Thursday, May 31, 2012

2012 CIF-State Meet Preview

Anybody that should have been included in the preview?  Who are the best hopes for NorCal victories at the state meet and in what events?  Who is going to get on the podium?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Catching up with University HS senior runner, Bridget Blum...

Today we chat with University HS senior, Bridget Blum (photo courtesy of Margaret Gallagher).  This past Saturday, Blum won the 1600m. at the NCS MOC Track and Field meet at UC Berkeley with a wire to wire victory in 5:00.66.  She also finished in 9th place in the 3200m.  She qualified for her first state Track and Field meet  last year in the 1600m. with a 4th place finish at the NCS meet.  This past cross country season, Bridget helped lead University to their 3rd straight state team championship (9th overall) with a 2nd place individual finish in the Division V race.  That was an improvement from her 3rd place finish as a junior and 17th place finish as a sophomore.  As a junior and senior, Bridget finished in 3rd and 2nd place respectively at the NCS MOC XC meet losing both times to the eventual state champion.

1) How did you get your start in running? What other sports have you played besides cross country and track and field?
I do not have the typical running pedigree.  Neither of my parents nor my older sister were competitive runners.  When I was younger, like many of my friends, I enjoyed playing soccer and being part of a team but, looking back, I don’t think I contributed much.  I was fast and had good endurance but did not have the greatest skills.  I also was a figure skater but very much missed the team camaraderie of fun-loving, competitive athletes all working together towards a common goal.  With my mother’s encouragement, I started running in middle school.  Those were great times and I loved our team spirit even though I am not sure the other teams were all too concerned about competing against us.  When I arrived at University High School, it was immediately clear to me that I wanted to be part of the well known winning traditions in distance running. I was proud (and a little intimidated) to join the team and be surrounded by such demanding and knowledgeable coaches and also to line up with such impressive student athletes. University is a very rigorous academic school and our running programs offer a release in some ways but we also bring “aim high” attitudes to our training and racing.  I knew from the first day that I was in the right place at University.

2) What were your freshman highlights in both cross country and track and field?  
There really weren’t any highlights frankly.  I ran cross country and track but I believe that I was just getting acclimated to performing at the next level.  In cross country, I don’t think I really was in great running condition yet, physically or mentally, and I did not make the top 7.  In track, my coaches weren’t exactly sure even what to do with me. They had me run some sprints but I guess I had not yet stepped up to earn my spot on the distance squad.  I was not yet fully engaged and maybe not as dedicated to my training as I should have been.  I was redefining what running was about for me and what it meant to be a contributor to a high school running program.  In retrospect, my adjustment to high school was challenging.  The workload in the classroom required a major adjustment and things did not come easily for me.  I struggled more than most of my friends and I had to learn to learn study skills and how to better manage my time and preparations.  Interestingly, when things began to click for me academically, they also came together for me in my athletics.  That’s one of the best things about being a student athlete at University.  We are all there helping one another adapt and grow in life, at school and in our athletics.  I guess you could say that my freshman year was one for getting my running legs, as well as my academic bearings, and getting pointed in the right direction in both cases.

3) What about highlights from your sophomore seasons in both sports?
Again, I wish I could highlight something more interesting.  My Fall cross country season was a good one but not a great one.  I ran hard and gained strength and conditioning.  More importantly, I was fortunate that my teammates ran harder and performed even better.  Holland Reynolds, Jennie Callan and Margaret Wehner all had great seasons that year and led us to a team victory in Fresno.  I had a few top 10 finishes in League meets and was a top 20 finisher at State.  My times were improving and I was happy with my progress.  I learned the value of finishing strong and also that it takes a full team, all performing at peak levels, to win. Unfortunately, I got injured early in my Spring track season just at the time that I was getting to a point to contribute more to our team performance.  I was disappointed because I remember thinking I was at a place physically, and mentally, that I could return the favor and step up for my team. I think sitting out that season was the hardest thing of all and gave me that much more motivation to rededicate to my training that summer and come back at top shape for my next cross country season.  I realized then that running had become an essential part of my life and I was determined to get back into proper shape.

4) What was the first race that you remember which gave you the confidence that you could run with some of the top runners in your league, section and state?
In my Junior year cross country season, I placed third at State.  I was honored to anchor our team to the Division 5 victory.  Unfortunately, my teammate Holland Reynolds collapsed from dehydration in that race and did not have her best day, despite her inspiring and courageous finish. In prior races leading up to State, I had been running 3rd behind her and Lucy McCullough.  I had been running better and better throughout the Fall and put together a string of top 3 finishes against stiff competition and with times that were big improvements on my prior year on the same courses.  I had always admired some of the great Northern CA D-5 high school girl runners like Holland and Lucy and others.  I had been previously happy to be running with them and to learn from them.  That day in Fresno I was fortunate to run well and I gained confidence in my ability to run my own race and lead my team.  Later that school year, in Spring track, I was fortunate to run a PR in the 3200 and again against Lucy.  I realized then that every day is a new day to run hard and compete and I had earned my own opportunity to compete at the highest level with the girls I most admired.   I attribute my development in my running to good coaching and training, inspiring competitors, supportive teammates and a strong will to improve and finish strong.  Now, there are newer runners like Julia Maxwell that inspire me to be my best.

5) The University HS girls' cross country team have had an incredible run of success at the CA state cross country meet. To date, the team has won 9 state championships and 4 second place finishes. Tell us a little about what it means to be part of that success. 
I consider it one of my greatest privileges to be part of that winning tradition.  University’s excellence in distance running is known around the country and my teammates and I are proud to have contributed to extending that reputation with our team victories in recent years. Few people realize that we have achieved what we have without the kinds of facilities that most other teams take for granted.  We have no track of our own and have to carpool to various tracks around San Francisco to get time to train. Sometimes, we share it with other teams and the general public.  We do not have the weight rooms or whirlpools, nutrition counseling or other support systems when we are injured.  We go to school in the heart of San Francisco and must do with what we can running down city sidewalks and over paved hills while weaving in and out of parked cars.  I guess one of the reasons for our many successes is that we do it all ourselves.  Our student athletes expect a lot from one another and provide support to make sure everyone is pulling together in the same direction and helping one another succeed.  We want to perform well in sports and we learn to rely on our training and conditioning when it matters most.  That’s where our coaches have made a huge difference.  Our very systematic training has us peaking just when we need in order to maintain our excellence.

