Comets Run to New Heights in Time Trial

The team atop the Boccardo Trail in Alum Rock Park
The team atop the Boccardo Trail in Alum Rock Park

Since 2009, the James Lick Comets have used a version of the north rim trail to asses their fitness at various points in the season. The time trial version of North Rim, begins and ends at the park entrance, for a 3.03 mile run. The extra distance and added hill of service road make the league race course (2.85 miles) seem less challenging by extension. The North Rim Timed course is far and away the slowest course the comets will race all season, with a typical varsity boy being able to run roughly a minute faster at Crystal Springs (the league finals course) and 2 minutes faster at league races (Montgomery hill and the league race version of north rim).

A North Rim Time trial to start the season is a good indicator of where an athlete’s fitness is at, and gives an idea of what is to come. Owing to the courses difficult nature, no runner had ever run under 20 minutes for the first time trial of the season. Until now.

Nathan Bernardo 19:12, Hector Ramirez 19:19 and Gustavo Aguilera 19:53 have started the season where no Comet in recent years has started before. And with Guillermo Villalobos running 20:10 not far behind, the team has the look of the strongest top 4 it has boasted in years.

Sophomores Inteus Castro-Lopez and Azael Zamora, ran 21:04 and 21:12 respectively, barely slower than the 21:00 time Nathan ran to start his sophomore season. Jesus Deloya and Freshmen Vincent Giglio ran 21:43 and 21:44, giving the team a ton of young depth. No freshmen has started the season with a better time than Vincent did. Senior Jesse Chircop ran a solid 22:39 to round up the potential varsity runners.

Freshmen Erik Olsvold ran a strong 24:20, followed to the finish by Kelvin Arenas in 24:41. The next finishers demonstrated their packing ability with Renei Bravo 27:41, Austin Swank 27:43, Freshmen Arlet Miranda 27:46, Maria Mendoza 27:48, Elizabeth Guevara and Andrea Ortiz 27:53 and Gabriela Aguilar 28:15. The top 5 girls all came within less than 30 seconds of each other, an impressive team performance. Daisy Nava and Freshmen Raquel Rodriguez came home in 30:03 rounding up the likely varsity girls point at this juncture. Freshmen Joseph Benitez ran 30:05 in close pursuit of Raquel and Daisy.

Senior Ivan Morales 31:43 and Sophomore Isaak Herrera 32:04 were next, as well as newcomer Sophomore Jocelyn Aguirre in 32:11. Analilia Regla finished in 32:59, showing potential to be a leading JV girl.

Sophomore Elizabeth Perez demonstrated her vast improvement, running 37:54 compared to 53 minutes to start last season, she ran most of the ay with Deniesse Villalobos who finished in 38:01. Diana Romero and Susie Peterson rounded up the time trial in 47:40.

With the team moved up the STAL (B League) this season, the boys in particular were looking to make a big leap to show we not only belong in the B league, but that we are a team to be reckoned within it. Both teams have their eyes set on making CCS, an achievement which requires a finish at league Finals in the top 12/24 teams. Last years girls were 8th, beating several teams in the “A” league, and the boys were 15, a strong showing for the school with the second lowest population in the BVAL.

This season, the girls will look to work hard to not fall far off their stellar finish, in a year of transition after likely losing 6/7 Varsity girls. The arrival of freshmen Arlet and Raquel, and Track converts, Andrea, Elie, and Daisy will help spearhead this goal.

The boys are looking to make the jump into top 10 BVAL territory themselves and look well on their way to doing it. Last year’s team which ran the best league finals time from a James Lick team since 2004, had only 2 runners under 22 minutes to start least season on north rim timed. This year 8 runners accomplished the feat. No runners ran under 21:00 to start last season whereas 4 did this year with 3 breaking 20!

The Comets are in a good place to start the season, Stay tuned for more Comet news.

For an explanation of the league and it’s history start here: