Thursday, September 27, 2007

Catching up with San Ramon Valley Coach Tim Hunter

Today, we touch base with San Ramon Valley Coach Tim Hunter. His teams have achieved consistent success during his time at SRV, highlighted by the 2002 Boys team, which won the NCS Division II title with an eye opening 23. One runner from that group, Scott Bauhs, won the NCAA Division II 10,000m. title last year running for Chico St. Thank you Tim for taking the time to answer the following 12 questions.

XC Race Alert: Along with SRV, Amador Valley and Monte Vista will be presenting a first year cross country event being held on Saturday, October 13th. They are looking for 10-15 teams and spaces are still available.
Information to the first annual event can be found at the following link:
1st Annual Tri-Valley Harrier Classic
1) How long have you been coaching at San Ramon Valley?

This is the 12th year at SRV for Cross Country and Track.

2) Describe your running and coaching experiences before San Ramon Valley. How did you get involved in coaching?
I have been running in some capacity for the past 30 years, when my Dad got diagnosed with high blood pressure and he had to start exercising. He brought me and my brother along for company. I have tried races from 5k to 50 miles and was not fast in any of them! I have coached only at SRVHS.

3) Who are/were your coaching mentors?
Tim O'Rourke, Ken Reeves, Walt Lange, and Pat Tyson. I talk to these guys all the time about everything. I got lucky and met these guys at the start of my coaching career and they have helped me understand so many things about coaching, teaching, and life in general.

4) Can you identify a runner or runners that took San Ramon Valley to it's current level of success.
The guys like Scott Bauhs, Dallin Rosdahl, John Martin, Justin Arnold, Tristan Blair, and the team of 2002 would be the obvious choices for the boys team. They won NCS and they raised the bar for the teams to come. They are now the legends that all of our teams chase and compare to. For the girls it was Katie Lee and Katie Murphy. They were huge competitors and they had a good team around them that made them even better in 1999.

5) Describe the summer training for SRV. Is there a team camp?
They meet at 8:30am in front of the gym and the captains have 4-8 different plans posted and they run the show. I come by as I finish my morning run to check with the group once or twice a week. Each day has mileage ideas and that gets them moving, the more structured in terms of how far each day has made summer running a lot more popular for us (organized summers came from Joe Kelly the great Peninsula-Palos Verdes coach, another mentor). We go to Mammoth for a week in July. We run a bunch of runs that Ken Reeves showed me years ago. We take 15-25 kids each year all levels of ability.

6) How do you find and attract students to run cross country? How big is your team?
It's hit or miss, some years it's big and some years not so much. I don't send anything out to the middle schools, if they come they come. I get a lot from track each spring to come out the next fall. This year we have our biggest squad ever at 90 kids.

7) NCS Division I appears to be loaded with 7-8 teams capable of qualifying to the state meet (top 2 advance). Have you ever seen a season this competitive for the state meet berths?
It is going to be brutal! I have not seen it this deep in Division 1 ever. Those two spots are going to hard fought victories.

8) Scott Bauhs has had some spectacular times and finishes running at Chico St. Did you have any inclination that he would run so well in college?
He is doing great things and is THE legend around here. During his senior year when he kept getting better at the end of the season, it showed that he was for real. I am not surprised by his success, Gary Towne does a great job at Chico State, and Scott is not afraid of anyone or anything in terms of racing.

9) Describe the training area around SRV. How often do you get on the track during cross country season?
We have a pretty good set up here in Danville. A nice linear trail right behind the school goes for miles, which is great for tempos and everywhere else has some kind of hill to it. There are a lot of trails of steep hills behind the school and within 4 miles is Mount Diablo State Park which has a ton of places to run. We stay off the track during Cross Country until end of October. We run at a couple of parks (800 and 1k repeats) and circle streets that make nice loops (2k or mile repeats). Try to have variety to keep them fresh.

10) What is your biggest thrill in coaching? Most outstanding achievement?
Biggest thrill is seeing the group become a team, it is the greatest when everything really gels. That 2002 guys group at NCS was special, they had one of those days where everyone ran their best together. Scott's 3200 at State was the most exciting race of my career, it still gives me chills!

11) This year was the 2nd annual West Coast Distance Clinic. How did you come about starting the clinic?
Tim O'Rourke and I had been talking about doing something up here and I finally did it! You'll notice that the speakers at the first couple of years are also my mentors! I couldn't ask for a better group of guys to run a clinic with. I hope it continues to grow in attendance because we will keep bringing in great speakers. Next summer is going to be a lot of fun.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
Thanks for asking the questions! The internet has made this sport even bigger and more exciting over the past ten years. It's guys like you that promote it that are driving this big upswing Cross Country, keep it rolling!!

Thank you Tim! AJC

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