James Lick Track 2016 Season Summary

TheJames Lick Track Team at the post-season banquet in Alum Rock Park


The 2016 Track Season has come to an end for the Comets. It was another very successful step forward in the rebirth of James Lick Track and Field. After 5 straight years of going a combined 0-14 in the West valley Division, the weakest division of the BVAL, the team of 2014 started to change things by managing a 2-12 record. A necessary step forward. The 2015 Team made more of a huge leap, going 10-4 and the team of 2016 finished their season 12-2 with the girls winning the first championship in school history with a 7-0 record and a 1st place finish at WVAL finals.

The 2016 season suffered the loss of steady coach John Quasarano, but this was offset by the addition of experienced Sprints/Jumps coach Steve Nichols. Steve joined Coach Vela in the throws and myself in Distance and Hurdles to give the team 3 coaches who competed at the collegiate level in Track and Field.

With Coach Vela and myself having worked with our athletes for years now, it’s no surprise that Distance and Throws were the team’s most consistent areas. In a few seasons, once Coach Steve has established his sprints program here at James Lick, our young group of sprinters will follow suit and we will look to move up into the Santa Teresa Division, ready tot make on a higher level of competition.



Boys scoring by Event 2016


Event Group Average Points Per Dual Meet Points Available Per Meet Average Points as percentage of Available League Finals Points
Distance 20.16 27 74% 38
Hurdles 13.70 18 76% 16
Jumps 15 27 55% 1
Relays 4.28 10 43% 10
Sprints 10.41 27 38% 9
Throws 7.57 18 42% 2


On the boys side, the team won the majority of their points in Jumps, Distance and Hurdles. While the team was weaker in Sprints, Throws and Relays, these are all events where the team is very young. The team’s best sprinter, Jose Limon, as well as 4 out of the team’s top 5 sprinters are freshmen. As they develop and mature, the team can expect big things from the entire group.

While the team netted the highest percentage of points available in the hurdles, it should be acknowledged this in part due to the relatively  weak nature of hurdles in the West Valley division. Many teams have no true hurdles coach, and some of the team’s high point totals were racked up against teams with no hurdlers at all. Hadji Yono-Cruz in the 110h, and Gustavo Aguilera in the 300h both made huge strides to improve the team this season. Hadji ended his season at 18.27 compared to 19.32 last year, and Gustavo ran 45.78 compared to 48.93 last year, to move the team towards greater responsibility. Gustavo and Jonathan Rodriguez ran 19.11 and 19.30 respectively, giving the team 3 hurdlers faster than their best hurdler a year ago.

The most contested areas in Track are Sprints and Distance, for their simplicity. This makes them the most telling events in terms of a team’s standing. The boys team this year had 5 boys under the 5 minute barrier. While the team does not yet have the top level talent of many other BVAL teams, with Azael Zamora 4:48.60 and Nathan Bernardo 4:49.06 leading the team, only 3 teams in the entire BVAL had more athletes break the 5 minute barrier (Willow Glen, Evergreen and Lincoln). The team was similarly successful at 3200, with 5 athletes breaking the 11 minute barrier this season, with only 2 BVAL teams having more sub 11 athletes. Nathan and Erik lead the team, both running 10:36 at WVAL finals. Lastly in the 800, last year’s team had only 2 athletes run under 2:16 for the race, this season 6 athletes accomplished the feat, with Erik leading the group at 2:08.14 despite being a freshmen. No team scored more points in distance than the JL boys, this being the only event group which JL lead at WVAL finals.

Building depth has been what the team is striving for across the board. In terms of sprinters, the team did not have any top level sprinters, but the team had more boys under 13 seconds for the 100, and more boys under 60 seconds for the 400, than in any other year in the 2000s. Jose lead the team with times of 12.31, 24.22 and 55.28. Jesse Chircop, Adrian DeLaRosa, Danny Nguyen, Misael Herrera, Chris Okoro, Jonathan and Gustavo A all broke the 13 second barrier this season. The 8 comets under 13 barrier, betters the total of 5 from last season, and with Jose, Adrian, Danny and Misael all as freshmen, the team has high hopes to have 4 sub 12 sprinters on the same team very soon. In the 400, Jose, Nathan, Gustavo A, Misael, Azael, Erik, Vincent Giglio , Jesse and Gustavo P all broke 60 seconds, for a total of 9 boys under the barrier. Only one of those 9 athletes is graduating.

Hadji took some big strides forward as the team’s leading jumper with PRS of 18-5 in Long jump and 38-10 in Triple. Promising youngsters like Josue Marcelo and Manuel Villalobos will look to be factors for the team in coming seasons. The team had 2 boys clear 5 feet in high jump this season, with Jonathan leading the team with a PR of 5-4. With both he and Josh Garcia returning, the team will look to have two boys score in high jump at finals next season.

In the throws, the team’s top throwers two sophomores, Josh Garcia and Daniel Medina. Josh threw 36-7 in his first track season, better than the 35-10 throw by Robert Rios as a sophomore, with Rios going on to throw 43-02 by his senior year to win the WVAL. Alex Alonzo threw 102 feet in the discus this season despite having his year cut short by grades. He’ll look to bounce back next year as the team’s leading discus thrower.


Girls Scoring by Event 2016



Event Group Average Points Per Dual Meet Points Available Per Meet Average Points as percentage of Available League Finals Points
Distance 20.02 27 74% 29
Hurdles 13.85 18 77% 29
Jumps 17.55 27 65% 15
Relays 4.28 10 43% 14
Sprints 13.85 27 51% 6
Throws 15.56 18 86% 34

As should be expected of a championship team, the girls were strong across the board. Relays were the only area where the team did not win the majority of dual meet points for the season, and this is in part due to the team not emphasizing the “A” team running every meet. At finals when both “A” teams ran, the 4×400 team paced 3rd and the 4×100 team 2nd.

The team’s best event on the girl’s side was the throwing events. Alejandra Ceron and Valeria Cortez were a fantastic duo, helping the team towards winning 86% of dual meet points, a truly dominant showing. The team did this despite the absence of Charli Chircop due to knee surgery. Charli and Alejandra were the team’s top throwers as freshmen, but Charli was only able to compete for one week this season. In that week, she threw marks which would have placed her in the top 4 at WVAL finals in both throws, making next year;s three-headed monster a formidable force.  Alejandra won the discus at WVAL finals, becoming the girl’s first ever champion in the event with a PR of 90-10. She also placed 2nd in the Shot Put and ended her season with a PR of 31-9.50 the 2nd bets Shot thrower in JL history. Valeria three 31-4 a fantastic mark, but her most impressive heave was in the girl’s discus. Valeria threw 99-9.50 at BVAL champs to set a new school record in the girls discus. She was the only freshmen competing in girl’s discus at CCS, throwing 99-5 for 22nd place to end the team’s season.

The next best event for the team was the girls hurdles. Three athletes scored at finals for the team this season in both the 100h and 300h. Andrea Ortiz lead the group and battled knee issue all season. By WVAL finals, she could not sprint at 100% or even 90%. The fact that she continued to run 50 seconds for the 300h despite having to hold back, speaks to the capability of running several seconds faster. Her huge PR of 17.10 in the girls 100h is the schools 3rd best time in history. Valeria’s 17.80 is a very impressive freshmen time as well. Andrea will attend De Anza College and run Track next season, and her PRs of 1:10.91 in the 400h (run one time) and 17.10 would have already scored her points at De Anza’s coast conference meet. In the 300h she lowered her school record slightly to 50.19. Belen Sanchez and Valeria helped improve the all time list with strong freshmen times of 54.84 and 57.10 respectively.

Girl’s distance was very strong as well despite the loss of multiple school record holder Daniela Camacho. Arlet Miranda spearheaded the group with a fantastic freshmen season. Arlet took her middle school PR of 6:17 for 1600, down to 5:38.46 this season. She ran 2:30.66 for 800 for the 2nd best 800 in school history, and 12:36.40 in the 3200 for the 3rd best time in school history. Maria Mendoza’s seasons best of 5:58 in the 1600, makes this the first year in school history that James Lick had 2 girls under 6 minutes for the 1600. This is despite a difficult season in which Maria was hardly able to practice due to family issues.  Daisy Nava running 6:11.20 and Elizabeth Guevara running 6:13.24 give the team 4 girls under 6:15 in  the same season for the first time in school history. Sadly Eli was unable to run at league final sin the 3200, where her PR of 13:23.07 (5th in school history) would have given her 3rd place. Maria, Andrea and Daisy ran 800m times of 2:40, and 2:41 improving the top 10 list as well. The girl’s team lead lead the league in distance points, as well as hurdles and throws points.

In the jumps, the team had two 15 foot long jumpers for the first time in recent years, with Lyndel Ventura going 15-4 and Elyse Elder 15-0 even. The girl’s struggled a bit in the last part of the season, but both girls scored points for the team at finals. Lyndel also broke the 30 foot barrier in the triple jump, just the 3rd girl in school history to do so. The girl’s high jump had 2 girls score points at finals, with Elyse going 4-5 and Brecia Dagio going a solid 4-3 as a freshmen. Many of these girls helped the team by vastly improving their sprints times as well. In 2015 only one girl, Maria, broke 14.3 for the 100. This year, Maria, Andrea, Karen, Lyndel and Elyse all accomplished the feat however, helping the relay team to a 54.14 clocking at finals, for the teams 2nd best time on record.

The team is very much in program building mode with 2016 being a very successful year towards that goal. The team will miss strong athletes and seniors in Hector Ramirez, Jesse Chircop, Andrea Ortiz, Karen Montes and Elizabeth Guevara. Even so, with only 5/54 total athletes graduating, the team can look ahead towards a better season in 2017 with their young athletes another year stronger. All 5 seniors will be graduating next week and attending college.

We are hoping as many athletes as possible from the team will join either Coach Vela in football, or myself in Cross Country for the 2016 season when next school year kicks off. We are very proud of our Comet Track team this season, and the JLTF season will now give way to graduation, summer break and JLXC summer training.

Any Comets interested in doing summer training for Cross Country can join us on June 6th at 2:00 p.m. by the student parking lot.

Thank you for reading and supporting JLXCTF



One Comet On to CCS after BVAL Championships

Valeria Cortez and Coach Vela sharing Enthusiasm after her huge PR and school record in the girls Discus. 



The Comets took a record number of athletes to the BVAL Championship meet at Sliver Creek high School on May 12th. In total 16 Comets competed. The meet held such strong results for the team, though it was not a great showing for the team overall. The team will look to emphasize this meet to a greater extent in future seasons, with more and more Comets advancing from WVAL finals with ease.

The BVAL Championship meet is contested between all three BVAl divisions (A, B and C). A total of 16 automatic qualifiers advance to BVAL Championships, based on their divisional meets. The top 8 Athletes in each event at BVAL champs advance to CCS trials.

The girls 4×100 team of Lyndel Ventura, Maria Mendoza, Karen Montes and Elyse Elder ran 54.68 to end their season. Arlet Miranda got valuable big-race experience in the girls 1600. She placed 10th in a time of 5:41, the fast first lap of the race costing her in the later half. As a freshmen however, Arlet will look to build on her performance in future seasons, coming within 2 places of making CCS. In the boys 1600, Azael Zamora and Nathan Bernardo competed, though they did not perform well, running 4:54 and 4:58 respectively.

Andrea Ortiz had a strong final 100h race of her high school career, running 17.68 for 10th place after not even making BVAL champs in the event the year before. Valeria Cortez competed as well, though she had a poor race. Hadji Yono-Cruz ended his season on a high note, running a PR of 18.27. Hadji will look to break through next year.

The girls 400 had Maria running 1:08.91, while Jose Limon ran the boys 400 in 55.99. The girls 800 had another solid race for Arlet, coming home in a high 2:31. Daisy Nava competed as well running 2:46. Erik Olsvold ran a small PR in the boys 800 of 2:08.14. Nathan ended his season with a 2:10 following his 1600. The girls 300h had Andrea placing 10th in 50.96. Andrea’s injury plagued season limited her potential in the event. Her knee pain was so bad she was on the verge of dropping out 100m into the race, but decided to finish at a lessened effort level. She ran a time which only missed qualifying for CCS by .3 seconds, despite being hampered by injury causing her to hold back. Andrea’s toughness is a lesson in perseverance, as well as illustrating the fact that things don’t always go smoothly just because you work hard. While we dearly wish she could have run to her full potential, she has a bright future ahead of her and will be competing at De Anza college next year. Gustavo Aguilera competed in the boys 300h, running 46.80.

The team finished the running events with the 4x400s. The boys team of Jose, Gustavo, Misael Herrera and Nathan ran a seasons best of 3:45. The girls team of Maria, Daisy, Andrea and Arlet ran a solid 4:34. In the field events, Elyse Elder placed 11th in girls high jump at 4-4. Lyndel Ventura jumped 14-4.5 for 12th place in girls long jump.

In the girls Shot Put, Alejandra Ceron threw a PR of 31-9 for 10th place. Valeria threw a solid 30-0. The event of the day for the team however was the girls discus. Alejandra struggled, throwing 82-0, but Valeria had a huge day throwing a new PR of 99-9.50. This was good enough for 6th place and a CCS berth. This also makes Valeria the school record holder in the girls discus, beating the 96 foot throw of Ward in 2002. Valeria has had a tremendous season. At her first ever high school competition, Valeria competed in her 3 primary events. At the Willow Glen Invitational she threw 25-5.50 in the Shot Put, 65-10 in Discus and ran 22.94 in the 100 hurdles. Valeria worked hard all season under Coach Vela in the throws and myself in the hurdles, and drastically improved her marks. She ended up throwing 31-1 in the Shot Put, 99-9.50 in Discus and 17.80 in the 100 hurdles. Valeria should be a huge factor in the WVAL, and the entire BVAL for years to come.

Valera will head to Gilroy High school next Saturday for the CCS Trials, while some members of the team will contest the Stanford Cardinal All Comers Meet at Gunn high School in the same day.




Lady Comets Win First Championship in School History, Boys Clinch 3rd

Andrea Ortiz (center) on her way to 2nd place in the girls 100h Valeria Cortez (right) one her way to 4th. 

The James Lick Comets had Day 2 of the West Valley Division Finals at Overfelt High School on May 6th. This final day was the last determining factor for the standings of the WVAL for the 2016 season. The girls only needed a 2nd place finish to clinch their title after finishing the season 7-0, but the team wanted to end their season with the first #1 finish at finals in school history.

After Wednesday’s events, the girls were in 2nd pace to Live Oak, 31 points to 30. The boys were in 5th with 10 points with favorite Independence running away with the lead at 35 points.

The meet began with the field events. The team got off to a hot start with the team’s strongest event, the girls discus. Alejandra Ceron threw 90-10 to win the west valley league title in the event. Teammate Valeria Cortez was 2nd at 88-4. This is the first time on record where lady comets have finished 1st and 2nd in the sam event at finals. Alejandra has come along way from last year as a freshmen when she threw 66 feet at finals. Her 2nd place finish in Shot Put nets her 18 points for the team, a huge performance and a nearly perfect one competitively. Leysmi Saldana had a huge PR of 72-8 to finish 7th and add 2 points for the team. Valerie Flores also threw a PR of 56-10 to end her season.

The girls long Jump also netted 9 points for the team, with Lyndel Ventura and Elyse Elder taking 4th and 5th with Lyndel advancing to BVAL championships next week. Crystal Nguyen competed as well, though none of the girls managed PRs. On the boys side field events will be the primary focus of improvement for next year. No boy managed to clear 5-0 in high jump. Hadji Yono-Cruz managed 1 point in boys triple jump and Josh Garcia got 2 for the team in boys Shot Put. Daniel Medina and Osman Lopez also competed.

The running events kicked off the the 4×100 relays. The girls team of Lyndel Ventura, Maria Mendoza, Karen Montes and Andrea Ortiz ran a seasons best of 54.14 to place 2nd, their highest finish in yeas and grabbed 8 points for the team in the process. The Boys team of Hadji, Jesse Chircop, Adrian DeLaRosa and Jose Limon ran 47.17 to place 5th and end their season with 4 points at finals.

The boys 1600 was next and it demonstrated the dramatic improvement of the distance team over the past few seasons. 2 Years ago, the team failed to score a single point between the 3 distance events. This year, the team took 15 points in just the 1600. The race was a brutal tactical fair. Two runners fell during the race as the pace was not initially fast and runners were bunched up as a result. Even so, the Comets navigated the slow pace and clustered field to place well. Azael Zamora missed winning the race by .01 second, running 4:49.02 compared to the 4:49.01 of winner Alexsis Mendez of Overfelt. This is outstanding when one considers that Azael is only a sophomore in his first season of Track, who only 2 months ago had never ran faster than 5:20 for a mile. Nathan Bernardo placed 3rd in 4:49.51 a big improvement on his 7th place finish a year ago. Hector Ramirez placed 8th in 4:55 despite losing a show on the 2nd lap of the race. Inteus Castro-Lopez ran a PR pf 5:03.43 as well.

The girls 100 hurdles had 3 scorers for the team. Andrea ran 17.62 to finish 2nd place and Valeria placed 4th in 18.13, both athletes advance to BVAl championships. Susie Peterson placed 6th in 20.00, meaning the team took 16 points in the event! The boys 110h had Hadji narrowly miss his PR of 18.70 to place 3rd.Jonathan Rodriguez placed 8th in 19.69.

The girls 400 had Maria Mendoza placing 3rd for the team, advancing to BVAL championships and gaining the team 6 points. The boys event was similar, with Jose placing 4th for the team in a PR of 55.28, advancing to BVAL champs as a freshmen. The team fell behind as the 100m races were contested with no Comets, but the 800 proved to be the chance the Comets needed to make up the losses.

Arlet Miranda took the lead and pushed the pace from the gun of the 800. She lead the race for 700 meters before being passed by rival Lydia Ma of independence. Arlet and Lydia battled down the home straight and Arlet pulled into the lead again with only 10 meters left before her spike caught in the track and she fell. Lydia finished in 2:28, meaning Arlet likely would have broken 2:30 for the first time as well. As it was, Arlet got to her feet and scurried across the line for 2nd place. Daisy Nava kicked home in 4th place with a new PR of 2:41.58. Denise Calixto ran 2:59.71 to PR as did Analilia Regla running 3:11.13.

The boys 800 saw the strength of the Comet youth. Erik Olsvold ran bravely, taking 3rd place in 2:08.18 less than a second behind the winner. This was a 7 second PR for Erik, and a fantastic freshmen time. Nathan was close behind in 2:08.39 for a New PR and 4th place after the 1600. Vincent Giglio ran a 10 second PR of 2:12.70 to place 7th.

The girls 300 hurdles had 3 scorers as well. Andrea placed 2nd in 50.84 despite battling knee problems. Belen Sanchez and Valeria placed 6th and 7th to round out the team’s hurdle scoring. Gustavo Aguilera placed 4th in the boys 300h with a time of 46.24 to advance to BVAL champs for the first time in his career. Jonathan was 5th in 47.30.

The girls 200 had no JL athletes, while Jose placed 5th in the boys 200. The girls 3200 had Arlet coasting to a 3rd place finish in 13:30, though the absence of Elizabeth Guevara due to a family trip was unfortunate as she likely would have placed highly and advanced to BVAL championships. The girls 4×400 team of Maria, Karen, Andrea and Arlet ran a huge seasons best of 4:33.15 to place 3rd. The boys also placed 3rd with the team of Misael Herrera, Gustavo, Azael and Nathan running a seasons best of 3:46.63.

Karen Montes, Arlet Miranda, Maria Mendoza and Andrea Ortiz after their 3rd place 4×400 Finish.


When all was said and done, the final scores were as follows:


  1. James Lick 127 Points
  2. Live Oak 109 Points
  3. Gunderson 80 Points
  4. Independence 78.5 Points
  5. Yerba Buena 75 Points
  6. Overfelt 66 Points
  7. Del mar 25 Points
  8. San Jose 14.5 Points


  1. Independence 160 Points
  2. Yerba Buena 119 Points
  3. Live Oak 92 Points
  4. James Lick 76 Points
  5. Overfelt 43 Points
  6. Gunderson 34 Points
  7. Del Mar 30 Points
  8. San Jose 12 Points

Alejandra was the only individual champion, but the team was the leader in points in several event groups. Girls throws netted 34 Points, an average of 17 points per event. This tied with Independence boys jumps total 51 (17 an event on average) for the most dominant event group for any team. The girls were also the leader in points for the hurdles event group, and the distance group. On the boys side, the Comets lead in distance points as well, with exactly half of the team’s total points coming from the 3 distance events. The boys scored 38 Points in boys distance to be the highest scoring of all JL event groups, and that ‘s with only 2/38 points scored by a senior.

Program building is about progress over every season, and for as great a season as this was, the team should be better next year.

The team’s leading Point Scorers were:

  1. Arlet 23.50                        1. Nathan 17.50
  2. Valeria 21                          2. Jose 10
  3. Andrea 19.50                   3. Erik 10
  4. Alejandra 18                    4. Azael 9.50
  5. Maria 9.50                       5. Hadji 9

Among the group only Andrea is a senior, and in fact half of the teams leading scorers were freshmen, setting the stage for very exiting upcoming seasons.

The James Lick Track Team has succeeded in dramatically changing their fortunes this season. They demonstrate to the other sports of JL, that despite the financial limitations and small student body of James Lick, it is possible to blossom even when no one expects you to. 2016 Has been a very successful season for the team, and the rebirth of JLTF has only just begun.

The team will take a group of 16 athletes to BVAL Championships at Silver Creek next Thursday. Only a handful of athletes qualified for this meet 2 years ago, now the number of qualifiers from JL is larger than the total number of athletes on the teams of 2008-2013.

Congrats to the ladies on their historic victory and great job to both sides for working to better the James Lick name. Thank you for reading and stay tuned fro more Comet news.


Azael Zamora, Gustavo Aguilera, Nathan Bernardo and Misael Herrera after their 3rd place 4×400 finish. 


WVAL Finals Day 1 Recap

Elyse Elder attempting a High Jump clearance at 4-7. 


Day 1 of West Valley Division Finals has ended with all finals heats determined. As the top 8 athletes score in each event, Day 1 served as trials for many events, with athletes battling to make the Friday final in order to score points for their teams. The top 4 athletes in each event go on to BVAL Championships next week, making the high placings highly sought after as well. Out of the 15 events contested in the West Valley league, The boys had 3 finals on day 1 and the girls had 4. Most of the meet is to be determined but the first points have already been recorded!

The meet began with the final of the girls 1600. Arlet Miranda ran a strong tactical race, coming in 2nd place with a time of 5:42.60. This is the highest placing by a lady comet at finals in the 1600 in the entire BVAL era, and perhaps in school history. Daisy Nava ran a 6 second PR of 6:11.20 to place 7th and score points for the team despite coming in ranked 11th. Elizabeth Guevara ran 6:14 for 9th a solid run in what is likely her final high school race. Unfortunately Eli will not be able to compete on friday in the 3200, her best event,  due to a schedule conflict. Carla Manzanares rounded out the group with a PR of 6:34.70.

Meanwhile the girls Triple Jump and Girls Shot Put Finals were also taking place. The Lady Comets struggled in Triple Jump, failing to score a point after taking 8 points in the event last year. Lyndel Ventura and Crystal Nguyen competed hard nonetheless jumping 27-3 and 26-6 respectively. In the girls Shot Put the team excelled, Alejandra Ceron and Valeria Cortez placed 2nd and 3rd with throws of 30-10 and 29-8 to net 14 points for the team and clinch their spots at BVAL championships. Leysmi Saldana placed 9th with a throw of 23-0, narrowly missing scoring in her first year of track. The girls high jump had Elyse Elder placing 4th in a seasons best 4-5 clearance. Brecia Dagio placed 8th with a new PR of 4-3.

Alejandra Ceron after releasing the Shot Put 



The boys Discus Final and boys Long Jump Final were contested on day 1 as well. Daniel Medina threw 90-9.50, Osman Lopez threw 83-5 and Josh Garcia threw 78-5. The absence of top Discus throwers Alex Alonzo and Pablo Segovia showed, demonstrating that while the team has come along way, it has a long way to go including better academic results ensuring no athletes miss meets due to insufficient grades.

Hadji Yono-Cruz had a rough day for the team in Long Jump, jumping 16-6. Chris Okoro went 15-10 and Manuel Villalobos 14-6.50 in their first ever finals experience. The sprints/jumps group is very young on the boys side, and they will feature prominently in the league in coming seasons.

Back on the track the first trials of the day were in the girls 100 hurdles. Andrea Ortiz won her heat in a huge PR of 17.10, breaking 18 seconds for the first time and nearly 17 as well despite a mediocre start. Valeria Cortez then won the 2nd heat in 17.80, a PR as well making the two top Comets the 2 top ranked hurdlers in the final Friday. In the process, Andrea and Valeria become just the 4th and 5th girls in school history on record to run under 18 seconds in the girls hurdles. Susie Peterson matcher her PR of 19.20 to place 7th and move on to finals for the first time in her career as well. The boys 110 Hurdles saw Hadji place 3rd in 18.70 and Jonathan Rodriguez place 8th in 19.30 to advance to Fridays final. Gustavo Aguilera was 9th just behind Jonathan.

The girls 400 saw a PR from Maria Mendoza who ran the 2nd fastest time of the day 1:06.50 to advance to finals. Jackie Landa ran 1:12.20 to place 9th, narrowly missing advancing as well. Jose Limon ran a strong 55.82 to advance to finals in the boys 400 as the 4th ranked runner. Misael Herrera ran 58.88 for his first finals experience.

The two 100m races were always going to be team’s toughest area to advance athletes to finals. Even so, Karen Montes ran 14.19 for 9th, a PR by .25. Lyndel  was 10th in 14.24 a PR by .30 and Elyse was 12th in 14.28 a PR by .50. The boys 100 saw the final races in the event of the season fro Jesse Chircop in 12.38, AdrianDeLaRosa in 12.58 and Danny Nguyen in 12.87.

The girls 300 hurdles saw 3 girls advance again. Andrea is ranked 1st in the event for finals after winning her heat in 51.18. Belen Sanchez ran a PR of 54.84 to enter finals ranked 5th and Valeria is ranked 6th with a PR of 57.10 as well. The boys 300 hurdles saw Gustavo place 4th in 46.68 and Jonathan place 6th in 47.32, both boys advancing to finals in an event where no Comet has scored in years.

The girls 200 had Maria placing 9th in 29.54, narrowly missing advancing to finals. Karen ended on a big PR of 30.09 and Aliana Santos did the same running 34.42. The boys event saw 3 PRS, Jose running 24.22 to advance to finals. Jesse ran 25.55 for a PR and Misael ran 25.70 for a PR as well.

While the boys were unable to score any points in the first two events of WVAL finals 2016, they were able to score in the 3rd and final event of day 1. The boys 3200 saw Nathan Bernardo and Erik Olsvold place 4th and 5th with PRS of 10:36.24 and 10:36.88. Hector Ramirez placed 8th in 10:53.07, a poor race by his standards. Azael Zamora and Inteus Castro-Lopez also struggled finishing 9th  and 13th with times of 10:59 and 11:12 respectively. This event netted the team 10 points despite being a disappointment for the distance crew overall, who were hoping to place a bit higher, Erik truly excelled however, running an excellent freshmen time, the best I have on record and certainly the best of the BVAL era.

Overall it was a strong showing for the team after day 1. With only 3/15 events accounted for on the boys side, and 4/15 events accounted for on the girls side, here are the current team scores:



  1. Independence 35 Points
  2. Live Oak 19 Points
  3. Overfelt 17 Points
  4. Yerba Buena 16 points
  5. James Lick 10 Points
  6. San Jose 10 Points
  7. Del Mar 9 Points
  8. Gunderson 1 point


  1. Live Oak 31 Points
  2. James Lick 30 Points
  3. Yerba Buena 26 Points
  4. Independence 26 Points
  5. Gunderson 25 points
  6. Overfelt 16 points
  7. San Jose 2 points
  8. Del Mar 0 points

The meet is taking form as a battle with the girls side looking specially exciting and close. The team needs to lock down 2nd place in order to clinch the league title,though finishing 1 place behind Yerba Buena is sufficient. The team will be looking to finish 1st an finish their season with a statement finals victory, the team never having placed 1st at finals before.

On the boys side, Independence is the clear favorite, but the Comets will look to make a push to come in 2nd. If the team were able to come in 2nd place and Yerba Buena 4th, to the team would leapfrog YB in the standings and finish 2nd.

The biggest day of the season is tomorrow! Come out to Overfelt High School at 4:00 PM to support the team. League finals recap coming soon afterwards.



2016 WVAL Finals Preview

May 4th marks the start of the West Valley League Finals. James Lick and the 7 other teams which comprise the league will compete for the right to send athletes to BVAL Championships, and to clinch their spots in the standings. As the West Valley Division is the “C league” of the BVAL, the top 4 athletes in each event, and top 4 relay teams will advance to BVAL Champs at silver creek on May 12th. They will be joined by the top 5 competitors in each event in the STAL and the top 7 in the MHAL.

May 4th holds trials for all lane events, in order to determine which athletes advance to finals for friday May 6th. Finals for Wednesday include the Girls 1600, the Boys 3200, The girls Triple Jump and High Jump, The Boys Long Jump, The Girls Shot Put and the Boys Discus. The top 8 competitors score points for their team with the scoring as follows.

1st- 10 points

2nd-8 points

3rd-6 points

4th-5 points

5th – 4points

6th- 3 points

7th -2 point2

8th – 1 point

The final standings for the season are based on dual meet record and finals place. Each dual meet win is equal to 2 points, meaning the Boys enter Finals with 10 points, and the girls with 14.  The team with the most points at league finals is awarded 8 points for being 1st out of 8 teams, 2nd is 7, 3rd is 6 and so on. The team therefore only needs 2nd place on the girls side at league finals to clinch their league championship, but they will be aiming for first.

The WVAL Meet Program is available here.


It should be noted that San Jose did not make entries, so only 7 of the teams are accounted for. Marks are also entered by coaches, it is my policy to only enter the best mark which athletes have achieved this season. Some coaches however may enter athletes at marks they have not achieved or at weaker than their Seasons bests. While this skews the rankings somewhat, as does the fact that San Jose should soon be added, here is a preview of how the Comets stand with league finals beginning soon.

The girls 4×100 team is ranked a very close 4th, though 2nd and 4th are only operated by .02 in the rankings. While Live Oak’s strong sprint group puts them as a heavy favorite, the Comets are in a great position to place highly and at least take 4th and advance to BVAL championships. The boys team is ranked 5th, needing to upset one of the teams ranked ahead of them in order to advance.

Arlet Miranda is ranked 2nd in league in the first scoring the event, the girls 1600. The only girl ahead of her is standout athlete Kaylah Grant so Arlet will be looking to lock down her second place ranking. Elizabeth Guevara and Daisy Nava are ranked 9th and 11th respectively, giving them a good shot at scoring points as well. The boys 1600 has Azael Zamora and Nathan Bernardo ranked 2nd and 4th respectively. Hector Ramirez is ranked 7th giving the team a great shot at having 3 athletes score in the boys 1600, and 2 to advance to BVAL champs.

The team is ranked very highly in hurdles, with Valeria Cortez and Andrea Ortiz ranked 3rd and 4th in the event. Susie is also ranked 7th, giving the team an excellent shot at having 3 athletes score in the hurdles.  The boys event is similar with Hadji Yono-Cruz ranked 2nd, Gustavo Aguilera ranked 5th and Jonathan Rodriguez ranked 8th.

The girls 400 has Maria Mendoza ranked 5th and Jackei Landa ranked 9th. The boys event has Jose Limon ranked 5th Misael Herrera ranked 15th needing a big PR in order to make the final. The 100m dash is one of the toughest events for the Comets to score in, with the young sprint group still in it’s infancy under Coach sprints coach Steve Nichols. Jesse Chircop, Adrian DeLaRosa and Danny Nguyen will look for PRS on the boys side, and Karen Montes, Elyse Elder and Lyndel Ventura will try to do the same on the girls side.

The girls 800 is a great opportunity for the team. Arlet is ranked #1 at 2:30 though Lydia Ma who defeated her at the Jl vs Indy dual meet is right behind her at 2:31. Lydia has a PR of 2:28 from CCS last year, making her a formidable foe as Arlet attempts to win the league title in 800 as a freshmen. Daisy Nava is ranked 4th at 2:42, putting her in place to attempt to make BVAL champs as well. Denise Calixto is ranked 10th giving her a good shot at points as well, and Analilia Regla will also run. On the boys side, Nathan is ranked 3rd with Erik Olsvold ranked 9th (though he’s due for a big PR). I personally believe Erik has  a chance at making BVAL champs in the 800 despite his ranking.

In the 300 hurdles, Andrea Ortiz is ranked 2nd in the league to rival Angelica Salvador of Yerba Buena. Andrea defeated Salvador last week when the two went head to head, but has been batting knee problems. Belen Sanchez and Valeria are ranked 6th and 9th, both in a good position to make finals. The Boys 300 hurdles has Gustavo ranked 4th, and Jonathan ranked 7th, giving the team two possible scorers in an event where no one made finals for the team last year.

The girls 200 sees Maria ranked 4th with Karen and Aliana Santos also running. The boys event has Jose ranked 5th, and Jesse and Misael also running. In the girls 3200, Arlet is ranked 2nd to Kaylah Grant again, but a group of talented girls are close behind. Eli is ranked 6th place with a real chance at BVAL champs as well. Carla Manzanres and Raquel Rodriguez will contest the event as well. The boys version of the event has Nathan Hector and Azael ranked 3rd 4th and 5th, Inteus Castro-Loepz ranked 8th and Erik 9th. The team has the goal of seeing all 5 boys score which would be an outstanding achievement for the team.

The girls 4×400 rankings are very close with James Lick ranked #1. The team of Maria, Daisy, Andrea and Arlet will go after the league title against a close host of teams. The boys 4×400 team is ranked 5th, with a goal of stealing 4th place away from one of the higher ranked teams.

Many of the field events yield high hopes as well. Valeria and Alejandra Ceron are ranked 1st and 2nd in Discus, and 2nd and 3rd in Shot Put. Leysmi Saldana is ranked 8th in the girls Shot. Valerie Flores will join her teammates in the discus. Josh Garcia and Daniel Medina are ranked 6th and 9th in the Boys Shot Put with Osman Lopez joining them. All 3 boys will also compete in discus.

Josh and Jonathan are ranked 6th and 4th respectively in the Boys High jump, an event where the team has not scored in years. Elyse is ranked tied for 3rd with several other girls at 4-6, while Brecia Dagio will compete as well.

The girls long jump has Lyndel and Elyse ranked 1st and 2nd with Crystal Nguyen also jumping. Lyndel is also ranked 4th in Triple jump. The boys jumps has Hadji ranked 7th in Long jump and 5th in High Jump, with teammates Chris Okoro, Manuel Villalobos and Hector Ramirez filling out the jumps.

It is only the cream of the crop left in terms of athletes still competing. The team is looking to keep their success in building by the year going strong. Last year’s boys team scored 51 Points at league finals to place 5th, and the girls scored 91 points to place 3rd. The team will be looking to improve on those totals and places, and to seal their league championship on the girls side.

Anyone wishing to come out and support the Comets can see them in action at Overfelt High School May 4th and May 6th at 4:00.

League Finals recap to follow soon.