Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Olympic runner found dead in Scottsdale condo complex swimming pool

Incredibly sad news hearing about the death of former Loyola HS and Cal Berkeley runner David Torrence. He was a professional runner who never forgot his roots and always had time for his fans. A terrible loss for the running community.

The newspaper article that broke the story can be found at this LINK.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Toro Park Clean-Up

Letter from CCS Assistant Commissioner Steve Filios/Photo of the St Francis girls below.
Dear Principals, Athletic Directors and Coaches from the schools who participated in Saturday’s Toro Park Cross Country Course restoration,

I want to thank all those athletes, coaches and parents of the schools who shared their time and talents on Saturday in the effort to restore the Toro Park Cross Country Course.  The day was a huge success!  The course looks great thanks to everyone’s efforts.  On a personal level, it was great for me to have the chance to meet some great student-athletes and parents which gave me the opportunity to let them know how much we appreciated them.  On behalf of the thousands of cross country participants of the our member schools who will run this season at Toro Park, we thank those who took part in this critical work day.

Special thanks to Roger and Barbara Chagnon who coordinated the effort.


Steve Filios
CCS Assistant Commissioner

Sunday, August 27, 2017

St. Francis Cross Country Opens with Strong Performances at Oakmont Invite

Cross Country Opens with Strong Performances at Oakmont

ROSEVILLE, Calif. – The St. Francis cross country program captured two team and individual titles in the opening meet of the season at the Oakmont Invitational on Saturday.

“It was great and I am so excited,” said senior Sydney Vandegrift. “We have been working so hard during the summer. We have had all 50 girls show up. It has been great. We decided to stay as a pack at the beginning, working on starting well as a team and building up to the end.”

The St. Francis varsity opened the meet with 29 points to easily claim the team title, placing six among the top 10 and all 10 among the top 30. Vandegrift won the individual title in 14:25 with her teammates close behind.

Junior Sophie DeBenedetti and sophomore Haley Silva were fifth and sixth overall 12 15:06 followed by sophomore Emma Hollenbach in eighth in 15:12. Junior Noelle Lynch and Alana Reyna crossed seconds late to round out the scoring five.

Freshman Hann Hekkanen placed 25th in her first high school race, while sophomore Nicole McBride posted one of the top year-to-year improvements with her time of 16.02.

“It was fun running with the older girls and feeling what they experience,” said McBride. “I felt part of a team because we stayed together.”

She dropped 1:12 from her first race last season at Maidu Park.

“It is really satisfying knowing all the hard work we put in six days a week pays off,” said McBride. “It made me very proud of everyone. All the speeches from the coaches, we really took it heart and accomplished it.”

St. Francis also won the junior varsity race, sweeping the top five places to post a perfect score of 15. Sophomore Grace Harrison won the individual title, pacing her Troubie teammates across the line in 16:46, an improvement of 2:32 from last season at Oakmont.

“It felt really good,” said Harrison. “I never thought I was going to be able to win a race. When it was happening with .3 left, I was wondering if I was going to do it and I did not want to jinx myself. It felt unreal and cool. I am really glad I ran all summer to make this happen.”

The SF program was also well represented in the Frosh/Soph race, showing the growth and depth of the program with more than 30 Troubies in the trademark yellow jerseys overtaking the course. Madeline Fahey was the top finisher in the race for the team.
“It was a culmination of all the hard work and determination the girls put in over the summer,” said Head Coach Aaron Rios. “We are looking like we are going to have a phenomenal year. The girls are amazing.”

Overall, 11 Troubies posted personal-bests at the meet. St. Francis will be off this week before returning to action at the Ed Sias Invitational on Sept. 9.

Varsity Team Results (Top 5)
1. St Francis 29
2. Vista Del Lago 104
3. Woodcreek 104
4. Rocklin 137
5. Placer 184

Individual Varsity Results

Junior Varsity Team Results

1. St Francis15
2. Whitney 80
3. Woodcreek 91
4. Oak Ridge 96
5. Del Oro 111
6. McClatchy 114

Junior Varsity Team Results

Steven Shaff
Assistant AD/Sports Information
St. Francis High School

Thursday, August 24, 2017

My first athlete and coach interviews

I had to go back and dig these up. Both are from 2007 and they are my first athlete and coach interviews respectively. The first interview is with former Palo Alto HS runner Charlie Avis who I also coached in middle school. He was a very serious bicycle racer as well as a very talented runner. You can find his interview at this link:

The first coaching interview was with former Petaluma coach Jim Lynch. During that time, Petaluma was one of the best cross country teams in the state. They won 4 NCS titles between 2006 and 2010 as well as two podium finishes. You can check out that interview here:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Toro Park Course Clean Up on Saturday, August 26th at 9am

Added today:
We have finalized plans for a local taqueria to provide large burritos and a drink for $7 each for our clean up day.  Please let us know by Wednesday (8/23) evening how many from your team we can expect for lunch.  Don't forget to have a waiver signed by all participating, the County will be collecting.
Thank you all in advance!
Barbara Chagnon
Salinas HS XC
Toro Park will be the course for this year's Central Coast Section (CCS) meet. After the park was used as a staging area for the Soberanes fires, the park has areas that need to be cleaned up.

