Lady Comets Finish Season 7-0, Boys 5-2

The James Lick Track Team finished their regular season with a dual meet at Yerba Buena high school. It was a dramatic showdown as both teams entered with the exact same record, with both boys teams 5-1 and both girls teams 6-0, making this dual meet essentially the battle for the league championship. The team was looking for a good showing, and performances which showed the team’s readiness for league finals next week.

The meet began with an upset win in the girls 4×100. The team of Lyndel Ventura, Maria Mendoza, Karen Montes and Andrea Ortiz ran 54.15 to narrowly defeat the Warriors, The 2nd best time on record in school history. The boys team fell to the Warriors, but ran a huge seasons best time of 47.11, with Hadji Yono-Cruz, Jesse Chircop, Misael Herrera and Jose Limon combing for the time. Both 4×100 teams are hitting their peak at the right time.

The girls 1600 was won by Arlet Miranda in 5:46. Elizabeth Guevara and Carla Manzanares ran PRS of 6:13 and 6:37 respectively, and Analilai Regla narrowly missed her PR, running a seasons best of 7:29. On the boys side, Nathan Bernardo and Azael Zamora practiced racing tactics, they tucked in with the YB boys and unleashed strong kicks over the last lap to take 1st and 2nd both in 4:57.7.

The girls 10o hurdles saw a 1-2 finish of Valeria Cortez and Andrea running 18.01 and 18.05 respectively. This was Valeria’s first ever win in the event (in large part because Andrea had won the event in 5/6 prior dual meets) and a PR for both runners. Both girls are poised to break 18 seconds at finals. Susie Peterson ran a big PR of 19.20 as well, giving her  good chance at making finals next week. Hadji and Jonathan Rodriguez combined for a 1-2 finish on the boys side as well, Jonathan running a solid PR of 19.37 in the process.

Maria ran a seasons best 1:08.07 in the girls 400 to get the win for the team, with Carla running a PR of 1:17 in the race as well. On the boys side Lemon managed 3rd place for the team. Misael ran a small PR of 57.72, while Erik Olsvold and Vincent Giglio both broke 60 for the first time, running 58.10 and 58.97 respectively. Karen Montes and Jesse Chircop both ran very strong races into headwinds to take 2nd for the team in each respective 100m race. Susie  ran a PR of 15.19 as did Aliana Santos at 16.11. Brecia Dagio had a very strong debut in the event, running 14.87.

The girls 800 was a 1-2 finish for the Comets, Arlet paced Daisy Nava to a big PR of 2:42.77.  On the boys side Nathan won the 800 in 2:11.02 despite holding back significantly. This is Nathan’s fastest ever time at a dual meet and only 2 weeks ago would have been a PR. Hector Ramirez ran a huge PR of 2:12.57 for 2nd place. Andrea won the 300 hurdles in 51.56, defeating rival of Angelica Salvador of YB in the process. Jonathan ran a PR of 46.78 to place 2nd in the 300 hurdles, with Gustavo Aguilera a close 3rd.

Maria placed 2nd in the girls 200 in a strong time of 29.36. Karen grabbed 3rd for the team. Brecia ran 31.80 for her first try at the event. Lemon placed 2nd for the team in the boys race, with standout athlete Anthony Richard winning both sprints for YB.Isaak Herrera ran a PR of 29.69 in the race. Arlet and Eli combined to place 2nd and 3rd in the girls 3200, while Inteus Castro-Lopez and Azael Zamora did the same thing in the boys 3200. Both YB 4×400 teams defeated the Comets.

Elyse Elder placed 2nd for the team in high jump at 4-4 and Brecia had a PR of 4-2 as well. Elyse also won the long jump in 14-5 with Lyndel placing 3rd in 14-1. Lyndel took 2nd place in the Triple jump with a leap of 26-9. Hadji and Nathan took 2nd and 3rd in Long jump with marks of 18-5 and 18-3 restively, Hadji’s jump being a PR. Nathan took 3rd for the team in triple jump, going 38-5.

The girls got a huge boost out of the throws, where the team took 17 out of 18 available points. Valeria had a huge day, throwing PRS of 31-1 in Shot Put and 91-4 in Discus to win each event and break the 30 foot and 90 foot barriers. With her throw in Discus, Valeria leapfrogs teammate Alejandra Ceron into 2nd place on the schools all time list. Alejandra placed 2nd in both throws, and Leymsi Saldana took 3rd in Discus with a  throw of 55-9. Valerie Flores had a solid Discus PR of 54 feet as well.

Josh Garcia won the Boys Shot Put and Daniel Medina placed 2nd with throws of 35 feet and 34 feet. Daniel also gained his first ever Discus win, throwing a PR of 93-6. Osman Lopez had a big PR of 85-3.50 as well.

