Saturday, July 31, 2021

Crystal Springs course clean up

If you are interested in helping prepare the Crystal Springs course for competition this coming season, there will be two opportunities to help. One is on Saturday, August 7th and the other is on Saturday, August 14th. The times for both days will be 8am to 1pm.

You will need to sign up at this link:

Coaches, please pass this along to your athletes.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Stanford Invitationals

The Stanford Track and Field Invitational (high school portion) will return in 2022 on April 1/2.

The Stanford Cross Country Invitational will be back in 2022.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Pre-Season NCS Division IV XC rankings

 D4 - Boys by Piedmont assistant coach, Len Goldman


As noted in the D3 analysis by Andy, for the upcoming Fall 2021 cross country season forecast there is somewhat limited recent results data available and most of it is from Spring track meets. The last NCS championship meet was in 2019 and while there was an abbreviated cross-country season in the Spring of 2021, many schools either did not participate or fielded a partial squad.  In addition, during the Spring, some schools had a concurrent cross country and track season which could be argued allows for some direct comparisons and validation between times for the two sports.  Nevertheless, here is one person’s perspective and I am sure as the season hopefully progresses, more accurate assessments can be made.  Note, two schools were re-classified to D4 this year, JFK-Fremont and San Rafael.

The defending D4 champion from 2019 is Archie Williams (formerly Sir Francis Drake.)  Obviously, graduation, as it has for almost all the schools, caused some turnover in runners.  However, after trying to glean data from Spring 2021 results, the squad from Archie Williams appears to be in a good position to repeat as champions.  Based on a cross country meet at Indian Valley during the Spring, this team had four runners who were sub-17 minutes on the 5K course.  They are led by senior Nate Wolford who ran a 16:32 in the Indian Valley 5K cross country race and 4:29 for 1600m in track.  This squad seems to have a very deep roster, with lots of quality runners and they are the #1 ranked team pre-season.  In addition, Evan Lee had a season's best 9:58 for 3200m, with Jonah Grubb and Eric Overaa not far behind in 10:13 and 10:14 respectively.  Rounding out the varsity 5 was Luke Calegari with a 16:37 5K and 4:55 for 1600. 

After Archie Williams, there are three schools that are contenders for the remaining two qualifying positions for the state meet.  All appear to be evenly matched and it could be a very close contest among them, with one of the schools sure to come away disappointed.  The contenders are Albany, O’Dowd and Piedmont.  Albany is led by junior Sean Morello who could be the top runner in D4 with a 9:09 time for the 3200 and 16:08 for the TCAL Pt. Pinole three mile course. He is ably supported by four other runners, Lucas Cohen, brothers Ben and Jack Elfenbaum, and Kristiyan Klichev, all of whom are sub-11 minutes for the 3200 and also sub 18 minutes for the 3 mile distance.  This team could certainly challenge for the #1 spot as they also have a very deep group of distance runners.

Year in and year out, Bishop O’Dowd is always one of the top teams and that appears to be the case for 2021 also.  By virtue in being in the WACC league, they competed on the Hayward course twice during the Spring of 2021, and they were the first-place team in the final WACC cross country meet of the season.  While two of their top runners have graduated, they return four varsity runners led by Zach Tannebaum who ran a 17:10 on the Hayward course and 10:56 for the 3200 in track.  The other returning runners are Marcus Fong, Griffin Osser, and Ethan Gonzalez, all ran in the mid 17 minute range on the Hayward course. However, the question mark for this team is who will fill the 5, 6 and 7 positions and that could be critically important to their success.

A team on the rise is Piedmont, which has a number of young runners at its core and is led by senior Jack Stein who posted outstanding times during the 2021 Spring season with a 15:59 on the Hayward course and a 9:47 for 3200 in track.  Six other runners on this squad were all under 18 minutes for the Hayward course and also posted sub-11 minute times in the 3200.  One standout runner was Christian Taylor, 17:40 for 3 miles and 4:38 for 1600.  Depth is not an issue in the case of this group, but can they continue to progress in dropping their times and challenge the teams ranked in front of them is the question.

Individually as mentioned, the favorite is Sean Morello of Albany.  After him the possibilities are Jack Stein of Piedmont, Tyler Hunt of Acalanes and Mateo Malko-Allen of St Mary's. 

Unfortunately, results data for schools that might be on the bubble is pretty sketchy so rather than list any right now, I think it best to wait until mid-September when the picture should be a bit clearer.


D4 - Girls


It appears that for the Spring 2021 season, many girls opted not to compete in track or cross country, as the numbers for most schools were down from the previous year.  With a “normal” sports season in the offing, hopefully the number of participants will bounce back.  As noted for the D4 boys, once the season is underway in September and a few meets have taken place, the picture should become a bit clearer as to who are the contenders.


The defending D4 champion from 2019 is Piedmont and they have several veteran runners returning for their senior year.  However, a girls’ team from the most northern corner of the NCS looks to be the pre-season favorite.  This school enjoyed much success from 2012 to 2015, winning the NCS twice and qualifying for the state meet all four years.


