Both Boys Relays Teams, 3 More Individuals Advance to CCS Trials

Counting the relay athletes, the Comets had 9 CCS qualifiers from the BVAL Finals meet on Thursday May 2nd at Westmont High School. This is the most athletes the team has seen qualify for CCS in the entire BVAL era (since 1996). That being said, the team only produced 3 individual qualifiers, compared to 4 the year before.

The meet features the top 7 athletes from the ‘A’ division finals, the top 5 athletes from the ‘B’ division finals and the top 4 from the ‘C’ division finals. In some events, additional athletes competed in the case that the “At-large” mark was reached. For example if the 5th place time in the ‘C’ division final was high quality enough, they would also advance to BVAL finals.

For the most part, every event has 16 entries and the top 8 in each event advance to CCS Trials.

The meet began with the pole vault. Last year at BVAL finals, both Mark Orpia and Rodolf Ocampo competed, representing the Comets at the meet in Pole Vault for the first time in school history. They went 9-0 and 8-6 respectively, both PRs at the time. The duo has come a long way, with the pair achieving PRS of 10-8 and 10-2 respectively at this years addition. They placed 10th and 12th.

Next up was the girls discus. Valeria Cortez took 2nd overall with a toss of 111-1, sealing her 4th consecutive CCS appearance in the girls discus. Joe Amendt and Ruth Lebeau are the only other Comets (on record) to make CCS four times in a single event. Marquise Nelson managed a PR in the event though she came in 10th, ending her career with a best of 94- 4.5, the 5th best mark in school history in the discus.

The running events began at 5:00 PM with the 4×100. This years squad has established themselves as the best 4×100 team from James Lick in many years and they backed it up, becoming the first 4×100 team from James Lick to make CCS trials in the BVAL era. The squad of Raven Alcantara, Rodolf Ocampo, Salvador Lopez and Geovanny Campos combined to run a seasons best 45.06 to place 7th, clinching their spot at CCS.

The next event with Comet competitors was the hurdles. Valeria ended her career in the event with a 17.28, finishing 10th place. Valeria’s PR of 16.75 in the event is currently the #3 all-time mark in school history (on record).It was an off race for her, where many times were hampered by a headwind. Yesenia Martinez was racing well until she clipped a hurdle and stumbled, losing her balance. She recovered but it was a poor time by her standards.

The performance of the day in my opinion, and perhaps the performance of my entire coaching tenure was Rodolf in the 110 hurdles. Last year, Rodolf began hurdling late in the season and ended the year with a PR of 19.01, not advancing to BVAL finals. This year, he improved dramatically, lowering his PR all the way down to 16.85 at ‘B’ division finals to place 3rd and qualify for BVALS. He went into BVAL finals ranked 11th, meaning he would need a big day to make CCS. Rodolf had more than a big day, he had an absolute breakthrough. He placed 5th in a massive PR of 15.97, making CCS by a wide margin. After “four-stepping” all year, it was Rodolf’s first time “Three-stepping” a race and it lead to the huge PR. Rodolf is the first boy to make CCS in the 110 hurdles in the BVAL era.

The Comets did not have any more competitors in the meet until the boys 100. Raven ran 11.63, the 2nd best time of his career in the event, placing 14th. Next up was the girls 800. After years of ups and downs, Arlet Miranda went out with the best time of her career, 2:28.08. This PR was not enough to get her to CCS however, as she finished 9th, one spot out of qualification. Arlet nonetheless ends her career #2 in school history in all 3 distance events.

Jerricho Habon competed in the boys 800 but had a poor race, gaining experience for next years addition. The final field events were going on at this time. Marquise Nelson threw 32-4.5 for 7th place in the girls Shot Put, punching her ticket to CCS trials. In the long jump, Sal barely missed his PR, going 20-3.5 but sadly finishing in 9th place. Even so, Sal had a great season as last year his best long jump was 17-10. Yeimili Adame contested the girls 3200 for the Comets, running 13:27, a PR by more than 30 seconds, moving her to #7 on the schools all time list in the event.

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Arlet Miranda in the final (and fastest) 800m of her HS career

The final event of the day was the boys 4×400. The Comets went in ranked 11th, needing a great performance and some good luck to make it through to CCS. The team of Sal, Erik Olsvold, Jerricho and Misael Herrera combined to run 3:36.78, the best time by any JL 4×400 team since the 3:35 clocking of 2002. Initially, it looked like the Comets were 10th, but disqualifications to Willow Glen and Pioneer moved the Comets up to 8th place.

