Thursday, April 18, 2024

The Marin Mile

Join us at the inaugural Marin Mile— a festival of miles I’m putting on at Archie Williams High School on June 1st, 2024.

Inclusive of all levels and all ages, the Marin Mile welcomes anyone who wants to run or race a mile with their peers. 

As this event is electronically timed and USATF sanctioned it serves as a great opportunity for high school distance runners to get a last chance race to share with college coaches or to better their personal bests one last time!

We wanted to make sure all Bay Area HS distance runners were aware of this race opportunity if they want to take one last shot at a PR or run a full mile on an outdoor track! 

Sign up TODAY at https://themarinmile.com

Brody Barkan
Sir Francis Drake 2015 grad

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Former Stanford University and pro runner Lauren Fleshman speaking on Thursday, May 2nd

Between now and April 20 (EXTENDED)
, if you use code +STUDENT, we will include a youth registration along with every adult registration purchased.  Also, the first 50 registrants receive a free paperback copy of Lauren’s book, and we have just a few more spots left on that promo.  

We will again have a sweet raffle onsite, including:

• NormatecGo travel compression sleeves
• Race Entries to sought-after races CIM and Napa Marathon / Half
• A chance to go for a run with Lauren the following day (Friday 5/3)
• Tracksmith prize pack
• 3 months of coaching from Dena (new clients only)
• Hettas shoes/sweatshirt 
• Bronze level blood test from Athlete Blood Test
• more to come —- ARM gift card???

Happy to answer any questions, and our link is pdcbyb3.Eventbrite.com.  The event is in Saratoga on Thursday, May 2. 

If you have any questions about the event, please email Dena Evans at peninsuladistanceclub@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

CCS Top 8 Meet this Saturday

The best section preview track and field meet in California is this Saturday at Los Gatos HS.

You can check out the performance lists at this link. Heats will be posted on Thursday.
https://lynbrooksports.prepcaltrack.com/ATHLETICS/TRACK/2024/t8_list.htm

Time Schedule:
https://lynbrooksports.prepcaltrack.com/ATHLETICS/TRACK/2024/t8_time.pdf

What will be the most competitive events? Who are going to be the surprise winners? 

Friday, April 12, 2024

Catching up former Jesuit great, Pedro Reyes

Today we catch up with one of the all-time great distance runners in California, 1980 Jesuit HS graduate, Pedro Reyes. Jesuit has had a remarkable group of distance runners that included 8 boys who have run under 4:10 for the 1600 (They have also had 8 boys who have dipped under the 9 minute mark in the 3200 which is a national record). In the 1600, Reyes still stands as the 4th fastest runner in school history with his converted 4:04.58. He trails only Olympian Michael Stember (4:04.00) and the Mastalir twins (Mark-4:04.15 and Eric-4:04.23). As a senior, Reyes finished 2nd in the 1600 running 4:06.52 losing to only Castro Valley runner Larry Guinee (results linked below). Jesuit has been led for more than 50 years (to this day) by Coach Walt Lange and you can check out my interview with Coach Lange at this LINK

1) Before high school, what was your athletic experience?
Beginning around fifth grade I shadowed my brother, Jose, who is one class ahead of me. I followed Jose to football, basketball, and, later, track practice. Jose is a good sport and a great older brother.

Did you do any running?
I ran hurdles, long-jumped, and ran in both short and long relays. Jose won every race and anchored every relay.

How did you end up attending Jesuit HS?
During eighth-grade, quiet reading time, Mrs Higgins asked me, “Have you thought about what you want to do with your life?” I confessed that I hadn’t thought beyond basketball practice and homework due the next day. We chatted a bit and Mrs Higgins, to whom I owe an immense debt of gratitude, directed me to take the acceptance test for Jesuit that Saturday. I took the test, was later accepted, and was excited to start at Jesuit that next fall. At the time, I wanted nothing more than to wear one of those snappy red blazers with the school crest on the chest which the Varsity Basketball player wore to school on game days. Was a very Bobby Knight kind of culture/environment.

2) Tell us a little about your freshman experience on the cross country and track and field teams.
My freshman year I played football, competing for time at quarterback. After basketball season ended, I joined the track team late, in the week of the first dual meet. I was assigned the ugly grey sweats which we were required to wear at meets, though I really wanted the cool red sweats. “Who gets the cool red sweats? What do I need to do?” Get on the All-Time Top 10 board. After that first dual meet, I asked, “Red sweats, please. Thank you”

What did you learn?
As a freshman, I learned that I sucked at the hurdles.

For two years I ran in the group called “Riff Raff” because I/they didn’t fit into the sprinters, distance, or field groups. So I ran 440s and 880s and long relays.

I really enjoyed every practice, two-mile warmup, where we left campus and ran a bit through the American River bike trail, then back through the gate and looped around the large field, then around the inside of the track on the grass. I felt liberated running around the grass field and enjoyed the freedom to navigate however around the major monuments and skip around on the infield.

After two years with the Riff Raff, Coach Lehman passed me to the Guru, Coach Walt Lange, who coached and still coaches the distance hooligans.

Who were the mentors on your team?
Before my first cross country season, Coach Lange assigned Peter McCarry to train me over the summer. Peter was everything that I was not, at the time: disciplined, patient, and he had a car. We ran together nearly every day that summer and went to a bunch of road races and fun runs. Peter was a great example for me. During the year, I met nearly every day with John Lindeman and Jon Hilligiest and we ran together and laughed a whole lot of that time.

3) Where do you feel like you made the biggest jump in high school and what do you think contributed to that jump?
I ran track with Walt Lange for only two years, both Junior and Senior years.

As a Junior, after a couple of dual meet miles, I anchored a DM, grabbing the baton in a far back second place, opened in 2:06, and kept turning left to run about 4:18 in about my third mile race, albeit a relay leg. Coach told the gaggle of teammates chattering about 2:06 that, “At State Meet, they open in 2:06 and then they pick it up.” That sowed a seed that blossomed in Ceres a few weeks later where I followed NorCal heroes Tom Downs and Steve Strangio (Matthew’s father) and kicked in with my eyes closed to run 4:11.8 on dirt for a full mile. Coach Lange sat us down in a buffet before the long ride home and said, “Things are going to be different from now on.”

What contributed to that jump was the uninterrupted training from the prior June. That was the first summer and winter focused on distance running training and not on basketball.

4) What do you remember about your high school training?
The training with Walt Lange was very structured and totally transparent. Very early, Coach Lange shared a couple of resources with all of the runners: Running the Lydiard Way, by Arthur Lydiard, and Running Trax, Jerry Purdy’s approach to training and accompanying computer-generated pacing tables for workouts and races. Coach Lange challenged every runner, regardless of class or experience to run every day and to log 1000 miles over the summer in advance of cross country season.

Like every other runner on the Jesuit team, I enjoyed the off-site workouts in the Folsom hills, the Tarshes Drive runs in Ancil Hoffman Park, and the long efforts across the bridge over the Sacramento River and up Pennsylvania Avenue. The effort necessary to traverse Pennsylvania was very similar to that at the end of a competitive 800, mile, or two mile. And it was very, very fun.

What would a typical week look like for you?
Coach Lange challenged everyone to build toward a Sunday run of between 8 and 18 miles. Off-season was limited to steady runs of about 10 miles with fun runs or low-key races every now and then. Early track season was focused on repetitions of 400s, 800s, or 1320s. Everybody did the same workouts but each person had a personalized target for the number of efforts and times.

The workouts for the last month of my senior were exactly the same:
Monday: long Pennsylvania runs (3) then 6-8 times one minute with one jog recovery
Tuesday: 6-8 miles or so (was a long time ago) and 4-8 x 100m strides in spikes
Wednesday: 6-8 x 300 in about 41 with 2-3 minutes jog recovery; 4 x 165 (fast, float, fast) with 55 jog
Thursday: same as Tuesday
Friday: Competition
Saturday: Competition
Sunday: 8-18 miles

Any morning runs?
I usually ran around 25-30 minutes most mornings, or MWF if I recall correctly.

Length of longest runs?
Up to 18 miles on Sunday.

Any strength work?
I didn’t do any work with weights. I just ran every day.

5) Walt Lange has been at Jesuit HS for over fifty years with a lot of success. What made Coach Lange such a great coach for you, the rest of your teammates, and the runners he coaches today?
Coach Walt Lange is an incredible person. When I was beginning to run, Walt ran with the team. In the off-season, the lads convened with Walt and a slew of young professionals, both men and women, who enjoyed the camaraderie and process of training for a specific goal. During the “running boom,” lots of people ended their hot summer day by kicking up some dust at Harry Renfree Field or Ancil Hoffman Park or at the Guy West Bridge next to Sac State. It was a glorious time and I respected and admired so many adults who helped me to find my way through young adulthood.

Walt challenged every young person to establish goals and to work towards achieving those goals. He sought/seeks to develop young persons into self-directed adults who can manage their own training, without needing a coach. He respects each competitor regardless of the colors they wear.

6) What are the races do you remember the most when you reflect on your high school running experience?
It occurred to me that one didn’t need to run particularly fast to run fast times, you just couldn’t run any slow laps. For example, 61.5 isn’t particularly fast for a single 440, that’s no big deal. But if you could run four of ‘em, weeeeell that’d be pretty special. When Golden West was an annual destination for High School Track & Field, I watched John Gregorek do exactly that and Vince Draddy do exactly the same the next year on their way to the fastest miles of those years. Alan Sharsu and Jim Hill did the same in the two-mile. They didn’t run any one lap particularly fast, but they also didn’t run any slow laps.

