James Lick Track Team Continues Unbeaten Streak

The Comets took to Gunderson High School on Wednesday March 29th for a dual meet with the grizzlies. The meet yielded 34 PRs (Personal Records) for the team and many more seasons bests as the good weather made for the perfect dual meet for good times.

The meet opened up strong for the Comets with the girls team winning their first 4×100 of the season. Lyndel Ventura, Kirsten Yutuc, Silvia Amaya and Elyse Elder combined to run 57.87, the fastest 4×100 time of the season for the Comets. The boys team of Raven Alcantara, Hadji Yono-Cruz, Misael Herrera and Chris Okoro also ran a seasons best for the team, 48.67.

The girls 1600 was won by Belen Sanchez in 6:35, a 7 second PR. Daisy Nava came in 2nd in 6:38, the first 1-2 finish in the 1600 for the lady Comets this season. The boys completed their 4th 1600m sweep out of 4 tries this season. Inteus Castro-Lopez ran a seasons best 5:04.08, narrowly missing his PR. Azael Zamora and Nathan Bernardo came in at 5:07 and 5:08.

The girls 100 hurdles was an outstanding race for the team. Valeria Cortez won the race in a new PR of 17.43, Susie Peterson ran a huge Seasons best and only missed her PR by .02. Kirsten ran a PR to complete the sweep in 20.33. The boys 110H was a similar success. Cody Huoch and Hadji went 1-2 in 17.82 and 17.83. The two boys are the first Comets to run under 18 seconds in the 110H in many years, and for Cody this is only his 2nd ever try at the race. Jonathan Rodriguez picked up the final point for the team in 19.36.

Denisse Calixto picked up 3 points for the girls team by taking 2nd place in the 400. Erik Olsvold ran the best 400 by a Comet this year, clocking 55.41 on the way to a victory. Misael and Nathan came in 2nd and 3rd to sweep the event for the team.

The girls 100m dash saw the debut of freshmen Yeimili Adame. Yeimili took 3rd place for the team with a time of 14.44, a very strong debut time. Silvia ran a huge PR of 14.63 and Kirsten Prd as well in 14.73. Susie ran a seasons best 15.3 in the 2nd heat and Aliana Santos ran under 16 seconds for the first time, clocking 15.67.

The boys 100 was similarly successful. Top Gunderson sprinter Sahib Bopari ran 11.39 to win the race with a very fast March time. Danny Nguyen and Raven both ran solid Prs, 12.55 and 12.60 respectively, to place 4th and 5th in the race. Adrian DeLaRosa ran a seasons best 12.85. Austin Swank in 13.36, and Isaak Herrera in 13.91 both ran seasons bests as well. Jaime Gomez went under the 14 second barrier for the first time, running 13.99.

Analilia Regla ran a PR of 3:10 to take 2nd place for the girls in the 800. Despite having ran the 1600 and 400 on the day already, Nathan won the boys 800 in a solid time of 2:10.96. Erik took 3rd in 2:21. Osman Lopez ran a PR of 2:45 in the race as well. Valeria got her 2nd PR on the day with a 56.16 victory in the 300 hurdles. Belen took 2nd in a seasons best 57.03 as well. The boys side was a 1-2 finish as well with Cody and Jonathan cruising to victory.

Jonathan would lead a 1-2 finish in the high jump as well, going 5-4. Ace Medina cleared 5-0 for 2nd place. Elyse and Lyndel combined to go 1-2 on the girls side of the high jump as well.

Yeimili continued her impressive debut with a 30.80 clocking in the 200 for 3rd place once again. Silvia also ran a strong 200m time of 32.36, and Aliana got her 2nd Pr of the day, running 33.93. Ace lead the boys side with a 24.97 debut in the 200. Erik shattered his PR, running 25.74. Chris did the same thing, running 26.78 despite neither boy having run under 28 seconds before.

After achieving her first ever 1600m win earlier in the meet, Belen made it a double victory with a win in the 3200 in 14:53. The boys side was swept by Azael, Julian Delreal and Osiris Zamudio. Julian and Osiris ran PRs of 12:22 and 12:24. Melvin Estrada also ran a PR of 12:30 as did Daniel Portillo who ran 13:10. Gunderson won the boys 4×400 in a  solid time of 3:48 to end the days running events.

Most of the teams highlights came in the running events, though the jumps and throws had some strong performances as well. Alex Alonzo won the boys discus in 105-0 and Josh Garcia and Daniel Medina placed 2nd and 3rd in the Shot Put with throws in the 36 foot range. Jesus Venegas threw a 10 foot discus PR of 75 feet. Valeria added her 3rd and 4th wins of the meet with wins in discus and shot put. She threw a PR of 31-6 in Shot Put, and equalled her PR of 100-6 in the discus. Teammates Charli Chircop and Alejandra Ceron combined to complete the sweep in both throwing events. Mariah Santos threw a PR of 23-3 in the Shot Put. Audrey Nguy also threw a solid PR of 49 feet in the discus.

Lyndel captured both the long jump and triple jump on the girls side, with Yaliza Cortez taking 2nd in both just behind her. Elyse took 3rd in triple jump to add another point to the teams total.  Hadji, Anthony Soto and Ace combined to sweep the boys triple jump. Anthony’s PR of 34-5 got him his first points for the team.

The final scores were:


James Lick: 80 Gunderson: 46


James Lick: 86 Gunderson: 34

With these victories the team extends their record to 4-0 on both sides for a combined 8-0 overall. The team will face its biggest test of the season so far however when they take on the reigning boys champs in the form of the Independence 76ers next week.

The team will get a look at them this Saturday at the first ever Royal Relays at Overfelt High School.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves


James Lick Throwers Shine at Firebird Relays

The Varsity Girls Throws Team (Charli Chircop, Alejanda Ceron and Valeria Cortez) with their coaches and teammate Daniel Medina

The Firebird Relays at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale have been one of the team’s favorite invites for several years now because of the variety relays available. In addition to the standard 4×100 and 4×400, the meet holds the Distance Medley Relay and 4×800, as well as combination relays in all field events and the 300 hurdles.

