With Division Finals Looming, Comets show up big time at Bearcat Invitational: Varsity Girls Place 4th out of 50 Teams

The Comets took to San Mateo High School for the 2019 edition of the Bearcat Invitational on Saturday April 14th. This has been one of my personal favorite invitationals over the past 6 years. Usually it comes after a hard week of spring break training, which results in big PRS for our competing athletes. This year, spring break is yet to come, but with division finals next Thursday and Saturday, this would be the final meet of the year for many of the teams athletes, and a final tuneup for our Comets competing at finals.

The meet began with the boys 4×100. Raven Alcantara, Rodolf Ocampo, Salvador Lopez and Jordan Laguna combined to run 45.79 for 6th place overall, the 2nd best time the Comets have run this season.

Valeria Cortez took 3rd place overall with a 17.44 in the 100 hurdles. This is the best time she’s run at the Bearcat Invite. Yesenia Martinez narrowly missed a medal, finishing 7th in an off race of 19.22. The medals go 6-deep at the Bearcat invite, a nice incentive for athletes. Rodolf Ocampo finished 5th in 17.66 despite a messy race, showing how much potential he still has in the event.

At this same time, the varsity long jump was going on. Salvador Lopez just missed medaling, taking 7th place in a new PR of 20-4. This was achieved on a slightly descended pit (the sand is not as high as the runway) but is a strong PR nonetheless. Geo Campos also managed a PR going 19-2. Jamie Vong missed his PR by a fraction, going 18-4 compared to a best of 18-6. In the frosh/soph version of the event, Jordan Laguna managed a huge PR of 18-0.

In the girls discus, Valeria managed the win in 108-3. This is the 2nd time this season she has been an invitational champion in the girls discus, adding with her 7 dual meet wins, she has 9 total meet victories in the event. She will aim to make it 10 at division finals next week. Marquise Nelson managed 6th place with a throw of 85-1, the 2nd best mark of her career. Adriana Marcelino had an off day, throwing 67-4 and 21-11 in the shot put. Valeria took 3rd overall in shot put with a best of 30-9 and Marquise won the meet overall with a toss of 32-0. A strong day for the lady Comet throwers to win both throwing events at an invitational with 50 total registered teams.

The distance events have always gone very well for us at the Bearcat invite, and today was some of the same. Arlet Miranda ran a seasons best 5:42.11 in the girls 1600 despite a poorly paced race. Jessica Cervantes ended her season with a PR of 6:24.56. Mya Hammond and Jessica continue their rivalry as despite being in separate heats, they ran nearly identical times with Mya lowering her PR from 6:30 to 6:24.68. Ashley Preciado ran a seasons best 6:29.42 as well. Ruth Rodriguez lowerred her PR from 6:37 to 6:38, and Emely Lopez took a huge chunk out of her PR, running 7:03 compared to a previous best of 7:19. Jhesselyn Santos rounded out the lady Comet milers with a time of 7:24, compared to a previous best of 7:36.

On the boys side, Mark Orpia lowered his PR to 4:56, while Brandon Cruz ran the 2nd best time of his career, clocking in at 5:03. Better things were ahead in the 800 for the team as well.

Our sole 400m runner of the day was Misael Herrera. Considering it was his final HS invitational AND it was his birthday, his might have been the performance of the day. Misael was never the most talented runner. When we first timed his as a freshmen, he ran 1:04 for the 400 on natural ability. His sprint speed is not killer, as this season he’s only run 12.52 for the 100. He’s always worked hard to chip away at times, making himself more and more valuable to the team. As a freshmen, his PR at division finals was 57.72. Sophomore year he lowered it to 56.48 at none other than the Bearcat Invite. Last year, his PR came at division trials when he ran 55.61 finishing 10th, just shy of making the final. At the Bearcat invite, he went into the meet with a seasons best of 56.41 and absolutely went off to run 54.51, a PR by over a second and the best 400m time any Comet has run since I’ve been coaching.

54 seconds is not blazing fast for a 40m runner. We have Comet alum who could have managed it comfortably for the first lap of an 800. It means alot to see an athlete consistently work hard and improve, so athletes like Misael achieving times like this is truly the most rewarding aspect of coaching. He will look to go even faster at division finals.

The 100m dash at bearcat is never particularly fast. The track usually produced better distance times than sprint ones. That being said, the Comets had a few strong marks. Raven Alcantara ran 11.81, the fastest time he’s ever clocked at an invitational. Valeria ran the 2nd best 100m dash of her career, running 14.26. Most impressive was Mya running a huge PR in the event. Mya has shwon great improvement to her speed this year and this was her first meet ever wearing spikes. Her previous best was 15.48 and she ran 14.27 for a massive PR. (THis was after a PR in the 1600 mind you). We think long term she is a 400/800 runner but she has struggled to execute a race utilizing her good speed and balance it with her solid endurance. Emily De Dios ran a big PR of 16.04, compared to a previous best of 16.48. A great way to end her season.

