4 Comets Compete at CCS Trials 1 Comet on to Finals

It was a very hot day at Gilroy High School on Saturday May 20th for the CCS (Central Coast Section) semifinals competition. The CCS is made up of 8 different leagues in track, with roughly 150 member schools. These days, qualification works in the following format:

Each of the 8 leagues has their own league championship which serves as a qualifying meet. Each league advances a certain number of athletes to CCS trials, these numbers are based on the size of the league. The BVAL is the largest league at 24 schools, so the top 8 athletes from BVAL finals advance to CCS. The WCAL (West Catholic Athletic league, containing teams like Bellarmine and Valley Christian) gets 6 CCS qualifications. The same goes for the SCVAL (teams like Los Gatos and Palo Alto). The smaller leagues like the SCCAL (Santa Cruz Athletic League) only get two CCS qualifiers.

Altogether, 32 athletes compete at CCS trials in each event. It is possible for an event to have more than 32, in the rare case that an athlete achieved the CCS qualifying mark/time in their event without achieving the necessary place at their league finals, though this is very rare. Some league are stronger than others even with the adjustments for population, so some CCS qualifications are stronger than others. In any case, hundreds and in some cases thousands of athletes in the CCS alone contest each event every season, and being one of the final 32 athletes competing at CCS trials is a tremendous honor.

According to my records, over the many years of James Lick track, the Comets have had 120 different CCS competitions from 69 different athletes. Several of the Comets this year deserve distinction however.

The meet began with the Girl’s Shot Put. Alejandra Ceron and Valeria Cortez both competed, the 5th and 6th James Lick Shot Put competitions at the section meet (the 2nd and 3rd on the girls side). Alejandra threw 34-2 and Valeria threw 32-11. This is the first time that two James Lick Shot Put throwers made CCS in the same year. Alejandra placed 18th and Valeria placed 23rd, solid mid-pack placings for both girls. They entered the meet ranked 19th and 25th respectively, so both out performed their rank slightly. In the field events and distance events, the top 12 athletes advance to CCS Finals on May 26th, while in the lane events, the top 8 do the same.

Valeria went from the Shot Put to the 100 hurdles. She competed very well here, placing 19th in 16.93, running into a headwind. Valeria’s PR of 16.75 would likely not have been wind legal if the WVD meet had a wind gauge. This is her 2nd ever sub 17 second clocking, and the fact that she ran it into a headwind is  a very encouraging end to her season. She qualified in the event after not coming close to CCS last year. She was ranked 25th entering the meet, so her 19th place performance exceeded expectations.

Arlet competed in the 800 next, and many distance runners were wilting in the cloudless 90+ degree heat. Arlet competed very well however, running 2:29.06 to place 25th overall.  She was ranked last in her heat and 29th overall, but immediately put herself in the middle of the pack, and beat several girls from her heat. The last 100 meters saw her very close to a PR and school record, but she struggled over the final stretch, a very impressive end to her season in my book considering how much time was spent battling injury this season.

Arlet Miranda (3rd from right) approaching 200 meters in the 3rd heat of the 800m


The Girls discus was the final event for the team on the day. It has been the team’s best event all season. The team scored 62/63 possible dual meet points in the girls discus this West Valley season. They swept the WVD finals with a 1-2-3 performance, and added a 7th place scoring as well. They placed 3rd, 4th and 8th at BVAL finals to send 4 girls to CCS in the same event for the first time in school history. Very few teams can boast 3 athletes in a single event at CCS trials. Essentially 3 of the top 32 athletes out of over 600 CCS athletes this year, go to James Lick.

Alejandra Ceron managed a small PR of 95-11, placing 26th. Another good performance considering she entered ranked 30th. Valeria Cortez was the team’s lone CCS qualifier last year, placing 22nd in the girls discus with a throw of 99-5. She improved upon that performance, throwing 105-4 for 18th place. Valeria is the first Comet athlete in school history on either side to compete in 3 different individual events at the sectional meet. She placed 18th in the girls discus, 19th in the 100 hurdles and 23rd in the Shot Put, an asset to any team, Valeria is quite clearly our strongest overall athlete for her versatility.

Alejandra Ceron (Left) and Charli Chircop (right) preparing for the girls discus 


The performance of the day came from Charli Chircop however. Entered at 18th after a PR of 106-0 last week, Charli began her competition poorly with a throw out of sector. Her 2nd throw was better, though still not near her best, landing around 83 feet. Her 3rd throw was fantastic, a toss of 108-8 to take the school record from Valeria by 4 inches. She improved on the record with her 4th and final throw of 109-4. Charli would need every inch of this throw as girls continued to compete. When all was said and done, Charli sat in 12th place with her 109-4 toss, the final qualification spot for CCS finals was hers. 13th place had a best throw of 109-3.

Azael Zamora, Arlet Miranda and Alejandra Ceron “watching” Charli and Valeria in the discus 

Charli has improved her discus PR by nearly 30 feet this system, a testament to Coach Vela and how much he has grown as a coach over the past 4 seasons as well.

Charli will compete next Friday at Gilroy HS at CCS Finals, the first Comet since Ruth Lebeau in 2008 (Ruth advanced to the State Meet in the triple jump that year). Charli will be the 26th Comet to compete at CCS finals and only the 4th girl to do so.

Very proud of her season.

A recap of her performance at CCS finals will follow soon.

If you have an interest in reading a general recap of the meet, citing particularly impressive performances from other schools at CCS finals, please comment indicating this. I’d be happy to do so, just not sure how interested you readers are in the general quality of the meet.

Thanks for reading!

-Benny Reeves


James Lick Track officially in season

The Distance team on a run in Rancho San Antonio Park 


The James Lick Track season is officially underway now. The team is now practicing every day at 3:45 at the track. The team will not have a meet until they take to the final Los Gatos All-comers meet on February 25th, and their official first meet will be the following Saturday at the Willow Glen Invitational.

To kick off the start of official practice, the Comets ran time trials to assess the fitness of the team heading into the season.

Traditionally we have done a time trial immediately after conditioning ends to see our athletes baseline. This trial is contested without spikes, without blocks, and without any race prep. As a result, we do not expect anyone to even run near their PRs, but our hope is that athletes will be well ahead of where they were at a year ago. We also look to gain an idea of the natural ability of new athletes.

We started with an 800m time trial for the distance team. Erik Olsvold lead the group with a time of 2:11, an outstanding time for this early in the season. This is only  few seconds off of Erik’s PR of 2:08, despite the fact that his PR came in a race with faster athletes, where he’d been racing for months. Erik will very likely beat his PR on his first attempt this season, and is poised for a very big season following his phenomenal XC season. Nathan also ran well, clocking 2:17 without spikes, compared to his 2:17 official season opener in 2016 at the Willow Glen invitational. Gustavo Parra ran 2:22, also matching his official season opener from the Willow Glen invite in 2016. This shows that the teams top 3 800m runners are all well ahead of where they were a season ago, and that team yielded 3 top 8 placings at WVAL finals for the team.

Azael Zamora and Inteus Castro-Lopez ran despite battling minor injuries. Arlet Miranda ran a very strong time of 2:40, better than her season opener at willow glen a year ago. Arlet should have a very good chance at taking all 3 of Daniela Camacho’s school records this season.

Jerricho Habon, Hugo Marquez, Melvin Estrada and Daniel Portillo all ran the event for the very first time. They came in with times of 2:47, 2:49, 2:52 and 2:55. Sonia Jaracuro and Karen Amaya wrapped up the distance trial for the team in 4:06 and 4:10 respectively.

The team contested 4 100m heats next. In order to win a WVAL title on both sides, this group will be critical to the team’s success, particularly on the boys side. Despite the lack of blocks or spikes, two athletes managed to run under 13 seconds for the 100 with a 3rd runner at 13.1. Both Dedriel (OT) Muaava and Jose Limon ran times in the 12.90s and Gustavo Aguilera was not far behind. This gives the team 3 boys faster than the team’s #1 runner at last years conditioning time trial.

A clump of athletes came in together next, with Misael Herrera leading the group at 13.50. David Bejines, Calvin Wyrick, Jose Garcia and Noah Tirir all came in together in the 13.5-13.7 range, despite several of these athletes running in sweats. Rhyan Munoz ran 13.8 to finish off the group of sub 14-second athletes.

On the girls side freshmen Kristen Yutuz impressed running 14.80 in sweats. Elyse Elder was next in 15.50 with Silvia Amaya in 15.80. Susie Peterson and Aliana Santos also ran solid time of 16.20.

Quite a few other athletes competed in the 100m time trial, before moving on to other workouts. It has not been uncommon for athletes to run a full second faster by the seasons end than they do at this early season time trial.

Just last season, Adrian DelaRosa ran 13.70 at this time trial, and went on to run 12.41 by seasons end.

With a base of times down, the Comets will look to build on their times in pursuit of a double WVAL championship this season.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

James Lick Track 2016 Season Summary

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


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

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

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



Boys scoring by Event 2016


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Girls Scoring by Event 2016



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading and supporting JLXCTF



WVAL Finals Day 1 Recap

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


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

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

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

Alejandra Ceron after releasing the Shot Put 



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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



Comets have Strong Showing at Bearcat Invitational

Azael Zamora leading the Frosh/Soph 1600

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

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

Alejandra Ceron after releasing the Shot Put

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Comets Get Huge PRS Following Spring Break


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Comets Extend Record to Combined 6-0


The James Lick Track team took to Morgan Hill to take on the perennially strong Live Oak Acorns. The team entered with 2-0 records for both the boys and girls, and with a win, knew they could start 6-0 for the first time on over a decade.

The meet began with some stellar performances in the field events. Nathan Bernardo, returning to the site of his freshmen year BVAL jumps qualification, seemed to capitalize on his nostalgia, jumping 18-7 for Long Jump, and 38-3 for Triple jump to win both events (all jumps marks are edited to account for a lowered landing pit). Hadji Yono-Cruz had his best day jumping in high school, taking 2nd with marks of 17-8 in long jump and 38-10 in Triple. Chris Okoro scored his first point for the team long jumping 16-2, while teammate Adrian De LaRosa 16-0, and Manuel Villalobos 15-6 achieved PRS as well. Manuel helped complete the 3rd straight triple jump sweep by the team to open the season, going 31 feet.

On the girls side, Lyndel Ventura had the best meet of her life. She filled in admirably for the injured Elyse Elder, clearing 4-2 in high jump for 2nd place. She then broke two huge barriers, jumping 15-4 in long jump and 30-0.50 in triple jump. Lynden is now the school’s #2 triple jumper all time, and the 6th girl in school history to jump 15 feet for long jump. Crystal Nguyen had a strong meet as well, jumping 13-7.50 for a small PR in long jump and 27-4 for a seasons best in Triple Jump.


Charli Chircop, returning from injury had a huge day, winning Shot Put and Discus in PRS of 29-1 and 79-4 respectively. Valeria Cortez took 2nd in both events, with a Shot Put PR of 28-7, and a strong discus mark of 78-6. Alejandra had a rough day in comparison, though she took 3rd in Shot Put with a seasons best of 28-2. Valerie Flores threw a discus PR of 46-4, and Leysmi Saldana threw 20-1 and 50-1 in her Track debut.

The boys had a tough day competing against a Strong Live Oak boys side. Daniel Medina managed 2nd in Shot Put with a toss of 33-8, and Alex Alonzo threw 32-1 for a PR for 4th. Josh Garcia also threw a solid 30-6 in his Shot Put debut. Nathan Rios netted a small PR of 22-2 and continued to achieve steady improvement.

Alex had a huge day in discus, throwing 101- 5 to break the 100 foot barrier for the first time. Alex becomes the 3rd member of the 100 foot discus club under the team’s throws coach, Coach Vela, in only three years. This is especially impressive considering that in the 3 years prior to Coach Vela’s arrival, no Comet threw even 80 feet for the event. Daniel managed a small PR of 83-8 and Nathan threw a big PR of 62 feet as well.

The running events kicked off with both relay teams struggling, losing to strong Acorn teams. The girls 1600 was won by standout BVAl athlete Kaylah Grant, though Elizabeth Guevara and Daisy Nava filled in for 2nd and 3rd. Carl Manzanres ran a PR of 6:47 for the event as well.

The boys distance side had a true show of force, sweeping the 1600 without top runner Nathan. Erik Olsvold won the race with a PR of 5:07 while Azael Zamora and Hector Ramirez crushed in behind for 2nd and 3rd. The hurdlers on both sides achieved sweeps as well. Andrea Ortiz lead the girls sweep in 18.40, a PR by .01. Maria Mendoza and Valeria took 2nd and 3rd. On the boys side, Hadji won in a small PR of 18.88. Hadji is making more progress towards a 3 step stride pattern event meet. Gustavo Aguilera ran 19.69 for 2nd, a huge pr and Jonathan Rodriguez placed 3rd in just outside of 20 seconds.

Arlet Miranda ran a PR of 1:06.80 to win the girls 400. Fellow Freshmen Jackie Landa follow her in 2nd, showcasing the team’s youth and strength. On the boys side, Nathan managed a single point for 3rd place, running  57 second lap. The 100 meter runners saw tough competition from the acorns, getting swept in the girls 100. Even so, the team netted several PRS with Liliana Diaz running 14.65, Belen Sanchez running 15.35, Susie Peterson running 15.78 and Aliana Santos running 16.30. Jesse Chircop placed 3rd in the boys race with a small PR of 12.43. Adrian managed a solid PR of 12.69. Misael Herrera also ran a strong PR of 12.80. Bryan Cuevas, and Chirs both ran solid PRS of 13.35 and 13.55 respectively, as did Isaak Herrera in 14.06.

Arlet took 2nd place behind Kaylah Grant in the girls 800, and Raquel Rodriguez ran her best high school 800 of 2:57 for 4th place. The boys distance team managed their 2nd sweep of the day, with hector winning the 800. Jesus Deloya took 2nd and Gustavo Parra 3rd. Maria and Andrea repeated their 1-2 success in the 2nd hurdle event, this time with Maria taking the win and Andrea placing 2nd. In the boys race, Gustavo Aguilera placed 2nd in a low 47, with Jonathan taking 3rd in a seasons best of 50 seconds.

Andrea ended her day with a very strong 2nd place in the 200.  She ran 29.54 for a seasons best in the process. Lilliana ran a very strong debut  of 30.45 and Jackie managed a PR of 31.67 as well. On the boys side, Misael ran a strong PR of 26.17, while Jesse ran a PR of 26.28 for 3rd. Adrian ran a huge PR of 26.95 as well.

Both boys and girl steams swept the 3200, with Azael, Hector and Inteus Castro-Lopez working together to achieve the feat on the boys side, while Eli, Carla and Analilia Regla did the same on the girls side.

The team ended the meet with the 4×400 team of Maria, Raquel, Jackie and Arlet running 4:49 for the teams sole relay win on the day.

The final scores of the meet were:

67-59 for the won on the boys side, and 82-43 for the win on the girls side. As has been discussed, a league title on the girls side is looking like well within the teams grasp, as the team has opened the season with three dominant performances.

The team will send a group of athletes to compete in the Firebird Relays Saturday, and then will get a hard week of training in during spring break. The team will then enjoy its next dual meet at home on April 7th against the local rival Independence 76ers. The 76ers look to be very strong on the boys side, and the team will need to prepare well to keep their undefeated season alive.







Comets Open WVAL Season with double victory over Gunderson






On March 10th, James Lick played host to the Gunderson Grizzlies for the Comets first league meet of the 2016 season. Gunderson came in with momentum, having dispatched Overfelt decisively the week before.

The meet kicked out with the 4×100 relays. Gunderson won both the girls and boys relays, in times of 46.9 and 57.2 respectively. The Grizzlies are typically strong in sprints and relays. Next up the distance runners took to the track trying to cut into the Gunderson lead. After much deliberation, we decided that following her excellent XC season Maria Mendoza would do distance training this track season. She played the part winning the 1600 in 6:02 and Elizabeth Guevara came in 3rd in a time of 6:21, a 2 second PR. Raquel Rodriguez placed 5th in 6:45, a 3 second PR.

The boys had a very strong showing with Nathan Bernardo and Hector Ramirez dictating the race. They took the field through in a relatively slow first half mile of 2:40, then dropped a 2:29 second half to finish together at 5:09. Azalea Zamora narrowly missed 3rd place in a 9 second PR of 5:12. Erik Olsvold 5:18, Inteus Castro-Lopez 5:25 and Jesus Deloya 5:26, also started the season with solid miles.

The team took advantage of Gunderons weakness in hurdles. Andrea Ortiz, Susie Peterson and Valeria Cortez swept the event. Andrea is adjusting to a new stride pattern and rode it to a solid time of 18.75.

The boys swept the 110 hurdles as well with Hadji Yono-Cruz, Gustavo Aguilera and Jonatahn Rodriguez taking the points. Josue Marcello ran a pr of 23.94 in 5th place despite falling down. Jackie Landa ran a very strong debut 400 time of 1:11.25 for 2nd place in the girls 400. The boys 400 was swept by a strong Gunderson contingent.

Andrea and Karen Montes took 1st and 3rd in the 100m with times of 14.20 and 14.65, PRS for both girls. Freshmen Liliana Diaz ran a very strong 14.85 despite not having track spikes. Jackie and fellow freshmen Belen Sanchez ran small 100m press of 15.47 and 15.65 respectively. Ariana Santos also had a strong PR of 16.70, running under 17 for the first time. Mamarya Morfin and Elizabeth Perez both ran under 19 seconds for the first time this season.

Freshmen Adrian DeLaRosa was the team’s top performer in the 100m dash, placing 3rd in a time of 12.94. Austin Swank had a sizable PR of 13.55 as did Isaak Herrera who ran 14.34. Chris Okoro and Bryan Guavas made their debuts over the distance in 13.72 and 13.78, and Jaime Gomez ran over a second faster than at last weeks mini meet, clocking 14.80. Former Comet, Davion Thomas, won the 100 in 11.89 for the Grizzlies.

The team asserted themselves again in the 800m. Arlet Miranda and Daisy Nava coasted to victory in 2:53, holding hands across the finish line. On the boys side, Nathan ran a very strong even split 2:13.15 to hold off a hard charging Gunderson runner. Gustavo Parra placed 4th in a season best of 2:19 and Erik Olsvold ran a pr of 2:25 in the same race.

Andrea  won the 300 hurdles in 52.35 a very strong dual meet time. Susie took 3rd in 1:04. Andrea has her sights set on the league title over 300 meters. On the boys side, Gustavo A narrowly lost to Gundersons best 300 hurdler in 50.30. Jesse Chircop placed 3rd, and Josue ran 53.6 for 5th place in his 300 hurdle debut.

Maria returned from her victory in the 1600 to win the 200 in 29.33. Andrea placed 3rd in 29.9 to give the team their first two sub 30 200s of the year. Karen ran a strong PR of 31.04 for 5th place. The boys side witnessed the second sprint sweep by Gunderson on the day. Isaak managed a PR of 30.24.

Meanwhile the Comets were having a field day in the field events. On the girls side, the team outscored Gunderson 38-6 in Field events. Lynden Ventura won both horizontal jumps, with Elyse Elder and Crystal Nguyen coming in next for a sweep in triple jump. Elyse also placed 2nd in long jump and won the high jump with a clearance of 4-4.

Hadji lead a sweep of the Triple jump at 34-4. Hector, desperately seeking triple jump glory placed 2nd in 31 feet and Manuel Villalobos scored a point with a PR of 30-4. Hadji also placed 3rd in Long Jump which was won by former Comet Davion Thomas. Adrian had a solid PR of 14-7 for 4th. One of the most pivotal victories of the day was Jonathan winning the high jump in a  close battle at 5-2. He was aided by the good sportsmanship of Gunderson head coach Joseph Miclette, who gave Jonathan key tips despite not being his coach.

The throwers pulled their weight as well. Alejandra Ceron threw 28 feet, a seasons best to win the Shot Put. fast rising teammate Valeria threw 27-2 for a new PR to place second. In the discus the results were flipped with Valeria wining in a big PR of 76-5, and Alejandra taking 2nd in 71 feet. Valerie Flores managed a small PR of 40 feet as well.

On the boys side, Daniel Medina had a big seasons best of 34-10 to place second in Shot Put. Pablo Segovia took 3rd with a throw of 31-2.50. Osman Lopez managed a small PR of 25-11 and would go o to throw a strong PR in discus of 70 feet. The boys came up strong in discus, sweeping the event. Pablo lead the group with a big breakthrough throw of 105-5.50 beating his PR of 98-1 from league finals 2015. Josh garcia and Alex Alnzo filled in behind him at 87-6 and 86-5 respectively. The team looks likely to have three boys above 90 feet for the first time in years.

The Girls 3200 had a miscue, where all but one girl only ran 7 laps. Elizabeth and Raquel were 1st and 3rd for the 7 lap run, but a Gunderson girl who finished the race was credited with the win. On the boys side, with the meet 55-57 in Favor of Gunderson, the trio of Hector, Azael, and Inteus swept the 3200 to put the team at 64 points and clinch victory. The Gunderson boys won the 4×400 making the final score a very tight 64-62 victory for the Comets. the girls side won the 4×400 rounding up their day with a decisive 87-35 victory, leaving several more points from the 3200 on the table.

The Comets started their season just how they wanted to, with a pair of victories and a great overall performance, both on the track and as meet hosts. The distance runners will take to the TKA distance carnival Saturday, and the team will head to Del Mar next Saturday to try to extend their record to 2-0.

Comets Take to Los Gatos All Comers for Final Pre-Season Tuneup

13 Comets made the journey to the tradition Los Gatos all comers meet this Saturday. The team used the low-key meet to tune-up and test their fitness to start the season, with very encouraging results. Several Comets were able to achieve PRS despite the fact that their season will not begin officially until next Saturday at the Willow Glen Invitational.

The meet began with Gustavo Aguilera contesting the 800m. Despite being fresh out of soccer season, Gustavo ran a small PR in 2:18.27, a very encouraging early season performance. Next the team saw Arlet Miranda competing in her first high school 800m race. Teammate Hector Ramirez paced her through the first lap at 1:17 and Arlet trudged on to run a 2:41.69. This is 6 seconds better than her middle school PR and places her 6th on the girls all time 800m list.

Misael Herrera and Manuel Villalobos got their first track experience contesting the 100m and 200m races. They ran times of 13.02 and 14.36  respectively for the 100, and 26.78 and 29.42 for 200. Both athletes look stronger than they did when they first joined track, with Misael especially having made dramatic progress. Coach Steve has had a very string impact on the teams sprinters already.Gustavo joined them in the 100m and ran 12.95 to be the first comet under 13 this season.

Meanwhile the throwers were getting some early season marks in shot put and Discus. Isaias Castrejon threw 18’2″ in Shot put using a 16 pound ball (4 pounds heavier than the high school weight). Alex Alonzo has shown tremendous improvement. He began last season with marks of 25′ in Shot put and 58 feet in Discus. He was able to end the season at 31′ exactly and 78′ in discus. He managed to start this season by matching his PR of 31′ and throwing 91’1″ in discus to shatter his PR. Alex looks to be  a factor in the WVAL this season. Alejandra Ceron, had strong early season PRS of 27’9″ and 71’2″, showing she is also well ahead of where she last year at her first meet, where she could only throw 21 feet.

Next on the ledger the boys distance crew contested the 5000m run as strength training. Nathan ran a fairly comfortable 17:54, unleashing a potent 33 second final 200 to finish the race. Hector Ramirez followed him in at 18:20, a strong performance for the athlete fresh out of soccer. Hector passed through 3200 at 11:30, while last season he started the year with a 3200 of 11:44. Guillermo Villalobos, 19:14, Inteus Castro-Lopez, 19:31 and Jesus Deloya 20:03 rounded up the distance day, and will have no trouble competing in the 3200 following the trying 5000m run.

The Comets rounded up their day with Gustavo Aguilera contesting and winning the 300 hurdles. He did so in a small PR of 48.74, beating the 48.93 PR he set last year at the end of the season.

The James Lick track team looks ahead to next week where they will bring greater numbers to the Willow Glen Invitational for their fruit official meet of the year.

