West Valley Division Finals Preview: Which Comets Can win Titles?

The regular season is over, and every track team in the CCS is rocketing towards their league championships. Our biggest Competitive goal as a team was to try to go a combined 14-0, and to win both West Valley division titles as a result. While division finals are still ahead, dual meets are weighted more heavily than finals in our league, making it unlikely we will win the boys title. The girls need only finish 2nd at WV finals next week to clinch their 2nd consecutive championship. The boys would not only need to finish 1st, but they would need Independence to finish 3rd or lower to win the title.

We are overall happy with the way that our boys competed this season however. Ending the WV season with a 1st place finish at West Valley Division finals would mean alot to the team on several counts. James Lick has been in the West Valley Division since 1997. In the 20 seasons since, at West Valley finals, the boys finished 1st in 2000, and the girls finished in 1st last year. Never have the Comets won the WV meet on both sides simultaneously. Pulling this feet off on the boys side would also be a small form of compensation for the loss against Indy earlier in the season.

Based on the rankings of the BVAL this season, this is how WV finals would shake out in terms of team scores if every athlete matches their season best:

Girls 

 

WVD Finals Simulation (Girls) 

Event Del Mar Gunderson Independence James Lick Live Oak Overfelt San Jose Yerba Buena Points Scored
4×100

6

2

5

1

8

3

4

10

39

1600

3

0

3

13

14

3

0

4

39

100 hurdles

0

0

3

14

0

11

0

11

39

400

9

0

1

0

4

0

23

2

39

100

8

0

2

0

8

0

17

4

39

800

0

0

0

12

5

4

15

3

39

300h

0

0

5

9

0

10

5

10

39

200

3

0

0

0

0

9

21

6

39

3200

0

0

3

10

16

1

0

9

39

4×400

6

1

4

5

8

3

10

2

39

High Jump

4

0

3

8

2

7

0

15

39

Long Jump

4

0

6

3

8

12

0

6

39

Triple Jump

0

0

3

10

13

3

0

10

39

Shot

6

0

3

23

0

6

0

1

39

Disc

13

0

2

24

0

0

0

0

39

 DM  G  IND  JL  LO  OV  SJ  YB

62

3

43

132

86

72

95

93

585

0

Boys 

WVD Finals Simulation (Boys) 

Event Del Mar Gunderson Independence James Lick Live Oak Overfelt San Jose Yerba Buena Points Scored
4×100

4

8

10

6

1

5

2

3

39

1600

9

0

3

24

0

3

0

0

39

110h

3

0

13

8

10

0

0

5

39

400

6

18

5

7

0

3

0

0

39

100

0

11

13

4

0

5

6

0

39

800

6

3

2

23

4

1

0

0

39

300h

2

0

14

14

5

0

0

4

39

200

0

12

12

1

0

8

6

0

39

3200

9

0

1

19

0

10

0

0

39

4×400

8

10

5

6

3

2

1

4

39

High Jump

12

0

8

9

0

4

0

6

39

Long Jump

0

0

25

2

0

0

0

12

39

Triple Jump

0

0

11

11

0

3

0

14

39

Shot

0

6

14

9

10

0

0

0

39

Disc

1

0

16

6

10

6

0

0

39

 DM  G  IND  JL  LO  OV  SJ  YB

60

68

152

149

43

50

15

48

585

0

0

The simulations do not take into account exactly what events athletes will do as the program is not yet completed, but it nonetheless provides a solid idea of what the meet may look like. The simulation has the girls team winning comfortably, lead on by the monumental 47 point performance by the lady throwers. They will in all likelihood come very close to scoring 50 points between the two trowing events at finals, and a 1-2-3 sweep in the discus is very achievable for the team.

The boys simulation indicates a two-team battle, with Independence at 152 points, and the Comets at 149. The meet should be a close battle on many fronts. On both sides, the Comets will look to do the best they can, and do what they’ve done well in all season.

The team finished 13-1, the best combined record on record for the team. A 7 point loss to Indy was a crushing blow to the team, but the season should be measured as a success for the dramatic improvement of the boys team.

There were 4 events on the boys side, and 2 events on the girls side, that the Comets won at every dual meet this season. That was not the case in any event last season. The boys never lost in the 300 hurdles, or in any of the 3 distance events. The girls never lost in either throwing event. In fact, opposing teams scored only 1 point against the Comets all season in the girls discus.

Last year, despite a first place finish on the girls side at WV finals, the team had only one individual champion, Alejandra Ceron in the girls discus. The team is aiming for at least 5 individual titles this season, and going undefeated in these 6 events sets the team up toa accomplish the goal.

The teams strongest event groups in order, as measured by percentage of available dual meet points are as follows.

  1. Girls Throws 96%
  2. Boys Distance 90%
  3. Boys Hurdles 84%
  4. Girls Hurdles 79%
  5. Boys Throws 71%
  6. Girls Jumps 66%
  7. Girls Distance 60%
  8. Boys Jumps 55%
  9. Boys Relays 50%
  10. Boys Sprints 48%
  11. Girls Relays 35%
  12. Girls Sprints 32%

The girls team went 7-0 in large part thanks to the consistent dominance of the girl throwers. The girls sprint team was a weakness for the squad this year. Grades hit the team hard, with the two top sprinters for the team being lost early. This coupled with a smaller girls team than in 2016, made the repeat undefeated season a huge accomplishment in it of itself.  The team also saw a number of improvements in different areas competitively.

Last year, the girls throwers were very strong, scoring 86% of dual meet points. That number jumped to 96% an extremely difficult number to hit in any division. The boys distance team had a dominant season as well, after taking 74% of points last year, they jumped to 90% this year. The most improved group was the boys throwers, who went fro 42% last season, to 71% this year. Boys sprints also saw a 10% jump despite the loss of top sprinter Jose Limon to start the season. Next year the boys sprint team should leap forward with a healthy Jose.

