James Lick Track Season Comes to a Close: A Reflection on 5 Years of Coaching

When Charli Chircop hurled the discus 100-10 at CCS Finals, she signaled the end of not only her career, but of the 2018 track season (as far as James Lick is concerned). The 2018 season ending was very significant for me personally. It signified the end of my 5th year coaching, and also the end of my first year as a teacher. This blog will be a reflection on my first 5 years as a coach, and the growth of the cross country and track programs over the past 5 seasons.

The team has improved a lot over the past 5 seasons, that is especially demonstrated in track. If this years team faced the team of 2014 in a dual meet, assuming everyone matched their seasons bests, this would be the result:

Boys 2018: 116             Girls 2018: 102

Boys 2014: 19               Girls 2014: 25

I began coaching in fall of 2013. Alex Ponik, one of my coaches at James Lick, was stepping down as head coach. He offered me a position as an assistant coach, a job I was happy to accept. The day before school began for James Lick however, I was informed that our intended head coach would be unable to coach after all. As a result, I was forced to take the helm along with John Quasarano at the last moment.

That first year was tough. As a 20-year old, I lacked confidence in  my own authority as a coach. Our top runner and team captain was Armando Aguilar. Armando and I were teammates just a few years before when I myself was team captain. We were also a very inexperienced team on the boys side. 5 of our 7 varsity boys had never run cross country before 2013. Only Armando had been a member of the varsity team before. This combined with our placement in the ‘B’ division, saw us finish with a 1-6 record on the varsity boys side. Honestly, we were lucky to even win 1 meet.

The huge bright side of that season was the varsity girls team. We pulled off a 4-3 season, the first winning season for the Lady Comet since 2009. Of the 24 BVAL teams, we finished in 15th place on the girls side at BVAL Finals. Our Combined team time was 117:28 (or 1:57:28). It was the first time the team had run under 2 hours at Crystal Springs in several years, giving us good hope for the future.

The boys however finished 20th. Our team was 97:09 (1:37:09). This was partly due to the fact that Armando was unable to finish the race, but in any case, a 20th place finish was not where we wanted to be. Seeing our BVAL places, and our inexperienced coaching staff, the BVAL moved us down to the ‘C’ division for the 2014 season.

That was my lowest moment as a coach so far, largely because I believed that we did not belong in the ‘C’ division. We were a young coaching staff and a young team, but I was very confident we could turn things around.

Track was a different season. I joined the track coaching staff along with Ricardo Flores, Juan Trejo and Ray Iniguez. At the time, James Lick track had not won a single dual meet in over 5 years. The Comets had not had a winning season since 2000, and the girls had not had one on record in school history (definitely not since 1996 when the BVAL began keeping records).

The setup that first year saw me in charge of the girls track team, while the other 3 coaches handled the boys team. We managed to eek out our first wins in years, which gave us cause to dream bigger for the future.

On a personal level, 2014 was my most important year as a coach. My goal has always been to help my athletes improve by as much as possible, and hope that wins and success will follow from great improvement. 2014 was when I first gained confidence in my ability to foster improvement in my athletes, thanks to the hard work of a few key athletes.

Daniela Camacho had run 5:49 for the 1600 as a freshmen, though she slowed down to 6:02 as a sophomore, (not an uncommon phenomenon among girl distance runners). That year as a junior, we managed to reverse that trend and Daniela ended the season at 5:43 for the 1600. She lowered her PR to 5:27 the next season, a mark which currently stands as our school record (though Arlet Miranda ran 5:31 this season so here’s hoping she will beat it next year).

Destiny Lopez was maybe the most important athlete towards helping me believe in my own training methods. Destiny had run track since freshmen year, and her PRs were 6:51 in the 1600 and 15:47 in the 3200. 2014 was her senior year, my only year coaching her. It was a trough process, but at division finals, she ran massive PRs, 6:31 for the 1600 and 14:11 for the 3200.

Our track team had 23 athletes in 2014 and we had our first wins in years. Most important to me personally, I felt that just like the James Lick teams of old, we could work hard and improve substantially in pursuit of bigger victories. Our goal for XC 2014 was simple, prove that it was a mistake to send us down to the ‘C’ division.

Our girls thrived in that goal. The team went 7-0 and won the division handily. At BVAL Finals, after placing 15th in 1:57:28 the year before, we finished in 8th place in 1:50:00. The 1:50:00 mark is the 2nd best team time in school history. The team of 1981 is the only team to have run faster, incidentally the only other girls championship team in school history. The boys team improved significantly as well, moving up from 20th place to 15th place, and running 6 minutes faster as a team.

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2014 Team at CCS Left to Right: Mila Perez, Maria Mendoza, Paloma Contreras, Julia Cruz, Evalilia Garcia, Daniela Camacho, Brianna Flores

The 2014 team will always be special to me because it was my first division championship as a coach. The more rapid improvement was in track and field. In 2015, we had our first winning season in over a decade. By 2016, a girls division title. In 2017 a 2nd girls title, followed by our move up the ‘B’ division. The success in track and field is in no small part thanks to the excellent coaches I’ve had the chance to work with. From Coach Vela who was by my side in track from the beginning, to coach Nichols, and Turner, and recently coach Raul Lopez. Every coach we’ve had in track has played a pivotal role in improving the team.

The most impressive team of my coaching career however was the 2016 XC team, my only boys title to date, and my only ‘B’ division championship team so far.

That team showed what the culmination of years of hard work could lead to. Team captain Nathan Bernardo did an exceptional job leading that team. Truth to be told, I had to miss many practices throughout the season but Nathan never let the team waver. He lead practice when I could not. All of the teams hard work paid off with the boys going 7-0 and placing 2nd at BVAL finals, only losing to the ‘A’ division champions Willow Glen.

Our team time of 1:25:19 was a respectable mark for James Lick in any era. While it is nowhere near the school record of 1:20:46, it was the 12th best team time in school history,  and the best ever JL time at BVAL Finals.

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2016 Championship team Left to right: Me, Gustavo Aguilera, Erik Olsvold, Nathan Bernardo, Inteus Castro-Lopez, Gustavo Parra, Azael Zamora

After 5 years, I feel pretty good about where the program is at. We are solidly in the ‘B’ division in both cross country and track, and we have a very young team on both sides. Long term, coach Raul Lopez and myself will be looking to help take the program to the next level, eventually being a member of the ‘A’ division.

I’m proud that we’ve been able to outperform many schools that are larger than us, and better funded. We are currently the 2nd smallest school in the BVAL with a tick over 1100 students. The schools that are still consistently better than us have a few things in common. Some are outside of our control, such as larger enrollment and greater funds to draw from.

The most difficult discrepancy to overcome for us in my opinion is the lack of experience many of our athletes have. Our primary feeder schools are Joseph George and Shepard Middle School . Neither school had a track team this year. They often do not have cross country and when they do, it is not a substantial program. Willow Glen is consistently the best cross country team in the BVAL. This is in large part due to the amazing work of Coach Victor Santamaria, but every year, Willow Glen Middle School churns out multiple boys in the low 5 minute range in the 1600 and sometimes even some sub 5 minute boys.

The same is true of many of the schools we struggle to beat. Many of the top athletes in the area have been training for a long time. Our athletes have a lot of catching up to do. Azael Zamora just graduated with HS personal bests of 4:33 in the 1600 and 9:55 in the 3200. He did not join cross country until his sophomore year, and to that point he had never broken 6 minutes for the mile.

Long term, we are aiming to help ensure  that some of our alumni will take on coaching positions at some our local middle schools to help athletics not just at James Lick, but throughout the east side as a whole.

I also hope to have more alumni join my coaching staff. Coach turnover has been an issue for us, and having a more consistent solidified coaching staff will help us improve.

We are not at the same level of James Lick’s greatest teams, but restoring the greatness of James Lick in XC and track has been my goal since I started coaching. We are not nearly there, but we are a lot closer than we were 5 years ago. I want to thank every Comet that has been apart of it, and everyone who actually reads my rambling with interest/support.

Best marks/times under me can all be found under the history section of the blog ^

The 2018 XC team will begin conditioning on June 18th at 9:30 A.M.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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James Track Moves Up To ‘B’ division for 2018 Season: 2017 Season Summary

The 2017 Track season was another step forward for the James Lick Comets. I am happy to announce that with the BVAL meetings having concluded, the James Lick track team will be officially be placed in the ‘B’ division for the 2018 season. The strength of the team’s past few seasons, especially  the 2017 season, is what catapulted the team out of the WVAL.

The old local leagues of the BVAL, the MHAL (Mount Hamilton Athletic League) the STAL (Santa Teresa Athletic League) and the WVAL (West Valley Athletic League) merged together in 1996 to form the BVAL (Blossom Valley Athletic League). The BVAL is a 24 team ‘power league’ with the 3 former leagues operating as an ‘A’ ‘B’ and ‘C’ division.

The BVAL formed at a point where James Lick was well past it’s heyday in most sports. The track team of James Lick for example, was placed in the ‘C’ division from the very beginning of the BVAL era (like most James Lick sports) and has remained there ever since. 20 seasons of the BVAL era have passed with James Lick in the ‘C’ division every single season. That is all set to change in the 2018 season.

James Lick will compete against the teams of the STAL, with Andrew Hill moving down to replace James Lick in the WVAL. The ‘B’ division was won by Pioneer on the boys side, and Evergreen on the girls side. Other teams in the STAL are: Prospect, Lincoln, Sobrato, Oak Grove, and Piedmont Hills. We will be fully focused on trying to prove we belong in the STAL division, by achieving a middle of the pack finish in our first year in the division.

