Comets Open Season at Lowell Invitational: Lady Comets Break School Record

The Team at the beginning of the day

The James Lick Comets opened their 2018 cross country season in Golden Gate Park with the Lowell Invitational on Saturday September 8th. This is just the 4th time the Comets have competed at the Lowell Invite, but this was the best showing the Comets have had on the girls side.

The Lowell invitational is a very competitive meet, and the first race that James Lick competed in was the frosh/soph girls race. It was the first time that the team had a complete frosh/soph girls team on the 2.13 mile course. Freshmen Ruth Rodriguez had an impressive debut running 17:35 to lead the group, the 2nd best time on the course in the 4 years of school history in Golden Gate Park. Erika Camacho was next in 18:18, the 8:36 pace being the best of her career for a cross country course. Mya Hammond and and Jessica Cervantes came in together at 18:32. It was a 1 minute PR for Mya despite the fact that she fell down during the race. Mia Hammond and Mariana Perez streamed in at 18:43 and 18:44, giving the Comets 6 girls under 19 minutes for the course, compared to only one last year. Jana Kikhia last year was the top Comet at 18:34. Jana went on to run 24:52 at Crystal Springs by league finals, placing 29th out of 97 JV girls. The fact that so many Comets are around Jana’s time at Lowell, indicates just how strong this year’s JV girls team could be.

Despite all of this, myself and coach Raul actually feel that several of our JV girls actually underperformed. We think big things are to come later this month. Francine Estranero ran 20:45, 1 PR by 1 minute, despite staying back to check on Jana, who was injured in the race.

The frosh/soph girls team before the race

The next race for the team was the JV boys race. The non frosh/soph races were contesting the 2.93 mile course. A fast course, very similar in distance to Crystal Springs.  Gustavo Madrigal lead the group, running a time of 19:50. This shattered his PR of 21:58, and it was also the first time Gustavo has ever run under 7 minute mile pace (6:46 pace) for an XC course. Omar Fimbres was next in 20:06. Omar ran the 2.93 mile course in 6:53 pace, by comparison, he only ran 7:01 pace for the 2.13 mile course last year. Rodolf Ocampo, Alberto Trejo and Josue Gomez rounded out the team in 21:56, 22:24 and 26:59 respectively.

The JV girls race saw Giulissa Correa and Kirsten Yutuc compete for the team. Giulissa had a great race, running 26:05, 8:54 pace. Giulissa has really impressed with her work ethic in this, her first cross country season. Kirsten managed a small PR of 26:46 as well.

In the afternoon, both  varsity races were run. On both sides, the team was missing a few members of their team, but the teams competed to the best of their abilities. On the girl’s side, we have sent the goal of chasing school records this year, and the Lowell invite was the first and easiest step. With only 4 years of history, the team was indeed able to set a new team record. The team time record before this season was 2:01:10. The team this year managed to run 11 minutes faster, a team time of 1:50:15.

Varsity Girls Left to right: Arlet Miranda, Jenny Villagomez, Ashley Preciado, Yeimili Adame (the one crouching) Belen Sanchez

The team was lead by Arlet Miranda in 19:42. Arlet wasn’t able to beat her own school record of 19:28 but it was a strong performance nonetheless. Yeimili Adame ran 21:09, for a 7:13 pace, the best pace of her young career. Belen Sanchez was the 3rd Comet in at 22:17, beating her PR of 23:09 quite handily. Ashley Preciado was close behind in 22:22, a PR by over 3 minutes, and by far the fastest pace of her career. Jenny Villagomez was the 5th girl in 24:43. The team was without Yesenia Martinez who had been the team’s 5th girl at the alumni race.Overall it was a great performance for the girls team, and one they will hope to build on going forward.

Varsity Boys left to right: Jerricho Habon, Nien Tran, Geo Campos, Brandon Cruz, Mark Orpia

The final race of the day was the varsity boys. The team was without top runner Erik Olsvold, and team #5 at the alumni race, Jared Resendiz. Mark Orpia spearheaded the team with a 30 second PR of 17:15. Jerricho Habon was next in at 17:49. Jerricho’s PR on the 2.13 mile course was run at 6:48 pace, a far cry from the 6:05 pace he just ran on the 2.93 mile course. Nien Tran took a big step forward, running 18:32 as the 3rd boy in. Brandon Cruz and Geo Campos were close behind in 18:36 and 18:37.

The varsity team is still developing but there is good reason for optimism for the future. For one thing, all 5 of these boys are juniors. Geo is in his first season of cross country for the team and is improving rapidly. The other Comets are all improving from year to year as well. Last year Nien ran 6:59 pace for the 2.13 mile course. This year he ran 6:20 pace for the 2.93 mile course. Brandon has had an even more impressive development, from 7:51 pace on the 2.13 course, to 6:21 pace on the nearly 3 miles long course.

