James Lick Track 2016 Season Summary

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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

 

 

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