Shawn O'Neal sent this to me a few years ago: Mike Parkinson, Steve Fairman, Mike Serna, Rob Leetch, Shawn O'Neal, Pedro Reyes, and Larry Guinee.

Who were the competitors that stood out to you?
When I was learning to run, Tom Downs and Steve Strangio stood head and shoulders above everyone in every race I was in or meet in which I attended. When I finally followed them closely enough, I found that they both ran with a relaxed gait and a steady tempo which I could mimic and found comfortable. That was a huge lesson for me.

Larry Guinee won the California State Meet 1600m by making the race his own. He and I followed way in the back while the front went out at some inhuman pace until about 500 to go when Larry exploded and demoralized everyone in that race with an incredible burst. He floored it for 200 or so then survived to win by a very small margin. But he won the race and Larry is in the books: California State Meet Champion. Years later, another Jesuit Marauder, Michael Stember used the same tactic, although in a much slower paced race, to begin his legendary run in the California State Meet

Proudest accomplishments?
I was happy to improve from about 4:10 to about 4:06 (for 1600) at State Meet. But not satisfied. At the time, high schoolers had relatively few competitive opportunities. One of them was the Golden West Invitational, in my hometown (que coincidencia!). The morning after the California State Meet, I got the nice invitation to run, thank you very much. And we did another week of the same workouts. But I was really tired from the multiple competitive simulations for the State Meet: race on Friday, then also race on Saturday. Friday in the foothills, Saturday in San Jose; Friday in San Jose, Saturday in Arcadia; Friday 2 mile at Bella Vista, would you like to race in Ceres with Gary Gonzales? No, thank you.

But I willed myself through an extra long warmup, did probably 16 strides to get my body moving forward, and was rewarded with … an early modest paced race. John Zishka had clobbered the, then, High School record over 5k and he started out running completely by himself, opening in about 60 or so. The rest of the field, including 10 different State Meet Champions ran 31, 62, 1:33. Cool. I did my best to stay in lane one and leapfrogged one or two here, then one or two there, and found myself putting the pedal to the metal and in front with 350 to go. We skipped along the back straight then Zishka popped up beside me and we traded strides, for about three strides and he trotted away to break Jim Ryan’s meet record. I had run my fastest race ever on a day on which I would have rather been watching from the stands, I would’ve enjoyed watching, and would’ve been yelling for them all.

The next week I ran a lousy 4:11 mile in Chicago and then that was it. The taper had expired and it was time to begin again, to start all over, running steady runs.

It was a fabulous experience.

Results from the 1980 California State Meet: 
https://lynbrooksports.prepcaltrack.com/ATHLETICS/TRACK/1980/stateres.htm
wow.  they've misspelled my name!

7) Where did you go to college?
I followed a teammate to UC Irvine, where I met Mrs Reyes. Engineering and I were not particularly good to each other and I came home to continue at Sacramento State, in my hometown.

What was your running experience in college?
I came to Irvine with mononucleosis and soon learned I was a bit maladapted for running, and nursed one significant malady after another. Ran about as well as a freshman as a high school senior, but didn’t really adapt to the different competitive calendars. I met some wonderful people and cheered for some great competitors.

8) Bellarmine coach and former Jesuit runner Patrick McCrystle mentions that you were influential in his transition to distance running which changed his career path. What made you think he would be a good distance runner?
I count myself fortunate to know Patrick McCrystle. Patrick was a wee lad (hard to imagine, I know) when Walt brought a Distance Medley to Arcadia in 1980. On Friday night, I followed Larry Guinee until the last 200 in San Jose to win the Bruce Jenner Invitational. Was two hours plus back to Sacramento and the next morning Walt and our DM, including Patrick, flew to Arcadia. Patrick was an excitable bundle of energy. Patrick was a real treat and he reminded me and the others of the joy of new experiences and the special opportunity which we were given then. We didn’t win, but we sure enjoyed ourselves and the experience.

Since then, Patrick has been an incredible influence on the young men at Bellarmine Prep. It is a joy to see young men support each other while they strive to combine athletics and academics. Patrick shared with me, recently at the Dublin Distance Fiesta, how he reminds his charges that they remember that time when they achieved that goal which they had not believed achievable and that they take that experience with them and apply that experience in their lives when they meet the inevitable adversities which we all come up against.

Patrick developed into a great runner while I was away at Irvine. Jose periodically reported on Patrick’s fine running. Jose was number one in the Patrick McCrystle Fan Club. After classes concluded at Irvine, I raced back to Sacramento to watch Patrick’s turn to compete at the Golden West Invitational. Patrick ran really well that day in a pair of my track shoes which Jose and given to Patrick.

