1 Comet on to CCS Finals for 2nd Year In A Row

5 Comets competed at CCS Trials on Saturday May 19th at Gilroy High School. CCS Trials sees the 32 best athletes from the CCS, competing for spots at CCS Finals. Only 8 athletes advance to finals in lane events, and 12 advance to finals in field events.

For the 2nd year in a row, Charli Chircop advanced to CCS Finals in the girls discus. Her best throw was 107-6, which earned her entrance into CCS Finals as the 12th and final qualifier in the event. Valeria Cortez competed in the girls discus as well, placing 19th with a throw of 103-2.

In the girls Shot Put,  Alejandra Ceron placed 20th with a throw of 33-3. With that final competition completed, Alejandra’s career at James Lick is over. She leaves the school with much to be proud of, namely the school record in the Shot Put, a mark of 35-8.75.

Natalie Rem placed 25th in the girls triple jump with a best of 32-10. Natalie was the 3rd best freshmen girl at CCS Trials and in fact, of the 24 girls to beat her, 12 were seniors. Natalie is poised to do big things for the Comets for years to come.

The career of Cody Huoch ended with a 20th place finish at CCS in the 300 hurdles. Cody ran 42.84. Cody had an exceptional career for James Lick especially considering he did not join track until his junior year. Cody ends his career as the #3 300 hurdler in school history and the only one on record to compete at CCS.

Alejandra will be competing for De Anza college in track and field next season while Cody will compete at San Jose City College.

Charli gets one final competition at CCS Finals on May 25th.

Thanks for reading!

-Benny Reeves

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James Lick Track season ends with Charli Chircop 10th place at CCS Finals

 

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Coach Vela instructing Charli Chircop after her 2nd attempt 

 

Charli Chircop became just the 25th member of James Lick High School to make section finals with her performance at CCS trials last week. Charli qualified for CCS finals after throwing a new PR and school record of 109-at CCS trials. She entered the final ranked 12th, and competed well to place 10th at 104-7.

This means all 4 girls who competed at CCS this year, placed better than their ranking in every competition, a very positive trend that the team will look to continue in future seasons. A 10th place finish at CCS finals is a very impressive performance for Charli as a junior. She missed all but one week of her Sophomore season due to a knee injury. Her PR entering the season was 79 feet. Coach Vela’s tremendous coaching saw her improve 30 feet from a borderline to BVAL qualifier, to a CCS finals qualifier.

The season ends for the team on a strong note, and with the school year now over for James Lick, it is time for many of the team’s athletes to take a well deserved rest.

A full recap of the team’s season, as well as news about my new “East Side Running/Track Club” will be coming soon.

The BVAL At CCS

The CCS meet is special because of the fact that the best athletes from all 8 CCS track leagues come together to compete. That means strong athletes from schools as far south as King City HS of the MTAL clash with team’s as far north as Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Francisco. As a result, some of the best athletes in the entire State compete for victories at CCS finals.

The most impressive CCS performance from a BVAL athlete might have been from Maya Cook of Branham. Maya was a double CCS champion, winning the 100/200 and helped the Branham team to a 2nd place performance in the 4×100.  The Bruins came in 2nd overall on the girl’s side, scoring 38.50 points to Mountain View’s 42 points.

Right behind Branham was Silver Creek at 38 points for 3rd as a team. They were lead by standout athletes Jazlynn Shearer and Arianna Fisher.  Jazlynn won the girls 100 hurdles in 14. 69, and took 2nd in the triple jump at 39-0. Arianna won the triple jump in a very impressive jump of 40-7.

Jorge Estrella of Andrew Hill really emerged this season as the top distance runner in the BVAL. In XC, He, Zack Walker of Willow Glen, and Julian Adam of Westmont were frequently battling it out for victories. Estrella narrowly missed winning the CCS title in the 1600, running 4:14.76 and leading with only 80 meters to go before being run down by Alex Scales of Bellarmine. Jason Gomez of Westmont also narrowly lost a victory to scales, coming in 2nd in the 800 in 1:52.37 to Scales’ 1:52.34.  Santa Teresa placed 6th on the boys side to be the highest placing BVAL team (and the #2 public school) at CCS finals.

The meet was a high quality display of many high quality athletes. As I said earlier, a full JL season recap will follow this post soon.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

The season is fast approaching its climax,

Thanks for reading.

-Benny Reeves

Best Girls Marks Under Coach Vela (2014-present) 

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

James Lick Throwers Shine at Firebird Relays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Alejandra Ceron throwing the Shot Put

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves.

 

James Lick Track 2016 Season Summary

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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

 

 

One Comet On to CCS after BVAL Championships

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Valeria Cortez and Coach Vela sharing Enthusiasm after her huge PR and school record in the girls Discus. 

 

 

The Comets took a record number of athletes to the BVAL Championship meet at Sliver Creek high School on May 12th. In total 16 Comets competed. The meet held such strong results for the team, though it was not a great showing for the team overall. The team will look to emphasize this meet to a greater extent in future seasons, with more and more Comets advancing from WVAL finals with ease.

The BVAL Championship meet is contested between all three BVAl divisions (A, B and C). A total of 16 automatic qualifiers advance to BVAL Championships, based on their divisional meets. The top 8 Athletes in each event at BVAL champs advance to CCS trials.

The girls 4×100 team of Lyndel Ventura, Maria Mendoza, Karen Montes and Elyse Elder ran 54.68 to end their season. Arlet Miranda got valuable big-race experience in the girls 1600. She placed 10th in a time of 5:41, the fast first lap of the race costing her in the later half. As a freshmen however, Arlet will look to build on her performance in future seasons, coming within 2 places of making CCS. In the boys 1600, Azael Zamora and Nathan Bernardo competed, though they did not perform well, running 4:54 and 4:58 respectively.

Andrea Ortiz had a strong final 100h race of her high school career, running 17.68 for 10th place after not even making BVAL champs in the event the year before. Valeria Cortez competed as well, though she had a poor race. Hadji Yono-Cruz ended his season on a high note, running a PR of 18.27. Hadji will look to break through next year.

The girls 400 had Maria running 1:08.91, while Jose Limon ran the boys 400 in 55.99. The girls 800 had another solid race for Arlet, coming home in a high 2:31. Daisy Nava competed as well running 2:46. Erik Olsvold ran a small PR in the boys 800 of 2:08.14. Nathan ended his season with a 2:10 following his 1600. The girls 300h had Andrea placing 10th in 50.96. Andrea’s injury plagued season limited her potential in the event. Her knee pain was so bad she was on the verge of dropping out 100m into the race, but decided to finish at a lessened effort level. She ran a time which only missed qualifying for CCS by .3 seconds, despite being hampered by injury causing her to hold back. Andrea’s toughness is a lesson in perseverance, as well as illustrating the fact that things don’t always go smoothly just because you work hard. While we dearly wish she could have run to her full potential, she has a bright future ahead of her and will be competing at De Anza college next year. Gustavo Aguilera competed in the boys 300h, running 46.80.

The team finished the running events with the 4x400s. The boys team of Jose, Gustavo, Misael Herrera and Nathan ran a seasons best of 3:45. The girls team of Maria, Daisy, Andrea and Arlet ran a solid 4:34. In the field events, Elyse Elder placed 11th in girls high jump at 4-4. Lyndel Ventura jumped 14-4.5 for 12th place in girls long jump.

In the girls Shot Put, Alejandra Ceron threw a PR of 31-9 for 10th place. Valeria threw a solid 30-0. The event of the day for the team however was the girls discus. Alejandra struggled, throwing 82-0, but Valeria had a huge day throwing a new PR of 99-9.50. This was good enough for 6th place and a CCS berth. This also makes Valeria the school record holder in the girls discus, beating the 96 foot throw of Ward in 2002. Valeria has had a tremendous season. At her first ever high school competition, Valeria competed in her 3 primary events. At the Willow Glen Invitational she threw 25-5.50 in the Shot Put, 65-10 in Discus and ran 22.94 in the 100 hurdles. Valeria worked hard all season under Coach Vela in the throws and myself in the hurdles, and drastically improved her marks. She ended up throwing 31-1 in the Shot Put, 99-9.50 in Discus and 17.80 in the 100 hurdles. Valeria should be a huge factor in the WVAL, and the entire BVAL for years to come.

Valera will head to Gilroy High school next Saturday for the CCS Trials, while some members of the team will contest the Stanford Cardinal All Comers Meet at Gunn high School in the same day.

 

 

 

WVAL Finals Day 1 Recap

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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.

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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:

 

Boys:

  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

Girls:

  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 Get Huge PRS Following Spring Break

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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.

 

 

 

James Lick Track 2015 Season Summary

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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.