Comets Shake Off Rust at De La Salle Invitational

After a 2 week hiatus from any racing, the James Lick Comets began their busiest stretch of the season by competing at Newhall Park in Concord, in the hyper competitive De La Salle Invitational. This was the 9th time in school history that James Lick competed at this invitational, the first time being 2005. With less than 10 years on the course, every year the team improves the school’s all-time list on the course, an exciting prospect for many of our runners. The varsity runners contested the 3 mile course, while the JV and frosh/soph runners ran the 2 mile course.

The meet began with the varsity girls race. Jessica Cervantes lead the Comets with a strong time of 22:39, the 6th best time in school history. The Comets were without #2 runner Mya Hammond, but the other girls picked up the slack by running as a pack. Lizbeth Espana and Emely Lopez came in together at 24:37. Mariana Perez ran 24:51 and Ashley Preciado 24:54. Yesenia Martinez ran 26:49 to round out the team. The times from Lizbeth- Ashley are actually quite encouraging. Over the years I have several examples of lady Comets who ran over 25 minutes at De La Salle, who would go on to run under 23 minutes at Crystal Springs for BVAL finals, a solid middle of the pack time. Despite Mya’s absence, the team ran the 2nd best team time on the course in school history, missing the mark of the 2014 squad by only 20 seconds.

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Left to Right: Emely Lopez, Ashley Preciado, Yesenia Martinez, Mariana Perez, Lizbeth Espana and Jessica Cervantes

 

The varsity boys race was next. Top runner Mark Orpia is still battling injury and did not run.  Nien Tran lead the Comets with a solid time of 18:33, the fastest time Nien has ever run for a 3 mile race by over 40 seconds. The last time we ran at De La Salle, Nien was a freshmen, who ran 7:12 pace for the 2 mile version of the course. The 6:11 pace for 3 miles he was able to produce as a senior is the result of 4 years of hard work.

The same can be said about Jerricho Habon who finished in 18:54. He ran only 7:06 pace for the 2 mile as a freshmen and just produced his first sub-19 3 mile clocking at De La Salle. Brandon Cruz was next in 18:55, giving the Comets 3 boys under 19 at De La Salle for just the 2nd time in the 9 years we’ve race the course.

Without Melvin Estrada or Mark present, Omar Fimbres was the 4th boy in 19:51. Hugo Marquez stepped up to give the team a 5th varsity boy, running 22:27. The varsity boys beat 7 teams despite missing some key players, a solid performance as they look ahead to more races to come.

The next race saw the JV and frosh soph girls competing on the 2 mile course. Daisy Flores spearheaded the group with a time of 15:52, just the 3rd girl in school history to run under 16 minutes for the course. This was the single race with the most additions to the all time list for James Lick, since our JV girls have never been stronger than they are right now. Ruth Rodriguez was next in 16:26, the 6th best time in school history. Estefani Herrera claimed the 8 spot in 17:17. Junior Keyla Sifuentes, in her first race for the team impressed by running 17:20, good for #10 on the all time list. Melanny Sanchez and Erika Camacho ran 18:02 and 18:10 for spots 16 and 17, and Kaylena Gil ran 18:32 for the 19th spot on the list. Adriana Marcelino ran 23:18 to round out the girls day with her best performance of the season so far.

This squad managed a new team course record by over 5 minutes, stopping the clock at 84:59.

The next race up was the frosh/soph boys. Justin Nguyen and Ronaldo Castillo came in together at 14:44 and 14:45, solid performances for the duo who will look to crack the 7 minute pace barrier by the end of the season. Omar Sanchez squeezed under 15 minutes with a time of 14:59. Omar continues to be one of our most rapidly improving athletes. A month ago at our north rim trial he ran 9:56 pace for the difficult 3 mile course. The De La Salle Course may be shorter and less challenging but 7:29 pace is a dramatic improvement anyway you slice it.  Navbir Kahlon was next in 15:12, the 7:36 pace being the best of his career so far. Carlos Nava (16:17) Huu Thai (16:45) and Jason Garcia (17:02) rounded out the group.

The final race of the day was the JV boys over the 2 mile course. Josh Merin lead the group in 14:40, his best performance of the season so far. Abraham Benitez was the next boy across in 15:00 even. Rodolf Ocamp and Luis Escamilla came in at 15:35 and 15:52. This was the 2nd straight race under 8 minute pace for Luis.

The Comets have their 2nd league meet of the season on Thursday September 26th against Branham. Branham has been by far the toughest boys team in the division over the last 2 seasons, and the Comets  will be mostly focused on achieving PRS after a rough showing at our first league meet this season.

Then the team will take to the Scott Bauhs Invitational in Pleasanton for the first time in school history on Saturday September 28th.

Thanks for reading!

-Benny Reeves

 

Comets Set New Team Record For Total Points Scored at ST Division Finals

The James Lick Track Team contested day 2 of the ST division finals(‘B’ division of the BVAL) on Saturday May 20th at Lincoln High School. It was the teams 2nd year in the ‘B’ division in the BVAL era (since 1996). In the teams first year, the Comets scored a grand total of 110 points at division finals. A respectable combined total. This year the team managed a total of 158 points, a strong improvement over the year before.

To make ST division finals, many of the events require the athletes to compete in prelims on Thursday, in order to advance to the final on Saturday.  The top 8 athletes in each event score points for their respective teams, while the top 5 in each event advance to BVAL Championships on May 2nd with the chance to advance to CCS Trials.

The meet began with the 4×100. The girls team of Chantrea Thach, Marquise Nelson, Yeimili Adame and Mya Hammond combined to run 56.32 and took 6th overall (3 points for the team). This ends a year for the girls sprint crew full of struggle, with injuries really taking a big hit on the teams depth.

The boys however performed very strongly. The 2018 team was the first Comet team since 2002 to run under 46 seconds for the 4×100. They did so at division finals last year, running 45.88, (5th place) and followed that up with a 45.51 at BVAL champs where we placed 11th, three places off a CCS berth. This years group improved upon the “best time since 2002 status” by running 45.27, only .05 off of the winners, Pioneer.

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Raven Alcantara handing the baton off to Rodolf Ocampo on the 1st exchange 

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this breakthrough time for the team of Raven Alcantara, Rodolf Ocampo, Salvador Lopez and Geovanny Campos is that every member of the squad is a junior. The team has their sights set on the 45 second barrier at BVAL champs.

The boys 1600 was next, and it was the only distance event where the Comets did not produce points. Nonetheless, both Mark Orpia and Brandon Cruz ran PRS, running 4:55 each, and Melvin Estrada ran a seasons best 5:05 as well. The girls 1600 took place on Thursday, so the next event on the track was the 100 hurdles.

Valeria Cortez won her 3rd consecutive title in the 100 hurdles with a seasons best (2nd best time of her career), 16.84. This was Valeria’s 5th individual championship for the Comets at BVAL division finals (she has 2 in girls discus). While it needs to be acknowledged that all of Valeria’s individual championships came within a division of a larger league, this accomplishment ties her with John Aguiar and Joe Amendt as the only Comets (on record) in school history to win 5 individual league/division titles for the school.

John Aguiar won the SCVAL league title in 100 yard dash from 1953-1955 and had 220 yard dash titles in 53′ and 54.’ Joe won 4 consecutive 800m titles in the MHAL (now the ‘A’ divsion of the BVAL) and won the mile title as a senior as well. The accomplishments/marks of John and Joe are objectively more impressive but is still a hallowed club that Valeria joins, and an achievement we are very proud of.

Yesenia Martinez also qualified for BVAL champs for the 2nd consecutive season with a seasons best 18.57 clocking for 2nd place.

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Valeria Cortez won the 100 hurdle final by a wide margin

In the boys 110 hurdles, the Comets saw a pair of breakthroughs as well. Rodolf Ocampo ran under 17 seconds for the first time, stopping the clock at 16.85 to advance to BVAl champs with a 3rd place performance. Rodolf took 3rd place in pole vault on Thursday as well, helping him become the boys teams highest point scorer at division finals. Joshua Merin in only his 3rd hurdle race ran 18.07, a massive PR for 6th place, just .02 away from a spot at BVALs.

We very much regret not having Josh try hurdling earlier. He ran 21.18 on his first try, then 2 weeks later ran 19.30, only 2 days before his 18.07 clocking today. As a junior, Josh figures to keep improving in the event next season as well.

After running a big PR of 1:05.65 on Thursday, Yeimili struggled in the 400m final, running 1:08 for 8th place. Misael Herrera placed 6th for the Comet boys in 54.88, a good improvement for a team that had no 400m runners make the division final a year ago.

The biggest PR of the day in terms of a major step forward was in the boys 100. Raven has been our best sprinter over the past 2 seasons. He capped off last season at 11.79, and narrowly missed making BVALS (he placed 6 at division finals). His primary goal this year was to advance to BVALS in the 100, but he had only lowered his PR to 11.72. Raven is  a masterful starter, but his weakness has been holding his speed at the end of races. This is evidenced by the fact that his 200m PR entering this season was 25.12 compared to a 100m best of 11.79. This season, he lowered his 200m best all the way down to 24.04 prior to the 100m final, which to me was a sure sign he finally had the strength he needed.

Raven delivered on all hopes, running a massive PR of 11.47 to place 3rd and punch his ticket to BVALS. While there was no wind gauge on what seemed to be a strong tailwind, Raven defeated runners who had run as fast as 11.51 and 11.58 in wind legal conditions this season, showing the legitimacy of his PR.

The girls 800 saw Arlet Miranda run a seasons best 2:30.01 for 2nd place, her best 800m time since her sophomore year when she made CCS in the event. This was especially impressive considering Arlet had to lead the chase pack with winner Hannah Gehrt of Lincoln more than 5 seconds clear of any other runner. Arlet was nearly 4 seconds ahead of 3rd place as well. Mya Hammond ran a PR of 2:48.81 for 9th place, just missing scoring.

Jerricho Habon coasted to a 3rd place finish in the boys 800 running 2:09, sealing his place at BVALS and extending the Comets streak of having at least 1 boy represent the team at BVALS in distance events to a 5th consecutive year, (the girls streak is at 7). Garret Hedlund of Pionerr (1:57 seasons best) and Omar Pina (4:27 1600 PR) were well clear of the field, but Jerricho impressively out-kicked the chase pack.

The Comets had some strong performances in field events as well. Marquise tied for 2nd place in girls Shot Put with a new PR of 33-0. Valeria took 4th in 32-9.5. Sal became the first Comet boy since 2014 to advance to BVAL champs in the long jump, placing 3rd with a leap of 19-4.75. Geo Campos also scored for the team with a jump of 18-5 for 7th place.

The girls 300 saw Valeria take 2nd in a PR of 52.08. Arlet placed 6th though her time was poor as she was fatigued from the 800m. Valeria’s 2nd place 300 hurdle saw her end the day with a total of 33 points at division finals. This is a school record at division finals, bettering her own record of 29 points at the ‘C’ division finals of 2017. As every athlete is allowed 4 events maximum, Valeria’s 33 point performance is very hard to top. She tied with Taylor Hohn of Lincoln (1st in triple jump, 2nd in long jump, 1st in 200m, 2nd in 100m) as the most valuable athlete of the meet.

I do not have records of points scored in league meets from before I was coaching. That being said, I am almost done with year 6 of coaching. In that time, the highest point total any athlete accumulated in a single season was Valeria’s 130 points in 2017, our last year in the ‘C’ division. This year Valeria shattered that mark, with her 33 points at division finals giving her 155 for the season. Considering the 2nd most scored in a season is 113, (by Karan Singh in 2015) I think Valeria’s unofficial record will stand for a long time. We are really going to miss her.

Rodolf and Mark both had off races in the 300 hurdles, but managed to add 4 points to the meet total between the two of them. Raven made it a 2nd PR on the day by running 23.94 in the boys 200 for 7th place. Next up was the girls 3200. Many of the girls were fatigued due to the short meet at the end of long week. This left the door open for Arlet to take 4th for the team, and Yeimili to place 5th in 13:59. Yeimili was only put in the 3200 because of the thin nature of the entries in the division, and because of her XC running proficiency. After qualifying for BVALs, her training will shift quite radically from 400 based to 3200 based for the remainder of the season.

Due to the lack of depth on the girls side, we opted to not contest the 4×400. The boys 4×400 was a very exciting race, with James Lick, Live Oak and Pioneer trading the lead throughout the race. The Comets were in 1st place with 150 left but both Pioneer and Live Oak pulled away in the final straight. Misael, Geo, Jerricho and Sal combined to run a seasons best 3:40.45, and the team will be looking to run faster at BVALS with a chance to qualify for CCS trials on the line.

When all was said and done, the scores for the meet were as follows.

Boys: 

  1. Pioneer: 234.5
  2. Lincoln: 91
  3. Live Oak: 81.75
  4. James Lick: 78
  5. Piedmont Hills: 53
  6. Prospect: 52.5
  7. Sobrato: 16.25
  8. Oak Grove: 11

Girls: 

  1. Lincon: 125
  2. Piedmont Hills: 117.50
  3. Pioneer: 82.50
  4. James Lick: 80
  5. Prospect: 78
  6. Sobrato: 64.50
  7. Oak Grove: 29.50
  8. Live Oak: 7

Of the girls 80 points, a vast majority were scored by seniors:

Valeria Cortez: 33 points

Arlet Miranda: 20 points

Marquise Nelson: 16.5

The team will need younger athletes to step up to remain competitive after some huge losses to come.

On the boys side however, things look good with all of the team’s top 5 point scorers being juniors:

Rodolf Ocampo: 16.5

Salvador Lopez: 11

Raven Alcantara: 10

Mark Orpia: 10

Jerricho Habon: 7.5

The Comets and other ESUHSD schools will have the benefit of Spring Break next week to train hard in preparation for BVAL finals on May 2nd at Westmont High School.

We have high hopes to send a handful of athletes on to CCS.

Thanks for reading!

-Benny Reeves

 

 

Comets Shake Off Rust at Los Gatos All Comers Meet

The James Lick Track team sent 24 members of its team to compete in the Los Gatos All Comers meet on Saturday February 23rd. The meet was a rustbuster for the team, providing a low-key setting for the athletes to get back in the groove of things before official meets begin.

The meet saw several encouraging early season results for the team. To begin, the Comets top two 100m sprinters competed in the long jump, each just taking two attempts. Raven Alcantara went 18-5, a PR by more than a foot, a great sign heading into the season. Geo Campos went 17-0 in his very first try at the event, a solid starting point.

 

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Geo Campos jumping a PR of 17-0 in long jump 

 

In the high jump, Yesenia Martinez cleared 4-2. Yesenia’s PR is 4-6, but last year she could not clear 4-0 at this point in the season so this is a solid result. Josh Merin cleared 5-0 for the first time in the event and Salvador Lopez went 5-4 to lead the Comets on an off-day by his standards.

The first track event for the Comets was the 800, where several distance running Comets tested their fitness. Brandon Cruz clocked in at 2:30 in a relatively relaxed effort, still just 5 seconds off of his PR. Jessica Cervantes lead the lady Comets in 3:00 with Ashley Preciado not far behind in 3:04. These two ladies will be asked to form a strong core of distance runners this season after coming off of a strong cross country season.

Erika Camacho managed a massive PR of 3:11, taking almost 20 seconds off of he previous best. Lizbeth Espana had a strong debut running 3:14 for the event in her first ever try. Estefani Herrera struggled to a 3:34 but this is still ahead of her best clocking from last year at this time.

The 60 meter hurdles were next. Yesenia Martinez clocked in at 12.18 a PR by nearly two seconds. They ran the boys event as the 60 meter hurdles as well, unlike the typical 65 meter run. Rodolf Ocampo clocked in at 9.97 for the event with Mark Orpia at 10.48. Even adjusting for the extra meters, this was a very solid debut for both boys, and they could go along way towards ensuring the loss of Cody Huoch does not sink the team in the hurdles.

The Comets had more to feel good about in the 100 meter dash. Raven stopped the clock at 12.02. Raven’s PR is 11.79 set last season at our final dual meet in late April. For reference however, he started last season at the Willow Glen Invite at 12.92 and did not run under 12.5 until April 19th. Raven is in a very good place heading into the season, poised to be a legitimate sprint presence for the team this season.

Geo also showed strong stuff, running 12.27. This is considerably better than Geo’s 12.85 season opener from last season. This duo of juniors will be heavily relied upon by the team. Misael Herrera made his season debut by running 13.02 despite tightening up, and Angel Guerrero made a solid debut for the team running 13.07 in his first ever track meet.  Krystal Tran made her debut in the event, running 16.95.

Sal lead the Comets in the 400 with a season opening time of 57.43. Sal’s PR is 56.02 and his season opener last year was 59.5, showing Sal is in a solid place as things stand. Josh made his 400m debut running 1:00.47. The Comets should have a number of options in the 4×400 this season.Mya Hammond and Jessica ran 1:16 and 1:17 respectively in the 400. Yesenia clocked in at 1:21.

Next up on the track was a heat of the 1500 followed by a heat of the mile. Brandon Cruz clocked in at 4:56 for the 1500, which translates to roughly a 5:14 1600m time, which would equal Brandon’s PR. In the mile (9 meters longer than the 1600 run in High School), Jerricho Habon ran 5:11 which would be a more than 5 second PR and Mark Opria stopped the clock at 5:16 after a rough final lap. These 3 Comet boys are in a good place to start the season, and all 3 figure to attack the 5 minute barrier very soon.

On the girls side, the Comets were lead by Ruth Rodriguez in 7:21, narrowly missing her PR. Emely Lopez and Jana Kikia had solid early season showings running 7:33 and 7:43 respectively.

The Comet sprinters took to the 60 metr dash next. The 60 is a great way to work on the drive phase/ block start for sprinters, and several Comets had already run it earlier this season to check their fitness. Raven again lead the team with a new PR of 7.41, considerably better than the 7.67 he clocked last month and the best 60 meter time of any Comet since I’ve bene coaching. Geo was next in at 7.60, his first time running the event. Sal managed a slight PR of 7.83, bettering his time of 7.85 from last month, impressive considering he didn’t run the 400 beforehand at his first try.

Josh lowered his PR form 8.20 to 7.93 and Angel made his debut in the event and clocked in at 8.12. Jessica and Mya are focused primarily on distance running, but they both lowered their PRS by more than a 10th of a second as well, running 9.29 and 9.34 respectively.

The final track event on the day for the Comets was the 200, and it was more encouragement for the boy sprinters. Geo managed a PR of 25.05, beating his previous best of 25.37 handily. Sal ran the 200 rarely last year, and managed a huge PR of 25.51 (previous best 26.37). Rodolf ran 25.98, a  PR by nearly a full second as well.  Angel had a solid debut of 26.44 and Jerricho ran a PR of 26.47 to end the Comets track day.

Ariana Marcelino threw the Discus 52 feet in her season opener, the only Comet to throw at the meet.

The Comets left the meet with a lot of things to feel good about especially on the boys side.  The Comets will be getting huge reinforcements on the girls side as Winter sports just ended this past week.

The girls basketball team made it to 2nd round of CCS, and the team’s top 2 returning sprinters, Natalie Rem and Lisbeth Galdamez should be out to join the team now that the season is over.

The team will get resident superstar Valeria Cortez as well. Valeria placed 3rd at CCS finals in wrestling and competed at the State meet this past weekend. Her addition will be a big boon for the team.

We are also navigating the fact that our track is under construction, the hope is it will be completed in a few weeks but currently we are doing the best we can to train without the use of our track.

The team will head to Independence for an all comers style scrimmage meet this Thursday February 28th. Some of the team will then take to the Willow Glen Invitational on Saturday March 2nd for the official season opener.

Track season is just about here!

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

 

 

 

Comets Set 30 PRS (Personal Records) at 2nd League Meet

The James Lick Comets had their 2nd league meet of the 2018 season on Thursday September 27th. The team was facing off against the Branham Bruins. The Bruins were a difficult opponent as they appear to the be the class of the ‘B’ division through the first month of the season. Although both varsity squads fell to the Bruins, the Comets had a huge number of athletes run PRs, achieving one of the highest PR totals for a single meet on record in school history.

The meet began with the frosh/soph boys. The Branham team is by far the best squad in the division, so the frosh/soph boys fell to 0-3. The Comet boys ran much better than they did last week however. Omar Fimbres placed 4th overall in 18:32 a PR by over 2 minutes. Jo-Jo Bradley ran 19:50, missing his PR. Jonathan Cortez and Jay Austria ran 20:15 and 20:58 respectively, both were PRs by over a minute. Alberto Trejo was the 5th boy in 23:51, a PR by over 40 seconds.

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The Varsity Girls before the race 

The Varsity girls were the next race up. It was a big matchup, with both teams at 2-0 and the Bruins one again defeated the Comets, though not without a big fight. Every member of the squad who had run Montgomery Hill before ran a big PR, and produced a thrilling race overall. Arlet Miranda took it out fast from the gun, leading the race through the first mile. Last week, she finished 3rd behind Emily Harris of Sobrato and Skyler Miller of Branham. Both girls are seniors like Arlet, so she has been running against them for 4 years, with Emily and Skyler trading race wins the majority of those years. Arlet took 2nd behind Emily today, and beat Skyler for the first time in her entire career in a league meet. This was a really clutch performance on behalf of Arlet, and it resulted in a PR of 19:10. This was a PR two years in the making (Arlet’s previous best was 19:13 as a sophomore) and was 46 seconds better than last week.

Yeimili Adame was the next Comet in, finishing in 10th place at 21:14. This was a PR by nearly a minute for Yeimili, as well as the first top 10 finish of her career. Belen Sanchez ran a PR of 22:18, beating her previous best of 23:30 by over a minute. Ashley Preciado and Jessica Cervantes ran 22:57 and 22:59, both girls had never run under 23 minutes at Montgomery Hill before. Jenny Villagomez ran a 12 second PR of 23:31 and Yesenia Martinez completed the course for the first time, running 25:15. The team ran a combined team time of 1:48:18, the 2nd best team in school history only to the team of 2014. The team has two more cracks at the record (1:45:57) this season.

The Varsity Boys had a very good race as well, going 7 for 7 on PRs, despite another loss to Branham. Mark Orpia lead the group again in 17:09, 15 seconds faster than last week. He was the only Comet to break the 18 minute barrier last week, while 5 boys accomplished the feet this week. Jerriho Habon and Melvin Estrada came in together at 17:30 and 17:31 (Previous PRs of 18:19 and 18:03 respectively). Brandon Cruz stoped the clock in 17:44, a PR by 52 seconds. Jared Resendiz finished in 17:59, shattering his PR of 19:03. Nien Tran managed a 40 second PR of 18:11 as the 6th boy and Geo Campos ran 19:10 to PR by 13 seconds.

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Brandon Cruz (Left) Geo Campos (Middle) and Jared Resendiz (Right) pacing together in the first mile 

The reserve boys were next, and they would match the 7 PRs of the varsity boys. Daniel Portillo lead the group in 19:29, a PR by 21 seconds. Gustavo Madrigal ran a PR of 20:21, shaving 36 seconds off of his previous best. Rodolf Ocampo did the same, running 21:35. Hu Thai ran a massive PR in just his 2nd race for the team. Hu finished in 24:19, a PR by 3 and a half minutes, yet he would not even lay claim to the biggest Comet improvement of the day. Josue Gomez finished in 25:34 after running over 31 minutes last week. Alexis Sarellano made his debut for the team in 25:41, not far behind. Rafael Yanez ran 27:12, after failing to break 30 minutes a week ago, and Kevin Santacruz rounded out the team by running 29:23. Kevin’s time from a week ago was 34:56.

The PRs continued with the final race of the day, the JV/varsity girls. Last week, Jessica won the race in 23:30 without another girl from any team running under 25 minutes. That earned her a spot on varsity this week. With Jessica moving up, Ruth Rodriguez won the race in a huge PR of 24:20, last week she ran over 26 minutes. Giulissa Correa and Estefani Herrera came in together at 25:35 and 25:39 respectively. Neither girl had run under 27 minutes before. Erika Camacho had an off race finishing in 26:20. Emely Lopez was the 5th girl in for the team in a 1 minute PR of 26:29. Francine Estranero ad Jhesselyn Santos both ran strong PRs of 28:18 and 28:28 respectively.  Jhesselyn had not run under 30 minutes for Montgomery Hill before. Araceli Mejia finished in 31:11, missing her PR by mere seconds to end the Comets day.  The JV girls came away with the win, moving to 3-0.

The day yielded more PRs than the Comets have ever achieved at the 2nd league meet of the season since I’ve been coaching. Things look very god for the team going forward, if they can continue to improve at such a high rate.

The varsity team will compete at the Stanford Invitational on Saturday September 29th before the entire team will head up to Crystal Springs for the Aragon hosted Center Meet on Wednesday October 3rd.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Comets prepare for season with Los Gatos All Comers Meet

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Cody Huoch racing the 65m Hurdles

The Comets are just a few practices away from opening their season officially at the Willow Glen Invitational on March 3rd. A few of the team’s athletes took to the Los Gatos All Comers meet on February 24th to test their readiness for the season.

Two young runners began the day for the team competing in the 800m. Brandon Cruz ran a 2:40 for his first try at the event after a solid Sophomore XC season. Francine Estranero ran 3:20 for her first ever track competition.

A large number of Comets competed in the 60m hurdles for girls and 65m high hurdles for the boys. Valeria Cortez lowered her school record in the seldom run event to 11.08, compared to the 11.30 she ran at the same meet a year ago. Susie Peterson and Kirsten Yutuc ran solid times of 11.77 and 12.15.

Cody Huoch lead the boys in the 65 hurdles with a time of 10.26. This puts Cody 4th on the school’s all time list. Jonathan Bradley made his debut in 12.24 and Dakota Castro-Lopez ran 16.16 despite a fall.

Jose Limon opened his season in the 400 with a clocking of 56.42. Many of the team’s distance runners tested their speed with the 400m as well. Azael Zamora ran 59.48. Jerricho Habon had an impressive debut time of 1:03.04. Melvin Estrada opened his season with a small PR of 1:05.67. Jonathan Bradley ran a debut time of 1:07.75. On the girls side, Ashely Preciado and Mariana Perez ran 1:24.32 and 1:26.90 respectively.

In the throwing events, the team was represented by some of the team’s best athletes. Alejandra Ceron and Valeria threw 30-10 and 29-11 for the Shot Put, both girls are ahead of where they were at in the event at this time a year ago. Adriana Marcelino threw 19-1, nearly a PR in her first meet.

Overall it was a solid day for the team as it looks ahead to the start of the season.

The team will head to the Willow Glen Invitational on March 3rd before hosting Pioneer HS on March 8th in James Lick’s first ever ‘B’ division track meet.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

Lady Comets Finish Season 7-0, Boys 5-2

The James Lick Track Team finished their regular season with a dual meet at Yerba Buena high school. It was a dramatic showdown as both teams entered with the exact same record, with both boys teams 5-1 and both girls teams 6-0, making this dual meet essentially the battle for the league championship. The team was looking for a good showing, and performances which showed the team’s readiness for league finals next week.

The meet began with an upset win in the girls 4×100. The team of Lyndel Ventura, Maria Mendoza, Karen Montes and Andrea Ortiz ran 54.15 to narrowly defeat the Warriors, The 2nd best time on record in school history. The boys team fell to the Warriors, but ran a huge seasons best time of 47.11, with Hadji Yono-Cruz, Jesse Chircop, Misael Herrera and Jose Limon combing for the time. Both 4×100 teams are hitting their peak at the right time.

The girls 1600 was won by Arlet Miranda in 5:46. Elizabeth Guevara and Carla Manzanares ran PRS of 6:13 and 6:37 respectively, and Analilai Regla narrowly missed her PR, running a seasons best of 7:29. On the boys side, Nathan Bernardo and Azael Zamora practiced racing tactics, they tucked in with the YB boys and unleashed strong kicks over the last lap to take 1st and 2nd both in 4:57.7.

The girls 10o hurdles saw a 1-2 finish of Valeria Cortez and Andrea running 18.01 and 18.05 respectively. This was Valeria’s first ever win in the event (in large part because Andrea had won the event in 5/6 prior dual meets) and a PR for both runners. Both girls are poised to break 18 seconds at finals. Susie Peterson ran a big PR of 19.20 as well, giving her  good chance at making finals next week. Hadji and Jonathan Rodriguez combined for a 1-2 finish on the boys side as well, Jonathan running a solid PR of 19.37 in the process.

Maria ran a seasons best 1:08.07 in the girls 400 to get the win for the team, with Carla running a PR of 1:17 in the race as well. On the boys side Lemon managed 3rd place for the team. Misael ran a small PR of 57.72, while Erik Olsvold and Vincent Giglio both broke 60 for the first time, running 58.10 and 58.97 respectively. Karen Montes and Jesse Chircop both ran very strong races into headwinds to take 2nd for the team in each respective 100m race. Susie  ran a PR of 15.19 as did Aliana Santos at 16.11. Brecia Dagio had a very strong debut in the event, running 14.87.

The girls 800 was a 1-2 finish for the Comets, Arlet paced Daisy Nava to a big PR of 2:42.77.  On the boys side Nathan won the 800 in 2:11.02 despite holding back significantly. This is Nathan’s fastest ever time at a dual meet and only 2 weeks ago would have been a PR. Hector Ramirez ran a huge PR of 2:12.57 for 2nd place. Andrea won the 300 hurdles in 51.56, defeating rival of Angelica Salvador of YB in the process. Jonathan ran a PR of 46.78 to place 2nd in the 300 hurdles, with Gustavo Aguilera a close 3rd.

Maria placed 2nd in the girls 200 in a strong time of 29.36. Karen grabbed 3rd for the team. Brecia ran 31.80 for her first try at the event. Lemon placed 2nd for the team in the boys race, with standout athlete Anthony Richard winning both sprints for YB.Isaak Herrera ran a PR of 29.69 in the race. Arlet and Eli combined to place 2nd and 3rd in the girls 3200, while Inteus Castro-Lopez and Azael Zamora did the same thing in the boys 3200. Both YB 4×400 teams defeated the Comets.

Elyse Elder placed 2nd for the team in high jump at 4-4 and Brecia had a PR of 4-2 as well. Elyse also won the long jump in 14-5 with Lyndel placing 3rd in 14-1. Lyndel took 2nd place in the Triple jump with a leap of 26-9. Hadji and Nathan took 2nd and 3rd in Long jump with marks of 18-5 and 18-3 restively, Hadji’s jump being a PR. Nathan took 3rd for the team in triple jump, going 38-5.

The girls got a huge boost out of the throws, where the team took 17 out of 18 available points. Valeria had a huge day, throwing PRS of 31-1 in Shot Put and 91-4 in Discus to win each event and break the 30 foot and 90 foot barriers. With her throw in Discus, Valeria leapfrogs teammate Alejandra Ceron into 2nd place on the schools all time list. Alejandra placed 2nd in both throws, and Leymsi Saldana took 3rd in Discus with a  throw of 55-9. Valerie Flores had a solid Discus PR of 54 feet as well.

Josh Garcia won the Boys Shot Put and Daniel Medina placed 2nd with throws of 35 feet and 34 feet. Daniel also gained his first ever Discus win, throwing a PR of 93-6. Osman Lopez had a big PR of 85-3.50 as well.

The boys meet was very close, with all running events concluded, Triple Jump was the final event contested with the scored locked at 59-56 Yerba Buena leading. The final score was 67-57 with Yb taking the win on the boys side, sending the Comet Boys into WVAL finals in 3rd place.

On the girls side however, the team accomplished what they had set out to do. The team now boasts the first undefeated season in school history on the girls side, with the 76-51 win against the Warriors. The team will need to place 2nd or better next week at WVAL finals in order to clinch their championship.

The team is tapering down and each athlete is getting ready to perform to the best of their ability next week at WVAL finals at Overfelt high school. This is a 2 day event, with Wednesday May 4th holding trials for all lane events, and finals for a few select events. Friday May 6th will then hold all remaining finals. The top 8 in each event score points and the top 4 in each event advance to BVAL Championships the following week.

WVAL Finals preview coming soon.