Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dyestat's 2011 Track and XC stories of the year

So what were the stories of the year for Northern California track and xc?

Here is a list of accomplishments that took place in 2011:

Nikki Hiltz Aptos HS 1600m. 4:43.43 (3rd place CA state meet)
Allison Sturges Mt. View HS 1600m. 4:47.65 (5th place CA state meet)
Chris Waschura Woodside HS 1600m. 4:08.29 (5th place CA state meet)
Sarah Griffith San Ramon Valley HS 400. 55.91 (7th place CA state meet)
Trinity Wilson St. Mary's Berkeley HS 100m. Hurdles 13.41 (CA state champion)
Cole Williams Urban HS 800m. 1:50.95 (5th place CA state meet)
Kenny Grimble Las Lomas HS 300m. Hurdles 37.78 (2nd place CA state meet)
Carrie Verdon Campolindo HS 3200m. 10:22.50 (3rd place CA state meet)
Trevor Halsted Davis HS 3200m. 8:51.96 (3rd place CA state meet)
Luis Luna Piner HS 3200m. 8:55.43 (6th place CA state meet)
Chris Kigar El Camino HS 3200m. 8:59.22 (10th place CA state meet)
Kevin Bishop Monta Vista HS 8:59.82 (12th place CA state meet)
Ciarra Brewer James Logan HS Triple Jump 41'11.0 (CA state champion)
Cydney Leath Mount Pleasant HS Triple Jump 39'11.75 (2nd place CA state meet)
Sasha Wallace Holy Names HS Triple Jump 39'9.5 (4th place CA state meet)
Shanique Walker Mount Pleasant HS Triple Jump 39'2.25" (5th place CA state meet)
Samantha Sinclair Mt. View HS Shot Put 41'1.5" (5th place CA state meet)
Brianna French Vacaville HS Shot Put 40'08.0 (7th Place CA state meet)
Noel Frasier California HS High Jump 6'9" (2nd place CA state meet)
Ian Rock Davis HS Pole Vault 16'2" (CA state champion)/Long Jump 22'1.75 (5th place)
Keremiah Crockett Dublin HS Triple Jump 49'1.75" (2nd place CA state meet)
Stephen Boals Jesuit HS Shot Put 57'10" (5th place CA state meet)/Discus 169'7"(6th place)
Mount Pleasant HS girls' track and field team 3rd place CA state meet
Davis HS boys' track and field team 7th place CA state meet

Vanessa Fraser Scotts Valley HS Div. IV CA state champion
Anna Maxwell San Lorenzo Valley HS Footlocker Nationals qualifier
Julia Maxwell Branson HS Div. V CA state champion
Bridget Blum University HS Div. V 2nd place CA state meet
Kat Gregory Priory School Div. V. 3rd place CA state meet 
John Lawson Sir Francis Drake HS Div. IV CA state champion
Connor Clark University HS Div. V 2nd place CA state meet
John Whelan Etna HS Div V. Stanford Invitational winner
Nick Ratto St. Joseph Notre Dame HS Div. V 3rd place CA state meet
Sarah Robinson Gunn HS Div. I 3rd place CA state meet/Footlocker Nationals qualifier
Jena Pianin Amador Valley HS Div. I 5th place CA state meet
Aubrey Myjer Mt. View HS Div. II 3rd place CA state meet
Parker Deuel San Ramon Valley HS Div. II 5th place CA state meet
Carrie Verdon Campolindo HS Div. III CA state champion/16:59 Stanford Invitational
Karlie Garcia Oakmont HS Div. III 2nd place CA state meet/5th place Footlocker Nationals
Madeleine Ankhelyi Vista del Lago HS Div. III 3rd place CA state meet
Nikki Hiltz Aptos HS Div. III 5th place CA state meet
Thomas Joyce Campolindo HS Div. III 3rd place CA state meet
Luis Luna Piner HS Div. III 5th place CA state meet
Yohaness Estifanos Milpitas HS 14:59 Crystal Springs course
University HS girls Div. V state champions
Yreka HS boys Div. IV state champions

Who am I missing?

From all the accomplishments listed above, what is the most outstanding of them all?  What about a top 10 list?  Can you rank the top 10 achievements from 2011 in track and field and cross country from 10 to 1?  Feel free to share in the comment section below.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

2011 Northern California Cross Country Awards

Now that the 2011 XC season is in the books, here are my awards for this past cross country season (here are last year's winners).  Feel free to share your comments below.

Most Valuable Runner (boys)-Aubrey Myjer Mountain View HS
Most Valuable Runner (girls)-Carrie Verdon Campolindo HS

Most Impressive Performance (boys)-John Lawson Drake HS at CA State Meet
Most Impressive Performance (girls)-Karlie Garcia Oakmont HS 5th at Footlocker National Meet

Most Impressive Performance (boys' team)-Carlmont HS 7 sub 16:00 at PAL Finals
Most Impressive Performance (girls' team)-Campolindo HS at NCS MOC Meet

Most Inspirational (boys)-Jordon Rushing Del Campo HS
Most Inspirational (girls)-Nicole Lane El Molino HS

Most Improved Runner (boys)-Alex Conner Sonoma Valley HS
Most Improved Runner (girls)-Sarah Robinson Gunn HS

Lifetime Achievement Award (boys)-Luis Luna Piner HS
Lifetime Achievement Award (girls)-Holland Reynolds University HS

Buster Posey (rookie of the year)-Trevor Reinhart Marin Academy
Buster Posey (rookie of the year)-Christine Bayliss San Ramon Valley

Shocker of the Year-Vanessa Fraser winning Div. IV state meet race.

Best Robin to Batman (best supporting actor)-Nick Ratto/Gabe Arias Sheridan St. Joseph Notre Dame
Best Robin to Batman (best supporting actress)-Clare Carroll Vista del Lago HS

Boys Coach of the Year (Directing)-Pam Borg Yreka HS
Girls Coach of the Year (Directing)-Jim Tracy University

Transfer of the Year (boys)-Blair Hurlock De La Salle HS
Transfer of the Year (girls)-Clare Carroll Vista del Lago

Best costume design (team uniforms)-Acalanes HS

Any other awards?

Cal Hi Sports State Records
He's missing the University girls who won their 9th state xc championship this past season.  I emailed him already.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2 Seconds to Heartbreak

Posted by former Davis HS and UC Davis runner, Kaitlin Gregg:

1st Annual Bay Area Resolution Run

Hi all,

I am putting on a New Year's Eve run in San Rafael.  This is the 1st Annual Bay Area Resolution Run.
--10:30 pm: 1 Mile
--11:00 pm: 5K
The races are in San Rafael around the Northgate Mall.  Very well lit, flat, and fast courses.
Post race, having a countdown to the New Year at the mall plaza.
Provides a runner-friendly way to kick in the new year!
Full information is located here:

The races benefit MADD and Being Adept.

Thanks all ... Trying to make this event a success!

Jason Jacobson

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Catching up with Palos Verdes HS coach, Brian Shapiro...

Today, we head down south to interview the coach of one of the top programs in California, Brian Shapiro of Palos Verdes HS (pictured here, 2nd from left, courtesy of the Palos Verdes athletic site).  This past cross country season, the Palos Verdes Sea Kings wrapped up two state meet titles by taking both Division III races in two different fashions as you will see below.  Brian was also coached in high school by one of the coaching legends in this state, Joe Kelly of Peninsula HS.  His fellow distance coach is well known in his own right.  He is standing far left next to Brian and I will let Brian tell you all about Jeff Atkinson below as well.

1)  What was your own athletic experience in high school?  Highlights?  What about college?
I grew up in Palos Verdes and I was a pretty small kid who didn't do very well in baseball and basketball. But in soccer I could hold my own, mainly because of running. In the 6th grade I ran a community 1K event for kids and did well. I decided that I wanted to run and my older sister was running high school cross country at the time. My dad was a pretty decent high school xc/track runner too in Illinois.

I ran cross country and track for all four years at Peninsula High School and played soccer as a freshman and sophomore. Peninsula was a distance powerhouse in the '90's under Joe Kelly and during my 4 years we went 1st-1st-3rd-2nd in CIF and 3rd-2nd-1st-5th at state in division 1. I was never a superstar but got to run varsity as a junior and senior. That state meet victory in '96 was probably my favorite memory from all of high school. 

I went to college at Washington University in St Louis. I was a triple major in Biology, Education, and Religious Studies and ran cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track all 4 years. It was a very busy time, but very exciting!

2)  Tell us a little about your HS coach Joe Kelly and his influence on you as a teacher and coach.
I am so grateful to Coach Kelly and his coaching staff. Most people know about Joe and his success as a cross country coach from 1980 to 2001. He won pretty much everything and was a pioneer in cross country coaching, particularly with girls teams. CIF didn't have girls cross country until 1976. Joe figured out how to coach his girls effectively very quickly and he left a lot of other people trying to catch up. They never really did, his last team, state champions in 2001, was the fastest he ever coached.

Joe has been the greatest influence on my choice of profession. I don't remember a lot of ra-ra speeches and big pep talks, but the way he ran his program made me want to run through a wall from him. To me, my performance was good if it made him happy and he always took the time to talk to me after each of my races and mention specific things about what I had done during the race.

Joe was equally commanding in the classroom. People lined up to get in his English classes and he took his teaching as seriously as he did his coaching. I had no idea how hard he worked until I became a teacher and coach myself. You can never say thank you enough to people like him who have done so much good.

3)  What led you into coaching?  What do you teach?
Aside from Coach Kelly, I had four of his assistant coaches as teachers and another was my counselor. I was surrounded by people in the sport I love who were happy as teachers and coaches. I never even had to sit down and think about what I wanted to be. I currently teach Biology and Chemistry classes at Palos Verdes High School.

4)  Tell us a little about the history of Palos Verdes HS and when you became the coach at the school.
Palos Verdes HS opened in 1961. At first we were the "Poseidon's" but you couldn't fit the name on any jerseys, so we switched to the "Sea Kings". Later, Miraleste and Rolling Hills high schools opened and it stayed that way until 1991. Enrollment dropped and the three schools consolidated into Peninsula High School. In 2001, enrollment was on the rise and Palos Verdes HS reopened in the fall of 2002. Palos Verdes HS has won 4 state girls titles and 2 boys titles. While the school was closed, Coach Kelly led Peninsula to another 3 girls titles and 1 boys title.

Jeff Atkinson was brought in as a walk on coach in 2002 and worked with with two teachers on campus who didn't have much running experience. I showed up in 2006, eager to join in just as the other teachers were ready to retire from coaching. I went to Jeff to introduce myself at the start of a summer practice. It went something like "Hi, I'm Brian Shapiro, and I was thinking about helping to coach." Jeff said "Right on!" and turned to the team and yelled, "Hey guys, come meet Coach Shapiro!". Since then we have added Alex Broughton to our staff in 2008.

5)  What do you feel were the key components that you had to establish for your teams in order to be successful at the state level?
The biggest turning point for our teams was when we started paying attention to our daily training pace. GPS watches were just coming on the scene around 2006 and we took advantage of that tool. It turns out our 6 mile runs were really 5.5 and that 7:00 pace was really 7:15 pace.

6)  What are your expectations of your athletes during the summer?
We expect our returning runners to be at practice every day if they are in town. We know that there are vacations and trips, but otherwise, they better be there. We have a great program we call "100 Days of Glory". It's exactly 15 weeks, or 105 days,  from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Every kid gets a workshirt, which is a t-shirt with a calendar on the back. The kids fill in their mileage for each day with puffy paint and have to wear the shirt to practice on "Workshirt Wednesdays". It's a great way for us to monitor their summer mileage.

7)  What does a typical week look like during the summer?  Typical weekly mileage for your varsity athletes during the summer?
Our varsity boys will typically run about 65 miles per week during the summer and our varsity girls are at about 45 miles per week. A freshman will often max out at about 30-35 miles per week during the summer.  

Sample week: July 11th-17th, 2011. All runs done at steady training pace, no specific workouts.

Varsity Boys: 10M, 7M, 11M, 8M, 4M + 4M, 13M, 4M + 4M = 65M

Varsity Girls: 8M, 5M, 8M, 5M, 5M, 10M, 4M = 45M

8)  What about during the season?  Key workouts?  How do you divide your season and what changes as the season progresses?
We have found that during the season we have to adapt our schedule to meets, school activities, illness, injury, and fatigue, so we change things up a bit from year to year and try to incorporate new stuff all the time. We try to put off starting workouts as long as possible. We don't get on to the track at all until November, if at all. We like to cycle through long runs, tempo runs, hill repeats, and intervals. Early in the season it's more hills and tempo, later in the season it's more intervals at race pace and faster. During the last two seasons we have experimented with some mixed workouts combining those different workout types and we like how they go. Palos Verdes is full of trails and hills. The nearest truly flat stretch of road is 4 miles away from our school, so it's hills, hills, hills.

9)  What do you feel are the keys to competing well during the last three weeks of the season?
Oh yes, tapering and peaking. I was hoping someone could tell me how that works because I don't get it! In fact I would say that we don't really believe in a lot of the traditional approaches to tapering. We actually don't decrease our mileage much over the last 3 weeks. This year our boys ran 63, 61, and 55 miles during the last 3 weeks of the season. What I do know is this... A coach needs to be in touch with the team and be able to sense what they need during those weeks. Physiologically, the work is done and there's not much you can do to get better at that point. So if the team looks look a little sluggish, work on the turn over. I have always felt that when kids are flat or maybe not very sharp, a solid 65 minute run will reset the body and get you back on track.

10)  Tell us a little bit about Jeff Atkinson's impact on the XC and Track and Field teams.
If I'm a brain on our staff, then Jeff is the soul. Our teams are nothing without him and I'm convinced that there is no better motivator out there. I just hope that some of his charisma rubs off on me as we work together. It would make me a better coach and a better teacher in the classroom.

For those who don't know, Jeff enjoyed a good high school career at Mira Costa and was 19th at Footlocker (Kinney) in 1980, He went to Stanford and ran even better. Out of school he went pro and made the '88 Olympic team in the 1500m by beating Steve Scott at the Olympic Trials. In Seoul, he made the Olympic final and made an awesome move with 700m to go, but didn't have the leg speed like the other guys and faded to 10th.  

Jeff is supremely humble and I think that some of our younger kids don't even know that he was in the Olympics. He never tells a story, "Well when I was in the Olympics..." Jeff has a way of talking to the kids that is just fantastic. He is energetic and animated and we are so lucky to have him in our program. And he knows his stuff.

11)  What was the plan going into this year's state meet and how did each race unfold for your teams?
State meet 2011, the tale of two teams. 

The boys started the year as heavy favorites. in 2009, we won with 4 sophomores in our top 7, in 2010 we were 2nd without any seniors in our top12 and our number one, Jonah Diaz, was out with injury much of the year. I think everyone (including me) assumed that this would be a special season. Jonah was healthy and tearing up courses right away. Our other guys were a little further back but we just attributed that to Jonah running so fast. It turns out we just didn't get that 20-30 second improvement that you usually see in boys on a yearly basis. We were still running well, but not what we had hoped for. At that point you can't abandon ship. You have to re-evaluate the training and march on. We hoped to run faster and barely escaped the state meet with a title, St John Bosco was right on our heels. We were happy to win, but it wasn't what we had pictured 12 months ago.

The girls were more of an underdog. I have no idea why DyestatCal had our girls ranked ahead of teams like Campolindo and Vista Del Lago throughout the year. Those squads are awesome and Aptos and Acalanes were starting to look scary as well. Campolindo crushed us, and everyone else, at state in 2010, so we figured that they were the team to beat. We were doing well, but there were some serious injury worries. Two of our top 5 girls were battling the symptoms of stress fractures towrads the end of the season and we got creative in trying to keep them on their feet. The CIF championship at Mt Sac didn't do us any favors. The uphills don't get you, it's the downhills and Mt Sac has twice as much downhill mileage as uphill mileage. Those kids struggled to get through that race, but they did.  Fortunately Woodward Park is a bit flatter and one of the girls was able to come back and run very well. The other girl started out ok, but had to limp home as our number 7, way out of the picture. The other big teams were all out quick and it didn't look great. Somehow our girls managed to keep moving up and by the finish we were felt like we had run great, but probably only good for 2nd. When they posted the results it was one of the happiest surprises of my life and the joy that the girls got to feel is why you coach.

12)  Anything else you would like to add.
We may be way down the road from the northern California schools but we have a ton of respect for what your teams and individuals are doing. Northern California is home to some of the best and brightest coaches in the country and the results sheets show how great the runners are. 

Thank you very much for your time Brian!  AJC

At the Buzzer: San Ramon Valley XC athletes raise money for Todd French

Not all runners can stomach the Eggnog Mile

The Inspiration: Jim Tracy

2011 All NorCal Spreadsheets

Check out the link below for lists courtesy of George Paddeck that include the section and state meet times for all the top NorCal runners in each section (NS, SJS, NCS, CCS, SF and OAK).  This will give you a better idea who are the leading contenders for the All NorCal XC team.  If you see anybody that is missing, please add their credentials in the comment section below.  One omission is listed below.  Any others?
2011 All NorCal Spreadsheets

Carter Mackey  (Castro Valley)  
NCS D-I finals  (Hayward High)  29th  16:23

other marks:
HAAL finals (Hayward High)  8th 16:19
Mt. Sac Race 56 (D-I) 17th 16:43
Castro Valley Invite BFS (2.1m) 1st 12:10
Artichoke BV Large Schools (2.3m) 34th 13:17
Ed Sias BFrosh (2.0m) 1st 11:34

Monday, December 12, 2011

2011 All NorCal High School XC Teams - Boys & Girls

We are in the process of selecting the All NorCal HS XC Teams.  You can help with the process by sharing your thoughts on who belongs on all the teams.  To get a better idea of how the teams are selected, check out last year's selections:
All NorCal History:

Who was the NorCal Runner of the Year?  (boys and girls)
Senior, Junior, Sophomore and Freshmen of the Year?  (boys and girls)
Who were the best runners in each section?  (boys and girls)
Who belongs on the all Freshman team?  (Top 10 boys and girls)

Feel free to add your selections in the comment section below.  Thank you in advance for your help.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Freshmen at NCS (Combined and by Division)

Here are the top freshmen boys times at the NCS Championships along with the freshmen results by division.
Combined D1-5 NCS Frosh
4  4  Trevor Reinhart 9 Marin Academy 15:34 5:12 T
14  14  Peter Schlachte 9 Amador Valley 16:10 5:24 T
18  18  Matt Schumann 9 De La Salle 16:14 5:25 T
26  26  Jackson Crose 9 Livermore 16:21 5:27
29  29  Carter Mackey 9 Castro Valley 16:23 5:28
31  31  Tariku Abdo 9 Berkeley 16:27 5:29
13  13  Michael Murphy 9 St. Joseph Notre Dame 16:31 5:31 T
17  17  Ben Tracy 9 S. F. University 16:39 5:33 T
44  44  Christian Monsalud 9 James Logan 16:41 5:34
58  58  Blake Alm 9 Redwood 16:52 5:38 T
36  36  Dylan Yasutake 9 College Park 16:55 5:39
22   Liam Morris 9 Fortuna 16:55 5:39
30  30  Tobin Bolter 9 Berean Christian 16:57 5:39
54  54  Jacob Drees 9 Heritage 16:58 5:40
62  62  Jake Egley 9 Northgate 16:58 5:40

NCS D1 Frosh
14  14  Peter Schlachte 9 Amador Valley 16:10 5:24 T
18  18  Matt Schumann 9 De La Salle 16:14 5:25 T
26  26  Jackson Crose 9 Livermore 16:21 5:27
29  29  Carter Mackey 9 Castro Valley 16:23 5:28
31  31  Tariku Abdo 9 Berkeley 16:27 5:29
44  44  Christian Monsalud 9 James Logan 16:41 5:34
54  54  Jacob Drees 9 Heritage 16:58 5:40
58  58  Eric Hytonen 9 San Leandro 17:03 5:41
65  65  Jeffery Van 9 Castro Valley 17:12 5:44
66  66  Zach Beston 9 Amador Valley 17:12 5:44 T
90  90  Gabriel Toscano 9 San Leandro 17:48 5:56
106  106  Mateo Maldonado 9 Freedom 18:06 6:02
118  118  Scott Barlow 9 California 18:30 6:10
122  122  Christian Aldana 9 California 18:36 6:12
129  129  Jacob Evans 9 Deer Valley 19:27 6:29
135  135  Alex Pardo 9 Antioch 20:06 6:42
NCS D2 Frosh
36  36  Dylan Yasutake 9 College Park 16:55 5:39
66  66  Devjeet Sekhon 9 Mt Eden 17:39 5:53
67  67  Nicholas Rauch 9 Casa Grande 17:44 5:55
68  68  Riley Officer 9 Montgomery 17:45 5:55
70  70  Dakota Iribarne 9 Casa Grande 17:47 5:56
91  91  Leonel Gomez 9 Mt Eden 18:29 6:10
93  93  Adam Harwood 9 Casa Grande 18:41 6:14
NCS D3 Frosh
58  58  Blake Alm 9 Redwood 16:52 5:38 T
62  62  Jake Egley 9 Northgate 16:58 5:40
70  70  Luis Haefke 9 Alhambra 17:10 5:44
82  82  Jonathan Solis 9 Ygnacio Valley 17:27 5:49
85  85  Drake Johnson 9 Novato 17:29 5:50
89  89  Michael Viano 9 Alhambra 17:37 5:53
90  90  Dante Capone 9 Analy 17:39 5:53
101  101  Davis Ambur 9 John F. Kennedy - Fre. 18:11 6:04
108  108  Blake Jamar 9 Analy 18:24 6:08
110  110  Armando Negrete 9 Encinal 18:29 6:10
111  111  Jake Gibbs 9 Analy 18:31 6:11
113  113  Jacob Finton 9 Rancho Cotate 18:33 6:11
119  119  Zachary Kendall 9 Concord 18:42 6:14
121  121  Marsel Gelico 9 Encinal 18:44 6:15
126  126  Jack Pedsod-Hixson 9 Analy 18:53 6:18
128  128  Trevor Johnstone 9 John F. Kennedy - Fre. 18:56 6:19
139  139  Luke Barrick 9 Eureka 19:40 6:34
146  146  Ted Medina 9 John F. Kennedy - Fre. 20:07 6:43
NCS D4 Frosh
22   Liam Morris 9 Fortuna 16:55 5:39
36  34  Steve Adams 9 Cardinal Newman 17:20 5:47 T
39  37  John Milender 9 Arcata 17:31 5:51
56  54  Brady Lane 9 El Molino 17:52 5:58
62  59  Jasen Coley 9 McKinleyville 18:01 6:01
68  64  Cooper Sullivan 9 Sir Francis Drake 18:17 6:06 T
70   Ian Bright 9 Middletown 18:18 6:06
74  68  Nico Panela 9 San Marin 18:35 6:12
75  69  Zephir Lennox 9 Arcata 18:38 6:13
76  70  Austin Castrucci 9 Justin-Siena 18:39 6:13
80  73  Deep Singh 9 Hercules 18:45 6:15
85  78  Alex Kivela 9 Justin-Siena 18:56 6:19
99  90  Joseph Osgood 9 Justin-Siena 19:47 6:36
105  96  Michael Beard 9 Healdsburg 20:21 6:47
116  107  Andy VeLaCAMPA 9 John Swett 21:43 7:15
120  111  Noah Locke 9 John Swett 22:53 7:38
121  112  Brandon Morin 9 John Swett 22:57 7:39
NCS D5 Frosh 
4  4  Trevor Reinhart 9 Marin Academy 15:34 5:12 T
13  13  Michael Murphy 9 St. Joseph Notre Dame 16:31 5:31 T
17  17  Ben Tracy 9 S. F. University 16:39 5:33 T
30  30  Tobin Bolter 9 Berean Christian 16:57 5:39
36  36  Ross Deniston 9 Berean Christian 17:04 5:42
37  37  Matt Jenkins 9 Lick Wilmerding 17:07 5:43
48  48  Felix Merk 9 International 17:41 5:54
58  57  Zac Oji 9 Lick Wilmerding 18:08 6:03
67  66  Eric Windt 9 Berean Christian 18:20 6:07
89  86  Itai Levin 9 International 18:43 6:15
92  89  Otto Salmi 9 Branson 18:48 6:16
94  91  Chris Boranian 9 Head-Royce 18:49 6:17
108  103  Ed Peterson 9 S. F. University 19:10 6:24 T
110  105  Caleb Olivarez 9 Redwood Christian 19:18 6:26
118  112  Anthony Cardenas 9 Fremont Christian 19:38 6:33
123  116  Greg Lin 9 Redwood Christian 19:47 6:36
128  121  Matthew Shasky 9 Redwood Christian 19:58 6:40
130  123  Zac Turner 9 Livermore Vly Col Prep 20:06 6:42
136   Christian Van der Jagt 9 Clear Lake 20:29 6:50
137   Josh Tate 9 Clear Lake 20:29 6:50
144  134  Sam Lombardi 9 Bentley Upper 21:08 7:03
145  135  Tucker Coad 9 Bay School Of S.F. 21:34 7:12
148  138  Henry Wanat 9 Livermore Vly Col Prep 22:11 7:24
151  141  Shawn Bolker 9 Bay School Of S.F. 22:43 7:35
152   Josh Riboli 9 Point Arena 22:52 7:38
153  142  Jeffrey Yee 9 Bentley Upper 23:06 7:42
155  144  Jackson Forman 9 Bay School Of S.F. 23:43 7:55
156   DeMario Brown 9 Making Waves Academy 23:49 7:57
157  145  Sam Dubensky 9 Bentley Upper 25:22 8:28
158  146  Zane Weissman 9 Bentley Upper 32:29 10:50

Luna looking toward cross-country nationals

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Catching up with Scotts Valley runner, Vanessa Fraser...

Today we chat with Scotts Valley junior, Vanessa Fraser.  At the recently completed California State Meet, Fraser upset 2 time defending champion, Cami Chapus of Harvard Westlake to win her first state cross country title after 11th (2009) and 4th (2010) finishes in the two previous seasons.  She finished in 3rd place at the SCCAL final behind standout runners Nikki Hiltz of Aptos and Anna Maxwell of San Lorenzo Valley.  She improved to 2nd place at the CCS Division IV race trailing only Maxwell before her breakthrough race in Fresno.

1) What sports have you played besides xc and track and field?
I used to be really involved in equestrian sports, as well as tennis, but since the middle of my freshman year, I have focused solely on running.

2) How did you get your start in distance running?
I actually got my start as a third grader through a program called Girls on the Run. It is an after school program that prepares 3rd-5th grade girls to run a 5k at the end of the season, while incorporating fun team and character building lessons and activities along the way.

3) What was the first success that you remember in either sport?
I guess my very first success would have to be the first 5k race I completed in 3rd grade. Not only did this feel like a huge accomplishment as an 8 year old girl, but I would consider it a major success simply because it made me discover my greatest passion.

4) What do you remember about your freshman experience in both sports? Highlights?
Entering the high school cross country world as a freshman, every race was an incredible experience just because I got to experience the sport on a whole new competitive level. The state meet my freshman year was definitely a highlight because I felt honored to race some of the best runners in California, and happily walked away with an 11th place finish. Unfortunately I missed my freshman track season due to health issues, but in the end I think it fuelled my excitement for my sophomore season even more.

5) What about your sophomore seasons in both sports? Highlights? PRs from last track and field season in 400, 800, 1600 and 3200?
Again, a highlight of my sophomore cross country season was the state meet. I came in 4th and PRed for the 5k there with a time of 17:56, and was excited to medal after just missing a top 10 finish the previous year. Sophomore year was my first actual season of high school track, and I had a blast, especially earning a trip to the state meet in the 3200. I ran a PR of 10:37 there and was amazed at how much I fed off of and thrived from the energy of being in such a big race. For the 1600, though I didn't run it much during the season, my PR was 5:06.

6) Did you do anything different this summer in terms of training and with your preparation for the season? What do you feel was your toughest workout this past season? Longest run? About how many miles a week did you do during the majority of the season?
In terms of training this summer, I just focused on doing lots of distance to build a strong base. Some highlights of my summer training were going to Oregon, where I got to go on some beautiful runs, and racing in the Wharf to Wharf at the end of July. I'm not sure how much mileage I was doing during the season because I just follow and trust my coach's plan for me, but over the summer I got up to 50 miles a week. I can't think of any one workout this past season being the toughest, but my absolute favorite workout is a threshold 4 mile run we do the weekend before state.

7) You finished 3rd at your league meet behind Nikki Hiltz of Aptos and Anna Maxwell of SLV and behind Maxwell at CCS. How do you think those two runners contributed to your achievement of a state championship yesterday? 
Both Nikki and Anna have pushed me throughout the entire season, and they both inspire me to be a better runner everyday. I truly believe having that having the privilege to race these girls so often made a huge contribution to the success I had at state.

8) Tell us a little about your coach and how he has helped you develop in the runner you are today.
I really don't think I could ask for a better coach. He has taught me so many valuable lessons, and I could go on and on about what a wonderful job he does with our entire team. One huge lesson he has taught me, though, is the importance of being patient with your training and being able to race well when it REALLY counts. I absolutely would not be where I am today as a runner without my coach.

9) How about the area around Scotts Valley HS. How ideal do you think it is for a distance runner?
Living in Scotts Valley, we are fortunate to be so close to a variety of beautiful running locations from the beaches to the forests to the mountains. Santa Cruz County truly is a great place for distance running.

10) Favorite xc invitational? Favorite xc course?
Though I always look forward to and enjoy the Stanford Invite, my favorite course and race is, hands down, the state meet. The suble rolling hills and varied scenery at Woodward Park, combined with the excited energy of all the runners there in general, always seems to provide opportune racing conditions.

11) Your state meet race. Tell us a little about your plan going into the meet and how it unfolded and when did you first realize you were going to win and nobody was going to catch you?
I went into the race knowing there would be strong competion, so my goal was to just run my hardest and try to get a PR. After crossing the first mile mark with the lead pack, I took turns leading with defending champ Cami Chapus throughout the second mile. Once we hit the main hill, I felt strong and ready to go and slowly started pulling away from that point on. Though spectators would tell me I had "60 yards" on Chapus at some points, I did not feel safe until I crossed the finish line. Knowing what strong kicks so many of the runners in the race were known to have, I was scared of being caught right up through end. As soon as I finished, I had to pinch myself to see if it was reality. It truly was a dream come true!

Thank you very much for your time Vanessa!  AJC

National Footlocker Meet Qualifiers (Top 8)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Catching up with College Prep coach, Jack Coakley...

Today we chat with College Prep School coach, Jack Coakley (picture to the left is courtesy of the CPS website).  At the past California State XC meet, the CPS girls finished in 3rd place in the Division V race to make their 3rd podium in a row.  In the past 5 years, the CPS girls have finished in the top 3 at NCS including the team section title in 2007 and 3 second place finishes.  The CPS boys have qualified to the state meet 5 times out of the past 7 years in the highly competitive section.  The 2006 boys' team defeated University at NCS to break their string of 7 section titles and went on the finish 2nd at the CA state xc meet.  Jack was named NCS Honor Coach in 1985 at one of his previous stops before CPS, St. Joseph (when it was an all boys school).

1)  What sports did you play in your youth and what were some of your highlights?

I enjoyed playing baseball and tennis, but lack of stereovision prevented me from continuing in those sports.  I tried football as a high school freshman, but track and field and distance running became my sports.

2)  Who were some of your teachers and coaches and what did you learn from them that you still use to this day?
A variety of teachers and coaches over the years of my youth inspired me by having faith in me, allowing me to learn on my own via mistakes, and allowing me to question things.  Being told – academically and athletically – to test my limits and to not be afraid to fail pushed me to work harder.  As a teacher and coach, I’ve learned from getting to observe my colleagues in action.  I am always evolving and consider myself a better teacher and coach every new school year.

3)  What led you into teaching and coaching?  What do you teach now?
I did research after grad school, but realized fairly quickly that I was a result guy, and as much as I respect scientific research, it wasn’t my thing.  While pondering a return to school, I thought I’d try teaching because I liked working with people as well as science.  Bingo – it was a match made in heaven.  Coaching came naturally, being in a school environment, and I’ve done both now forever.  I teach chemistry and AP chemistry.

4)  Where did you coach before College Prep and what were some of your highlights there?
I first taught and coached at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, then spent four years at El Cerrito High School before going to College Prep.  We had league and NCS successes at both.

5)  How long have you been at College Prep and what have been some of your highlights?
This is my 21st year Prep, and I’ve had a good time developing the program.  Successes?  Lots of league titles over the years, as well as NCS and State Meet successes.  The 2006 boys team placed 2nd at State after winning NCS, the 2007 girls team won NCS, and the recent girls teams have made the State Meet podium the last three years, placing 3rd, 2nd, and 3rd respectively, which is a huge tribute to them.  To be honest, though, I think every year is a success.

6)  What was the state of the cross country program when you took it over and what do you feel have been the most important changes that you made during your time coaching the team?
The team was small but was doing just fine when I came to Prep.  When the coach left after my first year there, I got the opportunity to be the coach.  Over the years, consistency has been the main ingredient.  I think you would find this to be true for any team.  I’m big on team unity and culture, as well as making everyone feel important/special.  And I can’t under estimate the power of success, which we’ve been fortunate to achieve.  As cliché as it may sound, it does breed further success.  The harriers’ willingness to buy into the program has been the secret.

7)  Track and Field is important to the success in XC in what ways?
Leg turn over, improved form, and confidence.  I’m big on 800s for the XC kids.  And during training, they get in lots of speed.  This translates nicely into the fall.

8)  What are your expectations for your runners during the summer?  Running camp?
I hope that they get in base mileage, the amount depending on their age and experience and volume capability (100-400 miles).  I give them a summer schedule to follow in order to help them achieve their summer goals.  Given that the runners are doing all sorts of things throughout the summer, we have not gone to a summer camp as a team, but we might try it.  Some athletes go to camps on their own.  As a team, we start the season with a week at Bear Valley in August just before school starts.  The retreat is a great way to start the year.

9)  During the season, what does a typical week look like for your team with a Saturday invitational?  What changes take place as you get closer to the section and state meets?
I am not a high mileage proponent due to the runners’ age and all of the concrete surrounding our school neighborhood.  I tend to go for quality mileage.  I also ask the runners to run for an amount of time, rather than miles.  We also run only 6 days a week on average.  Finally, we train through some meets.  Given that, the typical week looks like this:
Sunday: long run (45-75 minutes) (about 20% of the weekly mileage) on their own
Monday: easy 30-45 minute run, drills, strength/core work
Tuesday: track workout; long intervals (1200s or 1600s or 1000s depending on the time of the season)
Wednesday: easy run (30-45 minutes)
Thursday: tempo run, followed by drills, strength/core work
Friday: easy pre-race day (20-30 minute run)
Saturday: race
As we get into the late season, we add 800s to the track workouts and do more 400s at the ends of the track workouts; long runs are shortened – some tapering, but nothing drastic.  I found big tapering to leave the runners feeling flat.

10)  What do you feel are your key workouts during the season?  Distance for their longest run?  Weekly mileage?
I think the long intervals are key. On October Saturdays that we aren’t racing, we meet on the track for a workout at the time of the NCS races.  I want to get everyone’s bodies and heads into working intensely at the time that they will need to be “on” for the post-season meets.  As stated earlier, I’m not a high volume coach.  Based on time, the longest run is probably 8-12 miles, and weekly mileage might peak at 30-45.  Again, much depends on each athlete’s fitness level and natural ability.
11)  What is your advice for new coaches who want to make sure their runners have a good experience on their cross country team?
Trust yourself, remember it’s about the runners, and emphasize the team nature of our sport.  Give ample opportunity for team building.  This is also a sport that requires time to see development/improvement.  It’s also critical that you want to learn all the time – read articles, go to clinics, observe.  Have fun!

12)  Anything else you would like to add.
I’d like to give a big shout out to my teams!

Thank you very much for your time Jack!  AJC

Footlocker West and NXN results

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Catching up with Branson runner, Julia Maxwell...

Today we chat with Branson HS sophomore runner, Julia Maxwell (pictured to the left at the Stanford Invitational courtesy of Margaret Gallagher).  This past Saturday, Julia completed an undefeated cross country season taking the Division V individual title by running 17:52 and winning the race by 30 seconds over the 2nd place finisher.  Her section and state championship victories were an improvement from last year's 4th place (NCS) and 5th place (state) finishes as a freshman.  Just like the last athlete I interviewed, John Lawson of Sir Francis Drake, Julia has also participated in the Dipsea race with great success.

1) What was the first race you remember entering and how did you do?

I remember racing a mile in elementary school 2 or 3 times a year for PE. At the time, I hadn't started running yet, and I nervously anticipated running the race against my other classmates. It wasn't until my mom started taking me out on trail runs when I was 12 that I discovered a love for running and decided that I really wanted to pursue the sport.

2) Tell us a little about your parents and their influence on your running career.
Both my parents have influenced my running, as they both were accomplished athletes who ran at Cal. My mom inspired me to start running when I was 12, and my love for the sport grew with her total support and encouragement. Ever since the first time she took me out for a run, she has continued to teach me to have a passion for running which has given me a desire to challenge and push myself in every workout and race. She has showed me all the scenic trails Marin County has to offer and I still enjoy running with her.
My dad was a high level track coach as well as an olympic marathoner who took 3rd place in the Boston Marathon in 1977. Although I never got to run with him, I am still inspired by his determination and drive to achieve the most out of himself. Having the opportunity to follow in his footsteps and carry on his name has really given me an ability to trust myself during races and motivated me to push myself to become the best runner I can.

3) What was one of your earlier highlights this past cross country season?
One of the highlights of my 2011 XC season was winning the Stanford Invitational for division V. It was my first race of the season, and, coming off of an injury, I had some doubt about how well I could perform. After putting all that uncertainty on the line I was really happy that I was able to prove to myself that even though I took a risk, I still had the strength to put out my best performance and compete against some really strong other runners. Coming across the finish line in that that race was really an unbelievable feeling and the best way to start an undefeated season.

4) What did you do this summer training wise in preparation for the cross country season?
I logged more miles this summer and did a lot of hilly runs, which built up a good base. I was also training at high-altitude for weeks at a time, which I believe really helped me gain fitness for the season.

5) Who are the runners that you have raced the most and have pushed you to become a faster runner?
Other high school runners from the north coast area, including Bridget Blum and Holland Reynolds from SF University have both motivated me and been great competitors in NCS and state cross country as well as in track. I've always been amazed and inspired by accomplished high school runners, such as Jordan Hasay, a division high school V standout from CA. On my own team, my brother, Chris, and I run very similar times, so he is a great training partner and has always supported and encouraged me to get the most out of myself.

6) Favorite invitational? Favorite xc race? Favorite xc workout? Favorite distance run? Favorite track distance?
Favorite invitational: Stanford. Favorite xc race: Branson's home course, at Bon Tempe Lake in Marin County. Favorite xc workout: sets of a ladder of 400, 600, 800, 1200. Favorite distance run: Any of the beautiful trails on Mt. Tam. Favorite Track distance: 3200.

7) What was your plan going into the NCS XC meet and how did that race unfold?
At NCS, I knew there were going to be some girls who would go out pretty fast in the first mile, so my intention was to go out under control but also to not lose sight of my top competitors. After the first mile and a quarter I felt pretty strong so decided to push the pace a little bit and took the lead. I lead for the rest of the race and tried to extend my lead by taking advantage of the hills. I aimed to stay relaxed and to run a consistent pace.

8) What about the state XC meet? What was the race plan going in and how did that race unfold?
Similarly, at state I planned to go out in a controlled pace for the first mile and focused on running my own race. I knew that there were going to be a lot of competitors who liked to go out really quick, but I hoped to surpass early leaders by using the hills as my strength. Just before the two mile mark, I passed the early leader, Alexia Velarde, on the steep hill and then just tried to hold on and keeping pushing the pace and extending a lead all the way to the finish.

9) Just like Sir Francis Drake runner John Lawson, you have have also participated in the Dipsea race. How many Dipsea races have you run? What was your best finish? Do you do any specific training leading up to the race?
In the first Dipsea (2009) I competed in, I took 4th place overall, as well as first women finisher and fastest women's time. My actual time was 60:50. Because the Dipsea takes place right at the end of track season, I've been prevented from logging a lot of miles and endurance hill workouts, which is usually the way to train for a race like the Dipsea. I still love racing it though, even coming right off of track season, because it's such a beautiful course and it's such a physical and mental challenge. The Dipsea is also a huge part of the roots of Marin running, and I feel so lucky to be a part of such a historic and remarkable race.

10) Anything else you would like to add.
I am so thankful for all the opportunities that I have been given and for the support of my family and friends.

Thank you very much for your time Julia!  AJC

Footlocker West Regional

Pigg, Richard, Cox win cross-country titles (Chloe Pigg will be running at Arcata HS next year)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CA State Meet Pictures and NXN live results link...

State Meet Pictures thanks to Spencer Allen and Margaret Gallagher and

NXN Live Results thanks to

Videos from races thanks to Results Posted:

Also coming up, more interviews with some of the top performers from the CA State Meet.  Keep your nominations coming and I will try to interview as many runners and coaches as I can.  What athletes do you want to hear from?  What about coaches?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Catching up with Sir Francis Drake runner, John Lawson...

 Today we chat with Sir Francis Drake junior, John Lawson (picture to the left is at last year's NCS meet taken by Spencer Allen of  This past weekend, John won the Division IV state championship as he recorded the second fastest time for any NorCal athletes (15:20).  Lawson had quite a season as he won the MCAL, NCS and state titles, the same achievement accomplished the previous season by Tamalpais senior runner, Dan Milechman.  Lawson has also participated in the Dipsea race and has already made his presence felt on the legendary race as you will see below.

1)    How did you get your start in distance running?
My mom, Kelly Lawson, was the catalyst of my running career.  For as long as I can remember I had been dragged along to local club meets by her and my dad, both of them long time trail runners in Marin.  In seventh grade I started running cross country at White Hill Middle School and after I started experiencing some minor success from there I couldn’t stop.  I signed up for both XC and track in my 8th grade year.

2)    What other sports have you played besides XC and track and field?
I played recreational baseball and soccer until high school.  I even played ice hockey for several years in San Francisco.  I stopped playing basketball after just one year in 7th grade when I scored a basket for the wrong team…

3)  What was the first success that you remember in cross country and track and field respectively?
It wasn’t until my 8th grade year that I started to really feel some success in running.  In XC I won most of the season’s meets outright yet still got my butt whooped in the county meet.  I was hungry to finally win in track but I was disappointed to find that they don’t have any races longer than 1200m in middle school track in field.  I was already too excited to run some eight lap races; three just seemed ridiculous to me at the time.

4)    Tell us a little about your coaches and how they have helped you become the runner you are today.
Coach Rod Berry stepped into the Varsity boys program at Sir Francis Drake my freshman year under Head Coach Bill Taylor.  Since then Rod has been the main reason for any success I might have had (he himself being a high school standout and XC captain at Stanford back in the day).  He has built our boys team up from very novice young runners. His training formula has proven successful for me, especially in these past two years.

5)  Who are the runners that you have looked up to during your time in high school (on your own team or other teams)?
I’ve always envied the superior finishing kicks of my former teammate and 800m runner Carroll Oliver.  Also there have been so many guys on our team that have graduated that are still some of my best friends, whether they have continued their running careers of not.  Other runners I’ve looked up to?  Elias Geydon was always fun to watch because he always looked so incredibly fly finishing his races.  Pre can just go without saying…

6)  You have participated in the Dipsea race in the past. For those that are not familiar with the race, can you tell us a bit about the race and how you have done in the race.
The notorious Annual Dipsea race is one of the oldest races in the US today.  Every June, about 1500 runners of all ages start at their respective handicap times and race from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach over some pretty brutal terrain climbing over 1400 ft in elevation.  I’ve run the Dipsea since I was in 6th grade and I’ve enjoyed it more and more every year.  In the 2010 and 2011 races I was the first high school finisher so maybe I can repeat that this year if I continue to run it.

7)  Favorite xc course? Favorite xc race? Favorite xc workout?

One of my favorite cross country races is the Artichoke Invitational, a race down in Half Moon Bay that I’ve been running since my freshmen year.  It’s a pretty interesting race because it’s only just over 2 miles long and it’s known for this ridiculously steep hill in the middle of the race.  It’s got European hay bales and you finish on the track, which are all the best things about a cross country course.  This year I’ve learned to love mile repeats.  They make you feel fast and it’s easy to track your improvement in these workouts.

8)  What was your plan going into the STATE meet this past Saturday and how did the race unfold for you?
I just hoped to run patiently and intelligently.  There was a group of experienced runners that were expected to be up with the lead pack.  I just made sure not to make my move too early and burn myself out on the first mile.  The course is fast and people go out at a crazy pace consistently every year so I was conservative on the first mile to hit just above my goal split of 4:50.  The rest of the race was a wild card so instead of surging I waited behind the leaders (Kyle Bueckert, Will Wilde-Botta, and Daniel De La Torre) and started to break away around the second mile.  It was a very tight pack up there for most of the race.  Everyone ran smart races; it was a real pleasure to race such a good group of guys.

9)  What is your advice for a young runner who has goals of being one of the best in state?
I’m still trying to figure that out for myself.  All you can do is trust your coach, train smart and diligently, and race hard.  Everything else is beyond your control.  Races are my favorite part of this sport.  Try to have fun with them and don’t be afraid to sometimes take risks.

10)  Anything else you would like to add.
I am really thankful for my family, my coaches and god.

Thank you very much for your time John!  AJC

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

State Meet projections by Sstoz Tes

Division I Boys
Division I Girls
Division II Boys
Division II Girls
Division III Boys
Division III Girls
Division IV Boys
Division IV Girls
Division V Boys 
Division V Girls

The above projections are based on the following course conversions:

Those are the rankings going into state.  Now it's time to race and let the feet do the talking.  Best of luck to all NorCal teams and individuals at the state meet.

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