6) You made the state meet last year in the 1600m at the NCS MOC. How do you think that experience at state will help you this year? What did you learn from that experience?
Last year, at the NCS Meet of Champions, I qualified for State by placing 4th in the 1600.  I ran my Season Best that day and had to run that race from behind the leaders.  I was able to run stronger by racing harder against the others.  I learned some tactical lessons about positioning down the stretch, shifting gears and running my race.  In many of my races last year, I had led much of the way so it was helpful to me to learn to race from an alternative spot.  Running gets so much more mental as the season progresses and I definitely learned that at State last year.  Last year, I was focused more to getting to State and I achieved my goal.  My season did not end on its best note last year and I have been thinking about that race at Clovis a lot lately.  I watch the video and remember what was going through my mind that day.  I let the other runners dictate my race.  I am excited to go back.  This time around, I know more what to expect.  I know I won’t be able to prevent the adrenalin from flowing but I hope I can exploit it much more to my advantage.

7) What are your current personal records in 400m., 800m., 1600m., and 3200m.? What about your times in cross country on the courses you raced on the most?
My PR’s are 2:18 in the 800, 4:57 in the 1600 and 10:56 in the 3200. I don’t think I have run the 400 in a few years.  Last year, in cross country, I ran 18:22 at Woodward Park and 18:12 for the 3 mile course and 19:11 for the 5K course at Mt. Sac.

8) Tell us a little about your toughest workouts that you do during track season. Include the paces and amount of rest.
We do so many different workouts at different times during the seasons.  Coach Tracy has it all down to an exact science.  They all seem pretty tough to me actually.  I guess the speed intervals that we do are the most demanding.  We will sometimes do 800:600:400:200 under mile pace and then repeat the series or we will do a long series of repeat 800’s, all under mile pace.  We don’t get much rest in between, maybe 30 seconds I suppose.  Our training also must take into consideration when we have access to the track so we often have to improvise and will run in the Presidio in San Francisco.

9) Favorite track distance? Favorite track invitational? Favorite track opponent(s)? Favorite cross country course? Favorite cross country invitational? Favorite long run?
I guess my favorite track distance has become the 1600.  I seem to have been having more successes in that event but I think I am also building more endurance for longer distances and look forward to running them in college. My favorite track invitational is probably the Stanford Invitational.  The electricity there is fantastic and it is great to see all of the leading high school and college athletes coming in from all over the country to compete.  My favorite cross country course and invitational are both at Mt Sac.  I believe I do my very best on harder and hillier courses and I love those steep switch backs.  My favorite longer run is any run with my teammates.  We especially love what we call the Robin Williams run out to Lands End in San Francisco.  We run past the actor’s home in a scenic part of San Francisco near the Golden Gate Bridge.  The views are stunning and we have our best times together there.

10) Tell us a little about your coach Jim Tracy, how he has helped you get to your current level of success and what he means to the team. Any funny stories about Jim?
We have so many funny stories about Coach Tracy, but most of them may not be fit to print.  As you may know, Jim sometimes has no filter.  He tells it the way it is and he can be pretty irreverent.  That’s what we love the most about him.  He lays it all out there, good or bad.  We realize that does not always work for others.  We just know it absolutely works for us.  He can be brutally honest and it does take some getting used to but it is all done in a constructive way to focus us to what we need to hear to achieve our potential.  Jim’s humor is an acquired taste and we are all connoisseurs.  He most admires our hard work and often has no patience for “slackers.” If someone may not be running to their potential, he may remark that he could record their times on a sundial.  If someone is having a bad running day, he might say “Geez, were you walking backwards?” Or he might comment sarcastically on what they did over the weekend.  We know he means well and only wants what is best for us and for the team.  He is our coach and we absolutely love that he is on our side.  As you may know, Jim has been suffering from ALS.  What is the most remarkable thing, however, is that, despite his disease, his athletes remain his #1 focus and he continues to inspire us with his positivity and persistence.  He has given everything he has to us and our program.  Even as he may fatigue more often with his ALS than before, he never ceases to perform his coaching duties the same way he always has.  Jim is an enigma and he is like no other.  We are incredibly blessed to have him and our other coaches (Alex and Kevin) in our lives and we are the best we can be because of him.  No question about it.

11) Where will you be attending college and how much did running contribute to making that decision?
Running played a big part in my decision to attend Claremont McKenna.  My University High School experience has taught me that I am at my best when I am in a demanding environment, both for academics and athletics.  I think I need both.  I was very fortunate to be recruited by several schools, D-1 and D-III, and on both coasts.  At first, I thought I wanted to run back East until I visited several schools on my Official Visits.  I then realized I wanted to stay in a warmer climate for year round outdoor training and go to a school closer to home.  I visited larger schools in California and then fell in love with Claremont McKenna.  Academically and athletically, Claremont seems to fit me very well.  It seems to have all of the advantages of a small school, and with its sister schools, all of the benefits of a larger one too.  In addition, I was excited to train with Coach Goldhammer, who reminded me a lot of Coach Tracy.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
As a final remark, I just want to give a word of advice.  There are many runners who are innately talented; I am not one of them.  I have had to work that much harder for my successes and that has been especially rewarding.  I believe that anyone can be successful at running.  Just keep doing those interval workouts and stay motivated and inspired.  Next, as I approach my graduation and State track meet, both this weekend, I would like to thank my coaches and teammates for teaching me and supporting me.  Together with you, I have grown as a person and as an athlete and I am very grateful for your support.  Also, I would like to thank Susan Lupica for her extraordinary dedication to my training and racing strategy.  Lastly, my final thanks go to you Albert for giving me this opportunity to be profiled on your website.  My teammate and I constantly check your posts for new information about what is going on in the Northern California running scene.  Your dedication to runners is amazing and also is inspiring to us all.

Thank you very much for your time Bridget!  AJC

Catching up with Rockstar Runner, Jessica Heims...

Following interview was by David Taylor of
Iowa prep Jessica Heims prepares to enter high school. Jessica's right leg was amputated below the knee when she was 1 year old, but that hasn’t stopped her from being active. Competing in triathlons or running in USAT&F Jessica Heims shows what true determination, persistence and never giving up is all about. Like Olympian Oscar Pistorius she competes beyond barriers.

1. Three words that describe you and why?
Determined, Inspirational, and Tough  (quoted from my family)

2. What does Passion mean to you, how does it apply to running and perhaps succeeding in life?
Passion to me means that I will be loved and supported all my life, no matter what I do or how well I can do something. This helps me when I am running by knowing that just doing my best will be good enough for God and everyone else. I don't need to try to be perfect, for the only "perfect" in a person is being themselves.

3. How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as a person who has tried to look past the barriers between able-bodied people and "disabled" people in sports as well as social life.

4. What drives you to never give up despite adversity?
What drives me to never give up is the fact that when I finish, I will have exceeded the expectations of those who doubt amputees. I just love the look on their faces when they see me cross the finish line, and they, for the first time, admit is possible for me to run.

5. Humility in all things...what does that phrase mean to you?
Humility in all things to me means that no matter how hard we try, there is always a way to improve.

6. Looking forward, what goals do you have that are important to you to accomplish in high school?
In high school, I would like to be able to finish with experience of multiple years of running in track and cross country with my friends and sisters. Also, I would like to continue getting good grades.

7. What other sports have you played besides cross country and track and field?
I, once, played baseball, basketball, soccer, and dance, but none of them really gave me the feeling of joy and accomplishment that running gave me.

8. How did you get your start in running?
I started running when my older sister, Beth, joined middle school cross country. Going to all of those meets, I saw how even though there were fast and slow runners, they all came together at the finish with a smile and congratulated each other. I thought that was amazing, so my little sister and I joined a local track team and began running. I was on the slower side and knew it, but what kept me going was my older sister, always happy to be part of a "running family" such as the one at all of her meets.

9. What were some of your highlights from your athletic career so far?
The highlights of my athletic career so far are when I ran nine miles in the San Diego Triathlon Challenge Half Ironman in California in 2010. Also, of course, when I finished my first 5k at the age of 9, coming in at 30:16 min. (I have now reduced down to 26:32). Another time was when I did my first triathlon with my family and my friend.

10. What is your favorite racing moment thus far?
My favorite racing moment this far was when I crossed the finish line at the San Diego Triathlon Challenge. There were a bunch of people there, all cheering me on, not just to the finish line, but to the rest of my life, as I continue to run and beat all of the challenges I face.

11. Tell us a little about your family and how they has helped you develop?
My family consists of my mom, Kris, my dad, Glen, and three daughters- Beth,17, the oldest, Me,13, the middle, and Nicole, 12, the youngest. My mom and dad have both done half marathons (my dad did is first this past weekend. a day we never knew would come, because until recently, he HATED running and only did it for the purpose strictly of exercise). My older sister is a runner in her high school track and cross country team. My little sister is looking forward to doing track and cross country next year in middle school. They have all encouraged me to be able to start running. Since it was hard for me to run on my everyday prosthesis when I first started, they would always be there at my races and were my biggest fans and cheering squad. Even though I wasn't the fastest person at the races, they never mentioned placing in a meet, they only talked about beating your own personal time, because you are your one and only competitor.

12. Your has he influenced your running?
My cross country coach, Coach Perkins, has done amazing things for me. She has always been interested in how my running leg works, so before the season started, she was doing some research on the mechanics and the abilities of legs like mine. And when the season came, she made sure that I was never left out of a workout, and that I would always be part of the team and never singled out as an outsider. She has been a really encouraging person to me and all of my peers at school. My track coach Coach Winsor, has also been amazing to me. She understands that only I can truly tell how much running my body can take, and she helps me to find workouts that help me to not overdo anything or not get a good enough workout. Also, she has been really generous in making sure that I can get good races in meets that work to the best of my ability. I have definitely been blessed with these amazing people who have helped me become a better runner and person.

13. Favorite distance in track? Favorite run? Favorite invitational? Favorite opponent(s)? Favorite track workouts? Favorite run?
My favorite distance in track in the 1500. I like it so much because it is long enough that you don't have to sprint and that you can pace yourself, but short enough that it takes less than 7 min to do. I can push myself to a faster pace and try to get a better time. My favorite run is a 5k. It is just so much fun to pace yourself in a race that is 3 miles-challenging yet simple at the same time. Also, everyone there is there for fun and a good time, and very rarely do you get someone that is just there to win a race. I don't have a favorite invitational, I just like to run wherever I am, and to see all of the different places. My favorite opponents are myself, my family, and my friends. I like to push myself to be faster, encourage my family to run faster and farther with them, and to have a good time running and competing with my friends, who know that success is not a destination, it is a journey. My favorite track workouts are are distance runs. I hate sprint workouts, so oddly enough, I sort of praise when we have to go run 4 miles.

14. What races are you most looking forward?
I am looking forward to the Pigman Sprint Triathlon in two weekends that I am doing with my older sister and a friend. The distances are 575 meter swim, 17 mile bike, and 3 mile run. This will be me and my friends' first year, and my sisters' second.

15. Running ultimately will not define who you are, how would you like to be defined?
What will define you is how hard you work to get the thing you want. Whether it is earning money through a summer job or getting into the Olympics, the way you accomplish your goals will define you more than what goal you accomplish.

16. Favorite running movie, running song, and favorite runner?
My favorite running book (I don't know very many running movies) in Running Dream. It is about a high school girl, the star on her track team who loses her leg  in an accident, and has to over come obstacles to do what she loves. Although this particular story is fictional, it has actual events that take place after something as major as the happens. My favorite running song is Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO. It is upbeat and fun to listen to. My favorite runner is, by far, Oscar Pistorius. He is a south african runner who lost his legs below the knee as a child. In his first year on his school track team, he broke the paralympic world record in the 100 meter. He is now, despite conflicts and doubt, he is going to be in the 2012 London Olympics. He was in the Paralympics for a couple years, but he is fast enough to run with "able bodied" runners. Ask any of my friends or family, he is my number one idol, forever and always.

Thank you very much for your time Jessica!  AJC

Sunday, May 27, 2012

CIF State Track and Field Preview...

Girls' 400m. Relay
2012 State Leader:  Long Beach Poly 45.72
2012 NorCal Leader:  Monterey Trail 47.19
2011 Champions:  Long Beach Poly 45.70
State Meet Record:  St. Bernard 44.70 1997

Boys' 400m. Relay
2012 State Leader:  Rio Mesa 40.95
2012 NorCal Leader:  Palo Alto 41.56
2011 Champions:  Oaks Christian 41.19
State Meet Record:  Hawthorne 40.24 1989

Girls' 1600m.
2012 State Leader:  Cami Chapus Harvard-Westlake 4:43.90
2012 NorCal Leader:  Nikki Hiltz Aptos 4:44.02
2011 Champion:  Cami Chapus Harvard-Westlake 4:40.88*
State Meet Record:  Christine Babcock Woodbridge 4:33.82 2008

Boys' 1600m.
2012 State Leader:  Cody Brazael Buchanan 4:07.72
2012 NorCal Leader:  Luis Luna Piner 4:12.17
2011 Champion:  Jantzen Oshier Trabuco Hills 4:00.83
State Meet Record:  German Fernandez 4:00.29 2008

Girls' 100m. Hurdles
2012 State Leader:  Trinity Wilson St. Mary's Berkeley 13.41
2012 NorCal Leader:  Trinity Wilson St. Mary's Berkeley 13.41
2011 Champion:  Trinity Wilson St. Mary's Berkeley 13.41
State Meet Record:  Vashti Thomas Mt. Pleasant 13.03 2007

Boys' 110m. Hurdles
2012 State Leader:  Kenneth Walker III Kennedy 14.01
2012 NorCal Leader:  Kenneth Walker III Kennedy 14.01
2011 Champion:  Johnathon Cabral Agoura 13.79
State Meet Record:  Kevin Craddock James Logan 13.39 2004

Girls' 400m.
2012 State Leader:  Renetia James Serra 54.41
2012 NorCal Leader:  Nia Dorner Rosemont 54.94
2011 Champion:  Akawkaw Ndipagbor Long Beach Poly 53.38
State Meet Record:  Monique Henderson 50.74 2000

Boys' 400m.
2012 State Leader:  Alex Rohani Beverly Hills 47.37
2012 NorCal Leader:  Cory Mason St. Mary's Stockton 48.12
2011 Champion:  Shaquille Howard Long Beach Poly 47.49
State Meet Record:  Calvin Harrison North Salinas 45.25 1993

Girls' 100m.
2012 State Leader:  Ariana Washington Long Beach Poly 11.45
2012 NorCal Leader:  Lilla McMillan Tamalpais 11.76
2011 Champion:  Jenna Prandini Clovis 11.69
State Meet Record:  Marion Jones Thousand Oaks 11.14 1992

Boys' 100m.
2012 State Leader:  Herbert Gamboa Rio Mesa 10.51
2012 State Leader:  Khalfani Muhammad Notre Dame 10.51
2012 NorCal Leader:  E.J. Floreal Palo Alto 10.52
2011 Champion:  Remontay McClain Covina 10.39
State Meet Record:  Riley Washington Southwest 10.30 1992

Girls' 800m.
2012 State Leader:  Amy Weisenbach Harvard-Westlake 2:05.55
2012 NorCal Leader:  Madison Ricks California 2:09.52
2011 Champion:  Amy Weisenbach Harvard-Westlake 2:02.04*
State Meet Record:  Amy Weisenbach Harvard-Westlake 2:02.04 2011

Boys' 800m.
2012 State Leader:  Alexander Monsivaiz Army/Navy Academy 1:50.47
2012 NorCal Leader:  Sean Davis Valley Christian SJ 1:52.39
2011 Champion:  Immanuel Hutchinson San Jacinto 1:49.63
State Meet Record:  Michael Granville Bell Gardens 1:46.45 1996

Girls' 300m. Hurdles
2012 State Leader:  Jordie Munford Rancho Cucamonga 41.37
2012 NorCal Leader:  Daje Pugh Fairfield 42.02
2011 Champion:  Melia Cox Long Beach Poly 41.80
State Meet Record:  Ebony Collins Long Beach Wilson 40.10 2005

Boys' 300m. Hurdles
2012 State Leader:  Jarrett Gonzales Damien 36.80
2012 NorCal Leader:  Kenneth Walker III Kennedy 37.38
2011 Champion:  Johnathon Cabral Agoura 36.20
State Meet Record:  Reggie Wyatt La Sierra 35.02 2009

Girls' 200m.
2012 State Leader:  Ariana Washington Long Beach Poly 23.52
2012 NorCal Leader:  Sarah Cline Leigh 24.13
2011 Champion:  Jenna Prandini Clovis 23.81
State Meet Record:  Allyson Felix Los Angeles Baptist 22.52 2003

Boys' 200m.
2012 State Leader:  Khalfani Muhammed Notre Dame 21.10
2012 NorCal Leader:  E.J. Floreal Palo Alto 21.16
2011 Champion:  Remontay McClain Covina 20.95
State Meet Record:  Bryshon Nellum Long Beach Poly 20.43 2007

Girls' 3200m.
2012 State Leader:  Sarah Baxter Simi Valley 10:08.11
2012 NorCal Leader:  Anna Maxwell San Lorenzo Valley 10:21.04
2011 Champion:  Sarah Baxter Simi Valley 10:13.00*
State Meet Record:  Jordan Hasay Mission College Prep 9:52.13 2008

Boys' 3200m.
2012 State Leader:  Darren Fahy La Costa Canyan 8:54.51
2012 NorCal Leader:  Thomas Joyce Campolindo 9:03.23
2011 Champion:  Elias Gedyon Loyola 8:50.03
State Meet Record:  German Fernandez Riverbank 8:34.23 2008

Girls' 1600m. Relay
2012 State Leader:  Serra 3:44.53
2012 NorCal Leader:  Piedmont Hills 3:48.98
2011 Champions:  Serra 3:43.21
State Meet Record:  Long Beach Poly 3:35.49 2004

Boys' 1600m. Relay
2012 State Leader:  Chaminade College Prep 3:15.28
2012 NorCal Leader:  Amador Valley 3:18.91
2011 Champions:  Long Beach Poly 3:12.44
State Meet Record:  Serra Gardena 3:08.42 2010

Girls' Long Jump
2012 State Leader:  Ashlie Curenton Silverado 20'4"
2012 NorCal Leader:  Shea Taylor Grace Davis 18'9.5"
2011 Champion:  Jenna Prandini Clovis 19'11.75"
State Meet Record:  Marion Jones Thousand Oaks 22'0.5" 1993

Boys' Long Jump
2012 State Leader:  Nathaniel Moore Bishop O'Dowd 24'7.75"
2012 NorCal Leader:  Nathaniel Moore Bishop O'Dowd 24'7.75"
2011 Champion:  Jovonte Slater Vista Murrieta 24'10.5"
State Meet Record:  James Stallworth Tulare 26'4.75" 1989

Girls' Triple Jump
2012 State Leader:  Sasha Wallace Holy Names 42'4.75"
2012 NorCal Leader:  Sasha Wallace Holy Names 42'4.75"
2011 Champion:  Ciarra Brewer James Logan 41'11.0"
State Meet Record:  Juliana Yendork Walnut 44'0.5" 1991

Boys' Triple Jump
2012 State Leader:  Jaelen Spencer Sultana 49'7.25"
2012 NorCal Leader:  Jeff Porthro James Logan 48'5.25"
2011 Champion:  Marques Roberts Dos Pueblo 49'6.5"
State Meet Record:  Marcus Hooks Lakewood 52'5.75" 1986

Girls' High Jump
2012 State Leader:  Claire Kieffer-Wright South Pasadena 5'10"
2012 State Leader:  Alex Florent Harvard-Westlake 5'10"
2012 NorCal Leader:  Michellie McDonal-O'Brien St. Ignatius 5'7"
2012 NorCal Leader:  Leah Carter Rocklin 5'7"
2011 Champion:  Rachel McCoy Miller 5'8"
State Meet Record:  Latrese Johnson 6'2 1985

Boys' High Jump
2012 State Leader:  Miles Poullard Colony 7'0"
2012 NorCal Leader:  Noel Frazier California 6'10"
2011 Champion:  Crampton Cody Canyon 6'11"*
State Meet Record:  Lee Balkin Glendale 7'3.25" 1979

Girls' Pole Vault
2012 State Leader:  Kaitlyn Merritt Santa Margarita 13'3"
2012 NorCal Leader:  Taylore Jacques Presentation 13'0"
2011 Champion:  Anginae Monteverde Clovis West 13'6"
State Meet Record:  Tori Anthony Castilleja 14'1" 2007

Boys' Pole Vault
2012 State Leader:  Colin Barber San Ramon Valley 16'7"
2012 NorCal Leader:  Colin Barber San Ramon Valley 16'7"
2011 Champion:  Ian Rock Davis 16'2"
State Meet Record:  Nico Weiler Los Gatos 17'3" 2008

Girls' Shot Put
2012 State Leader:  Stamatia Scarvelis Dos Pueblos 49'5.5"
2012 NorCal Leader:   Mandy Coleman McNair 44'3"
2011 Champion:  Breana Jemison Carlsbad 43'1.25"*
State Meet Record:  Kristin Heaston Ygnacio Valley 53'8" 2009

Boys' Shot Put
2012 State Leader:  Ethan Cochran Newport Harbor 62'10"
2012 NorCal Leader:  Matthew Esparza Amador Valley 61'0.25"
2011 Champion:  Nicholas Scarvelis Dos Pueblo 64'0"
State Meet Record:  Brent Noon Fallbrook 74'4.75" 1990

Girls' Discus
2012 State Leader:  Lissette Mendivil Redwood 157'0"
2012 NorCal Leader:  Praise Adesida Alhambra 141'0"
2011 Champion:  Alex Morgan Ventura 153'8"
State Meet Record:  Anna Jelmini Shafter 186'9" 2009

Boys' Discus
2012 State Leader:  Ethan Cochran Newport Harbor 209'8"
2012 NorCal Leader:  Curtis Bleasdale Vacaville 186'9"
2011 Champion:  Ethan Cochran Newport Harbor 185'9"*
State Meet Record:  Bo Taylor Newport Harbor 213'7" 2006

*Returning to defend title

2012 CIF State Track and Field Meet Performance Lists

Who are the Northern California athletes that will get on the podium (top 6)?  Who has the best chance to win at the state meet?  What is going to be best event for NorCal athletes?

Catching up with Menlo Atherton runner, George Baier...

Today we chat with Menlo Atherton junior runner, George Baier.  This past Friday, he registered one of the shocking victories at the CCS meet with his 1st place finish in the 1600m. What made it a surprise is that the previous Saturday, Baier finished in 13th place which meant he missed qualifying to Friday's final by one spot.  Milpitas runner Yohaness Estifanos who qualified in both the 1600 and 3200 decided to focus solely on the 3200 and that opened the door for Baier.  With a timely kick and a new personal record, Baier sprinted to his unlikely victory and earned himself a trip to Buchanan HS and the California State Meet.

1) You missed the finals from the semi-finals by one spot in both the 1600m. and 800m. What were your thoughts after the semi-finals and did you think your season was over?
After the semifinals I was disappointed to say the least, but I still knew that there was a chance that someone could drop in either event, so I knew I still had a chance.

2) When did you find out that you were going to run in the final?
My coach called me after I got home from practice on Tuesday afternoon.

3) What was your race plan going into the race? 
My coach told me to stay in the middle of the pack for the first three laps and then give it everything I had left in the last lap.
4) How did the race start out and where were you in the race during the first two laps?
The race started out at a 64 second first lap, and I was in the far back of the pack next to Waschura. The second lap was a little bit slower at 67 seconds and I was still in the back.

5) What about the third lap?
The third lap was also a 67, but in the last hundred meters of the lap I moved up a couple of places.

6) Going into the final lap, what place were you in and at what point did you think you had a shot at the state meet?
Going into the final lap I think I was in eighth place. I moved up to seventh place in the first 100m, and then with 300m to go I really picked it up. With 200m left I had moved into 2nd place, so I knew if I could just hang on for the last half lap, I could go to state.

7) Coming off the turn, the Los Altos runner was in front of you. When did you realize you had a shot to win the race?
With about 70m to go, the Los Altos runner began to slow and I closed the gap with about 50m left and realized that I might actually be able to win the entire race at that point if I could hold everyone off for just a little bit longer.

8) What was your reaction after the race and when did it finally sink in that you won ccs?
After the race I felt overjoyed but also stunned as I was unable to comprehend what I had just accomplished. The whole thing felt surreal. To be honest I'm not sure if it has completely sunk in that I won CCS, but by the end of the weekend hopefully I will have a firm grasp on my accomplishment.

9) Tell us a little about your season and what were your best races leading up to the ccs semi-finals?
My season had some ups and downs. I enjoyed my first 1600m of the season in a dual meet with Sequoia where I broke 4:30 for the first time. I also liked the 800m at the K Bell invitational where I broke 2:00 for the first time and took second overall. My favorite race leading up to the ccs semi-finals was the DMR at Stanford Invitational where I ran with teammates Jack Beckwith, Dijonn Williams, and Michael Hester to a first place finish. The next day however, I injured my toe severely when I fell at the start of the 4x800m relay, and then missed running the next week of practice and was only able to use the stationary bike. The 1600m at PAL finals was also a good race as I PR'd and took third.

10) What about your teammates? How have they helped you become a better runner? What are some of the tougher workouts you have done this track season? Include times and rest.
My teammates have been very supportive the whole season, we all get along well and are also cross country teammates. We're kind of like a brotherhood more or less. They have definitely pushed me to run much faster than I would have been able to one my own. At practice when we have a speed workout, Michael Hester, Jordan Scandlyn and I have the 800/1600m workout while Jack Beckwith and John Lovegren have the 3200m workout and we joke about whose is harder. I can't specifically remember any of our workouts' breakdowns, but the toughest ones consisted of either 800, 600, or 400 repeats with varying degrees of rest.

11) Tell us a little about your coach and how he has helped you get to this point as a runner.
My coach, Allen Perry, is fantastic at his job. He began teaching at MA my freshman year and the first time I met him was when he was the assistant coach of the cross country team that year. (Coach Wilmurt has also been instrumental in my success as head cross country coach and general supporter of the distance runners). Coach Perry took over as head track coach last season and has made many crucial improvements. Coach Perry puts in the long hours behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly and has helped me improve greatly in my three years at MA.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
 I would like to thank Yohaness Estifanos for dropping the 1600m, which allowed me to get bumped up to run as the twelfth seed, giving me the opportunity I had hoped for.

Thank you very much for your time George!  AJC

California sections newspaper articles...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

NCS MOC Results

CCS Videos

Boys' 110m. High Hurdles
Boys' 800m.

Boys' 3200m.

Boys' 4x400m. Relay

Girls' 3200m.

Girls' 800m.

SJS Videos

Section action newspaper coverage...

1st CCS track title for Paly boys
St. Francis' Micha Auzenne wins three events
Setting The Bar
Seven athletes punch tickets to CIF State Track and Field Championships
Santa Cruz County advances six to state
SCCAL qualifies in five events for state
Galle, Martin medal at CCS finals
Hiltz wins two titles again

Triple jumper Sasha Wallace is ready for state meet
San Ramon Valley's Colin Barber wins pole vault

Mills moving on to state meet
Purewall, Hines fall shy of CIF State Track Meet
Vallejo's Akauola spins way to state meet

Read more here:

Runner extraordinaire:  Chamberlen is Post's Male Athlete of the Year
Putting on a show: Donnahoe impresses at section track, field final

Tars' Cochran wins discus at Masters
Notre Dame sprinter cements spot as a favorite heading into state
Forty-seven Inland athletes state-bound
Jacobs, Weinreich shine at Southern Section Masters track meet

Trip to state meet on line at CIF section finals

Friday, May 25, 2012

NorCal Section Results...

CCS Prediction Contest

DEADLINE IS TODAY by 4PM-Email them to
GRAND PRIZE:  Sony Walkman MP3 Player

If you would like an opportunity to win the above prize, send in your predictions to Please include the top 3 finishers for all events (running and field/boys and girls) as well as your predictions for the team champions along with their scores. If there is a tie, the team champions and scores will break those ties.

Your entries should look like this
Name: John Aki Bua Uganda HS Athlete (or coach/parent etc.)

Listed in order of finish (1st through 3rd)
Girls' 400m. Relay-James Logan, Long Beach Poly, St. Francis
Boys' 400m. Relay-
Girls' 1600m.-Jordan Hasay, Mary Decker, Yunxia Qu
Boys' 1600m.-
Girls' 100m. Hurdles-
Boys' 110m. Hurdles-
Don't forget the field events.

Let me know if you have any questions or have any suggestions for the contest.

The winner will be announced on Sunday, May 27th.

Any questions, let me know.

Albert Caruana

Here is a link that should help you:

Newspaper links...

Section Championship Weekend

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Catching up with Bishop Kelly HS (Idaho) runner, Emily Nist...

The following interview was with David Taylor of
Today's interview is with 4 time Idaho state 3200m. champion, Emily Nist of Bishop Kelly HS.   Her winning 3200m. time at the state meet (10:45.66) is the fastest time run by a high school girl in the state of Idaho.  Her 3200 PR came earlier this season at the Arcadia Invitational with a 9th place finish in 10:26.92.  During cross country, Emily qualified as an individual to the Nike Cross Nationals as a junior and to the Footlocker National Meet as a senior.

1. Three words that describe you and why?
Three words I would use to describe myself would be energetic, determined and passionate. I love to work hard to achieve my goals. When I love something, I develop a deep love for it and I always have LOTS of energy!

2. What does Passion mean to you, how does it apply to running and perhaps succeeding in life?
To me passion is finding something you love doing and having it not be work when you practice it. It can be applied to running because no matter how hard the workout or how early the run , running is my passion therefore I will always love/enjoy doing it.

3. How do you want to be remembered as a runner? An all-time great, a record breaker, or one of many? An example of something greater? 
I would like to be remembered as an all time great and record breaker, but most importantly a runner of good character and sportsmanship.

4. If you met an 8th grader transitioning into high school who dreamt of being a successful distance runner, what words of advice would you give to him? 
Thinking back to when I was in 8th grade and the dreams I had for myself regarding high school xc and track, I wouldn't have guessed many of my accomplishments. My words of advice would be: keep training honest. Meaning, keep the pace of your easy and recovery runs at a steady pace, not too easy cause then you are only cheating yourself. Also push yourself in workouts, imagining the finish of races. And lastly trust in your training and be patient and wait for it to work. It takes time before you get speed and endurance built up. Most importantly: stay positive and motivated.