9) From high school:
Favorite cross country course? Crystle Springs.
Favorite cross country invitational? Del Oro Invitational, where we beat Mira Loma.
Favorite cross country workout? 3X one mile at Ancil Hoffman Park on the grass.
Favorite track event? 1500/mile
Favorite track invitational? Golden West Invitational Favorite track workout? 3 x 880
Favorite long run? American River Bike Trail about 18 miles round trip
Favorite free time activity? Watching Olympics or World Championships with John, Jon, Dave, and Chris.

10) What are the biggest differences that you see from the time you competed in cross country and track and field to what you see now?
To me it seems that the current athletes are so much better prepared to compete, both early and late. At one point, I was concerned that athletes had so few opportunities to compete, both at the highest levels and at the less to high levels. But both the distance fiestas/festivals and high-level competitions have flourished recently and I have so many more opportunities to watch student athletes test themselves.

 Improved communication (internet) has inspired nearly limitless ambitions and aspirations.

What do you feel are advantages and what do you feel was better in your day?
Long ago, Walt Lange told me/re-minded me of a story which he would tell at coaching clinics. Coach Lange arrived at my house before driving to Berkeley for the California State Meet. My dad was in the garage, working on his truck. He was probably rebuilding the engine because the block had cracked when Jose and I drove the truck to a track meet without any oil in the thing.

My dad waved and said hello and “Have a good run,” and we drove off to the California State Meet.

Years ago, parents allowed their children to own their experiences and skills development. My parents did not project their ambitions on me and they did not tell me what to do or how to do it.

Parents today, even a couple decades ago, are now so much more involved and invested in their child’s experiences and development. Good on them, I’ve met some wonderful parents and some great kids. The world is their oyster. I used to think high school was the best time of my life. I know now that today’s kids will have many more challenges and will, likely, transcend each of those challenges. Because they have set near and far goals and they have all the tools necessary to reach them.

What would you have done differently knowing what you know now?
I wouldn’t change a thing. I was incredibly blessed to have fallen into a supportive environment, with so many wonderful people who helped me along the path from pup to young adult.

11) What would be your advice for a young and upcoming talented runner today?
Have patience. You have the tools. Run every day.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
I owe much to the many adults who guided me early and kept me from getting into too much trouble. At St Philomene’s School, we were blessed to have coaches who loved athletics and shared that love in a way that emphasized developing skills. Winning was not the focus, but we invariably won many more games than not.

When Dean Higgs mentioned Connie Hawkins “Foul!” I read that book. When Jon Kaempfer mentioned “I Am Third,” I read that book.

That environment was rich for the development of young athletes. In my class alone, one classmate was a champion, all-natural bodybuilder (Skip LaCour). Another classmate broke the state record for bases stolen (Tony Padilla). Another classmate passed a love of baseball to two major league baseball playing sons. I’m probably forgetting others.

My classmates at Jesuit were precocious athletes. My freshman classmates included three or four age group All American swimmers. Another classmate was a champion golfer.

A few classes ahead of me, three cross country runners were accepted and, ultimately graduated from Stanford. Three scrawny kids on the same cross country team, in the same class! Two broke 30 minutes for 10k on the track in the very same race in 1977.

Fast 800s at league meet

Shared by Jim Crowhurst


We had an amazing dual meet 800.
Freshman wins in 1:56.49
Second place at 1:57.32 was the first time the boy ran the race and 1:58.64 took third.

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Monday, April 01, 2024

Stanford Invitational Photos

Thanks to Malcolm Slaney, you should be able to find a photo of yourself from the just completed Stanford Invitational. You can find them here.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/malcolmslaney/albums/

Friday, March 29, 2024

Stanford Invitational

Here is the final schedule for today and tomorrow LINK


Results LINK.

Here are all the competitors over the next two days LINK

What events are you most looking forward to watching? What are going to be the most competitive events?

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Athlete and coach interviews

With spring break coming up, I will have a little more time on my hands. I would like to add a few more interviews with current or past NorCal athletes as well as coaches. If you have somebody in mind, please add them below. I am in the process of interviewing two runners from the past that I think you will enjoy reading.

For past interviews, go to the links on the right of this blog.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

2024 Dublin Distance Fiesta Preview


The Dublin Distance Fiesta (DDF) is back, bigger than ever. In total, over two days, diehard fans will witness a record-setting number of distance heats. Above is starter Doug Griffith whose son is the San Ramon Valley 800m record holder at 1:51.31. Doug will certainly be one of the busiest workers at the meet if he once again starts most of the races.

This season, the DDF will once again be held on the third Friday/Saturday of March and this will be the largest one date. For comparison check out this year's numbers compared with last year.

YearSchoolsStudent-AthletesEntriesHeats
20231703,3465,170182
20241933,8096,079212

According to meet director and Dublin head coach Chris Williams, the DDF will once again be the largest distance-only meet in the United States based on the total number of entries. 