James Lick Track 2015 Season Summary


The 2015 Track season was a colossal step forward for the team. Not since 2002 had either the boys or girls teams have a winning record. In 2015 the boys went 4-3 and the girls went 6-1. In past seasons the most athletes from James Lick who qualified for BVAL championships was 5 in 2014. In 2015 13 athletes qualified to compete at BVAl championships. The last time the Comets had more than 1 athlete qualify for CCS trials was 2003, in 2015 5 athletes accomplished the feat. Robert Rios in boys shot put, Paloma Contreras in girls 400, Daniela Camacho in girls 800, Andrea Ortiz in girls 300h and Davion Thomas in boys 200.

The comets were a surprise in the WVAL for how quickly they turned from a last place team, to a team to be reckoned with. The additions of Coach John Quasarano, and the larger role of Coach John Vela were huge in developing and recruiting athletes. The 2015 season saw the team dramatically improved in many areas.

It had been exceedingly rare for the team to have more than one athlete score in an event at WVAL finals as only the top athletes in the league score. This year however, two athletes scored in girl’s long jump, girl’s shot put, girl’s 100h, girl’s 300h, girl’s 400 girl’s 3200, boy’s 1600, and boy’s 3200 with 4 girls scoring in the girl’s 800! The team had two individual league champions this year, with Robert Rios winning the boy’s shot put and Paloma Contreras winning the girl’s 400.

The boys top 10 all time list is a difficult list to crack in most events, since it has 65 years of athletes competing. This year however, several additions were made, whereas none were made since 2009. Davion made it onto 10th in the boys 100 list with a wind aided time of 11.42, (converted to 11.48 wind legal). He made 8th place in the 200 list with a wind legal 23.19 at BVAL championships for both times. Karan ran his way onto the boy’s 3200 8th place with a time of 10:23.00 at WVAL Finals. Robert Rios also achieved 8th place in the boy’s Shot Put with a throw of 43-2 inches at WVAL Finals. The 300 hurdles, being a more modern event allowed Gustavo Aguilera to move into 10th at 48.93 and Jon Rodriguez into 7th at 47.34.

The girl’s lists were largely re-written as this was the closest the team has ever come to winning a Track league title on the girl’s side. Maria Mendoza, Paloma and Andrea are now 7th 8th and 10th respectively with Maria at 28.73 for the team’s seasons best. Paloma moved into 3rd on the team’s 400m list with her PR of 1:02.54. Daniela Camacho, Cierra Gutierrez, Maria Mendoza and Gabriela Aguilar are 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th respectively.

Daniela had a historic season in which she set school records in multiple events. She is the best 800m runner in school history with a time of 2:27.64. Paloma moved up to 4th with a time of 2:37.14. Brianna Flores, Maria, Daisy Nava and Cierra  hold spots 6-10 now. The 1600 is lead by another school record by Daniela: 5:27.54. Brianna moved into 6th by taking her PR from 6:51 to 6:13 this season. Cierra is now 8th at 6:18. Daniela holds the school record for 3200 at 12:18.09. Brianna is 5th at 13:46.

Maria and Andrea are now 4th and 6th on the 100h list. Andrea now holds the school record in the 300h with a time of 50.20, with Maria second at 51.28. The 4×100 team ran the 3rd fastest time in school history, clocking 55.04 this season. The girl’s 4×400 had the 2nd best time in school history at 4:31.12 both marks at WVAL Finals. Lyndel Ventura, Crystal Nguyen, and Elyse Elder are now 3rd 4th and 5th on the school’s triple jump list. Lyndel is also 7th on the school’s long jump list. Elyse is 6th on the girl’s high jump list as well. Charli Chircop and Alejandra Ceron are 8th and 9th on the school’s discus list. Alejandra is 6th on the school’s shot put list and Charli 8th.

The year was a great step forward for the Comets. They will lose high scoring seniors such as Karan, Paloma, Daniela, and Robert, but with young up and comers like Nathan, Maria, Daisy, and Daniel, the team will strive to fill their loses and be even better because of the groundwork laid down by the team of 2015. The one team that beat the JL girls was Prospect and with them moving up to the Santa Teresa division, the team can set their focus on going after the league title in 2016 on the girl’s side, and rising to a top 3 finish on the boy’s side as well.

A great season for the team. Many of the Comets who ran track will be joining Coach Vela in football, or Coaches Benny Reeves and Coach Quasarano in Cross Country in a few weeks. Here’s to a great season and congratulations to all our seniors, everyone of whom is graduating and attending college next year.