Saturday, March 30, 2019

Northern California Invitational Results

Stanford Invitational:
Best performances at Stanford? Biggest surprise? Best event? 

Firebird Relays:

Mike Fanelli Track Classic:

Feel free to comment on any of the events that take place today. Highlights? Outstanding marks? 

If you planning on competing at Arcadia this weekend, let us know below. What event(s)?

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Catching up with Terra Nova senior thrower, Carly Watts

Today we chat with one of the top throwers in California, Terra Nova senior, Carly Watts. She really came into her own last season when she swept the shot put and discus events at CCS and finished in 6th place in the shot put at the State Meet. She has been more impressive this season with new personal bests in both events. At the St. Francis Invitational, Watts threw a best of 146'7" in the discus. This past weekend, Watts posted a new best in the shot put with a winning effort of 45'6". Those marks place her 10th (shot put) and 15th (discus) on the all-time CCS marks for those events.

1) What sports have you participated in aside from Track and Field? How long did you play those sports and any highlights?
I played soccer up until high school and then Freshmen year I decided to play water polo. I  played water polo all four years and won MVP my junior year and made first team all-league my junior and senior year. In the Fall, I play goalie for Terra Nova’s Water Polo team. I was the MVP my Junior year as well as 1st-team all-league both Junior and Senior year.

2) When did you get your start in Track and Field? What events have you done aside from the shot put and discus?
I began competing in track and field during my freshman year. Shot put and discus are the only events that I have done.

3) What do you remember most about your freshman and sophomore seasons on the Track and Field team? Highlights? What did you learn?
I wasn’t too involved during my freshman year. Both my older brothers were throwers on the team when I was a freshman. I didn’t feel successful in the sport until the track finals of my sophomore year. I won the discus and placed 2nd in the shot put. That night, during dinner with my family, I made the decision that I wanted to train diligently in throwing and break the 30+-year-old school record.

4) When you do you feel like you made your biggest breakthrough in high school and what do you feel led to that breakthrough?
The biggest breakthrough probably came at the K-Bell Invitational when I threw into the 130’s for the disc for the first time. The hours of training starting in June and the relentless determination of trying to take a school record was the main reason why that breakout occurred.

5) You had a terrific junior season. What were some of your highlights and proudest achievements?
My proudest achievements my junior season was breaking my school records, winning PAL/CCS then placing 6th at the state meet. Specifically, the state meet is a competition like no other. In the final round of the shot put, I was in 8th place. I knew that the 6th place podiums and that was a truly surreal moment. I had to calm the nerves and really just leave it all out there.

6) Who have been your most influential coaches in your athletic career and how have they helped you get to where you are today?
My most influential coaches have been my throwing/ lifting coach Rene Nielsen and our head track coach Jared Steele. Both have pushed me to become a better person and athlete while always believe in me.

7) What does a typical week look like for you during the Track and Field season? How often are you throwing? How often are you in the weight room? What else are you doing that you feel help you during competitions?
During the Track season I lift Tuesday-Thursday before school then after school, I do my track workout (jumping, sprinting etc) and then I throw. During weeks that I don't have a meet, I do at least 100 throws during practice with differently sized implements. On the weekend I lift and do cardio while giving my body a rest from throwing.

8) Favorite TF invitational? Favorite TF event? Favorite TF workout? Favorite team tradition? Favorite free time activity? Favorite movie? Favorite song?
K-Bell will be special since that was when I had my first breakthrough throws during Junior year. I’m also going to Arcadia for the first time this year and am definitely excited to try and put together a good performance against some tough competition. I have mad respect for athletes that run the 3200m and it’s cool to watch them grind it out for 8 continuous laps. During my free time, I enjoy watching “Workout Wednesday” clips on youtube and sleeping.

9) What would you say is the toughest part of playing water polo? What about participating on the Track and Field team?
The toughest part about water polo was the conditioning we had to do. My water polo coach had us doing a lot of swimming and I would do goalie specific drills as well. 

10) Have you made your decision about where you will attend college? If so, where and how did you make that decision? If not, have you narrowed your choices down and when do you think you will make your decision?
I have not committed to any colleges yet. (Carly has since committed to Northern Arizona University).

11) What would your advice be for a freshman girl just starting to throw and with big goals for the future?
My advice to a young female thrower would be to stay consistent and to not give up when the training gets difficult. I’d tell her that “you can’t have a million dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic”. Set high goals and refuse to be deterred from them.

Thank you very much for your time Carly! AJC

Friday, March 22, 2019

Northern California Weekend Invitationals

Oakland Invitational Relays:

Here are a couple of links for events taking place this weekend. More results will be added this weekend as soon as they are posted.

Santa Rosa Twilight Invitational:

Bay Area Relays:

DeAnza Cupertino Invitational:

Serra Invitational Performance list:
Live results:

North Salinas Invitational live results:

There will be some Northern California athletes traveling south to the APU Meet of Champions so here is a preview for the meet:

Friday, March 15, 2019

Dublin Distance Fiesta Time Schedule and Meet Records

Predictions anyone? Who will win the sombrero (fastest) heats for each event? What will be the winning time? Will there be any new meet records? Who will have the biggest kick? Biggest surprise winner in any event? Who is a lock to win their event? What else?

Workout of a state champion: Matt Strangio

Thursday, March 14, 2019

2019 Dublin Distance Fiesta Meet Preview

To the right is starter Bob Shor perched on his trusty stool as he started one of many races at the Dublin Distance Fiesta. He sadly passed away a few years ago and please take a moment to read a bit about Bob at the links below. He was a great guy!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Dublin Distance Fiesta

Per meet director, Chris Williams:
Some fun facts about this years version - we broke all of our entry records:
  • 118 high schools attending (101 previous record)
  • 2633 student athletes entered (2334 previous)
  • 3649 events entered (3178 previous)
Finally, all of our information can be found at 

I will post a preview of the meet on Thursday and will focus on the fastest heats in each event. If you have anything you want to discuss about the meet, feel free to do so in the comment section below.

For now, you can check out all the heats listed in order and athletes are listed in each heat by alphebetical order.

An unofficial poll, what is the most loaded event at the DDF?
Girls 1600m?
Boys 1600m?
Girls 800m?
Boys 800m?
Girls 3200m?
Boys 3200m?

The world record for most boys running sub 5 minutes for the 1600 was set last year at the Arroyo HS/APU Meet of Champions with 405 boys dipping under the mark. Could this year's Dublin Distance Fiesta challenge that mark?

Friday, March 08, 2019

Catching up with 1984 Olympian Ruth Wysocki...

On Ruth's birthday today, I am reposting to the front page.
Today we chat with '84 Olympian, Ruth Wysocki (pictured here courtesy of Many of us remember her thrilling victory at the Olympic Trials (1500m) in that same year over Mary Decker, who had swept the 1500 and 3000 in the inaugural World Championships in '83. Ruth was quite a pioneer in our sport considering girl's high school sports were quite sparse in the 70's. Her career also extended to a time when most of her peers had long retired. She still holds the American Record in the 1500 in the 35-39 age division where she ran 4:07.08 as a 38 year old. So without further ado, one of the all time running greats...

1) What sports did you compete in before and during high school?

During high school, I only ran. However, I was very involved in musical activities. I had private lessons in piano and violin, played in the school orchestra and sang in choir for school & church.

2) What was the cross country and track and field scene like during your time in high school?
Things were quite different. I graduated from high school in 1974. There were virtually no high school sports for girls. My running was for a club. For my first 2 years, my dad was my coach and I ran for the So. Cal. Roadrunners. My junior year, I trained with Vince Reel and worked out at the Claremont Colleges. Lots of intervals as he was basically a sprint coach. Ran for the LA Track Club. Then, in my senior year, I ran for my school, but on the boy's team. Lots of stories there. 1973 (Junior year) was the first year for CIF track for girls. This consisted of a CIF meet (what is now the Masters Meet for Southern Section), but no state meet. You could not double in 2 distance events (Boys couldn't, either). So I ran 440 and 880 and won them both with only 15-20 minutes rest in between events. Also won the Arcadia Invitational 880 twice. My senior year was the first year for a state meet for girls, but I wasn't allowed to run because I ran on the boy's team. More stories there as well!

I think probably the biggest difference in high school running then was that only people serious about wanting to compete bothered to go out for the team. Teams were smaller, but there was more intensity. We lived to compete and gave our all and then some. Now, like life in general, it seems to be about participation and making sure everybody feels good. By the way, in those days cross country was 2 miles, not 3.

3) Where did you compete in college and what was your experience like then?
Again, back in the "dark ages" there were few, if any, opportunities for the gals. There was no NCAA for women. They had the AIAW, which was kind of a joke. I went to the University of Redlands for 1 year to run for Vince Reel again, but it proved to be a bad choice of schools for me. I did improve my 880 from 2:10 to 2:07, but then didn't go back after that first year. I got married in 1976 (& divorced in 1982) and went to work full-time for the school district in their purchasing department. I started working with Vince O'Boyle (now at UC Irvine, but then at Citrus Jr. College) and he remained my coach until I quite racing. I ended up running for Citrus for 2 years (1977-1979) because Vince had 4 good gals who wanted to run cross country & track and they needed a 5th runner. So, I worked out at 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and worked for the school district from 8:00-5:00. In 1978, I won AAU Championships for 800 (beating Mary Decker).

4) When did you first realize that you had an opportunity to participate in the Olympics? Besides the '84 Olympic Trials 1500 race, any other races stand out for you?
In 1976 (my first year working with Vince O'Boyle), we set a goal of making it to the Olympic Trials at 800 meters. I improved to 2:03.87 and made it to the finals, where I got dead last. However, I realized at that point that I was among the top 800 meter runners in the US and I was only 19 years old. That's when I realized I had the real potential for something big to happen.

There are a lot of memorable races for me, and for many reasons. Perhaps the best memory was breaking 2:00 for 800 meters for the first time. I come from a family of 800 meter runners (my dad was 4th in the California State Meet in 1946). I have 3 brothers who also competed. I ran the 800 for many years and always had that goal of dipping under 2:00.

5) Reflecting back, what kind of training do you feel worked best for you (high mileage? etc.)? What were some of your key workouts for you?
I was definitely not high mileage. I trained 50-60 miles per week and did 2-a-days to get that. I did one "long" run a week of 1 hour. Most runs were 6 miles, and my morning run (4-5 days a week) was 3 miles. But, I did it year after year after year. Not missing days was key for my psyche as well as my physical fitness and strength. I think some of the key workouts included changing pace. For example, we would run 800's where we would be at 1500 pace for the first 500 and then "go." I loved running 500 meter repeats. When we did shorter stuff, we often started with a hard 1000 meter. We did a lot of cutdowns, where each repeat, or each set got faster.

Each year started with mile repeats, then 1200, 1000, 800, 600, 400. Each of these workouts started with 3 miles of intervals (12 laps). After a number of years, Vince let me skip the miles because I hated doing them and let me start with 1200s. Those weeks would be 1 workout on the track and the other a fartlek on the roads. I think consistency was a real key for me. Staying with the same coach (bless you, Vince!), having familiar checkpoints, not trying to re-invent or jump on the latest craze, but trusting what Vince had me do and doing it again and again.

6) How important was mental preparation for you before races?
Like many other runners, it became more and more important over the years. I did a lot of visualization. I must have broken 2:00 in my head thousands of times before it actually happened!

7) Who was the toughest competitor(s) you faced as a pro?
There were many. In the early season it was just about everybody. I seemed to need to race myself into competitive shape and would often get beat in the early races, like Mt Sac. I wasn't like some gals who would race very sparingly. When I was in top form, I didn't fear many competitors. I knew what I was ready to run and I would set out to do it. If someone could do it better or faster, then that's the way it went. Most of the toughest competitors were the ones in the European races.

8) What is your take on the resurgence of female mid-distance runners? Do you have any favorite current pro runners?
It has been great to see the breakthroughs that have happened of late. I was always quite surprised to see my times hold up so well for so many years. I didn't have a lot of the technical help or training groups. There were many years where I needed to work, sometimes full-time and balance my running. Knowing the way I trained and that I didn't have a whole "team" of people helping (not that I didn't have supporters), I always wondered why people who seemed to put more into it than I did weren't running faster times than they were.

Of the current crop, I think my favorites are Shannon Rowbury and Anna Willard. I know Shannon is in very good hands with Coach Cook. Anna is just so tough and exciting to watch race - and what versatility! She seems to have no fear.

9) What have been some of the changes in the world of professional races?
Much more money!

10) What are your thoughts on PEDs and how can their use be controlled and/or diminished?
I wish I had the magic answer for this one! It has been really discouraging to see some people seemingly get away with cheating. It's difficult, though, to separate the rumors from the truth. Any time someone runs fast or has a big breakthrough, they're immediately accused. I'm glad the internet wasn't so prevalant when I was competing. I've seen articles now about what apparently went on in 1984. We as athletes had very strong suspicions and had heard things. But, even now, HGH isn't tested for. You see some people really physically change and it seems so obvious sometimes. Personally, I don't know how they live with themselves. Especially as a female. You have to live many, many years with what you do to your body, and it just isn't worth it if you ask me. The biggest surprise to me is the Americans who have been caught that didn't even run as fast as I did. Why cheat to run 2:00 and 4:00? It can be done without that.

11) Cross-training and other alternative methods (alter-g, etc.) are more prevalent now; if you were a pro today, how would you incorporate these methods?
In my competitive days, swimming and biking were what you did when you were hurt. It was hard to find pleasure in either activity. Knowing what I know now, I think I would have incorporated more swimming and working out in the water. However, I built my confidence by running, and I know I would have second-guessed whether the other workouts were accomplishing what I needed. I'm very "old school."

12) What would your advice be for high school female runners?
Be consistent. Run every day. Quality is much more important than quantity. I personally don't think any high school girl needs to run more than 40-50 miles per week, but they do need the quality. You can't jog those miles and be successful. You don't want to use it all up in high school, but you want to be ready to step it up to the next level. Remember, your physical peak is not going to come in high school. If you want a future in the sport, it will come in college and beyond. Also, take care of yourself! You need to eat right, get enough sleep and keep your life in balance. Ask yourself, "if the running were taken away tomorrow, what would be left?" If the answer is nothing, you've got a problem. High school is a time to explore, learn and try things. Challenge yourself to watch and learn. Read, watch races, follow someone's career, ask questions.

13) Anything else you would like to add.
I don't know. If I got started, I could probably write a book's worth of stuff! I started running at age 10 (by the way, I didn't even train every day then). I was still competing in my 40's, and that's a long time. Bottom line, I really love to run! It's interesting now to look back and realize I was sort of a pioneer in women's running. I was a part of a lot of different "phases."

Thank you very much for your time Ruth! AJC

Thursday, March 07, 2019

1987 California State meet 1600m (boys)

Great race from the 1987 state meet as Bellarmine's Scott Robinson outduels Jesuit's Paul Thomas 4:07.95 to 4:08.57. You can check out my interview with Paul Thomas at this LINK
I am posting a lot of similar videos on twitter as well where you can find me @CCExpress.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Dublin Distance Fiesta

What color shirt do YOU want to WIN at the 2019 Dublin Distance Fiesta?!  Please take our poll linked here -  The poll closes on Sunday, March 10, 2019.

Chris Williams
Dublin Distance Fiesta Meet Director

Catching up with Concord senior, Rayna Stanziano

You can check out my interview with Rayna at the link below. She is the top returning 800m. runner from last year's state meet as she finished in 3rd place with a PR of 2:09.44. For you Track and Field trivia buffs, her coach who is also her mother (Lanette Stanziano) ran at Del Mar and in 1983, she finished in 5th place at the state meet with a time of 2:11.07. I think you are all going to enjoy this interview and please feel free to share it with others who can enjoy it as well.

Monday, March 04, 2019

American Canyon freshman Croix Stewart

At the Big Cat Invitational this past Saturday, Stewart won the 100m (10.92), 200m (22.50) and 400m (51.06) as well as run on a leg on the winning 1600m relay team. Below is a video of his 100m race thanks to's Jim Crowhurst. American Canyon is in the Napa Valley School District and compete in NCS.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Videographers wanted!

If you are interested in taking videos at invitationals and would like to be paid for your efforts, is looking for videographers. If this might be right up your alley, please email Jeff Parenti at You will be paid per meet and if you have any questions, Jeff will be able to answer them promptly.

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