Arlet ran her best 800m of the season, despite it being a negative split (first lap slower than the second) to clocking in at 2:31.84 for 2nd place. It is also the 2nd best time she’s ever run after a 1600, showing she is back in good shape heading into division finals.  Emely managed a 2nd big PR on the day, lowering her best from 3:20 to 3:10.

One of the very best breakthroughs of the day came in the boys 800. Jerricho Habon lowered his PR from 2:10.75 to 2:06.52, a huge PR that saw him just miss a medal. Jerricho is rounding in to shape at the right time, and figures to go even faster at division finals. Most of my best runners to this point have been 3200 runners rather than 800 runners, so Jerricho’s time is the best any Comet has achieved under me. I trust he will improve upon it soon. Mark also took 4 seconds off his PR, lowering his PR from 2:16 to 2:12.88 a solid PR to end his season in the event.

Yesenia ran a seasons best in the 300 hurdles, clocking in at 58 seconds. She also cleared 5-0 in pole vault, the first time she’s competed at an invitational. On the boys side of this event, Rodolf cleared 10-0 for the 2nd time in his career, equalling his PR. He also just missed a PR in the 300 hurdles, running 45.60, .01 seconds off his best. Sal lowered his PR to 45.13 in the event, and he still has tone of room for improvement as he is very new at hurdling,

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As seen here, Sal does not yet have a full feel for hurdling, clearing the hurdle way higher than is necessary. 

The final event the Comets competed in on the day was the 200. Estefani Herrera lowered her PR in the event 34.31 and Emely Lopez ran 38.26 for a new PR as well. Raven ran a big PR of 24.19, taking a full half second off his best best in the event. Misael just missed his seasons best, running 24.76 the 3rd best time of his career. Angel Guerrero ran a new PR of 25.58 taking 3 tenths of a second off his best.

It was a great confidence building meet for the team as they head towards division finals. There were 22 PRS on the day and the varsity girls finished 4th place overall out of 50 listed registered teams. It should be acknowledged that the CCS top 8 meet was the same day, so many of the top athletes in the area headed to that. That being said, many strong athletes from other sections were present, and the team will prepare for division finals ready to show their stuff.

The team will compete at BVAL – ST (‘B’)- division finals on Thursday April 18th and Saturday April 20th at Lincoln High School. All trials for lane events and the 800 will take place on Thursday April 18th, as well as finals in the following events:

Boys 3200, Girls 1600, Boys Long Jump, Boys High Jump, Girls Triple Jump, Girls Discus, Boys Shot Put. The Pole Vault competition will likely take place on Wednesday April 17th at Prospect High School.

ST division finals are significant in a few ways. The meet will determine the final standings for each team in the division. The top 8 athletes in each event score for their teams and the top 5 in each advance advance to BVAL Finals (CCS qualifying meet)  on Thursday May 2nd.

The big meets are ahead and I for one could not be more excited.

Thanks for reading!

-Benny Reeves

 

 

 

 

 

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41 Personal Records for Comets at Bearcat Invitational:

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Yesenia Martinez and Valeria Cortez with their medals in the 100 hurdles

The Comets took to San Mateo High School for the Bearcat Invitational on Saturday April 14th, 2018. The Bearcat Invite has been a team favorite over the past few years. With its placement being right after Spring break, the Comets have always seen a number of great improvements at San Mateo. This years invite took the cake however. The 41 PRs (personal records) mark the most PRs the Comets have seen at an invitational in recent years. For reference, the most PRs at any meet over the last decade for the Comets was the 2017 dual meet against Overfelt. The team got 48 PRs on the day, produced by 59 athletes. At Bearcat this year, the team got 41 PRs from only 35 athletes at the invitational.

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Belen Sanchez and Ashley Preciado on the line for the 1600

The meet began with the varsity girls 1600. Belen Sanchez attempted to run the 1600 under 6:00 for the first time. She just missed, running 6:04.95 for a 7 second PR. Ashley Preciado continued her remarkable improvement bringing her PR down to 6:15.99, compared to a previous best of 6:33. Arlet Miranda ran a PR a long time in the making, clocking 5:31. 27, a 7 second PR. This moves Arlet to #2 on the schools all time list in the 1600. The school record of 5:27 by Daniela Camacho was run at the 2015 edition of the Bearcat Invite.

Melvin Estrada ran a big PR in the 1600, becoming the latest Comet to break 5:00 for the mile. He lowered his personal best from 5:05, to 4:53. Azael Zamora also ran a PR, clocking 4:33.64, a 2 second PR that moves him into 10th place on the schools all time list. The Mile PRs did not stop there. Mariana Perez lowered her PR from 7:24 to 7:16. Francine Estranero took a second off of hers, clocking 7:26 and Krystal Ran ran an 8 second PR of 8:04.

In the frosh/soph boys, Brandon Cruz, (5:14.53)  Jerricho Habon (5:16.59) and Hugo Marquez (5:19.80) all ran under 5:20 for the first time. Mark Orpia ran a small PR of 5:06.55 as well.

