Comets Split Dual Meet with Independence

Freshmen Alejandra Ceron, throwing a new PR of 27'5 to win the meet.
Freshmen Alejandra Ceron, throwing a new PR of 27’5 to win the meet.

The comets headed to Independence high school on 3/26 and faced their greatest challenge of the season so far. Due to a field trip, the team was without 2014 Team MVP Daniela Camacho, 2015 points leader Paloma Contreras, and standout performers such as Nathan Bernardo, Hector Ramirez, Davion Thomas and Charli Chircop among others. Despite these blows, the comets fought hard against the 76ers coming away with a close victory on the girl’s side while suffering their first defeat of the season on the boy’s side.

The meet kicked off with the girl’s 4×100 team pulling off their second win of the season. The team of Maria Mendoza, Andrea Ortiz, Karen Montes, and Gabby Aguilar ran 56.69, beating their seasons best by over a second. This group of girls is dramatically changing the fortunes of the James Lick sprint teams, a year ago the best time the team could muster all season was a 59.64, the current group is 3 seconds better and counting. Julia Cruz placed 3rd in the 1600 with an 8 second pr, running 6:31.9. Elizabeth Guevara followed with a pr of her own, 6:45.5. The boy’s 1600 turned out to be extremely exciting. Karan Singh was boxed in with a lap to go in the slowly paced race, he fought Abel Padilla tooth and nail to pull away at the line running 5:07 with an extremely impressive 60 second final lap.

Maria followed up her strong 4×100 leg, running 19.17 for the 100 hurdles to win the race. Maria’s PR from 2014 was 19.75. The Independence boys swept the 110 hurdles, and then the 400 putting the comets in a deeper hole still. The lady comets proved successful in their 400, with Gabby running home to victory in 1:11.91 for a season best only .4 off her PR. Candice Calantoc continued her strong freshman season, running 1:15.41 and Daisy Nava followed her in 1:16 with Karen Montes coming home in 1:19, all PRs.

Maria took her second victory of the day, with an official PR of 13.94 in the 100m dash.Karen followed up her 400 with a huge pr in the 100 for 3rd place, 14.69 beating her old best of 15.20. Manroop Kahlon made her debut in 15.90, a solid showing. The boys were unable to secure any points in the 100, though Kelvin Arenas impressed with a 12.73 clocking. Teammates Ralph Sanchez, 13.15, Austin Swank, 13.71 and Isaak Herrera 14.57 also ran PRs.

In the 800s, Karan dominated his race cruise home for victory in 2:20 while Jose Jiminez finished in second at 2:21 for a 15 second PR. Julia finished 3rd in her 800 and broke 3 for the first time with a 2:59.94.

As the running events continued, the Throwers were hard at work as well. Robert Rios won Shot for the 3rd time in 3 meets, throwing 40 feet and a half inch. Alejandra Ceron matched the win streak with a PR of 27’5, moving her up to 7th on the all time James Lick top list despite her freshmen status. Diana Ramos and Patty Saldivar made their debuts throwing 16s in shot and mid 30s in disc, coring 1 3rd place each. Isaac Jiminez and Damian Sanchez, both inched closer to 30. Robert followed his shot put win with a 2nd place in Discus. Alejandra made it a double victory with a throw of 62’3.

Maria ran 56.35 in 2014 at league trials to move into 2nd on the all time JL list. She worked hard to finally beat that time, winning the race against Independence in 55.06, moving closer to the school record. Hadji Yono-Cruz ran 49.4 for 3rd place, but is still struggling with adjusting to high school hurdles.

Hadji also won the triple jump with a high school best of 36 feet and a half inch. Crystal Nguyen took second place in the girl’s triple, with a jump of 24’11, an off day for her. Crystal, Elyse Elder, and Mitzy Licon swept the long jump with marks of 13’3, 12’8 and 12’6.5. Elyse also added a victory in the high jump, clearing 4’4 in a solid performance. Karan also won the boy’s high jump clearing 5’8 in impressive fashion.