Another measure of team success is the individual point scorers list. The school has no record of dual meet points from the past. I have however kept track of points scored in the 4 years I’ve been coaching. The highest point total any Comet in those 4 years has accumulated, was the 114 points scored by Karan Singh in 2015. Valeria Cortez is poised to better that mark. Maria Mendoza, Arlet Miranda and Andrea Ortiz have all succeeded in scoring 100 points in a single season, but Valeria is the first Comet on record to score 100 points before West valley finals. She currently sits at 105 points, and is ranked to place 1st in discus, 2nd in Shot Put and the 100h, as well as 3rd in the 300 hurdles. That performance would give her a point total of 137 points, a mark which would be difficult to better.

IMG_2367
Ace Medina knocking the high jump bar down

 

Potential champs 

Girls Shot/Disc 

The team should be able to capture individual tiles in both girls throwing events. Alejandra Ceron is the favorite in the girls Shot Put. Her PR of 35-8.75 is more than 2 feet ahead of the #2 ranked girl. That girl happens to be Valeria Cortez. Valeria is ranked #1 in the discus throw at 106-2. Her nearest competitor is teammate Charli Chircop at 103-2. Alejandra is ranked 3rd at 93-5. Whatever Comet has the better day should capture the girls discus title.  

Girls 800 

Arlet Miranda narrowly missed winning the 800 last year as a freshmen. Arlet was battling neck and neck to the finish line with Lydia Ma of Independence before falling with 10 meters left n the race when her spike caught in the track. Arlet struggled with injury this season, but recent performances indicate she is ready to make a run at her PR, and a title in the event. Her primary competition figures to be San Jose’s best 800m runner Chloe, Roth. She beat Arlet on the line at the Firebird Relays in 2:35, a strong time. Chloe is a strong 400m runner, and Arlet will look to take her speed out of the equation by making the race a test of endurance.

Girls 100h

Valeria is currently ranked 1st in the WVD in the 100 hurdles. She recently ran a PR of 17.40, into the and headwind of our home track. Middle school teammate Chrizna Milanes of Overfelt has a better PR (16.80) but struggles with inconsistency. A perfect race by Valeria could see her upsetting the reigning champ on her home track.

Boys 300 hurdles 

Gustavo Aguilera and Cody Huoch were ranked 1 and 2 in the division for the 300 hurdles until very recently. Julio Santillan of Independence ran 44.25 at the CCS top 8 meet to take over the WV lead. When the 3 hurdlers went head to head in our dual meet, the race was thrilling. Cody won in 44.75, with Gustavo second in 44.76 and Julio 3rd in 44.79. The rematch at finals should be equally thrilling. The fact that the team didn’t lose this event once in dual meets will mean little if the Comets fail to come away with the title in the event. We think both boys are ready to run under 44 seconds in the event, though Julio may well be as well. It should be a very exciting race.

Boys 800 

This event is another undefeated one for the team this season. Nathan Bernardo has run 2:07 and Erik Olsvold has run 2:08 for the two fastest times in the division so far. There are threats in runners like Chris Solorzano from Del Mar who has run 2:08 as well, but I think both Nathan and Erik are ready to go 1-2 in the event, with some PRS as well.

Boys 1600 

Azael Zamora has the WVD leading time at 4:40.90. Erik is right behind him at 4:41.46 and Nathan is 3rd at 4:47. Chris from Del Mar, and Jesse Cruz from Overfelt should help make things interesting for the Comets, but I think Erik and Azael are both ready to go under 4:40 and I’m not sure any other boy in the division is. Azael should be very motivated having taken 2nd at least years 1600 final by only .01.

Boys 3200 

Erik and Azael are ranked 1st and 2nd though the wildcard in the race is Jesse from Overfelt. Last year, Jesse beat all Comets and ran the best WVD time of the season at BVAL champs, clocking 10:13. Jesse only began racing recently due to grade issues earlier in the season, but should figure to be the teams biggest challenge to winning the 3200 title.

Boys 4×400

At the beginning of the season, we were actively aiming for a title in this event as well. The loss of Jose Limon put a big hit on the teams title hopes, but an outside shot remains. Gunderson has two boys at 52 seconds in the open 400, no one else has a boy under 55. One team does have 3 boys at 55 seconds however and that is James Lick. Erik, Nathan and Gustavo have all run 55 seconds for the open 400. Misael Herrera has brought his PR down to 56.48. In the team can split their laps in the high 54-low 55 range, they should have a very good chance at taking down Gunderson (and hopefully cracking the 3:40 barrier).

The team will be aiming to score as many points, set as many PRs and send as many athletes to BVAL championships as possible.

The meet begins on Wednesday March 3rd at Overfelt with trials of all lane events. The day will also see finals of the girl High Jump, girls Triple Jump, girls Shot Put, Boys Discus, Boys Long Jump, Boys 3200 and Girls 1600. All other finals will take place on Friday.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for recaps of WVD finals!

-Benny Reeves

 

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Comets End Regular Season Combined 13-1, Girls 7-0 for 2nd consecutive year.

The James Lick Track Team hosted the final dual meet of the WVAL season on Wednesday, April 26th . The meet saw the team entering with a record of 5-1 on the boys side, and 6-0 on the girls side. It marked the final dual meet of the careers of the teams seniors, and was especially significant for Gustavo Aguilera and Nathan Bernardo, the only athletes on the team to have competed all 4 years in track. These two have special significance for me as these two (along with Juan Gutierrez who returned to track this year) were the only boys on the team who were on the team when I began coaching. They embody the turn-around of James Lick track more than anyone.

 

IMG_2349.JPG
Nathan Bernardo anchoring the 4×400 team after receiving the baton from Gustavo Aguilera. 

The meet began with the Del Mar girls winning the 4×100. The James Lick boys won the 4×100 in 46.71, just .03 off their season best despite poor handoffs on several legs. The team of Hadji Yono-Cruz, Cody Huoch, Misael Herrera and Ace Medina accomplished their 3rd victory of the season in the event.

