Ryan/Oyama Awards 2018: A Banner Year For James Lick Sports

The 2017/2018 School year is just days from ending. This school year was a standout year for James Lick sports. I’ve written in the past about the struggles James Lick has experienced over recent years, both academically and athletically.

Rise and Fall of JL Track

What The Comets Overcome When They Make CCS

Our teachers, coaching staff, and administration have been working hard for a long time to try to help James Lick through these struggles and I think that we are starting to see the fruits of that labor.

For the 2017/2018 school year, James Lick Sports had a combined record of:

101-85-4 

I have totaled up James Lick’s records the past 5 years, and this is the first time in that span that James Lick Sports have had a combined winning record (And by quite a margin as well).  While I haven’t added up the years before 2012, I think there’s a good chance this is the first winning season for James Lick sports combined in well over a decade.

A Few sports contributed to this success in particular. The girls volleyball team claimed the first ever title for James Lick in the sport. The team worked hard for a 13-1 record, a dramatic turn-around for a team that was 3-11 the year before. Girls Basketball won their first division title since 1997 as well. They went undefeated in league play to the tune of a 10-0 record, and they also won their 1st round CCS game.

Over the past 5 years, James Lick has a total of  8 division championships. James Lick had 12 championships in the previous 18 years combined. The hard work of school AD Ray Iniguez has been a huge factor. Mr. Iniguez had worked hard to change the fortunes of James Lick sports, and many of the athletes responsible for the schools success were honored at the Ryan/Oyama awards on Tuesday May 15th.

 

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Members of the Track team After the Ryan/Oyama Awards

The Ryan/Oyama Awards is the biggest athletics event of the year for James Lick. The Ryan Award is given to the senior who most exemplified the qualities of a James Lick student/athlete over their 4 year career. The Oyama award is the female equivalent. Class awards and more are also distributed at the awards ceremony.

Every sport gets to give two awards per team. The Cross Country Awards were as follows:

Varsity Boys: 

Most Valuable Runner: Azael Zamora

Award for Leadership: Inteus Castro-Lopez

Varsity Girls: 

Most Valuable Runner: Arlet Miranda

Award for Leadership: Analilia Regla

Frosh/Soph Boys: 

Most dedicated runner: Daniel Portillo

Most improved runner: Hugo Marquez

Frosh/Soph Girls: 

Most improved runner: Ashley preciado

Most dedicated runner: Emely Lopez

 

For Track and Field the awards were as follows

Varsity Boys: 

Most dedicated athlete: Austin Swank

Most Valuable Athlete: Cody Huoch

Varsity Girls: 

Most valuable athlete: Valeria cortez

most dedicated athlete: Aliana Santos

Frosh/Soph Boys:

Most improved athlete: Melvin Estrada

Most valuable athlete: Salvador Lopez

Frosh/Soph Girls: 

Most valuable athlete: Kirsten Yutuc

Most improved Athlete: Yesenia Martinez

Several XC/ Track athletes also featured in the class awards.

Emely Lopez took home the Freshmen of year honors for the girls, and Omar Fimbres claimed the title on the boys side. Omar played baseball in addition to running cross country.

Nien Tran won sophomore of the year on the boys side. In addition to making CCS in Cross Country, Nien was also a CCS qualifier in wrestling.

Valera took home junior of the year on the strength of her entire year. She helped the volleyball team to a division title, placed 4th at CCS in wrestling, and was a division champion in 2 events in track. She beat out Marquise Nelson, a girl who was the MVP of both the champion basketball team, and champion volleyball teams.  Marquise and Valeria have traded off their class awards every year since they were freshmen, and both girls have GPAs over 3.5. The competition for the Oyama award figures to be tight next year.

Misael Herrera took home junior of the year, he had previously been named sophomore of the year and freshmen of the year. In addition to track, Misael also played football and wrestled.

Finally the stage was set for the senior class awards. Alejandra Ceron was named senior of the year, and the runner up for the Oyama Award. The Award went to Miranda Sanchez. Miranda played volleyball, basketball and softball for multiple seasons. She was the starting point guard on this years championship team.

On the boys side, Josh Garcia was the 2nd runner up for the Ryan Award. Josh played football, Basketball and Track for the past few seasons. Inteus took home the Senior of the year award and was the 1st runner up for the Ryan Award. Azael Zamora took home the Ryan Award, the 2nd year in a row that the Ryan Award has gone to an athlete who participated in both XC and Track and Field. Azael’s 3.8 GPA was a decisive factor in him winning the award. Azy was also a 2 time CCS qualifier in Cross Country and placed 12th at CCS this past season. He is also a 3 time BVAL qualifier in track, he ended his career 10th on the schools all time list in the 1600 and 7th in the 3200.

Coach Oliphant, the schools volleyball coach, took home the Keith Antes Coach of The Year Award for the dramatic turnaround achieved by the girls volleyball team.

The Ryan/Oyama awards are always a great day to be a Comet.

5 Comets will take to CCS Trials at Gilroy High School on Saturday May 19th.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Comets Take Big Step Forward at STAL 2

The James Lick Comets had their second league meet of the 2017 season on September 14th in Alum Rock Park . A week after opening their season on the very same 2.85 mile course, the team took a big step forward, with numerous PRs and their first Varsity win of the season.

 

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Varsity Boys Left to right: Jose (Lemon) Limon, Hugo Marquez, Jesus Deloya, Azael Zamora, Inteus Castro-Lopez, Mark Orpia, Melvin Estrada

The meet began with the Frosh/Soph boys race. Nien Tran and Jonathan Cortez came in at 19:48 and 19:50, both running under 20 minutes for the very first time. Jerricho Habon was the 3rd boy in at 20:03, a PR by over a minute. Daniel Portillo ran a small PR of 20:18, and Omar Fimbres ran under 21 minutes for the first time, running 20:59. The team got the win over Branham to move to 2-1 on the season, despite the decision to move Melvin Estrada (last week’s top F/S boy) to Varsity.

The Varsity girls also saw a number of strong performances, and competed much better despite the absence of number 2 runner Belen Sanchez. Arlet Miranda lead the team in 22:28, still nowhere near her best. The next runner across for the Comets was Xochitl Godinez in 23:43, a massive improvement after running 25:32 only a week earlier. Justine Austria was 3rd in at 25:39, a huge PR as well after she ran 28:08 last week. Jana Kikhia and Ashley Preciado rounded out the top 5 with both girls running 26:24. Neither girl ran under 27 minutes last week. The girls are 0-3, but are improving rapidly. The team will work hard over the next few weeks to try to score their first win against Oak Grove in October.

The varsity boys team was spearheaded by Azael Zamora once again. He ran 15:44 for 3rd place. Inteus Castro-Lopez ran a 20 second PR of 17:08. Mark Orpia succeeded in going under 18 for the first time, running 17:42. Jose Limon ran 18:35, compared to his 19:46 clocking from a week ago. Lemon flashed his track speed over the last 100 meters, passing two runners from Branham (and several other runners) with his outstanding finishing kick. Had he not passed those runners, the Comets would have fallen to 0-3. Thanks to his finish however, the team scored a narrow victory over the Bruins. Hugo Marquez and Melvin Estrada came across the line together in 18:50, both breaking 19 for the first time.

The JV girls race also saw some huge PRS with Jennifer Villagomez taking her PR from 28:20 to 26:01 in one fell swoop. Mya Hammond cracked the 28 minute barrier and Kirsten Yutuc did the same to the 29 minute barrier.

The boys reserve race also saw a huge PR from Luis Escamilla. Luis took his best time down from 27 minutes a week ago, to 24 minutes this week.

Overall, STAL 2 was a huge steo in the right direction for the team.

Earlybird Invitational recap coming soon.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

 

 

New Blog Adress

The blog is now at a different domain.

https://coachbennyreeves.wordpress.com

This change is so that I can better support both the James Lick XC/Track teams, AND the East Side running/ track club.

 

 

More info on the East Side running club soon…

James Lick Track Team Continues Unbeaten Streak

The Comets took to Gunderson High School on Wednesday March 29th for a dual meet with the grizzlies. The meet yielded 34 PRs (Personal Records) for the team and many more seasons bests as the good weather made for the perfect dual meet for good times.

The meet opened up strong for the Comets with the girls team winning their first 4×100 of the season. Lyndel Ventura, Kirsten Yutuc, Silvia Amaya and Elyse Elder combined to run 57.87, the fastest 4×100 time of the season for the Comets. The boys team of Raven Alcantara, Hadji Yono-Cruz, Misael Herrera and Chris Okoro also ran a seasons best for the team, 48.67.

The girls 1600 was won by Belen Sanchez in 6:35, a 7 second PR. Daisy Nava came in 2nd in 6:38, the first 1-2 finish in the 1600 for the lady Comets this season. The boys completed their 4th 1600m sweep out of 4 tries this season. Inteus Castro-Lopez ran a seasons best 5:04.08, narrowly missing his PR. Azael Zamora and Nathan Bernardo came in at 5:07 and 5:08.

The girls 100 hurdles was an outstanding race for the team. Valeria Cortez won the race in a new PR of 17.43, Susie Peterson ran a huge Seasons best and only missed her PR by .02. Kirsten ran a PR to complete the sweep in 20.33. The boys 110H was a similar success. Cody Huoch and Hadji went 1-2 in 17.82 and 17.83. The two boys are the first Comets to run under 18 seconds in the 110H in many years, and for Cody this is only his 2nd ever try at the race. Jonathan Rodriguez picked up the final point for the team in 19.36.

Denisse Calixto picked up 3 points for the girls team by taking 2nd place in the 400. Erik Olsvold ran the best 400 by a Comet this year, clocking 55.41 on the way to a victory. Misael and Nathan came in 2nd and 3rd to sweep the event for the team.

The girls 100m dash saw the debut of freshmen Yeimili Adame. Yeimili took 3rd place for the team with a time of 14.44, a very strong debut time. Silvia ran a huge PR of 14.63 and Kirsten Prd as well in 14.73. Susie ran a seasons best 15.3 in the 2nd heat and Aliana Santos ran under 16 seconds for the first time, clocking 15.67.

The boys 100 was similarly successful. Top Gunderson sprinter Sahib Bopari ran 11.39 to win the race with a very fast March time. Danny Nguyen and Raven both ran solid Prs, 12.55 and 12.60 respectively, to place 4th and 5th in the race. Adrian DeLaRosa ran a seasons best 12.85. Austin Swank in 13.36, and Isaak Herrera in 13.91 both ran seasons bests as well. Jaime Gomez went under the 14 second barrier for the first time, running 13.99.

Analilia Regla ran a PR of 3:10 to take 2nd place for the girls in the 800. Despite having ran the 1600 and 400 on the day already, Nathan won the boys 800 in a solid time of 2:10.96. Erik took 3rd in 2:21. Osman Lopez ran a PR of 2:45 in the race as well. Valeria got her 2nd PR on the day with a 56.16 victory in the 300 hurdles. Belen took 2nd in a seasons best 57.03 as well. The boys side was a 1-2 finish as well with Cody and Jonathan cruising to victory.

Jonathan would lead a 1-2 finish in the high jump as well, going 5-4. Ace Medina cleared 5-0 for 2nd place. Elyse and Lyndel combined to go 1-2 on the girls side of the high jump as well.

Yeimili continued her impressive debut with a 30.80 clocking in the 200 for 3rd place once again. Silvia also ran a strong 200m time of 32.36, and Aliana got her 2nd Pr of the day, running 33.93. Ace lead the boys side with a 24.97 debut in the 200. Erik shattered his PR, running 25.74. Chris did the same thing, running 26.78 despite neither boy having run under 28 seconds before.

After achieving her first ever 1600m win earlier in the meet, Belen made it a double victory with a win in the 3200 in 14:53. The boys side was swept by Azael, Julian Delreal and Osiris Zamudio. Julian and Osiris ran PRs of 12:22 and 12:24. Melvin Estrada also ran a PR of 12:30 as did Daniel Portillo who ran 13:10. Gunderson won the boys 4×400 in a  solid time of 3:48 to end the days running events.

Most of the teams highlights came in the running events, though the jumps and throws had some strong performances as well. Alex Alonzo won the boys discus in 105-0 and Josh Garcia and Daniel Medina placed 2nd and 3rd in the Shot Put with throws in the 36 foot range. Jesus Venegas threw a 10 foot discus PR of 75 feet. Valeria added her 3rd and 4th wins of the meet with wins in discus and shot put. She threw a PR of 31-6 in Shot Put, and equalled her PR of 100-6 in the discus. Teammates Charli Chircop and Alejandra Ceron combined to complete the sweep in both throwing events. Mariah Santos threw a PR of 23-3 in the Shot Put. Audrey Nguy also threw a solid PR of 49 feet in the discus.

Lyndel captured both the long jump and triple jump on the girls side, with Yaliza Cortez taking 2nd in both just behind her. Elyse took 3rd in triple jump to add another point to the teams total.  Hadji, Anthony Soto and Ace combined to sweep the boys triple jump. Anthony’s PR of 34-5 got him his first points for the team.

The final scores were:

Boys 

James Lick: 80 Gunderson: 46

Girls 

James Lick: 86 Gunderson: 34

With these victories the team extends their record to 4-0 on both sides for a combined 8-0 overall. The team will face its biggest test of the season so far however when they take on the reigning boys champs in the form of the Independence 76ers next week.

The team will get a look at them this Saturday at the first ever Royal Relays at Overfelt High School.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

Varsity Boys Win STAL Championship, Run Best Team Time At BVAL Finals in School History

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2016 STAL Championship Team Left to Right: Coach Benny Reeves, Gustavo Aguilera, Erik Olsvold, Nathan Bernardo, Inteus Castro-Lopez, Gustavo Parra, Azael Zamora 

 

 

On October 31st, all 24 teams of the BVAL took to the Crystal Springs cross country course for BVAL Finals. The meet determines the final standings for all 3 BVAL divisions, the WVAL (‘C’ division) STAL (‘B’ division) and the MHAL (‘A’ division).

The WVAL, STAL, and MHAL, were all their own individual leagues, but in 1996 they came under the governance of the 24 team ‘super league’ called the BVAL. This re-structing (which happened throughout the CCS during this era) occurred after the glory days of James Lick sports. With teams moving up and down in the BVAL based on strength of program, where a school has it’s teams places is a good indicator of how strong the school’s programs are.

The fact that the BVAL came into existence at the same time that James Lick was achieving the makeup that it has today, helps us to analyze James Lick teams over the past 20 years as part of the “modern era.”

Since the BVAL’s foundation (1996) , James Lick entered the 2016-2017 school year with a total of 16 championships across all sports. Only 3 of these 16 championships were in the STAL (‘B’ league of the BVAL) with the Wrestling team of 2004 being the last JL team to win a title in the B division. Just being placed in the B division is a victory for a James Lick sport these days. Since the BVAl era, James Lick has offered 16 sports, (considering Cross Country, Swimming, and Track as 1 sport each, since boys and girls teams score separately, but cannot move divisions independently). Only 8 of these 16 sports at James Lick  however have ever competed in any division other than the WVAL (‘C’ league of the BVAL). In addition, 2 of those 8 competed in the B division while there was no C division due to a shortage of BVAL teams offering the sport. This means only 6/16 JL sports in the BVAL era have ever been out of the lowest division of the BVAL.

While some teams commonly have most of their teams in the A and B divisions, James Lick currently only has 3, Cross Country, Boys Soccer, and Boys volleyball (though there is no ‘C’ division for boys volleyball). In 20 years now in the BVAL era, with at least 13 sports offered a year, James Lick has never had more than 4 teams in the same year be placed in the ‘B’ division or higher. As such, the cross country team continues to strive to represent the school as a legitimate ‘B’ league team.

BVAL finals in cross country is a great way to prove this strength of program, with all 24 teams in the same race, theoretically a perfectly formatted league would have the MHAL teams place 1-8, STAL place 9-16 and WVAL place 17-24. Any placing higher than 16th in a race legitimatizes the Comets standing and gives the team a sense of pride. As the 4th smallest school in the BVAl, and the 2nd poorest as measured by % of students who receive free/reduced lunch, overcoming this disadvantages to beat schools in a better place to succeed is something to be proud of.

 

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The team after the meet 

The day started well, with the team’s two reserve girls racing for the Comets. After running 29:24 at the Crystal Spring’s invite, Valerie Flores ran 27:09 to place 17th in the reserve race, a huge PR for Valerie. The 9:12 mile pace is by far the best of her career, ending with a very strong peak performance. Brittany Salazar had a similarly huge PR, after running 34:49 at the invitational, she ran 32:41 at league finals. Her 11:05 mile pace was also by far the best of her career. A very strong ending for the two seniors.

The JV girls race was next, as the first scoring race of the day, the team looked for a top 16 team performance. The JV girls is the easiest race to score highly in, as many programs struggle to field a full team. In any case, the Comet girls came in 12th in the BVAL a solid performance. Camila Hernandez lead the group with a very strong time of 24:34. Camila looks poised to have a big track season, and be a key member of the girls team in future seasons. The 8:20 mile pace at league finals was the best of her career. The same was true of Aliana Santos, running 9:01 pace for a time of 26:36. At the CS invite, Aliana ran 29:27, making her league finals PR another outstanding performance. Susie Peterson was next in, while her time of 28:14 was an off race compared to other races this season, it was a solid 30 second PR at Crystal Springs. Ashley Preciado also had the best race of her career, running 29:06 and breaking the 10 minute mile pace barrier for the very first time. Diana Romero ran 31:20 to seal off the team, and Ally Floreza battled through an ankle injury to finish her race and show a warrior spirit in the process.

The Frosh/Soph Boys were next, and they improved their league standing by placing 2nd amongst B division teams at league finals. While final team results are not yet up of FS, I believe that the team managed to finish 8th overall, beating several ‘A’ division teams. Similarly, I do not know the records of the other teams in the ‘B’ division, but this performance may have moved the FS team as high as 2nd place in the STAL.

Vincent Giglio lead the team with a strong PR of 18:22, placing 1st in the STAL to give the team the STAL F/S boys individual champion 2 years in a row. Mark Orpia gave the team a 2nd boy under 20 minutes, running 19:34. The 6:38 mile pace for Mark was the best of his career, though I think it was actually a bit of an off-race for him after he ran 6:40 mile pace at Montgomery Hill a few weeks back. Nien Tran ran 20:18 to manage a 6:53 pace, the first time Nien has run under 7 minute mile pace for an XC race. Rudy Peterson and Melvin Estrada completed the scoring team with times of 21:00 and 21:03, the first the fastest paces of both boys career for a course longer than 2.1 miles. Hugo Marquez was close behind at 21:16, the 7:13 pace being the best of his career as well. Jerricho Habon rounded out the team in 21:25, battling the hip injury that has troubled him throughout much of the season. The team’s 8th place finish saw them defeating 2 teams from the MHAL and running the best James Lick frosh/soph team time in the BVAL era. Their team time of 1:40:25 (100:25) beats the  FS team of 2010 (101:06) for a new BVAL Finals FS record. Our goal of breaking the 100 minute barrier was narrowly missed.

Next up were the varsity girls. Arlet Miranda ran a small PR of 20:12, running a very productive race in which she experimented with running a very hard 2nd mile in preparation for CCS. The Varsity girls team has struggled with finding time to train this season, but the pack of Maria Mendoza in 22:44, Milka Perez in 22:50 and Daisy Nava in 23:02 helped solidify the team’s placing. Denisse Calixto ran 24:28 the best race of her career to come through as the 5th girl. Belen Sanchez had a bit of an off-race running 25:03, though Analilia Regla ran 25:08, the best mile pace of her career as well. The teams time of 1:53:16 (113:16) is the 4th best team time in school history.

Skipping ahead to the reserve race, David Bejines lead the Comets with a strong reserve time of 20:14. Isaak Herrera came in next at 20:31 and Austin Swank was 3rd in 20:50, giving the team 3 athletes solidly under 21 minutes. Both David and Isaak ran under 7 minute mile pace for the first time on a near 3 mile course. Manuel Villalobos ran 21:42 and Esteban Garcia-Gomez ran 22:08 to seal off the top 5.  Kevin Bach ran 22:34 and Daniel Portillo was not far behind in 23:00 a big PR from the Crystal Springs invite. Jesse Friaz finished off the team’s day with a time of 24:26. All 8 reserve boys ran the best mile pace of their career for a new 3 mile course.

The Varsity boys team went in highly motivated, knowing that a good race would clinch  championship. In order to seal the victory, the team would have to hold off a very strong Pioneer team. Erik Olsvold lead the group, displaying his signature strong finish, Erik moved from 15th to 9th place in the last 200 meters of the race. His time of 16:22 is the best time by any James Lick boy in over 10 years, and puts him tied for 20th on the school’s al time list as only a Sophomore. Narrowly holding off Evan Franco of Branham who ran 16:24, Erik also ends the season as the STAL individual champion on the boys side, one year after being the FS champion. Erik’s remarkable improvement, from 18:14 a year ago, speaks to the immense work ethic of the varsity team. Nathan Bernardo and Azael Zamora both missed their PRS, but competed well running 16:47 and 16:59, giving the team 3 boys under 16 minutes in the same race at Crystal Springs for the first time in over a decade. All 3 boys finished in the top 20 overall. Inteus Castro-Lopez had a rough race, but showed his toughness, gritting out a time of 17:33 for a 22 second PR. Gustavo Aguilera also ran a 20 second PR of 17:39, with Gustavo Parra right behind in 17:40.

Pioneer ran a very strong race as well, and ended up placing 5th in the entire BVAL, beating half of the ‘A’ division teams. The Comets nonetheless were able to clinch their STAL championship, placing 2nd out of all 24 BVAL teams, only losing to Willow Glen, the ‘A’ league champs. The fact that the team was able to jump from a disappointing 13th place finish last year, to 2nd this year is truly remarkable. Their team time of 1:25:20 (85:20) is the best James Lick time at BVAL Finals in school history.

When Nathan and Gustavo A were freshmen, they ran 20:36 and 22:34 at BVAL finals.  Nathan was the 7th boy on a varsity team where the #1 runner ran 18:29. That James Lick team placed 20th at BVAL Finals. The work ethic of Nathan and Gustavo, taking minutes  off of their starting times, has helped foster a culture of hard work that has inspired their teammate around them, and drawn in athletes like Inteus and Gustavo P. In their 4 year careers, they saw the varsity boys team move from 20th in the BVAL to 2nd, and from a team time of 97:09 at league finals, to the 85:20 of today.

In the now 38 years of school history (on record) at the Crystal Springs cross country course, the team of 2016 ranks 11th in team time, showing that in 4 short years, the Comets were able to take a team from its 2nd slowest time, back to the times of James Lick’s heyday. It is up to the returning and future members of the team, to keep James Lick where it belongs an to keep driving the team upwards towards greater success. While the varsity and Frosh/Soph boys teams could have committed in the MHAL this year, the girls team has a ways to go before they are able to do the same.

Willow Glen has won 12 of the last 13 BVAL finals meets, and there is no sham in losing to the highly formidable team. The varsity boys team of 2016 showed that the Comets are still capable of competing with the best however, and every year we will try to reach greater and greater heights. The varsity boys, and fellow CCS qualifier Arlet Miranda now look ahead to CCS Finals on November 12th, where they will compete against fellow D3 runners from the CCS. To better understand CCS qualification you can read here:

https://coachbennyreeves.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/what-the-comets-overcome-when-they-make-ccs/

 

The team will unfortunately be without top runner Erik Olsvold at CCS, making a top 3 finish, and a better team time difficult, but the Comets will do their best to try to get a State Qualifier for the first time in 2005.

Thank you for reading as always,

-Benny Reeves

 

STAL 5/ Mt. Sac Invitational Recap

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The team at Mt. Sac after running the course the night before the race.

This blog will detail the Comets final two meets of the regular season. All that remains now is league finals on Monday October 31st, where all 3 divisions of the BVAL will compete together.

On Thursday October 20th, the Comets had STAL # 5, their final meet of the year at Montgomery Hill. The fact that the meet was run with higher temperatures than any of the other Montgomery meets this year hurt the ability for athletes to run huge PRs, but the team competed well nonetheless.

Vincent Giglio and Mark Orpia started the team’s day off very strong, with a 1-2 overall finish in the Frosh/Soph Boys race. Vincent’s time of 17:49 was a small PR and Mark’s time of 18:15 was a 20 second PR. Mark’s time as a freshmen is better than the freshmen PRS of top runners such as Nathan Bernardo and Erik Olsvold, making his future very bright indeed. Rudy Peterson ran a sizable PR of 20:00 to be the 3rd boy in for the Comets. Nine Tran and Jerricho Habon had off days, running 20:02 and 20:09 after both boys ran under 20 minutes a week ago. Hugo Marquez ran a PR of 20:32 and Melvin Estrada ran a solid 21:16 to be the 7th boy.  The Frosh/Soph Boys defeated Independence and finish their season 4-3. They head into league finals 4th in the STAL, but a win over Branham at league finals would likely have them finish in 3rd place in the division. The Frosh/Soph Boys group has rallied strongly over the second half of the season. After having no boys under 20 minutes and only 2 boys under 21 minutes at STAL 1 and 2, the team ended with 4 boys under 20 and a 5th at 20:00, and a 6th boy solidly under 21 minutes. The Frosh/Soph boys represent the depth the boys are building and the likely strength of the program for years to come.

The Varsity girls also defeated Independence, giving them a 2-5 record for the season. This means the girls will likely finish 6th place in the STAL as a team, a respectable showing considering the lack of depth on the girls side. For the girls to be as successful as the boys have been, recruiting more athletes and eliminating athlete turnover need to be focal points going forward. Despite the lower finish on the girls side, it needs to be acknowledged that the girls cross country team is the only James Lick girls team in any sport that is not in the WVAL (c division). Last year the team beat every team from the WVAL by several minutes and is likely to do the same this year. Arlet Miranda lead the team at STAL 5, though she missed her PR running 19:23. Maria Mendoza ran 21:51 and Milka Perez ran a small seasons best of 22:12 to be the 3rd girl in. Daisy Nava ran 22:26, missing her PR by a few seconds. The big breakthrough for the team was Belen Sanchez finishing in 23:37. This huge PR helped close the gap between the team’s 4th and 5th runner, and gave the team a team time of 1:49:29 (109:29) the 2nd best team in school history, only to the team of 2014. Denisse Calixto and Analilia Regla rounded out the team’s scoring.

Despite the absence of Erik Olsvold, the varsity boys were victorious again,finishing their season 7-0 with the win over Independence. Nathan Bernardo lead the group though he had an off race running 16:08. Azael Zamora ran a small PR of 16:13 as did Gustavo Parra who ran 16:45. Gustavo Aguilera, Inteus Castro-Lopez and Jesus Deloya helped finish off the team, though none of them had good races. With their 7-0 record, the Varsity Boys had the chance to get the team their first XC boys championship since 2009 and the school’s first non ‘C’ league championship since the turn of the century. The boys XC team of 1999 won the STAL (and were 1st at BVAL finals overall) to be the last James Lick team in any sport to win a championship in anything higher than the WVAL. The varsity boys team of 2016 will need to finish 1st among STAL schools at BVAL finals to clinch their title.

The JV girls were missing members and unable to field a full team in STAL 5. As a result, they finish 3-4 on the season, though several athletes showed big improvement throughout the season. Chief among them was Camila Hernandez, who ran a PR of 24:06 to place 8th in the JV race overall. Camila’s time is promising for a freshmen girl, and she could be a factor on the varsity side as soon as this track season if she maintains her current level of dedication. Susie Peterson and Aliana Santos both competed as well, and though they missed their PRS, he duo has given the team a solid base all season long. Both girls started the STAL season in the 28 minute range, and have worked their way down to the 26’s. Valerie Flores and Brittany Salazar competed on the reserve side and ended the lady Comets day.

The Reserve boys had one of their best showings of the season, with two boys breaking the 20 minute barrier in the same race. David Bejines lead the group in 19:27, a small PR. Isaak Herrera ran a huge PR of 19:31 to place 5th overall. Isaak has improved by leaps and bounds each season, from a league meet best of 28:22 as a freshmen, to 19:31 as a junior. Only last year he was running in the 22 minute range. The drastic improvement of athletes like Isaak is what has us excited about the number of freshmen boys running under 21 minutes this season. Austin Swank ran 20:16 a narrow miss on a PR. Manuel Villalobos, Daniel Portillo and Jesse Friaz rounded out the Comets day at STAL 5.

The next day, a group of 7 boys and 7 girls headed down to Mt. San Antonio College near Los Angeles for the Mt. Sac Invitational. This trip has been a James Lick tradition since the year 2000, and the team was looking to run fast times in preparation for league finals. The team’s schedule necessitated that they would compete against Division 1 schools (2500 or more students) despite James Lick’s status as a Division 3 school with only 1240 students.

The girls raced first, and battled heat and fatigue to run a solid result. Arlet Miranda ran 20:36 for the 2nd best time in school history. Maria Mendoza was the next girl in for the Comets at 23:08. Milka Perez ran 23:51, and Daisy Nava ran a sizable PR of 24:02. Denisse Calixto ran 25:46 to be the 5th girl and Analilia Regla ran 26:16 to finish off the girls team.The team time of 1:57:23 was the 5th best team time in school history. The team also defeated 3 of the 20 division 3 schools in the race.

On the boys side, Nathan Bernardo lead the team with a PR of 16:54. Nathan’s time places him 4th on the school’s all time list at Mt. Sac. Azael Zamora ran 17:16 to move onto 8th on the school’s all time list, and Inteus Castro-Lopez moved into 14th with a time of 17:25. Gustavo Parra was the 4th boy in 17:48, a huge PR for 18th on the school’s all time list. Gustavo Aguilera was the teams 5th boy in a  very poor race for him of 18:27. Jesus Deloya and Austin Swank also competed at Mt. Sac for the first time, running 19:44 and 21:40 respectively.

Considering the long drive, short night sleep etc, the Comets competed well, though based on the team’s times I’d say the team underperformed considerably at Mt. Sac. Even so, the team placed well on the boys side finishing 9th/20 D1 schools. Their team time of 1:27:50 (87:50) is 4th in school history, and the first sub 90 minute clocking at mt. sac since 2003. The team raced in the same race as fellow BVAL school: Evergreen, a team which recently finished the MHAL (A’ division) season with a 6-1 record. The Comets beat the Cougars by nearly 5 minutes. It should be acknowledged that Evergreen was missing several members of the their varsity team, but their consistent #1 runner was in attendance, and the Comets and 3 boys in before a single Evergreen boy.

The team is now busy at work for league finals, only one week away as I write this now. BVAL finals is the biggest day of the season for most of the team. The top 12 varsity teams at BVAL finals will advance to CCS (assuming that all 24 teams run a full team). After the top  12 teams are determined, the runners from these 12 teams are omitted, and the remaining top 9 individuals advance to CCS as well.

“At Large” marks are given in the CCS as well. These are times that guarantee a spot at CCS if achieved at league finals, regardless of place. These marks exist so that worthy runners are not excluded from CCS in the case of an extremely competitive league. Generally, it is easier to make it to CCS via place than it is to hit the at large marks. In any case, the CCS at large marks for Crystal Springs for a division 3 school are:

86:31 as a team, and 17:34 as an individual on the boys side. In short, any individual varsity boy who runs 17:35 or faster at BVAL finals will go to CCS regardless of place. The same goes for any team who runs a team time of 86:31. On the girls side, the team standard is 106:41 and the individual standard is 21:36. 

This week is all about getting the team primed and ready for league finals. We are looking for every athlete, from boys varsity to girls reserve to end the season with a strong performance. Most athletes are training to peak for league finals, though the Varsity Boys and Arlet are training to peak at CCS. Today the team will run a mile time trial to track the team’s progress from the beginning of the season.

The season is nearly over and it is go time for the team as a whole. Be ready Comets.

 

Comets have fun day at annual Watermelon Run

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The team running along “service road” in Alum Rock Park

 

The Comets participated in the JLXC annual Watermelon run on Friday 9/23. This event has been a team tradition for over a decade now. Athletes contest the North Rim Timed course, the 3.03 mile version of North Rim, which starts and ends at the park entrance. This is our standard time trial course, and It  has proved useful as a means of tracking improvement, and doing course conversions for different athletes.

Athletes earn watermelon slices for participating in the run, and the winner of the run (calculated by time that day, improvement from original time trial, dedication, leadership etc) gets the biggest piece.

The run itself yielded many of the best North Rim timed performances we’ve seen in the 7 years of the courses use. The North Rim timed course, due to it’s hilly nature yields the teams slowest times on any course each season. In Short, whatever an athlete can do for North Rim Timed, they should be able to run faster on any other course we race, and multiple minutes faster on the shorter league race courses.

Nathan Bernardo finished the run first in 17:42, a terrific time, becoming the first athlete to break 18 minutes for the course. This was a poignant moment for Nathan, whose first ever timed run for the team was North Rim Timed during his freshmen year, where he ran 24:27. We have never done the Watermelon run so early in the season, meaning that athletes should still improve considerably from here, but Nathan’s time indicates that he is already in shape to run under 16 minutes at Montgomery Hill. Teammates Azael Zamora and Erik Olsvold were not far behind, running strong times of 18:08 and 18:19 for the #2 and #3 best times on the course all time.

After a few off races, Inteus Castro-Lopez redoubled his focus on training this week, and was looking to run a low 19 while staying relaxed the entire run. He did so with a time of 19:02, 40 seconds better than last year’s Watermelon run in a season where he went on to run 17:00 exactly at Montgomery Hill. Gustavo Parra continues to progress rapidly in his senior year, running 19:10, the first time he’s broken 20 for the course, nearly breaking 19 in the process.

Jesus Deloya ran a small PR of 21:30, and Arlet Miranda ran a big PR of 21:47 to be the first girl in. The freshmen boys began to stream in afterwards. Jerricho Ventura and Mark Orpia came in at 23:33 and 23:36, with Nien Tran at 22:46 close behind. This indicates that all 3 boys should be able to run in the low 20 minute range at Montgomery Hill (Mark has already run in the 20s for STAL 1 and 2). Austin Swank and Isaak Herrera ran big PRS of 23:18 and 23:35 to lead the reserve boys. Melvin Estrada had an off race, but nonetheless ran a nearly 2 minute PR of 24:13, with Hugo Marquez at 24:14 right behind him. Kevin Bach came in with a huge PR of 24:37 as well. With Melvin already having run in the low 20s for STAL 1, and with Vincent Giglio likely being added to the team, the 2-2 Frosh/Soph Boys will be looking to end their season very strong, and should have the goal of getting 5 boys under 20 by STAL #5.

Manuel Villalobos was next in 24:55, a good reserve time. Daisy Nava and Milka Perez streamed in at 26:24 and 26:25, good PRS for the two, though I think they could have run faster. Denisse Calixto ran a solid 27:38, continuing to progress as a varsity girl, and Analilia Regla ran a solid PR of 28:40 despite feeling sick.

Susie Peterson, Aliana Santos and Ashley Preciado clocked in with times of 35:33, 35:55 and 37:03 respectively. Finally, the biggest PRS on the day came from Joseph Allen and Jocelyn Rios. Joseph ran a time of 52:08 at North Rim Timed a month ago, and at the Watermelon run he worked his way down to 42:24. Jocelyn’s improvement was even more colossal, from 55:58 at North Rim timed to 42:29 at the watermelon run.

The Varsity boys at the top, and the reserve runners at the bottom both showed the indomitable spirit that XC runners need, and earned remarkable improvement over the course of the season.

The team has another week of training before heading up to Half Moon Bay for the historic Artichoke Invitational. Artichoke Course History will be up soon to give context to the race. Artichoke is the team’s 2nd or 3rd best all time course list, as the team has been running the invitational nearly every year since the early 1970s. The team will use the race as a final buildup to STAL #3 at Montgomery Hill, in a highly anticipated matchup with Pioneer.

Overall, the team ran very well at the Watermelon Run despite the difficulty of running all out without another team to race. The team is in a good place, particularly on the boys side, and will look to prove that again at the Artichoke Invitational.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

JLXC History: Alum Rock Long Course / STAL League Meet Previews

This blog contains both a course history of Alum Rock Park’s Long course, and a breakdown of the upcoming STAL league meets, including a cool ( I think so anyway) competition chart.  

With just two days left until the 2016 Season opens for the Comets, now is a great time to look over the school’s history at the current Alum Rock race course. Alum Rock Park, only 2 miles away from James Lick, has always given the Comets a home field advantage. Just yesterday, the Comets did hill repeats up the signature North Rim hill, in preparation for their league race.

Alum Rock Park’s short course (the 2.25 mile version which you can read about here: https://coachbennyreeves.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/jlxc-historyalum-rock-short-course/)   was used for MHAL Finals and the Alum Rock Invitational, from 1966-1990. The league switched to the current 2.85 mile version, using a farther back starting/finish line, in the early 90s. 1996 saw the formation of the BVAL, in which 3 of San Jose’s leagues (the MHAL, STAL, and WVAL) were merged to create a 24 team power league. The BVAL gradually moved away from Alum Rock Park as a race course. While it was still raced on most years in the 90s, it was usually used exclusively by the MHAL (‘A’ division). By 2001, the entire BVAL was using Montgomery hill as the leagues only course (with Crystal Springs as the league finals course).

Alum Rock Park was not used for any races from 2001-2007. In 2008, the WVAL held two races at Alum Rock, bringing the course back into activity. In 2010, with James Lick moving up into the STAL (‘B’ Division) 3 Alum Rock races were run. Alum Rock was raced on again in 2012, 2013, and 2015 in only one BVAL division, (It’s likely not a coincidence that the only division to run Alum Rock in the 2000s is always the division that James Lick happens to be in…). We have two races at Alum Rock on the ledger in 2016 (our first two league meets) and I for one will fight to keep races at Alum Rock as long as I am coach.

With a total of 9 seasons on record, the Alum Rock Long Course is no where near as impressive as the Short Course, but it continues to grow stronger each season the Comets run on it, and some notable additions should be made this year.

The team saw it’s earliest strong times in 1993. This team saw Onofre Navarro run 15:36, and Jaime Recondez run 16:05, these times still stand as the team’s #3 and #6 all time marks respectively. The current school record was set in 1995, by star runner Alberto Meza. Meza ran 15:15 for the course at MHAL finals. Despite running a few years after the end of James Lick’s golden era, Meza is a JLXC all time great. In addition to holding the course record at Alum Rock Park for the long course, with a PR of 15:53 at Crystal Springs, Meza is in the top 10 all time on James Lick’s most impressive all time list.

The team of 1997 ran some strong times on the course as well. Will Crane, another all time JLXC great ran 15:36 to tie Navarro’s mark for #3 all time. In addition to Crane, the team had 3 runners make the all time list, with Daniel Rendon at 16:16, Sham Parmar at 16:27 and Rubalcalva at 16:29. These late 90s years marked the beginning of the decline of James Lick’s prolonged Cross Country success. The team of 1997 sent 4 runners to the State Meet, the most in school history. The team of 1996 won the STAL, to win James Lick’s first championship in the BVAL era in it’s very first year of existence.

The team of 1999 won the STAL again, moving into the MHAL, though Alum Rock Park was not run in 99. The year 2000 was the last time Alum Rock Park would be used for several years, and the Comets made it count. Eric Santos ran a very strong 15:28, and Ivan Navarro ran 15:47. This marks the only time in school history where two Comets broke 16 for Alum Rock long course in the same race ( a feat which this years group, Nathan Bernardo and Azael Zamora in particular, is trying to replicate). Brent Nichols at 16:21, Nelson Funston at 16:27, and Jerry Reyes at 16:55 capped off a very strong top 5. This group combined for a team time and school record of 1:20:58 (or 80:58) This team had tremendous potential, and went on to run a very strong team time of 1:25:46 (85:46) at league finals at Crystal Springs to place 3rd in the BVAL. They did this without the benefit of top runner Eric Santos, who may have helped them win the whole thing. Santos would go on to have a great track season, running a 4:25 1600m, the 2nd best time in school history (on record).

The only girls time on the all time list set prior to 2000 was Emel Kayer’s 22:14 in 1997. The team time on the girls side in 2000 was 2:16:44 (136:44) a far cry from the team times of recent years, consistently well under the 2 hour mark.

James Lick remained in the MHAL from 2000-2003, but has not been back in the ‘A’ division since. Nor has the team been able to match the spectacular ‘5 guys under 17 minutes’ for a league race course that teams of the early 2000s were able to achieve. From 2001-2007, the BVAL used only Montgomery hill as a race course. The course returned to Alum Rock just in time for Kayla Matsuda to run the course as a senior. Kayla ran the school record of 18:56 to win a WVAL race in 2008, making her the school record holder on a total of 9 different courses, by any measure, she is without a doubt the best JLXC runner on the girls side in history.

The team of 2008 lowered the team record to 2:09, a 6 minute improvement on the team of 2000. In addition to Kayla, 2008 saw Elsie Carillo run 22:03, currently the 9th best time in school history. The team of 2008 also saw Carlos Montes run 16:52 on the boys side, adding his name to the all time list.

The team of 2010 had numerous additions on the boys side. Currently the #2 team time by JLXC was run in 2010, 1:26:11 (86:11). I ran 16:28 for the course that year, and my teammate Ricardo Flores also broke 17, running 16:40. On the girls side, Ana Tapia ran 20:48, the #3 time in school history. She and teammates Teresa Farias and Melissa Cabrera at 23:5 and 24:02 respectively, helped lower the team record to 2:00:35. The team of 2012, would lower the mark even further to 1:57:12 (117:12) breaking 2 hours as a team for the first time. Alma Padilla ran her PR of 22:41 to be the #2 girl on that team to Daniela Camacho’s 21:25. Armando Aguilar at 17:04, Isaac Sanchez at 17:14 and Luis Carrasco at 17:15 added their names to the all time list for the course that season as well.

The 2013 season saw the girls setting the current team record of 1:49:16 (109:16). They were lead by Daniela’s #2 all time clocking of 19:53. Karla Rodriguez and Paloma Contreras ran strong times of 21:54 and 21:58 to give the team 3 girls under 22 on the course. The 2015 team had the benefit of only one race at Alum Rock Park, their very first race of the season. Even so, the team ran strong, with Arlet Miranda running 21:55, and Elizabeth Guevara running 22:55. Maria Mendoza and Andrea Ortiz would go on to run 20:54 and 21:17 at the post season time trial of the course.  Nathan Bernardo ran 16:33 to add his name to the all time list in 2015, as did Hector Ramirez running 17:02.

Despite the team having only their first league meet at Alum Rock, the boys ran the 3rd best team time in school history in 2015. With only 2 early season meets scheduled at Alum Rock this year, the team of 2016 will be hard pressed to beat the school record, but they should come closer than any team ever has by a long shot.

 

STAL League Race Preview

 

With the team on the verge of facing Branham and Leigh to begin their STAL season, now is a good time to look into an explanation of the significance of various times. As always, our focus is on each athlete being a positive representative of James Lick high school, and improving as much as they can over the course of the season. In my opinion, the most successful runner on the team is the one who improves the most from where they started, not necessarily the team’s fastest runner. If every runner on the team experiences significant improvement,(both as a runner and as a person) and has fun doing so, I will consider our season a success. In terms of competition however, it’s natural to also go after wins, just not at the expense of our team culture.

Here is an explanation of various levels of competitive times in the BVAL:

My hope is that the following information will give athletes who are very competitive context to go with their times, as well as the ability to set goals based on places and tiers, in addition to time and process goals.

The return of the use of the Alum Rock Long course in 2008, has illustrated to me (though some other coaches disagree) that Montgomery Hill and the Alum Rock course are essentially equal in terms of time. The Alum Rock course is .11 miles longer than Montgomery, though the overall hillier Montgomery course makes times turn out very similar on either course. It goes without saying that some runners are stronger on a particular course, and each Course needs to be treated distinctly as it’s own entity. I do think that we can compare Montgomery and Alum Rock fairly closely, and use the common times to establish “league race PRS” based on a runners fastest time between the two courses.

I believe in most cases that the disparity in time between the two courses is due more to the point in the season that each course was run, rather than one course being slower than the other. Last year for example, Nathan ran 16:33 at Alum Rock and 16:10 at Montgomery. His Montgomery time however was run a month after his Alum Rock time, with him closer to peak form.  Montgomery is undoubtedly the slower course in terms of mile pace, but the shorter distance of the course should equate to roughly equal times for the two courses, varying by each runners specific strengths.

In any case, the past decade has indicated the following in terms of competetiveness:

BVAL Competitive Times Chart

These competitive times charts are based on the past 10 seasons, with an emphasis on the past 3. Times are sorted into categories or tiers based on how rare each time is.

Each division has different levels of strength, as you’ll see below, a Strong time in the STAL is only a decent time in the MHAL and so on.

Very Elite: Less than 1% of runners run this fast each year.
Elite: less than 5% of runners run this fast each year.
Near Elite: less than 10% of runners run this fast each year.
Very Strong: Less than 25% of runners of runners run this fast each year.
Strong: Less than 40% of runners run this fast each year.
Solid: Less than 50% of runners run this fast each year.
Decent: Less than 70% of runners run this fast each year.
Respectable: Less than 90% of runners run this fast each year.

Varsity Boys

Time MHAL (‘A’ Division) STAL (‘B’ Division) WVAL (‘C’ Division)
15:00 or faster Elite, usually 1-3 boys a season Very Elite, usually 1-2 boys, if any, run this fast. Very Elite, usually no boy runs this fast.
16:00 or faster Strong, usually 15-20 boys will run this fast Near Elite, Usually about 3-5 boys will run this fast Near Elite, Usually about 2-4 boys will run this fast
17:00 or faster Decent, usually about 30 boys will run this fast Strong, usually about 13-18 Boys will run this fast Very Strong, Usually about 10-15 boys will run this fast
18:00 or faster Respectable, Usually about 50 boys will run this fast. Decent, Usually about 30-35 boys will run this fast Solid Usually about 20-25 boys will run this fast

Varsity Girls

Time MHAL (‘A’ Division) STAL (‘B’ Division) WVAL (‘C’ Division)
18:30 or faster Elite, usually 1-3 girls a season will run this fast. Elite, Usually 1-2 girls, will run this fast. Very Elite, usually no girl runs this fast.
20:00 or faster Strong, usually 10-15 girls will run this fast Very Strong, Usually about 6-10 girls will run this fast Elite, Usually about 2-4 girls will run this fast
21:30 or faster Decent, usually about 28-33 girls will run this fast Strong, usually about 15-20 girls will run this fast Near Elite, Usually about 6-10 girls will run this fast
23:00 or faster Respectable, Usually about 45-50 girls will run this fast. Decent, Usually about 30-35 girls will run this fast Very Strong Usually about 10-15 girls will run this fast

 

Frosh/Soph Boys

Time MHAL (‘A’ Division) STAL (‘B’ Division) WVAL (‘C’ Division)
17:30 or faster Near Elite, usually 4-8 boys a season will run this fast. Very Elite, usually 1-2 boys, if any, run this fast. Very Elite, usually no boy runs this fast.
19:15 or faster Decent, usually about 35-40 boys will run this fast Very Strong, Usually about 10-15 boys will run this fast Near Elite, Usually about 3-6 boys will run this fast
21:00 or faster Respectable, Usually about 50 boys will run this fast. Decent, usually about 28-34 Boys will run this fast Very Strong, Usually about 12-16 boys will run this fast
22:45 or faster Usually every FS Boy who races runs this fast. Respectable, Usually about 40-45 boys will run this fast Solid Usually about 19-25 boys will run this fast

 

A team’s varsity group will always be the thing people focus on. The BVAL division placements are based almost entirely on varsity team strength. The BVAL hold 6 different races at any given league meet.

Varsity Boys (Top 7 Boys)

Varsity Girls (Top 7 Girls)

Frosh/Soph Boys (Top 7 Freshmen and Sophomore boys, not on Varsity)

JV Girls (Top 7 Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors not on Varsity).

Reserve Boys (All remaining boys)

Reserve Girls (All remaining girls).

While Varsity teams are the true focus of a competitive season, the Frosh/Soph and JV teams are also scored, meaning a team can achieve a championship in one of those divisions as well, though only a Varsity Championship will be widely acknowledged. The reserve teams are technically non-scoring, though with the help of XC stats, I will score the meets personally to see which team wins in those races as well. I see no reason why an athlete who works hard to better themselves shouldn’t be able to be a part of a scoring team simply because they were too old for Frosh/Soph or not fast enough for Varsity. Some of our reserve boys the year would be Varsity runners at other schools.

And finally an explanation of how our league meets are scored (If you’ve read this far thank you for your interest).

All 8 teams in the STAL will race at the same time this Thursday at Alum Rock Park. The current schedule indicatesVarsity girls start at 3:30, boys at 3:40 and so on. For STAL #1, we are facing both Branham and Leigh. The BVAL uses head-to-head scoring to determine league meet results. This means that even though 8 teams are racing, our race will be scored first as if only James Lick and Branham ran, and then as if only James Lick and Leigh ran.

Each runner is assigned a point value based on their place in the meet. For example last years STAL 1, which also featured James Lick vs. Leigh, looked like this in terms of scoring.

  1. Nathan Bernardo 16:33 JL
  2. Alec Reynolds 16:49 LE
  3. Hector Ramirez 17:02 JL
  4. Jason Morway 17:14 LE
  5. Inteus Castro-Lopez 17:27 JL
  6. Gustavo Aguilera 17:38 JL
  7. Pearson 17:52 LE
  8. Azael Zamora 17:55 JL
  9. Hisamura 18:06 LE
  10.  Mead 18:07 LE
  11. Jesse Chircop JL 18:15
  12. Gustavo Parra JL 18:38
  13. Carlen LE 19:33

Once a race is finished the top 5 runners places are added up to calculate a team score. In Cross Country the lowest score wins. The 6th and 7th runners displace, so while they don’t affect their own team’s score, they can add points to the other team’s total.

The results of the meet listed above were:

JL: 1,3,5,6,8 (11) (12) for a total of  23 points.

LE: 2,4,7,9,10 (13) for a total of 32 points.

If Jesse as the 6th boy had run 18:05, he would have added two points To Leigh’s score, while not affecting ours.

Hopefully this blog was helpful in understanding how our STAL meets work. The Comets will look to start off strong against Branham and Leigh. The opportunity to take on two larger and more affluent schools is an exciting one for this group of Comets, looking to represent the Eastside well. Branham will be an extreme challenge on the girls side, having placed 2nd at BVAL finals last year and both teams will need to be taken seriously.

STAL #1 recap coming soon. Thank you for reading.

-Benny Reeves

Boys All Time List Alum Rock 2.85 Miles

Place Name Time Pace Date Race Place Grade
1 Alberto Meza 15:15 5:21 1995 MHAL Finals 6th 11
2 Eric Santos 15:28 5:25 2000 MHAL # 1 1st 12
3 Onofre Navarro 15:36 5:28 1993 MHAL Finals 6th 12
4 Will Crane 15:36 5:28 1997 STAL Meet 2nd 11
5 Ivan Navarro 15:47 5:28 2000 MHAL # 1 4th 11
6 Jaime Recondez 16:05 5:38 1993 MHAL Finals 12th 12
7 Daniel Rendon 16:16 5:42 1997 STAL Meet 5th 12
8 Brent Nichols 16:21 5:44 2000 MHAL # 1 8th 10
9 Sham Parmar 16:27 5:46 1997 STAL Meet 8th 11
10 Nelson Funston 16:27 5:46 2000 MHAL #1 10th 11
11 Benny Reeves 16:28 5:46 2010 STAL # 4 3rd 12
12 Rubalcalva 16:29 5:46 1997 STAL Meet 11th
13 Nathan Bernardo 16:33 5:48 09/17/2015 STAL # 1 5th 11
14 Ricardo Flores 16:40 5:51 2010 STAL # 4 5th 12
15 Carlos Montes 16:52 5:55 10/10/2008 WVAL # 2 2nd 11
16 Jerry Reyes 16:55 5:56 2000 MHAL # 1 16th 12
17 Hector Ramirez 17:02 5:59 09/17/2015 STAL # 1 9th 12
18 Armando Aguilar 17:04 5:59 10/04/2012 STAL # 4 18th 11
19 Isaac Sanchez 17:14 6:03 09/20/12 STAL # 2 19th 12
20 Luis Carrasco 17:15 6:03 10/04/2012 STAL # 4 23rd 12

 

Girls  All Time List Alum Rock 2.85 Miles

Place Name Time Pace Date Race Place Grade
1 Kayla Matsuda 18:56 6:38 10/01/2008 WVAL # 2 1st 12
2 Daniela Camacho 19:53 6:59 10/24/2013 STAL # 5 8th 11
3 Ana Tapia 20:48 7:18 10/05/2010 STAL # 2 8th 12
4 Maria Mendoza 20:54 7:20 11/04/2015 Farewell Seniors Race 1st 11
5 Andrea Ortiz 21:17 7:28 11/04/2015 Farewell Seniors Race 2nd 12
6 Karla Rodriguez 21:54 7:41 10/24/2013 STAL # 5 17th 11
7 Arlet Miranda 21:55 7:42 09/17/2015 STAL # 1 21st 9
8 Paloma Contreras 21:58 7:42 10/24/2013 STAL # 5 18th 11
9 Elsie Carrillo 22:03 7:44 10/01/2008 WVAL # 2 6th 12
10 Emel Kayer 22:14 7:48 1997 STAL Meet 12th 11
11 Jennifer Custodio 22:40 7:57 11/04/2015 Farewell Seniors Race 3rd 11
12 Alma Padilla 22:41 7:58 10/04/2012 STAL # 4 33rd 10
13 Gabriela Aguilar 22:43 7:58 10/24/2013 STAL # 5 27th 10
14 Karen Ruiz 22:48 8:00 10/24/2013 STAL # 5 28th 12
15 Elizabeth Guevara 22:55 8:02 09/17/2015 STAL # 1 30th 12
16 Teresa Farias 23:08 8:07 10/19/2010 STAL # 4 34th 11
17 Destiny Lopez 23:52 8:22 10/24/2013 STAL # 5 37th 12
18 Melisa Cabrera 24:01 8:26 09/21/2010 STAL # 1 2nd 11
19 Andrea Romero 24:02 8:26 10/04/2012 STAL # 4 39th 11
20 Daisy Nava 24:23 8:34 09/17/2015 STAL # 1 41st 11

 

 

 

Comets Ready For Season After Strong Alumni Race

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JL Comets and Alumni after the race

 

 

With less than a week before league meets officially begin, the JLXC Alumni Race was the perfect opportunity for the Comets to test their fitness, and practice racing in the park. The Alumni Race at 2.25 miles, is a great tuneup for the current league race version of North Rim, which at 2.85 miles, just uses a different starting and ending point than the Alumni Course. In running the 2.85 mile version, you will also cover all of the Alumni Course.

With the Varsity Boys actively chasing a STAL Championship, the team knew they’d have to be ready to race fast from day 1. The team was able to do just that. Azael Zamora won the race, finishing in 12:57 to become the first Comet (on record) to break 13 for the course since it was eliminated from official race use in the early 90s. The race demonstrated just how far Azael has come in the last year, from a strong 14:28 as a sophomore to run sub-13 as a junior. Nathan Bernardo was close on his tail, running 13:07 for a roughy 20 second PR. Erik Olsvold also ran a huge PR, crossing the finish line in 13:26 after running 15:01 as a freshmen last year. The first Alumni in was next, with JLXCTF all time great, Joe Amendt finishing in 13:36. Inteus Castro-Lopez was right behind in 13:40, running a 36 second PR despite being sick.

Gustavo Aguilera and Gustavo Parra finished the race in strong times of 14:18 and 14:27. During the past few seasons, a time of low 15 or better generally translated to a runner being a decent varsity boy at the STAL (B Division) level. Times under 14:30 have almost always translated into above average STAL runners in recent years. The team’s depth is a strength with a 6th boy under 14:30, though narrowing the gap between the 5th and 4th boy will be a point of emphasis for the team going forward. Sophomore Vincent Giglio ran 15:37, and continues to work towards improving his freshmen times. Alumni, Coach Q was next in, finishing in a strong 16:14. Coach Q is currently at Roberto Cruz Leadership Academy, a new East Side Charter school and has formed it’s first ever Cross Country team! We will be keeping tabs on the Jaguars as they begin their program.

Freshmen Jerricho Ventura and Arlet Miranda finished together in 16:25. Jericho continues to develop at a stellar rate, and Arlet is more than a minute ahead of her times from last year. She is poised to place highly in the STAL league meets, her 16:25 moving her to #4 on the schools all time list for the course. David Bejines and Isaak Herrera were next in 16:33 and 16:34, strong reserve boys times. A trio of boys came next, with Rudy Peterson, freshmen Mark Orphia, and Austin Swank all finishing in 17:05. Two more freshmen, Melvin Estrada and Nien Tran finished in 17:29 and 17:34. Esteban Garcia-Gomez, brother of JL soccer star and now UC Davis soccer player, Kevin Garcia-Gomez, clocked in at 17:54. Hugo Marquez finished just under 18, with a time of 17:59. This gives the team 5 freshmen boys under 18 minutes for the course, and exciting potential for the Lowell Invitational’s freshmen race in a week if all 5 boys attend. More freshmen strength was close behind. Kevin Bach finished in 18:06, and Maria Mendoza was the team’s second girl at 18:11. Daniel Portillo ran 18:27, yet another solid freshmen time for the team. Alumni Edgar Centeno, and Paloma Contreras were next in 18:36 and 18:41.

Alfonso Farias clocked in at 19:02. Alumni Alejandro Arteaga finished in 19:26, with #3 girl Daisy Nava running 19:28 for a PR right behind him. Alumni Oscar Sanchez and Ivan Morales streamed in at 19:45 and 19:54. Denisse Calixto ran 20:03 for a 4 minute PR, and has worked her way onto the team’s varsity plans. Alumni Ivan Luna and Brianna Flores ran 20:17 and 20:21 respectively, and Analilia Regla also ran a huge PR for a varsity caliber time of 20:21. Juan-Carlos Rios finished in 20:32, a nearly 3 minute PR as well.

Three alumni were next,with David Solorio Teresa Farias and Jose Contreras finishing in 21:08, 21:37 and 21:55 respectively. Susie Peterson and Aliana Santos both ran solid JV times of 23:22 and 23:36. Diana Romero ran nearly a 2 minute PR of 24:46, and Elizabeth Perez followed her in at 25:05. Final Alumni, Christian Orozco and Vivian Ngo came in at 27:56 and 28:19. Jocelyn Rios and Brittany Salazar came in together at 28:59. Joseph Allen and Ally Floreza wrapped up the Comets day with times of 29:26 and 29:34.

Overall the Alumni Race was a great day for the Comets. The current members of the team had the privilege of meeting star runners of the past in Joe Amendt, and Greg Machado who was also in attendance.

The team’s first league meet is on Thursday 9/8 at 3:30 in Alum Rock Park, and the varsity boys look very ready to attack the team title. With a good amount of depth especially on the freshmen side, the Frosh/Soph Boys and Reserve boys also look to be very competitive within the STAL.

The girls side lacks the depth of the boys, but is lead by a strong front 4, (including Milka Perez who was sick and unable to run the Alumni Race). The current 5th and 6th girls will need to work hard to close the gap until strong athletes not in attendance like Julia Cruz and Evalilia Garcia can get their grades up. The girls JV team however, should be competitive in a league thats struggles to field full JV girls teams.

In just a few days the Comets will officially open their season at STAL #1! Then two days later, the team will head to San Francisco for the Lowell Invitational in their first invite of the year. JLXC history of Alum Rock’s 2.85 mile course, and race preview coming soon.

Thank you for reading.

-Benny Reeves

 

Comets Test Their Form With Time Trial

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Over a dozen members of the team atop the Todd Quick trail in Alum Rock park.

 

With the Alumni race only a week away, and official league meets beginning in 12 days, the James Lick cross country team took to Alum Rock park to test their readiness with a time trial over the 3.03 mile version of the North Rim trail. The time trial begins and ends at the park entrance and has been run by the team as a way to evaluate fitness every year since 2009. The course is extremely hilly, and an effective test race for the team as no course they will race this year should yield a slower time than this one. The annual pre-season time trial is a great indicator for athletes to look back on and track their progress throughout the season, and over the course of several seasons.

With the varsity boys team looking to attack the ‘B’ division title this season, the team was eager to demonstrate early season form. Prior to this year, several varsity boys have been able to break the 19 minute barrier for the course at some point in the season. Last year was the first time that any runners ran under 20 at the first time trial of the season however, when Nathan Bernardo and Hector Ramirez ran 19:12 and 19:19 respectively. This year, the team is clearly much stronger, with 3 Comets running under the 19 minute barrier to open the season. Nathan opened his senior year strong, running 18:13 (despite missing the team trial and having to run by himself due to a prior obligation). Azael Zamora ran a very strong 18:28, and Inteus Castro-Lopez ran 18:57. Again, no Comet boy in 7 years of using this time trial course had broken 19 to open the season before, and this years team saw 3 boys accomplish just that. In my experience, a varsity boy should run roughy 1 minute faster at crystal springs (the league finals course) and 2 minutes faster at Montgomery hill or the current league race version of north rim, than they do for the North Rim time trial version. This indicates that despite the early stage of the season, the team’s top 3 boys are all either in the best shape of their career, or very close to it. Their league race Prs are: Nathan: 16:10 Azael: 17:19 and Inteus: 17:00.

Erik Olsvold was the 4th Comet in at 19:44, minutes better than the 24:20 that Erik opened the season with as a freshmen. Gustavo Parra continues to look ready for a huge senior year breakthrough, opening his season with a time of 20:11, a 20 second PR as well. At this point in the season, the goal is simply to be ahead of your times from the beginning of the last season, the fact that so many Comets are already running lifetime bests is outstanding. Jesus Deloya continues to successfully rebound from an injury plagued track season with a solid run of 21:53, missing his PR by only 10 seconds despite treating the run as a threshold effort.

Next was freshmen and rising star, Jericho Habon. Jericho is one of a number of freshmen who worked hard all summer and are shaping into a very promising frosh/soph team. Jericho began summer training incapable of running under 8 minutes for the mile. At the time trial however, he ran a time of 22:48, an average of 7:31 per mile for a highly difficult 3 mile course. For reference, Nathan and Erik, two athletes who have mile times comfortably under 5 ran in the 24s their first time doing the North Rim time trial as freshmen, showing that Jericho’s time is an terrific start. He was aided by the pacing efforts of Gustavo Aguilera, who was feeling under the weather and elected to pace his young teammate as he was not fit to time trial. Vincent Giglio had an off race, running 22:56, but has been working hard at practice.

Arlet Miranda was the first girl in, running a time of 23:46. This is the fastest season opening time for a girl since James Lick began contesting the time trial course by almost a full minute.David Bejines, the likely leading runner of the reserve team was next across the line in 24:27. A promising string of freshmen were next, Melvin Estrada, 25:58, Nien Tran, 27:09, Kevin Bach, 27:13, Daniel Portilo, 27:19 and Hugo Marquez, 27:58. These young runners can look to runners like Gustavo A and Jesus, who failed to break 30 mins on their first try as freshmen and are now varsity caliber runners. Isaak Herrera was tucked into the group running 27:50 as well.

Mila Perez and Daisy Nava were the next girls across in 27:51 and 28:11 respectively. Milka looks on track to approach (and I believe exceed) the times she ran in her outstanding freshmen campaign. A knee injury sustained in soccer season left her on the sidelines all of her sophomore year. Daisy’s 28:11 was far better than her 30:03 to open last season, despite the fact that she ran her trial this year while dehydrated. Senior Alfonso Farias finished next in 29:38, and was followed by two more lady comets, Analilia Regla and Denisse Calixto in 29:58 and 30:04. Several girls over the past few seasons have begun the year in the high 20s/low 30s and gone on to solid varsity campaigns, indicating strong promise for Analilia and Denisse.

Susie Peterson finished in 34:31 her best season opener for the course by over 2 minutes. Valerie Flores, Aliana Santos and Elizabeth Perez came in next in 34:50, 35:41 and 35:43. This was Elizabeths best season opening time trial by almost 3 minutes. Senior Brittany Salazar finished in 47:25.A group of freshmen, Joseph Allen, Ally Floreza, Jocelyn Rios and Tyler, finished out the day for the Comets. A total of 31 Comets battling their way through the course, many for the first time.

Overall the team looks to be in a great place with the Alumni race only a week away. Feel free to join us in Alum Rock Park on Friday September 2nd for the event. The race will start at 6:00, any alumni or fans of the team are welcome to come and race or watch.

A history of the Alumni course coming soon.