To qualify for combination relays, a teams top 3 athletes have their best marks/times added up and compared across the top 3 of others teams. The team with the 3 best relays in each event received medals. This makes the Firebird Relays a great meet for the team to compare its depth against other teams.

The meet started off strong for the team. Susie Peterson ran a huge seasons best in the 100h, running 19.63 to go under 20 seconds for the first time this season. Kirsten Yutuc ran 21.15 for a PR in the 100h despite a fall on the final hurdle of the race.

Left to right: Susie Peterson, Valeria Cortez and Kirsten Yutuc before contesting the 100 hurdles

Jonathan Rodriguez also ran a PR in the 100 hurdles, clocking a time of 19.16 for his race. Soon afterwards field events got under way.

Lyndel Ventura went 12-11.50 for the team in the long jump, though she was jumping from a board 2 feet behind the board the meet was using to measure from. This shows that Lyndel is near her 15 foot long jump PR.

The team sent 3 triple jumpers on the boys side to compete as a relay team. Ace Medina led the team with a new PR of 37-3. Cody Huoch was 2nd in a PR of 36-7.50 and Hadji Yono-Cruz was rd in 35-9. The team placed 5th in the triple jump relay, only missing 3rd place by a  combined 5 inches.

Arlet Miranda ran a 5:49 1600, well off the 5:41 she ran a few weeks earlier at the Willow Glen Invite as she continues to battle through minor injury. Daniel Portillo had an excellent race, breaking the 6 minute mile barrier for the first time to the tune of a 15 second PR of 5:54.

The Comets ran a Frosh/Soph Boys team of Raven Alcantara, Misael Herrera, AdrianDeLaRosa and Bryan Cuevas who combined for a solid 49.31. The Varsity team of Cody, Hadji, Ace and Chris Okoro competed as well but were Disqualified for a lane violation.


Raven Alcantara handing off the baton to Misael Herrera in the 4×100 relay.

Both the Varsity Boys and Frosh/Soph Boys competed in the 4000m Distance Medley Relay or DMR. The Varsity Boys team placed 6th despite the absence of top runner Erik Olsvold and missed the school record by less than 1 second, running 11:30.81. Inteus Castro-Lopez started the team off with a 1200m leg of 3:38. Gustavo Aguilera ran a 57 second 400m split, followed by a 2:07 800m leg by Nathan Bernardo. Azael Zamora anchored the team home with a 4:47 1600m. On the FS side, Melvin Estrada, Misael Herrera, Hugo Marquez and Mark Orpia combined to run 13:01.

Meanwhile, the strong Lady Comet throwers were strutting their stuff. In 2016, Alejandra, Charli and Valeria took 3rd in the Frosh/Soph Discus relay, and first in the Shot Put relay. Their combination relay mark of 83-8 gave them the win. Alejandra was the team’s leading thrower on the day with a  toss of 28-2.5. This year, with Charli and Alejandra being juniors, the team stepped up to compete at the varsity level and showed just how far they’ve come by winning the Varsity Shot Put relay with a combo of 96-5.5.

It was the first time in school history that 3 Comet girls cracked 30 feet for Shot Put in the same meet. All 3 girls PRd. Alejandra threw 32-7, Charli threw 32-5 and Valeria threw 31-5 to seal the deal.

The team had similar success in the discus Throw, taking 2nd as a team in that as well.  In 2016, the team’s combination mark was 214-10. This year the three-headed monster combined for a total of 287- 5.5. Valeria led the team with a throw of 99-2, Charli threw 96-5.5 and Alejandra threw a PR of 91-11, the first time 3 lady Comets have cracked 90 feet in the discus throw in the same meet.

As if the throws of the varsity girls were not impressive enough, freshmen Mariah Santos took 5th in the Frosh/Soph girls discus witha  huge PR of 74-1.50. For comparison sake, at the 2016 Firebird Relays, Aleajndra led the team in discus with a throw of 74-11. She backed up this impressive PR with a throw of 22-9 in the Shot Put. Adriana Marcelino also competed for the team.

The Comet throwers on the girls side are as impressive a group as the team as seen in decades. They have anchored the girls team all season and are probably the team’s strongest overall event group (the only possible competition being the boys distance crew).  With the rapid improvement he’s fostered in the team’s throwers, in my mind Coach Vela is the best throws coach in the WVAL by a wide margin, if not the entire BVAL.

Alejandra Ceron throwing the Shot Put

The boys throwers saw a huge PR as well. Both Daniel Medina and Rogelio Alonzo competed. Roger threw a massive PR in the discus, hitting a mark of 97-11 after setting a PR of 89-0 just days earlier.

The team of Cody, Ace, and Hadji in the long jumped all jumped roughly 17 feet to end their day in the horizontal jumps. In the vertical jumps, the team took 2nd in the varsity boys high jump relay. 5 Different teams had 3 jumpers clear a height. Juan Gutierrez and Ace both went 5-0 for the team,and Jonathan went 5-4 to clinch the medal for the team.

The distance teams took both to the track in the 4×800 relay. The Varsity boys team only missed a medal by 5 seconds despite missing two of the team’s top 3 800m runners in Erik Olsvold and Gustavo Parra. The team’s time of 9:03 is the best time the Comest have run for the 4×800 on record. The Frosh/Soph boys clocked a time of 10:27 as well. Arlet Miranda ran a strong 800, but was caught on the line to finish 2nd overall to a San Jose High runner in 2:35. This sets up a  good WVAL rivalry going forward.

The Frosh/Soph boys 100m dash saw Raven go under 13 seconds for the first time, crossing the line in 12.91. Kirsten made her 400m debut in 1:15 as did Chris in 1:05.

The final event the team competed in was the 300 hurdles. Cody ran a strong time of 44.98, just a tenth of a second off his PR. Gustavo A ran a huge PR of 44.71, taking more than a full second off his PR from last season. Jonathan coasted home to a 49.28. The team was a combined 2 seconds away from a medal.

Overall the meet was a huge success for the team. Many athletes received medals, and the team competed well against some of the best teams in the CCS. The team placed 13th overall out of  more than 40 competing teams, giving them a confidence boost as they look ahead at the 2nd half of the season.

The team will take on the Gunderson Grizzlies at Gunderson on Wedensday March 29th, then they will head to Overfelt  on Saturday April 1st for the first ever Royal Relays.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves.


Comets Earn Pair of Wins on Windy Day

Teammates Daisy Nava, Denisse Calixto and Arlet Miranda embrace Analila Regla after her PR in the 3200m

The Comets hosted the Live Oak Acorns for a very windy dual meet on Wednesday March 22nd. Winds of 15-20 mph battered the home stretch for most of the meet, slowing running times considerably. Nonetheless, the team competed hard.

Live Oak won the 4×100 on the girls side but the Comets got their first 4×100 win of the season on the boys side The team of Adrian DeLaRosa, Hadji Yono-Cruz, Misael Herrera and Chris Okoro accomplished the feet.

Arlet Miranda took 2nd in the girls 1600 behind Kaylah Grant of Live Oak, the top distance runner in the entire BVAL. Belen Sanchez ran a big PR of 6:42.70 despite the extremely windy conditions. Denisse Calixto ran a seasons best of 7:11 as well. Nathan Bernardo lead a boys sweep in 5:18, the 3rd consecutive time that the Comet boys have swept the 1600 to start the season. Inteus Castro-Lopez and Erik Olsvold took 2nd and 3rd for the team. Osiris Zamudio and Hugo Marquez ran Prs in the wind as well, running 5:42 and 5:45 respectively.

Valeria Cortez ran an impressive 18.61 100 hurdles time into the wind, just .01 off her seasons best. Susie Peterson took 2nd in 20.93 for the Comets. On the boys side, Jonathan Rodriguez managed a seasons best time despite the wind, running 19.69 to win the race for the team. Cody Huoch made his debut in the event and ran 20.50 for 3rd place.

The girls 400 saw Arlet place 2nd once again. The boys side was a showcase of strength for the Comets. Nathan lead the team with a win in a seasons best 57.73 despite the wind. Azael Zamora took 2nd in a seasons best 58.42 and Misael took 3rd in 58.54. Cody debuted in the event in a strong time of 58.62 for 4th place. Daniel Portillo also ran a PR of 1:14.01 in the event.

Silvia Amaya and Kirsten Yutuc both managed points for the Comets in the 100, coming in 2nd and 3rd. On the boys side, the team got its first 100m win of the season. Hadji narrowly edged out teammate Ace Medina 12.83 to 12.86.

Arlet placed 2nd to Kaylah Grant again in the 800, and Belen ran a 2nd PR on the day clocking in at 3:02 for the 800 in 4th place. Erik ran a very strong 800m for the boys  given the conditions, winning the race in 2:09 with Azael taking 3rd in 2:19.

Kirsten got the first win of her HS career in the 300 hurdles, running an new PR of 58.99 to come in first. Susie cam in 3rd with a new seasons best of 1:02.69. Cody and Jonathan combined to go 1-2 in the boys 300 hurdles, cruising to victories in 49 seconds and 50 second respectively.

The girls 200 saw Valeria take 2nd for the team for the 2nd consecutive week. Misael earn his 2nd 200m victory of the season on the boys side. Chris came in 3rd for the team to net more points.

Arlet ran her first 3200m of the season running 13:46 to win the race. Analilia Regla ran a huge PR of 16:01.60, more than a minute off of her previous PR. Inteus leader sweep of the boys 3200 with Azael and Erik following close behind Inteus in 11:28.

The girls 4×400 team won the event uncontested, while the boys lost a narrow battle with the Acorns with both teams dipping under 4 minutes.

The field events saw some of the team’s best performances on the day. Lyndel Ventura had seasons bests in both horizontal jumps, going 14-3 in long jump and 28-3 in triple jump to place 2nd in both events. Yalta Cortez made her debut for the team and had some solid jumps as well. She went 13-1 in log jump and 26-4 in triple jump to open her Comet career.

Hadji won the long jump on the boys side, matching his PR of 18-5. Rhyan Munoz and Juan Gutierrez both managed long jump PRs as well, going 16-5 and 16-0 respectively. In the triple jump, Cody got the win in a new PR of 36-6 while Rhyan also Prd going 33-5.

Elyse Elder won the high jump for the team in 4-2 and Mariah Santos took 3rd in 3-8. Jonathan won the  boys high jump in 5-2 and Juan and Ace both cleared 5 to tie for 3rd place.

Despite the fact that the Shot Put was facing the wind, several Comets competed very well. Alejandra Ceron won the event in 30-11 and Charli Chircop placed 2nd in a new PR of 30-8.5. Valeria took 3rd in 29-11. Mariah also Prd throwing 23-1. The boys were facing the top thrower in the WVAL, Brendan White of Live Oak. While Brendan won both throws, the throws team did well on the boys side. One week after Josh became the first Comet in 2 years to throw 38 feet in the Shot Put, Daniel did the same going 38-7. Josh took 2nd in 37-11 and Alex took 3rd in 33-11.

Charli won the girls discus in a new PR of 97-1 and Alejandra took 2nd in a seasons best 88-5, just 2 feet off her PR. Valeria took 3rd for the team in discus. Sandra Naranjo managed a 5 foot PR of 43-5 in the event too. Daniel and Alex took 2nd and 3rd in the discus behind Brendan. Roger Alonzo threw a solid PR of 89-5 and is progressing very quickly.

When all as said and done, the Comets beat Live Oak 94-33 on the boys side and 71-56 on the girls side. This moves the team to 3-0 on both sides for a combined 6-0 record.

The Comets will take a large number of athletes to the Firebird Relays at Fremont HS on Saturday to test their depth against many of the best teams in the CCS. They will then head to Gunderson High School to try to extend their undefeated start to the season on Wednesday 3/29.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Comet news!

-Benny Reeves


James Lick Track Combined 4-0 After Narrow Win over Yerba Buena

With all other events over, both teams gather to watch the girls high jump (Elyse Elder jumping). 

The James Lick Track team hosted the always competitive Yerba Buena Warriors on March 15th. The Comets had not beaten the Warriors on the boys side in years, and the lady Comets handed the lady Warriors their only defeat a year ago. Heading into the matchup, we anticipated the dual meet would be a big early test on both sides, with the girls team being especially challenged.

YB won both 4×100 relays to begin the meet and took an early lead. They won with times of 55.24 on the girls side, and 47.58 on the boys side. The Comets earned their first wins of the day in the 1600. Inteus Castro-Lopez got his first ever event win, taking the boys 1600 in 5:08. Erik Olsvold and Nathan Bernardo were right behind him in 5:09 and 5:11 to complete a Comet sweep in the 1600, their 2nd consecutive sweep of the event to start the season. Mark Orpia ran a seasons best 5:38 and Osman Lopez ran a PR of 6:14 in the event as well.

After sitting out last week with a minor injury, Arlet Miranda returned to win the 1600 for the girls in 6:08. Analilia Regla ran a big PR for 2nd place, clocking 7:00.55 to give the Comets two girls knocking on the 7:00 barrier for the 1600. The girls 100h was slightly disappointing for the team. Valeria Cortez got off to a great start and lead for 7 hurdles before a misstep cost her the victory. She ran a solid 18.78 for 2nd place to top YB hurdler Angelica Salvador. Susie Peterson had a seasons best of 20.30 for 3rd place and Yvette Arciga ran a full second PR in 5th. Hadji Yono-Cruz won the boys 110h despite an off race, and teammate Jonathan Rodriguez took 3rd in a seasons best 19.71.

Both 400 meter races saw the Comets taking 2nd place, with Warriors 1st and 3rd. Belen Sanchez knocked down 2nd place for the girls with a seasons best time of 1:12, while Misael Herrera ran a PR of 57.47 to take 2nd on the boys side.

Valeria took 2nd place in the 100 with a time of 14.63, and Kirsten Yutuc took 3rd in 14.90 to get the team 4 points in the 100m dash. On the boys side Cody Huoch scored 3rd place for the Comets in 12.43. A few Comet boys ran PRs, namely Raven Alcantara in 13.13 and Josue Marcelo in 13.15.

The 800m was a key swing event for the team. Arlet won the girls 800 comfortably but 2nd place was a battle all the way to the line. Daisy Nava held off YB’s top 800m runner, Evelyn Garibay, by only .02 taking 2nd place for James Lick in 2:54.11, a seasons best. Denisse Calixto and Analilia ran seasons bests of 3:06 and 3:13 respectively.

On the boys side, Nathan ran 2:16 to lead a sweep with the help of teammates Erik and Inteus. Mark ran a 10 second PR of 2:26. Osiris and Melvin Estrada both ran small PRs (2:29 and 2:33 respectively) as did Julian Delreal and Daniel Portillo (2:40 and 2:51). Osman ran the event for the very first time, opening up at 2:57.

The girls 300h was won by Angelica from YB, though Belen ran a seasons best of 57.62 for 2nd place. Kirsten also ran a huge PR of 59.50 in 3rd place. Yvette had  strong debut time of 1:04.50 as well. The race of the day however was in the boys 300h. In only his 2nd ever race over the distance, Cody ran 44.87, a mark which stands as a 5 second PR and the 5th best 300 hurdles time in school history. Jonathan had a strong seasons best for of 47.55 as well, within a second of his PR to take 2nd place in the event.

Valeria took 2nd place in the girls 200, running 31.66 for her debut in the event. With the strength of the girls throws unit, we made the decision to have Valeria spend most of her time running against Yerba Buena. As the lone scorer for the team in the 200, this decision paid off handily. Irene Nava ran a big PR in the event to the tune of a 33.87 clocking.

The best distance girls on the team saved their energy for the 4×400. Even so, Raquel Rodriguez managed 3rd place for the team in the event. On the boys side, Azael Zamora and Nathan took 1st and 2nd place for the team. Osiris had a very strong debut in the event, running 12:38, and is showing good potential as a runner in general.

With all of the field events and running events save for the 4×400 determined, the score was 62 James Lick 60 Yerba Buena on the girls side, meaning the 4×400 would determine the meet. The team of Belen, Denisse, Kirsten and Arlet combined to run 4:48, a seasons best and good enough for the win. On the boys side, the team of Misael, Nathan, Azael and Eirk also ran a seasons best to earn the win, a 3:50.90 result.

The field events went a long way towards sealing the meet for the Comets. Alejandra won the girls Shot Put in 30-5, with Charli Chircop 2nd in 30-2.50. This was a big PR for Charli, and also the first time she has broke the 30 foot barrier. It’s early in the season, but so far based on Athletic-Net results, the Comets are the first team in the entire BVAL with 3 girls over 30 feet in the Shot Put. Valeria clinched 3rd for the team in 29-11. That wasn’t the end of the day’s excellence for the throwers however. Mariah Santos shattered her PR, throwing 23-0 despite never having thrown above 20 feet before. The same went for Ruth Rodriguez who threw 20-11 from a previous best of 19-5. Adriana Marcelino managed a small PR of 19-5, and Kiely Leal earned a massive new PR of 18-7 as well. Sandra Naranjo got a 1 inch PR as well.