Stanley Nguyen ran 24.81 in his 200m debut, placing 3rd though injuring his thigh in the process. Andrea ran her first 200 of her career and clocked 30.15 for a win, making it onto teh school’s top 10 list in the event. Karan won his fourth and final event, with an 11:29 in the 3200. Hector Ramirez shoed up in time to run 11:36 for 3rd in the event. Julia finished her day with a 3rd and final huge pr, runing 15:00 just 2 weeks after 16:08 was her pr. With so many members missing, both 4×400 teams suffered, and both relays lost to teh 76ers to finish the meet.

The 76ers won the boys meet decisively, 88-39,

The Comets wonthe girls meet by a final margin of 65-62. The 5 wins combined for the James Lick Track team is already the best win total in over 5 years, the team will continue to build on it when the face a tough Yerba Buena team on April 2nd at home. Come out and root your comets on!

JLTF Runs strong at first annual TKA Distance Carnival

Daniela Camacho (3rd from left) on the starting line.
Daniela Camacho (3rd from left) on the starting line.

The Comets took a 13 athlete contingent to Sunnyvale to compete in the TKA distance carnival. It was a strong showing that the Cross Country coaches, Coach Q and myself were particularly excited about.

The first event of the meet saw Daniela Camacho place 4th overall in the girl’s 1600 finally breaking 5:40 for the first time in her career. Successful miles followed, Hector Ramirez ran 5:04 in his heat, a 13 second pr, and Karan Singh followed with a 4:50.68 lowering his own best by 5 seconds. Freshmen Inteus Castro-Lopez, and Jesus Deloya both narrowly missed their PRs by clocking 5:36 and 5:33 respectively. The prs continued however with Nathan Bernardo running 4:56.88 for a top 5 finish, breaking the 5 minute barrier for the first time. Jose Jiminez ran a very impressive 5:06 and clearly has the talent to excel if he dedicates himself. Guillermo Villalobos finished off the 1600 PRs, with a 5:19, running under 5:20 for the first time.

Last year the Comets’  best 1600 time was Nathan at 5:18, after 2 full weeks of racing the Comets have 5 runners faster than that, and a 6th at 5:19. The distance team is dramatically turning themselves around.

The 800s were next, Andrea Ortiz ran 2:59 to win her heat in an impressive display of speed. Daniela followed up her pr in the 1600 with a 2:33.00 for 3rd place. This was .7 off her PR, but a very good race in light of the fact Daniela had never run under 2:36 after having to run the 1600. Cesar Azevedo also made his 800m debut with a solid 2:17.02 showing his 400m speed. Karan Singh Pr’d running 2:11.72 but still hasn’t put his potential in the event together. Inteus ran a 2:35 to complete his first 1600/800 double. The forsh/soph girl’s 800s were particularly impressive. Maria Mendoza ran 2:46.96 and Daisy Nava ran 2:54.87.

Just 2 years ago, only 6 girls in school history had broken 3 minutes for the 800. Over the last two years however, 5 different girls have accomplished the feat and the JL top 10 list is being altered constantly this season.

Daniela ran the 3200 next in order to pace longtime friend and teammate, Brianna Flores. Brianna ran a 30 second PR earlier tis season when she won a dual meet in 15:16. At TKA however she mashed that time, clocking 13:58.99, becoming only the 5th girl in school history to break 14 minutes. Maria also ran the race for some over distance work and fun, she ran 14:33 on her first try at the distance. The boy’s 3200s saw 3 PRs with Nathan running 11:03, Hector 11:08 and Guillermo 11:35. Nathan and Hector are both looking poised to score big 3200 meter points at league finals, especially if they can get into the 10:40 range.

The meet wrapped up with Distance Medley Relays for fun. The team’s were tired, but Brianna, Daisy, Andrea and Daniela ran 15:18.07 in the school’s first ever attempt at the event. The varsity Boy’s team of Nathan, Cesar, Hector and Karan ran 12:36, and the frosh/soph team of Guillermo, Inteus, Jesus and Jose ran 13:01 for solid first attempts.

Overall The distance teams showed their depth and abilities which are still very much trending up. Many of the team’s key athletes will be away on field trip this week when the team takes on independence, so  the remaining comets will focus on PRs, using the dual meet as a workout and then look  for another string showing at the Firebird Relays.

Comets Surprise League with 2-0 Start


The Comets managed their second dual meet win of the season against the Gunderson Grizzlies on thursday. The 2 wins for the team already surpasses the win total of the previous 5 seasons combined. The boys team was lifted to victory on the strength of the field events, Robert Rios, Daniel Medina, and Pablo Segovia swept the Shot Put, while Pablo, Robert and Mario Perez likewise took all the points in Discus. Pablo managed a huge PR with a throw of 96 feet, priming himself to make a run at the league title in discus. Nathan Bernardo triple jumped 37’9 to wi the event despite his focus being on distance running. Davion Thomas had  a big jump of 18’7 for a sizable PR.

Hand times were used so results in the short sprints can not stand as official PRs, but the meet saw Davion  and Stanley Nguyen excel, likely both running under 12 seconds for the 100m dash. The team also broke 48 seconds for the 4×100 with Davion and Stanley being joined by Ralph Sanchez and Jon Rodriguez. Jon also won his first individual event, running a low 21 second 110 hurdle race with Jesse Chircop following in second. The pair followed Stanley in the 300 hurdles for a clean sweep with Stanley running a strong 47-48 second time. Cesar Azevedo and Guillermo  Villalobos took 1st and 3rd in the 400, Davion and Karan SIngh took 2nd and 3rd in the 200, and Hector Ramirez and Nathan Bernardo went 1-2 in the 3200 to help seal the victory. Points were added by Inteus Castro-Lopez in the 800, and the 4×400 team coasted home to a 4:00 for the win.

The girls won more comfortably than the boys, winning every event except for long jump, discus, and the 4×100. The 4×100 team of Daisy Nava, Andrea Ortiz, Karan Montes and Gabby Aguilar did break their PR by nearly a second however. Alejandra Ceron is quickly making it clear she is a force to be reckoned with, throwing 25’7in shot for her 2nd victory of the season, adn added a 3rd place in discus. Charli Chircop threw 24’4 for 3rd. Crystal Nguyen had a big break-threw in Triple jump, winning in 27’4. She also snagged 3rd in long jump. Newcomer Elyse Elder took second with a jump of 26’10.5. Paloma Contreras rapped up the field events by winning the high jump.

Maria Mendoza ran unofficial excellent times to win the 100 and 100 hurdles, breaking 14 in the 100,  and 19 in the 100h for the first time.Maria also won the 200. Andrea Ortiz took 3rd in the 100 and 2nd in the 100h with a low 20 clocking. Andrea went on to win the 300hurdles with a big PR of 56-57. Daisy Nava took 3rd, breaking 1 minute for the first time and Susie Peterson ran her first 300 hurdle race, and got on the school’s top 10 list with a 1:04 in doing so.

In a big showdown of the two top returning 400m runners in the league, Paloma proved victorious over Cassidy Ross, running 1:05.16 in PR fashion. Paloma then anchored the 4×400 team of Maria, Gabby Aguilar,Daniela Camacho and herself to a 2:32 winning time, the 2nd best mark in school history.

Daniela Camacho had comfortable victories in the 1600 and 800 with Brianna Flores and Elizabet Guevara snagging points behind her. Elizabeth won the 3200 with a fast 15:40, with Julia and Daniela 2nd and 3rd on a day where the distance runners were saving their energy for the next invitational.

The James Lick Comets Track team is 2-0 to start their season for the first time in a long time. The team will be missing critical members when they face Independence next week (due to the death Valley field trip), but the comets will acquit themselves admirably nonetheless.

JLTF Improves their marks at K-Bell Invitational

Davion before his 200m
Davion before his 200m

Fresh off their first league meet, some of the Comets headed to Los Gatos to compete in the historic K-Bell Invitational. The best marks of 2015 list grew stronger across the board with PR’s from every athlete who attended the invite.

Freshmen Jesus Deloya started the meet by running 11:55 in the 3200, becoming the 5th comet this year to break the 12 minute barrier following a year in which no Comet was able to. Alejandro Alonzo threw 32 feet in the Frosh/Soph Shot, just a week after he threw 28 in his debut. Alex was joined by Charli Chircop who threw 23’5 to also beat her PR. They are part of Coach Vela’s hard working throws group that has been a team strength early on. Senior Karan Singh ran 10:59 in his first 3200 for time, becomming the first comet since 2011 to break 11 minutes.

Some newcomers to invitationals were seen in the 100. Jon Rodriguez ran 13.37 for a big PR. Isaak Herrera broke 15 for the first time as did Hector Ramirez in place of Stanley Nguyen. The Varisty girl’s impressed with Maria Mendoza running 14.17 and Paloma Contreras running 14.38, both marks better than the team best 14.49 of 2014. Susie Peterson ran a pr of 16.28 and Daisy nava broke 16 with a 15.87. The best 100 of the day for the comets however, was Junior Davion Thomas’ clocking of 11.93. Davion became the first James Lick athlete to break 12 for the 100 meter dash since 2003.

Similar success followed in the 200 with Davion running 24.38. Paloma and Maria ran 28.86 and 28.73 respectively, both very strong early season marks. The 28.73 for Maria catapulted her onto the JL Track all time top 10 list. Isaak Herrera also ran strong breaking 32 and 31 for the first time. The 800’s also saw new season’s bests for the team. Sophomore Nathan Bernardo ran 2:11.64, continuing his rebirth as a distance runner. Hector Ramirez ran a pr with a solid 2:24.40 as did Guillermo Villalobos with a low 2:30. Daniela Camacho narrowly missed her PR in the 800 by clocking 2:32.68 in heat winning fashion. Daniela followed this performance with a PR in the 400, running 1:08.17 for a good day of work.

Daisy Nava ran the 300 hurdles in 1:02.96, over a 2 second pr and is approaching the minute barrier. Guillermo made it two PRs on the day with a 5:26 mile in which he was paced by teammate Hector Ramirez.

Overall the comets had a great day of work at K-Bell and are eagerly awaiting a matchup with Gunderson this thursday as they aim to start 2-0. Following that meet the distance runners will head up to Sunnyvale for the first annual King’s Academy Distance carnival, (a meet I am particularly excited about.) Stay tuned for more Comets news.

Comets Start Season with Win against Del Mar

The James Lick Comets hosted the Del Mar Dons on thursday March 12th to begin their league track meet season. The Comets showed just how far they have come since last year by beginning the meet with a 58.80 in the girl’s 4×100, better than the best time the 2014 team could muster all season. This was followed by a upset victory in the boy’s 4×100, with the team of Nguyen, Rodriguez, Sanchez, and Thomas claiming the first 4×100 victory for the Comets in years.

The distance group showed their class in the 1600 as Karan Singh and Nathan Bernardo kicked home for a 1-2 finish in 5:11, and 5:13 respectively. Guillermo Villalobos ran 5:30 for a new PR and freshmen Inteus Castro-Lopez made his James Lick debut with a solid 5:35 for a new PR. In the absence of 2014 MVP Daniela Camacho, Brianna Flores stepped up, running 6:34.70 to win the 1600 in a 7 second pr. She was followed by Julia Cruz i  her first track, meet claiming second place with a strong 6:43. Elizabeth Guevara made her debut with a 7:08, a good starting point for the new addition.

Maria Mendoza ran a PR for second place in the 100h: 19.46 moving her to number 8 on the all time JL list. She was beaten by Mia Favella the reigning league champion out of Del Mar. Andrea Ortiz also Pr’d with a strong 20.78, while freshmen Susie Peterson and Mitzy Licon made their debuts in 22.68 and 25.17

The boys race was similar with Hadji yono-Cruz beginning his HS career with a 20.72, better than any 110hurdle time from last years team. Jesse Chircop ran a huge pr with a 21.59, and Jon Rodriguez ran 21.64 in his 110hurdle debut.

The 400 meters were won by a pair of Comets, Senior Paloma Contreras in 1:07.30, and cesar Azevedo in 56.81. Both very strong early season clockings.The 100s were won similarly by Andrea Ortiz, 15.25 and Davion Thomas 12.35 running away with victories.Kelvin Arenas broke 14 in his 100m debut, and Andy Ngo and Isaak Herrera also ran their first races for the team. and Daisy Nava, Susie Peterson, and Analilia Regla all broke 17 in their first 100m race.

The 800m run was won again by Karan Singh 2:19 and Brianna Flores 3:01. Hector Ramirez ran 2:28 in preparation for a big race at K-bell this saturday and Julia came back with a strong 3:03 after her earlier 1600.

Meanwhile, the team was making similar strides in the field events. Robert Rios won the Shot Put by matching his PR with a throw of 40’3, and also won Discus in a new PR of 90’3 inches. Pablo Segovia had a strong debut breaking 30′ for shot put and 78′  for discus. Mario Perez got a well earned pr in shot as well breaking 29 feet for the first time. Alejandra Ceron busted onto the scene as a freshmen star by throwing 26’5 in shot and 73’6 in Discus, to put herself 8th and 9th on the all time JL throws lists.

Karan Singh and Paloma Contreras took breaks from their running events to win high jump, 5’2 for Karan and a pr of 4’4 for Paloma. Del Mar’s reiging horizontal jumps league champ Anthony Carini won long and triple jump with a strong showing. Davion Thomas jumped 17’9 and Hadji followed his hurdle performance with a long jump of 17’4 for 3rd. Hadji as Cesar also claimed 2nd and 3rd in triple jump. In the girl’s jumps Crystal Nguyen long jumped 13’7 in a clutch final jump to win the event. Mitzy Licon jumped 11’8 to add a point for 3rd. The two freshmen took 2nd and 3rd in triple jump as well and are working their way up to the 24 foot board.

The running events winded down with Maria Mendoza winning the 300 hurdles with an early season time of 57.1. Andrea Ortiz broke a minute for the first time moving up to 5th on the schools all time list. Nayely Flores and Daisy Nava ran slid 1:05s for 3rd and 4th. The boys race saw Jesse  and Jon finishing 2nd and 3rd in the event they are more suited for.

Paloma ran a big pr of 28.81 in the 200 to claim victory, with Karen Montes and Analilia Regla running in the 32s for 3rd and 4th. Davion finished his long day by winning the 200, and Kelvin  Arenas ran a strong 28 second 200 to win his heat. Austin Swank also broke 31 for the first time.

Karan Singh and Nathan Bernardo again came in 1st and 2nd in the 3200 using their excellent finishing abilities. Brianna Flores completed her triple victory by setting a 28 second PR in the 3200. Julia Cruz ended her grueling day by running 16:08 for 2nd in the race. The day was capped off by both 4×400 teams adding 5 points to the final score. The Comets won the meet by scores of 82-46 (The boys) and 90-37 (the girls).

These victories match the team’s total win count of the past 5 years. It is a great time to be a member, coach, or fan of James Lick Track and Field. The comets look ahead with aims to get great marks this Saturday at the K-Bell invite and then take on the Gunderson Grizzlies next week in pursuit of victory number 2. A great start for JLTF

JLTF opens season with strong showing!

Senior Mario Perez throwing Shot Put
Senior Mario Perez throwing Shot Put

For the first time in many years, The James Lick Track and Field team began their season with an invitational. The Willow glen Invitational kicked off with the Frosh/Soph Boys Shot Put. Sophomore Alejandro Alonzo and Freshmen Daniel Medina acquitted themselves well in their first ever track meet. Alex’s best mark was 28’9″  while Daniel threw 31’4″ for the 10 pound ball.

The first running event of the day saw sophomores Nathan Bernardo and Guillermo Villalobos in the 3200m run. After a slow first mile, Nathan stormed to a victory with a 72 second final lap, clocking 11:20.69 for the race. Guillermo ran 11:44.53 to break 12 minutes in his first ever try at the distance.

The most impressive performance of the day was Senior Daniela Camacho running 12:18.09 for 5th place in the Varsity Girl’s 3200m. This was a 16 second pr for Daniela and more importantly, breaks the 37 year old school 3200m record. Daniela has worked hard for four years and is faster than ever to start this year, she is primed to make a run at more school records and make it deep into qualification season.Hector Ramirez ended the 3200s with an 11:44 of his own in the Varsity Boys race. While the 2014 season did not see a James Lick Comet break 12 minutes for the 3200, all 3 boys who ran the 3200 at Willow Glen were able to do so.

In the Varsity Boys Shot Put, Pablo Segovia threw 29’7, Isaac Jiminez 28’10, and Mario Perez threw 28’9 to get their seasons started. If the boys continue to improve as the have under the tutelage of Coach Vela, the throws will be an area of strong depth for the team this season.

Gustavo Aguilera placed 5th in the 65m hurdles with a 12.12 in the rarely contested event. The sprints saw Freshmen Austin Swank and Elizabeth Perez make their track debuts, both with PRs. Junior Jose Gallegos also ran a pr of 13.47 and fellow Juniors Jesse Chircop and Davion Thomas both broke 13, with Davion clocking a speedy 12.20. Davion followed up this heat winning performance with a 24.97 200m run. Gustavo Aguilera ran 26.52 in the frosh/soph 200m for a huge PR and freshmen Candice Calantoc also ran a big pr of 33.2.Senior Oscar Sanchez capped off the sprints with a 400 and broke the 1 minute barrier for the first time despite being alone in his heat.

Freshmen Charli Chircop took second place overall in the Frosh/Soph Girls Shotput, earning a medal in her first ever track meet. Charli is expected to be a a crucial scorer for the girls team for years to come.

The distance runners continued their impressive display with strong middle distance runs. Senior Karan Singh ran 2:12.27 for a 3 second pr, Gustavo Parra kicked his way to a heat win in 2:17.67, the 7th fastest frosh/soph boy on the day. Gustavo Aguilera and Freshmen Jesus Deloya also ran strong prs, 2:24.57 and 2:31.20 respectively. Once again the Comets had 3 boys better the best mark of 2014.

The trend of dramatic improvement continued in the 1600, this time with 4 boys bettering the best mark of 2014, Hector Ramirez 5:17.91, Nathan Barnardo 5:14.14, Gustavo Parra 5:13.86 and Karan Singh 4:55.67. Karan won his heat with a thrilling 68 second last lap that ended with him holding off Jose Alvarez of Gunderson. He becomes the first Comet to break 5 since 2011 and has his sights set high this season. Daniela Camacho followed her record setting 3200 with a 5:41.17 in the 1600, missing her PR by only .5 seconds.

The Invitational ended with a boys 4×400 team. The team of Oscar, Gustavo P, Nathan and Karan competed admirably despite being tired to come home in 3:57.01, a mark they are sure to improve upon soon.

The James Lick Comets Track team is on the rise and the league is taking notice. Following this strong invitational showing the team looks ahead to their first dual meet: 3/12/15 against Del Mar in the pursuit of a victory to start their season!