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Left to right: Salvador Lopez, Jerricho Habon, Misael Herrera and Erik Olsvold after the 4×400 

The Comets who advanced to CCS trials will be competing on Saturday May 11th at Westmont High School with the chance to end the season with some good marks, and to potentially make CCS finals. The 9 total qualifiers is the highest number the Comets have ever produced at BVAL finals.

CCS Trials begins at 10 AM at Gilroy High School.

Thanks for reading!

-Benny Reeves

 

 

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Comets Finish 6th out of 26 Teams at De Anza Invitational: Highest Invitational Finish This Decade

 

I can say on behalf of the team, that our defeat against Pioneer on Thursday March 21st was discouraging. We competed well and we knew going in that Pioneer was a good team. We were not prepared for the frankly crushing loss that we suffered, particularly on the boys side.

With that in the rear view mirror, 20+ Comet athletes took to De Anza College on Saturday March 23rd, focusing on improving their marks against good competition on excellent facilities.  The De Anza Invitational was exactly the bounce back the Comets were looking for.

The meet began with the boys 4×100. In my most recent post, I discussed my excitement that the team had already run a low 46 second 4×100, when the team took until May to run that fast a year ago (and the 2019 team was already the 2nd best Comet relay team of the decade behind the 2018 crew). With that in mind, the teams goal was to break 46 seconds at the De Anza Invite, and seeing as the team was ranked 3rd in the meet, to hopefully place 3rd or higher and earn a medal.

The team came through in spades. Raven Alcantara, Josh Merin, Salvador Lopez and Geovanny Campos combined to run 45.72 to win the De Anza invite in the event! The time was the 2nd best 4×100 time by James Lick in the last 10 years (last year at BVAL champs we went 45.50) and it’s the first time in many many years that James Lick won an invitational 4×100, albeit one that was fairly low-key.

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Sal Handing Off to Geo on the final leg of the 4×100.

At the same time, the Comets were dominating a very thin Pole Vault field. Rodolf Ocampo and Mark Orpia (who is dealing with injury preventing him from running) tied for the meet win at 9-6. This matched Rodolf’s PR, and it was Mark’s first time going 9-6. Adrian DeLaRosa placed 4th by matching his PR of 8-0.

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Mark Orpia clearing the bar at 8 feet

Valeria Cortez won the next individual medal on the day with a 3rd place throw in Shot Put of 30-11. Adriana Marcelino also competed, throwing 19-10. Later in the girls discus, Valeria would placed 2nd with a toss of 103-2. Adriana threw 54-10 and Arlet Miranda, in a rare appearance in the girls discus, threw 49-0.

In other field event news, Josh cleared 5-2 in high jump for the first time, an achievement he’d been working towards all season. Yesenia Martinez went 4-2 in the girls edition of the event. Geo went 18-8 in boys long jump, rounding out the field events on a day where most of the team focused on their running events.

In the girls 1600, Jessica Cervantes and Ashley Preciado both ran big seasons bests of 6:34 and 6:43 respectively. Valerie earned her 3rd medal of the day with another 3rd place finish, with a time of 17.33 in the 100 hurdles. Yesenia ran 19.46. Rodolf ran a new PR of 17.11 in the boys hurdles to finish in 3rd, albeit with the benefit of a strong tailwind.

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Rodolf on his way to a new PR and a hurdles medal

The Comets sent two of their distance boys into the 400 in search of PRS. Branon Cruz’ PR entering the race was 1:02 and Jerricho Habon’s was 59.20. Both boys rarely run the 400 since they focus on distance, and hadn’t run an open 400 since last year when they were sophomores. Both boys capitalized on the chance running massive PRs.

Jerricho lowered his time all the way down to 55.28, the best time by a Comet this season and tied for the 3rd best time any Comet has run since I’ve been coaching. Brandon lowered his PR to 58.02 as well.

Finally came the 100 meter dash, arguably the highlight of the meet for the Comets. Geo ran 11.95, the 2nd best time of his career. A heat later, Sal and Rodolf crushed their PRS, though the wind was a 2.4 meters per second, slightly over the “wind legal” standard of 2.0. That being said, the wind had only a little to do with Sal lowering his 100m best from 12.41 to 11.86 and Rodolf lowering his from 12.54 to 12.06. Misael also lowered his seasons best from 12.74 to 12.55. These performances were very affirming to me personally since this is my first time directly training the sprint crew since 2015.

On the girls side, Jessica lowered her PR to 14.87 while Arlet lowered hers to 15.09. Arlet has been dealing with stomach pain that held her out of her usual distance events at this meet. Yesenia also ran a seasons best 15.64 in the event.

The girls 800 saw several more PRS. Erika Camacho lead the Comets, running 2:57 to break the 3 minute barrier for the first time. Lizbeth Espana narrowly missed doing the same, running 3:00.64, a PR by 9 seconds. Estefani Herrera ran a huge PR, taking her PR from 3:21 to 3:11.

After a little rest came the 200s. Many of the distance girls participated. Jessica lowered her PR from 34.68 to 33.48. Erika lowered her PR from 37 seconds to 35. Estefani ran a 35 second clocking in her first try at the event.

On the boys side, Sal lead the group again with a huge PR. Sal stopped the clock at 24.26, his first time under 25 seconds. This was with a big aiding wind of 3.1m/s. Still a big PR. In the same heat, Jerricho lowered his PR to 25.93, breaking 26 for the first time.

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Sal, (Right) Misael (Left) and Jerricho (Middle) racing the 200.

Raven ran a PR of 24.81, but he continues to be very bad at the 200 considering his 100m PR is 11.72. Josh made a very solid 200m debut, running 24.89. Somehow Josh managed to run the 800 before the 200 despite being a sprinter/jumper.

The final open running event of the day was the 3200. Mya Hammond and Jessica ran together to both achieve PRs of 15:06 and 15:07 respectively. On the boys side, Brandon slugged out an 11:40 despite being fatigued.

The final event of the day was the 4×400, and the team was eager to go out with a bang. Misael, Sal, Josh and Jerricho combined to run 3:45.44 to finish 3rd place.  Like with the 4×100, this is the best March relay time for a James Lick team that I have on record since the team of 2000 ran a 3:35 at the K-bell Invitational.

The team will continue to chase after the best teams of James Lick history, and we feel we are inching closer every day.

The team will take on Prospect next Thursday with renewed confidence. Then the team will head to arguably our favorite invite of each season, the Firebird Relays at Fremont High School.

Thanks for reading!

Comets Open Season with Pair of Victories at Live Oak

The James Lick Track team had their first dual meet of the 2019 season on Thursday March 14th at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill. Originally this was supposed to be a home meet, but with our track being resurfaced, the meet was moved to Live Oak. This is the second year up in the ST (B) division for track, and it marks the first time that the Comets have started 1-0 in the division.

The meet began with the 4×100. The varsity girls team of Mya Hammond, Valeria Gonzalez, Yeimili Adame and Lisbeth Galdamez combined to run 57.04 to take the win, despite the absence of top sprinter Natalie Rem from the team.

The varsity boys team narrowly lost to Live Oak, running a seasons best 46.87 against Live Oak’s 46.54. The team was Geo Campos, Joshua Merin, Misael Herrera and Raven Alcantara. It was Josh’s first time running on the ‘A’ team, showing the team’s depth in the event.

The next event on the track was the 1600. Live Oak took the win, but Arlet Miranda and Belen Sanchez took 2nd and 3rd for the Comets, Belen opening the season at 6:28, her best ever season opening time. Lizbeth Espana managed a huge PR of 6:45, breaking the 7 minute barrier for the first time. Erika Camacho barely missed her PR in 6:51 and the same was true of Ruth Rodriguez and Estefani Herrera. Both girls matched their PRs running 7:08 and 7:15 respectively. Emely Lopez ran 7:33 and Jhesselyn Santos ran a PR of 7:37 to round out the group.

The Comet boys swept the 1600. Mark Orpia, Jerricho Habon and Melvin Estrada packed together to run5:13, 5:14 and 5:17 to complete the sweep. Dekota Castro-lopez and Jose Ruiz took 1st and 2nd on the frosh/soph side.

Valeria Cortez won the varsity girls 100 hurdles in a seasons best 18.29. Yesenia Martinez also ran a season’s best, clocking 19.25 for 2nd place with Live Oak taking 3rd. Rodolf Ocampo took 2nd in the 110 hurdles running 17.90. Brian Baltzar made his debut in the event running 22.40 despite falling on the 9th hurdle. Dekota took 2nd for the frosh/soph side.

