Sunday, October 30, 2011

Catching up with Sonoma Valley HS runner, Alex Conner...

Today we chat with Sonoma Valley HS runner, Alex Conner.  He won the De La Salle Invitational earlier this season defeating several of the top runners in Northern California with a winning time of 15:31.98.  He finished in 2nd place at the Stanford Invitational with an impressive 15:22 trailing only Piner's Luis Luna.  He had an equally impressive junior season on the track as he finished in 6th place at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions 3200m. with a time of 9:25.49.  In the last state rankings posted on October 12th, Conner was ranked 5th in Division III as an individual.

1) What other sports have you participated in besides xc and track and field?
I played basketball my freshman year, and varsity golf my freshman and sophomore years. I was pretty into baseball and basketball during middle school, so I didn't have a big running background.

2) When did you first get into distance running?
I got into distance running my freshman year. I did XC because my brother was doing it. I also did it my sophomore year, but neither years was I very serious about it. I got serious junior year when I got a bit faster in XC and then decided to do Track as well. So I got competitive with it my junior year.

3) What was the first success that you remember in either xc and/or track and field?
My first big success was probably breaking 10:00 in the 3200m junior year in March. I was new to the sport, it was my second 3200m, and my coach and I were pretty shocked. We were hoping I'd do that during the postseason! That definitely motivated me to keep working hard.

4) When you first started running, who were the runners that you looked up to and helped you during that time period?
I definitely looked up to my brother when I was younger. He was so fast to me then and is still always a source of knowledge. My coach, John Litzenberg, was always a big inspiration; he was still so fast despite having 25 years on everyone. My old coach Butch Alexander was also a big inspiration. On a larger scale, I'm definitely a big fan of Pre and Chris Solinsky.

5) You played golf during the spring of your freshman and sophomore years. What led you to making the decision to switch to track and field?
Like I said earlier, I think that my junior year of cross-country helped and certainly my coach John's urging me to do it all contributed to it. More than anything, I was really starting to love running.

6) Tell us a little about your coach and how he has helped you become the runner you are today.
My coach has helped me become the runner I am for countless reasons. For one, his expertise and experience in running has given him insights I would never have known before. I think the turbulence he felt in running has influenced him today and made him a better coach. Also, we have a great personal relationship that allows us to talk a lot of stuff out, it certainly isn't a tyrannical coaching approach. Finally, he runs with us and uses a hands-on approach to motivate the team and me. It's pretty impressive too!

7) What did you do this part summer in terms of training? Weekly mileage? Distance of long runs? Any workouts? 
This summer was a great summer for training. I built up to 65 miles and did pretty minimal workouts, sticking with a little hill work and some longer tempos. My long runs got up to about 14. 

8) What about during this season? About how many miles per week for the majority of the season? What does a typical week look like for you when you have a Saturday invitational?
This season I have been sticking with that mileage, bringing it up a bit here in October. A Saturday Invite changes the week, putting workouts on Mondays and Wednesdays and then longer distance days on Tuesday/Thursday. Friday we like to keep mileage up too because I'm always training through these Invites.

9) What would you say have been your toughest workouts so far this season?
My tougher workouts this year are always on Fridays and the occasional Monday. The Friday workouts are spent in the "cemetery" where we have some gnarly hills and then a 500m loop we do to work on speed. Those workouts can be incredibly hard. Monday workouts that are tough are when we do mile repeats or 1k repeats. Also, when I decide to go fast on a long run, that can really be tough. My coach doesn't like that either.

10) Favorite workout? Favorite distance run? Favorite xc course? Favorite xc invitational? Favorite competitor(s)? Favorite track distance? Favorite track invitational?
My favorite workout is 400m repeats on the track during track season, and for XC probably the 1k repeats. My favorite XC course was Stanford and subsequently the Stanford Invite was my favorite Invite. The rolling course suited me well and I liked running on the golf course--my sports were blending. My favorite distance run is this run I do out in the sloughs of Sonoma, it's an open road and then some rolling vineyards, it's a great place to hammer a long run. My favorite competitor was Forrest Shaffer from Petaluma, he graduated, and then it's always fun racing Luis Luna and the Piner guys. My favorite track distance was the 3200m without a doubt and I loved the Woody Wilson Invite, the night race was awesome.

11) As you look forward to the rest of the season, what races do you have coming up?
We spent October working on training and staying away from too many invites.  My coach and I decided that was best for me. My next race is League finals at Spring Lake, also a great course, and then NCS at Hayward.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
Thanks for the interview and best of luck to fellow Nor Cal runners in the postseason!

Thank you very much for your time Alex!  AJC

Photo of the Month

Former St. Mary's Berkeley runner Matt Duffy on his way to a 6th place finish at yesterday's Ivy League Heptagonal Cross Country Championship at Princeton University.

Men's Results:

Photo by Greg Carroccio/

Northern California Newspaper Coverage...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Portland’s 32 Straight Titles On The Line Against BYU At WCC Champs
Location:  Crystal Springs Course
Date:  Saturday, October 29th
Time:  Men-9:00am/Women-9:45am
Live stream online.  You can find the link in the article.

Boys, girls ready to run with league, CCS meets set for Crystal Springs (CCS)

More NorCal league coverage rolling in...

BSAL League Meet #4 (NCS)

League Meet #4 (10/27/11)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Crystal Springs Center Meet #3 Results

Northern California Section Bulletins

Returning to normal: Karlie Garcia is taking one day, one race at a time

Valley Oak League Results (SJS)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DFAL #2 Results (NCS)

2011 Tri County Athletic League and Monterey Bay League Meet Previews

Mt. SAC follow up articles

Latest CCS Rankings

Monday, October 24, 2011

Updating NorCal rankings

I will like to update the NorCal rankings as we head closer to the league championship season.  Take a look at the previous rankings below and tell me who deserves to move up or is missing from either list.  Thank you in advance for your help.



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Top NorCal Times at Mt. SAC (boys and girls)

Boys Team Times
1)  Bellarmine (CCS) 1:19.38
2)  Miramonte (NCS) 1:20:01
3)  San Ramon Valley (NCS) 1:20:59
4)  Amador Valley (NCS) 1:21:19
5)  Davis (SJS) 1:21:34
6)  San Lorenzo Valley (CCS) 1:21:35
7)  Monte Vista (NCS) 1:21:50
8)  Carlmont (CCS) 1:22:12
9)  Bishop O'Dowd (NCS) 1:22:33
10)  De La Salle (NCS) 1:22:42
11)  Vacaville (SJS) 1:23:01
12)  Alisal (CCS) 1:23:02
13)  Santa Rosa (NCS) 1:23:11
14)  Alameda (NCS) 1:23:19
15)  Las Lomas (NCS) 1:23:24

Girls Team Times
1)  San Lorenzo Valley (CCS) 1:36:09
2)  University (NCS) 1:37:08
3)  Vacaville (SJS) 1:37:20
4)  Davis (SJS) 1:37:52
5)  Carlmont (CCS) 1:38:27
6)  Oakmont (SJS) 1:38:29
7)  Amador Valley (NCS) 1:38:45
8)  Mountain View (CCS) 1:38:57
9)  Del Oro (SJS) 1:41:03
10) Monte Vista (NCS) 1:41:10
11) Sacred Heart SF (CCS) 1:41:15
12) Alameda (NCS) 1:41:29
13) St. Francis, Sacramento (SJS) 1:41:58
14) San Ramon Valley (NCS) 1:41:59
15) Maria Carrillo (NCS) 1:42:34

Boys Individual Times
1)  Connor Clark University 15:17
1)  John Lawson Drake 15:17
3)  Jack Bordoni Bellarmine 15:19
4)  Richard Ho Leland 15:23
5)  Danny Stalters Northgate 15:32
6)  Jamie Fehrnstrom Miramonte 15:40
7)  Nick Hicks San Lorenzo Valley 15:41
8)  Matt DeVries San Ramon Valley 15:43
9)  Trevor Fuhriman Monte Vista 15:44
9)  Trevor Stephens Del Oro 15:44
11) Esteban Valencia Bellarmine 15:45
12) Dillon Read Miramonte 15:46
12) Gabe Arias St. Joseph 15:46
14) Aubrey Myjer Mountain View 15:47
15) Aiden Goltra Las Lomas 15:50

Girls Individual Times
1)  Karlie Garcia Oakmont 17:01
2)  Anna Maxwell San Lorenzo Valley 17:44
3)  Christine Bayliss San Ramon Valley 17:57
4)  Jena Pianin Amador Valley 18:00
5)  Nicole Lane El Molino 18:03
6)  Bridget Blum University 18:12
7)  Anna Welsh Monterey 18:15
8)  Sophie Meads Davis 18:24
8)  Holland Reynolds University 18:24
10) Sarah Schreck Carlmont 18:31
10) Allison Sturgis Mountain View 18:31
12) Alyssa Johnson Leland 18:42
13) Jennie Callan University 18:43
14) Mei-Lin Okino Carlmont 18:46
15) Neysa Mains El Camino (Sac) 18:49
15) Spencer Moore St. Mary's Berk. 18:49

Top CCS Times at Mt. SAC

Check out all the individual and team times for CCS athletes at Mt. SAC here:

List of the top individual and team times for NorCal will be posted next. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Like running distance


Friday, October 14, 2011

Northern California Invitationals this weekend...

14 - McDonald's Roughrider Inv. @ Woodward Park, Fresno (CE)
14 - West Valley Co-Ed Invitational @ West Valley HS (NO) 

14/15 - Monterey Bay Invitational (CCS)

15 - Bella Vista Bronco Invitational @ Willow Hills, Folsom (SJ)
15 - Merced County Championships @ Atwater HS, Atwater (SJ)
15 - Moreau/Mariner Invitational @ Garin Park, Hayward (NC)
15 - Mudville Invit'l @ Oak Grove Park, Stockton (SJ) 

Results will be posted as soon as I get them.

Wisconsin Adidas Invitational Results

How well do you know your ex. Northern California high school runners?  Check out the race results of today's big collegiate invitational at Wisconsin.  Identify the ex. Northern California runners and what high school did they attend?


ACCAL Center Meet No. 2 Results (NCS)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Catching up with Yreka HS coach, Pam Borg...

Today we chat with Yreka HS (Northern Section) cross country and track and field coach, Pam Borg.  Her boys' team just made the trek from up north to the world famous Canyon HS course and defeated some noteworthy teams such as Las Lomas and De La Salle at the Castro Valley Invitational this past Saturday.  Following that victory (newspaper link here), the Yreka boys moved up the just released state rankings and are now ranked 5th in state in Division IV.  

1)  What was your own athletic experience during your youth?  What sports did you participate in before, during and after high school?
I started running at age 8 on the San Leandro Certfettes and then in 1970, joined the prestious San Jose Cindergals. I started out as a jumper and baseball thrower until my coach, Augie Argabright had me run with the distance runners and I kept up with them the whole practice. I remained on the club until 1981 watching three Olympians on my team, most notable was Francie Larrieu. It was a great experience to train side by side with such talent. Funny thing is , I didn't realize it until later in life, how good we were- it was just what we did everyday, nothing special. In high school, I took a year off from club competition and competed in cross country, basketball, and track. It was fun, but I missed the higher level of competition and my friends.

2)  What led you into teaching and coaching?  What do you teach?  Who have been your mentors during your time coaching?

My running experiences and my coach led me to my love of teaching and coaching. I credit Augie for instilling in me a sense of humor and a desire to be successful. He made running fun and exciting.
I teach Physical Education and Health at the high school. My first teaching job was at Castro Valley High School. I worked with Peter Brewer, coaching Cross Country and Track and Field. Jim Eckman was my mentor and fellow coach before he retired from Yreka High School. He was all about the team details and facts, everything I'm really not about. I can't tell you my win-loss records, but I can tell you what Mikey's pr is for his mile. I like to concentrate on making each individual the best he or she can be and in turn, my team will automatically improve.

3)  Tell us about your first experience coaching.  What did you learn during that experience?

My first experience coaching was amazing. I just had my first baby 6 months prior when I answered an ad in the paper for a coaching position at Mission San Jose HS. Steve Strangio, Leo Sacramento, and I formed the coaching staff that year (1987). It was funny because we all happened to be MVP's in 1978 at the same meet and here we are coaching together-wierd how things happen in life. It was alot of fun. My biggest leasson that year was at a meet, I told a girl that I was going to put her on the 1600m relay. She was scared, but I told her I knew she would do great. So, later in the meet, the score was close,very close. I got scared and at the last minute, I replaced her with another girl.
I totally crushed that girl's self worth, she was crying in the locker room. I aplogized immensley, but the damage was done. She quit the team. i told myself that day that I would never put my team ahead of any individual's well-being. I lost the true meaning as to what I was trying to accomplish as a coach, I put the win first instead of the child. Big lesson learned that day-a life changing lesson.

4)  How did you end up at Yreka HS?  How long have you been there and what sports have you coached at Yreka HS?

I ended up in little Yreka in 1997 because of my husband's family. We visited Yreka over the summer's and we wanted to get out of the hectic life in Fremont. So, I applied for a job and luckily I got it. Never have I regretted my move here. I coahed volleyball for 2 years before getting the cross country position in 1999.

5)  What was the state of the Yreka HS cross country team when you first took over the team?  What did you have to change about the culture of the team?

When I first took over, it was reduced to a very small team. It had a great tradition of excellence established under the reigns of Jim Eckman. However, 15 kids on the whole team was not a good thing. It took me a few years to build my numbers up, but we had alot of success along the way. Not sure how many we won, but we did pretty well with league and section titles. I'd have to check with my A.D for the actual numbers.LOL
I think the biggest cultural change was the fact I was a female as they were use to a male coach and his coaching style. Also, I have the belief that running can be fun and hard work can be fun. Augie taught me that there must be a high expectations for your team and of yourself, but they can be acheived through hard work and alittle bit of goofiness and fun. Its that ability to "flip the switch" when work is called upon versus the fun that makes running so darn great. Runners are special people with a respect for each other's hard work in order to accomplish one's goals. We understand each other so well. I love runners.

6)  During your time coaching at Yreka HS, what have been some of your proudest team and individual accomplishments?

Honestly, the look in a athlete's face and their expressions of true joy when they run their best, and achieve a personal goal, is everything to me. That feeling of accomplishment is our high. It is why we do it. Not everyone can be first, but we all can have personal successes. I guess my personal accomplishment was in 2010 when my Section nominated me for Model Coach of the Year, and I won . That mean't a lot to me to have my peers acknowledge my hard work.

7)  What are your summer expectations for your cross country runners?

Run, Run, RUN is my expectation of them. Winning programs and individuals are made during the summers. Its only been the last two years that I have had the individuals, Kevin Jorgensen, Eric Neill, and Timmy Williams, Michaela Justice, Dakota Cash take this to the next level. They have influenced the others on our team to want to be the best. My captains are incharge of summer workouts, I just give them the program and they make it happen. They have been awesome.

8)  What are some of your team's key workouts during the season?  How much mileage do your top runners record during their highest week total?

Cruise intervals, long runs, hill repeats have been our focus. I like ladders and 400m interval workouts. The kids like hill workouts-they're weird. :) Top mileage will be reached next week with my top runners- 75 miles. Newbies top out at 50 miles a week. Double day workouts are a must through Aug-mid Oct.

9)  What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being a school competing in cross country in the North Section?

Advantages to competing in the Northern most section? The community backs you up 100%- it is their team, not just Yreka High School's team. It affords you an opportunity to build a close-knit team-we feel more like a family here-we have each other's backs, and I truly love each one of them.  Fresh air is a great asset-no smog here! Another advantage is we constantly compete in two States- sometimes in the same week! We are 30 minutes form the Oregon border, so we compete against some of the State's top teams.
Disadvantages?- of course, the travel. We drive 2 hours to our nearest league competitors. Though I'd like to believe we have a bunch of talented athletes here in our Section, it gives us a false sense of reality until I look on the dyestatcal site and realize we are not at the same level as most of the State. But , we do quite well despite our shortcomings.

10)  You have been involved at the state level in xc and track and field.  Can you tell us a little bit about that involvement.

Not sure what you mean by involvement at the State level? We have had many individuals and teams represented at the State Meet Championships over the years. Again, you'll have to talk to my A.D to get the numbers.
As an athlete myself, in 1978 State Championships, if you were to count the points of all the Cindergal athletes competing for their schools, we would have won that State Championship Title- interesting fact -huh? :)

11)  Your varsity boys are currently ranked 10th in state Division IV and just won the Castro Valley Invitational.  Besides some significant traveling, what else do you have to do as a coach in order for your team to compete well at the state meet?

We are now number #5!! Woohoo!! We have been training hard and I have been working on the mental and emotional stress that comes with their success and expectations. What is written on paper is cheap, it doesn't mean too much if you can't back it up. So, its great to be acknowledged, but we have a lot of work to do to live up to what is be written about us. Its about staying humble and appreciating the good things that come out of your hard work.

12)  Anything else you would like to add.

Lastly, Yreka is not on the coast!, we are on I-5, just north of Redding-look us up,come visit, stay and do some fishing and hunting with us!!

Thank you very much for your time Pam!  AJC

Riverbank High runners rally around mourning teammate (SJS)

Clovis Invitational coverage by

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Northern California Top Individuals (Boys and Girls)

1.  Luis Luna Piner NCS
2.  Kevin Bishop Monta Vista CCS
3.  Jordon Rushing Del Campo SJS
4.  Alex Conner Sonoma NCS
5.  John Lawson Sir Francis Drake NCS
6.  Dan Stalters Northgate NCS
7.  Richard Ho Leland CCS
8.  Connor Clark University NCS
9.  Jack Bordoni Bellarmine CCS
10.  Yohanes Estifanos Milpitas CCS

Honorable Mention (In Alphabetical Order)
Trent Brendel Granite Bay SJS
Jamie Ferhnstrom Miramonte NCS
Grant Foster Los Gatos CCS
Trevor Furhiman Monte Vista NCS
Aiden Goltra Las Lomas NCS
Sean Jagerson Del Campo SJS
Cody Johnson San Lorenzo Valley CCS
Thomas Joyce Campolindo NCS
Tyler Mercado Del Campo SJS
Aubrey Myjer Mountain View CCS
Jack Scranton Davis SJS
Jaime Silva Piner NCS
Justin Tucker Wilcox CCS
Hunter Tyler Woodcreek SJS
Chris Waschura Woodside CCS

1.  Carrie Verdon Campolindo NCS
2.  Karlie Garcia Oakmont SJS
3.  Nikki Hiltz Aptos CCS
4.  Anna Maxwell San Lorenzo Valley CCS
5.  Madeleine Ankhelyi Vista del Lago SJS
6.  Vanessa Estrada Hollister CCS
7.  Christine Bayliss San Ramon Valley NCS
8.  Vanessa Fraser Scotts Valley CCS
9.  Nicole Lane El Molino NCS
10.  Bridget Blum University NCS

Honorable Mention (In Alphabetical Order)
Marisa Carino Oakmont SJS
Lauren Croshaw Aragon CCS
Maryann Gong Granada NCS
Kylie Goo Westmoor CCS
Kat Gregory Woodside Priory CCS
Becky Hobby Hughson SJS
Morgan Lira Valley Christian SJ CCS
Julia Maxwell Branson NCS
Spencer Moore St. Mary's Berkeley NCS
Carina Novell Granada NCS
Jena Pianin Amador Valley NCS
Holland Reynolds University NCS
Allison Sturges Mountain View CCS
Anna Welsh Monterey CCS
Jenny Xu Monta Vista CCS

Comments welcome and encouraged.  Who should move up?  Who is missing?  Who is on the cusp of making either list?

2011 Castro Valley Invitational Results...

Northern California Cross Country Newspaper Coverage...

Saturday, October 08, 2011

2011 Crystal Springs Invitational complete results...

Clovis Invitational Results

Preliminary Crystal Springs Invitational Results

Championship Varsity Boys' Race
1)  Kevin Bishop Monta Vista 15:12
2)  Luis Luna Piner 15:14
3)  Richard Ho Leland 15:15
4)  Connor Clark University 15:19
5)  Cody Johnson SLV 15:35
6)  Jaime Silva Piner 15:35
7)  Nick Hicks SLV 15:36
8)  Efren Reyes Piner 15:37
9)  Thomas Anthony Cupertino 15:40
10)  Ruben Collins San Benito 15:41

1)  Piner 64
2)  Carlmont 84
3)  San Benito 92
4)  SLV 119
5)  Leland 181
6)  Carmel 194
7)  Alisal 200
8)  Cupertino 210
9)  Maria Carrillo 215
10)  University 240

Boys' Varsity Race
1)  Neilson Powless Victory Christian 15:46 (freshman)
2)  Michael McCabe Willow Glen 15:58
3)  William Chen Lowell 15:59
4)  Bryan Tena Salinas 16:00
5)  Edgar Garcia Watsonville 16:07
6)  Nolan Petersen Washington 16:15
7)  David Aguilar Oak Grove 16:17
8)  Alex Farmer Stevenson 16:20
9)  Joey Morris San Rafael 16:21
10)  Michael Basuini Willow Glen 16:23

1)  Willow Glen 107
2)  San Rafael 130
3)  Lowell 163
4)  Salinas 172
5)  Leigh 212
6)  Tulare Western 231
7)  Silver Creek 266
8)  North Monterey County 271
9)  Palma 283
10)  Robert Louis Stevenson 316

Girls' Varsity Race
1)  San Lorenzo Valley 87
2)  University 111
3)  Maria Carillo 143
4)  Carlmont 183
5)  San Benito 191
6)  Piner 264
7)  Tulare Western 288
8)  Scotts Valley 310
9)  Gilroy 334
10)  Aptos 335

Missing girls individuals.  I will post them ASAP.  Some very fast times up front.  Nikki Hiltz of Aptos won the race in 17:04 which is the 8th fastest time ever on the course.  
You can check out the list of times at the following link:

Today's Northern California Cross Country Invitationals

08 - Castro Valley Trojan Invitational @ Canyon Middle Scool (NCS)
08 - Clovis Invitational @ Woodward Park, Clovis (Statewide)
08 - Crystal Springs Invitational @ Crystal Springs, Belmont (CCS)
08 - Deer Valley Invitational @ Deer Valley HS, Antioch (NCS)

08 - The Other Meet Invit'l @ Granite Regional Park, Sacramento (SJS)
08 - Whitney Invitational @ William Jessup University Course, Rocklin (SJS)

I will be at the Crystal Springs Invitational today.  I will try to tweet some of the top times from there.  You can find me on twitter at!/CCExpress

Friday, October 07, 2011

Catching up with Woodcreek HS coach, Terri McKillop...

 Today we chat with Woodcreek HS coach, Terri McKillop (picture to the left courtesy of the Woodcreek HS track and field site at  In the latest ESPN Rise state meet rankings, her boys' team is currently ranked 10th in Division II.  They finished in 2nd place at the Stanford Invitational behind section rival Bella Vista HS by a score of 101 to 115 and recorded the 8th fastest team time overall at the meet.  The Woodcreek girls finished in 1st place at Stanford and had the 13th best team time overall.  They are currently not ranked in state in the uber competitive Division II field but with only 7 Southern Section schools that can qualify to the state meet, Woodcreek will have a great shot of breaking into the top 10 come late November at Woodward Park.

1)  What sports did you participate during your youth and through college?  Favorite sport?
There were no organized sports for girls when I was young so I grew up playing baseball and football with the neighborhood boys.  My dad was transferred to McClellan AFB the end of my 8th grade year (1970) and that was the first time I ever got a chance to participate in athletics.  I ran 8th grade track and loved it but unfortunately there wasn't track or cross country for girls in high school.  I played tennis, basketball and softball for the first teams ever for girls in the San Juan Unified School district.  In college, I played Field Hockey, Basketball and Softball because they didn't offer track for the women.  My favorite sport was field hockey because it was a running sport and I loved the ability to actually get to run!!

2)  What led you into teaching and coaching?  What is the most rewarding part of teaching?
I always loved playing sports and learning about staying fit and I naturally gravitated that way in college, I started out pre-med and learned quickly that I didn't want to be in college that long to be a doctor!  The most rewarding part of teaching is seeing my students "get it" for the first time and when they come back years later and thank you for helping them and believing in them.

3)  What other sports have you coached besides cross country and track and field?
I have coached just about everything.  I started out as a rec program coach of flag football and then coached and taught swimming for 5 years.  My first teaching job led me into JV Volleyball, JV Basketball and Varsity Softball.  I moved to Roseville in 1989 with my husband and started coaching Track & Field because it was a better fit for me as a young mother with two small boys.

4)  How did you end up at Woodcreek HS and when did you start there?
I moved from Roseville HS to Woodcreek the year it opened in 1994-95.  I transferred so I could be a department coordinator and be a Cross Country and Track coach.  I was an assistant Cross country coach until 1998 when I officially took over the program.

5)  Who have been your mentors when it comes to coaching distance runners?

I have had many mentors through the years.  I have watched and learned from great coaches such as Bob King and Walt Lange and have spent many hours talking with other great coaches in the area.  My sister Shannon Sweeney and her husband Tim Minor(Galena) have encouraged and given advice through the years but most importantly my assistant coach and good friend Jeff Hildebrandt has been my mentor and supporter from the start.  He keeps me centered and grounded and has been a great confidence booster.  His knowledge of training and racing is the best around, having been an Oregon State runner and Oregon national champion in high school.

6)  Your teams have been quite successful in recent years including a highly successful Stanford Invitational last week.  Can you identify some runners at Woodcreek HS that helped elevate the program to what it is today?

Well, it takes that first good runner to set the example of what "CAN" be accomplished and we have been blessed with quite a few great runners to kick start the program.  Matt Johnsrud, Calvin Glass, Cameron Mitchell, Chris Romo, Garrett Seawell, Lauren Mulkey, Alex Ciaraglia, Courtney Crosta to name a few have set numerous records and competed at the state and college level.  They have done a lot to get our program noticed and to help set the examples of hard work and integrity.

7)  What are your expectations for your runners during the summer?
We run a full summer training program that meets four nights a week and Saturday morning long run for advanced runners.  We encourage all runners to participate as much as they can and we require our varsity runners to be a part of the summer program if they want to be on the fall roster.  We try to run one to two summer camps for additional team bonding.  We believe that summer training is the first step in "Commitment."  It also allows us to build relationships with the athletes and for the athletes to build relationships with each other.  It helps us foster our core values of  Integrity, Character, Commitment and Respect. (ICCR)

8)  What does a typical week look like for your team early season?  Mid season?  Late Season?  Key workouts?
Well we believe the season starts in June and early base training is the key to developing a strong program, our summer consists of purely base training, no workouts sprinkled with fun in the water, camping and group picnics.  We move into the early season with two double-days and two long recovery days with one cross training day and a long run or hill run on Saturdays with an emphasize on strength.  Mid season stays about the same with alterations for key meets and the start of speed components, going into the late season with moderate runs and speed taking a bigger role.  Key Workouts.....Lots of hill repeats, mile repeats, 100's, 800's and interval minute on/off workouts.  They are all key areas to work on for well rounded runners.

9)  When it comes to the SJS, what are the key courses and most popular invitationals?
Well, we love Stanford and Clovis to get the athletes ready for state competition, but try to run at least twice on the Section course at Willow Hills.  Our kids love the 4000 meets at Del Oro and league championships at William Jessup and have added the Hornet Invitational as an early season look at the competition.  We try to train out at Willow hill quite a bit even though it is an hour commute, but feel it is worth it for the athletes to see the course a couple of times outside of racing.

10)  I asked earlier about the most rewarding part of teaching.  What about coaching?

Running with athletes, and watching them finally figure out what Cross Country is all about.  I love the bonding and the small teaching moments you get on a 10 mile run.  I love seeing how committed the kids are to the program and each other.  I love the whole nature of the sport, where everybody is important and a crucial part of the team.  I could go on and on, but it is the most rewarding sport I have ever coached and it is a privilege to watch the runners develop into such awesome young women and men.

11)  What is your advice for a new coach who wants to establish a competitive program at their current school?
Be consistent and fair.  Set your standards high and stick to them. Treat all your athletes the same regardless of their talent.  If you would pull a mediocre runner for missing practice then make sure the #1 runner is held to the same standard.  Be willing to give up your summer and Saturdays to build your program, and do the little extra things, like team dinners, group outing to the lake, etc.  Finally, try to run as much as you can on dirt trails, even if you have to drive a little!

12)  Anything else you would like to add.
No. I think that covers it!

Thank you very much for your time Terri!  AJC

Northern California Cross Country Newspaper Coverage...

CCS Results from 10/6/11

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Jim Tracy BAC Challenge Results

Here are the results of today's meet at Golden Gate Park which featured many of the top Division V teams and individuals from the Bay Area Conference, NCS and California.  The results are courtesy of
Boys Varsity:
Girls Varsity:
Boys Frosh/Soph:
Girls Frosh/Soph:

Also from the North Bay, check our results as posted on the

NCS Mid-Season Rankings (October 5, 2011)

Here is my best attempt to rank all the NCS teams in each division at this point in the season.  I tried as best I can to rank teams based on what they have accomplished so far and not project to the future.  Feel free to comment on these rankings at the link below. Your opinions are encouraged.  On the bubble teams are listed alphabetically.

Division I

1)  De La Salle
2)  Amador Valley
3)  Granada
4)  Santa Rosa
5)  Monte Vista
On the bubble:  Heritage, James Logan, Mission San Jose

1)  Granada
2)  Amador Valley 
3)  Monte Vista
4)  Castro Valley
5)  Livermore 
On the bubble: Freedom, James Logan, Santa Rosa

Division II
1)  San Ramon Valley
2)  Maria Carrillo
3)  Alameda
4)  Dougherty Valley
5)  Clayton Valley
On the bubble:  College Park, who else?

1)  Maria Carrillo
2)  College Park
3)  Dougherty Valley 
4)  Alameda
5)  San Ramon Valley
On the bubble:  Carondelet, Casa Grande, Clayton Valley

Division III

1)  Campolindo
2)  Piner
3)  Miramonte
4)  Las Lomas
5)  Redwood
On the bubble: Acalanes, Bishop O'Dowd who else?


1)  Campolindo
2)  Acalanes 
3)  Redwood
4)  Las Lomas
5)  Piner
On the bubble: Miramonte, Northgate, Petaluma, Tamalpais

Division IV

1)  St. Mary's Berkeley
2)  Drake
3)  Cardinal Newman
4)  San Rafael
5)  Marin Catholic
On the bubble:  Arcata, Moreau Catholic, Piedmont, Terra Linda

Girls (I honestly have no idea after Drake.  I listed the rest of the teams in alphabetical order)
1) Arcata
2)  Drake

x)  Marin Catholic
x) Moreau Catholic
x)  Piedmont
x)  San Marin
x)  St. Mary's Berkeley
x)  Terra Linda

Division V

1)  St. Joseph Notre Dame
2)  University
3)  Sonoma Academy
4)  Athenian
5)  Marin Academy
On the bubble:  College Prep, Lick Wilmerding, Urban

1)  University
2)  Urban
2)  Marin Academy
3)  College Prep
4)  Branson
On the bubble:  ConventLick Wilmerding

Feel free to comment on the rankings in the section below. Remember, this is just a starting point. If you feel strongly about a team that should be moved higher or is not even listed, please back up your strong feelings with results.  Thank you in advance for your help.

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