Arcata posted times in both cross country and track during the Spring that are ahead of the rest of the pack.  This team is led by the three MacDonald sisters, Anneli, Mathilde (both seniors) and Soquel (a sophomore).  Anneli had a 3200m time of 10:53 and her twin sister Mathilde ran 11:54, both also posted fast times in cross country, 18:55 and 19:04 respectively for a 3-mile race.  Soquel had a 12:04 in the 3200 and teammates Cassidy Thorpe and Alauna Thompson were sub 13 minutes in the 3200.  Based on these times, this squad seems to have depth and the quality times to go with it.

An up-and-coming team in this division is Acalanes.  While perhaps lacking a star front runner, they have a solid group of runners, especially their top three with Lauren and Megan Yee and Olivia Williams.  All three ran fine times in the 3200 during Spring track season with 11:25 for Olivia, and Lauren and Megan both in at 11:40.  In addition, in the one cross country meet that they ran in during the Spring, all three were under 20 minutes for 3 miles.  Backing them up are three other runners who could be key to their success this season, Elle Casselman, Caroline Crossland and Katrina Ortman.

Miramonte returns a veteran team of runners and could also challenge for the team title.  They have five seniors who have run together all four years in Kate Riley, Sadie Wayne, Jamie Say, Nathalie Green, and Claire Nolet.  All posted competitive times in the 1600 and 3200 during track season, with all five under 6 minutes for the 1600 and 13 minutes for the 3200.  In addition, they are supported by several other runners who add depth to this squad, making a solid group in the 1 through 7 positions.  It could be a spirited contest when this squad meets Arcata and Acalanes at the NCS meet in November.

The defending champion Piedmont appears to lack the strength they have had in recent years and will be hard-pressed to be one of the three teams that move onto the state meet out of the NCS.  The team is lead by Ellie Black who during the Spring won the WACC meet finale on the Hayward course in a time of 19:26. She also ran a 5:40 for 1600 and 12:31 in the 3200 during the track season. The other Piedmont runners were 2 minutes behind Ellie’s time on the Hayward course, with four girls running in the mid-21-minute range for the 3-mile distance. Unless they can improve on those times, they will not be a contender come the November NCS meet.


Finally, mention should be made of the Albany girls’ team.  They are led by senior Sophia Nordenholz, who is the fastest 3200m runner in NCS history with a 10:05.91 set at the Arcadia Invitational.  She is the prohibitive favorite to win the 2021 D4 NCS individual title and could be a state meet favorite as well.  While she has a nice group of teammates behind her, unless they really improve this coming season, it is unlikely that this team will be a contender at the NCS meet. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Incoming 9th graders for 2021 XC Season

Please post names below any impactful 9th graders that will be attending a NorCal high school this fall.

I will start the list here and will add as names are added in the comment section below.

9th Graders
Shea Elmore Los Gatos HS (2:24.93 800, 4:50.33 1500, 10:06.62 3000)
Aydon Stefanopoulos (4:40.69 1600m)
Andrew Burr (4:42.79 1600m)
Chase Cressman (4:45.59 1600m)
Jackson Hein Chico (4:23 1500m)
Landon Pretre Menlo (4:35.09 1500m)

Friday, July 16, 2021

Pre-Season NCS Division III XC Rankings (Girls)

NCS Division III Girls Preseason Rankings by Campolindo assistant coach, Andy Lindquist

Overview: In the before time of 2019, Campolindo rounded into superb form at the end of the season, blowing out the rest of the section to capture the team title and then rolling to a resounding win at the state championships the following week. With the majority of that team lost to graduation, Campolindo will face stiff competition from a vastly improved Maria Carrillo squad hungry for their first section title since 2013.

While most teams in the area were able to get in a relatively full track season this spring, it still remains to be seen how athletes and teams adapt to running big-time cross country in the fall. Track times are not always indicative of cross country success, however, the performances from this past track season are the best data points available, so they factored heavily into these rankings. 4 teams make it to state in this division so these rankings will be 4 teams deep.

1. Maria Carrillo: The Pumas are coming off an impressive track season in the middle distances in which they had 5 athletes all well under 5:30 for 1600. This type of depth means that Maria Carrillo is ready for another big jump this fall. Gracie Trenam was the breakout star for the Pumas this past spring, rolling to a 5:14 clocking in the 1600 with Ashley Busienei (5:16) and Rebekah Taylor (5:19) not too far behind. Vivian Mattice and Avery Hedden also made big jumps in the 1600 as well, giving Maria Carrillo one of the deepest squads in the state. While the Pumas did not focus on the 3200 all that much during the spring, projected #6 runner Brooke Cregan rolled to an impressive 11:55 performance in the event.

Division III is shaping up to be one of the deepest and most competitive fields state-wide, and Maria Carrillo is in a position to compete for not only a podium spot but the state title as well. The only glaring weakness is the lack of an outstanding frontrunner, but look for that to change this fall as this team continues to develop.

2. Campolindo: Since taking over as head coach in 2006, Chuck Woolridge has had a run of unpreceded success in winning 11 NCS team championships (including an active streak of 7 in a row) and 4 state championships. Prior to Covid-19 putting a halt to high school sports in the state, the Cougars were on a roll, coming off an 80-point blowout win at the 2019 state meet. Junior Ellie Buckley is the lone returner from that squad and is coming off a very strong spring track season, clocking personal bests of 5:08 and 10:55 in the 1600 and 3200. Backing her up are the sophomore duo of Makena Weberski (11:34 3200) and Shea Volkmer (11:24 3200), giving the Cougars an impressive 1-2-3. These 3 will be critical to Campo’s quest for an 18th section title and a 6th state title. The biggest issue facing the Cougars this summer is the big gap from their #3 to #4/5 runners. Daisy Penny and Caroline McCool had very productive track seasons, running 12:13 and 12:17 respectively in the 3200 but such a large gap will be costly in a big cross country race.

It seems like every season Campolindo manages to notch massive improvements, so while they start the summer as underdogs, don’t be surprised if they close down the gap come November.

3. Livermore: In his 35+ years of coaching at Livermore high, Eddie Salazar has become known for putting together many good teams seemingly out of nowhere, and you should expect the same this cross country season. While the Cowgirls don’t have a large contingent of returners, they had a very solid track season with Angelina Guzman (5:23 1600) leading the charge along with 4 other returners under 6:00 in the 1600. While it would take a lot of work to close the gap on the top 2 teams, Livermore is primed for a medal position at NCS and a trip to Woodward Park on Thanksgiving weekend.

4. Las Lomas: With only an abbreviated spring track season to look it, it can be hard to figure out where a lot of these teams stand and even harder to project how they will do during a full cross country season. Las Lomas raced sparingly during the spring but with 5 returners all running 6:15 or better for 1600, look for the Knights to contend for a top 4 spot.

On the bubble: Carondelet, Santa Rosa, Newark Memorial

More pre-season rankings including the rest of NCS as well as all the other sections in Northern California. If you would like to contribute to the pre-season rankings, please reach out to me at

Willie White Memorial

Former Berkeley coach Willie White recently passed away on June 29th and his memorial will be held next Saturday, July 24th at Berkeley HS at 10am.

You can find all info to the event at this link:

Here are a few articles about Coach White if you are interested in learning a bit more about one of the more legendary Track and Field coaches in California.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Pre-Season NCS Division III XC Rankings (Boys)

 NCS Division III Boys Preseason Rankings by Campolindo assistant coach, Andy Lindquist

Overview: This fall season will be like no other in recent memory as we are coming off of nearly 2 years of covid-19 restricting high school sports in the North Coast Section. The last season that a full XC season took place (2019), was one of the greatest in section history, with Campolindo and Maria Carrillo finishing 1-2 at state. Much has changed since then as graduation losses and the upheaval caused by the pandemic have significantly changed the landscape for many teams.

While most teams in the area were able to get in a relatively full track season this spring, it still remains to be seen how athletes and teams adapt to running big-time cross country in the fall. Track times are not always indicative of cross country success, however, the performances from this past track season are the best data points available, so they factored heavily into these rankings. 4 teams make it to state in this division so these rankings will be 4 teams deep.

Maria Carrillo had an incredible spring track season and is loaded with talent, while upstart programs from Tamalpais and Newark Memorial have made astounding progress as well and will challenge for the title.

1. Maria Carrillo: The Pumas are one of the most consistently good teams in the entire NCS, especially over the previous few seasons. From 2017-2019, Maria Carrillo won 2 NCS team titles, had 3 top 10 finishes at state, and in 2019 landed on the podium with a 2nd place team finish as well as having the individual state champion in Colton Swinth. The Pumas rolled to some fantastic performances during the spring track season with Jacob Donohue (9:19 3200) and Noe Vieyera (4:22 1600) impressing the most. Both runners seem poised for a big fall and having such an impressive 1-2 punch will make a big difference in close races. However, it was massive improvements from Adam McCorquodale (4:34 1600) and Oswaldo Rodriguez-Lopez (4:34) that have made the biggest difference for the Pumas, firmly stamping them as not only the favorites to win the section title but also challenge for that elusive state title as well.

The only missing piece for Maria Carrillo heading into the summer is the back end, as there is a bit of a drop-off after #4. Youngsters Sean Gubera and Jonathan Donohue looked solid during the spring track season and if they can continue to progress this fall, it will be tough for anyone to challenge Maria Carrillo for the top spot.

2. Tamalpais: During the previous 3 full XC seasons (2017-2019), this division went back and forth between Maria Carrillo and Campolindo, but that is expected to change in a big way this fall as Tamalpais has emerged as one of the most improved teams in the entire state.

It starts with junior Caden Carney, whose rapid improvement this spring was impressive as he clocked 4:16 for 1600, one of the fastest times in the entire section. If he continues on that trajectory, he will be the heavy favorite to win the individual title and provide that crucial low stick for the red-tailed hawks. However, what makes this team so dangerous has been the development of the 2-5 runners, as Thomas Sternfels (4:37), Ethan Lin (4:32), David Grijabla (4:43), and Sven Toernqvist (4:43) all massively improved in the 1600 over the spring. The challenge will be adapting that skillset to a 3-mile cross country race, but all the pieces are there for Tamalpais to challenge Maria Carrillo for the title and be very competitive at the state level as well.

3. Newark Memorial: Coach Tyler Jorgens has quietly built Newark Memorial into a very solid team with plenty of depth, making them the darkhorse to move up these rankings and surprise the favorites at the end of the season. The Cougars are led by the tandem of Tad Kawabata (9:45 3200) and Chance Tokubo (9:46 3200) who both had very solid track seasons. Talha Ahmed, Angelo Frese, and Diego Ochoa all ran under 4:50 in the 1600 during track season as well, so the cougar’s match up very well with other teams in this division at the critical 4th and 5th positions. For Newark Memorial to move up in these rankings they will need to focus on honing down their pack margin from 1-5 to counter the strong frontrunners from Tamalpais and Maria Carrillo. If they can do that, look for them to surprise come championship time.

4. Campolindo: For the past twenty years, “Campo” has been the standard in this division. The Cougars have won 11 section titles in that span in addition to 6 combined podium finishes at the state championships. When the CIF last held a full cross country season, Campolindo won the DIII Boys’ state title with a very low score of 47 points.

Two of those athletes return for the Cougars this fall in Alex Lodewick and Rhys Pullen, but after that graduation losses and the pandemic have ravaged the roster for Campolindo, making it very challenging for the Cougars to close the gap on the top teams in this division. While Lodewick was injured during the spring track season, when healthy he is one of the best runners in the state. His 15:47 clocking at Woodward Park as a freshman in 2019 is the fastest time in NCS for a frosh, so the talent is undoubtedly there. Pullen managed a solid track season, running a personal best of 9:49 in the 3200. Those two are good starting points but after that, there is a severe lack of varsity experience. Junior Blake Webster showed promise with a breakout track season, running 4:41 in the 1600 and 10:06 in the 3200. However, after that, there is a massive drop-off in track performances, with the Cougars only having one other athlete returning with a personal best under 5:00 in the 1600.

Coach Chuck Woolridge is known far and wide as one of the best motivators in the state, but he will have his work cut out for him this season. For Campo to be competitive on a section level, they will need to develop their younger athletes and work on closing the massive gap that exists between their #2 and the rest of the group.

On the bubble: Northgate, Alameda

Girls rankings will be posted tomorrow.

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Donation to the Cross Country Express Site

If you have enjoyed all the Track and Field coverage this season, a kind donation would be appreciated.  You can do so with the link to the right.  If you don't do online payments, you can email me at and I will send you an address where you can send a check.

This site will remain a free service but as you know, a lot of time and effort goes into the maintenance of this website.

Thank you very much to those of you that have already donated.  If I haven't done so already, you will hear from me in appreciation.

Saturday, July 03, 2021

2021 Cross Country Invitational Dates

September 4-Lagoon Valley Classic at Lagoon Valley Regional Park
September 11-Lowell Invitational at Golden Gate Park
September 11-Ed Sias Invitational at Hidden Valley Park
September 11-Farmer Invitational at Hayward HS
September 18-De La Salle Nike XC Invitational at Newhall Park, Concord
September 25-Westmoor Ram Invitational at Westmoor HS
September 25-Pacific Invitational at Micke Grove Golf Course
September 25-Eye Opener at Shollenberger Park, Petaluma
October 2-Serra Invitational at Crystal Springs Course
October 2-Artichoke Invitational at Half Moon Bay HS
October 9-Clovis Invitational at Woodward Park
October 16-Bellarmine Terry Ward Invitational at Baylands Park
November 6-SJS Sub-Section at Frogtown
November 13-SJS XC Championship Meet at Willow Hills Reservoir
November 13-CCS Meet at TBA
November 20-NCS Meet at Hayward HS
November 27-CIF State Meet at Woodward Park

If you know of other Invitational dates, please post in the comment section below or you can email me at

Friday, July 02, 2021

New Jesuit and CCS records set today in boy's 2 mile at Brooks PR

Today at the Brooks PR, Ajani Salcido of Jesuit and Nolan Topper of Bellarmine both ran record-setting 2 mile efforts. Salcido finished in 3rd place with a time of 8:46.32 with Topper in 6th at 8:51.83. Both times converted to 3200-meter times set new Jesuit and CCS records respectively. Salcido's time converts to 8:43.27 while Topper's time converts to 8:48.75.

You can check out the race at the following link: 

The previous Jesuit record of 8:44.95 was set by Eric Mastalir at the 1986 California State meet where he finished in 1st place. His twin brother Mark won 1600 that year in a time of 4:07.81.

The previous CCS record of 8:51.43 was set by Jessie Torres of Independence at the 1981 California State meet where he finished in 3rd place.

Cooper Teare After 4th Place at 2020 Olympic Trials in 5000jm

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Seeking assistant coaches

Crystal Springs Uplands School: is looking for two cross country assistant coaches for the 2021 fall season. CSUS is located in Hillsborough and competes in Division 5. This is for the 2021-2022 school year. A zest for distance running, a positive attitude, and running experience is a plus. Practice will start on August 6th and will run until the end of November. A stipend is available. Interested individuals should send a resume with references to athletic director Bobby Long at and Albert Caruana at

Washington High School is looking for an assistant cross country coach for the upcoming season starting mid August and ending in November. Washington HS is located in Fremont and competes in the North Coast Section. A knowledge of running and wanting to make a difference in high school students' lives is a requirement. A stipend is available. Please send a resume with references to athletic director Regina Quezada at and to coach Ben Vose at

College Park HS is looking for a Track and Field Head Coach to take over a thriving program. Please send your resume and letter of interest to Athletic Director Jim Keck
Cross Country, GirlsHeadCollege ParkWalk Onnot at this timeJim Keck928-682-7670keckj@mdusd.orgCollege Park HS is looking for a Cross Country Head Coach to take over a thriving program. Please send your resume and letter of interest to Athletic Director Jim Keck

Saint Francis High School (Mountain View): We had to say goodbye to two outstanding members of our XC Staff in the past 6 months. If you or someone you know is interested in joining our staff - please reach out to Athletic Director Michael Pilawski ( or complete the application linked below. Running experience is a must, coaching experience is a plus!

Sequoia High School is seeking a head cross country coach. Candidates should have previous coaching experience at an appropriate level. We are looking for an enthusiastic and positive coach who will support the development of our student-athletes and support the goals of our athletics program.

The coach selected must get fingerprinted, have a current CPR/AED, First Aid, Fundamentals of Coaching, Concussion in Sport, and Sudden Cardiac Arrest certifications.  The school will help facilitate this.  The season runs from August through October.

Please contact athletic director, Melissa Schmidt ( if you are interested or have any questions.

If you are also searching for coaches, please send the information to me at and I will add it to this post.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Central Coast Section Finals Preview

Sunday, June 13, 2021

2021 CCS Track and Field Prediction Contest

DEADLINE IS Friday, Midnight-Post predictions in the comment section below.
GRAND PRIZE:  Public adoration!

If you would like an opportunity to win the above prize, post your predictions below. 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.

Feel free to also mention what races/events you are most anticipating. Who are the biggest favorites? Who will pull off the biggest upset? What will be the most competitive event?

The winner will be announced on Sunday, June 20th. 

Friday, June 04, 2021

Men 800m | Stumptown Twilight June 3,2021

John Lester's 1:47.65. Fast forward to 3 minutes for his race. #6 performer now in US history. #2 in NCS trailing only Pete Richardson's 1:47.31 in 1981. #3 in CA trailing only national record holder Michael Granville's 1:46.45 and Richardson.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Nor-Cal Track and Field Championships

2021 Date: June 16th, 2021

Venue: Concord High School, Concord CA. 


  • The top 24 verified entries from the 2021 high school track season in all events will be accepted into the meet
  • All registration must be  completed online. 
  • Registration is OPEN at
  • All relay teams entered must attend the same high school to compete ( no club or all-star teams allowed)
  • This meet is open to all schools located in Northern California in the following sections CCS, NCS, SF, OAL, Northern, Sac-Joaquin
  • All participants entered will compete as unattached athletes - example Unattached John Doe - Nor Cal High 


  • High School (Athletes who are enrolled in high school for the 2020 – 2021 academic school year qualifies as a HS Student): 100m / 200m / 400m / 800m / 1600m /3200m/ 100/110HH / 300 IH/LH / Long Jump / Triple Jump / Pole Vault / High Jump / Shot / Disc / 4X100 relay / 4X400 relay


  • Athletes / parents / coaches and spectators must adhere to in person screening before entering the stadium.  
  • On the day of the meet, if protocol allows, spectators will be allowed in the stadium in some capacity.

REGISTRATION AT OPENS Monday MAY 31 at 8:00 am.


  • Top 24 verified entries accepted in the meet
  • Entries close on June 11th, 2021 at 6:00 pm
  • Field Events start at 2:00 pm, Running Events start at 4:00 pm
  • Running events will consist of three heats of eight
  • Distance races will consist of two heats of twelve
  • Field Events will have four jumps in the Long / Triple Jump per flight
  • Shot / Discus will have four throws  per flight
  • Entry fees must be paid by 6/13/21 at Noon

Meet Director John Harvey  Contact info: 

Mobile: (209)988-1287

Sunday, May 30, 2021

High schooler Hobbs Kessler runs 3:34.36

One of the greatest performances in high school history. His 3:34.36 is the fastest 1500 ever run significantly (previous record held by Alan Webb at 3:38.26) and in fact, surpassed the just recently broken NCAA record. He has now qualified for the Olympic Trials and definitely has a punchers chance with his kick.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Ajani Salcido, Jesuit senior, to UCLA

PERSON OF THE YEAR for NorCal Track and Field: Chris Williams, Dublin HS by Patrick McCrystle

The following was written by Bellarmine coach, Patrick McCrystle in the comment section. It's too good not to share here. I wholeheartedly agree. Thank you Chris.


I am awarding Chris Williams a fake award that I just made up, and will probably never award again: The Person of the Year for NorCal Track and Field. Chris' tireless work in creating, organizing and hosting three Dublin Socially Distanced Fiestas truly 'made our season'. While many others put together great meets, in putting on the three DSDFs Chris gave the Bellarmine track program an immeasurably valuable gift: hope, joy, a sense of normalcy, a chance to be rewarded for hard work...and it wasn't just a gift to our runners. The families of our students benefitted incredibly from these three meets, perhaps as much as the students themselves. While I am speaking for the BCP program, I am pretty sure that other programs out there feel the same way, especially schools from the Sac Joaquin and North Coast Sections, whose seasons are all but over. The DSDFs served as a season ending championship of sorts, and the competition and results were amazing...due to the hard work of Chris, his staff, his admin and anyone else who contributed to making it through the maze of paperwork and protocols to actually host the meets. You have given our community an amazing gift, and I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Hopefully, Chris can now enjoy some well deserved rest and mourn the end of his beloved Warriors' season. Peace and eternal gratitude to you Mr. Williams!!!!!!! Your friend, Patrick

Monday, May 17, 2021

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Granada Distance/Sprint Festival program posted

Central Coast Section Final Official for 2021 Track and Field season

Most CCS athletes and coaches can now celebrate the announcement made by the Central Coast Section office regarding the CCS Track and Field meets which will be held at Soquel HS. The Semi-Finals will be held on Saturday, June 12th followed by the Finals the following week on Saturday, June 19th.

More info to follow.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Bellarmine boys race into the history books with trio of runners under 9 minutes for 3200m

This past Saturday at the Arcadia Invitational, a trio of Bellarmine boys added their names to the history books. Just a few weeks ago at the second Dublin Social Distance Fiesta meet, Bells senior Galen Topper raced to the first sub 9 performance in school history with a time of 8:59.29. On Saturday, Galen's twin brother Nolan raced to a 8:52.95 PR followed by teammate Colin Peattie at 8:56.73. That gives the Bells a trio of runners who have dipped under 9 minutes in the same season which is a significant achievement.

The first school to have three runners dip under the 9 minute mark for 2 miles was first completed by Hammond HS in Indiana by teammates Carey Pinkowski (8:56.2), Rudy Chapa (8:52.6), and Tim Keough (8:52.8). Those times were all for 2 miles and similar to the Bellarmine runners, Pinkowski dipped under 9 minutes first and then was joined by the other two teammates a few days later in a different race.

Fast forward to 2014 and Northport HS, New York, became the first high school to have three runners dip under 9 minutes for 2 miles in the same race at New Balance Nationals with Mikey Brannigan (8:53.59), Tim McGowan (8:56.60), and Jack McGowan (8:57.57) all rolling under 9 minutes (Glen Reed photo below)

This year's Arcadia Invitational was open to only California teams. An amazing fifteen runners dipped under the nine-minute mark which included the two Bellarmine boys as well as four Newbury Park runners who now lay claim to being the only school to have four runners run sub 9 in the same season and more significantly in the same race.

On behalf of this website as well as many impressed NorCal runners and coaches, congrats go out to the trio of Bells as well as their coach, Patrick McCrystle for an amazing achievement.

Ok, so not quite done with this article. The following information was passed along to me by editor Erik Boal. Here is a list of schools with at least 3 runners who have run faster than 9:00 for 3200m.
Jesuit now has 8
Mead (Washington) has 6
Newbury Park (California) has 6
North Central (Washington) has 5
Northport (New York) has 4
Bellarmine Prep (California) has 3
Big Bear (California) has 3
Dexter (Michigan) has 3
Edison (Huntington Beach, California) has 3
Hammond (Indiana) has 3
La Salle Academy (Rhode Island) has 3
South Eugene (Oregon) has 3
The Woodlands (Texas) has 3

Sunday, May 09, 2021

New NCS record for Sophia Nordenholz at last night's Arcadia Invitational

Among the many amazing efforts, Sophia Nordenholz is now the fastest 3200m runner in NCS history (Jeff Parenti photo). She surpassed the 10:06.3 converted time of Livermore's Cherie Williams that dates back to 1978. You can view the entire list of top 10 NCS marks at this link:

You can also check out my interview with her following the Dublin Social Distance Fiesta at this link:

San Ramon woman killed in Wednesday crash was longtime teacher and mother

Very sad to share that former Arroyo HS coach Susan Guinee died in a car crash this week on Wednesday.

Below is a link to a GoFundMe if you wish to contribute.

NorCal Track and Field results

Arcadia Invitational results (feel free to spotlight top results for NorCal athletes below)

Cougar Twilight Elite Distance results

Any other outstanding marks? Please post below.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Former St. Joseph Notre Dame runner, Cooper Teare

Still tearing (ha!) it up in college. Last night, Teare finished a very close 2nd to 2019 NCAA 1500m champion, Notre Dame's Yared Nuguse with a lifetime best 3:35.97. Photo courtesy of RunnerSpace.

You can also check out coverage of the Arcadia Invitational which included the winning effort by the Bellarmine foursome in the 4 x 1600m relay at

Live results can be found here:

Thursday, May 06, 2021

First Four Minute Mile-HQ(Roger Bannister:1954)

May 6th might be one of my favorite days of the day. 67 years ago, Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile to become the first person to accomplish that feat. May 6th is also the birthday of former SF Giant Willie Mays who is 90 years old today. Happy Birthday Mr. Mays!

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

What have you learned during this past year?

This past year has certainly been challenging for everybody. I know it has been challenging for the students as well as fellow coaches who were given a forced break from something we really enjoyed doing. I am curious as to what people (students, coaches, parents etc.) have learned during this pandemic. What was the most challenging part for you? What will you do differently as we return to normalcy? What do you appreciate more than ever going through these past months?  How will this help you be a better person?

Please share.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Catching up with Albany junior, Sophia Nordenholz

Today we chat with Albany junior, Sophia Nordenholz. This past weekend, Nordenholz won both the 1600 and 3200 at the Dublin Social Distance Fiesta, just missing the meet record in both races. Currently, Nordenholz is ranked 5th in the 1600m and 8th in the 3200m in California if you include all the official and unofficial meets that have taken place this year. (Daniel Tyree photo.)

1) How did you get your start in running? Any running experience before hs? If so, any track personal records? Did you participate in any other sports before or during HS?
I started running with my mom in 3rd grade. We would do 3-mile runs in the mornings before school. I started running competitively in middle school where I ran for Albany Middle School and Raptors Club, along with playing soccer. My PR in the 1600 was around 5:40.

2) What do you remember about your freshman year in xc? Highlights? Who were the older runners that you feel helped you transition into being a hs runner?
Freshman year XC was exciting because it was so fun to be part of a team and run in big races. Natalia Porras, Ellery Renger, and Calla Marchetti were upperclassmen who helped me transition. They were so sweet and friendly and made all of the freshmen feel included right away. The highlight of my season was competing at State as an individual. Unfortunately, my NCS race was canceled due to smoke from wildfires but they took runners based on their times from the season. Going to State for the first time was such a fun experience.

3) What about your freshman year in track? Proudest accomplishments?
Freshman year track went really well. I stayed healthy and was able to improve my times throughout. My proudest accomplishment was qualifying for NCS Meet of Champions and running a 3200 PR there.

4) Your last full season was your sophomore year in xc. What did you do over the summer to prepare for the season? What do you feel were you best races that season?
Over the summer, I built up a base but didn’t do any speed work. I started doing speed in August. Sophomore year cross country started off well, but I was disappointed as the season progressed because I was not hitting the times I wanted to. I was especially disappointed after my State meet that year, where I felt lethargic during the race and did not finish where I wanted to. I did not feel that my performances were a good indication of all of the work I had put in. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my training, which was frustrating. I found out later that I was iron deficient for most of the season.

5) You had a very shortened sophomore year in track. How many races did you get to do? What did you do once the season was canceled? Did you do any additional races or did you just continue to run?
I only ran at 2 meets for sophomore track. One was the Stocking Super 7 invitational, where I ran the 1600, and the other was a league meet where I ran the 16-32 double. I was disappointed with how I performed at these meets. After the season shut down, I continued to train and do speed workouts on my own for a while. I did a couple of time trials on my own, with disappointing results. I was unsure whether the season would resume at that point, so I had no idea how to train.

6) What about the summer before your junior season? What did you change? How many races were you able to do for xc during the official season?
Leading up to and during the summer before my junior year, I focused on running consistent mileage and incorporating hills into my runs. I was still running alone at this point, and I was still not feeling great on my runs because of my iron deficiency. My family went on a road trip during the summer so I had to wake up early to get in runs before hiking with my family. The big breakthrough for me came when I finally got some blood work done and found out that I was iron deficient. Within a few weeks of taking iron, I noticed a huge change in my energy levels and I began to feel much better on my runs. In November, my team was able to resume practice in a limited capacity, and I hit PRs of 5:03 and 10:45 in 1600 and 3200 time trials. January through March, we ran 5 cross country races in addition to a few additional time trials on the track.

7) You had an impressive double this past weekend at the Dublin Social Distance Meet with PRs of 4:55.86 and 10:29.83. Tell us a bit about each race. Did you have a goal in mind before each race? Did you have a race plan or were you trying to win both races? (Jeff Parenti photo above)
For the 1600, my goal was to win and get the MR. I wanted to go out in 2:28 and see how fast I could close. I executed my race plan really well and was very happy with my splits and the time, even though I just missed the MR. In the 3200, my goal was to run under 10:40, which was my previous PR. I didn’t expect to get close to the MR, and I was ecstatic to break 10:30. I have huge respect for the girls I was racing against in both races, and I am psyched to be competitive with girls like Harper McClain and Audrey Allen.

8) Favorite XC course. Favorite XC Invitational? Favorite XC workout? Favorite TF event? Favorite TF Invitational? Favorite TF workout? Favorite long run? Favorite pro runner? Favorite free time activity?
XC Course: Woodward Park
XC Invitational: Clovis
TF Event: 3200
TF Invitational: Dublin (Social) Distance Fiesta
XC Workout: Ladder workouts
TF Workout: Quick intervals on the track
Long Run: Trails in Tilden/Wildcat regional parks
Free time: hanging out with friends, cooking, reading

9) What does a typical training week look like for you from Monday through Sunday with a Saturday invite? How many workouts? Any morning runs? How long are your longest runs? Anything else that you do that you feel helps you as a runner?
Usually, we do track workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Throughout the pandemic, before we had scheduled practices, I was doing tempos on my own once or twice a week instead of track workouts.  When I have the chance, I love to ride my bike up to Tilden Park near my house and get in 10 mile runs on trails. I try to get in an additional run per week of 7-8 miles, preferably with some hills. Any other days are an easy 4-6 miles. I take Sundays off.

10) Tell us about your coach and how he has helped you during your three years in hs?
The most important thing Coach Craig Stern has taught me is to trust the training process and have confidence in my training. As a freshman, I got so nervous about my races that I dreaded them. I psyched myself out and convinced myself that other girls had better training. Coach Craig has taught me to trust that my training will be enough and that sometimes, less is more. He has taught me to be confident and believe that I am capable of running at the front of the pack. In addition, he is extremely reliable and I can always count on him to pull through our team. He was so proactive in getting the cross country season going in January, and after nearly a year of not having a team or a season, I think everyone on the team was grateful. He has been extremely helpful in the recruiting process, which would be hard to navigate alone because I have no experience with NCAA sports in my family. I am so lucky to have someone that is very reliable and cares about his athletes beyond their times.

11) What races do you have left in the season? Any particular ones you are looking forward to? Any goals you have left for this season?
I am definitely looking forward to the 3200 at Arcadia. I’m excited to see what I can do against some of the top runners in the state, and hopefully, run a new PR. I hope to return to the 3rd Dublin Fiesta and get at least one of the meet records. It is unclear what is going to happen with State this year, but if it’s possible, qualifying is a big goal of mine. Time-wise, I want to get my 1600 down to 4:52 or so and my 3200 below 10:20.

12) There is a very good possibility that next year you will be able to experience two full seasons. What are you most looking forward to during your senior year?
I am so excited for cross country next year! I can’t wait to have another shot (or 2) at the Woodward Park course. I have never performed the way I wanted to on that course, so I hope to get my time down into the low 17s. In addition, a goal that I’ve had for a while is to get onto the podium at State for XC. For track, I want to qualify for State and get PRs in the 1600 and 3200. I am very grateful not to be a senior this year and to have another year in high school cross country and track!

13) Have you started to think about college? How interested are you as far as running in college and if so, how much will running be a factor when it comes to deciding on what college to attend?
I definitely want to run in college. My coach has done most of the heavy lifting in terms of reaching out to college coaches, which I am grateful for. I want to go to a program where I can run at a high level but I don’t want track and cross country to dominate my college experience.

14) Anything else you would like to add.
Thank you to my family and teammates for being so supportive. You all are the best!

Thank you very much for your time, Sophia! 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Timing question from Jim Crowhurst

Trying to keep up with the new technology.

In Track & Field we have Fully Automatic Timing systems (FAT) that are started less than 0.01 of a second after the gun goes off. Hand timers start timer off when seeing the gun go off, which over the years has been decided it takes the average timer about 0.24 seconds to start their watch going.
I see new systems out there like SprintTimer - Photo Finish
It says the timer can either be started by hand or by the sound coming from the gun.
Looks like meets are turning these times in as FAT.
Looks to me like if they are starting the times by hand they should be rounded up to the nearest tenth of a second like hand times- hand time 11.22 becomes 11.3.
Or if they are using sound devise not sure what to do because times look to need to be increased by even more than 0.24.
Speed of sound is 343 meters per second.
So the sound of a gun going off from about 90 meters away, where the starter stands, for the 100 meter race would take about 0.262 seconds to reach the finish line.
More like 0.364 for the 200 meter race.
Or about 0.25 for the 300 meter race.
Loved to hear some thoughts on this.
I keep records for my site and am trying to get up to speed on this.

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