The girls 400 saw the 3rd victory of the day for the lady Comets. Yeimili took the victory in 1:09.18 for the event. On the boys side, Misael and Erik Olsvold took 2nd and 3rd both running seasons bests (58.50 and 59.20 respectively). Dekota and Jose went 1-2 again in the frosh/soph 400.

The 100 meter was run with a strong tailwind, and great times resulted from this fact. Natalie Rem ran 13.73 to take 2nd place behind Live Oak State qualifier Karlie Lema. Natalie did not run under 14 seconds last season until April 19th. Lisbeth ran a small PR of 13.94 for 3rd place. Lisbeth also didn’t run under 14 until April 19th last season. More PRs followed. Azalea Galinato ran 14.80, a massive PR. Valeria ran 14.91, a strong season opener. Chantrea Thach missed her PR by only .04, running 15.48. Araceli Mejia was close behind in 15.53. Maria Sanchez and Regine Valecruz ran 17.54 and 18.00 to round out the team. Much of the team is already at their best shape from last season, and the team is poised for big things because of this fact.

On the boys side, results continued to be good. Raven and Geo combined for a 1-2 in the 100, with both boys running PRS. Raven ran 11.72 (beating his previous PR of 11.79) and Geo ran 11.87 (beating his previous best of 11.97). These two are poised to be the best tandem of sprinters James Lick has seen in years.

Jamie Vong and Angel Guerrero both ran huge PRS of 12.64 and 12.70 respectively. Adrian DeLaRosa ran a season’s best 12.98 and Alexis Sarellano made his debut in 13.86. Jordan Laguna made his debut running 12.57 to take 2nd in the frosh/soph 100. This is an excellent debut time for Jordan, one of the faster freshmen we’ve seen in years. The number of boys who’ve run under 13 seconds in the 100m dash this season for James Lick currently sits at 10 only 2 weeks into the season. This is the highest number of sub 13 runners James Lick has had in over a decade. Good things are ahead for the sprint corps.

Arlet took the win in the girls 800 with Mya and Ashley taking 2nd and 3rd in season bests of 3:01. Lizbeth ran a PR of 3:09 in 4th place. On the boys side, Jerricho and Mark were run down by Luke Sandberg of Live Oak.  They all finished at 2:17.

The lady Comets swept the 300 hurdles, with Arlet, Valeria Cortez and Yesenia doing the honors. Valeria opened her season with a 56.41 clocking, and Yesenia ran a seasons best 59.23. On the boys side, Rodolf took 2nd again with a PR of 47.67. Brian took 3rd in 50.24 despite falling down at the last hurdle.

In the 200, Natalie and Lis again combined for a 2-3 finish behind Karlie Lema. Natalie ran a seasons best 30.18 and Lis just missed her 200m PR running 30.39. Mya ran a huge PR of 31.28, taking more than a second off of her previous best. Azalea opened her season by running 31.93. Jenny Fimbres ran a PR of 33.04, as did Chantrea who ran 33.17. Araceli rounded out the day for the lady Comet sprint crew running 33.69.

Live Oak netted a sweep on the boys side, though Geo Campos ran a PR of 24.84 for 4th place. It was Geo’s first time running under 25 seconds for the event. Misael ran a seasos best of 25.28 as well. Angel ran a PR of 25.83, breaking 26 for the first time.

Live Oak took the win in the 3200 with Ruth and Emely taking 2nd and 3rd. The Comet boys managed another distance sweep with Mark, Brandon and Melvin combining to run away with the 2 mile.

The 4×400 was a victory for Live Oak on both sides. The Comet boys ran very well however. Misael, Jerricho, Erik and Salvador Lopez combined to run 3:48.77. This is the first time since I’ve been coaching that the team ran under 3:50 on their first try of the season. The girls team of Lizbeth, Belen, Yeimili and Arlet opened up their season at 4:53.24.

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Erik Olsvold handing off to Salvador Lopez on the final leg of the 4×400

With the running events over, the girls were up big on Live Oak, but the Acorn boys were up 42-40 on the Comet boys, making the field events absolutely vital.

The first field event to finish was the pole vault. Rodolf Ocampo and Mark Orpia both went over 9-0 to take 1st and 2nd. Adrian cleared 8-0 for the first time to take 3rd. This sweep put the Comets up 49-42.

