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

 

 

 

 

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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 Looking Strong After First Week of School Time Trial

The 2018-2019 school year has begun and with it, the team completed their annual North Rim trail time trial. This has been a team tradition since 2009, with the team starting at the Alum Rock Park entrance, running the north rim trail and finishing at the entrance once again. The course is 3.03 miles, and it is a great indicator of where the team stands, because every course the team will race on should yield a faster time.

With this being the 10th year of our “North Rim Time Trial” to start the school year, we have a solid amount of data to make projections with.  We run the course again, later in the season to track progress. Our main goal is for each athlete to start the season faster than they started the previous year, putting them on track for PRs (personal records) as the season goes on.

Mark Orpia was the fastest Comet on the day, running 20:10. This is the first time since 2014 that no Comet ran under 20 minutes for the course at the beginning time trial. Despite this fact, there is a lot of reason for optimism. Last season, Mark began the season by running 22:06, nearly 2 minutes slower than his time this year. He was followed by Jerricho Habon in 20:25. Jerricho put a hard summer of work in, and the results show. Jerricho’s PR was 21:38, a mark he demolished despite it being the infancy of the season.

Erik Olsvold in 20:35 and Brandon Cruz in 20:59 rounded out the team’s top 4. While last year, Azael Zamora spearheaded the team by running 17:54 at this time trial, only one other boy (Inteus Lopez) ran under 21 minutes for the trial, compared to 4 this season. Inteus would go on to run 16:37 at Montgomery Hill and 17:30 at Crystal Springs, both high quality ‘B’ division times. If the team’s top 4 from today run anywhere near that, the team will be a force to be reckoned with.

The next boy in was Jared Resendiz in a 4 minute PR of 21:54. Geovanny Campos and Melvin Estrada were next in 22:15 and 22:27. While it was a bad day for Melvin, it was a very strong showing for Geo, one of the team’s top sprinters in track, who only joined cross country in late July. Daniel Portillo and Nien Tran were the next boys in 22:32 and 22:34, with Arlet Miranda finishing as the first girl just ahead of them. Nien and Daniel are both well ahead of last season, where both boys ran over 23 minutes for the course.  Arlet’s time of 22:32 is the best girls time to start the season of any Comet girl for the North Rim Course. The Previous best was 23:06 by Arlet last season. In her senior year, Arlet looks ready to lead the girls team to big accomplishments.

Gustavo Madrigal and Omar Fimbres came in together at 23:43 and 23:45 respectively, adding depth to the team. Jonathan Cortez came in at 24:41, not far ahead of the #2 girl on the team, Yeimili Adame who ran a 1 minute PR of 24:57. Alberto Trejo, Rodolf Ocampo and Adrian DeLaRosa finished in the 27 minute range, just ahead of a pack of lady Comets.

Ashley Preciado (28:10) Belen Sanchez (28:13) Yesenia Martinez (28:16) and Erika Camacho (28:26) ran the time trial as a pack. Last season, the girls team managed to run the 6th fastest James Lick team time ever at Crystal Springs, on their way to a middle of the pack finish at BVAL Finals (16th out of the 24 teams).  That years team saw Arlet run 23:06 at the time trial, followed by Belen in 33:41 and Ashley in 34:12 as the 2nd and 4th girls respectively. With all that the team of 2017 was able to manage, it’s clear that the team of 2018 has very high hopes indeed.

Jenny Villagomez was next in 30:18, with top freshmen Ruth Rodriguez not far behind in 30:27. a solid time to start the season. Mya Hammond and Emely Lopez both finished at 32:57, and Estefani Herrera ran 34:18. This trio has improved leaps and bounds since a year ago. To start last season, Emely ran 39:05, Mya ran 41:04 and Estefani ran 44:06.

Kirsten Yutuc ran 34:37 for a 3 minute PR, and Giulissa Correa came in at 35:14 as the next girl across. Josh Merin ran 31:21 for his first time on the course. Angel, Sebastian and Idan, 3 newcomers from the soccer team ran 32:10, 34:27 and 35:18 for their very first practice to round out the boys day.