Next up on the track was the 100 hurdles. Valeria Cortez ran a seasons best 17.61 in the event, placing 5th and earning herself a medal. She ran 17.86 at the 2017 version of the event to become the frosh/soph 100 hurdles champion of the meet. Teammate Yesenia Martinez did her best to emulate that performance. Yesenia ran a huge PR of 18.87 to place 3rd in the frosh/soph division, earning herself a medal as well.

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Yesenia Martinez on her way to winning her heat in the F/S girls 100 hurdles

Cody Huoch just missed his PR, running 17.21 in the 110 Hurdles. A false start disrupted his rhythm as his heat was recalled.

The team also saw strong performances in the 400. Making his return, Jose Limon ran 55.99 in the boys 400, a seasons best for Lemon and the best Comet time on the year so far. Salvador Lopez had a huge PR in the frosh/soph version of the event, running 56.22 (previous best 58.27) and placing 7th overall, one place off of a medal. Kirsten Yutuc and Justine Austria both ran PRs as well, clocking 1:09.66 and 1:10.51 respectively.

Valeria ran a PR in the 100 taking three tenths of a second off of her career best to stop the clock at 14.22, the 2nd best Comet time this season. Regine Valecruz ran under 17 seconds for the first time, clocking 16.96 for the event. Cody Huoch ran a PR of 12.06, the best time by a Comet so far this season. Lisbeth Galdamez lowered her PR from 14.72 to 14.35, and Yesenia lowered hers from 15.81 to 15.37. Finally, Geovanny Campos returned from injury to run a small PR of 12.45.

The distance runners were back for more strong performances in the 800. Arlet ran a seasons best 2:33.16 to place 8th. On the frosh/soph girls side, Ashley lowered her PR from 2:54 to 2:51. Mariana took hers from 3:24 to 3:13 and Estefani took her PR down from 3:33 to 3:21.  The boys side saw some major breakthroughs.

Azael took his PR down to 2:07.04, a 3 second PR. Melvin and Jerricho worked together to run huge PRs. The boys entered with PRs of 2:21 and 2:22 and went 1-2 in their heat to earn new PRs of 2:13.2 and 2:13.8 respectively. Hugo Marquez and Brandon Cruz ran PRs of 2:24 and 2:25 respectively to end the day for the distance team.

By this time, many Comets had already competed in field events as well. Valeria achieved seasons bests in both the discus (106-9) and Shot Put (32-2). She placed 3rd overall and 2nd overall respectively. Charli Chircop placed 2nd in discus with a throw of 108-0. Alejandra Ceron placed 4th in Shot Put with a throw of 30-10. Rudolf Ocampo placed 6th in the frosh/soph boys shot put with a throw of 33-7 to earn a medal.

Kirsten added a long jump PR of 14-9 to her already strong day, earning a medal in the event. She missed her PR in the tripe jump by 1 inch, going 30 feet even and placing 4th. Yesenia placed 5th with a jump of 28-0, giving her a second medal on the day as well.

The 300 hurdles began around 3:00. Dakota Castro-Lopez ran a huge PR in the frosh/soph boys 300 hurdles, clocking 51.67, he had not broken 1:00 on his first two tries at the event. Yesenia was on her way to a massive PR, until she fell at the final hurdle of the race. She got to her feet and scurried across the line in 58.95, missing her PR by .10. She was likely headed for a 3 second PR before the fall, and will look to run a big PR soon. Kirsten did manage a long awaited PR, taking her best time down from 54.27 to 52.89. She earned a 3rd medal on the day with this performance.

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Arlet Miranda expressing her enthusiasm at the chance to run the 200

The final event on the day for the Comets was the 200. Arlet relished the rare opportunity to compete in the 200, and ran 31.05, just .12 off of her PR. Justine and Lisbeth added more PRs to the Comet totals. Justine ran 30.14 compared to a previous best of 30.51, and Lisbeth ran 30.63, compared to a previous best of 31.18. A solid day for the Comets young sprint crew. Jerricho lowered his 200m PR from 27.20 to 26.81. Geovanny lowered his 200 PR from 25.63 to 25.37.

The final events on the day for the team were the F/S boys triple jump and pole vault. Sal placed 5th in the triple jump with a best jump of 37-7, matching his PR.

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Sal Lopez on the final phase of the triple jump

The pole vault saw great performances for the team. Mark cleared 8-0 for the first time, while Rudolf managed a whole foot PR of 8-6. This Comet duo is looking to lead a renaissance in the pole vault. The fact that they can now both clear the minimum varsity scoring height shows great potential for future seasons.

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Mark Orpia clearing the bar at 7 feet

It was a tremendous day for the Comets overall. Probably the best invitational performance I have seen as a coach. Out of the 47 teams at the Bearcat invite, the Comets placed 20th in both varsity and frosh/soph boys. 7th in frosh/soph girls and 6th in varsity girls.

The team will head to Sobrato HS on Thursday April 19th with hopes of improving on their 2-8 varsity record. Then a few Comets will head to the historic CCS Top 8 meet on Saturday April 21st.

Thanks for reading!

-Benny Reeves

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.

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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

 

Comets have Strong Showing at Bearcat Invitational

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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.

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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.