1) How long have you been at California HS? What sports and events have you coached there?
This is my 22nd season at Cal High. I coach the varsity sprinters at Cal and last year started helping out as an assistant on the freshman football team.
2) Who are the athletes that you have coached and stand out to you during your coaching career at California HS?
Too many to name! I have enjoyed working with all of the athletes that I've been fortunate to coach and love seeing their growth over the years. Being able to coach my daughter and son was a special pleasure.
3) Any interesting tidbits from coaching David Klech?
David was so much fun to coach. He always worked hard in practice and did whatever was asked of him. He is a great example of an athlete with exceptional ability who worked hard and pushed himself to be the best that he could be while at Cal HS. Off the track, he was a great person as well and we still have a close relationship.
4) Alyssa Brewer had a spectacular double on Saturday winning the 400 and 800 in 55.05 (above) and 2:07.71 respectively. Were you surprised with the times of both races?
Even having seen her run some outstanding races the past two years, I am still amazed at her ability to recover quickly and perform at such a high level in multiple races on the same day.
5) When did you first realize she had this type of talent?
I had seen her times in CYO track as an 8th grader and knew she was already running well. It has been nice to see her respond to our training at Cal High the way she has and continues to improve.
6) What does a typical week look like for her with a Saturday meet?
For most of the season, I follow a plan and train through most meets with the goal of peaking at the end of the year. I use invitationals as a way to practice high level competition.
7) What kind of workouts does she do on the track?
She trains as a 400 runner with a lot of speed work along with extensive and intensive tempo workouts throughout the year.
8) What is her longest run during the season?
It varies during different parts of the season. She never does anything longer than 800m in meets.
9) Weight work?
She has a weight room at home and her dad does a great job of guiding her strength workouts.
10) What changes as athletes get closer to May and the section meets and state final?
Like most coaches I just start the tapering process, lowering the volume and keeping the intensity of the workouts high. It gets more specific with race modeling and goals for different parts of the race.
11) What advice would you give a young coach just starting out as a head coach?
My best advice for coaches sounds simplistic, but I think it's important to try to help kids get as close as possible to their potential while still letting them have fun and enjoy being a part of the team. Also, it's important to be comfortable with who you are and your own style of coaching. You should always continue to learn from others, but you still have to be yourself.
Thank you very much for your time Mark! AJC