Monday, November 17, 2014

New Willow Hills Reservoir XC Course Record for Davis HS runner Fiona O'Keeffe

This flew under the radar for me this weekend with all the activity at CCS but Davis HS junior runner, Fiona O'Keeffe (photo to left courtesy of Wayne Tilcock) broke the Willow Hills Reservoir course record running 16:57. She broke her own record by 22 seconds.

That may not mean much to runners that do not run on that course but to put it in perspective, that time is worth the same the following on these courses:
Crystal Springs-16:03
Toro Park-16:24
Hayward HS (NCS course)-16:05
Woodward Park-16:23

That's amazing and it will be very exciting to see what she can accomplish the rest of the season.

Thanks to GHPADD for bringing this to our attention.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Equivalent to 16:03 at Crystal Springs!?
Ellen Lyons ran 16:30 at Crystal Springs. (course record) There must be some sort of miscalculation. Short course maybe?
Not saying she isn't a great runner, but...

Albert Caruana said...

We will have a better idea by her state meet time but 16:57 at Willow Hills is MOVING.

Bill said...

Willow Hills is an extremely tough course which is just over 3.04 miles. I am not sure of those course conversions but in general the Sac Joaquin runners who competed at Crystal Springs this year ran about 40 secs slower at Willow Hills (I only took the ten fastest). With that in mind Fiona probably would of run around a 16:17 at Crystal Springs.

Albert Caruana said...

The Crystal Springs course records are strong but a lot of really good runners have not raced on that course. Can you imagine if the Crystal Springs course was in the Southern Section. That top list would like a LOT different.

GHPADD said...

Fiona's time for the Willow Hills course is amazing. Although the course has decreased in length from when originally designed (from 3.11 miles to 3.04...a little over 100M). it has been a gradual decrease with changes made to the park. Thus, I also question some of the "equivalent" times; as in the past the longer course made for more drastic differences in time over "equivalent" course estimates. My personal belief is that the times used for measuring the equivalency of elite Northern Cal. courses will eventually reduce the adjustment times to less than they are now (from Willow hills to the other courses). There are still a couple of turns on Willow Hills that continue to move inward due to no inside restrictions on the course turn except trees that are still a few meter's away.

This does not take anything away from Fiona's or German's course records but, shows that "equivalent course times are always changing when courses are always changing...if only by a few meters a year.

It is always, always the race on that day versus the course, weather and competition. That is what makes XC so exciting...it cannot be measured and compared like track...but, it is still fun to try and comprehend just how fast someone is running using course equivalents that other runners are familiar with and can quickly understand.

Anonymous said...

Albert,
The depth of the Southern Section is incredible, but Northern California has produced more top female distance runners. It may be the only edge the North has.

GHPADD said...

Sorry...one additional note on Fiona's Outstanding race this past weekend:

Last year as a Soph. Fioana ran 17:22 at Willow Hills and I do believe a 16:59 two weeks later at State Meet on the Woodward Park Course. JUST THINKING about a 25 second improvement for her personal records at the end of the season would approximate a potential 16:34 at Woodward this year. WOW, and wow again. And she is only a Jr.????? As when we all were thrilled by German in the boys races a few years back, Fiona may reset some records yet, and we will all be watching some potentially great history in the making!

I truly LOVE this sport!!

Selena McKinney said...

It was a thing of beauty to watch Fiona run. She makes it look so effortless. Congratulations, Fiona!

Anonymous said...

Fiona O'Keeffe's races at Mt. SAC and CIF Sac-Joaquin section this fall bring to mind, in dominance and style, Mary Decker as an Orange County teen in the '70s and Sarah Baxter in more recent memory. Truly incredible how well she's running now.

Anonymous said...

Solid effort by Fiona but do you think her coach would have her run that fast if the state meet was only one week away as opposed to two?Her coach had the team coast at SJ prelims the week before which was smart.
Coach Woolridge at Campolindo will have to make similar decisions with race plans for his #3 state ranked Cougars as they head into NCS,CIF and a potential berth at NXN.Does he try to smash the NCS course record set by his 2011 team or does he instruct the team to "hold back" something for Woodward?
SJ,NCS or CCS coaches have thoughts on looking at the NCS as simply an "advance meet" where it's not as important to set a pr but more important to save something for the state meet if your team has an opportunity to do something special.

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