Arlet Miranda won the girls 1600 in 6:00 her fastest dual meet time of the season. Belen Sanchez and Daisy Nava came in 3rd and 4th both in 6:22. Denisse Calixto competed on the home track for the final time but did not score for the team. The boys got their 7th 1600m victory of the season, with Erik Olsvold winning the event in 4:48.18. Nathan placed 3rd in 4:55.06. Inteus Castro-Lopez ran a PR of 5:01.59. Julian Delreal ran a PR of 5:42 and Osman Lopez ran his final race on the home track as well.

Despite typical headwinds, Valeria Cortez won the 100 hurdles in a small PR of 17.40. Kirsten Yutuc ran a PR of 19.87, and Susie Peterson finished in 19.90 to complete the sweep for the team.  Cody Huoch and Jonathan Rodriguez finished 2nd and 3rd in the 110 Hurdles.

Justine Austria ran a strong race for the team to place 3rd in the 400, running 1:11.75. The boys event was a thrilling race, won by Gustavo Aguilera in a PR of 55.36. David Bejines ran a PR of 59.33 and Osiris Zamudio ran a PR of 1:03.42.

Silvia Amaya took 2nd for the team in the 100 in 14.69, a fairly strong time into the wind. Ace Medina and Cody Huoch went 1-2 in the boys 100, the best performance by the Comets in the event all season. Ace ran 12.09, a strong time considering the wind.

The 800m order was the same as in the 1600, with Arlet winning the event in 2:42, and Belen 3rd in 2:53, with Daisy just behind her. Nathan Bernardo won the boys event in 2:13 with Erik close behind in 2:14.

The girls 300 hurdles was another sweep for the Comets, with Valeria, Kirsten and Susie once again combining to accomplish the feat. Gustavo won the boys version of the event, and Jonathan took 3rd. Silvia placed 3rd for the team in the 200 and Aliana Santos placed 3rd, though the winds were very extreme at this point, hampering times. Ace won the boys 200, capturing the sprint double victory. He ran 24.60, narrowly missing his PR despite the wind. Misael Herrera placed 3rd in the 200.

Arlet won the girls 3200 to win the distance triple, while Valerie Flores scored her first points for the team by placing 2nd. Azael Zamora won the boys 3200 in a strong time of 10:46, while Inteus ran a PR to finish 2nd in 10:51. Mark Orpia ran a huge PR of 11:34 to go under 12 minutes for the first time, as did Melvin Estrada who ran 11:58. Hugo Marquez also ran a big PR of 12:02, narrowly missing the 12 minute barrier. Daniel Portillo ran a small PR of 13:02 to end the Comets day.

The Dons won both 4x400s, though the boys ran a seasons best 3:46.33 to finish 2nd.

The field events saw a number of strong performances for the team. In the girls long jump, Lyndel Ventura went a seasons best 14-6. Kirsten jumped a PR of 13-9.5 to finish 2nd and Elyse Elder went 13-5 for 3rd. Hadji placed 2nd in the boys long jump in 17-7. Kirsten got her first win in the triple jump with a PR of 29-4. Lyndel went 28-1 for 2nd, and Yaliza Cortez placed 3rd for the team in 26-6. Cody won the boys version of the event in a PR of 37-10 and Hadji placed 2nd in 36-6.25. Juan jumped a PR 36-3.

In her final home meet, Elyse went 4-8, a PR putting her within 2 inches of the school record. On the boys side, Ace got a new PR of 5-8 to finish 2nd. Jonathan placed 3rd in 5-4.

After her outstanding new PR of 35-8.75 at the Top 8 meet, Alejandra Ceron backed up her throw by tossing the Shot 35-0 and 34-7 to win the event. Valeria threw a new PR of 33-2. Mariah Santos threw a PR of 24-4 as did Ruth Rodriguez who threw 21-2. Audrey Nguy had a massive PR of 21-10, giving the team 3 freshmen girls above 21 feet to end the season. In the discus, Charli Chircop won the event with a throw of 101-0. Valeria was 2nd in 100-9 and Alejandra 3rd in 88-5. Ruth managed her 2nd PR of the day throwing 54- 9, as did Kiely Leal who threw 52-4.

Josh Garcia won the boys Shot Put in 37-8. Daniel Medina was 2nd, and Roger Alonzo was 3rd in a new PR of 34-4. Roger also got his first ever event win by taking the boys discus in 102-11. Alex Alonzo was 2nd in 101-0 in his final dual meet, and Daniel was 3rd in 99-11.

The team ends their regular season at this point, though a large number of Comets will advance to West Valley Division Finals next week at Overfelt. All 8 teams in the West Valley division will compete in the meet, with the top 8 in each event scoring points.

The Comets have the goal of finishing in 1st place on both sides of the meet. Dual Meets are weighed more heavily than Finals, but a 1st place finish would mean alot to the team regardless. The top 4 athletes will advance to BVAL Championships the following week.

The team will begin WV finals on Wednesday May 3rd and will hope to get PRS, BVAL qualifiers, points, and individual titles out of the meet (as well as a team title on the girls side).

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

 

3 Comets at CCS Top 8 Meet: The Rise of James Lick’s Lady Throwers

In 2014, I came on alongside a few other JL coaches to become the head coach of the James Lick track team. Early into the season, I was introduced to coach Jonathan Vela, an alumni of Prospect HS and Fresno State, who had been working as a coach for the JV football team. He offered to work  with the throwers on the team, and after speaking with him, I was very eager to have him join our staff. At the time, I was only a 20 year old coach, one of many coaches brought into to fill the coaching void at JL, utterly obsessed with building the program, and helping JL succeed as a school. I knew very little about what building the program would entail, but I knew for certain that it would require coaches who could build the right team culture, and train athletes to the best of their abilities.

For this reason, I was very excited to gain a coach in throws, the area I myself was least confident in coaching. In a short time watching Coach Vela’s results, I knew that we had a legitimate throws coach. I could not have known then, that we had just added a coach who would transform our throws program completely, (especially on the girls side). The CCS has over 150 member schools. Many of those schools have outstanding throws coaches, but only one has 3 different girls throwers who qualified for the CCS top 8 meet this year.