The boys side saw equally strong results. After inching towards his PR of 36-7 (set last season) Josh Garcia busted out with a throw of 38-5 to win the boys Shot Put. Daniel Medina’s best had stood at 35-9 for a long time before he threw 35-9.50 last week. Against Yerba Buena however, Daniel threw 37-9. These heaves make the PR of Alex Alonzo (36-0 beating his best of 35-8 set a week ago as well) seem pedestrian by comparison. Alex’s brother Rogelio three 32-7 for more than a 1 foot PR as well, as did Nathan Rios, with a best toss of 29-0.

The girls took 1-2 in discus with Charli winning with a  90-1 toss,and Alejandra 2nd in 85-8. YB was able to net 3rd place. On the boys side Daniel won the Discus in 106-8, with Alex 2nd in 101-4. Josh took 3rd place. Nathan R also managed a he PR in discus, throwing 80-1.

Lyndel Ventura and Elyse Elder managed a 1-2 finish in the girls long jump with seasons bests of 13-5 and 13-0 respectively. They took 2nd and 3rd in the triple jump with more seasons bests, going 27-3 and 26-6.5. Elyse capped off her day by matching her high jump Pr of 4-6, taking 3rd place in the girls high jump for the team.

Hadji lead the boy jumpers with a 3rd place finish in both long and triple jump. Hadji matched his seasons best of 18-3 in the long jump, and went a seasons best 37-7 in the triple. Ace managed a strong PR of 17-5 in the long jump. Anthony Soto Prd in both horizontal jumps, going 15-10.50 and 33-5. Jamie Vong, Jose Garcia and Juan Gutierrez all PRd in triple jump as well, as they continue to get there feet wet in the low 30s.

Ybs best jumper won the boys high jump, but Jonathan placed 2nd with a jump of 5-4. Ace matched Jonathan’s 5-4 for a new PR as well, and Juan went 5-2 again to match his PR for the 3rd meet in a row.

When all was said and done the final scores were:


JL: 76 YB: 51


JL: 67 YB: 60.

Both teams are 2-0 now, and the team is stronger for having survived the meet with a very competitive opponent. Now the team will look ahead to a meet against the Live Oak Acorns on March 22nd, before heading to Fremont High School for the always fun “Firebird Relays.”

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves















Comets Show Distance Strength at TKA Invitational

Boys DMR Team left to right: Misael Herrera, Azael Zamora, Nathan Bernardo, Erik Olsvold 

The season is only a week old, but with a strong showing at the TKA Invitational, the Comets find themselves at the top of the WVAL distance rankings in every event on the boys side.

The TKA Invite is a great early season meet for some fast distance times. The night atmosphere combined with the music and good weather (in this case) make it a great meet to asses fitness and earn season bests.

Valerie Flores started the Comets day off strong with a 7:00.55 1600m. The story of the girls distance team has been athletes like Valerie. Valerie began running distance this fall during cross country. At her very first mile time trial with us way back on, Valerie ran 8:32. She ended cross country season with a  7:39 1600 and is working her way down all the way down into sub-7 minute mile territory. As a senior, she is approaching competitive WVAL times. Unfortunately, she will likely graduate before she gets all the way down to times that would score her points for the team in WVAL dual meets. This has been the signature issue on the girls distance side, tomalley of the dedicated athletes who come out are juniors or seniors who don’t have as much time to develop. In any case, Valerie is off to a great start this season.

The Varsity boys 1600 saw several season bests. Azael Zamora took 8th place overall in 4:46.64 and Nathan Bernardo ran 4:56.06, both are seasons bests. Inteus Castro-Lopez has an off day running 5:10, while Jesus Deloya ran 5:29, a huge improvement on his 5:49 clocking from two weeks ago. Julian Delreal also ran a 10 second PR, clocking 5:47 for the 1600.

On the frosh/soph side, Erik Olsvold took 2nd overall running 4:41.46, a very strong early season clocking. Erik ran this 13 second PR, despite the fact that he had to lead the majority of the race, doing all the work for the Scots Valley runner who narrowly beat him out over the last 50 meters of the race. Melvin Estrada ran a 1 second PR of 5:38, and Daniel Portillo dd the same running 6:08. Hugo Marquez matched his PR of 5:51.

Erik once again lead the Comets in the 800, opening up his season with a time of 2:08.93. After running each distance event just one time, Erik has achieved the CCS Frosh/Soph Top 8 meet standards in every distance event, meaning he will have his pick of what events he wants to focus on come Top 8 meet. Nathan ran a seasons best of 2:11.75 despite a rough final 100 meters. Misael Herrera competed in his first ever 800 to get some over distance work. He clocked a solid 2:23.

In the 3200, the team’s 3 freshmen boys competed. Hugo and Melvin both broke 13 minutes for the first time, running 12:26 and 12:30 respectively, huge PRS for both runners. Daniel ran 13:40 to go under the 7 minute pace barrier as well. Back at their first 1600m time trial in August, Daniel and Hugo both failed to run under 7 minutes for the 1600, and Melvin ran 6:50. All three boys have advanced leaps and bounds this season.

The final event for the Comets was the DMR (Distance Medley Relay) consisting of a 1200-400-800-1600 relay. Despite being tired, the Comets ran their “A” team in prep for a school record attempt at the firebird relays in a few weeks. Azael started the team off with a 3:34 leg, a solid effort but unimpressive considering he went through the 1200m mark in 3:31 during his 1600 earlier. Misael split a 60 second 400, again, well off his best but a solid performance nonetheless. The team was in 7th place as a team at this point. Nathan took the baton and ran a 2:11 leg just as he did earlier, moving the team from 7th to 4th along the way. Erik ran a 4:59 1600m leg, holding on to 4th place all the way. At the firebird relays, the team will run the DMR as their first event, meaning a much faster time than their 11:45 clocking is certainly coming.

The team now looks ahead to a very competitive meet with Yerba Buena on Wednesday March 15th. The boys team suffered one of their two losses last season to Yerba Buena, making the meet a huge barometer of their ability. The lady Warriors suffered their only defeat of the season last year at the hands of the Comets, and they will surely be looking for some payback against a girls team that is much more vulnerable than last season. The Comets will need to bring their ‘A’ game (especially on the girls side) to earn the victory.

An exciting meet recap is likely coming the day after that meet.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves




Comets Start Season with Pair of Wins at San Jose High

The distance girls warming up prior to the 1600m 


The James Lick Comets opened their WVAL season at San Jose High on Wednesday March 8th. It was the first major step for the Comets in pursuit of their goal of a 14-0 (between boys and girls)  season.

The 4×100 got off to a very somber start for the Comets. The boys team rocketed into an early league but on the 2nd leg of the relay, the team’s top sprinter, sophomore Jose Limon, pulled up limping badly with what we think is a puled hamstring. The bulldogs would go on to win both the varsity boys and varsity girls 4×100 as a result. We can only hope that Jose makes as speedy a recovery as possible, and it was up to other Comets to pick up the slack.

The team saw a similar theme on the girls side. Star runner Arlet Miranda did not run due to minor injury. San Jose High took the win in the 1600, with Milka Perez and Daisy Nava coming in 2nd and 3rd for the Comets. Milk’s time of 6:31 is a strong start to her season. Several other Comets in the race ran very well. Belen Sanchez came in at 7:05, and both Analilia Regla and Valerie Flores ran Prs, clocking in at 7:15 and 7:17 respectively.

Coming off of their STAL championship in cross country, it wasn’t a surprise to see the distance boys comfortably sweep the 1600. Azael Zamora took the win, with teammates Nathan Bernardo and Inteus Castro-Lopez close behind. Julian Delreal ran a sizable PR of 5:57 and Mark Orpia opened his season with a 5:50 as well.

The girls 100h was swept by the Comets to give the team a lead in the meet for the first time. Valeria Cortez, 18.65, Susie Peterson, 20.77 and Silvia Amaya, 22.64 completed the sweep. Freshmen Yvette Arciga competed for the first time as well, running 24 seconds for the event. On the boys side, Hadji Yono-Cruz netted a small PR in the 110 hurdles, finishing in 18.15. Jonathan Rodriguez cam in 2nd to complete a JL 1-2. A strong group of San Jose girls swept the girls 400, but the boys saw yielded a sweep for the Comet boys, lead by Erik Olsvold and Misael Herrera.

The San Jose girls showed strength in the sprints all day, but freshmen Kirsten Yutuc managed a point in the girls 100 with her first official sub 15 second clocking. Silvia also ran a PR of 15.13. On the boys side, Ace Medina took 2nd in a PR of 12.39. Cody Hucoh took 3rd in 12.48. Raven Alcantara, Jaime Gomez, Joseph Benitez and Jesus Deloya all ran solid PRs in the 100 as well.

Milka showed her talent again in the 800 with a  time of 2:51.92 for 2nd place once again. Daisy ran a seasons best of 2:55 for 4th. Valerie Flores PRd again to run 3:09. The boys saw another distance sweep behind Nathan, Erik and Inteus. Inteus even ran a small PR of 2:20.9 despite only running hard enough for the 3rd point due to his general dislike of the 800.

The girls completed another hurdles sweep in the 300h. Belen Sanchez lead the team with a sub 60 second clocking. Silvia and Susie picked up the remaining points for the team. Jonathan lead another 1-2 finish on the boys side, running a seasons best 48.94, just ahead of teammate Cody in a new PR of 49.64.

In the girls 200, San Jose claimed their 3rd girls sprint win of the day. Kirsten took 2nd for the Comets, and Aliana took 3rd narrowly missing a PR and scoring a point for the first With Jose out, Misael stepped up to win an event for the first time in his career. He matched his 200m PR of 25.70 en route to a 1st place finish. Josue went under 27 seconds for the first time, running 26.87, and Jesus Prd by nearly 2 seconds running 27.51. Chris Okoro also managed a PR of 28.16.

Analilia and Denisse Calixto ran the 3200 together to knock down eight points  for the Comets against the Bulldogs. Azael, Inteus, and Nathan combined to sweep the 3200 and earn the team it’s 3rd distance sweep of the day on the boys side, taking all 27 distance points in the meet. The Comets won the boys 4×400 and San Jose won the girls.

The boys were comfortably ahead after the results of the running events came in, but with field events yet to be scored, the Bulldogs lead the Comets 43-38 on the girls side. The team would dominate the field events on both sides however ensuring a victory for the Comets.

Both boys and girls long jump held 1-2 finishes for the Comets. Hadji and Cody both went over 17 feet to knock their points down on the boys side. Lyndel Ventura and Elyse Elder both went over 13 feet for the first time this season in the long jump. Both Juan Gutierrez and Anthony Sotto Prd in the long jump, going 15-5 each.

The girls triple jump was swept by both teams. Lyndel spearheaded the girls team, while Alejandra Ceron and Charli Chircop both triple jumped for the first time simply to secure more points for the team. Ace won the triple jump for the boys, and Cody and Ace followed him to complete the sweep.

The Comets ended the jumps with sweeps in the high jump. Elyse opened her season at 4-4 and Yvette debuted at 4-0. On the boys side, Jonathan won the high jump in 5-4, Juan went 5-2, and Ace went 5-0. Jonathan’s 13 points made him the leading scorer on the boys side for the meet.

The team’s best performance of the day very well may have come form the last group to finish competing, the throwers. After ending last year with a school record of 99-9.5, Valeria finally cracked the barrier, throwing 100-6 inches for the discus throw to win the event. Alejandra and Charli made throws in the mid 80s to sweep the event. Mariah Santos threw a PR of 59-1 for the discus as well. Kiely Leal also had a 4 foot PR in the event.

Alex Alonzo has been one of the hardest working athletes on the team for years. He gained his first ever dual meet win with a PR of 109-9. Teammate Daniel Medina was just behind him however, with a 15 foot PR of 108-6. Josh Garcia also Prd throwing 96-0. The Comets are poised to have 3 boys over 100 feet, (And 2 over 110) for the first time in over a decade. Rogelio Alonzo threw a PR of 87-0 as well.

Valeria won the Shot Put to complete a triple victory, throwing above 30 feet for the first time this season. Alejandra also threw above 30 for 2nd place, and Charli threw 29-2 for a new PR in 3rd. This trio has the very ambitious goal of taking EVERY dual meet throws point this season. An 18 point throws sweep vs. San Jose was the first step towards establishing a finish that the team hopes to repeat 6 more times and then again at WVAL finals.

Josh took the team lead in the boys Shot Put with a win in 36-4, just off his PR. Daniel just missed his PR throwing 35-9, and Alex threw 35-8 for a new PR in 3rd.


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


James Lick: 81

San Jose: 44


James Lick: 110

San Jose: 17

The Comets started their season with 40 total PRS and a pair of victories. As the team’s quest to go 14-0 and move up to the STAL (‘B’ league) continues, the Comets will take on the Yerba Buena Warriors in their first home meet of the season next week.

The boys suffered one of their two losses in 2016 at the hands of YB and have not beaten the Warriors in years. The meet will be a true test of the teams ability to achieve their goals.

The distance crew will head to Sunnyvale for the TKA Invitational this Saturday in pursuit of some fast times.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves




Comets Open Season Strong at Willow Glen Invitational

30 Comets competed at the Willow Glen invitational on Saturday March 4th. These 30 Comets managed a combined 26 PRs (personal records) and 55 season bests. In a few short years, the Comets have gone from simply an attendee at the Willow Glen invite, to a top competitive team, with athletes competing in virtually every event and many athletes placing very highly.

Alejandra Ceron threw a PR of 32-3 in Shot Put

The meet began with the Comets competing in several field events. Valeria Cortez took 2nd place in the Frosh/Soph girls discus with a throw of 98 feet, very close to her PR and school record of 99-9.5. At the same time, several Comet boys were making their jumps debut under coach Turner in the triple jump.

Ace Medina and Cody Huoch went 36-10.50 and 36-00 respectively. Both are quite impressive marks for athletes competing in triple jump for the very first time (in their first week at practicing the triple jump as well). Hadji Yono-Cruz opened his season with a 35-2. Anthony Soto and Juan Gutierrez competed as well going 32-0 and 31-4, both triple jumping for the first time.

Not long later, Ace and Juan would move on over to the boys high jump. Both boys would clear 5-2 in their debut for the event, the first time any Comets have high jumped at an invitational in many years.

On the track, the Comets saw some strong early season performances in the 1600. Arlet Miranda placed 3rd in the Frosh/Soph girls 1600 with a  time of 5:41, only 3 seconds off her PR. Azael Zamora opened his official season with a 4:48 clocking, better than his PR from last track season already as well. Nathan Bernardo finished in 4:59, giving the Comets two sub 5 milers in their very first meet. Inteus Castro-Lopez ran a solid 5:09 opener as well. The Frosh/Soph boys mile saw all 3 Comets run big PRs, Melvin Estrada ran 5:39, better than his 5:58 form the end of cross country. Hugo Marquez ran 5:51, breaking 6 for the first time, and Daniel Portillo ran 6:09, a massive PR from a previous best of 6:32. Daisy Nava opened her season at 6:41 to wrap up the day for the Comets in the 1600.

Valeria Cortez ran 18.60 to start her season in the 100 hurdles. Far better than the 22.94 clocking she managed last year at the willow glen invitational. Silvia Amaya ran a big PR of 21.26 and Susie Peterson was right behind her in an off-race by her standards. Gustavo Aguilera ran 18.98 in the 110H to dip under 19 seconds for the race for the first time.

Ace Medina, Cody Huoch, Anthony Soto and Hadji Yono-Cruz before the long jump.

The team’s achieved several high placings in the sprint events as well. Jose Limon placed 5th in the Frosh/Soph boys 100m dash with a  clocking of 12.00. Cody Hucoh and HAdji Yono-Cruz ran small PRS of 12.38 and 12.40 respectively. Ace Medina also Prd in 12.74, and Misael Herrera matched his PR of 12.80. David Bejines ran 12.96 to give the Comets their 8th athlete under 13 seconds this season. Josue Marcelo ran a PR of 13.30 and Austin Swank ran a seasons best of 13.50 as well.

On the girls side, Valeria ran 14.80 to lead the team. Silvia ran 15.20, a PR for her, and Susie ran a seasons best of 15.90. Aliana Santos and Elizabeth Perez also ran.

Gustavo Parra ran 58.13 and Gustavo Aguilera ran 58.6 to open their season in the 400. Gustavo P would follow that performance with a solid season opener in the 800, clocking 2:16.2.

Arlet Miranda won the Frosh/Soph girls 800 with a time of 2:34. Arlet becomes the first James Lick Comet to win an invitational in any event or division in this decade. Melvin ran a big PR of 2:35 in the boys 800 and Daniel ran a small PR of 2:54.00 as well.

Back in the field events, Alex Alonzo opened his season officially with a 101-4 discus heave, and a 33-8 mark in Shot Put. Last year at the same meet he threw only 29 feet in the Shot Put. Alejandra Ceron threw 32-4 to set a new PR in the event. Already #2 on the school’s all time list, Alejandra inches closer to the school record of Kathy Shelby at 34-0. She also threw a seasons best of 87-4 in discus, only 3 feet off her PR.

Charli Chircop had an amazing 15 foot PR in the girls discus throwing 95-11. She then threw 28-10.50 missing her PR of 29-1 narrowly. Valeria threw a seasons best 29-6 in the Shot Put as well. The three-headed monster of Alejandra, Valeria and Charli should have a very good chance at sweeping the girls throws at every dual meet this season and at WVAL finals.

Jesus Venegas made his debut and threw a PR of 64 feet in the discus as well.

In the 300 hurdles, Silvia and Susie both ran seasons best. Silvia ran 1:03.50 and Susie 1:05. On the boys side, Gustavo ran 48.12 for a seasons best as well.

Jose Limon took a close 2nd in the FS boys 200, running 24.30, just off his PR. David ran a strong opening time of 26.60. Misael ran a seasons best of 26.70 and Josue ran a new PR of 27.10. Austin ran 28.87, not far off his PR as well. Aliana opened her season on the girls side with a time of 35.23.

In the long jump, Cody lead the team with a jump of 17-0. Ace opened at 16-4 in his first try at the event. Hadji, Juan and Anthony also competed.

The team wrapped up their day with the varsity boys 3200. Erik Olsvold took 2nd overall in 10:26.20, a 10 second PR and the highest placing by a varsity athlete at any invitational this decade. Azael took 4th in 10:30. Inteus also earned a PR in 10:53 and Nathan had a solid race in 11:06 as well.

The Frosh/Soph 4×400 team of Jose, Misael, Josue and Erik took 4th place in 3:59, despite a baton drop during the race.

Despite issues with delays and a slow turn-around in results, the James Lick track team emerged from the Willow Glen invite with more reason to be confident ahead of their season. The team will take on San Jose High in their first dual meet of the season tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Comet Track news!

-Benny Reeves

Biggest Team in Decades at James Lick Mini Meet

The Comets had a mini meet on Wednesday March 1st, to practice the dual meet structure and responsibilities just a week out from their first dual meet of the season. It’s important for every member of the team to know the order of events, and when they’ll need to warm up or help move things into place.

Much of the buildup of the track team over the past few years has been through increasing the number of athletes on the team. 36 Athletes competed in the mini meet in 2015. That number spiked to 50 last season. It has reached a new peak with 64 athletes competing yesterday.

To add to the team’s fun, we split the team into two teams: Team Green and Team Silver.

For many athletes, this was the first time that they officially competed in their events. The team had a number of highlights in the meet, that indicate good things to come.

Early on in the meet, Erik Olsvold won the 1600 with a small PR of 4:54 flat. Azael Zamora was close behind in 4:59, the first time any Comets have gone under 5 minutes for the event at the mini meet in the few years that we’ve been running it. Osiris Zamudio made a very impressive debut of 5:56, on par with the freshmen abilities of runners like Nathan Bernardo. The girls 1600 saw Valerie Flores close out the event with a 1 second PR of 7:38 as well.

These days, good sprint times are hard to achieve in our home meets. A very strong headwind is almost always present and the mini meet was no exception. Despite the wind, Valeria Cortez ran a solid opening time of 20.1 Susie Peterson and newcomer Silvia Amaya also finished the race, forming a group of hurdlers who should net the team plenty of points this season. On the boys side, Gustavo Aguilera ran close to his PR, going 19.38 and Jonathan Rodriguez also broke 20 to start the season. David Bejines fell on the penultimate hurdle but got up to finish the race in 24.70. A big PR surely coming soon.

The 400s were won by Milka Perez in 1:15 on the girls side, and Erik Olsvold in 56.94 on th boys side, both runners achieving PRs. Jose Limon won the 100 in a time of 12.1, a very strong time on the windy track. Cody Huoch made a very impressive debut as well to be the #2 sprinter in 12.45. Ace Medina also made a strong debut in 12.94, adding more options to the relay team. Freshmen Raven Alcantara also had a strong debut running a low 13.

Maria Mendoza lead the team on the girls side, finishing join just over 14 seconds. Kirsten Yutuc and Silvia Amaya were next in, flashing solid wheels as well.

The 300 hurdlers saw quite a few Comets compete as well. Most impressive performances were the debut times of Cody and Ace in 50.10 and 50.20. Both athletes show an array of talent, making their placement on the team tricky, but they will both help the Comets towards their lofty goals.

The field events saw some very strong early season performances as well. The girls throwing trio that figures to have a good shot at sweeping the throws at WVAL finals, showed their ability. Valeria won the Shot Put in 28-11 Charli was 2nd in 28-10 and Alejandra 3rd in 28-9. A number of girls made their debut including 3 freshmen girls who threw above 19 feet: Adriana Marcelino in 19-0 and both Mariah Santos and Ruth Rodriguez throwing 19-8.

In the boys Shot Put, both Daniel Medina and Alex Alonzo threw PRs. Daniel threw 35-9.50 and Alex threw 35-3.50. Josh threw 35 to complete a solid early season trio. Freshmen Chris Torres threw 29-8.50 a noteworthy debut as well.

In the girls discus the trio repeated the same order they achieved in Shot Put, with Charli Chircop throwing a PR of 80-11. Adriana threw 65-1, a very solid debut for a freshmen girl. Alex Alonzo lead the boys with a  new PR of 105-9.50. Chris had another strong debut of 75 feet in the discus on his first try.

Standout performances in the jumps include Cody Hooch’s 17-2 long jump debut and the general performance in the boys high jump. After many consecutive years of not scoring at WVAL finals in the high jump, we are heavily emphasizing the event this year. Varsity rules require 5’0 as the minimum height to score points, and points can be won from many teams simply from clearing the height. 3 Boys cleared 5 feet at the mini meet. Juan Gutierrez and Ace both fouled out at 5-2, but Jonathan Rodriguez cleared 5’6 for a new PR.

Overall it was a very good day for the Comets. The team is ready to roll and will test  themselves out officially at the Willow Glen Invitational on March 4th. Then, the team will have their first dual meet of the season on March 8th at San Jose High.

The season is about to get underway!

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

Full Results: