Friday, March 19, 2010

Dublin Distance Fiesta Meet Preview

By Dublin HS coach, Chris Williams.

The Dublin Distance Fiesta is finally here!  Nearly 40 schools, 700 athletes, great music and fantastic racing headline this wonderful DyeStatCal Featured meet for the distance runners.  Two special edition t-shirts are up for grabs in every race (four in the fast heat) and a special sombrero to the fastest time of the day in each event can make for some great opportunities to set personal records.  No Distance Fiesta record is safe!

Girls 1600
Meet Record – 5:16.55 – Sammy Hamilton – Half Moon Bay
For the first time in Dublin Distance Fiesta history, a current record holder will try to find off all contenders and keep their crown.  Half Moon Bay’s Sammy Hamilton is one of the marquee names in the Central Coast Section, having a personal best of 5:10.83 and the current Fiesta record holder.  However, there is someone else in this race who has a faster personal record – Livermore’s Natalie Dimits (11:08.19 for 3200 currently 10th in the state) who has a PR of 5:09.57 and is no stranger to the sombrero – her school’s distance medley relay team has won the last two Fiesta’s.  Campolindo’s Sara Mostatabi (5:16.31) and Del Campo’s Haley Nevins (2:23.59 for 800) also bring great speed to this event and will challenge for the first sombreros of the evening.

Boys 1600
Meet Record – 4:17.28 – Erik Olson – Novato
The winner of this race should get the golden sombrero because they are nearly guaranteed to be a force at the CIF State Championships in June.  Two years ago, Arroyo’s Derek Thomas burst onto the state scene with his outstanding victory here and ended taking 2nd at State in the 800.  Last year’s winner Erik Olson of Novato went on to have a magical track season, capping it off with a 8:56.56 in the 3200 at State taking 7th.  Who will it be this year?  Leading the way is CIF State Cross Country Division 4 champion Dan Milechman of Tamalpias.  His PR of 4:19.52 puts him within reach of the meet record and his current season’s 1:57.9 in the 800 is #11 in the state.  He will chased by the dynamic duo from San Ramon Valley – Parker Deuel (4:25.30 - #29 in state) and Simon Graves (4:22.48 PR), Del Campo’s Josh Mercado (4:24.34 - #21 in state), Davis’ Trevor Halsted (12th at CIF State Cross Country Championships D1) and Jesuit’s Adam Kelly-Strong (4:22.22 PR).

Girls 800
Meet Record – 2:17.43 – Tamara Purpura – Lowell
Could Half Moon Bay be the first school in meet history to have two meet records?  This possibility could become a reality with Lauren Irish on the track.  Here PR of 2:18.10 is definitely in range of the record.  She will be pushed by Melissa Chaidez (2:23.18) of Notre Dame San Jose, Campolindo’s Jessie Cahill (5:28.81 for 1600) and Haley Nevins(2:23.59) of Del Campo, who will challenging for her second sombrero of the evening.

Boys 800
Meet Record – 1:54.21 – Sebastian Sam – Oak Grove
San Ramon Valley’s Kevin Griffith is looking to collect his 2nd consecutive sombrero and will make a run at the meet record in defending his win last year.  His PR of 1:53.85 is the 6thfastest returner in the state and his current seasonal best of 1:58.04 is 13th in California.  He will be pushed by teammate Ryan Hammill (1:58.73 PR), Ryan Banwarth (1:57.50) of Davis, and Las Lomas’ KC Green (1:59.9 PR).

Girls 3200
Meet Record – 10:49.64 – Diana George – Livermore
Diana George’s record seems to be safe this year, but don’t tell that to these very talented young ladies.  Davis will be showing their tremendous cross country depth with three trying for four of the t-shirts – Christine Bowles (11:11.16), Hilary Teaford (11:24.69) and Charlotte ter Haar (11:24.92).  They will be pushed by Washington’s Jessica Gerards (11:22.13) and Campolindo’s Grace Orders (11:04.06).  Can one of these girls break the vaunted 11-minute mark?

Boys 3200
Meet Record – 9:22.07 – Garrett Rowe – Mountain View
Here is another meet record that seems to be in danger.  Josh Mercado of Del Campo has gotten his season off to a blazing start having run 4:24.34 (21st in state) and 9:29.00 (14th in state) and looks to be the favorite.  Teammate Robert Pflasterer (9:44.56) and San Ramon Valley’s Sean Colaco (4:19.23 PR) looks to win some t-shirts while two with great cross country credentials Davis’ Grayson Hough (19th at CIF State Cross Country Championships D1) and San Rafael’s Trevor Ehlenbach (13th in D4) look to challenge that sub 9:30 mark!

Girls Distance Medley Relay
Meet Record – 12:35.87 – Livermore
There will be new queens of the DMR this year as two-time defending champion Livermore will not be running it this year.  Their record sure doesn’t seem to be safe with the quality of teams.  Campolindo, with the likes of Carrie Verdon (5:09.57 – 11:01.85 – 9th in Division 3 at CIF State Cross Country Championships), Olivia Warren (2:17.58 – 5:16.91) Grace Orders (11:04.06), Sara Mostatabi (5:16.31) and Emily Brennan (2:21.95), has plenty of depth to choose from for coach Chuck Woolridge and looks to be the heavy favorite.  There are three other teams lurking in the distance, however, that can give Campolindo a push.  Davis has some options as well with Juliana Green (2:20.65 – 5:03.77), Christine Bowles (5:16.83) and Hilary Teaford (2:27.04 – 5:18.98).  Half Moon could break the team record for total sombrero’s in a meet with Sammy Hamilton (2:23.94 – 5:10.83) andLauren Irish (2:18.10) already having run a near sub 13-minute (13:04.15) DMR at the San Rafael Twilight Relays.  Coach Mike Davis of Monte Vista is no stranger to the sombrero as his boys team is the current meet record holder.  His girls team of Nicole Aha (5:16.43), Mikaela Hammitt (2:15.93) and Kyla Aiuto (2:23.83) will be running this fresh so they will be in the mix.

Boys Distance Medley Relay
Meet Record – 10:30.69 – Monte Vista
Two years ago, we saw a very heroic performance out of Petaluma’s Sterling Lockert, who 30 minutes after setting the then meet record in the 3200 jumped onto the track to anchor Petaluma when they took a close second to the current meet record holder Monte Vista.  Will we see another performance like that?  Tamalpias might be able to provide that kind of excitement with Dan Michelman (1:57.9 – 4:19.52 – State Cross Country Champion D4) and Emil Barkovich (4:29.69) on their squad doubling back from the 1600.  Bellarmine, always very strong in the distances, have the likes of Kyle Rae (4:23.82) to give them a great chance.  Coach Eddie Salazar’s Livermore team will look to extend his streak of DMR victories after they won the last two girls DMRs.  Cross country powerhouses Monte Vista (seasonal best 10:48.27 7th in California) with Elliott Killich (1:57.81) and Campolindo withDylan Laucher (9:39.97) also look to bring home the sombreros.

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