On Saturday, August 26th, local teams will be there to clean up the park but they will need our help. You can check out the link below for more info as well as a waiver that will need to be filled out to help.

Any questions should be directed to Salinas HS coach Roger Chagnon at chagnon@ultimanet.com

The link to the clean up day and the waiver can be found HERE.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bob Shor Obituary

You can find it at this LINK thanks to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Bob Shor

I am very sad to report that Bob Shor passed away this morning after battling illness for the past few years. Most of you would know Bob from starting a lot of meets especially in the Santa Rosa area. He was also the starter for the Dublin Distance Fiesta, Castro Valley Invitational and NCS MOC XC meet for many years. Bob was also a youth coach in the Santa Rosa area. May he rest in peace. He was definitely one of the good guys in our sports. Photo  to the right courtesy of Michael McGuire.

I have no information of funeral services at this point. If I hear differently, I will update this post.
The following are two posts from Santa Rosa coaches Doug Courtemarche and Carrie Joseph.
First Doug:
A long and dear friend of mine and Santa Rosa High School Track and Cross Country passed away this morning. Bob Shor was part of Santa Rosa High for around 20 years. He was a coach and starter for our meets. Bob and I worked together for over 30 years with the Santa Rosa Express Youth club and the high school. Bob voluntarily offered his numerous services to any group that he could accommodate. Bob started meets allover the country and never sought compensation. He freely gave his time and expertise whenever he could. Bob was truly a legend not only in Sonoma County but throughout Northern California and In Youth track nationally. Bob was an active member of the Empire Runners of Sonoma County.
I met with his wife and daughter this morning and they are both doing fine. Bob suffered from multiple forms of cancer for the past year. There will be some sort of service in the early fall.
You will be missed, Bob. Happy starting in Heaven.
Second is Carrie:
Bob Shor was an icon, an institution, a legend. He touched 1000s of young athletes' lives. Gruff yet gentle, he had a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to impart. He was a Vietnam Vet from New York City, a 4:20 miler, a great storyteller. Old School all the way, which would cause him some bewilderment as times changed of course. He was especially patient with young kids in SR Express, and I have many fond memories of Bob being surprisingly playful with my own children as they grew up on the track because I towed them there every day.
Despite his health problems the last few years, he never missed a day of practice until this past CC season. One of the hardest core routine skills we do are what we call the "Bob Shor Leg Hovers" -- it's too painful to even describe here, but let's just say he made it look easy. I know our athletes would sigh with relief when we would travel to a foreign track or CC course and see Bob with the starter pistol -- partly because they knew Bob inspired fear in their competitors, but also because they knew the real Bob.
Bob was meticulous about his beloved track, arriving to practice hours early to pull weeds, straighten curbs, and repair equipment. He knew the rule book inside and out. He probably wrote it, actually. 
Thank you, Bob.
Here is an article from 2011 after Bob won the Kathy Van Riper Inspiration Award:

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Sac-Joaquin Section Individual Rankings

Divisions for upcoming season just posted at:

1) Collin Ullrich Liberty Ranch
2) Matt Strangio Jesuit
3) Jonah Wiener-Brodkey McClatchy
4) Santiago Ruiz Joseph Gregori
5) Drew Spencer Oak Ridge
6) Sergio Lopez Del Campo
7) Mason Reeves Joseph Gregori
8) Garrett Gough Nevada Union
9) Damian King Bella Vista
10) Conner Ryan Placer

1) Maddy Denner Oak Ridge
2) Elena Denner Oak Ridge
3) Olivia O'Keeffe Davis
4) Sydney Vandegrift St. Francis, Sacramento
5) Isabella Fauria St. Francis, Sacramento
6) Clarissa Nowag-Nelson McClatchy
7) Alize Hartke Oakmont
8) Cassie Land Sonora
9) Kaela Dishion Bret Harte
10) Sophia Karperos Rio Americano

If you feel like there are runners that belong on the lists above, please feel free to add their names in the comment section below. Also, from looking at the divisions for the upcoming season, what teams moved divisions from last year and will have an impact in a different division this year?

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Meet the Pro: An Evening With Strava Track Club's Ayla Granados (Wed, August 9th)

This event will take place Wednesday, August 9th at Thornberry Running and Sports Therapy in Pleasanton from 8pm to 9pm. You can find all the info to the event along how to register at this LINK.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

2017/2018 NorCal's top freshmen

Started by a comment in a previous post. If you have other freshmen to add to the list, please add them and their times in the comment section below.

Isabelle Cairns is from Woodside and had a good track season. She ran a 2:16 800 and 4:56 1500. The club girls run 1500 so that needs to be converted. I get 5:17 for 1600. She ran XC last year but in track she focused on the 400 and 800 so it's unclear if she will run XC in HS. I also don't know what HS she is going to. (believed to be going to St. Francis, MV)

Natalie Harper is headed to Cosumnes Oaks. She ran 5:11 at Halden for 1600 and also ran 4:50 for 1500. She also ran a 10:36 3000. She will certainly be a big factor for CO.