5. Humility in all things...what does that phrase mean to you?
Humility in all things to me means showing class and sportsmanship in defeat and loss, accepting loss with grace. But also accepting a win with class as well. Humility means motivating all people and not belittling those who are worse than you. Acting mature and humble when talking about achievements. Humility is acting like a champion on and off the course/track.

6. Looking back, what is the most significant moment in your running career? 
I think the most significant moment in my running career was winning my 4th state 3200m title. No one in Idaho history had ever done that and I became the first and set a meet record, running the fastest time ever on Idaho soil.

7. What other sports have you played besides cross country and track and field? 
I played soccer until 7th grade which is when I quit for cross country and track. I also ski in the winter (downhill)

8. How did you get your start in running? 
My dad suggested running after I was getting tired of soccer.

9. What were some of your highlights from your high school career so far? 
Highlights include qualifying for NXN during my sophomore year with my team, and then qualifying for NXN as an individual my junior year and then qualifying for Foot Locker my senior year.

10. What is your favorite racing moment thus far? 
I have two favorite racing moments. One was at Arcadia this year and Jesuit Twilight Relays. Both races I ran much faster than my pr! I came across the finish line, looked at my watch and was totally shocked that I had just run that fast! I was filled with instant excitement and was so shocked with what I had just accomplished. It felt good to know that I was able to run that fast.

11. Tell us a little about your family and how they has helped you develop during your years in high school.
My biggest fans are definitely my dad and mom.  My dad acted as my coach until high school.  Once I was in high school, he took me to out of state meets, supported my decisions about racing and cheered me on! My mom comes to every meet, tells me I could do anything I wanted if I set my mind to it, and always makes sure I have a good spaghetti dinner in my stomach the night before races.

12. Your has he influenced your running, team? 
I could not have asked for a better high school coach. We were able to build a great relationship during the 4 years. From the moment I won my first race freshman year, he told me he believed I would go on to do great things and that he was going to do everything in his power to make me the best. I put my trust in him and his training and everything has turned out incredibly.

13. Favorite distance in track? Favorite run? Favorite invitational? Favorite opponent(s)? Favorite track workouts? Favorite run?
My favorite distance in track is the 3200! My favorite run is a 10 mile loop in McCall, ID (mountain trails) Favorite opponents: Girls from NXN or FL! Favorite track workout: 10x400 and in xc is 4x1000 loop. Favorite invitational: Arcadia!

14. What races are you most looking forward to as you look ahead to the rest of your track and field season? 
Done with track.  I am really excited for my first college invite though!

15. Running ultimately will not define who you are, how would you like to be defined? 
I would like to be defined as someone who had an incredible passion and determination for running, and a girl who loved life and lived to enjoy every moment and everyone.

16. Favorite running movie, running song, and favorite runner?
Favorite Running movie: Without Limits
Favorite Running Song: Second Coming by Juelz Santana
Favorite Runner: Kara Goucher

Thank you very much for your time!  AJC

NCS Redwood Empire Pictures

NCS Tri-Valley Meet Pictures

Monday, May 21, 2012

Central Coast Section Meet Program

Heart and Sole Festival of Miles tonight

Luis Luna Piner HS finished 8th at 4:12.22.
Elite Men's race:
Elite Women's race:

Catching up with Palos Verdes runner, Jonah Diaz...

The following interview was by editor, David Taylor.
Today we chat with Palos Verdes senior runner, Jonah Diaz.  This past Saturday, Jonah finished in 2nd place in the SS Division III 3200m. with a time of 9:05.85. Next up for him will be the SS Masters meet where he will attempt to qualify for the state meet again after his 9th place final last year in a PR of 8:58.28.  During cross country season, he helped lead his team to their 2nd state team championship in the last 3 years with a 2nd place individual finish behind rival, Danny Martinez of St. John Bosco in a time of 15:16 on the Woodward Park course.  The Palos Verdes 5 x 3200m. team is currently ranked as the 17th fastest team in the nation with a team average of 9:28.16 according to

1. Three words that describe you and why?
Determined, because I hate to call anything quits; Competitive, because I love to compete in everything I do; Friendly, so long as it's not during a race, I try to be friendly to anyone that approaches me.

2. What does Passion mean to you, how does it apply to running and perhaps succeeding in life? 
To me, passion is the fuel that ignites determination. My passion for any goal that I have, whether its running related or not, helps me do my best to accomplish that goal.

3. How do you want to be remembered as a runner? An all-time great, a record breaker, or one of many? An example of something greater?
I want to be remembered as the runner who gave it his all at every race, no matter if I lost or won.

4. If you met an 8th grader transitioning into high school who dreamt of being a successful distance runner, what words of advice would you give to him? 
I would tell him that it's a tough road. I would tell him that it's a road filled with success and disappointment. But if he's willing to follow this road, then he will see success in the end.

5. Humility in all things...what does that phrase mean to you?
To me, this quote hits home. I try to live my life based on keeping myself humble in everything I do. So this quote means a lot to me personally.

6. Looking back, what is the most significant moment in your running career?
Being fortunate enough to be on not only one, but two state championship XC teams was one of the best moments in my running career and I will cherish it always.

7. What other sports have you played besides cross country and track and field?
I tried to play basketball when I was younger but I wasn't that good at it. I also played soccer and even a bit of tennis. But eventually it all led to the sport of running.

8. How did you get your start in running?
My father was a runner and he instantly knew that I had the build to be a runner too and he tried to convince me to run as my eighth grade graduation approached. But when I wouldn't listen he eventually made a deal with me that I would run one race my freshman year and if I didnt like it, I could stop. Turns out that my dad and I loved racing and here I am now, still doing what I love to do.

9. What were some of your highlights from your high school career so far?
I would say my top three highlight of high school were: 1. winning two state XC titles with my team, 2. finishing 6th at Nike Cross Nationals my senior year, and 3. making lifelong friends along the way.

10. What is your favorite racing moment thus far?
My favorite racing moment to date is probably winning the CIF title with my xc team my senior year because my brother was on the team and it meant a lot to me to win a title with him along with my best friends.

11. Tell us a little about your family and how they has helped you develop during your years in high school.
My family has been incredibly supportive of me over the past four years. They have taught me to be respectful, humble, and an overall better person. They have taught me through example, through lessons, and through experience.

12. Your has he influenced your running, team?
My coach has taught me and my team that we can't simply expect greatness and success to fall into our laps. We have to work for it and only then will we have the privilege of having the opportunity to achieve success.

13. Favorite distance in track? Favorite run? Favorite invitational? Favorite opponent(s)? Favorite track workouts? Favorite run?
I've always loved to race the 3200m, it's intense and it's a fun race. My favorite run has to be the run up to Iceberg Lake up in Mammoth Lakes, CA. It's a great run that has an amazing view at every part of the run. My favorite invitational is the Palos Verdes Invitaional during xc season; it's a fun 2 mile race on a really tough course but you get to do cool stuff like run through a small river and jump over hay bales. I would have to say that my favorite opponent would have to be Danny Martinez of St. John Bosco; he's been a sort of rival since my sophomore year. Whenever we race there's never a guarantee of who is going to come out on top for that day. Over the years, he has also become a friend to me and that makes racing him a little more fun.  My favorite track workout are those special days when I get to do a tempo piece on the track, there's something about tempos that I really enjoy and they always make me feel good when I'm done.

14. What races are you most looking forward to as you look ahead to the rest of your track and field season? 
Well at this point I'm looking forward to the Master's Meet and hopefully, State Finals.

15. Running ultimately will not define who you are, how would you like to be defined?
I want to be defined as an approachable person who cares about his friends and his family. And also someone who is grateful for everything in his life.

16. Favorite running movie, running song, and favorite runner?
My favorite running movie is "Without Limits", it's a great movie and it always gets me motivated to run. My favorite running song is " 'Til I Collapse" by Eminem. I just like that song and it gets like "Without Limits", it just motivates me. Steve Prefontaine is definitely my favorite runner. The fact that he gave it everything he had is very inspiring and he was an amazing runner to say the least.

Thank you very much for your time Jonah!  AJC

Sarah Baxter loses her first high school race in either XC and Track and Field

This might have slipped through the cracks but this past Saturday, sophomore Sarah Baxter of Simi Valley High School lost her first high school race (Cross Country and Track and Field).  It was in the 1600m. and she lost to Xochitl Navarrete 4:47.19 to 4:49.33.  It was still a personal record for Baxter and more than likely will just be competing in the 3200m. at the State Meet were she is the defending state champion.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

California Track and Field newspaper coverage...

Santa Cruz County teams punch 12 tickets to finals
Paly sprinters keep CCS track hopes alive
Galle, Martin advance to CCS track finals (HMB Review)
Area track stars make CCS finals (Monterey Herald)
SCCAL advances 10 to finals

Las Lomas pole vaulters shine at NCS Tri-Valley Area Championships
NCS 1A:  Tatui Gomes, meet record and Fort Bragg's dominance
Tam girls team claims section title
Holy Names' Sasha Wallace excels with pressure on

Last attempt counts
Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Track and Field Championships
Oakmont girls place second at Division II track and field meet
Two Jaguars win double gold at Division IV-V meet (Tracy Press)
Woodland Wolves quarter qualifies for Masters
Relay wins help Vacaville High School track teams take second in section

Oakland Section Final Entries

San Francisco Section Trials Results


Central Section track and field athletes set records at Masters
Central Section track & field results

Read more here:

Reddish runs to record, victory
Nichols, news, and notes from CIF SS finals
Vista Murrieta makes it 3 in row
Serra track and field teams extend their reign at CIF-SS Divisional Finals
Athlets reaching for a dream at CIF-SS track meet
Four Palm Springs area track stars make Masters Meet
Pioneers are two tough in finals (Daily News LA)
Making Masters proves tall hurdle (La Canada Valley Sun)
Masterful performance for local prep track athletes (San Luis Obispo)
Tigers win team title, De La Torre, Crear double (Pasadena Sun)
Foothill five
When it mattered most (Santa Clarita Valley Signal)
Cochran, Percival win CIF track and field titles (Daily Pilot)
Serra track and field teams extend their reign at CIF-SS Divisional Finals
Poly girls earn their 5th straight CIF title
South Torrance's Smith takes it to a higher level at CIF track meet
Versatile Zebold hurdles into CIF finals
Wheatley wins twice to lead area CIF-SS champs
Cabrillo's Miranda leaps to second place
Fabela, Aguiree claim CIF-SS titles (Whittier Daily News)
Baxter loses one, wins won to highlight CIF track
South Pasadena has enough to win title
Davis does it again at CIF (Glendale News Press)

2012 CIF-SS Track and Field Divisional Finals video archives

Read more here:

Shaky start fails to deter Carlsbad's Jemison

American JC 200 Record For Ashton Purvis

Saturday, May 19, 2012

NorCal Sections Results

Central Coast Section (CCS)

Redwood Empire (NCS)
Tri-Valley (NCS)
Tri-Valley Videos
Class A (NCS)
Class A Pictures
Bayshore (NCS)
800m. video from Bayshore (Boys)
1600m. video from Bayshore (Boys)

Northern Section Newspaper Article (NS)

More will be posted as I find them.  Any surprises today?  Best performance(s)?

Central Coast Section Meet today at Gilroy HS

I will try to tweet as many results as I can during the meet.  You can find me at or search for #2012CCSTF

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Surprise New Format for NCS Redwood

The new format for all the area meets is now the same as the Class A Meet were the fastest 7 athletes advance to the NCS MOC based solely on time.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Couple of college updates from past NorCal athletes...

Kevin Griffith formerly of San Ramon Valley HS and now Purdue University ran a 1:49.69 on Saturday at the Big Ten Conference Championships. He finished 11th overall and quailifed for the NCAA East Regional meet in Jacksonville (May 24-26). The 800M race is really deep in the Big Ten with 17 runners running 800M regional qualifying times. It was his first ever sub 1:50 time. He also ran on Purdue's 4x400M relay team which ran 3:12.93.

Sarah Sumpter formerly of Healdsburg HS set two new conference records for UC Davis at the Big West conference meet and was named Big West Athlete of the Year.

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