OK, now a bit of history I share each year regarding this meet for those of you attending the soon-to-be-world-famous Dublin Distance Fiesta (RIP Peter Brewer). The meet has been held at Dublin HS since 2009 with the lone exception being the 2020 season when it was not held. Before 2009, the meet was held at Skyline HS (one year), Cal Berkeley (one year), and then multiple years at the original location, Piedmont HS. 

* * *


Last year, the 4 x 800-meter relay races made their debut in this meet on Friday. The winners from both races established new meet records with Rio American taking the girl's race and Clayton Valley winning a very competitive boys' race. The favorites to win the girl's race will be Campolindo with their superstar senior, Shea Volkmer. For the boys, the two favorites will be Los Gatos HS and Davis HS.

Aside from super fast competitive fields, the Dublin Distance Fiesta is known for its incredible efficiency. You can check this out in action thanks to Jesuit coach, Walt Lange in the following video made a few years ago.


Let's take a closer look at the "Sombrero" races (coined by Walt Lange?)

GIRLS 1600

Meet Record - Riley Chamberlain (Del Oro/SJ) - 4:46.34 ('22)

This meet has grown over the years and proof of the competitiveness of this meet is the record in this event. In 2015, Sonora's Cassi Land lowered the 1600 record at the DDF to 5:06.01. A year later, Miramonte's Hannah Fishlow lowered the record to 5:02.79. The first runner to lower the record under 5 minutes was Redwood's Gillian Wagner in 2017 as she raced to a 4:55.35 victory. That time held up until 2021 when Albany's Sophia Nordenholz ran 4:53.26 in the 3rd DDF that season (that's right 3rd!). In 2022, Del Oro senior Riley Chamberlain outran Montgomery's talented then-freshman Hanne Thomsen to set the new standard at 4:46.34.

This Saturday, Thomsen is the clear favorite but it will take a tremendous solo effort on her part to break the now stout record in this race. Thomsen just recently signed an NIL with New Balance making her the first NorCal runner to sign such a deal. She has now won three state titles in cross country as well as a state championship in 2022 in the 3200 meters as a freshman.

The second fastest runner in the field is Eleanor Raker from Galena in Reno Nevada. She ran 4:51.81 at the end of the last year's Track and Field season. Evangeline Marheineke of Archbishop Mitty is right there with a 4:52.42 personal best. A wild card in this field is Acalanes senior Olivia Williams who is fresh from a victorious effort in the 3200 at the Dan Gabor Invitational.

BOYS 1600

Meet Record - Ajani Salcido (Jesuit/SJ) 4:09.95 ('21)


The boy's 3200m race has typically been the main event of this meet with some of the best runners in Northern California battling each other for supremacy in that event. For many years, the record at this meet was held by Novato's Erik Olson who ran 4:17.28 in 2009. In 2021, that record was smashed as Jesuit's Ajani Salcido and Amador Valley's John Lester dueled over three laps before Salcido pulled away to win in the still-standing meet record at 4:09.95.

We should have quite a dual in this event this year and the meet record may be in danger. Albany senior Lucas Cohen has a PR that is nearly identical to the meet record with his 4:09.97 best at last year's Sacramento Meet of Champions. His main competition should come from Pioneer junior Carson Hedlund who owns a 4:11.16 PR. Menlo junior Landon Pretre ran 4:13.00 at the Oregon Relays. El Cerrito senior Niall Monteleone was victorious at this distance at the Dan Gabor Invitational with a time of 4:19.96. Santa Cruz junior Eli Fitchen-Young posted an outstanding cross country season in the fall and seems primed for some fast times on the ovals.


GIRLS 800

Meet Record - Alyssa Brewer (California/NC) 2:08.99 ('18)

History could be made in this race as Stanford bound and Scotts Valley senior Ashlyn Boothby (Karl Mondon photo above) will attempt to be the first runner in Dublin Distance Fiesta to win all three individual races in her career. Last season, Boothby won both the 1600 and 3200 and she will be one of the favorites to win the 800 this Saturday. She was nearly undefeated in the 800 last season and her lone loss was a 2:09.03 4th place finish at the Nike Outdoor Nationals. Her main competition will come from Montgomery's talented junior, Hanne Thomsen who will also have an opportunity to complete the career DDF trifecta victory. She won the 3200 as a freshman and will be in the 1600 and 800. The winner of the 800 here could make history.



BOYS 800

Meet Record - Yutaka Roberts (El Camino/CC) 1:52.34 ('22)

Another meet record that might be in danger could be the boys' 800 meters. Homestead junior 
Evan Gardner (Karl Monday/SJ Mercury News photo above) made huge strides at the end of the season as he lowered his personal best from 2:03.84 in his first race of the season to 1:52.47 at the State Meet Trials to qualify for the final. 

His main competition should come from Pleasant Valley junior Jackson Hein who as a sophomore qualified for the state final and finished 5th with a new best of 1:53.71. San Domenico senior Joaquin Foster also qualified for the state final last year running 1:53.89 in the prelims.