Krystal Tran, Ellie Castro and Francine Estranero came in together at 37:50. Jessalyn Santos, sister of top thrower Mariah Santos, came across in 38:16 for her first time on the course. Fellow freshmen Mia Hammond and Angelina Guevara came through in 39:42. Adriana Marcelino and Araceli Mejia also cracked the 40 minute barrier, running 39:46 and 39:50 respectively. Morayma ended the Comets day by clocking 51:59 for the course.

When all was said and done, 43 Comets contested the time trial, a new high for the team to start the season. Many showed dramatic improvement, and the team can be very optimistic about what is to come.

The team will not race again until the Alumni Race on Friday August 31st. It will be in Alum Rock Park at 6 P.M. All former Comets are invited to come, whether they want to race or not.

I will probably do a season preview before that.

Thanks for reading!

-Benny Reeves

 

 

 

James Lick Defeats Oak Grove, Comets End Season Combined 6-8

The James Lick comets had their 7th and final dual meet of the 2018 season on Thursday April 26th at Oak Grove High School. The Comets ended the season on a winning streak, earning victories in all three divisions against the Eagles, a week after they did the same thing against the Sobrato Bulldogs.. Both the varsity boys and varsity girls end the season 3-4, for a combined 6-8 record for the Comets first ever season in the ‘B’ division. The frosh/soph boys end the season with a strong 5-2 record.

The meet began with the 4×100. Although the Eagles won both races, the Comets achieved huge season bests in both relays. The girls ran 54.28, better than our previous seasons best of 55.60. The boys ran 46.47, breaking 47 for the first time this season. The team of Salvador Lopez, Raven Alcantara, Jose Limon and Geovanny Campos achieved the feet. This is actually the fastest 4×100 time for the Comets this decade, and with the team being composed of 3 sophomores and a junior, big times are ahead down the road.

Azael Zamora and Erik Olsvold combined to go 1-2 in the 1600, with Erik running a seasons best 5:11. Brandon Cruz and Jerricho Habon went 1-2 in the frosh/soph version of the event. We did not run any of our best girls in the 1600, though Erika Camacho ran a sizable PR (Personal Record) of 7:31 to end her season.

Valeria Cortez took the win in the girls 100 hurdles in 17.62. With this victory, Valeria made it through the season 7-0 in the girls 100 hurdles. She is therfore the first James Lick Comet in history to go undefeated in an event for an entire season in the ‘B’ division.  She did the same thing last year in the ‘C’ division, but the step up in competition makes the feet all the more impressive.

She lead a sweep, with Kirsten Yutuc and Yesenia Martinez taking 2nd and 3rd. Kirsten did so in a huge PR of 18.22. Susie Peterson ran a seasons best 19.44 in 4th place. A good battle was seen in the boys 110 hurdles, between Cody Huoch and Oak Grove’s Julius Jacroux. Julius won the battle in 16.51, with Cody 2nd in a PR of 16.59. Rodolf Ocampo took 3rd in a PR of 19.01. Jo-Jo Bradley, Luis Escamilla and Dakota Castro-Lopez swept the frosh/soph event with PRs of 20.47, 20.70 and 22.06 respectively.

Yeimili Adame and Justine Austria combined for a 1-2 finish in the girls 400. Aliana Santos ran a huge PR of 1:14.12 in 4th place. Misael Herrera and Salvador Lopez went 2-3 in the boys 400, both boys clocking in at 56 seconds for the lap. Melvin Estrada ran a PR of 1:00.27 in 5th.

The 100m saw some huge breakthroughs for the team, and the times were not srongly wind aided this time around. Natalie Rem took 3rd for the team in 13.67. Lisbeth Galdamez broke 14 for the first time, running a massive PR of 13.95. This is the first time in over a decade that two lady Comets on the same team have been under 14 seconds in the 100. Susie Peterson ran 14.99 for a PR as well. A whole host of PRs followed. Chantrea Thach ran 15.45 (15.99 previous best) Emily Jiminez ran 15.85 (16.65 previous best) Mariah Santos ran 16.29 (previous best 17.19). Regine Valecruz and Maria Sanchez ran PRs of 16.84 and 16.86.

The boys 100 was just as successful, Raven won the meet for the Comets in 11.79, a massive PR, just the 4th Comet this decade to run under 12 seconds in the 100. Geo became the 5th just a split second later, taking 3rd place in 11.97. This is also the first time in this decade that the team has had two Comets under 12 in the same season, and the fact that they’re both sophomores is very exciting. Coach Turner’s hard work with the teams sprinters is paying huge dividends. Chris Okoro ran a small PR of 12.71. Joshua Merin ran 12.81 to take 2nd in the frosh/soph boys 100 and Dakota ran a PR of 13.46 for 3rd.

Ashley Preciado and Belen Sanchez ran PRs of 2:48 and 2:49 in the 800 to seal a 1-2 finish for the team. Krystal Tran ran 3:13 for a full 9 second PR to end her season. Azael and Mark Orpia went 1-2 in the boys 800. Mark ran a 4 second PR of 2:17 for 2nd place. Jerricho and Brandon went 1-2 in the frosh/soph boys 800.

Kirsten took the win in the girls 300 hurdles, running 53.28, her best ever dual meet time. Susie ran a PR of 58.81 in 5th place. Cody won the boys 300 hurdles in 43.77, his best ever time in a dual meet. Rodolf took 3rd for the team. The frosh/soph boys swept the event. Jo-Jo and Luis both ran under 50 seconds for the first time, running 49.17 and 49.68 respectively. Dakota took 3rd for the team.

Natalie won the girls 200 in 29.36, the best time by a Comet this season. Lisbeth took 3rd for the team. Chantrea, Regine and Maria all ran PRs in the event as well. Misael took 2nd for the Comet boys in the 200. Isaak Herrera went out with a PR of 28.58. Azael ran a PR of 27.50. Jerricho took 2nd in the frosh/soph 200 in 26.97.

Belen and Ashley once again combined for a 1-2 finish with PRs to boot. They both ran under 14 minutes for the first time, clocking 13:46 and 13:49 respectively. Francine Estranero and Emely Lopez ran PRs of 16:05 and 16:17 to end their seasons. Melvin, Azy and Inteus Castro-Lopez combined to sweep the 3200, Melvin only narrowly missed his PR, running 10:56. Hugo Marquez ran a PR of 11:47 to win the frosh/soph 3200. Jerricho took 2nd for the team.

Oak Grove won the boys 4×400, but the Comets won the girls 4×400 to round out the running events.

For the first time all season, the Comets did not win the girls shot put. Oak Grove’s Talalelei Tuipala threw the Shot 36-9, a very strong mark. Alejandra Ceron and Valeria took 2nd and 3rd behind her. Lizbet Alonzo managed a small PR of 19-4. Josh Garcia won the boys Shot Put for the Comets in a tick over 40 feet. Josh Merin took 2nd in the frosh/soph shot put. Josh and Daniel combined for a 1-2 finish in the boys discus, while Oak Grove swept the frosh/soph discus. Valeria backed up her PR of 112-1 from a week ago, with her 2nd best throw ever, 110-8. Alejandra took 3rd place. The girls discus is the 2nd event that the lady Comets went undefeated in for the season. Charli Chircop and Valeria alternated victories all season in the event.

Kirsten and Lyndel Ventura took 2nd and 3rd for the Comets in the girls long jump. Natalie took 2nd for the Comets in the girls triple jump. Raven and Rodolph went 1-2 in the boys long jump. Cody and Sal went 1-2 in the boys triple jump. Sal netted a PR of 37-8.25. Raven also grabbed a PR, jumping 36-2.25 in 4th place.

Lisbeth and Yesenia tied for 2nd place at 4-4 for the lady Comets. Sal got a final PR in the high jump, clearing the bar at 5-2 to take 2nd place. Jo-Jo and Josh took 1st and 3rd in the frosh/soph high jump, matching their PRs of 5-0 and 4-10 respectively. Mark and Rodolf both cleared 8-0 in the boys pole vault to place 1st and 2nd as well.

When all was said and done, the meets final scores were as follows:

Varsity Girls: 

JL: 71    OG: 56

Varsity Boys: 

JL: 86    OG: 47

Frosh/Soph Boys: 

JL: 63   OG: 60

With the regular season over, the Comets look ahead at ST division finals. I am proud to say that we have achieved what we set out to do this season. After two consecutive ‘C’ division girls titles, this year was about proving that we belonged in the ‘B’ division. While a combined 6-8 record is not spectacular, it puts us solidly in the middle of the pack despite the fact that we are by far the smallest school in the division.

Division Finals will take place on Wednesday May 2nd and Friday May 4th at Evergreen High School. The Comets will send 3 athletes in each event to try to achieve some final PRs and earn points for the team. Wednesday will mostly be Prelims, with the top 8 athletes in sprints/hurdles advancing to finals on Friday.

Wednesday will also see finals in the girls 1600, boys 3200, girls long jump, boys triple jump, girls shot put, boys discus, and boys high jump. The pole vault will be held at Prospect HS the day before.

The top 8 athletes in each final will score points for their team, and the top 5 in each final (including relay teams) will advance to BVAL championships on May 10th.

I will do a division finals preview detailing where the Comets are ranked highly if I have time.

Thanks for reading!

 

Comets Look Ahead At First Season in ‘B’ Division: 2018 Season Preview

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The Comets three top lady hurdlers from 2017. Left to right: Susie peterson, Valeria Cortez, Kirsten Yutuc. All 3 are returning. 

 

For the first time in the BVAL’S more than 20 seasons of history, the James Lick Track team will be not be competing in the ‘C’ division this year. Most of the 2000s have been a struggle for James Lick sports in general, with track being no exception. The team has been in the WVAL (‘C’ division) ever since the 3 division format was created in 1996.

The combined 35-7 record over the past 3 seasons (20-2 on the girls side) have propelled the team into the STAL division for the first time. This means the 2018 season will be an exciting season of facing new teams, tougher competition, and even an event the team hasn’t contested in decades, (pole vault).

Coaching Staff Shakeup 

The season will not be without extra challenges. Unfortunately, both Coach Steve Nichols and coach Jon Vela will be unable to return to our coaching staff this season. Both coaches were extremely important towards developing the team over the past few seasons. Coach Christopher Turner did a tremendous job coaching the horizontal jumps for us in 2017, and he will now take over sprint coaching duties. As a head coach at Yuma HS in Arizona, coach Turner sent multiple athletes to the State meet, and he himself was an outstanding 400m runner in HS and college. Our sprinters will not miss a beat with him at the helm.

While coach Turner can take over coach Nichol’s sprint coach duties, the loss of coach Vela is a huge one. The school Shot Put record, and the school Discus record on the girls side both fell in Coach Vela’s 4 year tenure. In fact, the top 3 discus throwers in school history on the girls side, are still active at James Lick. Girl’s throws figure to be our strongest area again this season. Coach Raul Lopez will take on the bulk of the throws coaching duties this season. Raul threw Shot Put an discus for James Lick in 2011, and proved himself to be an extremely hard working and dedicated coach in cross country. He will strive to keep the success of our throwers going with the same vigor. Raul will also be the primary pole vault coach for the team, and be the assistant distance coach.

I will continue to fulfill Head coaching duties, as well as being the primary distance coach, hurdles coach and high jump coach. I will be aiding Raul in coaching pole vault and throws as well. Coach Ruth Perez hopes to be back as a volunteer to occasionally help with hurdles as well.

Returning Athletes and the ‘B’ division 

While the coaching staff has been shaken up, we have a very strong group of returning athletes ready to take on the ‘B’ division teams. The 7 other teams in the division are as follows:

Evergreen: 13-1 in 2017 (Girls division champs)

Pioneer: 12-2 in 2017 (Boys division champs)

Lincoln: 11-3 in 2017 

Prospect: 6-8 in 2017 

Sobrato: 4-10 in 2017 

Oak Grove: 4-10 in 2017 

Piedmont Hills: 3-11 in 2017 

We moved up in place of 3-11 Andrew Hill. With this all new challenge, our team goal in terms of dual meets is to go a combined 5-9 or better. While this record wouldn’t blow anyone away, it would prove that we belong in the STAL division.

The team will look to be lead by the efforts of some of its top returning athletes, such as:

Azael Zamora: Azael is ranked 4th among all STAL boys in both the 1600 and 3200 and he is coming off of a tremendous XC season. He will aim to place top 5 at STAL division finals and earn a 3rd consecutive trip to BVAL Championships.

Jose Limon: Lemon had a tremendous freshmen track season and then lost his Sophomore season to injury. Now after a healthy XC season, we have big goals for him in the sprint events. Despite not running the 400 at all last year, his PR puts him ranked 10th in the STAL.

Cody Huoch: Cody joined track last season as a junior but is now one of the team’s biggest stars. He is ranked 3rd in both hurdle events among STAL athletes, and he is also ranked 6th in the triple jump.

Valeria Cortez: The team’s best all around athlete. Valeria was a CCS qualafier in the Discus, shot put, and 100 hurdles as only a sophomore. She goes into the STAL division ranked 2nd in Discus (to teammate Charli Chircop) 2nd in Shot Put (to teammate Alejandra Ceron) 5th in the 300 hurdles, and 1st in the 100 hurdles. She was the 100 hurdles division champ for the WVAL in 2017, and she will already be aiming to be the STAL champ in 2018.

Charli Chircop and Alejandra Ceron: Our two senior girl throwers were among our most accomplished athletes. Charli achieved a school record in the discus last season, and became the first Comet to make CCS finals in years. Aleajndra set the school record in the Shot Put last year and was the first Comet in years to medal at the CCS top 8 meet. These girls are ranked 1st in their respective top events, and will be a huge source of strength for the team this year.

Arlet Miranda: Despite battling injuries over the past few seasons, Arlet heads into the STAL ranked in the top 4 in all 3 distance events. She is aiming for a bounce back season that could see more BVAL qualifications and even school records being set. Last year she qualified for CCS trials in the 800 for the first time in her career. She’ll look to make a second trip this year.

The team has a number of other top returning athletes and promising newcomers all dedicated to the goal of proving the Comets belong in the STAL.

Official track practice begins on Monday January 29th.

Our first meet is a little over a month away. Track season is here at last!

Updates will come soon.

Thanks for reading,

 

 

 

 

Comets end 2017 XC season at CCS Finals

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Varsity boys left to right: Cody Huoch, Jose Limon, Inteus Lopez, Jesus Deloya, Azael Zamora, Mark Orpia, Nien Tran 

The James Lick Cross Country team took to Toro Park in Salinas on Veterans day 2017 for the CCS finals. This is the 4th consecutive year with James Lick represented and the 2nd consecutive year with a full varsity boys team in attendance.

Arlet Miranda got the day started for the team with a huge PR in the division 3 race. Arlet ran 21:03, catapulting her from 9th to 4th on the school’s all time list on the course.  Arlet has had a fairly remarkable season. After finishing in 13th place at last years CCS finals (missing qualifying for the state meet by one place) she placed only 33rd this year. She managed to do this however, while battling iron deficiency. Arlet started off strong this year, running a new personal best for the beginning of the season time trial. By the middle of the season however, she was a full 4 minutes slower than she was the year before. Despite this frustration, Arlet never wavered in her determination. As her health improved so did her times. She made CCS by running 7:04 pace at BVAL finals, just weeks after it seemed she had no chance of doing so. She ended her season with her best performance of the season, with a time of 7:01 pace. Arlet will now look ahead to her junior year of track with even more experience and confidence under her belt.

The division 4 boys race was the final of the season for James Lick. Azael Zamora ran 16:50 for 12th place. This is the highest place for a James Lick Comet at CCS in over a decade. Azael was very disappointed to not make the state meet, but his improvement over the past few seasons has been remarkable. Azael joined cross country as a sophomore who had never run under 6 minutes for the mile before. By the end of his sophomore season, he improved to the point that he could run the crystal springs course at 6:11 pace, for a time of 18:14. He averaged 6:26 pace as a sophomore XC runner, a solid but unremarkable start.

His first ever XC  race was at Toro Park where he placed 73rd among all sophomore boys. Two years later, he placed 16th against the same group of (now senior) boys. He went from an average of 6:26 mile pace as a sophomore, to 5:51 pace as a junior, to 5:37 pace this year as a senior. He ends his XC career as the #20 James Lick runner on the Crystal springs course, the # 9 runner at Half Moon Bay HS, the #5 runner on both STAL courses (Montgomery Hill and the 2.85 mile version of Alum Rock) #2 at Toro Park and the school record holder at Golden Gate Park and Newhall Park. With one final HS track season ahead, I for one don’t think Azael has anything to be ashamed of.

A stream of PRs followed Azael. Inteus Castro-Lopez ran 17:44 for a 15 second PR. Mark Orpia ran a 4 second PR of 18:34. Jose Limon ran a 30 second PR of 19:21, and Nien Tran took a whole 90 seconds off his best as the 5th boy. Cody Huoch and Jesus Deloya rounded out the group in 20:11 and 20:14, both huge seasons bests for any 3 mile course. Inteus, Jesus and Cody all end their XC careers here as well. While this was Cody’s first season in XC, Inteus and Jesus were both varsity members of the 2016 STAL championship team. Inteus was consistently the 4th boy on that team, helping it to a James Lick team record for BVAL finals at Crystal Springs of 85:19. Inteus ends his career 9th on the school’s all time list at Toro Park and 7th at Montgomery Hill.

After a disappointing team result at BVAL finals, the team rebounded at CCS to end the year strong. After placing 13th at BVAL finals, the team was the 8th fastest BVAL team at CCS ( and all 12 teams that beat the Comets at BVALs were in attendance.) The team ran faster than local rivals Independence, Piedmont Hills and Silver Creek, all of whom ran faster than the Comets at BVAL finals.

The team as a whole will take a well earned break for the next few weeks. Some of the most dedicated members of the team will begin conditioning on their own in December before official track conditioning begins in January.

With a strong end to the cross country season (and some HS careers) the team will look to it’s distance team to help lead the way in track. The 2018 track season will mark the first time in school history that James Lick will compete in the STAL (‘B’ division). We’ll be working hard to prove we’re up to the task.

Thanks very much for reading,

-Benny Reeves

Comets Open Season Strong at Willow Glen Invitational

30 Comets competed at the Willow Glen invitational on Saturday March 4th. These 30 Comets managed a combined 26 PRs (personal records) and 55 season bests. In a few short years, the Comets have gone from simply an attendee at the Willow Glen invite, to a top competitive team, with athletes competing in virtually every event and many athletes placing very highly.

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Alejandra Ceron threw a PR of 32-3 in Shot Put

The meet began with the Comets competing in several field events. Valeria Cortez took 2nd place in the Frosh/Soph girls discus with a throw of 98 feet, very close to her PR and school record of 99-9.5. At the same time, several Comet boys were making their jumps debut under coach Turner in the triple jump.

Ace Medina and Cody Huoch went 36-10.50 and 36-00 respectively. Both are quite impressive marks for athletes competing in triple jump for the very first time (in their first week at practicing the triple jump as well). Hadji Yono-Cruz opened his season with a 35-2. Anthony Soto and Juan Gutierrez competed as well going 32-0 and 31-4, both triple jumping for the first time.

Not long later, Ace and Juan would move on over to the boys high jump. Both boys would clear 5-2 in their debut for the event, the first time any Comets have high jumped at an invitational in many years.

On the track, the Comets saw some strong early season performances in the 1600. Arlet Miranda placed 3rd in the Frosh/Soph girls 1600 with a  time of 5:41, only 3 seconds off her PR. Azael Zamora opened his official season with a 4:48 clocking, better than his PR from last track season already as well. Nathan Bernardo finished in 4:59, giving the Comets two sub 5 milers in their very first meet. Inteus Castro-Lopez ran a solid 5:09 opener as well. The Frosh/Soph boys mile saw all 3 Comets run big PRs, Melvin Estrada ran 5:39, better than his 5:58 form the end of cross country. Hugo Marquez ran 5:51, breaking 6 for the first time, and Daniel Portillo ran 6:09, a massive PR from a previous best of 6:32. Daisy Nava opened her season at 6:41 to wrap up the day for the Comets in the 1600.

Valeria Cortez ran 18.60 to start her season in the 100 hurdles. Far better than the 22.94 clocking she managed last year at the willow glen invitational. Silvia Amaya ran a big PR of 21.26 and Susie Peterson was right behind her in an off-race by her standards. Gustavo Aguilera ran 18.98 in the 110H to dip under 19 seconds for the race for the first time.

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Ace Medina, Cody Huoch, Anthony Soto and Hadji Yono-Cruz before the long jump.

The team’s achieved several high placings in the sprint events as well. Jose Limon placed 5th in the Frosh/Soph boys 100m dash with a  clocking of 12.00. Cody Hucoh and HAdji Yono-Cruz ran small PRS of 12.38 and 12.40 respectively. Ace Medina also Prd in 12.74, and Misael Herrera matched his PR of 12.80. David Bejines ran 12.96 to give the Comets their 8th athlete under 13 seconds this season. Josue Marcelo ran a PR of 13.30 and Austin Swank ran a seasons best of 13.50 as well.

On the girls side, Valeria ran 14.80 to lead the team. Silvia ran 15.20, a PR for her, and Susie ran a seasons best of 15.90. Aliana Santos and Elizabeth Perez also ran.

Gustavo Parra ran 58.13 and Gustavo Aguilera ran 58.6 to open their season in the 400. Gustavo P would follow that performance with a solid season opener in the 800, clocking 2:16.2.

Arlet Miranda won the Frosh/Soph girls 800 with a time of 2:34. Arlet becomes the first James Lick Comet to win an invitational in any event or division in this decade. Melvin ran a big PR of 2:35 in the boys 800 and Daniel ran a small PR of 2:54.00 as well.

Back in the field events, Alex Alonzo opened his season officially with a 101-4 discus heave, and a 33-8 mark in Shot Put. Last year at the same meet he threw only 29 feet in the Shot Put. Alejandra Ceron threw 32-4 to set a new PR in the event. Already #2 on the school’s all time list, Alejandra inches closer to the school record of Kathy Shelby at 34-0. She also threw a seasons best of 87-4 in discus, only 3 feet off her PR.

Charli Chircop had an amazing 15 foot PR in the girls discus throwing 95-11. She then threw 28-10.50 missing her PR of 29-1 narrowly. Valeria threw a seasons best 29-6 in the Shot Put as well. The three-headed monster of Alejandra, Valeria and Charli should have a very good chance at sweeping the girls throws at every dual meet this season and at WVAL finals.

Jesus Venegas made his debut and threw a PR of 64 feet in the discus as well.

In the 300 hurdles, Silvia and Susie both ran seasons best. Silvia ran 1:03.50 and Susie 1:05. On the boys side, Gustavo ran 48.12 for a seasons best as well.

Jose Limon took a close 2nd in the FS boys 200, running 24.30, just off his PR. David ran a strong opening time of 26.60. Misael ran a seasons best of 26.70 and Josue ran a new PR of 27.10. Austin ran 28.87, not far off his PR as well. Aliana opened her season on the girls side with a time of 35.23.

In the long jump, Cody lead the team with a jump of 17-0. Ace opened at 16-4 in his first try at the event. Hadji, Juan and Anthony also competed.

The team wrapped up their day with the varsity boys 3200. Erik Olsvold took 2nd overall in 10:26.20, a 10 second PR and the highest placing by a varsity athlete at any invitational this decade. Azael took 4th in 10:30. Inteus also earned a PR in 10:53 and Nathan had a solid race in 11:06 as well.

The Frosh/Soph 4×400 team of Jose, Misael, Josue and Erik took 4th place in 3:59, despite a baton drop during the race.

Despite issues with delays and a slow turn-around in results, the James Lick track team emerged from the Willow Glen invite with more reason to be confident ahead of their season. The team will take on San Jose High in their first dual meet of the season tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Comet Track news!

-Benny Reeves