Comets Rack Up Medals at Firebird Relays: Varsity Girls Finish 3rd Out of 42 Teams.

The James Lick Comets took to Fremont High School on Saturday March 31st for arguably the teams favorite invitational, the Firebird Relays. The meet features combination relays in the field events and hurdles. Every team with 3 athletes in an event, 3 varsity girl long jumpers for example, will have their marks added up. The 3 best teams in each event based on this format receive medals and score points for their teams.

Every year we gear up to field combination relays here, taking a small break from striving for individual PRs, to go for team accomplishments. It means alot for athletes who are new at track or are usually nowhere near the top of their event to be able to pursue medals. Overall on this day, the Comets netted 32 medals as a team.

The meet however did start with the individual hurdle events. Valeria Cortez just missed medaling, taking 5th overall in a seasons best 17.04 (3rd was 16.96). Yesenia Martinez won her heat in 18.99, her 2nd best time of the season despite a bad stumble on the 8th hurdle. Rodolf Ocampo ran 17.38 in the boys 110, a solid performance, though just off of his wind legal PR of 17.29.

IMG_6525
Yesenia Martinez on her way to a victory in her heat

The boys 4×100 team of Raven Alcantara, Rodolf Ocampo, Misael Herrera and Geovanny Campos ran 46.14 for 8th place in the varsity boys 100. Last year at Firebird an almost identical team (Salvador Lopez instead of Misael Herrera) ran 48.39 at this event. This team continues to improve by leaps and bounds, and with our 5 fastest sprinters being juniors, it makes the future very exciting indeed.

The field event relays got under way with the Varsity Boys triple jump. Sal lead the team with a small PR of 38-2.50. Jamie Vong achieved a new seasons best of 36-10.50. Angel Guerrero went 32-8. The team was hampered by the fact that Raven was not able to achieve a mark. Raven has been having major issues with scratches of late in the horizontal jumps, an issue we will be working to fix this week.  The team just missed medaling, placing 4th as a unit.

IMG_6533
Angel Guerrero in the last phase of his triple jump

 

In the girls long jump, Natalie Rem went a seasons best 14-4 and Lisbeth Galdamez jumped 13-6. The Comets did not have a 3rd athlete to complete the relay however.

The first medals of the day came in the varsity girls shot put relay. Valeria Cortez (31-5.25) Marquise Nelson (30-11.50) and Natalie with a very strong debut of 25-8.50 completed the relay. The Comets placed 2nd overall in the event, out of 14 teams with athletes competing in the event. Adriana Marcelino also threw for the team. She threw 21-10.75, a seasons best and only a quarter inch off of her PR.

Three frosh/soph girls competed in the 1600 with great results as well. Ruth Rodriguez lead the freshmen in a new PR of 6:47.57. Estefani Herrera broke the 7 minute barrier for the first time, clocking in at 6:52.20. Mariana Perez ran a seasons best 7:02.75 as well.

The next event was the DMR (Distance Medley Relay). The first leg runs 1200 meters,  2nd runs 400, 3rd runs an 800 and the anchor runs a 1600. There are only a few results in the event (on record) in school history, but the Comets added a few more at Firebird. The varsity girls team of Belen Sanchez, Arlet Miranda, Ashley Preciado and Yeimili Adame ran 15:02.87 to place 2nd and win themselves medals. The frosh/soph team of Mya Hammond, Jana Kikia, Jessica Cervantes and Lizbeth Espana ran 15:45.86, 10 seconds better than last years frosh/soph team.

On the boys side, the team was Melvin Estrada, Misael Herrera, Jerricho Habon and Mark Orpia. The team stopped the clock at 11:53.48, the 4th best mark on record in school history out of 10 total marks.

IMG_6566
The Comet DMR and 4×800 team, left to right: Ashley Preciado, Belen Sanchez, Arlet Miranda, Yeimili Adame 

The distance crew was at it again later in the 4×800. The varsity girls team again took 2nd, finishing in 11:41. The frosh/soph team took 3rd place between the team of Estefani, Jana, Mya and Jessica. The varsity boys were unable to medal in a competitive race, but ran a 9:23.71, 11 seconds better than last year between Melvin, Josh Merin, Mark and Jerricho.

A few Comets contested the open 100, though none quite achieved PRs. Lis ran 14.10, and Chnatrea Thach clocked in at 15.58. Krystal Tran ran 16.35 in the frosh/soph version of the event. Angel was the only boy to run the 100, running a 12.82.

The field events marched on with the boys long jump. Sal went 19-1.50, the 2nd best jump of his career to lead the team. Jamie went 18-5 to miss his PR by 1 inch. Geo did not have his best day, going 17-7 with Raven also struggling at 17-4. Nonetheless, the team did manage to medal between Sal, Jamie and Geo, placing 3rd, just inches off of 2nd.

The girls discus throwers just missed medaling, placing 4th. Valeria and Marquise had off days, throwing 95 feet and 69 feet respectively. Adriana broke through with a PR of 66-7 however. This had been a long time coming for Adriana, whose previous best of 65-0 had stood for over 2 full years. It was a big moment for her and throws coach Raul Lopez.

It was a different story in the girls triple jump however. Natalie took 3rd overall with a leap of 31-8.25. Marquise made her triple jump debut and went 28-6.5. Yesenia went 26-6 an off day by her standards. Nonetheless, the girls won the triple jump replay!

The boys also got medals in the high jump. Geo Campos cleared 4-10, while Josh cleared 5-0. Sal completed his best ever jumps day (PR in triple, 2nd best mark in long jump) with a PR in the high jump of 5-8, tying him for 3rd overall.The girl high jumpers also took 2nd as a team. Marquise went 4-0, with Yesenia and Lisbeth both going 4-2.

 

IMG_6577
Sal’s takeoff in the long jump 

With the field events completed, the Comets had two running events left. In the girls 300 hurdles, the team of Valeria, Arlet and Yesenia managed to take 2nd as a team for the combination relay. The boys managed the same feet with some big PRS.

Sal went 45.74 for his 2nd try at the event, a very strong mark when one considers how bad his form was in the race. Mark managed a huge PR of 46.02 as well, beating his previous best by over 2 seconds. Rodolf had an off race, but did enough to ensure a 2nd place for the team in the combo relay.

The final event for the Comets on the day was the SMR (Sprint Medley Relay). It consists of two 100 meter legs, a 200 meter leg, and a 400 meter leg. This was only the 2nd time (on record) that the team contested this version of the event.

The girls team of Lisbeth, Natalie, Yeimili and Arlet ran 2:07.47, shaving two seconds off of last years time for a new school record. The frosh/soph team of Araceli Mejia, Krystal, Mya and Jessica ran 2:18.85.

On the boys side, Raven, Geo, Misael and Jerricho combined to run 1:45.00, 2 seconds better than last years mark for a new school record again. The ‘B’ team of  Mark, Jamie, Angel and Josh ran 1:49.15 to end the Comets day.

When all was said and done, the Comets were 10th out of 42 teams with all 4 divisions combined (no Comets competed in frosh/soph boys). The team was a very strong 3rd place on the girls side.

With the confidence gained from the Firebird Relays, the team will head to Lincoln on Thursday April 4th for a quad meet against Lincoln, Piedmont and Sobrato. This meet will go a long way towards determining the Comets’ season record.

The team will then head to Leland High School on Saturday April 6th for the Quicksilver Classic.

Thanks for reading!

-Benny Reeves

 

 

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ST Division Finals Day 1 Recap: Lady Comets In 2nd Through 4 Events

Day 1 of the Santa Teresa division finals are in the books and the Comets are well on their way to finishing the season strong. As always, there were some good performances and some bad performances, but overall the Comets vastly over performed at day 1 of finals.

Most events were prelims, to qualify for the finals on Friday. The top 8 athletes in every event score points for their team. The top 5 athletes in every final qualify for BVAL championships.

The first event that was contested was the pole vault. This actually took place on Tuesday May 1st at Prospect High School. Mark Orpia and Rodolf Ocampo both cleared 8 feet to place 4t and respectively. The top 5 placings mean that both boys will head to BVAL Finals next week. They will be the first Comets to compete at BVAL finals in pole vault in school history.

The rest of “day 1” took place on Wednesday May 2nd at Evergreen High School. The day saw two early finals. In boys discus, Daniel Medina, Josh Garcia and Joshua Merin competed for the team. Daniel and Josh threw 98-1 and 94-5 in what will be their final HS competition. Josh Merin threw 79-8 in his debut in the event, a solid performance on a big first stage.

IMG_4535
Daniel Medina releasing the discus 

The girls 1600 was the first running event of the meet. Arlet Miranda ran a very competitive race, in 7th place with 400m left, she stormed to 5th place over the last lap. Belen Sanchez ran 6:01.67, a 3 second PR to end her season, and Ashley Preciado ran 6:09.84 to lop 6 seconds off of her PR as well. This is the first time (on record) in school history that the Comets have had 3 Lady comets under 6:10 for the mile in the same race.

IMG_4536
Ashley Preciado, Belen Sanchez and Arlet Miranda before the mile. Valeria Cortez leaps into the picture behind them. 

Next up was the girls 100 hurdles. Valeria Cortez went into the race ranked #1 at 17.39. She won her heat and improved her seasons best time down to 17.29. No other Comets were expected to make the final based on ranking, but Yesenia and Martinez and Susie Peterson ran PRs of 18.79 and 18.85 to squeeze into Friday’s final as the 7th and 8th seeds.

Luis Escamilla ran aPR of 20.34 in the boys 110 hurdles. After a great start to the race for Cody Huoch, Cody clipped a hurdle badly and nearly fell. The bad stumble cost Cody his balance for the next few hurdles, and put him out of position to make the final for Friday, ending his season in the 110. Rodlf narrowly missed his PR, running 19.02.

 

IMG_4542
Valeria Cortez on her way to a heat win and seasons best in the 100 hurdles. Teammate Yesenia Martinez is not far behind. 

Yeimili Adame lead the Comets in the girls 400m, running a PR of 1:06.96. This put her in 10th on the day, less than a second off of the final. Justine Austria and Aliana Santos were the other Comets in the race. On the boys side, Misael Herrera ran a PR by almost a full second. Misael clocked in at 55.61, and teammate Salvador Lopez ran a PR of 56.02. Neither boy was able to advance to the final on Friday however.

Susie, Lisbeth Galdamez, and Natalie Rem competed in the girls 100. All 3 girls ran the 2nd best time of their career, and Natalie’s time of 13.57 saw was good enough to send her to the final on Friday. Raven Alcantara lead the Comets on the boys side, running 11.89, the 2nd best time of his career. Raven had a great season, taking his PR from 12.60 to 11.79 and he narrowly missed making the final for Friday. Geovanny Campos and Chris Okoro also competed for the team.

Arlet punched her ticket to the 800m final for Friday, cruising to a 6th place finish. Mya Hammond ran a big PR of 2:59.03, beating her previous best of 3:05. Mariana Perez ran 3:13 for a small PR to end her season. Erik Olsvold showed that he is quickly rounding back to form in the 800. After his spectacular sophomore season, Erik was derailed by a knee injury in cross country and through most of track. Erik managed to run 2:10.43 in the 800 to advance to the final on Friday, ranked 8th. Jerricho Habon is on to the final as well, he was the final qualifier, snagging 12th place in 2:16. Hugo Marquez competed, but missed his PR.

Several field event results had come in by this point. Cody took 6th in the boys triple jump in 39-10. Raven managed a big PR of 37-9. Sal went 36-8 to end his season. The most remarkable PR on the day came in the girls long jump. Lyndel Ventura, in her 4th and final season, managed a PR that made her 4 years of hard work worthwhile. Lyndel ended freshmen year at 14-11 in long jump. She had gradually improved over the years to 15-3.5, her PR entering the meet Wednesday, putting her at 8th place in terms of rankings. Lyndel shattered her PR, leaping 16-7.25 to take 3rd place and book a trip to BVALS to boot. Lyndel moves to 4th on the schools all time list with this big jump. Teammate Natalie managed a PR of 15-1 as well, just missing out on a point in 9th place.

The Comets got their first ever division title in the ‘B’ division in the girls Shot Put. Alejandra Ceron threw 34-7.50 to take home the victory, a year after winning the ‘C’ division title in the same event. Charli Chircop took 3rd in 32-10 and Valeria took 4th in 32-7.

Kirsten Yutuc lead a trio of PRS in the girls 300 hurdles. Kirsten ran 52.30 and is ranked 3rd for the final on Friday. Yesenia ran a huge PR, stopping the clock at 54.72, compared to a previous best of 58.85. Susie ran a PR in the final 300 hurdles of her career, clocking 57.07. Cody qualified comfortably for the final on Friday with, running 43 seconds for the event. Jo-Jo Bradley and Luis both lowered their PRs, running 49.11 and 49.18 respectively.

Justine, Lisbeth and Aliana all contested the 200. Lisbeth came away with a PR by .30, ending her season with a PR of 30.32. On the boys side, Misael lead the Comets in a seasons best 24.79.

The final event on the day was also a final: The Boys 3200. Azael Zamora took the race out fast from the beginning, storming into the lead by the time two laps were completed. Azael kept cranking in a bid to run away from division leader Omar Pina. Azy took the 1st mile fast, going through in 4:49 just as he did when he ran his PR of 10:05. Omar went through in 4:59 and and then ran a 4:50 2nd mile to take the win 9:50. An Evergreen boy stormed past Azy as well in the home stretch, with Azy taking 3rd in a 10 second PR of 9:55.14. This makes Azy the fastest Comet 2 miler of this century so far, the first Comet to run under 10 minutes for the event since 2003. Inteus Castro-Lopez and Melvin Estrada ran 10:55 and 10:58, both only narrowly missed their PRS.

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Dylan Ellis of Prospect (10:00.84)  Azael Zamora (9:55.14) and Omar Pina of Lincoln (9:50.89) After the 3200

While most events are still yet to be scored, but the Comets are in a good place so far.

The girls are in 2nd place through the first 4 events and the boys are in 4th through the first 5 events. it will be difficult for the Comets to hang on to these positions, but the team has already clinched 5 different BVAL qualifiers.

The Comets will finish up division finals on Friday May 4th at Evergreen. If the team performs as they did today, big things are still to come!

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

West Valley Division Finals Preview: Which Comets Can win Titles?

The regular season is over, and every track team in the CCS is rocketing towards their league championships. Our biggest Competitive goal as a team was to try to go a combined 14-0, and to win both West Valley division titles as a result. While division finals are still ahead, dual meets are weighted more heavily than finals in our league, making it unlikely we will win the boys title. The girls need only finish 2nd at WV finals next week to clinch their 2nd consecutive championship. The boys would not only need to finish 1st, but they would need Independence to finish 3rd or lower to win the title.

We are overall happy with the way that our boys competed this season however. Ending the WV season with a 1st place finish at West Valley Division finals would mean alot to the team on several counts. James Lick has been in the West Valley Division since 1997. In the 20 seasons since, at West Valley finals, the boys finished 1st in 2000, and the girls finished in 1st last year. Never have the Comets won the WV meet on both sides simultaneously. Pulling this feet off on the boys side would also be a small form of compensation for the loss against Indy earlier in the season.

Based on the rankings of the BVAL this season, this is how WV finals would shake out in terms of team scores if every athlete matches their season best:

Girls 

 

WVD Finals Simulation (Girls) 

Event Del Mar Gunderson Independence James Lick Live Oak Overfelt San Jose Yerba Buena Points Scored
4×100

6

2

5

1

8

3

4

10

39

1600

3

0

3

13

14

3

0

4

39

100 hurdles

0

0

3

14

0

11

0

11

39

400

9

0

1

0

4

0

23

2

39

100

8

0

2

0

8

0

17

4

39

800

0

0

0

12

5

4

15

3

39

300h

0

0

5

9

0

10

5

10

39

200

3

0

0

0

0

9

21

6

39

3200

0

0

3

10

16

1

0

9

39

4×400

6

1

4

5

8

3

10

2

39

High Jump

4

0

3

8

2

7

0

15

39

Long Jump

4

0

6

3

8

12

0

6

39

Triple Jump

0

0

3

10

13

3

0

10

39

Shot

6

0

3

23

0

6

0

1

39

Disc

13

0

2

24

0

0

0

0

39

 DM  G  IND  JL  LO  OV  SJ  YB

62

3

43

132

86

72

95

93

585

0

Boys 

WVD Finals Simulation (Boys) 

Event Del Mar Gunderson Independence James Lick Live Oak Overfelt San Jose Yerba Buena Points Scored
4×100

4

8

10

6

1

5

2

3

39

1600

9

0

3

24

0

3

0

0

39

110h

3

0

13

8

10

0

0

5

39

400

6

18

5

7

0

3

0

0

39

100

0

11

13

4

0

5

6

0

39

800

6

3

2

23

4

1

0

0

39

300h

2

0

14

14

5

0

0

4

39

200

0

12

12

1

0

8

6

0

39

3200

9

0

1

19

0

10

0

0

39

4×400

8

10

5

6

3

2

1

4

39

High Jump

12

0

8

9

0

4

0

6

39

Long Jump

0

0

25

2

0

0

0

12

39

Triple Jump

0

0

11

11

0

3

0

14

39

Shot

0

6

14

9

10

0

0

0

39

Disc

1

0

16

6

10

6

0

0

39

 DM  G  IND  JL  LO  OV  SJ  YB

60

68

152

149

43

50

15

48

585

0

0

The simulations do not take into account exactly what events athletes will do as the program is not yet completed, but it nonetheless provides a solid idea of what the meet may look like. The simulation has the girls team winning comfortably, lead on by the monumental 47 point performance by the lady throwers. They will in all likelihood come very close to scoring 50 points between the two trowing events at finals, and a 1-2-3 sweep in the discus is very achievable for the team.

The boys simulation indicates a two-team battle, with Independence at 152 points, and the Comets at 149. The meet should be a close battle on many fronts. On both sides, the Comets will look to do the best they can, and do what they’ve done well in all season.

The team finished 13-1, the best combined record on record for the team. A 7 point loss to Indy was a crushing blow to the team, but the season should be measured as a success for the dramatic improvement of the boys team.

There were 4 events on the boys side, and 2 events on the girls side, that the Comets won at every dual meet this season. That was not the case in any event last season. The boys never lost in the 300 hurdles, or in any of the 3 distance events. The girls never lost in either throwing event. In fact, opposing teams scored only 1 point against the Comets all season in the girls discus.

Last year, despite a first place finish on the girls side at WV finals, the team had only one individual champion, Alejandra Ceron in the girls discus. The team is aiming for at least 5 individual titles this season, and going undefeated in these 6 events sets the team up toa accomplish the goal.

The teams strongest event groups in order, as measured by percentage of available dual meet points are as follows.

  1. Girls Throws 96%
  2. Boys Distance 90%
  3. Boys Hurdles 84%
  4. Girls Hurdles 79%
  5. Boys Throws 71%
  6. Girls Jumps 66%
  7. Girls Distance 60%
  8. Boys Jumps 55%
  9. Boys Relays 50%
  10. Boys Sprints 48%
  11. Girls Relays 35%
  12. Girls Sprints 32%

The girls team went 7-0 in large part thanks to the consistent dominance of the girl throwers. The girls sprint team was a weakness for the squad this year. Grades hit the team hard, with the two top sprinters for the team being lost early. This coupled with a smaller girls team than in 2016, made the repeat undefeated season a huge accomplishment in it of itself.  The team also saw a number of improvements in different areas competitively.

Last year, the girls throwers were very strong, scoring 86% of dual meet points. That number jumped to 96% an extremely difficult number to hit in any division. The boys distance team had a dominant season as well, after taking 74% of points last year, they jumped to 90% this year. The most improved group was the boys throwers, who went fro 42% last season, to 71% this year. Boys sprints also saw a 10% jump despite the loss of top sprinter Jose Limon to start the season. Next year the boys sprint team should leap forward with a healthy Jose.

Another measure of team success is the individual point scorers list. The school has no record of dual meet points from the past. I have however kept track of points scored in the 4 years I’ve been coaching. The highest point total any Comet in those 4 years has accumulated, was the 114 points scored by Karan Singh in 2015. Valeria Cortez is poised to better that mark. Maria Mendoza, Arlet Miranda and Andrea Ortiz have all succeeded in scoring 100 points in a single season, but Valeria is the first Comet on record to score 100 points before West valley finals. She currently sits at 105 points, and is ranked to place 1st in discus, 2nd in Shot Put and the 100h, as well as 3rd in the 300 hurdles. That performance would give her a point total of 137 points, a mark which would be difficult to better.

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Ace Medina knocking the high jump bar down

 

Potential champs 

Girls Shot/Disc 

The team should be able to capture individual tiles in both girls throwing events. Alejandra Ceron is the favorite in the girls Shot Put. Her PR of 35-8.75 is more than 2 feet ahead of the #2 ranked girl. That girl happens to be Valeria Cortez. Valeria is ranked #1 in the discus throw at 106-2. Her nearest competitor is teammate Charli Chircop at 103-2. Alejandra is ranked 3rd at 93-5. Whatever Comet has the better day should capture the girls discus title.  

Girls 800 

Arlet Miranda narrowly missed winning the 800 last year as a freshmen. Arlet was battling neck and neck to the finish line with Lydia Ma of Independence before falling with 10 meters left n the race when her spike caught in the track. Arlet struggled with injury this season, but recent performances indicate she is ready to make a run at her PR, and a title in the event. Her primary competition figures to be San Jose’s best 800m runner Chloe, Roth. She beat Arlet on the line at the Firebird Relays in 2:35, a strong time. Chloe is a strong 400m runner, and Arlet will look to take her speed out of the equation by making the race a test of endurance.

Girls 100h

Valeria is currently ranked 1st in the WVD in the 100 hurdles. She recently ran a PR of 17.40, into the and headwind of our home track. Middle school teammate Chrizna Milanes of Overfelt has a better PR (16.80) but struggles with inconsistency. A perfect race by Valeria could see her upsetting the reigning champ on her home track.

Boys 300 hurdles 

Gustavo Aguilera and Cody Huoch were ranked 1 and 2 in the division for the 300 hurdles until very recently. Julio Santillan of Independence ran 44.25 at the CCS top 8 meet to take over the WV lead. When the 3 hurdlers went head to head in our dual meet, the race was thrilling. Cody won in 44.75, with Gustavo second in 44.76 and Julio 3rd in 44.79. The rematch at finals should be equally thrilling. The fact that the team didn’t lose this event once in dual meets will mean little if the Comets fail to come away with the title in the event. We think both boys are ready to run under 44 seconds in the event, though Julio may well be as well. It should be a very exciting race.

Boys 800 

This event is another undefeated one for the team this season. Nathan Bernardo has run 2:07 and Erik Olsvold has run 2:08 for the two fastest times in the division so far. There are threats in runners like Chris Solorzano from Del Mar who has run 2:08 as well, but I think both Nathan and Erik are ready to go 1-2 in the event, with some PRS as well.

Boys 1600 

Azael Zamora has the WVD leading time at 4:40.90. Erik is right behind him at 4:41.46 and Nathan is 3rd at 4:47. Chris from Del Mar, and Jesse Cruz from Overfelt should help make things interesting for the Comets, but I think Erik and Azael are both ready to go under 4:40 and I’m not sure any other boy in the division is. Azael should be very motivated having taken 2nd at least years 1600 final by only .01.

Boys 3200 

Erik and Azael are ranked 1st and 2nd though the wildcard in the race is Jesse from Overfelt. Last year, Jesse beat all Comets and ran the best WVD time of the season at BVAL champs, clocking 10:13. Jesse only began racing recently due to grade issues earlier in the season, but should figure to be the teams biggest challenge to winning the 3200 title.

Boys 4×400

At the beginning of the season, we were actively aiming for a title in this event as well. The loss of Jose Limon put a big hit on the teams title hopes, but an outside shot remains. Gunderson has two boys at 52 seconds in the open 400, no one else has a boy under 55. One team does have 3 boys at 55 seconds however and that is James Lick. Erik, Nathan and Gustavo have all run 55 seconds for the open 400. Misael Herrera has brought his PR down to 56.48. In the team can split their laps in the high 54-low 55 range, they should have a very good chance at taking down Gunderson (and hopefully cracking the 3:40 barrier).

The team will be aiming to score as many points, set as many PRs and send as many athletes to BVAL championships as possible.

The meet begins on Wednesday March 3rd at Overfelt with trials of all lane events. The day will also see finals of the girl High Jump, girls Triple Jump, girls Shot Put, Boys Discus, Boys Long Jump, Boys 3200 and Girls 1600. All other finals will take place on Friday.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for recaps of WVD finals!

-Benny Reeves

 

Comets Earn Pair of Wins on Windy Day

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Teammates Daisy Nava, Denisse Calixto and Arlet Miranda embrace Analila Regla after her PR in the 3200m

The Comets hosted the Live Oak Acorns for a very windy dual meet on Wednesday March 22nd. Winds of 15-20 mph battered the home stretch for most of the meet, slowing running times considerably. Nonetheless, the team competed hard.

Live Oak won the 4×100 on the girls side but the Comets got their first 4×100 win of the season on the boys side The team of Adrian DeLaRosa, Hadji Yono-Cruz, Misael Herrera and Chris Okoro accomplished the feet.

Arlet Miranda took 2nd in the girls 1600 behind Kaylah Grant of Live Oak, the top distance runner in the entire BVAL. Belen Sanchez ran a big PR of 6:42.70 despite the extremely windy conditions. Denisse Calixto ran a seasons best of 7:11 as well. Nathan Bernardo lead a boys sweep in 5:18, the 3rd consecutive time that the Comet boys have swept the 1600 to start the season. Inteus Castro-Lopez and Erik Olsvold took 2nd and 3rd for the team. Osiris Zamudio and Hugo Marquez ran Prs in the wind as well, running 5:42 and 5:45 respectively.

Valeria Cortez ran an impressive 18.61 100 hurdles time into the wind, just .01 off her seasons best. Susie Peterson took 2nd in 20.93 for the Comets. On the boys side, Jonathan Rodriguez managed a seasons best time despite the wind, running 19.69 to win the race for the team. Cody Huoch made his debut in the event and ran 20.50 for 3rd place.

The girls 400 saw Arlet place 2nd once again. The boys side was a showcase of strength for the Comets. Nathan lead the team with a win in a seasons best 57.73 despite the wind. Azael Zamora took 2nd in a seasons best 58.42 and Misael took 3rd in 58.54. Cody debuted in the event in a strong time of 58.62 for 4th place. Daniel Portillo also ran a PR of 1:14.01 in the event.

Silvia Amaya and Kirsten Yutuc both managed points for the Comets in the 100, coming in 2nd and 3rd. On the boys side, the team got its first 100m win of the season. Hadji narrowly edged out teammate Ace Medina 12.83 to 12.86.

Arlet placed 2nd to Kaylah Grant again in the 800, and Belen ran a 2nd PR on the day clocking in at 3:02 for the 800 in 4th place. Erik ran a very strong 800m for the boys  given the conditions, winning the race in 2:09 with Azael taking 3rd in 2:19.

Kirsten got the first win of her HS career in the 300 hurdles, running an new PR of 58.99 to come in first. Susie cam in 3rd with a new seasons best of 1:02.69. Cody and Jonathan combined to go 1-2 in the boys 300 hurdles, cruising to victories in 49 seconds and 50 second respectively.

The girls 200 saw Valeria take 2nd for the team for the 2nd consecutive week. Misael earn his 2nd 200m victory of the season on the boys side. Chris came in 3rd for the team to net more points.

Arlet ran her first 3200m of the season running 13:46 to win the race. Analilia Regla ran a huge PR of 16:01.60, more than a minute off of her previous PR. Inteus leader sweep of the boys 3200 with Azael and Erik following close behind Inteus in 11:28.

The girls 4×400 team won the event uncontested, while the boys lost a narrow battle with the Acorns with both teams dipping under 4 minutes.

The field events saw some of the team’s best performances on the day. Lyndel Ventura had seasons bests in both horizontal jumps, going 14-3 in long jump and 28-3 in triple jump to place 2nd in both events. Yalta Cortez made her debut for the team and had some solid jumps as well. She went 13-1 in log jump and 26-4 in triple jump to open her Comet career.

Hadji won the long jump on the boys side, matching his PR of 18-5. Rhyan Munoz and Juan Gutierrez both managed long jump PRs as well, going 16-5 and 16-0 respectively. In the triple jump, Cody got the win in a new PR of 36-6 while Rhyan also Prd going 33-5.

Elyse Elder won the high jump for the team in 4-2 and Mariah Santos took 3rd in 3-8. Jonathan won the  boys high jump in 5-2 and Juan and Ace both cleared 5 to tie for 3rd place.

Despite the fact that the Shot Put was facing the wind, several Comets competed very well. Alejandra Ceron won the event in 30-11 and Charli Chircop placed 2nd in a new PR of 30-8.5. Valeria took 3rd in 29-11. Mariah also Prd throwing 23-1. The boys were facing the top thrower in the WVAL, Brendan White of Live Oak. While Brendan won both throws, the throws team did well on the boys side. One week after Josh became the first Comet in 2 years to throw 38 feet in the Shot Put, Daniel did the same going 38-7. Josh took 2nd in 37-11 and Alex took 3rd in 33-11.

Charli won the girls discus in a new PR of 97-1 and Alejandra took 2nd in a seasons best 88-5, just 2 feet off her PR. Valeria took 3rd for the team in discus. Sandra Naranjo managed a 5 foot PR of 43-5 in the event too. Daniel and Alex took 2nd and 3rd in the discus behind Brendan. Roger Alonzo threw a solid PR of 89-5 and is progressing very quickly.

When all as said and done, the Comets beat Live Oak 94-33 on the boys side and 71-56 on the girls side. This moves the team to 3-0 on both sides for a combined 6-0 record.

The Comets will take a large number of athletes to the Firebird Relays at Fremont HS on Saturday to test their depth against many of the best teams in the CCS. They will then head to Gunderson High School to try to extend their undefeated start to the season on Wednesday 3/29.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Comet news!

-Benny Reeves

 

Comets Show Distance Strength at TKA Invitational

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Boys DMR Team left to right: Misael Herrera, Azael Zamora, Nathan Bernardo, Erik Olsvold 

The season is only a week old, but with a strong showing at the TKA Invitational, the Comets find themselves at the top of the WVAL distance rankings in every event on the boys side.

The TKA Invite is a great early season meet for some fast distance times. The night atmosphere combined with the music and good weather (in this case) make it a great meet to asses fitness and earn season bests.

Valerie Flores started the Comets day off strong with a 7:00.55 1600m. The story of the girls distance team has been athletes like Valerie. Valerie began running distance this fall during cross country. At her very first mile time trial with us way back on, Valerie ran 8:32. She ended cross country season with a  7:39 1600 and is working her way down all the way down into sub-7 minute mile territory. As a senior, she is approaching competitive WVAL times. Unfortunately, she will likely graduate before she gets all the way down to times that would score her points for the team in WVAL dual meets. This has been the signature issue on the girls distance side, tomalley of the dedicated athletes who come out are juniors or seniors who don’t have as much time to develop. In any case, Valerie is off to a great start this season.

The Varsity boys 1600 saw several season bests. Azael Zamora took 8th place overall in 4:46.64 and Nathan Bernardo ran 4:56.06, both are seasons bests. Inteus Castro-Lopez has an off day running 5:10, while Jesus Deloya ran 5:29, a huge improvement on his 5:49 clocking from two weeks ago. Julian Delreal also ran a 10 second PR, clocking 5:47 for the 1600.

On the frosh/soph side, Erik Olsvold took 2nd overall running 4:41.46, a very strong early season clocking. Erik ran this 13 second PR, despite the fact that he had to lead the majority of the race, doing all the work for the Scots Valley runner who narrowly beat him out over the last 50 meters of the race. Melvin Estrada ran a 1 second PR of 5:38, and Daniel Portillo dd the same running 6:08. Hugo Marquez matched his PR of 5:51.

Erik once again lead the Comets in the 800, opening up his season with a time of 2:08.93. After running each distance event just one time, Erik has achieved the CCS Frosh/Soph Top 8 meet standards in every distance event, meaning he will have his pick of what events he wants to focus on come Top 8 meet. Nathan ran a seasons best of 2:11.75 despite a rough final 100 meters. Misael Herrera competed in his first ever 800 to get some over distance work. He clocked a solid 2:23.

In the 3200, the team’s 3 freshmen boys competed. Hugo and Melvin both broke 13 minutes for the first time, running 12:26 and 12:30 respectively, huge PRS for both runners. Daniel ran 13:40 to go under the 7 minute pace barrier as well. Back at their first 1600m time trial in August, Daniel and Hugo both failed to run under 7 minutes for the 1600, and Melvin ran 6:50. All three boys have advanced leaps and bounds this season.

The final event for the Comets was the DMR (Distance Medley Relay) consisting of a 1200-400-800-1600 relay. Despite being tired, the Comets ran their “A” team in prep for a school record attempt at the firebird relays in a few weeks. Azael started the team off with a 3:34 leg, a solid effort but unimpressive considering he went through the 1200m mark in 3:31 during his 1600 earlier. Misael split a 60 second 400, again, well off his best but a solid performance nonetheless. The team was in 7th place as a team at this point. Nathan took the baton and ran a 2:11 leg just as he did earlier, moving the team from 7th to 4th along the way. Erik ran a 4:59 1600m leg, holding on to 4th place all the way. At the firebird relays, the team will run the DMR as their first event, meaning a much faster time than their 11:45 clocking is certainly coming.

The team now looks ahead to a very competitive meet with Yerba Buena on Wednesday March 15th. The boys team suffered one of their two losses last season to Yerba Buena, making the meet a huge barometer of their ability. The lady Warriors suffered their only defeat of the season last year at the hands of the Comets, and they will surely be looking for some payback against a girls team that is much more vulnerable than last season. The Comets will need to bring their ‘A’ game (especially on the girls side) to earn the victory.

An exciting meet recap is likely coming the day after that meet.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

 

 

14 Comets compete at Los Gatos All-Comers Meet

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Hadji Yono-Cruz opening his season with a Long Jump of 18-3

 

The James Lick Track team saw some 14 athletes get their first competition of the season at the Los Gatos All-Comers meet on February 25th. The team will open their official season next Saturday at the Willow Glen Invitational. This all comers meet was a good chance for the team to get their feet wet, and to get some early season competition in a low-key setting. Despite the peak of the season being two months away, the Comets saw some very strong performances.

The 4×100 team of Hadji Yono-Cruz, Jose Limon, Misael Herrera and Chris Okoro ran a 47.98. Last season, it took the team until mid April to run under 48 seconds for the sprint relay, so this early season start is encouraging. Based on this start, the Comets should work their way down to 46 seconds and perhaps even 45 seconds this season.No James Lick team has run under 46 seconds for the 4×100 since 2002.

The most impressive performer of the day for the team was Jose Limon. Jose joined Track with only 5 weeks left in the season last year, but proceeded to make BVAL champs as a freshmen in the 400m regardless. His strong work ethic has shown over the past few months, and paid dividends at the all-comers meet. Jose ran 11.97 for the 100m dash, smashing his PR of 12.31 and becoming only the 2nd Comet to officially break 12 for the 100m dash in the past 7 seasons. He followed this up with a strong showing in the 60m dash, running 7.47 and winning his heat in both races. We believe Jose’s future is in the 200/400 but this great improvement to his start and top speed will aid him greatly.

Hadji also ran a PR in the 100, notching a time of 12.45 compared to a previous best of 12.68. Hadji also long jumped 18-3, only 2 inches off his PR from a year ago, and scratched on a much bigger jump, showing that he is ready for a big breakthrough soon.  Misael Herrera was less than a tenth of a second off his 100m dash PR and Chris Okoro is well ahead of his starting point from last season as well. This was a strong showing for the sprint group, despite the fact that many of the teams potential top sprinters were not attending the meet.

In the throws, the team got off to a very strong start as well. Valeria Cortez and Alejandra Ceron both threw in the high 20s in the Shot Put, and Daniel Medina threw 33-7 in the boys Shot Put. All 3 are well ahead of their early season meets a year ago. This is even more clear in the discus. Valeria ended last season with a school record of 99-9.50 after starting the season at 66 feet. She threw 97-1 at the all comers meet, indicating the Comets may have their first ever 100 foot discus girl within the week. Alejandra also threw her PR of 90 feet with an 84 foot toss. Daniel missed his PR by less than a foot throwing 92-8.

The team will be looking for girls throws to continue their dominance from last season, and for boys throws to step up to help overcome tough opponents like Yerba Buena and Independence.

The hurdlers at the meet also started off their season strong. Gustavo Aguilera ran 10.78 for the 65m hurdles, compared to a previous PR of 11.75, despite a very poor first hurdle. David Bejines ran 11.84 for his first ever hurdles race. This solid start shows that in a WVAL that was very weak in hurdles a year ago, David may be a very useful asset to the team.  Valeria ran 11.30 for the 60 hurdles as well, the fastest time on record for the team in the event.

The distance team only had 4 members compete. Hugo Marquez ran 2:32 for the 800, just weeks after running 2:49 at the teams time trial. Hugo is building towards being a key future contributor to the distance team. Azael Zamora ran the 5000 and turned in a 17:34 performance. This is 16 seconds better than the time Azael ran at the end of last track season, meaning he is likely already in better shape than ever as well. Arlet Miranda turned in a similar performance, running 20:20 for the 5000, compared to a PR of 20:46 from the end of last season.

The official meets are just days away. Very soon these Comets will be joined by many others at the Willow Glen Invitational on March 4th, and then at San Jose High on March 8th for the first dual meet of the season.

The team will run a mini meet on Wednesday to practice dual meets and give a final test run to all athletes.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves