doubling back but may have Heidi Fuhriman (2:23.20 8th NCS) and Katharine Smiley (5:15.02 5th NCS) fresh.

Boys Distance Medley Relay
Meet Record – 10:29.89 – Bellarmine – 2011
Oh what a race this could boil up to be. You have three of the top four teams in NCS signed up – St. Joseph Notre Dame (10:40.27 – 1st), San Ramon Valley (10:46.75 – 3rd) and Amador Valley (10:47.78 – 4th). All of the major army at Tony Fong’s disposal for SJND are signed up for other events including Gabe Arias-Sheridan (4:36.03 18th NCS– 3200 entrant) and Chris Melendez (2:04.95 23rd NCS – 800 entrant). And the defending champions San Ramon Valley appears to be running everyone of their stars fresh – David Griffith (51.27 400 10th NCS), Zach Hanze (9:41.17 3rd NCS) and Jason Intravaia (9:56.20 15th NCS). The same could be said for Amador Valley’s arsenal of Connor McCarthy (9:47.72 6th 3200), Connor McKinnon (1:59.89 6th NCS) and Jacob Schlachte (4:33.61 13th NCS). But how can we forget about the Bellarmine squad coached by Patrick McCrystle, who has so many weapons to choose from, just go back and reread the previews of the other races today.......oh but that means they might be doubling back! Be strong and courageous young men!


John said...

This is a great writeup. I wish more meet directors would do this. Too bad my kids' school isn't competing at the meet this year as it's always fun to see Coach William's "Fiesta" pants :-)

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Anonymous said...

Best meet of the year by far. These folks put on a terrific meet every year.

Andrew said...

"Kick" Ratto on purpose?

Anonymous said...

Are the heats slow to fast or fast to slow?

Albert Caruana said...

Heats are slow to fast.

Nils said...

"Kick" Ratto, exactly right!

Nils said...

Am I the only person here who was alarmed at the spills in the 1600 heats at DDF? It seemed that the heats were so crowded that falls were unavoidable. I know, however, that that's very much in the nature of the 1600 as a race. I just wonder if anyone thinks there is a way to lessen the likelihood of falls (and injuries).

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