The boys Shot Put was another story. Neither team was particularly strong in boys throws, but Live Oak swept the event to go up 51-49 in the scoring. Isaac Ortega made his debut for the Comets and scored in frosh/soph with a throw of 29-2. Valeria won the girls event with a seasons best 31-6 and Maquise Nelson threw 26-9 for 3rd. Valeria won the girls discus and Adriana Marcelino took 3rd with a toss of 58-4, scoring the first point of her varsity career and extending the lady Comet lead further. Josh Merin took 3rd in boys discus for the Comets with a PR of 88-2.

With all track event and throws completed, the score on the boys side was 59-50 Live Oak. The Comets were able to grab victory on the strength of a great performance in the jumps however. Sal took 1st in the boys high jump going 5-6. He had an even better jump in the boys long jump.

After struggling with consistency all meet, Sal put it all together on his final attempt, going a whopping 20-1, a PR by over a foot to handily win the meet. Sal’s jump is the best jump by a Comet in my 6 years of coaching, and speaks volumes of high exciting this season is likely to be for Sal. Geo also managed a huge PR, going 18-11. Raven managed a small PR of 18-7.5 to finish the sweep for James Lick.

For reference, last season the Comets did not have an 18 foot long jumper. In 2017 and 2016 the team had two. Add in Angel going 18-0 for the first time and the Comets have 5 already this season, just 1 dual meet in! I want to acknowledge that Live Oak’s sandpit was slightly descended, providing an advantage in the horizontal jumps, but I believe the team will prove these marks are no Aberration in the weeks to come.

Maquise took the win in the long jump in her first ever try at the event, going 14-9. Natalie took 2nd in 13-9, a solid season opener. Jordan went 16-10 to win the frosh/soph long jump in his first try at the event. Bryan Rodriguez also competed but did not achieve a mark.

In the triple jump, Sal won again (his 3rd win of the day) with a PR of 38-0.25. Raven took 2nd in 37-4, a seasons best. Live Oak took 3rd. Adrian and Angel made their debuts in the event going 32-7 and 31-6 respectively. Angel continually scratched throughout the competition and will go much further with a little practice.

In the girls triple jump, Natalie claimed the win in 31-6 a strong season opener. Yesenia managed a PR of 28-8 for 2nd.

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

Varsity Girls: 

James Lick: 84

Live Oak: 42

Varsity Boys: 

James Lick: 73

Live Oak: 59

Frosh/Soph Boys: 

James Lick: 42

Live Oak: 29

It was a very good day for the Comets. 25 PRS at the first dual meet of the year from only 46 athletes. Perhaps having a track to practice on is overrated. (Just kidding, I desperately want our track to be finished soon).

Some of the team’s distance runners will head up to Dublin for the Dublin Distance Fiesta on March 16th.

The 1-0 Comet teams will receive a big test on Thursday March 21st at Pioneer. Pioneer defeated the Comets on both sides a year ago, and only lost on the boys side last year to Evergreen, the ‘B’ division champs.

Thanks for reading!

-Benny Reeves

 

 

 

 

James Lick Track 2019 Season Preview: Year 2 In The ‘B’ Division

The James Lick track team is conditioning now ahead of what will be it’s second year of competition in the Santa Teresa (‘B’) division of the BVAL in track and field. A year ago in my season preview, I said that our goal was simply to go 5-9 between the boys and girls sides, to prove we belonged in the division. We exceeded that goal by going 6-8, just one win shy of a .500 record. The team of 2018 was the largest track team I’ve coached, with a max total of 69 athletes competing for James Lick in our dual against Pioneer last year. We were also able to re-institute pole vault at James Lick for the first time in decades. Coach Raul Lopez managed to help two Comet boys advance to BVAL finals in the event.

BVAL Shakeup

Last season, the combined records in the division looked like this:

1. Evergreen: 14-0 

2. Pioneer: 11-3

3. Lincoln: 11-3

4. James Lick: 6-8

5. Prospect: 6-8 

6. Piedmont Hills: 5-9

7. Sobrato: 2-10

8. Oak Grove: 1-13

Normally the BVAL stays pretty stagnant, but things were shaken up after this season. Evergreen was dominant. Their closest dual meet was decided by more than 20 points, and they were the outright winners of several invitationals. They moved up to the ‘A’ division with Mt. Pleasant moving all the way down to the ‘C’ division, and Live Oak moved up to join us in the ‘B’ division.

The makeup of the division is much different without Evergreen. Live Oak will look to make an impact with some very impressive young talent.