Valeria Cortez and Charli Chircop both qualified for the prestigious meet in the Discus, and Alejandra Ceron qualified in the Shot Put. The CCS Top 8 meet has been contested for decades, and these three are the first lady Comets on record to compete in throwing events at the meet.

Valeria and Charli both thew decent marks, though not close to their PRs. Valeria threw the disc 96-11, and Charli threw 94-1. The big result for the team came in the girls Shot Put. Alejandra had been the last girl admitted into the meet at 33-4, ranked 20th/20 girls. Her very first throw of the meet went for a massive PR of 35-8.75, establishing a school record and helping her to a 6th place finish. This makes her the first Comet to score at the Top 8 meet since Joe Amendt in 1988. In fact, Alejandra is the first female Comet to score at the Top 8 meet in school history. The accomplishment puts her in elite company, the only Comets ever to score at the CCS top 8 meet are Henry Barba, Joe Amendt, and now Alejandra Ceron. Henry and Joe both were double champions of the Top 8 meet, Henry in 100/200 and Joe in the 800/1600 but we’ll happily take the 6th place performance from Alejandra!

IMG_2318.JPG
Left to Right: Charli Chircop, Coach Vela, Valeria Cortez and Alejandra Ceron all pretend they don’t see me taking a picture of them near the Los Gatos discus ring during the Top 8 meet.

Alejandra’s mark is just the latest in a very impressive progression under the tutelage of coach Vela. The story of the girls track team is similar to the story of the girls XC team. Many of JL’s greatest achievements on the boys side came in the first 25 years of the school’s participation in track (1950-1975). This includes the school records in boys Shot Put and boys discus.

Dan Lloyd holds the Shot Put school record with a toss of 59-9 in 1972, a few years later a Comet named Webster threw 56-0.5, and Bill Pabst threw 51-0.5 in 1969.  These 3 marks stand as the best Shot Put marks in school history by quite a margin. For reference, the CCS Top 8 meet was won this year with a toss of 51-0.25 by Mountain View’s Owen Mountford.

The top 2 discus marks in school history belong to James McGhee 159-9, and Bill Pabst 149-7, both achieved in 1969. (As always, these records are based on my research of results and communication with former JL coaches and athletes, if you have any more information about past teams, please feel free to contact me). 

So while the best boys marks in school history were set in the 60s and 70s, girls were not even allowed to compete until the mid 70s. Even so, Kathy Shelby’s Shot Put school record of 34-0 was set in 1975. A few years later a Comet named Dwyer threw 89-5  in the discus to set a school record that stood until 2002. A Comet named Ward threw 96-6 that year, a standout mark in an era of overall weak teams for the Comets.

Before 2013, one Comet girl had thrown above 90 feet in discus, and one Comet girl had thrown over 32 feet in the Shot Put. In 2014, coach Vela helped Robert Rios to a massive improvement in the boys Shot Put, from 35-10 the year before, to a WVAL title in 40-3. The next year Robert threw 43-2 to win the WVAL title again, and move into 8th on the school’s all time Shot Put list.

While the boys are not throwing close to the marks of JL’s glory days in throws, the Comets of today under Vela are building up year by year, in pursuit of excellence. This is the first year that Coach Vela has had 3 boys over 100 feet in the discus for example. Given the team’s steady improvement, the team could be a force in years to come, the way that girls throwers already are.

In that 2015 season, we had two very talented freshmen join the team in Alejandra and Charli. They both showed great ability, throwing the Shot Put in the 23 foot range,and the discus in the high 50s, with essentially no prior training. By the end of that season, Alejandra threw 29-6 for Shot Put and 75-8 for Discus, while Charli threw 27-11 and 76-2. Alejandra qualified for BVAL championships as a freshmen. Charli lost most of her Sophomore year to injury, but did throw PRS of 29-1 and 79-4. Alejandra progressed to 31-9.5 in Shot Put which put her #2 on the all time list, and gave her and Coach Vela the firm goal of trying to break the school record of 34 feet. Alejandra also threw 90-10 in the girls discus to become the 2nd lady Comet to throw 90 feet in school history.

2016 saw the addition of Valeria Cortez, just to add to the riches of Vela’s dynamic duo. Valeria was as good in Shot Put as Alejandra and Charli were when they were freshmen, but better in discus. At her first HS meet she threw 25- 5 in the Shot Put and 65-10 in the discus. By the end of the season Valeria would beat both Alejandra and Charli’s freshmen marks, throwing 31-1 in the Shot Put (#5 all time at the time) and at BVAL Championships, threw a school record 99- 9.5 to make CCS trials.

The girls have reached even greater heights this season. Alejandra opened the season with a toss of 32-3 for a new PR. Charli opened her season by breaking the 80 foot barrier, and 90 foot barrier in discus with a throw of 95-11, followed by a cracking of the 30 foot barrier in the Shot Put. This years team is the first JL team ever to have 3 girls above 90 feet in discus, and 3 girls above 30 feet in the Shot Put.

A few weeks into the season, Valeria threw over 100 feet to extend her school record. The record was then taken by Charli when she threw 103-2, and then taken back by Valeria’s recent toss of 106-2. Charli and Valeria threw 32-7 and 32-5 in the Shot Put around the same time that Alejandra threw 33-4 to move ever closer to her coveted school record.

The top 8 meet would be the venue for the achievement, her mark of 35-8.75 a PR by over 2 feet. Alejandra is now ranked #2 across the entire BVAL, and should be a lock to make CCS Trials. She is also now ranked 8th in the CCS as a whole. A top 12 performance at CCS trials would advance her to CCS finals, which no Comet has qualified for since Ruth Lebeau in 2008. Valeria and Charli are currently ranked 3rd and 4th in the BVAL in the discus, putting them in an excellent position to make CCS trials as well.

IMG_2322.PNG
Alejandra preparing to throw the Shot Put. Alejandra uses the glide technique, popular among many professional Shot Put throwers.

 

The throws team is in great hands under Coach Vela and the fruits of the teams labor are paying off in this regard. With the girls 6-0 on the season, it’s been clear that James Lick is the best girls throws team in the WVAL, but it may be the very best girls throws team in the entire BVAL at this point.

The team’s three-headed monster in throws will lead the team against Del Mar next week, as the team will try to cinch it’s second consecutive undefeated season.

The team will then begin its championship season with WVAL finals. The girls will be pursuing a 1st place finish to hopefully clinch a 2nd West Valley Division championship in a row. The boys will be hard pressed to win their own title, (Independence will clinch the boys title with 2nd place at WVAL finals) but they will attempt to beat Del Mar and earn a 6-1 record, and then will try to place 1st at WVAL finals regardless of final standing.

The season is fast approaching its climax,

Thanks for reading.

-Benny Reeves

Best Girls Marks Under Coach Vela (2014-present) 

Name Grade Mark Location Date
1 Alejandra Ceron 11 35-8.75 Los Gatos 4/22/17
2 Valeria Cortez 10 32-7 Overfelt 4/1/17
3 Charli Chircop 11 32-5 Fremont 3/25/17
4 Leysmi Saldana 11 24-6 Overfelt 4/21/16
5 Karina Venegas 12 23-7 Live Oak 5/1/14
6 Mariah Santos 9 23-3 Gunderson 3/29/17
7 Arlet Miranda 10 21-0 James Lick 3/25/17
8 Ruth Rodriguez 9 20-11 James Lick 3/15/17
9 Valerie Flores 11 19-10 James Lick 4/14/16
10 Adriana Marcelino 9 19-5 James Lick 3/15/17
Name Grade Mark Location Date
1 Valeria Cortez 10 106-2 James Lick 5/15/17
2 Charli Chircop 11 103-2 De Anza 4/8/17
3 Alejandra Ceron 11 93-5 James Lick 4/12/17
4 Karina Venegas 12 74-3 James Lick 3/27/14
5 Mariah Santos 9 74-1 Fremont 3/25/17
6 Leysmi Saldana 11 72-8.50 Overfelt 5/4/16
7 Adriana Marcelino 9 65-1 James Lick 3/1/17
8 Karen Montes 12 57-11 James Lick 4/7/16
9 Valerie Flores 11 56-10 Overfelt 5/6/16
10 Audrey Nguy 9 52-7 James Lick 4/12/17

Comets Show Great Late-Season Form at Bearcat Invitational

The Comets headed up to San Mateo High School for their final invitational of the 2017 track season. In the 2 previous years, the invite has yielded many PRs for the team, and Saturday April 15th would prove no exception.

IMG_2263
Valeria Cortez on her way to winning the Frosh/Soph Girls 100 hurdles

The meet began with the Varsity boys running a 4×100. The team looked great through the first two legs but suffered a baton drop halfway through the race. The team would shake it off by the time the 100s began.

The 1600 saw PRs from virtually every Comet who ran. Denisse Calixto started the PR parade with a  6:53 clocking, taking 5 seconds off her PR. Azael Zamora ran a 6 second PR in the varsity boys race, clocking 4:40.90. Nathan Bernardo also PRd running 4:47.52. With his time, Azael moves into the team lead for best time in the 1600.

The Frosh/Soph girls 1600 was equally strong. Arlet Miranda took 4th place in 5:45, her best time since returning form injury 2 weeks ago. Belen Sanchez ran 6:12.39, a full 17 second PR. She was not the only Comet to shatter her 1600 PR on the day. Freshmen Mark Orpia ran 5:06.73 for a 13 second PR, despite leading his race for the first 1000 meters of the race. Fellow freshmen Melvin Estrada, Hugo Marquez, and Nien Tran, all ran PRs of roughly 20 seconds. Melvin ran 5:20.20, Hugo ran 5:21 and Nien ran 5:28. Hugo and Nien had never run under 5:40 for the 1600 before the race. Daniel Portillo managed a small PR of 5:52 as well.

Valeria Cortez won the Frosh/Soph girls 100 hurdles in 17.86. With this victory, she becomes the 2nd Comet of the season to be the champion of an invitational in any division. Misael Herrera ran the 400 for the team and managed a half second PR of 56.48.

Justine Austria ran a PR of 15.25 in the girls 100. Following his breakout performance in Wednesday’s dual meet, Ace Medina backed up his time with the 2nd best 100m he’s ever run, clocking 12.07. Hadji narowly missed his PR running 12.44.

The team saw more strong distance performances in the 800. Valerie Flores ran 3:03, a 6 second PR in the event.  Justine ran 2:53 for a massive PR, showing her potential as a distance runner. Arlet ran 2:32, a seasons best for 3rd place, a very encouraging performance as she continues to work towards full fitness for WVAL finals in 2 weeks.

Azael managed a 3 second PR in the 800 running 2:10.12, giving him 2 PRS on the day. Mark ran 2:24, managing a 2 second PR despite being exhausted from the 1600.Hugo ran 2:27 for a 3 second PR. Melvin and Nien ran 2:31 and 3:34 respectively, both managing a second PR on the day as well. Jose Limon ran 2:29, stepping up his efforts in rehab.

In the 300 hurdles, Kirsten Yutuc ran a PR of 56.9, as did Gustavo Aguilera running 44.67. Silvia Amaya ran a strong 200 of 31.04, barely missing her PR set on Wednesday. The boys had a very srtong day in the 200. Ace ran a new PR of 24.50. Gustavo and David Bejines did the same, running 25.50 and 25.67. Neither had run under 26 seconds before this week. Misael ended his day with a mid 25 second 200 as well.

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Comets left to right: Ace Medina, David Bejines, Gustavo Aguilera. All 3 ran 200m PRs. 

The throwing events saw an off day for the Comets, but the team still took home some big points. Valeria placed 3rd in frosh/soph Shot Put and 2nd in frosh/soph Discus even though she did not throw near her PRs. Alejandra Ceron took 2nd in the varsity girls Shot Put throwing 32-4. Daniel Medina and Mariah Santos had off days in the throws. Kiely Leal and Sandra Naranjo competed in their first invitational for the team.