Other noteworthy competitors are Jeffrey Overgaard of Lincoln, Stockton who has already established a new PR of 1:54.44. Jesuit freshman Lucas Alberts won the Bronco Roundup with an exemplary time for a 9th grader at 1:55.67.

GIRLS 3200

Meet Record - Hanne Thomsen (Montgomery/NC) 10:14.46 ('22)

Montgomery junior Hanne Thomsen is entered in this race and if she does start, she will be the favorite to win and potentially break her own meet record. Whether Thomsen races or not, another runner tearing up the track so far this season is Campolindo senior Shea Volkmer (photo courtesy of Campolindo HS). She has already established new PRs in the 800 (2:16.43) and the 1600 (4:49.70) and seems primed for a huge breakthrough in the 3200.

Other noteworthy runners are Galena's Eleanor Raker (10:26.80), Evangeline Marheineke of Archbishop Mitty (10:28.21) and Olivia Williams of Acalanes (NCS Division IV XC champion).

BOYS 3200

Meet Record - Matt Strangio (Jesuit/SJ) 8:47.97 ('19)


The meet record in this event appears to be safe as a sub 8:50 effort in mid March seems a bit out of reach for this field. Albany senior Lucas Cohen has already posted a winning effort at the Dan Gabor Invitational with a time of 9:16.76. He does have a personal best of 9:00.24 from last year's Arcadia Invitational. 

Sonora junior Broen Holman (Daniel Tyree photo above) is already quite familiar with Cohen as those two battled in the individual race of the day at the CA state cross country meet as well as NXN. Holman has a personal best of 9:01.38. 

Other runners in the mix include Arrin Sagiraju of Dougherty Valley and Benjamin Bouie of Crystal Springs Uplands who ran 9:10.21 and 9:10.23 respectively at the Campo Mid-Season Mania 3200. Omar Alsaidi has a best of 9:12.89. A couple of wild cards in this field are Trey Caldwell of De La Salle and Olaf Dietz of Berkeley who nearly ran down Lucas Cohen at the previously mentioned Dan Gabor Invitational. Menlo junior Will Hauser was a member of the Menlo 4 x 800 team last year that finished 2nd at state and his dad Brad was a Stanford University all-American as well as 2000 Olympican in the 5000m.


GIRLS DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY

Meet Record - Santa Cruz (CC) - 12:07.58 ('18)

The Campolindo girls may be going for the relay sweep provided they win the 4 x 800 relay on Friday. Their main competition should come from two Division V schools, Bay School and University. Bay School will be anchored by Division V state cross country champion Elsa Krummel (photo above courtesy of West Coast XC). 

Because of COVID, this relay was not contested in 2021 and obviously in 2020 when the meet was not held at all. Here are the winning teams over the past few years which I posted last year and now include last year's champion, Campolindo.

 2023 Campolindo 12:36.04
2022 Tamalpais 12:34.83
2019 St. Francis, Sacramento 12:22.61
2018 Santa Cruz HS 12:07.58 (meet record)
2017 San Ramon Valley HS 12:23.41
2016 Monte Vista HS 12:16.21
2015 Bella Vista HS 12:14.03
2014 Las Lomas HS 12:31.29

BOYS DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY

Meet Record - Davis (SJ) - 10:23.93 ('16)

This is always a tough event to predict as many of the fastest teams will include runners doubling back from the just concluded 3200m. So without picking a favorite, here are the contenders. Last year, Matilda Torres out of the Fresno area finished in 6th place and appears primed to move up the rankings here. Jesuit has a group of young runners that will contend for the title. Scotts Valley has been one of the strongest teams in CCS while Yosemite has a strong foursome that will be chasing the win here.


Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Dublin Distance Fiesta Week!

The Dublin Distance Fiesta will take place this Friday and Saturday and this will be the largest Fiesta to date. You can check out all the info at the following links. I will also post a preview by this Friday. In the meantime, feel free to comment below on any of the races that you feel will be FIRE!

Meet Program HERE

Meet Schedule HERE

Friday, March 01, 2024

12 NCS athletes to watch this upcoming Track and Field season

 In alphabetical order...

Amirat Temi Aganju, Pittsburg (Sprints/Hurdles)
Pittsburg sophomore Amirat Temi Aganju is a threat in multiple events including hurdles, sprints, and relays. Last season, Temi Aganju finished in 2nd place in the 300m hurdles at the NCS MOC and recorded her best time of 45.08 at the state final prelims. She also anchored Pittsburg to victory in the 400 relay and her team just missed the final with the 11th fastest time in the prelims. Her points in multiple events helped Pittsburg finish 5th as a team at the section final.

Lucas Cohen, Albany (Distance)
You can check out my recent interview with Lucas Cohen at this LINK. Cohen is one of the top returning distance runners in the section and should make an impact at the state level in whatever he chooses to pursue toward the end of the season. Last year, Cohen recorded personal bests of 1:58.37, 4:09.97 and 9:00.24. He will have an opportunity to climb up the ranks in the section all-time lists which you can find at this LINK.

Amaya DeFlorimonte, Bishop O'Dowd (Sprints/Jumps)
Another multi-talented athlete is Bishop O'Dowd sophomore Amaya DeFlorimonte. During the 2023 season, DeFlorimonte finished in 3rd place in the 400 meters at the section final and recorded her best time of 57.66 at the state prelims. She also competed in the triple jump taking the section title with a best of 37'3" getting valuable state meet experience in another event as a freshman.

Eden Enoru, Heritage (Sprints)
As a sophomore, Heritage sprinter Eden Enoru qualified for the state meet in the 200 meters as she finished in 3rd place with a near-season best of 25.28. In the 400, Enoru was the section champion and recorded the best time of her season at the Nike Outdoor Nationals with a time of 56.58. She also anchored her team's 4 x 400 meters relay to a 3rd place finish helping Heritage finish in 6th place as a team.

Joaquin Foster, San Domenico (Mid-Distance)
Before 2008, Crystal Springs Uplands resided in the BCL West and in NCS. I know it's been a few years but it still gives me a double-take when I see San Domenico with male competitors. Last season, San Domenico junior Joaquin Foster finished in 2nd place in the 800 meters to qualify for the state meet where he posted his best time ever in the prelims with a time of 1:53.89.

Jaden Jefferson, De La Salle (Sprints)
De La Salle has had its share of quality sprinters in the past including former NFL player Maurice Jones-Drew II. Last season, DLS freshman Jaden Jefferson certainly joined the Spartan elite sprinter ranks with a most impressive high school rookie season. He qualified for both sprint finals at the NCS MOC meet finishing in 6th in the 200 meters with a time of 22.38 and qualified for the state meet in the 100 meters as he finished in 2nd place with a time of 10.71. Jefferson also led off for the 400 meters relay as the team finished in 2nd place at the section meet and 5th place at the state meet. De La Salle was the section team champion.

Trevor Rogers, Acalanes (Sprints/Jumps)
During the 2023 season, the Acalanes 400 meters relay team finished in 2nd place at the state meet with a time of 40.96. That time places Acalanes as the 4th fastest team in section history trailing only 2009 DLS 40.85, 1981 Berkeley 40.86 and 1984 Berkeley 40.93. Running 3rd for Acalanes last season was junior Trevor Rogers. Along with relay duty, Rogers was also 

Brandon Rush, Bishop O'Dowd (Hurdles/Jumps)
Brandon Rush competed in many events during the 2023 season including sprints, hurdles, relays and jumps. He was at his best in the jumps where he finished in 5th place in the long jump. His best leap of 22'2.25" was recorded at the Sacramento Meet of Champions. He qualified for the state meet in the triple jump with a 2nd place finish at the NCS MOC and qualified for the state final where he finished in 5th place with a jump of 46'2.75".

Ali Santia, Clayton Valley (Sprints/Jumps)
Santia was one of the premier triple jumpers in the state. She was the DAL and NCS Tri-Valley champion in her specialty. At the NCS MOC, Santia finished in 2nd place with a leap of 36'11.25". At the state meet, Santia advance to the finals where she finished in 8th place with a season-best of 37'7.25".

Pinkie Schnayer, Campolindo (Throws)
One of the top throwers in the section, Schnayor recorded a best in the discus with a throw of 116'1". It was in the shot put that Schnayor stood out as she won a section title with a mark of 39'7.75". Her points in both events helped Campolindo win the team title. Schnayor has come out of the gates on fire in the discus as she recorded a huge PR in the shot put with a throw of 45'7". She also threw the discus 124'8" which is another PR.

La'Rico Tezeno, Pittsburg (Hurdles)
Tezeno is one of the top returning hurdlers in the section following the 2023 season. At the NCS MOC, Tezeno finished in 2nd place in the 110 meters hurdles with a time of 14.74. He won the 300 meters hurdles with a mark of 39.50. He also led off the 400 meters relay for Pittsburg as they narrowly missed the state meet with a 4th place finish at the section final.

Hanne Thomsen, Montgomery (Distance)
Hanne Thomsen, one of the most dedicated distance runners in NCS history is only a junior and she just recently signed an NIL with New Balance. Last season, Thomsen, recorded bests of 2:12.47, 4:43.63 and 9:55.31. At the NCS MOC meet, Thomsen was a double winner in the 1600 and 3200 and helped rally her team to a 2nd place finish in the inaugural 4 x 800 meter relay. At the state meet, she finished in 4th place in the 1600 but was unable to finish in the 3200 due to an injury.

Saturday Invitational live results

Dan Gabor Invitational
https://diablotiming.com/results/2024-03-02/




Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

12 CCS athletes to watch this upcoming Track and Field season

In alphabetical order.


Ashlyn Boothby Scotts Valley (Distance)

The Stanford-bound Boothby had quite a season in 2023 as she recorded bests of 2:09.03 and 10:26.12 but her true shining moment took place at the state meet as she finished in 2nd place in the 1600 with a new CCS record of 4:39.45 trailing only one of the all-time best runners in the state, Sadie Engelhardt.

Prince Buchango-Babalola Archbishop Mitty (Hurdles)
In 2023 as a freshman, Buchango-Babalola raced and hurdled nothing like an ordinary freshman by qualifying for the CCS finals in both events. In the 300 hurdles, he just missed his PR finishing in 5th in 40.51. In the 110 hurdles, he finished a more impressive 4th with a new best of 14.89.

Evan Gardner Homestead (Distance)
Unlike the previous season, the boys' 800 was a wide-open event. With many of the top 800 runners choosing the 4 x 800, enter sophomore Evan Gardner. In a few short weeks, Gardner made himself quite known in this event as he won the CCS finals and then recorded a best of 1:52.47 to qualify for the state final.

Christian Hauge Live Oak (Sprints)
The most impressive returning sprinter in the section is Live Oak senior Christian Hauge. Last season, Hauge was the surprise winner in the 100 meters at the CCS finals and just missed making the state finals as he had the 11th fastest time in the trials with a lifetime best time of 10.60. In the 200 meters, Hauge finished in 3rd place at the CCS finals, and ran a lifetime best time of 21.41 in the state meet trials which qualified him for the finals where he finished in 8th place.


Luke Lewis Serra (Throws)

Luke's dad Mike has been a throws coach at the College of San Mateo for a long time instructing some of the best throwers in this area. Luke had quite a breakthrough as a sophomore last year with bests of 57'8" in the shot put and 141'5" in the discus. Luke was the section champion in the shot put and qualified to the CIF finals in the event where he finished in 10th place.

Ellie McCuskey-Hay St. Ignatius (Sprints/Jumps)
In 2023, St. Ignatius freshman Ellie McCuskey-Hay had one of the most successful Track and Field seasons in CCS history. At the CCS finals, McCuskey-Hay won four events taking the 100, 200, 400 relay and long jump. At the state meet, McCuskey-Hay finished 2nd in the 100 meters with a lifetime best of 11.52. In the long jump, she qualified for the final and made it on the podium with a 6th place finish and 19'7.25 lifetime best.

Tatum Olesen Menlo Atherton (Distance)
Last year, Olesen was the SM Daily Journal Athlete of the Year following her accomplishments in cross country, soccer, and track and field. In track, Olesen had her best season to date recording best times of 2:09.28 and 4:47.61 (mile). She finished in 2nd place at CCS in the 800 meters and qualified to the state finals in the same event where she finished in 7th place.

Tiana Osuna Archbishop Mitty (Hurdles)
The Fresno State bound Osuna hurdled, jumped and participated on multiple relays for Archbishop Mitty in 2023. In the 100 meters hurdles, Osuna finished in 2nd place at the CCS finals and had a season best of 14.90. She finished in 4th place in the 300 meters hurdles at the CCS finals and had a season best of 44.89.


Hannah Rutherford Mountain View (Sprints)

The best 400 meters sprinter in the section continued her domination of the event during her second high school Track and Field Season. Rutherford finished 2nd at the Stanford Invitational, 4th at the Arcadia Invitational and won the CCS finals in her specialty. At the state finals, Rutherford qualified to the final and finished in 4th place recording her lifetime best time in the trials with a time of 54.55.

Aydon Stefanopoulos Los Gatos (Distance)
CCS has quite a group of junior boys currently who have definitely left their mark in both cross country and track and field. Last season, Los Gatos sophomore Aydon Stefanopoulos at the CCS finals finished in 2nd place in the 1600 meters and doubled back to take the 3200 meters title. At the state meet, Stefanopoulos was the only runner to race in both the 1600 meters and 3200 meters finals as he podiumed in both events.


Kenneth Tucker Bellarmine (Jumps)

The Bellarmine boys are always in the hunt for the section team championship with jumpers just like Kenneth Tucker. Last season, Tucker qualified to CCS in the long jump and had a best of 22'7". In the triple jumper, Tucker shined with a section title, a best of 46'3.5", and a 7th place finish at the State finals.

Sabrina Zanetto St. Francis, MV (Distance)
Over the past few seasons, the St. Francis, MV distance girls have stamped themselves among the best teams in the state. Last season, they were quite impressive in multiple relays including 3rd place finishes in the Distance Medley Relay at the Arcadia Invitational as well as the state finals in the 4 x 800 relay. Both teams were anchored by Zanetto who also won the individual 800 meters race over an impressive group of girls with a time of 2:10.35.

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