The boys team is going to face stiff competition this year. We were defeated handily at the Lowell invite by Branham, who will we face in our 2nd ST division meet. Prospect won the freshmen boys race, showing that they have an impressive future as well. The Comet boys will need to work hard to compete, but the team is up to the challenge.

The team will head to the Earlybird Invitational in Toro Park next Saturday before their first league meet on Thursday September 20th at Montgomery Hill. The team will face Prospect and local rival Independence.

Thanks for reading!

-Benny Reeves


ST Division Finals Day 1 Recap: Lady Comets In 2nd Through 4 Events

Day 1 of the Santa Teresa division finals are in the books and the Comets are well on their way to finishing the season strong. As always, there were some good performances and some bad performances, but overall the Comets vastly over performed at day 1 of finals.

Most events were prelims, to qualify for the finals on Friday. The top 8 athletes in every event score points for their team. The top 5 athletes in every final qualify for BVAL championships.

The first event that was contested was the pole vault. This actually took place on Tuesday May 1st at Prospect High School. Mark Orpia and Rodolf Ocampo both cleared 8 feet to place 4t and respectively. The top 5 placings mean that both boys will head to BVAL Finals next week. They will be the first Comets to compete at BVAL finals in pole vault in school history.

The rest of “day 1” took place on Wednesday May 2nd at Evergreen High School. The day saw two early finals. In boys discus, Daniel Medina, Josh Garcia and Joshua Merin competed for the team. Daniel and Josh threw 98-1 and 94-5 in what will be their final HS competition. Josh Merin threw 79-8 in his debut in the event, a solid performance on a big first stage.

Daniel Medina releasing the discus 

The girls 1600 was the first running event of the meet. Arlet Miranda ran a very competitive race, in 7th place with 400m left, she stormed to 5th place over the last lap. Belen Sanchez ran 6:01.67, a 3 second PR to end her season, and Ashley Preciado ran 6:09.84 to lop 6 seconds off of her PR as well. This is the first time (on record) in school history that the Comets have had 3 Lady comets under 6:10 for the mile in the same race.

Ashley Preciado, Belen Sanchez and Arlet Miranda before the mile. Valeria Cortez leaps into the picture behind them. 

Next up was the girls 100 hurdles. Valeria Cortez went into the race ranked #1 at 17.39. She won her heat and improved her seasons best time down to 17.29. No other Comets were expected to make the final based on ranking, but Yesenia and Martinez and Susie Peterson ran PRs of 18.79 and 18.85 to squeeze into Friday’s final as the 7th and 8th seeds.

Luis Escamilla ran aPR of 20.34 in the boys 110 hurdles. After a great start to the race for Cody Huoch, Cody clipped a hurdle badly and nearly fell. The bad stumble cost Cody his balance for the next few hurdles, and put him out of position to make the final for Friday, ending his season in the 110. Rodlf narrowly missed his PR, running 19.02.


Valeria Cortez on her way to a heat win and seasons best in the 100 hurdles. Teammate Yesenia Martinez is not far behind. 

Yeimili Adame lead the Comets in the girls 400m, running a PR of 1:06.96. This put her in 10th on the day, less than a second off of the final. Justine Austria and Aliana Santos were the other Comets in the race. On the boys side, Misael Herrera ran a PR by almost a full second. Misael clocked in at 55.61, and teammate Salvador Lopez ran a PR of 56.02. Neither boy was able to advance to the final on Friday however.

Susie, Lisbeth Galdamez, and Natalie Rem competed in the girls 100. All 3 girls ran the 2nd best time of their career, and Natalie’s time of 13.57 saw was good enough to send her to the final on Friday. Raven Alcantara lead the Comets on the boys side, running 11.89, the 2nd best time of his career. Raven had a great season, taking his PR from 12.60 to 11.79 and he narrowly missed making the final for Friday. Geovanny Campos and Chris Okoro also competed for the team.

Arlet punched her ticket to the 800m final for Friday, cruising to a 6th place finish. Mya Hammond ran a big PR of 2:59.03, beating her previous best of 3:05. Mariana Perez ran 3:13 for a small PR to end her season. Erik Olsvold showed that he is quickly rounding back to form in the 800. After his spectacular sophomore season, Erik was derailed by a knee injury in cross country and through most of track. Erik managed to run 2:10.43 in the 800 to advance to the final on Friday, ranked 8th. Jerricho Habon is on to the final as well, he was the final qualifier, snagging 12th place in 2:16. Hugo Marquez competed, but missed his PR.

Several field event results had come in by this point. Cody took 6th in the boys triple jump in 39-10. Raven managed a big PR of 37-9. Sal went 36-8 to end his season. The most remarkable PR on the day came in the girls long jump. Lyndel Ventura, in her 4th and final season, managed a PR that made her 4 years of hard work worthwhile. Lyndel ended freshmen year at 14-11 in long jump. She had gradually improved over the years to 15-3.5, her PR entering the meet Wednesday, putting her at 8th place in terms of rankings. Lyndel shattered her PR, leaping 16-7.25 to take 3rd place and book a trip to BVALS to boot. Lyndel moves to 4th on the schools all time list with this big jump. Teammate Natalie managed a PR of 15-1 as well, just missing out on a point in 9th place.

The Comets got their first ever division title in the ‘B’ division in the girls Shot Put. Alejandra Ceron threw 34-7.50 to take home the victory, a year after winning the ‘C’ division title in the same event. Charli Chircop took 3rd in 32-10 and Valeria took 4th in 32-7.

Kirsten Yutuc lead a trio of PRS in the girls 300 hurdles. Kirsten ran 52.30 and is ranked 3rd for the final on Friday. Yesenia ran a huge PR, stopping the clock at 54.72, compared to a previous best of 58.85. Susie ran a PR in the final 300 hurdles of her career, clocking 57.07. Cody qualified comfortably for the final on Friday with, running 43 seconds for the event. Jo-Jo Bradley and Luis both lowered their PRs, running 49.11 and 49.18 respectively.

Justine, Lisbeth and Aliana all contested the 200. Lisbeth came away with a PR by .30, ending her season with a PR of 30.32. On the boys side, Misael lead the Comets in a seasons best 24.79.

The final event on the day was also a final: The Boys 3200. Azael Zamora took the race out fast from the beginning, storming into the lead by the time two laps were completed. Azael kept cranking in a bid to run away from division leader Omar Pina. Azy took the 1st mile fast, going through in 4:49 just as he did when he ran his PR of 10:05. Omar went through in 4:59 and and then ran a 4:50 2nd mile to take the win 9:50. An Evergreen boy stormed past Azy as well in the home stretch, with Azy taking 3rd in a 10 second PR of 9:55.14. This makes Azy the fastest Comet 2 miler of this century so far, the first Comet to run under 10 minutes for the event since 2003. Inteus Castro-Lopez and Melvin Estrada ran 10:55 and 10:58, both only narrowly missed their PRS.

Dylan Ellis of Prospect (10:00.84)  Azael Zamora (9:55.14) and Omar Pina of Lincoln (9:50.89) After the 3200

While most events are still yet to be scored, but the Comets are in a good place so far.

The girls are in 2nd place through the first 4 events and the boys are in 4th through the first 5 events. it will be difficult for the Comets to hang on to these positions, but the team has already clinched 5 different BVAL qualifiers.

The Comets will finish up division finals on Friday May 4th at Evergreen. If the team performs as they did today, big things are still to come!

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves


Comets Win Two Titles on WVD Finals Day 1

Day 1 of the West Valley Division Finals took place on Wednesday March 3rd at Overfelt High School. It was a very hot meet, with the temperature sitting at 93 degrees for the majority of the meet. The hot weather made for good sprint times, but a tough day for distance times. Of the 15 events contested in the WVD, the girls saw 4 event finals completed, while the boys side had 3.

The Comet hurdlers warming up before the meet. 


The meet began with the girls 100 hurdles. Unfortunate timing issues gave the meet an auspicious start. Both girls  100 hurdles heats had to be rerun due to timing issues. Susie Peterson looked to be running a huge PR in her heat, but was given no time and had to rerun the race at the end of the day. Valeria Cortez ran a PR of 17.07 despite having to run the race twice. She is ranked #1 for the final on Friday after running the fastest qualifying time. Susie made the final despite having to run the event after the 300 hurdles, running 20.08 to qualify.  Kirsten Yutuc made the final as well to give the team 3 girls in the 100 hurdles final for the 2nd consecutive year.

Cody Huoch managed a huge PR in the boys 110 hurdles, running 17.16 to beat his PR of 17.71. Cody also heads to Friday ranked #1 in the WVD. Jonathan Rodriguez ran a PR of 18.70 to nab the 8th qualification. Luis Escamilla also competed, though he did not PR.

The next event was the girls 400. Justien Austria and Denisse Calixto competed for the team. Justine placed 10th, not far from a qualifying spot as a freshmen. Gustavo Aguilera ran 55.71 to qualify for the final on Friday, where he will be ranked 4th. Misael Herrera ran 56.96 to make the final and is ranked 7th. This is a massive improvement over the 12th place 58.88 performance from Misael a season ago. David Bejines competed for the team as well.

Silvia Amaya ran very close to her PR clocking 14.34 in the girls 100. Aliana Santos ran under 16 seconds for the 2nd time in her career as well. Ace Medina made the 100m final by running 11.80, the 2nd sub 12 second clocking of his career. He is ranked 6th for the final on Friday. Hadji Yono-Cruz ran 12.34, his 2nd best ever 100m time, and Adrian DeLaRosa ran a seasons best 12.56.

At this time, field events were coming in as well. After placing 4th in the girls high jump a year ago, Elyse Elder placed 2nd this year, clearing 4-7.25. This event was a final, making Elyse the team’s first BVAL championships qualifier of 2017. Kirsten Yutuc went 29-3.75 in the girls triple jump to place 4th, and qualify for BVAL champs as well. Lyndel Ventura went a  seasons best 28-10.50 for 7th place. Yaliza Cortez just missed scoring after jumping a seasons best 27-8.50.

Hadji ended his James Lick long jump career at 18-1 in the boys long jump final. Juan Gutierrez managed a big PR of 17-8.50, his first time over 17 feet. Jamie Vong competed as well, jumping 16-7.

In the boys discus, Alex Alonzo came out with a PR of 111-5, his first time throwing above 100. He placed 5th, missing a BVAL champs qualification by 1 foot. Alex’s brother, Roger Alonzo, tossed the discus 101-8, placing 7th. The 6 points out of discus from two different scorers, represent a big improvement for the team from last season where no boy scored in discus at WVD finals.

The girls Shot Put had been one of the team’s most dominant events all season. Alejandra Ceron captured the team’s first WVD title of the season and her 2nd career division title after winning the discus a year ago. Her throw of 34-3 beat the 2nd place competitor by more than 2 feet. A slightly disappointing performance from the lady throwers saw Valeria Cortez and Charli Chircop placing 4th and 5th, both throwing a bit over 30 feet. Mariah Santos and Ruth Rodriguez also competed for the team.

Valeria, Kirsten and Susie all made the 300 hurdles final, sweeping their heat along the way. Susie ran a PR of 58.99 despite the hot weather, her first time under 59 seconds. The boys 300 hurdles saw Cody once again dominate the field, running a PR of 44.31 to head into the final on Friday ranked #1. A painful error lead to a disqualification for Gustavo, who’ll have to re-focus his efforts on the 400. Jonathan also edged into the 300 hurdles final, ranked 7th for the Friday.

Cody Huoch leading his heat in the 300 hurdles by a huge margin. 


Silvia ran a 200m PR of 30.71, and Aliana ran the 2nd best time of her career as well. Ace ran a 200m PR of 24.17 to make the 200m final, once again ranked 6th for Friday. Misael did not make the final, but he ran a massive PR of 24.56. Chris Okoro also competed for the team, running a  PR of 26.63 in the event.

The girls 1600 began with temperatures still sitting at 88 degrees. Arlet Miranda placed 2nd overall in 5:56. Belen Sanchez stormed from 9th to 6th place over the 400 of the race, running 6:15. Daisy Nava ran 6:22 in 9th place. Belen and Daisy had their best performance of the season in the 1600 when factoring in the weather. Valerie Flores ended her season running 6:47, and Analilia Regla ran 6:59 as well.

The boys 3200 was a fairly grueling race given the conditions. Jesse Cruz of Overfelt, the fastest WVD boy in the 3200 last year, lead the majority of the race. With 250 meters to go, Erik Olsvold passed him. Jesse stayed close but Erik opened up a 3 second gap in the final 100 meters of the race to give the team their 2nd WVD title on the day. Erik’s PR of 10:20.70, gives him the team’s first division championship in any boys running event since Ricardo Flores won the 3200 in 2011. Azael Zamora placed 3rd in 10:33, locking down a  BVAL qualification spot for himself as well. Nathan Bernardo and Inteus Castro-Lopez placed 6th and 7th for the team. This is the first time in school history that the boys have had 4 athletes score in the same event at WVD finals, in over 20 years of contesting the meet.

Last year the team had only one individual WVD championship, and the team has 2 already despite being less than 25% done with the meet.

After day 1, the team scores stand as follows.

Boys (3 of 15 events completed) 

  1. Independence 34 points
  2. Overfelt 31 points
  3. James Lick 27 points
  4. Live Oak 10 points
  5. Del Mar 6 points
  6. Yerba Buena 5 points
  7. Gunderson 4 points
  8. San Jose 0 points

Girls (4 of 15 events completed) 

  1. James Lick 45 points
  2. Yerba Buena 32 points
  3. Live Oak 23 points
  4. Overfelt 17 points
  5. Del Mar 15 points
  6. Independence 14 points
  7. San Jose 6 points
  8. Gunderson 0 points

The team will take to an even bigger day of finals Friday, and the weather is expected to be much more mild. The team is in pursuit of PRS as always, as well as WVD titles, BVAL qualifications, and points for the team.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for a full WVD finals recap after the meet on Friday.