The jumps held the final PRS on the day for the Comets. Jamie Vong managed a small PR of 16-10 in the long jump, and a PR of 35-3 in the triple jump. Juan Gutierrez also PRd in the triple jump, going 36-1. Kirsten Prd by more than a foot as well, going 28-8, the best mark by a lady Comet in the triple jump this season.

James Lick is now on spring break, and the team can look ahead at a quality week of work with no meets. The team will take on the Del Mar Dons on April 26th in their final dual meet of the season, before they head to WVAL finals on May 3rd. The season is reaching its climax and the team will need to be working hard to be ready for the challenges ahead.

 

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

Personal Records Abound as Comets Win Dual Over Overfelt

The Comets took on long time rival Overfelt High School on Wednesday April 12th. It was the 6th dual meet of the season, and the team entered a combined 9-1, with a 4-1 record on the boys side and a 5-0 record on the girls side. In a rare occurence these days, the wind was blowing hard as a tailwind, aiding sprinters instead of hampering them. As a result, many of the sprinters on the team blew their PRs out of the water, finally having the wind at their back instead of in their face.

The meet began with the lady Royals winning the 4×100 in 56.59. The Comet boys captured the boys 4×100 however, running a huge seasons best of 46.68. This is the first time this season that we put the team of Cody Huoch, Hadji Yono-Cruz, Misael Herrera and Ace Medina together and the results were immediate. That would not be the only big performance for the sprint group on the day.

Arlet Miranda won the 1600 in a comfortable 6:15 as she continues to work towards full fitness. Daisy Nava ran a huge seasons best of 6:21.33 for 3rd place. The boys side was hurt by the absence of Erik Olsvold. Nonetheless, Azael Zamora won the 1600 coasting home in 4:56 to win the event for the team for the 6th time this season. Inteus Lopez took 3rd.  Jose Limon ran his first race since injuring his hamstring at San Jose High to begin the season. The top sprinter to start the season, Jose contested the 1600 to work on his conditioning and test his hamstring. The event went well for him, with Jose running a 5:55 and not feeling any pain from his injury. Osman Lopez also ran a PR of 6:11.

The girls 100 hurdles saw a showdown of middle school friends and rivals Valeria Cortez of James Lick and Chrizna Milanes of Overfelt. Both competed at Ocala Middle School and achieved great success as freshmen last season. Chrizna was the WVAL champion in both hurdles events. The race was somewhat anti-climactic as Chrizna unfortunately fell on the 4th hurdle. She still managed to place 3rd, but Valeria took the race in 17.51. Susie Peterson took 2nd for the Comets in 19.30 Kirsten Yutuc ran the 1st of her 4 PRS on the day with a 19.90 in the event.

The boys side saw 3 PRS as well. Cody Huoch won the 110 Hurdles in 17.71, a small PR. Gustavo Aguilera placed 2nd and Jonathan Rodriguez 3rd, cracking the 19 second barrier for the first time, running 18.88. Luis Escamilla also ran a PR, clocking 22.18.

Arlet won the girls 400 in 1:12 and Analilia Regla took 3rd in 1:18. Valerie Flores ran a PR of 1:20 in the event as well. Nathan Bernardo was narrowly edged out in the boys 400, coming in 2nd with a seasons best time of 55.71. Mark Orpia ran an impressive debut time of 1:00.71 for the event. Hugo Marquez ran a 4 second PR of 1:04.41. Nien Tran, Melvin Estrada and Daniel Portillo all Prd as well, running 1:05.05, 1:07.48 and 1:13.66 respectively.

Silvia Amaya ran a new PR of 14.30 for the 100 to take 2nd place for the Comets. Only 3 girls ran the 100 however for a girls team that was thinned following the last grading period results. The boys side was an explosion of improvement.

Ace Medina took 2nd place in the 100, shattering his PR with a time of 11.68. Ace had never run under 12.2 prior to this race. Hadji was 3rd in a PR of 12.26. Misael was 4th in 12.30, a huge PR as well. David Bejines ran a massive PR of 12.71, as did Chris Okoro who ran 12.73. Hugo Pedrazza (13.00) , Austin Swank (13.18)  and Jaime Gomez (13.50) all ran PRs as well.

Arlet took the girls 800, giving her 3 victories on the day. Belen Sanchez took 3rd in a new PR of 2:52.11 Justine Austria made her debut in the event, running 3:09.08. Nathan won the boys 800 for the 3rd consecutive meet, cruising to a time of 2:18. Jesus Deloya scored his first point of the season in a seasons best 2:27.54.

The girls 300 hurdles saw a rematch of Chrizna and Valeria. Chrizna won the race in a seasons best 50.96. Valeria was pushed to a huge PR of 52.12 along the way. Kirsten ran 57.21 for a big PR and 3rd place, and Susie broke the 1 minute barrier for the 2nd time in her career as well. Gustavo and Jonathan combined to take 1st and 2nd in the boys 300, and Mark scored his first point for the team with a solid  50.65 clocking. Luis ran a PR of 53.41 as well.

Silvia took 3rd place for the girls with a big PR of 30.86 in the girls 200. Justine ran a PR of 31.82 as well. On the boys side, Cody ran a PR of 24.40, the best time by a Comet this season. Misael also succeeded in breaking 25 for the first time, running 24.94. David ran 25.95 to run under 26 for the first time as well. Austin (27.64) Osiris (29.26) and Jaime (29.33) also ran PRs.

Belen ran a PR to win the 3200 in 14:31.26 Daisy took 2nd in a seasons best 14:46.50. Denisse also ran a PR of 15:58.26. The boys swept the 3200 behind Azael (11:24) Nathan (11:32) and Inteus (11:35).

The Overfelt girls narrowly won the 4×400, while the Comet boys won the 4×400 in 3:52, an impressive team considering the fact that 2 ‘A’ team members were missing.

Lyndel Ventura and Kirsten took 2nd and 3rd in the girls long jump. Kirsten jumped a PR of 12-10. Hadji took 3rd for the team in the boys long jump. Lyndel won the girls triple jump with Kirsten taking 2nd in a big debut of 27-7. Cody PRd to win the boys triple jump in 37-2.50. Juan Gutierrez placed 3rd in a PR of 34-3. The Comets scored 1 point in both sides in the high jump. Justine and Jonathan were the scoring Comets.