The boys meet was very close, with all running events concluded, Triple Jump was the final event contested with the scored locked at 59-56 Yerba Buena leading. The final score was 67-57 with Yb taking the win on the boys side, sending the Comet Boys into WVAL finals in 3rd place.

On the girls side however, the team accomplished what they had set out to do. The team now boasts the first undefeated season in school history on the girls side, with the 76-51 win against the Warriors. The team will need to place 2nd or better next week at WVAL finals in order to clinch their championship.

The team is tapering down and each athlete is getting ready to perform to the best of their ability next week at WVAL finals at Overfelt high school. This is a 2 day event, with Wednesday May 4th holding trials for all lane events, and finals for a few select events. Friday May 6th will then hold all remaining finals. The top 8 in each event score points and the top 4 in each event advance to BVAL Championships the following week.

WVAL Finals preview coming soon.


A Brief History of James Lick Track

Daniela Camacho, James Lick School Record Holder in the 800, 1600 and 3200  (Left) Now Competing For De Anza college. Arlet Miranda, Freshmen and heir apparent to Daniela’s records (right).


With only one dual meet remaining in the season before the team heads to WVAL finals, now is as good a time as any to reflect on the rich history of James Lick Track in order to better contextualize the success of this years team.

James Lick began competing in Track and Field very soon after it was founded in 1950. The low number of schools in the area helped ensure James Lick was abundant in talent. By 1954 the team was winning league championships in Cross Country in the SCVAL (Santa Clara Valley Athletic League) and producing great athletes in Track and field. This was before the BVAL (Blossom Valley Athletic League) or the CCS (Central Coast Section) were in existence.

The team produced multiple championships, with athletes like Ray Russ in the 880 yard run (804 meters) and Henry Aguilar in the 120 (109 meters) yard hurdles winning not just the SCVAL, but the entire NCS (North Coast Section) title in their events. Records of times and marks throughout much of James Lick’s history are scarce, making the All Time lists I have complied only mostly completed. In order to compare the athletes of JL history to the athletes of today, all marks achieved in yard events have been converted to their metric-event equivalents. Ray Russ’ 880 time of 1:55.7 for example converts to a 1:55.24 800 time which still stands as the 3rd best time on record in school history. Henry Aguilar’s 14.90 converted 110 hurdle time is still the school record.

The CCS was formed in 1965, the same year that James Lick and several other schools formed the MHAL (Mount Hamilton Athletic League). During the 60s and 70s James Lick demonstrated incredible depth, with several of James Lick’s best ever marks achieved during this era. Dave Pike’s long jump record of 22-6.50, Dan Lloyd’s school record 59-9.50 Shot Put throw, and James McGhee’s school record 159-9 Discus throw were set during these years.

As more and more schools popped up around San Jose, the STAL (Santa Teresa Athletic League) and the WVAL (West Valley Athletic League) were formed. At this time the leagues were purely geographical, with the MHAL being the east side league, the STAL the south league, and the WVAL the western league. The foundation of more schools nearby James Lick, such as Independence and Piedmont , began to make a dent in James Lick’s Track and Field depth, as more and more students piled into other schools. Even so, the best athletes of James Lick in the late 70s and 80s were phenomenal, and 1975 marked the start of girls competition in the MHAL.

The 3200 school record of 9:26 (converted from a 2 mile time) set by Joe Salazar, and Peter Moreno’s outstanding 50-1 Triple jump were both set in 1976. The CCS has existed now over 50 years and with hundreds of athletes contesting the triple jump every year, Moreno’s mark still stands as the 3rd best in CCS history. The mid and late 80s saw two more JL greats. School record holder and double CCS champion Henry Barba ran 10.69 for the 100, and 21.57 for the 200 in 1985. Joe Amendt won 4 straight MHAL titles over 800 meters, from 1985 to 1988, eventually running a time of 1:50.75 for a school record and still 4th best time in CCS history. Joe also ran what stands as the converted school 1600 record of 4:18.49. By the early 1990s however, as James Lick began to suffer academically, more and more students chose Private schools or other local choices. This severely weakened the strength of the Cross Country and Track Teams, with much of James Lick’s would be talent turning elsewhere.

The early years of girls competition in the 70s and 80s had some strong marks, but the girls team never achieved the success of their male counterparts. A few years after girls were allowed to compete, the team produced very little athlete turnout on the girls side. Kathy Shelby’s school record 34 foot Shot put throw and Joan Jacobs school sprint records of 12.26 and 25.44 (again converted from yard events) were set in these early years. Again it should be noted that records were not well kept in this time, so records are based on what I could verify.

In the very late 1980s and 1990s, as James Lick declined, more and more schools opened around San Jose. As the CCS grew, and sought more organization, leagues began to experiment with Power league structures, where teams would move up or down between leagues of varied competition level based on ability.

In 1996 the BVAl was formed, with the MHAL, STAL, and WVAL coming together to form the biggest “Super League” in the CCS, with 24 total teams.  The MHAL served as the ‘A’ league, the STAL the ‘B’ League and the WVAL the ‘C’ League. While some great marks were set in the 90s, including a school record in the 100 hurdles by Jamalia English of 15.51, James Lick was getting weaker by the year as more and more students flocked to schools that were performing better academically.

James Lick Track was immediately placed in the WVAL (C League) in 1996, and has been there ever since, along with most of the school’s sports. By this time, James Lick was not competitive in Track and Field at all anymore, with a few standout athletes not being able to help the team finish better than last place on the girls side, and 6th on the boys side in the weakest league of the BVAL in it’s first ever year.

In short, James Lick Track has struggled in the entire BVAL era (1996 on). The girls history, having never been strong as a team, saw several record breaking performances in the 2000s despite team struggles. These included a school record in the girls Discus by Ward in 2002 of 96-6 and outstanding girls Jumps records by Ruth Lebeau, 17-5.50 for long jump and 37-5 for Triple jump.

In 2009 The Track team was on the verge of folding with only 12 athletes on the entire team between boys and girls combined. Coach turnover was high, with soccer coach Ray Iniguez, school teacher Ms. Everet, and off campus coach Juan Trejo all stepping in to ensure the team at the very least existed. Over the course of 5 seasons from 2009-2013 the team did not win a single meet, going a combined 0-70 during this span.

In 2013 I came on as the Head Coach for Cross Country (along with Coach John Quasarano) and Track, having graduated from James Lick in 2011. It is a testament of the extent to which Track was not emphasized at James Lick in the early 2000s that I ran Cross Country all four years without ever participating in Track until college. I hoped dearly that we could gradually improve the fortunes of the team, and perhaps in a few years have a winning record. I was thrilled in my first season to be joined by throws Coach Jon Vela, who shared my ambitions for the team and obsession with fostering improvement.

What myself and Coach Vela, along with Coaches Juan Trejo and Ricardo Flores experienced was a student body which has blown away all expectations put on them. Despite the reputation James Lick has amassed in some circles regarded as an “at risk” school full of gang bangers or delinquents, the team has overcome the struggles of much of the BVAL era. As fall coaches (Vela coaching football), myself and Coach Vela are able to put a greater emphasis on recruiting athletes from within James Lick’s student body to come out and try Track and Field and this was the first step to success. The team of 2014 grew from 12 total athletes to 25. With this increase came the end to the team’s long losing streaks, and an encouraging breath of air along with it. The graduating class of 2015 was a truly special group of athletes. Team members such as Daniela Camacho, Paloma Contreras, Mario Perez, Karan Singh, Brianna Flores, and Robert Rios were instrumental in recruiting many of their friends and teammates from other sports to Track and,  with it came far greater success.

Prior to 2015, myself, Coach Vela and Coach Q discussed the teams prospects. Our number one priority is always that every athlete improves as much as possible, but we also set the goal of finishing with a winning record on both sides for a combined winning record. At the time this was a very ambitious goal, having gone just 1-6 on both sides the year before, with the last winning record on other side being the 4-3 record of the boys in 2002. In fact, in the entire BVAL era, from 1996 to 2014 the Lady Comets Track team had NEVER had a winning record even once. The best combined record was the 7-7 team of 2001, when the boys went 5-2 and the girls 2-5.

The Team collectively demonstrated that they were ready to change that. the team of 2015 finished a combined 10-4, with the Varsity girls achieving the first winning record on record in school history (1975-2015) and definitely the first winning record in the BVAl era.  The rapid turn around of the program speaks to the very hard working group of student athletes on the Comet Track team. James Lick still has limitations. We are still considered academically “at risk” we are currently the 2nd smallest school in the BVAL, but despite these limitations, the Track Team’s size spiked from 25 athletes in 2014, to 44 athletes in 2015.

The great 2015 JLTf renaissance boasted the school’s best girls team in the BVAL era and likely the best one in school history. Daniela set school records in all three distance events, and Andrea Ortiz set the school record in the 300 hurdles. The most commendable thing about the group of athletes who have turned JLTF around however isn’t the way that they compete, but the way they cohere. At WVAL finals last year, I had the immense pleasure of being told by multiple coaches that the James Lick Track team stood out for their remarkably welcoming and supportive treatment of their teammates and opponents. The Sportsmanship demonstrated by the team shows that the group of athletes we currently have aren’t weighed down by the perceptions of outsiders, or the limitations placed upon them.

Another measure of the 2015 team’s success was the number of athletes sent to BVAL Championships. This is a meet contested by all 3 of the BVALS leagues, with the top 4 athletes at WVAL Finals, the top 5 athletes at STAL Finals and the top 7 athletes at MHAL finals qualifying for the meet. For much of the 2000s, only a handful of athletes from JL would attend BVAL champs, with the highest number of the 2000s being 5 individual athletes in 2003. In 2015 however the team sent 9 individuals and 3 relay teams for a total of 16 athletes at BVAL champs.

The foundations set by the team of 2015 have set the team on the course for success for years to come. When a program is truly successful, it’ll have special years with special graduating classes, but it will continue to be successful even when it loses strong athletes because it has a system that works and a tradition of success. This is illustrated by many of the strong teams around the CCS such as Los Gatos, Lynbrook and local powerhouse Mt. Pleasant. The James Lick Track team is not yet a CCS power, nor  a BVAL power, but only a few years ago it was the weakest team in the WVAL, and it is now arguably the best.

The team of 2015 was unquestionably the best team of the BVAL era (effectively the modern era or JLTF) with it’s 10-4 combined record. Despite the loss of the Top 3 Point scorers on the boys side, and the loss of school record holders and League champions on the girls side, the 2016 team has already improved upon the 2015 season standing at 11-1 with a highly anticipated dual vs YB remaining.

With the girls team at 6-0, they are on the verge of the first league championship in school history. This is amazing even in the C league when one considers that only 2 years ago the team had never even had a winning season in the BVAL era. The addition of experienced coach Steve Nichols in Sprints and Jumps has been huge in maintaining the team’s growth.

The team will need to throw down their best performances to defeat the also undefeated Yerba Buena warriors on their home turf, but the heart and determination the 2016 Track team has shown time and time again will surely serve them well. I count myself as extremely lucky for having a group of student athletes so determined to better the reputation and standing of their school.

On behalf of my coaching staff Thank you for your support of the James Lick Track Team and stay tuned for Final Dual Meet recap and WVAL finals preview coming soon.

All time list:

More can be found under Track History:


Comets Defeat Overfelt Move to Combined 11-1

The James Lick Track Team had their penultimate dual meet of the season at Overfelt High School this week. Overfelt is a long time rival, with dual meets between James Lick and Overfelt having been very competitive since the 1960s.

The meet began with Comet wins in both 4×100 races. Lynden Ventura, Liliana Diaz, Crystal Nguyen, and Karen Montes managed to win the race despite the absence of the teams top 2 sprinters. On the boys side the team of Hadji Yono-Cruz, Jesse Chircop, Adrian DeLaRosa and Jose Limon won handily, working on their chemistry.

The girls 1600 saw a 1-2 punch of Arlet Miranda and Maria Mendoza take 1st and 2nd on 6:00 and 6:04 respectively. Elizabeth Guevara and Daisy Nava both ran PRS of 6:14 and 6:17 in the race, as did Denisse Calixto in 7:17.  The boys race saw Nathan Bernarod take 2nd after being outckiced by strong Overfelt Senior Alexsis Castellanos. Nathan will look forward to the rematch at league finals. Erik Olsvold ran 4:54 for 3rd place, becoming the 5th Comet this season to break the 5 minute barrier, and become the first freshmen from James Lick to break 5 for the 1600 since 2002. Jared Resendiz ran 5:38 for his racing debut.

Andrea Ortiz placed 2nd and suffered her first loss of the season in the 100 hurdles to star Overfelt hurdler Chrizna Milanes. Valeria Cortez ran 18.7 for 3rd, breaking 19 seconds for the first time. Susie Peterson also PRd in 19.74 for 5th place. Hadji mono-Cruz won the boys 110 hurdles and Jonathan Rodriguez placed 2nd in a PR of 19.45.

Jackie Landa placed 2nd in the girls 400 in a time of 1:13. “Lemon” continued his rapid ascent in the sprints, running 55.49 to win the 400, the best 400 by a Comet this season. Gustavo Aguilera placed 2nd in a huge PR of 56.78. Karen notched her first ever meet win in the 100m dash running 14.53. Teammate Liliana was 2nd in the same time for a very tight finish. In the boys version of the event, Jesse laced 2nd in a PR of 12.34. Adrian was 3rd in 12.41 and Danny Nguyen was 4th in a PR of 12.65. Chris Okoro ran a huge PR in the next heat, breaking 13 for the first time with a time of 12.98. Bryan Cuevas also ran a sizable PR of 13.08.

The girls 800 was swept by Arlet, Maria and Andrea. Maria and Andrea ran PRs of 2:40 and 2:41, moving them to 7th and 8th on the schools all time list in the event. Carla Manzanres ran a PR of 3:04, as did Analilia Regla running 3:17.  The boys event was won by Azael Zamora in a PR of 2:13.31. Nathan was a close second. Vincent Giglio ran a PR of 2:22 as did Jared running 2:30.

Andrea battled knee injury and fatigue from the 800 to place 2nd in the girls 300 hurdles, with Belen Sanchez placing 3rd. The boys version of the event saw Gustavo A and Jonathan finish 1-2 with solid 47 second clockings. The girls 3200 was a 1-2 finish by Arlet and Eli. The boys event saw Erik ran 11:04 for a huge PR.

The girls were narrowly defeated in the 4×400, missing two of their A team members while  the boys team of Lemon, Azael, Misael Herrera and Gustavo A ran 3:51 for a seasons best time for the team.

The field events saw a number of excellent performances for the team. Josh Garcia won the high jump in his first competition in the event, learning 5-2 with Jonathan 2nd at 5-0. Nathan won both Triple and Long Jump with Hadji placing 3rd in long jump. Lyndel is battling shin problems but still placed 3rd in both triple and long jump. Crystal placed 2nd in Tripe jump with a solid 26 foot jump.

Josh placed 2nd in Shot Put, matching his PR of 36-7, and 3rd in discus with a throw of 88 feet. Osman Lopez threw 29-2 for a Shot Put PR, and is on the verge of becoming Coach Vela’s 10th athlete to throw over 30 feet. Alejandra Ceron had a huge day, throwing a PR of 31-4 to win Shot, and a huge PR of 89-6 to win Discus and move her into 2nd on the schools all time list in the event. The school record of 96 feet was set in 2002. Valeria placed 2nd in both throws, getting a PR in Discus of 88-11, giving the team a great shot at having 2 different 90 foot discus throwers this season, whereas only one girl in school history (on record) had done it before this season.  This demonstrates the fact that this team is shaping into the best girls track team James Lick has ever had. Leysmi Saldana placed 3rd in Shot Put with a huge PR of 24-6. She also threw a PR in discus of 59 feet.

The team won the meet by scores of 80-42 on the girls side and 86-36 on the boys side. The team is now a combined 11-1 with the girls team being 6-0. A win at YB next week would send the girls into league finals just needing to place 2nd overall to clinch the first league title in school history. This is shaping up as a great season for the team. It’s hard for the freshmen class to believe that only 3 years ago this team could not win a single dual meet (and the league was much weaker then as well). The program building is in full bloom, and the team will look to take another big step in it’s final dual meet of the season next week.

Yerba Buena has been the league champ on the boys side for 3 years in a row, and a good showing against them on both sides would give the team confidence heading into league finals. Andrea Ortiz and Azael Zamora will head to the historic CCS Top 8 meet fir day, and then the entire team will put in their final preparations and have their final dual meet of the season at Yerba Buena on April 30th.


Comets have Strong Showing at Bearcat Invitational

Azael Zamora leading the Frosh/Soph 1600

The James Lick Track team took a small group of athletes up north for the BearCat Invitational in San Mateo. This would be the final open invitational for the team as they prepare for league finals in just 2 weeks. The group of 10 performed very well turning in a number of impressive performances.

The meet began with strong performances in the Frosh/Soph Shot Put.Valeria Cortez placed 5th with a solid throw of 26-6 and Alejandra Ceron took 2nd place with a best throw of 29-7.50, her best ever throw at an invitational. Josh Garcia placed 5th in the boys version of the event with a best throw of 39-6.50 for the 10 pound ball. Josh is emerging as one of the best Shot Put throwers in the league in just his first track season.

Alejandra Ceron after releasing the Shot Put

In the running events, the Comets kicked off the day with the 1600. Gustavo Parra broke the 5 minute barrier narrowly, running 4:59.97 despite being sick. This gives the team 4 runners under 5 minutes for the first time in the 2000s. Nathan Bernardo ran a very strong race, putting himself in a position for a very fast 1600 with one lap to go, passing the 1200 meter split in 3:32. He faded however to achieve a small PR of 4:49.06, though his strong first 3 laps show he is very close to breaking through for a low 4:40 time.

In the Frosh Soph girls 1600 Arlet Miranda ran an 8 second PR of 5:38 to place 4th, making her the 3rd girl in JL history to break 5:40 for the mile. In the Frosh/Soph boys race, Inteus Castro-Lopez ran 5:04.20, a 5 second PR moving him closer to the 5 minute barrier. The race of the day for the team in the 1600 however was Azael Zamora placing 5th with a 10 second PR of 4:48.60, the best time by a Comet miler this season. With this time Azael become the first Comet sophomore to break 4:50 since Ivan Navarro in 2000, and gives the team 2 athletes under 4:50 in the same season since 2002.

Valeria narrowly missed medaling in the 100 hurdles, running 19.70 and making great progress towards a 4 step stride pattern.

The distance runners doubled up by working on their speed with runs over 800m next. Nathan ran a 2 second PR for the event clocking 2:09.32 despite a lot of traffic. Azael followed up his strong 1600 with a 4 second PR over 800 with a time of 2:14.15. Inteus also PRd running 2:21.06. Raquel Rodriguez ran a decent 3:06 despite having missed a lot of practice time lately. The strongest 800m of the day was from Arlet Miranda. Arlet ran 2:30.66 for 2nd place and a 4 second PR. With it she moves into 2nd place in school history and has the claim of having run the fastest ever 800m after a 1600 in school history. With just 3 weeks of training left before BVAL championships where all three BVAL leagues (A, B, and C) will compete for spots at CCS, Arlet is ranked 6th in the entire BVAL over 800 meters.

Gustavo Aguilera ran a strong 300 hurdles for 47.27 despite being sick, his best ever time at an invitational. In the 200, Nathan ended his day with a seasons best of 25.97, working on his speed.  Azael ran a PR of 27.90 as did Arlet running 30.93.

Valeria threw a PR of 87-5 in Discus, making her the #1 ranked thrower in the WVAL just 2 weeks out from league finals. Alejandra threw 80-10 for her best ever invitational mark, ad the girls medaled again placing 4th and 5th overall.

The season is winding down in a hurry. The team will head to Overfelt this week and myself, Coach Steve and Coach Vela will determine which athletes will compete in which events at league finals following Thursdays meet. Each team is guaranteed 3 athletes in each event, and can enter a 4th, 5th etc as long as they have a realistic chance of scoring points (Top 8 score points at league finals). This will mean that athletes who will not be competing at league finals will treat the teams final dual meet (against Yerba Buena) as their biggest meet of the season, and look to end their season with strong personal records.

At WVAL finals, the top 4 athletes in each event will advance to BVAL championships, and the top 8 from BVAL championships will advance to CCS.

The team will look to extend their girls record to 6-0 and their boys record to 5-1 against the Royals this week, and then take a few top-notch athletes to the historic CCS Top 8 meet on Friday.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned fore more Comet Track news.


JLTF Combined 9-1 After Final Home Meet

The James Lick Trak Team hosted the San Jose Bulldogs as their final home meet of the 2016 season. The San Jose team had very low numbers due to their spring break. The low level of competition combined with 20 mph headwinds made it a difficult meet to PR in, but the team was glad to come away with a double victory.

Both 4×100 teams won the relay to start the meet, with the boys running a seasons best of 48.09 despite the extreme winds. Hadji Yono-Cruz, Jesse Chircop, Misael Herrera and Jose Limon combining with the victory. The girls side team of Lyndel Ventura, Liliana Diaz, Karen Montes and Andrea Ortiz ran 56.63 to get their first 4×100 win of the season.

The Comets swept many events on the day because of the small size of the Bulldogs team. Rather than list every placing and time,here are a few of the key PRs and placings from the meet.

Elyse Elder had a huge long jump PR of 15-0 even, giving the team two girls above 15 feet this season. Elyse won the high jump in 4-4 while Andrea jumped 4-2 for 2nd place. Valery Montalvo scored her first point for the team in the girls 200 by placing 3rd. Valerie Flores and Leysmi Saldana did the same by placing 3rd in Discus and Shot Put respectively. Valerie threw 19-10 for Shot Put and 49-0 for Discus, both of which were PRs. Josue Marcelo and Vincent Giglio scored their first points for the team in Long Jump and the 800 respectively. Josue’s jump of 16-8.50 was a PR.

Josh Garcia had a huge PR in Shot Put of 36-7 for the Comets best mark in the event this season. Erik Olsvold won the 3200 with a strong PR of 11:17.98.Despite the wind  Limon won the 400 with a new PR of 56.44. Valeria Cortez won the girls Shot put in a new PR of 29-2 while Alejandra Ceron won the discus with a new PR of 82-11.

Arlet Miranda accomplished the difficult task of scoring 20 points in a meet. An athlete is only allowed to compete in 4 events maximum, and a win in an event garners an athlete 5 points. Therefore scoring 20 points i possible if one wins 4 individual events, and Arlet did that in highly difficult fashion, winning the 1600, 800, 400, and 3200.

The team will send a small group of athletes to the Bearcat Invitational in San Mateo for their final invitational of the season, the gear up for a matchup with longtime rival Overfelt next week.


Comets Endure at Quicksilver Classic

FS Boys 4×100 Team: Jose Limon, Chris Okoro, Misael Herrera and Adrian DeLaRosa

A group of Comets took to the Quicksilver Classic at Leland High School Saturday, and endured the rain in pursuit of fast times. The day kicked off with a great run by the Frosh/Soph 4×100 team. The team went in to the meet ranked 2nd to last with a seasons best time of 50.60. The team of Chris Okoro, Jose Limon, Adrian DeLaRosa and Misael Herera combined to run 48.92 and beat several higher ranked teams in the process.

Several members of the team continued their good day. Notably, Jose ran 12.31 for his first ever 100m dash, a great initial time which makes him the Comets number 1 runner in the event this season on just his first try. Misael followed up his strong 4×100 leg with a new PR over 400 of 57.79, a PR by almost 2 seconds. Azael Zamora also had a strong 400, running 57.61 compared to a previous best of 1:03.

Susie Peterson ran a PR of 19.90 in the 100 hurdles despite a rough start. Susie also ran a 200m Pr later in the meet, breaking 34 seconds for the first time. Lyndel Ventura made her 100m debut, and ran 14.63 in the process, a strong debut showing her spot on the 4×100 team is well earned. Alejandra Ceron managed to medal in the FS Shot Put by throwing 29-5 as well.

The Frosh/Soph day rounded up with two impressive 3200m performances. Arlet miranda ran 12:36.40 for 3rd place overall. In the process Arlet become just the 3rd girl in James Lick history (on record) to break 13 minutes for the 3200. In the boys version of the event, Azael ran a 7 second PR of 10:42.10 despite having run the 400 earlier.

Following the FS events, the Varsity day was kicked off. Alex Alonzo threw 32-8 for Shot Put for a solid 3 inch PR. Elizabeth Guevara ran 1:12.53 in an impressive display of speed over 400 meters. Denise Calixto ran a small PR of 1:15.39. Nathan Bernardo ran 56.41 for a seasons best in the 400. Daisy Nava ran 2:45.98 for a small PR in the 800. The boys 800 saw one of the most outstanding races of the day. Gustavo Parra ran 2:13.12 for a 3 second PR and the fastest time by a Comet so far this year. Gustavo Aguilera ran 2:17 for a PR in the same race.

Andrea Ortiz ran a .01 second PR in the 300 hurdles to lower her school record slightly, and take 5th place overall in the process. Eli followed up her strong 400 with a huge PR of 13:23.07 for the 3200, moving her into 5th on the schools all time list. Nathan narrowly missed his PR in the 3200 running 10:42 in steady rain.

The day ended with two 4x400s while most teams had already left the meet. The girls team of Andrea, Daisy, Eli and Alret ran 4:47 to place 4th out of 5 teams. The boys team, composed of both Gustavo’s Nathan and Hector after their 3200 ran a decent 4:02.

The team looks ahead to their final home meet of the year next Thursday against San Jose High. The boys will look to get their 4th win and clinch a winning season while the girls will attempt to move to 5-0. Following this, a small group of athletes will head to San Mateo High School for the team’s final invitational of the season.

Comets Get Huge PRS Following Spring Break


The James Lick Track Team had their first meet since Spring break on April 7th at home vs the Independence 76ers. The team knew the local rival would be a tough matchup, particularly on the boys side as the 76er boys entered the meet 4-0.

The meet began with relay losses to Independence on both sides. Despite the losses, both teams ran very well. The girls team ran with only one of it’s A team members. Lyndel Ventura, Liliana Diaz, Crystal Nguyen and Elyse Elder combined to run 56.38, compared to 57.86 from the same team at the team’s first meet. The boys team of Hadji Yono-Cruz, Jesse Chircop, Adrian DeLaRosa and Jonathan Rodriguez ran 48.33, breaking 49 for the first time this season. The boys B team of Josue Marcelo, Danny Nguyen, Misael Herrea and Bryan Cuevas also ran a seasons best of 50.83. The C team completed their first successful 4×100, with Austin Swank, Jose Limon, Chris Okoro and Isaak Herrera combining to run 55.37.

Strong athlete Lydia Ma won the girls 1600 for Independence with Arlet Miranda taking a close second at 5:49. Maria Mendoza placed 3rd in 6:11 while Elizabeth Guevara narrowly missed her PR running 6:16. On the boys side, the top returning miler in the league, Ivan Godinez ran 4:47 to win the boys 1600. Nathan Bernardo ran 4:50 for 2nd place and Hector Ramirez ran 4:55 for 3rd with Azael Zamora running 4:59 to give the Comets three sub 5 milers in a dual meet for the first time this year.

Andrea Ortiz won the 100 hurdles in a new PR of 18.08, giving her 4 straight league wins in the event to start the year. Valeria Cortez was 2nd and Susie Peterson 3rd both running close to their PRS. On The boys side standout athlete Anthony Ho won the 110 hurdles for Indy, running under 16. Hadji took 2nd in a new PR of 18.66 and Gustavo Aguilera Prd for 3rd running 19.11.

Andrea won the 400 shortly afterwards, running 1:06.35 for a 5 second PR, good for the 6th best time in school history. Jackie Landa placed 3rd in 1:13. On the boys side, newcomer Jose Limon showed impressive talent running 56.72 for 2nd place in his first ever attempt at the event. Misael ran 59.54 for 4th to break the 60 second barrier for the first time officially.

Maria won the 1600 with a time of 13.99, the first sub 14 clocking of the season by a lady Comet. Lillian Diaz had her highest placing of the season, running a PR of 14.47 for 2nd. Valeria ran a strong debut of 14.73 in her first try at the event. Susie ran a huge PR of 15.23 as well. On  the boys side, the team was swept by a strong group of Indy sprinters. Adrian lead the Comets running a big PR of 12.51. Jonathan broke 13 for the first time running 12.88. Austin Swank had a huge PR running 13.29 compared to a best of 13.55 previously. Chris ran a PR of 13.34 as did Manuel Villalobos running 14.10.

The girls 800 was won by Lydia Ma in 2:33. Lydia is the top returning 800m runner in the league from the 2015 season, and as such, was a good athlete for the lady comets to measure themselves against. Arlet acquitted herself well, running 2:34.58 for a 3 second PR and moving into 3rd on the schools all time 800m list. Daisy placed 3rd in 2:49. Nathan took 2nd to Ivan Godinez in the boys 800, running 2:15. Gustavo Parra ran 2:19.06 for a Seasons best in 3rd.

Andrea won the 300 hurdles in 51.65 while running fairly comfortably. She will go after a sub 50 clocking on Saturday. Belen Sanchez placed 3rd in a sizable PR of 54.92, making her #3 on the school all time list in the event. On the boys side, Gustavo A placed 2nd in 45.78. This was a 1 second PR, moving him to 5th on the schools all time list. Jonathan ran a seasons best of 47.39, missing his PR by only .05.

Maria won the girls 200 in a seasons best of 29.03. Lillian placed 3rd in a PR of 30.15. Jose “Lemon” Limon nailed down 3rd place in 25.49 for his debut, giving him the best 200 and 400 times by a Comet this year, in just his very first track meet.

The sole event win on the boys side for the Comets was the 3200. Hector and Nathan went 1-2 with fast dual times of 11:07 and 11:08. Eli won the girls 3200 in a PR of 13:42. Arlet followed her in at 13:43. Carla Manzanres ran a PR of 14:59 in 4th as did Raquel Rodriguez in 5th running 15:06.

Both 4×400 teams fell to the 76ers, but ran seasons bests in the process. Maria, Andrea, Daisy and Arlet combined to run 4:41, while Jesse, Gustavo P, Misael and Gustavo A ran 3:59.

Lyndel and Elyse went 1-2 in Long jump with marks in the high 13s. Lyndel and Crystal combined for 1st and 3rd in Triple Jump, with marks of 28-1 and 26-5 respectively. Elyse won the high jump in 4-4. The boys jumps however were dominated by Independences strong jumps team, though  Nathan placed 3rd in triple jump going 36-3. Josue got a very solid debut of 16-3 in the long jump. Jonathan had a strong PR of 5-4 in the high jump.

The throws had some of the biggest PRs of the day. Alejandra Ceron busted out a throw of 31-3 for 2nd place, blowing her previous PR of 29-6 out of the water. She moves up to now 4th on the schools all time list.  Valeria threw a very strong 29 foot PR for 3rd. Leysmi Saldana had a 2 foot PR of 22-10, and Valerie Flores had a solid best of 18-3. In the Discus,Valeria threw 84-2  for 1st, and Alejandra threw 82-5 for 3rd. This places the two ladies 5th and 7th in school history for the Discus throw, both athletes clearing 80 feet for the first time. Karen had a PR of 57-11 and Leysmi had a PR of 55-10 as well.

Josh Garcia placed 2nd in boys Shot Put with a PR of 33-9. Daniel Medina placed 3rd in 33-5. Alex Alonzo threw 32-5 for a new PR. Osman Lopez and Nathan Rios did the same with throws of 28-6 and 22-9 respectively. Alex was able to throw a new PR of 102-0 for 2nd place in Discus. Daniel also threw a PR of 87-3. NathanR capped off the day with a final PR of 66-10.

The Girls won the meet to extend their record to 4-0 in pursuit of a league championship season, while the Boys fall to 3-1. Overall the meet was great for the team, with a total of 41 Personal records, the most on record for the team in school history.

The team will take a group of athletes to Leland High School on Saturday for the Quicksilver Classic in pursuit of more PRs (if the weather is willing). Then the team will host their final home meet of the season against the San Jose Bulldogs next week.