Madison Denny is headed to Armijo. She ran a 4:47 1500 which converts to a 5:08 for 1600. She also ran a 2:20 800 and a 10:32 3000. She has the fastest 1500 and 3000 times for Northern California middle school girls and the 2nd fastest 800 to Isabelle Cairns. I also heard that Luis Grijalva's coach is staying on with Armijo to coach her. Not sure if that's true but if so, that could be huge. Times courtesy of athletic.net

Collin Peattie RJ Fisher MS in Los Gatos, PRs that I could find for him are 2:04.46 and 4:37.32. Believed to be going to Bellarmine.

Maya Lacamp Lick-Wilmerding 4:59.01 1500m

Dylan Gunn Campolindo 4:25 1500, 9:33 3000m

Chloe Decker Christian Brothers (SJS) 12.64 (100m), 26.21 (200m)

Teia Chou Sunnyvale MS now going to Homestead HS (CCS) 2:24 (800m), 5:28 (1600m)

Others? Sprinters? Jumpers? Throwers? 

HOKA Distance Clinic on August 5th at Sacramento City College

Join us Sat, 5 August for a special opportunity to listen and learn  from one of America's
 greatest coaching legends  -  Dr. Joe Vigil
Don't miss this opportunity to listen and learn from coaching legend Dr. Joe Vigil Saturday, 5 August.  Whether an experienced or new coach...a hard core endurance coach/runner or new to the sport...Dr. Vigil in addition to other respected regional speakers will educate and motivate you for the upcoming season!
pre-registration closes Thursday, 3 August

8:00-9:00am - Registration in foyer of Lillard Hall, Sacramento City College
9:00-9:10 - Introduction and Orientation
9:15-10:45 - Dr. Joe Vigil - Championship Cross Country Training
11:00-12:30 - Dr. Paul Salitsky - The Competitive Edge: Getting It/Keeping It 
12:30-1:45 - lunch and vendor raffle
1:45-3:15 - Dr. Joe Vigil - Building A Cross Country Culture
3:30-5:00 - Rob McClendon - topic tba

Dr. Joe Vigil: A USATF Legend Coach, Vigil is arguably America's greatest endurance coach. Collegiately, Vigil led Adams State to 19 National Cross Country Championships, the most of any NAIA/NCAA Track or Cross Country Program. In addition to that accomplishment his Cross Country and Track athletes have achieved an amazing 20 podium appearances at World Championships and Olympic Games competitions. Vigil is the only USA Coach to attain this competitive standard. Coach Vigil has also mentored 47 individual USATF Champions who have set 17 National records and two of his athletes achieved No. 1 World Rankings! Among his most recent proteges are Olympic Marathon Medalist Deena Kastor, Brenda Martinez, and Boris Berian. A prolific writer and motivational speaker, Dr. Vigil continues to inform and inspire coaches and athletes at all levels of our sport(s).

Dr. Paul Salitsky:  Salitsky is in his 21st year on the Faculty of UC Davis in the area of Applied Sport & Exercise Psychology and Motor Learning. Dr. Salitsky is an Internationally recognized authority in the Field of Performance Psychology and has contributed to the USOC and USATF Sports Psychology programs. Salitsky has worked closely with the successful Nor-Cal Distance Program since its inception. He is a Certified Mentor Trainer with Positive Coaching Alliance and has presented over 200 workshops nationwide in all facets of Coaching Education.

Rob McClendon: As the Head Cross Country and Assistant Track Coach in charge of Distances at Truckee HS, McClendon has developed a strong Cross Country Program capturing 3 Nevada State 3A Girls Titles in Cross Country in the past four years. Rob attended Cal State San Marcos University where he was coached and mentored by Steve Scott, the American Record Holder in the Mile. Rob was an NAIA All American in Cross Country and specialized in the 3000m Steeplechase in Track.

CLINIC COST: Seating limited, reserve your seat soon!
$55.00 - School or club staffs or 2 or more by Thursday, 3 Augustby 11:59pm
$65.00 - Individual pre-registered by Thursday, 3 August by 11:59pm$85.00 - Registration at the door 
REGISTRATION PAGE (for individuals and staffs):https://www.simplyregister.net/register/?e=111385
For school or clubs with personal or school checks contact Peanut Harms at nutboy51@yahoo.com by 3 August at 11:59pm

- All pre-registered coaches will receive presentation notes of each session
HOKA OneOne clinic t-shirts for the first 100 registrants 
- Free kit and product information from clinic vendors
- A portion of the clinic's proceeds goes towards scholarships for Pacific Association coaches to     attend an Assoc. Level 1 Schools.

Don't miss this opportunity to listen and learn from one of America's greatest coaches!
For a complete listing of coaching education opportunities in the Pacific Association of USATF,  

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