Alejandra won the Shot Put going over 33 feet for the first time. Her toss of 33-4 inches her closer to the school record of 34-0. Valeria took 3rd in the event. Kiely Leal also PRd in the event. On the boys side, Josh Garcia won the Shot Put with a new PR of 38-11. Daniel medina took 2nd.

Valeria took her school record back from Charli Chircop with a new PR of 106-2. Alejandra took 2nd in a new PR of 93-5, and Charli took 3rd. Audrey Nguy and Kiely both threw over 50 feet for the first time.

On the boys side, Daniel took 2nd in 103-2, and Roger Alonzo scored his first point for the team with a toss of 102-2.

Overall it was a great day for the Comets with a total of 48 PRs, the most of any JL dual meet of the past 20 years. The girls won by a score of 69-58 and the boys won 80-47. The team will head up to San Mateo for their final invitational of the season this Saturday, before a hard week of training during Spring break next week.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comets Split Dual with Independence

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Adrian DeLaRosa gets into the blocks to begin the 4×100 relay. 

The James Lick Comets faced the Independence 76ers on Wednesday April 5th, in a clash of the reigning WVAL champs of 2016. The 2016 season saw the Lady Comets go 7-0 and capture the ‘C’ division title, while the Independence boys did the same thing. The team was ramped up tot ry to beat the Sixers on both sides, and we knew going in the boys side would be particularly difficult. A year ago, the 76ers won the boys side by a massive margin, 89-38. 

The meet began with the girls winning an upset victory in the 4×100. The team of Lyndel Ventura, Yeimili Adame, Silvia Amaya and Elyse Elder ran 56.96 for a huge seasons best to defeat the 76ers. The 76ers boys were a CCS finals caliber team  in the 4×100 a season ago, making them the clear favorites. A baton drop by the Comets gave Independence an easy win in under 45.64.

The girls 1600 saw more good performances by the team. Arlet Miranda won the event in 6:17, while Indy took 2nd and 3rd. Valerie Flores ran a massive PR of 6:44.93 after never having broken 7:00 before. Analilia Regla went under the barrier for the first time as well, running 6:57.32. Denisse Calixto ran 7:05.07 for a PR as well.

The boys 1600 was a fascinating race. The leading runners were on pace for around a 5:08 1600 with one lap to go before the field kicked in hard for a very competitive last lap. Erik Olsvold won the race in 4:57.93, Azael Zamora was 2nd in 4:58.40 and Isiah Tulio of Independence was 3rd in 4:58.51, edging out Nathan Bernardo by less than .01 second. Mark Orpia ran a PR of 5:19.07 in the race, as did Osiris Zamudio who ran 5:39.55.

Valeria Cortez ran 17.50 to win the 100 hurdles, the fastest time any JL girl has run on our (generally windy) track for the 100 hurdles in recent memory. Susie Peterson ran a solid 19.66 to take 2nd. Kirsten Yutuc matched her PR of 20.36 as well. The bosy race was disappointing for the team, hoping for a 2-3 finish, the team could only net a 3rd place finish with Cody Huoch placing in 18.76. Jonathan Rodriguez barely missed his PR despite the wind, running 19.22. Luis Escamilla made his debut in the event, running 24.83.

The girls 400 saw the debut of Yeimili in the event. She won with a time of 1:08.75, the fastest time by a lady Comet this season. Kirsten picked up a point for the team in 3rd place. The boys 400 was another win for Independence in an event the Comets dearly wanted. The team gave it all they had however, with Gustavo Aguilera running 56.55 and Misael Herrera running 56.97, both PRs. Silvia Amaya ran 15.08 in the girls 100 to take 2nd place for the Comets, a strong performance in the wind. Justine Austria made her debut in the event, running a solid 15.78. Cody and Ace Medina did all they good but were unable to net points for the team in the 100. Cody’s time of 12.50 into our wind indicates tome however that he is nearly ready to break 12. For reference, Indy’s 2nd and 3rd best runners, Marc Caliboso and Isiah Fimbrez ran 12.47 and 12.50, after both broke 12 seconds just a week ago at Indy’s track.

Arlet won her 2nd event of the day with a victory in the girls 800 in 2:50. Belen Sanchez ran a PR of 2:56.22 and Daisy Nava ran 2:56.71 to complete the sweep. The boys side was very similar to the boys 1600. Nathan, Erik and Azael competed very hard to try to complete a sweep but Isiah Tulio managed to scrape 3rd place from Azael by .43. Nathan and Erik combined to go 1-2. Daniel Portillo ran a small PR of 2:50.69.

By this time, several field event results had come in. The girls discus was a sweep for the Comets (as it usually is) with Charli Chircop throwing 101-2 to take the school record from teammate Valeria Cortez. Valeria took 2nd in 94-3 and Alejandra Ceron took 3rd in 89-6. The boys discus was won by Anthony of Independence with a toss of 114-4.50. The Comets were only able to manage a 3rd place throw from Daniel Medina of 100-7. The girls took 2nd place in the long jump behind Lyndel who jumped 14-1, and Yaliza Cortez managed a new PR of 13-3 as well. Kirsten made her HS debut in the event jumping 12-3.50. On the boys side, strong Indy jumper Marc went 20-8 for the win. Hadji Yono-Cruz took 3rd for the team in 18-0. The team also saw PRs from several jumpers. Juan Gutierrez and Jamie Vong both went 16-9 despite never having cracked 16 feet before. Jose Garcia also managed a PR of 15-5. Elyse Elder won the girls high jump for the team in 4-6, matching her PR. Justine scored points for the team for the first time by clearing 3-10 in the high jump as well.

At this point in the meet the scores were:

Boys:  45-23 Independence

Girls: 54-20 James Lick

While the girls were only 10 points from the magic number of 64 the boys had some serious catching up to do. The girls inched closer to clinching victory with a win in the 300 hurdles. Valeria ran a huge PR of 54.38 to win the race. Susie Peterson also Prd in 59.16 breaking the 1 minute barrier for the very first time. She and Indy runner Vivian Ho were so close for 3rd that we had to call the race a dead heat and split the 3rd point. The boys 300 hurdles was the race of the day on a day of great races. Cody managed to win the race for the team in a PR of 44.75, and Gustavo was 2nd in 44.76. Indy hurdler Julio Santillan was 3rd in 44.79. Jonathan ran a seasons best 47.51 and Luis ran a PR of 54.73.

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Cody Huoch, Julio Santillan and Gustavo Aguilera clear the final hurdle of the 300 hurdles in an intense race to the line. 1st and 3rd were separated by .05. (Youtube video below)

Yeimili and Silvia ran PRs in the 200 of 30.70 and 31.74, clinching a victory for the Comet girls. Justine debuted in 33.27 for the event as well. Ace managed a point for the team in the boys 200, competing well against the strong Indy sprinters. Arlet picked up her 3rd victory of the day in the 3200, cruising to the win in 13:59. Analilia picked up 3rd in a big PR of 15:37.81 and Valeria also PRd running 15:46.18.

The boys finally got their distance sweep in the 3200. Erik ran a 11:04 to win the event, with Azael and Inteus Castro-Lopez takng 2nd and 3rd in 11:20 and 11:25 respectively. Mark made his debut in the event and ran 12:15.66 and Osman Lopez ran a PR of 14:29.

The triple jump results came in next. Lyndel picked up the win on the girls side with a seasons best 28-6. Yaliza managed a PR of 27-0. On the boys side, Ace and Cody took 2nd and 3rd place in the triple jump. Jose managed a huge PR of 34-9 and Jamie and Juan both went 34-0 for the first time to conclude a very strong day for the horizontal jumpers.

Alejandra threw a new PR of 32-8 to win the Shot put. Valeria and Charli completed the sweep. Audrey Nguy threw a PR of 18-7 for the team, as did Sandra Naranjo in 15-3.  The boys were helped enormously by an upset win in the Shot put. Josh Garcia threw 38-8.50 to win the event in a new PR. Daniel placed 3rd in 36-10 to pick up a needed point as well. Alex Alonzo threw a PR of 36-3, as did Rogelio Alonzo who threw 33-1.50.

With only the High Jump and the 4×400 remaining, the girls had clinched victory but the boys scores stood at

Indy: 62  JL: 51

Much closer than the scores were halfway through the meet. To win the meet, the Comets would have to take 1st in the 4×400 and take 1st and 2nd in the boys high jump. The team of Misael, Erik, Nathan and Gustavo combined for a seasons best 3:48.05 to win the event and make the score 62-56. The girls team won as well to make the final score on the girls side 88.5-38.5.

The team gave it all they could in the high jump with all 3 Comet boys matching or bettering their PRs. Jonathan and Ace both went above the bar at 5-6 and Juan cleared the bar at 5-2. Unfortunately for the team, Indy’s top jumper Dillon cleared the bar at 5-8 to seal a boys victory for the Sixers.

The final score on the boys side was 67-60. When considering Track scores, it is important to remember that track points are calculated out of a total available number (127 in a WVAL dual meet). Therefore the 7 point margin of victory is more like a 3.5 point margin. Any one event could have swung the meet.

Just to use one example, James So of Indy ran 55.48 in the 400, the first Indy sprinter to run under 58 seconds (based on Athletic-net records) this season. Had James ran 57.00, and the Comet times stayed the same, the final score would be 64-63 James Lick.

The team was disappointed to fall to 4-1 on the boys side, but the team competed as hard as they could, and most importantly, they made the 76ers earn the meet win, rather than losing the meet with poor performances. I for one am very proud of our season to this point, and we can still look ahead at improving on our 5-2 boys record from last season.

On a final note, the meet was contested with a lot of intensity, but also a very high caliber of sportsmanship. Both teams exuded a desire to win, but did not sacrifice an ounce of class or respect in pursuit of that victory. A tip of the hat to both teams for the supportive atmosphere of the meet, and best luck to the 76ers the rest of the way. (We’ll be gearing up to try to outscore them on both sides at WVAL finals nonetheless).

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

Reigning WVAL Champs to Clash on Wednesday: James Lick Vs Independence Dual Meet

Note for Athletes: Use the following link to register for the meet. We will be attempting to create a meet program prior to the meet. Make sure to  register for your events (discuss with your coaches first) before 9PM on Tuesday Night.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScF2mOAOjdIlMDO4a0Dj4zdYaS22TyflggKJNkdSZqJKaVXzw/viewform?c=0&w=1

The 2016 season saw two East Side Teams as champions of the WVAL (‘C’ division). The James Lick Comets won the WVAL title on the girls side, and the Independence 76ers won the boys title.

The teams figure to be two of the top teams in the WVAL, James Lick will put their combined 8-0 record on the line (4-0 on both sides) while Independence enters with a combined 7-1 record after losing a close dual meet with Del Mar on the girls side last week.

While the lady Comets will attempt to repeat their victory from a year ago, the Comets on the boys side will have to be firing on all cylinders to beat a team that handed them a decisive 89-38 point victory a year ago. The 76ers boys were dominant throughout 2016, scoring 160 points at WVAL finals, with no other team coming within 40 points of their total, (James Lick scored 76 points at finals last year).

Part of the 76ers strength is in their depth, they have no significant weakness in any event group. Particularly strong athletes are leading jumper Marc Caliboso and leading sprinter Brandon Quan. Brandon is the top returning 100/200m sprinter in the WVAL from 2016, with a current seasons best of 11.47 in the 100m dash. Marc is the WVAL’s top returning horizontal jumper, consistently going near 20 feet in the long jump and 40 feet in the triple jump.

The team has their heart set on continuing their undefeated season, and both teams are sure to bring all they have on Wednesday.

The current forecast for meet day is 78 degrees and partly cloudy. Get ready Comets, an exciting dual meet is just days away!

-Benny Reeves