Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Norcal Rankings 2008 #3

Boys .........................................................Girls
1) Campolindo NCS...................................1) Mt. View CCS
2) Petaluma NCS.......................................2) Aptos CCS
3) Davis Sr. SJS.........................................3) Davis Sr. SJS
4) Mt. View CCS........................................4) Oak Ridge SJS
5) Amador Valley NCS...............................5) St. Mary's Berkeley NCS
6) Jesuit SJS..............................................6) St. Ignatius CCS
7) Aptos CCS.............................................7) Carondelet NCS
8) De La Salle NCS......................................8) Maria Carrillo NCS
9) Bellarmine CCS.......................................9) Castro Valley NCS
10) Oak Ridge SJS.......................................10) Del Oro SJS

Honorable Mention (10 teams in alphabetical order)
College Park NCS......................................Campolindo NCS
Del Campo SJS..........................................Carlmont CCS
El Camino SJS...........................................College Park NCS
Las Lomas NCS.........................................Gunn CCS
Monte Vista NCS........................................Los Gatos CCS
Palma CCS..................................................Livermore NCS
Palo Alto CCS.............................................Placer SJS
Salinas CCS.................................................
St. Francis, Mt. View CCS
St. Ignatius CCS..........................................St. Francis, Sacramento SJS
Willow Glen CCS.........................................Woodcreek SJS

Boys' Individuals
1) Wyatt Landrum (12) Liberty NCS
2) Matt Peterson (12) Davis SJS
Garrett Seawell (12) Woodcreek SJS
4) Nohe Lema (12) Willow Glen CCS
5) Sterling Lockert (12) Petaluma NCS
6) Tyre Johnson (12) Palma CCS
7) Philip MacQuitty (11) Palo Alto CCS
8) Chris Haworth (12) Kennedy SJS
9) Erik Olson (11) Novato NCS
10) Robert Pulford (12) Campolindo NCS
On the bubble: Steven Iglehart (12) Branson NCS, Nathanael Litwiller (12) Clayton Valley NCS, Brennan Lynch (12) Santa Cruz CCS, Mike Roderick (12) Monte Vista NCS

Girls' Individual
1) Jennifer Bergman (12) Valley Christian, SJ CCS
2) Jacque Taylor (11) Casa Grande NCS
3) Marissa Ferrante (11) Aptos CCS
4) Mary Reynolds (12) Mt. View CCS
5) Katy Daly (12) St. Ignatius CCS
6) Colleen Lillig (11) California NCS
7) Rachel Hinds (10) St. Ignatius CCS
8) Diana George (12) Livermore NCS
9) Jessie Petterson (10) Carlmont CCS
10) Lauren Curtin (11) Maria Carrillo NCS

On the bubble: Nicole Hood (11) Carondelet NCS
, Maria Malone (12) Folsom SJS, Isabel Andrade (11) Petaluma NCS, Brooke Holt (10) Granite Bay SJS

Feel free to comment on the above rankings. There are many teams and individuals that are very close and on any given race can beat teams or individuals that may be ranked above them. At the very least, I am trying to get all the teams and individuals that belong on the above list. If you think I may have left a team or individual off the list, by all means, please let me know. Please continue to critique the rankings and your comments are always welcome.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Northern California Newspaper coverage...

High School Coverage
Local runners shine at major Stanford meet (Redwood City Daily News)
Prep roundup: Iglehart shines for Branson cross country at Stanford Invitational (Marin IJ)
Stanford Invitational Coverage (SF Chronicle)
Results for Redwood Empire Runners (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Vaca runners fare well at Stanford meet (The Reporter)
Wolves make their mark at Stanford (Woodland HS)
West Valley girls 1-2 at Stanford meet (redwood.com)

College Coverage
Local Roundup: Bauhs wins Stanford Invitational (chicoer.com)
Aggie women, men finish second, seventh at Stanford Invitational
(California Aggie)
Haefele Leads Spartans At Stanford Invitational (sjsuspartans.com)
Stanford sweeps own cross country invitational (Palo Alto Online)
Cal Beats the Heat and Almost the Whole Field as Men Finish Second, Women Fourth (Daily Californian)

If your local paper covered the Stanford Invitational and I missed the link, please forward it to me at albertjcaruana@gmail.com


The following data is courtesy of Keith Conning (announcer this past weekend at the Stanford Invitational). Keith is also a great historian with lots of valuable data for everybody. You can see the link to his website below.

For a comprehensive view of CCS data, check out this link on Hank Lawson's website:

Please keep in mind that the weather had a tremendous effect on the later races but it's still fun to compare the different races, teams and runners.





Place Pts Sec School Average Team Time
2. 323 NCS CAMPOLINDO (16:18.1 81:30.1)
4. 391 SJS DAVIS SENIOR (16:22.2 81:51.0)
5. 403 NCS PETALUMA (16:28.7 82:23.3)
7. 456 CCS MOUNTAIN VIEW (16:23.1 81:55.4)
10. 553 NCS AMADOR VALLEY (16:39.4 83:17.0)
13. 709 SJS JESUIT (16:41.5 83:27.3)
17. 795 NCS DE LA SALLE (16:46.4 83:51.7)
18. 843 CCS BELLARMINE COLPREP (16:51.6 84:17.8)
19. 898 CCS APTOS (16:39.4 83:16.7)
20. 986 SJS OAK RIDGE (16:52.0 84:19.9)

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Boy's Combined Divisions 1-5 5K

Place No. Name Yr Sec High School Time Pace
4 2984 Garrett Seawell SR SJS WOODCREEK 15:29.6 5:00
5 242 Stevem Iglehart SR NCS BRANSON 15:31.2 5:00
6 2967 Nohe Lema SR CCS WILLOW GLEN 15:37.1 5:02
7 630 Matt Petersen SR SJS DAVIS SENIOR 15:37.1 5:02
8 500 Nathanael Litwiller SR NCS CLAYTON VALLEY 15:38.6 5:03
10 1869 Tyre Johnson SR CCS PALMA 15:39.6 5:03
11 1162 Chris Haworth SR SJS JF KENNEDY 15:40.2 5:03
12 330 Robert Pulford SR NCS CAMPOLINDO 15:41.6 5:04
13 1751 Erik Olson JR NCS NOVATO 15:41.9 5:04
14 2270 Brennan Lynch SR CCS SANTA CRUZ 15:42.9 5:04

Place Pts School Average Team Time
2. 323 CAMPOLINDO (16:18.1 81:30.1)
5. 403 PETALUMA (16:28.7 82:23.3)
10. 553 AMADOR VALLEY (16:39.4 83:17.0)
17. 795 DE LA SALLE (16:46.4 83:51.7)
26. 1149 MONTE VISTA DNVLE. (16:59.8 84:58.8)
28. 1199 COLLEGE PARK (17:06.0 85:30.0)
30. 1289 MARIA CARRILLO (17:10.1 85:50.3)
33. 1345 GRANADA (17:09.8 85:49.0)
41. 1476 S.F. UNIVERSITY (17:17.4 86:26.8)
43. 1550 SAN RAMON VALLEY (17:19.6 86:38.0)

NORTH COAST SECTION Boy's Combined Divisions 1-5 5K
Place No. Name Yr Sec High School Time Pace
5 242 Stevem Iglehart SR NCS BRANSON 15:31.2 5:00
8 500 Nathanael Litwiller SR NCS CLAYTON VALLEY 15:38.6 5:03
12 330 Robert Pulford SR NCS CAMPOLINDO 15:41.6 5:04
13 1751 Erik Olson JR NCS NOVATO 15:41.9 5:04
25 212 Austin Snyder SR NCS BERKELEY 15:56.1 5:08
31 1569 Mike Roderick SR NCS MONTE VISTA DNVLE. 16:00.2 5:10
38 2282 Rory McLeod SR NCS SANTA ROSA 16:10.6 5:13
39 2050 Peter Kissin SR NCS REDWOOD 16:10.9 5:13
46 1921 Sterling Lockert SR NCS PETALUMA 16:13.8 5:14
47 2605 Dan Maxwell JR NCS ST. MARY'S-BERKLY 16:14.1 5:14

4. 391 DAVIS SENIOR (16:22.2 81:51.0)
13. 709 JESUIT (16:41.5 83:27.3)
20. 986 OAK RIDGE (16:52.0 84:19.9)
25. 1132 EL CAMINO - FUND. (17:00.1 85:00.3)
29. 1269 ROCKLIN (17:08.8 85:43.9)
36. 1399 WOODCREEK (17:03.8 85:19.0)
50. 1666 COLFAX (17:23.6 86:57.7)
57. 1776 PLACER (17:28.0 87:19.7)
59. 1803 FRANKLIN (17:28.9 87:24.4)
65. 1875 SONORA (17:31.9 87:39.4)

SAC-JOAQUIN SECTION Boy's Combined Divisions 1-5 5K
Place No. Name Yr Sec High School Time Pace
4 2984 Garrett Seawell SR SJS WOODCREEK 15:29.6 5:00
7 630 Matt Petersen SR SJS DAVIS SENIOR 15:37.1 5:02
11 1162 Chris Haworth SR SJS JF KENNEDY 15:40.2 5:03
26 1782 Amjed Aboukhadijeh JR SJS OAK RIDGE 15:57.0 5:09
29 1152 Adam Kelly-Strong JR SJS JESUIT 15:59.7 5:09
42 969 Roberto Rosas JR SJS GRACE DAVIS 16:11.7 5:13
53 731 Evan Bornstein SR SJS EL CAMINO - FUND. 16:16.8 5:15
66 629 Drew Petersen SR SJS DAVIS SENIOR 16:21.4 5:16
77 737 Chris Kigar SO SJS EL CAMINO - FUND. 16:26.7 5:18
84 625 Trevor Halsted SO SJS DAVIS SENIOR 16:29.4 5:19

1. 339 CCS MOUNTAIN VIEW (19:25.5 97:07.4)
3. 366 CCS APTOS (19:28.5 97:22.5)
4. 448 SJS OAK RIDGE (19:41.5 98:27.5)
5. 463 SJS DAVIS SENIOR (19:43.3 98:36.5)
8. 504 NCS ST. MARY'S-BERKLY (19:44.9 98:44.1)
12. 552 NCS MARIA CARRILLO (19:51.3 99:16.3)
13. 610 NCS LIVERMORE (19:50.5 99:12.3)
16. 663 NCS CASTRO VALLEY (20:00.1 100:00.5)
20. 722 SJS WOODCREEK (20:05.0 100:24.7)
26. 905 NCS CARONDELET (20:14.8 101:13.7)

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Girl's Combined Divisions 1-5 5K Individuals
Place No. Name Yr Sec High School Time Pace
5 2871 Jennifer Bergman SR CCS VALLEY CHRISTN-SJ 18:08.2 5:51
8 98 Marissa Ferrante JR CCS APTOS 18:22.6 5:55
9 310 Colleen Lillig JR NCS CALIFORNIA 18:25.1 5:56
10 1016 Brooke Holt SO SJS GRANITE BAY 18:29.1 5:57
14 1644 Mary Reynolds SR CCS MOUNTAIN VIEW 18:34.8 5:59
15 1929 Isabel Andrade JR NCS PETALUMA 18:42.3 6:02
16 2580 Katy Daly SR CCS ST. IGNATIUS 18:42.5 6:02
19 551 Alycia Cridebring JR NCS COLLEGE PARK 18:46.6 6:03
20 2922 Corissa Storms SO NS WEST VALLEY 18:48.2 6:04
22 1312 Diana George SR NCS LIVERMORE 18:49.7 6:04

8. 504 ST. MARY'S-BERKLY (19:44.9 98:44.1)
12. 552 MARIA CARRILLO (19:51.3 99:16.3)
13. 610 LIVERMORE (19:50.5 99:12.3)
16. 663 CASTRO VALLEY (20:00.1 100:00.5)
26. 905 CARONDELET (20:14.8 101:13.7)
27. 923 COLLEGE PARK (20:12.9 101:04.5)
29. 1003 MONTE VISTA DNVLE. (20:28.6 102:22.9)
34. 1294 REDWOOD (20:49.9 104:09.4)
42. 1382 GRANADA (20:51.1 104:15.1)
44. 1460 MONTGOMERY (20:57.9 104:49.5)

NORTH COAST SECTION Girl's Combined Divisions 1-5 5K Individuals
Place No. Name Yr Sec High School Time Pace
9 310 Colleen Lillig JR NCS CALIFORNIA 18:25.1 5:56
15 1929 Isabel Andrade JR NCS PETALUMA 18:42.3 6:02
19 551 Alycia Cridebring JR NCS COLLEGE PARK 18:46.6 6:03
22 1312 Diana George SR NCS LIVERMORE 18:49.7 6:04
24 450 Jacque Taylor JR NCS CASA GRANDE 18:50.2 6:04
27 412 Kellie Houser SR NCS CARONDELET 18:55.4 6:06
38 2618 Taylor Lawson JR NCS ST. MARY'S-BERKLY 19:09.3 6:10
40 2613 Alex Choy JR NCS ST. MARY'S-BERKLY 19:10.8 6:11
43 1006 Hayley Swanson SR NCS GRANADA 19:11.8 6:11
45 1413 Lauren Curtin JR NCS MARIA CARRILLO 19:12.6 6:11

4. 448 OAK RIDGE (19:41.5 98:27.5)
5. 463 DAVIS SENIOR (19:43.3 98:36.5)
20. 722 WOODCREEK (20:05.0 100:24.7)
30. 1036 ST. FRANCIS SAC (20:25.4 102:07.0)
35. 1313 PLACER (20:49.2 104:06.0)
36. 1316 GRANITE BAY (20:39.0 103:14.7)
37. 1342 OAKS CHRISTIAN (20:49.9 104:09.1)
41. 1352 GALT (20:49.0 104:04.7)
42. 1382 GRANADA (20:51.1 104:15.1)
46. 1511 PONDEROSA (21:04.7 105:23.5)

Girl's Combined Divisions 1-5 5K Individuals

Place No. Name Yr Sec High School Time Pace
10 1016 Brooke Holt SO SJS GRANITE BAY 18:29.1 5:57
29 2574 Nicole Mendoza SR SJS ST. FRANCIS SAC 18:57.6 6:07
32 634 Christine Bowlus JR SJS DAVIS SENIOR 19:00.8 6:08
37 1805 Hayley Scott JR SJS OAK RIDGE 19:07.2 6:10
42 2987 Courtney Crosta JR SJS WOODCREEK 19:11.5 6:11
60 1832 Kristine Lozoya JR SJS OAKMONT 19:24.8 6:15
65 2117 Catherine Crisp SR SJS ROSEVILLE 19:26.9 6:16
67 920 Lauren Petersen SR SJS GALT 19:27.8 6:16
69 1804 Samantha Ralstin SO SJS OAK RIDGE 19:27.9 6:16
71 1798 Maxine Goyette FR SJS OAK RIDGE 19:30.6 6:17

Keith Conning
[ http://hometown.aol.com/conning/myhomepage/index.html ]http://hometown.aol.com/conning/myhomepage/index.html

Sunday, September 28, 2008

NCS Division I Rankings by Peter Brewer (Update #4)

N0rth Coast Section
Division I Rankings

September 28, 2008

Once of the benchmark points of each cross country season is the Stanford Invitational. A large number of teams compete here, and that provides a good early set of comparisons. Other teams from around the state, and from up and down the west coast also give us a contextual background to assess where each team is at this point in the season.

Not all teams were at full strength, and the heat (past 90 degrees for the later races) and course conditions (nice soft grass for cushioning, but nice soft grass for dampening full on speed) impacted different teams differently. Also, some teames used the race as a time trial, others were in survival mode, and still others looked at this as their version of the Olympics.

Even though the Stanford results will linger as comparison standards far into the season, perhaps these results are overly regarded. The season stretched another two months before us, and for many teams their final product is still being molded. It is important to remember that rankings and race results this early on are only indications of possibilites, and not divine directives that are not to be contravened for the rest of the season.

1. Amador Valley 7th seeded race Stanford; 83:19 team time; great :20 gap 1-6; Brett Hornig and Kellen Cole still a great 1-2 punch.
2. Monte Vista 1st unseeded D-I race; 84:58 team time; Mike Roderick still a major stud in 2nd; back pack starting to bunch up.
3. College Park 2nd unseeded D-I race; 85:33 team time; Soph Jeff Bickart establishing himself as #1; very good 1-6 gap of :57
4. Granada 3rd unseeded D-I race; 85:51 team time; Alex Summers takes individual 4th.
5. San Ramon 6th unseeded D-I race; 86:40 team time; many-headed hydra of runners again swithc up finish order in close front pack.

Poised to pounce: Castro Valley -- Trojans take the Ram Invitational title with 1-2-6 finish. Soph Ben Eversole wins race in late surge over teammate Tom Ashby.
Fallen off the pace: Deer Valley -- Wolverines took 13th in unseeded D-I race at Stanford; 88:29 team time; Ryan DeVito and Nate Baker lead the pack

Amador boys have extended their hold on this division. The Dons are a very determined bunch, and their tight upfront cluster will be hard to break up come NCS time.
Monte Vista rides the coattails of MIke Roderick, and his trailing pack is not trailing by as much as it did. It remains to be seen if they can get and stay closer to their star.
College Park has its own nice grouping and that is always a good thing. Falcons possess a strong tradition.
Granada still hasn’t been able to gain any ground on the other teams, but stays tantalysingly close.
San Ramon apparently has an undecided top set of runners, but all close to each other.
Castro Valley’s sophomores are gaining experience. It remains to be seen if they can gain ground of the other teams in the division.

1. Castro Valley 1st in unseeded D-1 race; 100:03 team time; Chelsea Schneider and Kelsey Santisteban finishe 5 & 10 individually
2. Monte Vista 2nd in unseeded D-I race; 102:24 team time; Kyla Aiuto and Nicole Aha lead Mustangs
3. College Park 3rd in unseeded D-I race; 101:07 team time: Alycia Cridenbring is excellent runner, 2nd here; trailing pack thinned out today
4. Granada 4th in unseeded D-I race; 104:18 team time; Hayley Swanson continues to open eyes with great 4th plae finish here.
5. California 8th in unseeded D-I race: 105:06 team time; Colleen Lillig handles field easily in dominant individual win; Elaine McVay very capable #2 girl.

Still not going away: Amador Valley -- 10th unseeded D-I, 108:15 team time and SAn Ramon -- 11th unseeded D-I, 108:06 team time.

Castro Valley appears to be very solid here with a good win. Monte Vista took advantage of a late-race College Park fade to edge the Falcons. Will this hold up over the season? Granada has a good #1 and a nice group. Calfornia has the stud in Lillig, and the can hold their own. Amador and San Ramon have some improving to do to seriously challenge the rest.

Thank you to Peter Brewer for his continued contribution to this blog with the NCS Division I rankings. If anybody would like to contribute rankings for any division in CCS, NCS, SJS, SF, NC or OAK, please send them to albertjcaruana@gmail.com and I will post your rankings.

New Norcal rankings will be posted next. Section and divisional rankings will follow.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Stanford Results Link


Rankings will be up during the week.

Who was the most impressive at today's races? What did you think of the course? How much of a difference did the weather have on the morning and afternoon races? No JV races next year...what?!?

Feel free to comment below.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cross Country rankings and newspaper articles...

Latest CCS rankings posted 9/23/08 in the San Jose Mercury News:
CCS Cross Country Rankings

Big run at Stanford next for PHS, Casa (Petaluma Argus Courier)
Prep roundup: Novato cross country shocks Redwood (Marin IJ)
Hamilton becomes a race spectator (HMB Review)

New rankings (NCS, CCS, SJS and Norcal) on this blog will be coming next week following the Stanford Invitational.

Feel free to comment on teams and runners to watch this weekend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NCS Division I Rankings by Peter Brewer (Version #3)

9/24 NCS Division I rankings

1. Amador close 2nd at DLS Invite to Jesuit
2. College Park 5th at DLS, right behind DLS
3. Granada 6th at DLS
4. Monte Vista 7th at DLS
5. San Ramon 9th at DLS

Amador continues to have the hot hand this season as they popped their top 5 within :37 for a real good run at the DeLaSalle/Carondelet Invitational. The rest sorted out by place as they all ran the same race, with a bit of reordering from last week. College Park seemed to have made the best transition to the 3 mile distance in leap-frogging the other ranked teams,while San Ramon appeared to have drifted back a half-step.

Mike Roderick of Monte Vista still is the D-I runner of note, but Brent Hornig of Amador is leading the rest of the pack in the chase for individual glory. Austin Snyder threw down an excellent runaway win at the Farmer Invite on the Hayward course to also jump into the individual picture.

Of the lurking teams, Castro Valley called up a frosh-soph runner and improved to a nice 3rd in their race at the Lowell Invite in Golden Gate Park, and 6th overall between the two varsity races.

Lurking: Deer Valley (did not race), Castro Valley (3rd at Lowell)

1. Castro Valley 3rd at Lowell
2. College Park 2nd at DLS
3. Monte Vista 3rd at DLS
4. Granada 5th at DLS
5. California 6th at DLS

In the shadows: San Ramon (7th at DLS)

Castro Valley ran a close 3rd in their race and 4th overall to finish behind NorCal powers Mountain View, Aptos, and a very aggressive Livermore team. College Park is not backing down from anyone as they powered to a solid 2nd behind the Carondelet steamroller at the DeLaSalle/ Carondelet Invitational. The Falcons were closely followed by an improved Monte Vista team. Granada jumped into the picture by edging out California and San Ramon in the scoring.

Colleen Lillig of California, defending D-I NCS champ, continues to burnish her credentials as the top runner in D-I this year as she chased after Carondelet’s Nicole Hood for a good 2nd individual run at DLS. Alycia Cridebring continues to lead the College Park Falcons with fine front-running of her own. Castro Valley’s Kelsey Santisteban was 3rd individual at Lowell. Hayle Swanson of Granada impressed with a top-10 finish at DLS.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Have Kids Set Goals, and You Get…. By Mike Sherwood

Race goals energize runners, give meaning to their participation in cross country, increase interaction with the coach and improve performance. (More on the benefits of goal setting in my last article) and they make great reading. I have just reviewed the pre-race and season goals set by over 200 high school cross country racers. They’re inspiring and they reflect the exuberance, maturity and thoughtfulness of our runners.

The format the runners used asked them to goals without specifying what types. About half specified time goals, either specifying race times or amount of improvement in times. A slightly smaller number discussed race strategy- pacing the race, with whom to run, and how to take the hills. About one-sixth pointed to where they wanted to place, from top to top half of the race. About the same number of runners set goals about not getting injured, maintaining good nutrition and hydration pre-race, and building their physical strength. These were thoughtful, well-set-out goals.

But what really made me smile was reading what these runners wrote about their own optimism, perspective and character-building traits. Let me share some:
"I want to apply myself…be confident…be positive…be a leader to my team…persevere…put in my full effort…be consistent…focus and keep my goal in mind…support my team with everything I have…to run to potential…push thru the pain…prepare well…don't give up too easily…be motivating to my team-mates." Some set sights very high, 'This needs to be my best race…A course record would be nice." The ones whose goals warmed my heart were the ones who struck a balance between hard effort and reasonable expectations. One wrote "Be positive, have fun, don't put added stress on myself, don't worry. I love to run!" Others said, "Don't be overly nervous! Eat normal things, and don't be afraid to go fast…Focus and keep my goal in mind … Enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity…Push my personal limits…Try my best and have some fun…Improve little by little…I won't be disappointed if I don't hit my target time as long as I race as well as I can … no walking!”

We always knew cross country runners were special. This confirms it.

Mike Sherwood

Mike Sherwood is the creator of XCStats.com, a site designed for high school cross country teams for keeping stats, identifying improvements and managing the process of creating and reviewing goals. XCStats was developed through Mike’s work with his kids’ cross country team at Archbishop Mitty in San Jose and is available to all California high schools.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Catching up with Campolindo coach Chuck Woolridge...

Our latest coach interview is with Campolindo cross country and track and field coach Chuck Woolridge, one of the most successful coaches in NCS (see below for achievements). Chuck's teams have also achieved success at the state level with several teams that reached the podium including two state championship xc teams at College Park. Chuck, seen here on the left in the white cap, has also been the meet director of the popular early season meet, the Ed Sias Invitational.

1) How did you get involved in the sport of running?

Funny thing. I actually started my high school athletic career playing football. My father was a big football fan and I played football for the Pleasant Hill Rebels in middle school, so joining the freshman football squad at College Park in 1985 seemed like the natural thing to do. It wasn’t until the following spring that I even realized running was a competitive opportunity.

I was listening to a kid in freshman English talk about running on the track team. I thought to myself, “I’m faster than this guy.” The next day I was out at the track in my crummy Reebok cross trainers asking the coach if I could join. He looked skeptical and told me to go jog 12 laps while he started the other athletes on their workout. When I came back about 18 minutes later asking “what’s next?” he showed a little more interest.

What really got me hooked however, were the girls. I enjoyed not having to stand in a huddle with a bunch of dudes that took pride in how rancid their practice jerseys would become over the course of the season by not washing them, don’t get me wrong. Hanging out with cute girls however, that was priceless. It took all of about 30 seconds for Beth Houghton and Jill Moore to talk me into going with the team to running camp that summer. Then, before the fall season started, I somehow managed to convince our junior varsity football coach, Kevin Macey, to allow me to run cross country while simultaneously playing football. (interesting note: Macey is now the Campolindo head football coach)

It ended up being a horrible season in both sports, but by then I was hooked on running. In 1986 our varsity squad was made up of some great veteran athletes that took me in, and helped to instill in me a passion for the kind of gratification that comes from enduring suffering and pushing one’s limits. It is an experience afforded only to competitive runners.

2) What inspired you to get into teaching and coaching? What do you teach?
After competing in high school and at the junior college level, I wanted to continue to be involved in the sport. I was lucky to be invited by then College Park coach Steve Nesheim to help with the cross country team in 1991. Nesheim was an important guiding figure in my life through high school and college, and it was a thrill to be able to learn from him and see the coaching side of the sport. When I finished my English degree at CAL in 1994, the first thing I did was contact him and ask if I could assist again for the Falcons. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I loved working with high school kids. I started my credential program in 1995 and began teaching full time in 1997. I taught English at Valley View Middle School from 1997 to 2006. Since then I’ve been teaching English at Campolindo High School.

3) Who do you consider to be your coaching mentors?
Steve Nesheim, who coached at College Park from 1980 to 1996, has been and continues to be my mentor. We are great friends, and although he now lives up North where he’s coach and athletic director at Mt. Shasta High School, we see each other several times a year. No matter what the issue is, he always gives me great advice. Although our conversations are frequently focused on running, no one has taught me more about life and helped me to become the person I am today than Nesheim.

In addition, I’ve had the fortune of being coached by Kevin Searls during my junior college days. Searls, like Nesheim and myself, is a College Park graduate. Incredibly, he still holds the 3200m record (inside joke). He went on to be an All-American at Humboldt State and was coached by the legendary Jim Hunt. Kevin is currently president of the Asics Aggies running club and director of the Humboldt Running Camp. Searls’ passion for the sport is infectious, and he is a great example of how the running community can become a web of friendship and support beyond the athletic arena.

My third mentor is Jonathan Spiros. He has given me most of the technical principles that I use to develop mechanical efficiency in our athletes. Spiros coached track and field with me at College Park for several years before moving to San Louis O’Bispo to work on his graduate degree in kinesiology. His intellectual approach to training applications has been a tremendous influence.

And finally, I must point out how fortunate I’ve been to be a part of such an incredible community of coaches here in the East Bay. It started out back in the old BVAL with Helen Lehman-Winters. I learned a lot from her as a young coach. Chris Walsh, Manny Meyers, Brian Henderson, Tim Bruder welcomed me into the DFAL in 2000 and remain fantastic role models. Tim Hunter, Kevin Selby and Peter Scarpelli continue to inject their passion into the sport and inspire me to strive for higher levels of achievement. And of course, we have coaching icons like Peter Brewer and Doyle O’Regan that foster an incredibly positive atmosphere for coaches. They have all been vital parts of my coaching career.

4) How many years did you spend coaching at College Park and what year is this for you at Campolindo?
I coached as an assistant in 1991 at College Park during the cross country season. Then I returned and coached as an assistant from 1994 through 1996. I became head coach in the fall of 1996. My final season at College Park was the spring track season of 2006. I have been at Campolindo since the fall of 2006.

5) How difficult was it leaving College Park for Campolindo?
It was the most difficult decision I’ve made in my life. I am a College Park alumnus. Taking over the program from Steve Nesheim was a supreme honor for me. Over the course of my tenure at College Park we accomplished so many things for which I am immensely proud, not the least of which was the establishment of a running culture that transcended the school and continues to thrive in the Pleasant Hill community.

Unfortunately, I felt compelled by the “difficulties” I was experiencing as a teacher in the Mt. Diablo School District to seek a teaching position elsewhere. When the opportunity to become a teacher in the Acalanes District presented itself, I, quite literally, could not afford to pass it up.

I remember that lunch time team meeting at College Park, just a day after I had accepted the job at Campolindo, and it still gives me chills. Kids were crying, some were angry, and I had to hold it together and keep my emotions in check as I explained to them what was happening and why I had to leave. I’m a pretty stoic person, but by the end I was crying too. I love those kids.

I will always be a Falcon, and I still do whatever I can to help their program. Fortunately, they now have a great young coach, Vince Sturgis, that I believe will continue the tradition for College Park. Their girls’ team is going to be amazing this year, and they have a boys’ squad with some exciting young talent.

6) What was the biggest transition for you and the team when you took over the Campolindo program?

How do you follow a legend? Taking over for Chris Walsh at Campolindo was bound to be a tough transition. I suppose it didn’t help that I have a different style and am extremely passionate about my own coaching philosophy.

Initially, the biggest issue was trying to establish a culture of expectations that included every athlete. In that first season there seemed to be an attitude among the kids that only the varsity athletes were accountable, and only the varsity athletes mattered. So, I got a lot of, “We have to come to practice? Really?” and “I don’t need to work hard because I’m not Varsity” those first few weeks. I realized then that I had taken for granted the environment that had developed at College Park during the time that Steve Nesheim and I had been coaching.

I was lucky though, to have some veteran athletes that had open minds about a new direction for the team and a new style of training. Without Joey Kochlacs, Chris Harlan-Dunaway, Sparky Murrillo and Laurie Finnegan, I never would have survived that first year. They showed a lot of faith in what I was introducing to the team. They have all since graduated, but each of them is responsible in their own way, for the current success our squads are now enjoying.

7) Between College Park and Campolindo, how many NCS cross country titles have you won (boys and girls)?
Girls’ NCS Titles: 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Boys’ NCS Titles: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007
Total: 11

8) During your coaching tenure, can you look back to an AHA moment (as in something really clicked that you were doing with your kids)?
My “aha” moment came during the winter between the 2003 cross country season and the 2004 track season. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the USATF Level II School at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. What I came away with was a reaffirmation of the mechanical principles that Jonathan Spiros and I had been introducing to our athletes, and a new attitude about the importance that the cross country and track experience plays in the lives of athletes.

It was refreshing to hear elite coaches talk unapologetically about the role of high school athletics in the overall scheme of the United States Track & Field development system. For the first time I listened to people talk about the running lifestyle as an end goal rather than a temporary diversion for student-athletes. I began to realize that we too often shortchange running and the running culture by calling it “recreation” or an “extracurricular activity” rather than treating it as a legitimate career path.

I am frustrated with the number of kids that are unwilling to allow running to become something more important in their lives because they have been conditioned to believe that athletics is somehow less gratifying, less noble, and less viable as a career path than the so called “academic” options.

As Matt Ridenour would say, the greatest relationships in our lives and many of our most important opportunities have come from being a part of this running culture. Why do we keep treating it like a hobby?

9) Tell us a little about the Humboldt running camp. Why do you feel like that camp is so important to the success of your teams?
Jim Hunt, Kevin Searls, Steve Nesheim, Jonathan Spiros, Peter Scarpelli, Mary Ann Grubb… it’s a great time.

The greatest running trails in the world. Fantastic facilities for putting on a camp. I’ve been to a few camps, and nothing comes close.

Obviously, the teams that attend each year are pretty good proof of the success: Carondelet, Campolindo, College Park, Amador Valley, Monte Vista…

10) Can you share some of your key workouts during the season?
Well, anyone can check out our workouts. We have them posted for the whole season on campotrack.com

Right now, I’m really big on a workout we’ve been doing the last 2 seasons at Campo. 4-5 x 2000m @10k pace with 2 minutes rest between each. Then 4 x 200m @ 3200m pace. It’s a nice multi-velocity workout that has helped develop aerobic threshold and some mental toughness in our athletes.

However, I really hate talking about “key” workouts, because there really are no “key” workouts. It’s about the long term. A couple of workouts during the fall are not going to make up for what didn't get done the other 9 months of the year.

11) When it comes to your athletes peaking for the section and state meets, what do you feel are the key points?
I’m convinced that most high school programs race way too much. I try to manage the frequency of the high school cross country schedule by placing emphasis on only about three meets each season. For instance, this year our first “all-in” team effort will be at Stanford.

Emotional fatigue can be just as debilitating as physical fatigue. We try to limit the number of competitions in which our athletes fully invest themselves emotionally for a team performance. In other races we try to emphasize certain tactical points, like a particular third of the race, pack time, or running tangents. We also keep our kids out of racing flats for some competitions.

Other than that, I like to think we do a good job of managing arousal levels and setting up a pattern of behavior that allows athletes to perform well consistently. I do not believe that there is some magical formula for amazing improvement at the end of the season.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
Thanks Albert! You continue to do a great service to our sport!

Thank you very much Chuck for your time. AJC

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Catching up with Oak Ridge HS runner Amjed Aboukhadijeh...

Today's interview is with one of the runners for one of the most successful teams in the SJS (Oak Ridge HS), Amjed Aboukhadijeh (pictured to the left courtesy of dyestatcal and Joe Hartman). In the latest rankings on www.dyestatcal.com, Oak Ridge HS is ranked #9 in Division II with Amjed leading the way. He recorded personal records of 9:34 and 4:26 last year as a sophomore on the track.

1) How did you get your start in cross country and track and field?
Since a young age I have always enjoyed sports. In the eighth grade I had a plan to play as many sports as possible; including cross country, track, basketball and volleyball. I ran cross country to stay in shape for the basketball season and much to my surprise I ran extremely well and was league champion. During track of my eighth grade year I ran in basketball shoes, yet was able to break the middle school league record in the mile, with a time of 4:58.

2) What other sports do you or have you played?
I have played many sports, both recreational and competitive. The sports range from volleyball to basketball. I have enjoyed playing competitive basketball since the third grade and basketball has always been my passion. In my sophomore year of high school I made a difficult decision and committed to running both cross country and track and hung up my basketball shoes.

3) Tell us a little about your summer training.
I came into the summer with high hopes of achieving all of my seasonal goals. After speaking with both my coaches, Rob Fairly and John Mansoor, we devised a running program that would allow me to meet my goals. I ran an average of 45 to 50 miles a week, allowing for one to two days rest per month. Mainly I focused on running base mileage and allowed myself room for improvement.

4) How is the boys' team looking so far?
Right now our varsity boy’s team is doing very well and is shaping up to be the best team in our school’s history. During my freshman year the team placed 6th in state, the highest place achieved by Oak Ridge. The entire squad is looking to defeat that finish while trying to set the bar one notch higher. We are a young team with 5 in our top 7 returning next year. I must add that our 2 senior captains are doing a great job of leading the team this year too.

5) Who is going to be the competition for your team in your league? section? 
The most competition that we will be having in our league this year will be Galt or Christian Brothers who we defeated by approximately 40 points in our first SVC league meet. Our biggest section challenge to contend with will be the ever-famous powerhouse Jesuit High School. In addition to Jesuit, teams such as Rocklin, Del Campo and Woodcreek are all good teams with some strong front runners that lead their squads.

6) Oak Ridge has had some outstanding runners the past few years including Jeff Campbell, Scott Crawford and Alex Kosinski. Do you think having those runners on the team helped elevate the bar for the rest of the Oak Ridge runners? 
Yes. Having these amazing runners at Oak Ridge have definitely inspired our team to strive for the best. We understand that Oak Ridge has a rich history in sports excellence and we are just trying to be part of the school’s legacy.

7) Can you tell us a little about coach Fairley? What has he done to make Oak Ridge so successful in terms of training and motivation?
Coach Fairley is terrific! Both he and assistant coach, John Mansoor, have been working hard to get as many people interested in the sport as possible. We have just fewer than 60 athletes on our team this year, which allows for quite some depth. Coach Fairley does a fantastic job of providing vigor, enthusiasm, and motivation to the sport. He does a great job of keeping the team in order and focused on the season at hand. The team owes much of its success to the coaching staff and we wouldn’t have come this far without  their support and guidance.

8) What does a typical week look like for you training wise?
Training varies depending on our schedule, but for the most part, it consists of 2 quality speed workouts, a long run, 3 recovery days and a race each week.

9) Throughout your time in high school, can you single out a few runners you have looked up to (on your team, other teams or professional runners).
There have been a couple of runners at Oak Ridge that have inspired me, Ryan Cosens (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) and Scott Crawford (UCLA). Being ORHS alumni, they have had the opportunity to return to El Dorado Hills and train with the team over the summer. Over the past summer I had the opportunity to become close friends with the two and appreciate their advice and encouragement. Adam Kelley-Strong of Jesuit High School, one of my biggest rivals and closest friends, brings out the best in me when I race because of the competitive spirit he brings to the field.

10) What are your goals for this season?
Individually I would like to win the sectional meet and finish top 10 in state. As a team I would like us to finish top 3 in the state for Division 2 and see our coach get on the podium.

11) Any race or races you are really looking forward to this season?
The Stanford Invitational should be a fun meet because not only does it allow me to compete with some of the best runners from around the country, but it also gives me a chance to visit with my brother, Feross, who is studying at Stanford University. In addition to the Stanford Invitational I am looking to challenging myself with the “best-of-the-best” at the State Meet.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
Thank you so much for the interview. My aspiration is to represent the SJS to the best of my ability at every meet.

Thank you very much for your time Amjed! AJC

Stanford Invitational High School Course Map for '08 Race

Thanks to Hank Lawson and www.lynbrooksports.com

Updated Boys' SJS Rankings by Jason Jimenez

Teams (a lot of teams haven't raced so it's hard to tell)
1 Davis (1st Lagoon, 2nd NU)
2 Jesuit (1st Rocklin)
3 Oak Ridge (2nd Rocklin, 1st SVC)
4 Del Campo (4th Rocklin, 1st CAL)
5 El Camino (2nd CAL)
6 Rocklin (3rd Rocklin, 3rd NU)
7 Woodcreek (4th Rocklin, 6th NU)
8 Kennedy (3rd Lagoon)
9 Placer
10 Ponderosa

1 Matt Peterson Davis
2 Garrett Seawell Woodrcreek
3 Chris Haworth Kennedy
4 Amjed Aboukhadijeh Oak Ridge
5 Evan Bornstein El Camino
6 Corey Coates Davis
7 Dan Mitchell Del Campo
8 Emilio Garcia Jesuit
9 Benjie Xie Oak Ridge
10 Adam Kelly-Strong Jesuit

Jason Jimenez
El Camino High School
English Teacher
Head Coach Cross Country and Track and Field

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

BCL East Center Meet #1

BCL #1 Results (now posted on dyestatcal.com)

Impressive win for Josh Macdonald as Redwood Christian makes it's debut in the BCL and NCS!

Northern California Newspaper Coverage...

Petaluma boys leg out another victory (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Prep cross country: Team-by-team capsules for every Marin squad (Marin IJ)
Girls prep athlete of the week: Courtney Madson (Novato Runner)
Allen paces Lady 'Balers to first (Hollister Free Lance)
Cross Country Team Off and Running (Menlo School)
Keska encourages wave of the future at Roosevelt (Former Los Gatos coach)
Former section champ Karey Harty takes over Tokay cross country program (Lodi-News Sentinel)
Stinson relay Thursday afternoon kicks off 2008 cross country season (Novato Advance)

Please help get the word out...

Bay Area High School Cross Country Coaches, if you know of any local middle school cross country teams that are looking for races, please forward their coaches the following information.

The 6th annual Middle School Ram Invitational will take place once again at Westmoor HS (in Daly City, just outside of San Francisco) on Friday, September 26th. The races will start at 4pm with the following races: 6th grade girls, 6th grade boys, 7th grade girls, 7th grade boys, 8th grade girls and 8th grade boys.

The top 20 finishers in each race will win medals and plaques will be awarded to the top individual and team in each race.

The is a great race for Middle Schoolers to give them a taste of invitational races. The course is 1.1 miles long and you can check out a map of the course at the following link:

You can also locate all the meet and contact information at the following link:

Let me know if you have any questions.

Monday, September 15, 2008

NCS Division I Rankings by Peter Brewer UPDATED!

1. Amador Valley
2. Monte Vista
3. Granada
4. San Ramon Valley
5. College Park

Lurking: Deer Valley

Amador laid low at the Ed Sias last week, choosing to run up some JV’s for
experience. However, their impressive win at the tough Oak Hill course in the Monte
Vista Invite and a :33 pack over that course bodes well for them. Senior Bret Hornig is
taking care of front-running duties for them.

Monte Vista has the stud up front in senior Mike Roderick who is tearing up courses
this year. A bit back they have their own impressive cluster, as shown by their Large
School win at Ed Sias last week over a tough DeLaSalle team.

Granada chased Monte Vista pretty well to grab 2nd in the Large School race at Ed
Sias. They too have a nice cluster, led by junior Alex Summers.

San Ramon Valley has experienced a lot of variablility as their top runners appear to
be interchangeable. Even with that, the Wolves have fahsioned a good start to the
2008 campaign with 2nd at the Monte Vista Invite, and a 4th (Large School) at Ed Sias.
Juniors Sean Colaco and Cody Reed have shared top honors so far for the team.

College Park has a very close cluster, and took a close 5th at Ed Sias on their home
course. Sophomore Jeff Bickart leads the Falcons so far in the 2008 campaign.
Deer Valley was but 5 points back of College Park at Ed Sias, and easily handled
Castro Valley last wednesday at the Contra Loma Classic. The Wolverines, led by
senior Ryan DeVito, and not to be counted out yet.

1. Castro Valley
2. College Park
3. Monte Vista
4. California
5. San Ramon

Castro Valley started the season flat with a 3rd at the Monte Vista Invite, but then
rebounded with solid wins at the Contra Loma Classic and the Viking Opener.
Sophomore Kelsey Santisteban and junior Chelsea Schneider are the 1-2 punch for
the Trojans.

College Park came through with a 2nd in the Large School race to the Carondelet
juggernaut. Junior Aycia Cridebring leads the always-strong Falcons, who are looking
very strong in early season action.

Monte Vista has emerged quickly this season, taking 4th at their own invitaitional and
finishing right behind EBAL rival Livermore for 4th at Ed Sias. Freshman Kayla Auito
leads the Mustangs so far.

California has the advantage of having Colleen Lillig, defending NCS D-I champion,
at the front of the pack.. The Grizzlies snagged a 5th place at the Monte Vista

San Ramon Valley ran to an impressive 6th place at the Ed Sias after being beaten
out by Granada by a point for 6th at the Monte Vista Invite. The Wolves seem to have
the same interchangeable features as the boys/ team, as their lineup has not yet
settled into any set pattern yet.

Lurking: Granada --with most of their top runners missing at Ed Sias, the Matadors
were not impressive. When at full speed, they can be a factor at this level.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Norcal Rankings 2008 #2

Boys .....................................................Girls
1) Petaluma NCS...................................1) Carondelet NCS
2) Davis Sr. SJS.....................................2) Davis Sr. SJS
3) Mt. View CCS....................................3) St. Ignatius CCS
4) Jesuit SJS..........................................4) Mt. View CCS
5) Aptos CCS..........................................5) Carlmont CCS
6) Campolindo NCS...............................6) St. Mary's NCS
7) Willow Glen CCS................................7) Castro Valley NCS
8) Bellarmine CCS..................................8) Aptos CCS
9) Amador Valley NCS............................9) Maria Carrillo NCS
10) St. Ignatius CCS................................10) Gunn CCS
Honorable Mention (10 teams in alphabetical order)
Carlmont CCS..........................................Campolindo NCS
De La Salle NCS.......................................Del Oro SJS
Del Campo SJS.........................................Los Gatos CCS
Granada NCS............................................Livermore NCS
Las Lomas NCS........................................Oak Ridge SJS
Los Gatos CCS..........................................Placer SJS
Monte Vista NCS......................................Ponderosa SJS
Oak Ridge SJS..........................................St. Francis, Mt. View CCS
Palo Alto CCS............................................
St. Francis, Sacramento SJS
San Ramon Valley NCS.............................Woodcreek SJS

Boys' Individuals
1) Wyatt Landrum (12) Liberty NCS
2) Sterling Lockert (12) Petaluma NCS
3) Matt Peterson (12) Davis SJS
4) Garrett Seawell (12) Woodcreek SJS
5) Brennan Lynch (12) Santa Cruz CCS
6) Tyre Johnson (12) Palma CCS
7) Philip MacQuitty (11) Palo Alto CCS
8) Chris Haworth (12) Kennedy SJS
9) Erik Olson (11) Novato NCS
10) Mike Roderick (12) Monte Vista NCS

Girls' Individual
1) Jacque Taylor (11) Casa Grande NCS
2) Maria Malone (12) Folsom SJS
3) Jennifer Bergman (12) Valley Christian, SJ CCS
4) Rachel Hinds (10) St. Ignatius CCS
5) Katy Daly (12) St. Ignatius CCS
6) Marissa Ferrante (11) Aptos CCS
7) Nicole Hood (11) Carondelet NCS
8) Diana George (12) Livermore NCS
9) Jessie Petterson (10) Carlmont CCS
10) Lauren Curtin (11) Maria Carrillo NCS

With the help of everybody that commented on the first batch of rankings (Thank You!), here is the 2nd version. Please continue to critique the rankings and your comments are always welcome. I will post the next rankings on Sunday, September 21st.

Northern California Newspaper Coverage...

Landrum runs record time at Ed Sias (Conta Costa Times)
Ed Sias Invitational
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Cross Country: Justin-Siena boys end ninth in meet
(Napa Valley Register)
Viking Opener (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
San Benito cuts time across the board (Hollister Free Lance)
Prep cross country: Stinson Beach relays show little change at the top (Marin IJ)
Lakers to host 30 cross country teams (Nevada Union Invitational)

Pamakid Speaker Series

Please join the Pamakid Runners Club for its inaugural Speaker Series Event:
When? Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.
Where? Sports Basement, 1590 Bryant Street (@ 15th Street), San Francisco, CA

"An Olympic Experience, Beijing 2008: A Coach's Perspective"

Andy Chan, Pamakid Runners Club Board President, Head Coach track & field and cross-country at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, went to Beijing to see his former student-athlete, 1,500m Olympian runner, Shannon Rowbury, compete against the World's best. Coach Chan will share some behind the scene stories about Shannon's high school career and her Olympic journey of 2008.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Norcal Rankings will be updated...

Following this weekend's races which included the Firebird Invitational (CCS), Ed Sias Invitational (NCS), Chieftain Invitational (CCS) and Viking Opener (NCS), I will update the Norcal Rankings on Sunday.

I can only speak for the Chieftain today but Tyre Johnson of Palma was very impressive as well as the Aptos teams (boys and girls). Courtney Allen of San Benito recorded an impressive victory over Stephanie Barnett of Leland and will be a runner to watch.

Please feel free to comment on any of today's races. Any surprises? Hot shot freshmen? Teams that should be ranked and were not? Runners that belong on the top 10 list? Who is on the cusp of that list?

Anybody excited yet?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wildcats' Filipcik dominant (Carlmont sweeps boys and girls races at PAL meet)

By Julio Lara / Daily News Correspondent

It was Daniel Filipcik's intent to race on Thursday and have the entire Peninsula Athletic League take notice.

He made sure of that by making himself the easiest cross country runner to spot on the Westmoor High School course in Daly City, dominating the field and the 3-mile trek, finishing in a time of 12:43 - a whole 25 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Chris Chow of Carlmont.

To read the rest of the article, check out the following link:

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