With year 2 on the horizon, the Comets are working towards their first winning season in the ‘B’ division, and we have our sights set in attacking a ‘B’ division title on the girls side outright. While the girls team of 2018 only went 3-4, it finished very strong. We opened the season with 4 straight losses then finished with 3 straight wins. At Division finals last year, the lady Comets finished 2nd overall, only losing to dominant division champions.

This strong performance on the girls side showed the potential the team has for a title chase, and 2019 figures to be an exciting season with the team more prepared for the thralls of the Santa Teresa division.

Girls Season Preview (Boys Below) 

Areas of Strength/ Areas of Weakness. 

Last year, the team’s league points breakdown was as follows:

Event Group Average Points Per Dual Meet Points Available Per Meet Average Points as percentage of Available League Finals Points
Distance 10.7 27 40% 5
Hurdles 12.5 18 69% 22
Jumps 12.5 27 46% 12
Relays 3.5 10 35% 6
Sprints 7.7 27 28% 2
Throws 16.7 18 93% 48

Top returning girls

On the girls side, the team’s weakest area was sprints. That being said, it was actually the best sprint corps the team has had on the girls side in some time, it was primarily the greater strength of the ‘B’ division that created the low point total. The year before in 2017, the lady Comets had 32% of available sprint points. That total barely dropped as the team moved up to a substantially more difficult division. The team will be counting on a few key athletes in these events to take the next step. Furthermore, the team ran the best 4×100 that James Lick has managed since 1993. It did so with a team that contained no seniors or juniors. There is great reason to be optimistic about 2019.

The distance team also will look to improve. Similar to the sprint squad, the Comets are returning all of their best distance athletes. The team scored 40% of points available, a respectable total in a year where we only managed a 1-6 record in cross country. This school year we went 5-2 in cross country, and I think this greater XC success will translate into greater distance results in track.

Jumps are an area of focus as well. While the team’s top 2 triple jumpers are back (both scored  at division finals) the team lost the stalwart of presence of Lyndel Ventura. Lyndel moved up to #4 on the school’s all time long jump list with a leap of 16-7.25 last year, and her graduation leaves a bit of a void in the event. The team will also look to improve in high jump, with their 3 top athletes returning (all were sophomores last year). Last but not least, a major deciding factor in the title race will be the Comets ability to produce lady pole vaulters. Only a handful of girls pole vaulted in the entire division last year, which could give the Comets a big advantage if they succeed.

The Comets were very strong in hurdles, with a returning division champion in the 100 hurdles and the top returning 300m hurdler in the division as well. With the team’s top 3 hurdlers returning, it should be another great area of strength for the team.

Throws have been absolutely dominant for James Lick over the past few seasons. The case could be made that we were the best girls throws team in the entire BVAL. We produced 3 CCS qualifiers in throws for 2 consecutive years, but we are likely to take a hit in throws this year. While the team returns Valeria Cortez, as by far the division’s #1 ranked discus thrower, the loss of Charli Chircop and Alejandra Ceron, ( the school record holders in discus and shot put respectively ) will make this area more challenging. We will need some younger lady Comets to step up.

Key Comet Athletes 

We’ll be counting on the contributions of many different athletes, but below are a few of our most critical returning athletes. 

Valeria Cortez: While I would love more data to have more athletes to compare her to, as it currently stands, Valeria is likely the 2nd best female track athlete in school history. (She certainly is based on the records I have).  She is the only James Lick athlete I know of to have qualified for CCS trials in 3 different individual events. Based on last season, among returners she is ranked #1 in girls discus (112-8, while 2nd is at 100-8) , #2 in the girls 100 hurdles (16.88), and #3 in girls shot put (33-7). Her 300 hurdles PR is better than all but 1 girl in the division as well. To make things more interesting, Valeria is only a few feet behind the current school discus record.

Arlet Miranda: Arlet has had a very string career, plagued with injuries. Whenever healthy, she’s been a force for the team. As a sophomore, she became the first girl in school history to make CCS outright in the 800 (and she wasn’t fully healthy at the time). She is coming off of only her 2nd XC season to be injury free, and is poised for a big season if she can continue that. She is ranked #4 in both the 1600 and 800, and #6 in the 3200.  She is also #2 in school history in all 3 distance events, making this an exciting year in terms of potential school records.

Natalie Rem: As a freshmen last season, Natalie took the division by storm. She was primarily focused on jumps for most of the season, but came on very strong as a sprinter by the end of the season. She is the #3 returning triple jumper with a PR of 33-1. She is also ranked #8 in long jump (15-1) and #3 in the 100 at 13.49. That 100m PR put her 9th place in school history, and she is by far the fastest girl we’ve had since I’ve been coaching. Natalie could be a force for this team if she continues to develop her sophomore season.

Kirsten Yutuc: Kirsten has two consecutive BVAL qualifications in the 300 hurdles, and she took major strides last season. With Evergreen gone, Kirsten stands as the best 300 hurdler in the division with a PR of 51.80. Kirsten is a very versatile athlete. She is on the top 14 rankings of more events than any athlete in the entire division. She is a threat in all 3 sprint events. She is ranked top 10 in both Long Jump (14-9) and Triple Jump (30-9.5) and she is ranked #4 in the 100 hurdles (18.22).

Yesenia Martinez: Yesenia was our most improved athlete as a sophomore last season. While she was only our 10th best sprinter, by the end of the season she qualified for BVALS in the 100 hurdles. She is ranked 6th in that event (18.43) 6th  in teh 300 hurdles (54.72) and tied for 4th in High Jump at 4-6. We will be looking for Yesenia to hit the ground running this season.

Boys Season Preview

Areas of Strength/ Areas of Weakness. 

Last year, the team’s league points breakdown was as follows:

Event Group Average Points Per Dual Meet Points Available Per Meet Average Points as percentage of Available League Finals Points
Distance 16.5 27 61% 10
Hurdles 9.7 18 54% 6
Jumps 10 27 37% 3
Relays 2.86 10 28% 9
Sprints 7.6 27 28% 0
Throws 6.28 18 35% 4

 

Top returning boys

The team’s strongest area a year ago was distance. This isn’t too surprising since the cross country team was already competing in the ‘B’ division, but the loss of top runner Azael Zamora does leave a void. Younger Comets will have to step up, but the team will need to use depth to overcome the loss of a top-notch runner.

Hurdles were the 2nd best area, primarily because of Cody Huoch. With Cody also graduated (now competing at San Jose City College) the team will need to find some new hurdlers, and we aren’t drawing from a position of strength the way that we are in distance. Finding new hurdlers is a key to success this season.

The sprints and jumps squads should be radically improved this year, and that is an area of excitement for us. While we took only 28% of points in sprints, and 37% of points in jumps, the vast majority of our top athletes are back and looking strong. By the end of the season, the team was much better in these events, and will look to build on a strong finish by their sophomore athletes.

Throws are the biggest area of concern at present. We netted 35% of points last year, but virtually all of those points graduated with Daniel Medina and Josh Garcia. Last year the frosh/soph boys scored only 10% of possible throws points. The team desperately needs reinforcements in throws, this is a critical area of improvement for this season.

Key Comet Athletes 

We’ll be counting on the contributions of many different athletes, but below are a few of our most critical returning athletes. 

Salvador Lopez: Sal was one of our top athletes in his sophomore season. He was the starting Quarterback for the varsity team this year, and has gotten much more explosive through working out and natural growth. For example, last season his High jump PR was 5-2. At an all comers meet earlier this month, Sal jumped 5-8 despite the fact that he hasn’t practiced high jump in months. One can only wonder what improvements he’ll show in other events. He was already ranked as the #6 returning triple jumper (37-8.5) and #10 returning long jumper (17-10). He’s also just 1 spot off the list in the 400 but I suspect Sal will be a great athlete for us across the board this year.

Raven Alcantara: By the end of last season, Raven was our top sprinter. He ended the season with a 100m PR of 11.79, the #6 returning 100m runner in the division. Raven has always struggled to double and we are focusing on helping him be more capable of running the 200 as well. He is also ranked 7th in the boys triple jump (37-8). Raven and Sal both decided not to play basketball this season in order to focus on track and this could mean big things for their development.

Erik Olsvold: Erik’s career has been up and down. As a sophomore, he was poised to be a tremendous distance runner, winning the ‘B’ division championship in XC and the 3200 title in the ‘C’ division in track. Injuries kept him out most of his junior year, but in a period 3 weeks, Erik went from not being able to job without pain, to placing 6th at division finals in the 800. Erik’s focus will be the 400/800 this season, and he is determined to go out on a high note.

Conclusion: 

We are very optimistic about the 2019 season. We will need to be creative over the next few weeks as our track and field is being resurfaced. The expectation is that we will host our first home meet on March 15th against Live Oak on a brand new track.

Official practice begins tomorrow!

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves