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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top NorCal Teams (Boys and Girls) heading into CA State XC Meet
Combined times at above link are based on the following as found at
1 - Only Section marks were used.                         
2 - No consideration was made based on weather. 
3 - All times are based on Woodward Park times:           
    Based on a 19:00 girl and a 16:00 boy.

    CCS (Toro)     - * 1.001, about -:01 for girls, -:01 for guys
    CCS (Crystal)  - * 1.024, about :23 for girls, :19 for guys
    NCS (Hayward)  - * 1.038 & 1.033, about :41 for girls, :30 for guys
    SJS (Willow)   - * .957 & .9646, about -:49 for girls, -:34 for guys
    CS  (Woodward) - N/A
    NS  (West Vly) - * 1.008 & 1.027, about :08 for girls, :25 for guys
    SF  (GGP)      - * .9605 & .9635, about -:45 for girls, -:35 for guys
    Oak (JM Park)  - * .8636 & .8947, about -3:00 for girls, -2:00 for guys
    SS  (MSAC)     - * 1.0229 & 1.0208, about :25 for girls, :20 for guys
    SS  (MSAC-rain)- * .9842 & .9594, about -:18 for girls, -:39 for guys
    SDS (Morley)   - * 1.0877 & .976, about 1:40 for girls (2.75mi), -:37 for guys (3.04mi)
    LA  (rain 5K)  - * 1 & 1, about :00 for girls, :00 for guys

Monday, November 21, 2011

Catching up with Amador Valley HS runner, Jena Pianin...

Today we chat with Amador Valley HS junior runner, Jena Pianin who this past Saturday won the NCS Division I race with the 3rd fastest overall time in any division.  Her time of 17:41 trailed only Carrie Verdon of Campolindo and Julia Maxwell of Branson who are both favorites going into the state meet to win their respective divisions.  At her previous two NCS MOC XC meets, Pianin finished in 11th place as a freshman and 7th place as a sophomore.  Last year during track, Pianin placed 4th in the 3200 at the NCS MOC to qualify for her first state track meet.

1) What other sports have you played besides cross country and track and field?
Besides running I did ballet when I was younger.

2) When and how did you get your start in xc and track?
I started track in 8th grade at Harvest Park Middle School. In 8th grade I moved to California from Massachusetts. I joined track to meet new people and ended up loving it!

3) What was the first success that you remember in each sport?
The first success I had was during 8th grade at the middle school time trial. I ran the mile and really surprised myself when I ran a 5:52. That’s where I fell in love with racing; I was hooked!

4) What were some of your highlights during your freshman season at AV in xc and track?
Freshman year, my biggest highlights were winning MVP and being the number one runner on the varsity squad, but most importantly meeting all my AMAZING teammates! During track, my biggest highlight was breaking Amador’s 3200m school record.

5) What about sophomore year? What are your current track and field prs for 400, 800, 1600 and 3200?
Sophomore year my highlights included qualifying for state in XC and track, and improving my school’s 3200m record throughout the track season. My PR’s are: 400m: 62(split), 800m (2:21), 1600m (5:02), 3200m (10:48).

6) What did you do differently this summer training wise to prepare for this current xc season?
Training smarter and more regularly over the summer really helped me prepare for the long XC season. Most importantly, cross training, eating right, and working out twice a day helped me build a good foundation going into this year.

7) What was your highest weekly mileage during the season? What was your toughest workout? What does a typical week look like for you with a Saturday race?
My highest mileage this season is 55 miles per week. My toughest workout would be hill repeats.

8) Tell us a little about your coach and how he has helped you become the runner you are today.
Coach Ozzie (Jason Oswalt) is extremely knowledgeable, down to earth, and easy to talk to. Coach Ozzie helps me come up with race plans that I can stick to. My other coach, Coach Huff, is an amazing motivator and has shown me how to really believe in my ability. He makes me aspire higher every day.

9) Favorite xc course? Favorite xc invitational? Favorite distance run? Favorite xc workout? Favorite track event? Favorite track invitational? Favorite track workout?
Surprisingly, I don’t have any favorites. Each race, workout, and invite offers a new and exciting challenge.

10) What was your plan going into the NCS race and how did the plan unfold once the gun went off?
My plan going into NCS was to run smart and stick with the leaders. When the gun went off, I stayed focused and in a competitive mind set.

11) You ran at the state meet last year. How do you think that experience will help you at this year's state meet?
Last year, I didn’t know what to expect, but this year, I’m ready to have the best race possible to help the team. I hope I can make state my best race to date!

Thank you very much for your time Jena!  AJC

CCS Champions Collage...

Thanks to Hank Lawson

Sunday, November 20, 2011

NCS Pictures and Videos...

Blair Hurlock talks about placing 12th at the PAUSATF XC Championships

Blair Hurlock, sophomore at De La Salle HS in Concord, CA, placed 12th at the PAUSATF Championships in Golden Gate Park on November 20, 2011. His time was 32:36 for the 6 mile course.

Campolindo HS video from NCS meet yesterday

Final kick by Seawell pushes American River College to state cross country title

NCS MOC XC Newspaper Coverage, hot off the presses!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NCS XC Meet of Champions '11 Data...

Boys' 1st team All-NCS
 1    1    Thomas Joyce (12)               NCS-Campolindo           14:58.0  4:49  D3
 2    2    Luis Luna (12)                  NCS-Piner                15:03.0  4:51  D3
 3    3    Parker Deuel (12)               NCS-San Ramon Valley     15:05.0  4:51  D2
 4    4    Gabe Arias-Sherida (10)         NCS-St. Joseph Notre Dam 15:16.0  4:55  D5
 5    5    John Lawson (11)                NCS-Sir Francis Drake    15:17.0  4:55  D4
 6    6    Alex Conner (12)                NCS-Sonoma Valley        15:17.0  4:55  D3
 7    7    Paul Holden (11)                NCS-Ukiah                15:20.0  4:56  D2

Boys' 2nd team All-NCS
 8    8    Jaime Silva (11)                NCS-Piner                15:21.0  4:57  D3
 9    9    Tyler Troxel (12)               NCS-Acalanes             15:23.0  4:57  D3
 10   10   Nolan Tonkyn (12)               NCS-Albany               15:25.0  4:58  D3
 11   11   Nick Ratto (12)                 NCS-St. Joseph Notre Dam 15:28.0  4:59  D5
 12   12   Vinson Compestine (12)          NCS-Campolindo           15:29.0  4:59  D3
 13   13   Keith Geiger (12)               NCS-Campolindo           15:29.0  4:59  D3
 14   14   Danny Stalters (11)             NCS-Northgate            15:30.0  5:00  D3

Boys' 3rd team All-NCS
 15   15   Connor Clark (11)               NCS-S. F. University     15:32.0  5:00  D5
 16   16   Trevor Reinhart (9)             NCS-Marin Academy        15:34.0  5:01  D5
 17   17   Michael Tomasi (12)             NCS-Santa Rosa           15:37.0  5:02  D1
 18   18   Tommy Warfel (12)               NCS-Redwood              15:39.0  5:02  D3
 19   19   Dillon Read (11)                NCS-Miramonte            15:40.0  5:03  D3
 20   20   Lorenzo Galindo (11)            NCS-Arroyo               15:41.0  5:03  D2
 21   21   Evan Molineux (12)              NCS-De La Salle          15:42.0  5:03  D1
 22   22   Matt DeVries (11)               NCS-San Ramon Valley     15:42.0  5:03  D2
 23   23   Joe Carrillo (12)               NCS-Cloverdale           15:42.0  5:03  D5
 24   24   Andrew Melendez (10)            NCS-Bishop O'dowd        15:42.0  5:03  D3 

Honorable Mention
 25   25   Andrew Henn (12)                NCS-Tamalpais            15:43.0  5:04  D3
 26   26   Jamie Fehrnstrom (12)           NCS-Miramonte            15:44.0  5:04  D3
 27   27   Fred Huxham (10)                NCS-Redwood              15:44.0  5:04  D3
 28   28   Gavin Ramos (12)                NCS-Las Lomas            15:44.0  5:04  D3
 29   29   Tyler Hanson (11)               NCS-Miramonte            15:46.0  5:05  D3
 30   30   Carl Wilke (11)                 NCS-San Ramon Valley     15:47.0  5:05  D2
 31   31   Duc Nguyen (11)                 NCS-Alameda              15:47.0  5:05  D2
 32   32   Adam White (12)                 NCS-Arroyo               15:47.0  5:05  D2

Girls' 1st team All-NCS
 1    1    Carrie Verdon (12)              NCS-Campolindo           16:57.0  5:28  D3
 2    2    Julia Maxwell (10)              NCS-Branson              17:40.0  5:41  D5
 3    3    Jena Pianin (11)                NCS-Amador Valley        17:41.0  5:42  D1
 4    4    Nicole Lane (12)                NCS-El Molino            17:43.0  5:42  D4
 5    5    Spencer Moore (10)              NCS-St. Mary's College H 17:45.0  5:43  D4
 6    6    Christine Bayliss (9)           NCS-San Ramon Valley     17:47.0  5:44  D2
 7    7    Diribe Abdo (9)                 NCS-Berkeley             17:49.0  5:44  D1

Girls' 2nd team All-NCS
 8    8    Bridget Blum (12)               NCS-S. F. University     17:55.0  5:46  D5
 9    9    Megan McMillan (11)             NCS-Campolindo           18:02.0  5:49  D3
 10   10   Holland Reynolds (12)           NCS-S. F. University     18:06.0  5:50  D5
 11   11   Annie Marggraff (11)            NCS-Acalanes             18:09.0  5:51  D3
 12   12   Carina Novell (12)              NCS-Granada              18:16.0  5:53  D1
 13   13   Amy Hollshwandner (11)          NCS-Acalanes             18:16.0  5:53  D3
 14   14   Maryann Gong (11)               NCS-Granada              18:17.0  5:53  D1

Girls' 3rd team All-NCS
 15   15   Natalie Dimits (12)             NCS-Livermore            18:19.0  5:54  D1
 16   16   Ashley Moffett (11)             NCS-Casa Grande          18:20.0  5:54  D2
 17   17   Mary Orders (9)                 NCS-Campolindo           18:20.0  5:54  D3
 18   18   Rachel Johnson (9)              NCS-Campolindo           18:21.0  5:55  D3
 19   19   Sarah Perrin (11)               NCS-James Logan          18:24.0  5:56  D1
 20   20   Anna Harleen (10)               NCS-Branson              18:28.0  5:57  D5
 21   21   Tiffany Monsalud (12)           NCS-James Logan          18:29.0  5:57  D1
 22   22   Kyra Johnson (12)               NCS-Piner                18:29.0  5:57  D3

Honorable Mention
 23   23   Jennie Callan (11)              NCS-S. F. University     18:30.0  5:58  D5
 24   24   Kelly Collins (11)              NCS-Acalanes             18:31.0  5:58  D3
 25        Julia Gullikson (12)            NCS-Holy Names           18:36.0  6:00  D5
 26   25   Andrea Natoli (9)               NCS-Maria Carrillo       18:37.0  6:00  D2
 27   26   Lauren Kraus (11)               NCS-Maria Carrillo       18:37.0  6:00  D2
 28   27   Tara Bozzini (10)               NCS-Acalanes             18:38.0  6:00  D3
 29   28   Kendall Stuscavage (11)         NCS-College Park         18:39.0  6:00  D2
 30   29   Liz Hebel (12)                  NCS-San Ramon Valley     18:39.0  6:00  D2

Combined boys and girls (teams and individuals)

Will update these teams times momentarily.
Fastest boys' team times at Hayward from 1999, 2001, '02, '04-'11

1) Campolindo '11 77:53

2) Campolindo '08 77:55
3) Petaluma '08 78:02
4) San Ramon Valley '11 78:29
5) Piner '11 78:346) Petaluma '07 78:52
7) Monte Vista '07 78:59
8) San Ramon Valley '09 79:06
9) Castro Valley '09 79:08
10) College Park '08 79:25

Fastest girs' team times at Hayward from 1999, 2001, '02, '04-'11
1) Campolindo '11 90:29
2) Carondelet '06 91:47
3)  Campolindo '10 91:48 
4) Carondelet '07 92:14
5) Maria Carrillo '04 92:42
6) Bishop O'Dowd '04 92:46
7) Livermore '08 92:54
8) Acalanes '11 92:58
9) Montgomery '02 93:19
10) Maria Carrillo '09 93:25

Fastest #1 Runner

Thomas Joyce (12)  Campolindo #1 14:58

Fastest #2 Runner
Jaime Silva (11) Piner #2 15:21               
Fastest #3 Runner
Keith Geiger (12) Campolindo #3 15:29
Fastest #4 Runner
Adam Hathaway (11) Campolindo #4 15:50
Fastest #5 Runner
Nicca Baumann (12) San Ramon Valley #5 16:04
Fastest #6 Runner
Zekaryas Mebrahtu (12) Piner #6 16:15
Fastest #7 Runner
Trevor Holmgren (12) San Ramon Valley #7 16:34

Fastest #1 Runner
Carrie Verdon (12) Campolindo #1 16:57
Fastest #2 Runner
Megan McMillan (11) Campolindo #2 18:01
Fastest #3 Runner
Mary Orders (9) Campolindo #3 18:09
Fastest #4 Runner
Rachel Johnson (9) Campolindo #4 18:21
Fastest #5 Runner
Brighie Leach (9) Campolindo #5 18:49
Fastest #6 Runner
Brooke Martini (12) Campolindo #6 19:28
Fastest #7 Runner
Kyra Ruegg (10) Acalanes #7 19:59

Teams Qualifying Both Boys and Girls Teams to State Meet
Amador Valley (Div. I)
San Ramon Valley (Division II)
Maria Carrillo (Division II)
Campolindo (Division III)
Redwood (Division III)
St. Mary's Berkeley (Division IV)

NCS Team Champions '11 (Videos and pictures already posted with more to come)

Division IV Girls-Arcata HS
Division V Girls-University HS
Division IV Boys-St. Mary's, Berkeley
Division V Boys-St. Joseph Notre Dame
Division I Girls-Granada HS
Division II Boys-San Ramon Valley HS
Division III Girls-Campolindo HS
Division I Boys-De La Salle HS
Division II Girls-Maria Carrillo HS
Division III Boys-Campolindo HS

NCS MOC XC Meet at Hayward HS today

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NCS Preview by

Check out interviews with Amador Valley coach Jason Oswalt, Livermore coach Ed Salazar, Miramonte coach Alison Zamanian, Bishop O'Dowd coach Andrew Cheng, Alameda coach Nino Hernandez, Moreau Catholic coach Enrique Henriquez, St. Joseph Notre Dame coach Tony Fong, St. Mary's Berkeley boys' coach Jeff Rogers and St. Mary's Berkeley girls' coach Denis Mohun.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fastest team times at Hayward HS course

Fastest boys' team times at Hayward from 1999, 2001, '02, '04, '05, '06, '07, '08, '09 and '10
1) Campolindo '08 77:55
2) Petaluma '08 78:02
3) Petaluma '07 78:52
4) Monte Vista '07 78:59
5) San Ramon Valley '09 79:06
6) Castro Valley '09 79:08
7) College Park '08 79:25
8) Amador Valley '08 79:35
9) De La Salle '05 79:36
10) Petaluma '09 79:40
For 2010-Petaluma 79:46

Fastest girs' team times at Hayward from 1999, 2001, '02, '04, '05, '06, '07, '08, '09 and '10
1) Carondelet '06 91:47
2)  Campolindo '10 91:48
3) Carondelet '07 92:14

4) Maria Carrillo '04 92:42
5) Bishop O'Dowd '04 92:46
6) Livermore '08 92:54
7) Montgomery '02 93:19
8) Maria Carrillo '09 93:25
9) College Park '02 93:26
10) Miramonte '05 93:28

NorCal Newspaper Article links...

Athlete of the Week — Kohn finishes what he started (CCS)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Catching up with Bella Vista coach, Brett Sargent

Today we chat with Bella Vista HS (SJS) coach Brett Sargent.  In three years, Brett has turned Bella Vista from an average cross country program with 16 athletes to a team that now has both boys and girls qualified for this year's California State meet in Division II.  His boys' team is currently ranked 10th  Brett did not grow up running but instead delved in other sports so it's interesting to hear how he has evolved into a distance running coach.  
1)  What sports did you participate in during your youth?  Highlights?I played football, basketball, and baseball through my youth years.  The highlights include two trips to the National tournament in basketball with a third place finish the summer before my senior year.  I played on a team with the Mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson.  I also left my alma mater, Del Campo, being the third leading scorer in the history of the school in basketball.  Needless to say, with the invention of the three point line I am no longer number three… haha.
2)  Who were your high school coaches and tell us a little about their impact on you?
My varsity basketball coach was also my Precalculus teacher my junior year and he had a great influence on me.  He was so inspiring that I became a basketball coach and a math teacher, following in his footsteps.  My high school baseball coach also had a great impact on me because he taught me the value of hard work and that it would eventually pay off.
3)  From your own experiences as an athlete, what do you feel you learned then that help you as a coach today?I learned that hard work and perseverance are the most important traits to success.  A little talent never hurt either.. haha.  I learned how to be a leader by playing sports as a youngster.  There is no better way to learn how to lead than to play sports and be a captain of a team.  It taught me how to get along with people and how to motivate people, which are key components to being a good coach.  From my days of training in triathlon I learned that it is better to be 10% undertrained than 1% overtrained… that sometimes merely getting to the line for a race is better than being injured and missing the race altogether.  That was a hard lesson for me to learn... I am a bit of a type A personality and I tended to overtrain.  In coaching I tend to error on the cautious side so that my runners will be lifelong runners and not just good high school runners who burn out after they graduate.
4)  What led you into teaching and coaching?  What do you teach and what sports have you coached?My experiences in high school and college athletics led me into coaching.  I started coaching my second year in college. I coached high school basketball at the JV level at my alma mater, Del Campo.    Over the next five years I coached JV basketball, freshmen baseball, and Varsity girls and boys volleyball.  I eventually moved to the community college level where I coached a men’s volleyball team at American River College that finished third in the state in my second year at the school.  I “retired” from coaching when my son was born in order to spend more time with my family.  When my son turned six he started racing triathlon and it was time to come out of “retirement” and coach again.  Along with my close friend, Jack Powless, we started the first kid’s triathlon team here in the Sacramento area.  I have taught math for 22 years and have been a math teacher at BV for 18 of those years.  I am also the co-department chair of the math department at BV.  I am a math teacher first and a coach second… most of the time…
 5)  How did you get involved with the Bella Vista HS XC and track programs?When my son entered BV as a freshman (2009) he was forced to make a decision between running and playing soccer, and he chose to run.  At that point I felt like I needed to get involved in the program here at BV and try to make it the most positive experience that I could for the runners in the program.  There were 12 boys and 4 girls on the team when I first got involved with the program, and my goal was to build as big and as competitive of a program as I could.  We now have 35 boys and 20 girls on the team and we are hoping to grow even more next year. 
6)  From when you started coaching to now, who would you include on your list of mentors?In my 30’s I started racing triathlon and was fortunate enough to meet some great people who are experts in training.  As I mentioned before I spent a lot of time with Jack Powless who has competed in fifteen or so Ironman triathlons.  I also had the privilege of training and racing with TBF (Total Body Fitness) owned by Mark Shaw and Bill Driskill.  I learned a great deal about training and racing as well as cross training from these gurus of the multi-sport world.  When I got the job at BV I was able to wrangle Harold Kuphaldt into helping me with the program.  He was a great runner here at BV and at the University of Oregon.  His enthusiasm and positive energy helped me create a fun team atmosphere to build the program.  Two years ago I was lucky enough to begin working with a new girls coach, Melanie Cleland.  She came on board, and after a bit of an adjustment period we have been able to work really well together.  Melanie is a very accomplished runner in her own right and is a master at writing training programs.  She works really well with both the boys and girls and has been an invaluable resource for me.  I give her tons of credit for our success this year! 
7)  What do you feel are your strengths as a coach?I believe my strengths as a cross country coach are my organization and willingness to learn at all times.  I pride myself on having our program run as smoothly as possible.  I send out many (too many some of our parents would say) emails with information on all things cross country.  We have a great team camp in the summer that I am in charge of, and our annual trip to Southern California also falls on my shoulders to organize.  My second strength as a coach is that I am always looking for a better way to do things to make my program a better place for the runners.  I recently spent an hour or so talking with the Woodcreek coach (Terri) about how they have built such a strong team, and came away with some great ideas about some changes I can make in my own program to encourage success in my runners.  Whether it be teaching math or coaching cross country, I am always looking for a better way to make my runners/students more successful. 
8)  Your boys won the Division II Stanford race while your girls finished in 2nd place in their race.  What do you feel have been the keys to getting your teams to compete at this high level?We are lucky here at BV to have a great situation where we have 8 varsity runners who all have similar ability at the top level of our team.  These kids have been training together for three years now, and run every day together as a unit.  It’s much easier to push yourself if you have people around you that you have to keep up with.  The girls team has a similar situation with 5 of the varsity girls running together for the past three years.  We train the boys and girls teams together to utilize the number of runners we have been able to bring onto the team.  That, paired with the great workouts that Coach Cleland devises has helped make us a much better team in the last two years.
9)  What are your summer expectations for your runners? We expect our runners to run on their own in June.  When we start in July we expect everyone to make practices and run with the team.  We are very conservative with our mileage because we are still building the program.  If you look at our top seven runners they average about 125 pounds (soaking wet) so we are more concerned about injury than we might be if our runners were 150-160 pound kids. We averaged about 50 miles a week in our larger volume weeks this summer.  We also try to get as many of the kids to go to camp as possible.  Team camp is a blast and allows the coaches to bond with the kids and the kids to bond with each other.  The camp has grown “exponentially” over the past three years.  We had 23 runners the first year I took over the camp, 33 the next, and 44 runners last summer.

10)  What does a typical week look like for your team (with a mid-week league race)? (with a Saturday Invitational)?
We usually have two hard workouts during the week with a Saturday race.  Usually Monday is a strength workout involving hills and/or longer intervals.  The second hard workout is a shorter, faster interval workout to build speed.  These workouts vary depending on the time in the season but follow this pattern later in the year.  We also try to get in a long run sometime during the week.   If we have a mid-week race we count that as our strength workout and have only one interval workout that week.  Pretty conservative by most coaches standards, but it has seemed to work for us.  We are hoping our kids will peak in college and not be “tapped out” by the end of their high school career.
11)  Tell us a little about your experiences racing triathlon as well as your son's experience in the sport. As I said before, I started racing triathlon in my early 30’s.  I wasn’t coaching but still had the desire to compete.  I swam competitively as a kid, and was riding my bike a lot so triathlon seemed the most natural choice for competition.  I completed many triathlons with my longest being a Half Ironman.  After following me around and watching me race my son thought he would like to try one.  At the age of six Brynn raced his first triathlon.  It was hysterical to watch him swim one length of a pool, ride one mile, and run around the track one time for the total length of a triathlon!  At age seven, Brynn won the Ironkids National Championship and we realized that he might be pretty good at this.  We spent six more years traveling around the country watching him race triathlon.  It was a great time… and we were able to see the country!
12)  Anything else you would like to add.Thanks so much for allowing me this opportunity to introduce everyone to our program.  We are proud of what we have built here at BV.  A special thanks to the awesome parents that have supported our program and allow the coaches to work with their kids.  We have a great group of parents here at BV!
Thank you very much for your time Brett!  AJC

Davis Wins CCS Championship!

Nice article posted by Valley Christian SJ about their #1 runner Sean Davis (on the left) and his Div. III victory this past Saturday.  This is his first cross country season in high school following three years of Football in the fall.

Monday, November 14, 2011

NCS Rankings going into NCS Meet of Champions

I will once again be writing up the preview article for the NCS Meet of Champions this year.  Below are the stripped down version of the rankings (without commentary).  I would love to get everybody's thoughts on all the divisions and who are the top contenders (teams and individuals).  Any help would be great appreciated.  Please help rank the following teams and speak up if you see any errors!  Did I miss anybody?  Who should move up or down?

Division I Boys
1.  Amador Valley
2.  De La Salle
3.  Granada
4.  Monte Vista
5.  Santa Rosa
On the bubble:  Livermore, Castro Valley.

Division I Girls
1.  Granada
2.  Amador Valley
3.  Monte Vista
4.  James Logan
5.  Livermore
On the bubble:  Castro Valley, Santa Rosa, Berkeley.

Division II Boys
1.  San Ramon Valley
2.  Alameda
3.  Maria Carrillo
4.  Dougherty Valley
5.  American
On the bubble:  Arroyo, Clayton Valley, Casa Grande.

Division II Girls
1.  Maria Carrillo
2.  Alameda
3.  College Park
4.  San Ramon Valley
5.  Dougherty Valley
On the bubble:  Clayton Valley, Washington, Casa Grande.

Division III Boys
1.  Piner
2.  Campolindo
3.  Miramonte
4.  Redwood
5.  Bishop O'Dowd
On the bubble:  Las Lomas, Tamalpais.

Division III Girls
1.  Campolindo
2.  Acalanes
3.  Redwood
4.  Las Lomas
5.  Bishop O'Dowd
On the bubble:  Tamalpais, Piner, Miramonte.

Division IV Boys
1.  St. Mary's Berkeley
2.  Sir Francis Drake
3.  Cardinal Newman
4.  Moreau Catholic
5.  Piedmont
On the bubble:  Arcata, San Rafael, Marin Catholic.

Division IV Girls
1.  Arcata
2.  St. Mary's Berkeley
3.  Piedmont
4.  Sir Francis Drake
5.  Marin Catholic
On the bubble:  Moreau Catholic

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

Division V Girls
1.  University
2.  College Prep
3.  Urban
4.  Lick Wilmerding
5.  Marin Academy
On the bubble:  Branson, Head Royce, Sonoma Academy.

Thank you in advance for your help.

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