Now a look back at the season that moved us up. With any luck, we will look back on the 2017 season as the last season James Lick was in the ‘C’ division for track and field.

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Some of the Track Team after the Team Banquet in Alum Rock Park

 

We began conditioning as a team in January. At this early stage we had a large number of boys out, but the majority of our girls were participating in Winter sports. We had the goal all season of trying to win the WVAL on both the boys and girls side.

We came close, going a combined 13-1 for a girls title, narrowly missing the boys.

Here is a breakdown of scoring by event for the 2017 season:

Boys : 

Event Group Average Points Per Dual Meet Points Available Per Meet Average Points as percentage of Available League Finals Points
Distance 24.31 27 90% 49
Hurdles 15.14 18 84% 22
Jumps 15 27 55% 17.5
Relays 5 10 50% 13
Sprints 13.14 27 48% 18
Throws 12.85 18 71% 8

Girls 

Event Group Average Points Per Dual Meet Points Available Per Meet Average Points as percentage of Available League Finals Points
Distance 16.41 27 60% 32
Hurdles 14.35 18 79% 26
Jumps 17.85 27 66% 28
Relays 3.5 10 35% 10
Sprints 8.56 27 32% 0
Throws 17.27 18 96% 45

Both hurdle squads, the girls throws teams and boys throws teams were very dominant in the WVAL. They will look to lead the team next season as the team takes on the STAL.

The team’s top point scorers were:

  1. Valeria Cortez: 130 points 
  2. Cody Huoch: 99 points
  3. Arlet Miranda: 99 points
  4. Erik Olsvold: 80 points
  5. Lyndel Ventura: 75 points
  6. Nathan Bernardo: 70 points
  7. Azael Zamora: 65 points
  8. Alejandra Ceron: 63 points
  9. Jonathan Rodriguez: 61 points
  10. Ace Medina: 53 points

As the team heads up a division, an encouraging note is that all 5 of the teams top point scorers are not seniors, as are 8 of the teams top 10. The team will need a good returning group of athletes in order to compete at the next level.

At the Willow Glen Invitational, many athletes competed for the team and things looked very promising. Jose Limon began the season with times of 11.97 and 24.40 for 100/200 both of which were top 5 finishes for the meet’s frosh/Soph division. This was a fantastic start to the year as no Comet had run under 12 seconds in 2016. Unfortunately, at the very first dual meet of the season, Jose aggravated his hamstring running the 4×100 and never fully recovered, effectively losing his very promising sophomore year.

One of the sprinter’s who stepped up the most in Jose’s absence was Misael Herrera, the team’s next best Sophomore sprinter. Misael opened the season at 12.80 for the 100 and 26.70 for the 200. Over the course of the season, he worked his way down to big PRS of 12.30 for the 100, 24.56 for the 200, and 56.48 for the 400. By the end of the season, Ace Medina would be the team leader in the 100/200 with PRS of 11.68 and 24.17, despite opening the season at 12.70. Cody Huoch would run 24.40 as well to give the team 4 boys under 25 seconds in the 200, a big improvement over the 1 athlete from 2016. The team scored points at WVAL finals in all 3 boys sprint events for the first time since I’ve been coaching.

In the girls sprint events, the team lost their #1, #2, and #3 sprinters from 2016, putting the team in a tough spot. Silvia Amaya emerged as the team’s top sprinter on the side. She opened the season at 15.20 at Willow Glen and worked her way down to 14.30 by seasons end, scoring points for the team in many dual meets along the way. Freshmen Yeimili Adame emerged mid-season as a potential standout athlete, demonstrating impressive range in the two meets she competed in before becoming academically ineligible. We hope she’ll return as a force next season.

This was the first season that the team’s jumpers were under the tutelage of coach Christopher Turner. In this one season, the future strength of the team’s jumpers was shown through massive improvement. Juan Gutierrez opened his season with jumps of 15-2 for the long jump and 31-1 for triple jump. He would end up with PRS of 17-8.50 and 36-3.  Freshmen Jamie Vong had the most encouraging improvement, going from 31-0 at our first dual meet in triple jump, to 37-6 at WVAL finals. He also went from 14-4 in the long jump to 16-10. Hadji Yono-Cruz lead the team in long jump with a leap of 18-3.  Cody Huoch lead the team with a triple jump of 39-4 at WVAL finals.

On the girls side, Lyndel Ventura finally broke the 15 foot barrier officially with help from coach Turner. She started the season at 13-3 and 25-2, and worked her way up to 15-3 and 28-10.50 by WVAL finals. Kirsten Yutuc joined the jumps crew late in the season, but in a very short amount of time went from 12-10 to 13-9 and from 27-7 to 29-10. I’m very excited about the future of these athletes under coach Turner, only bigger things are ahead.

The team also had a much improved season in the high jump. Elyse Elder achieved a PR of 4-8 to take 2nd at WVAL finals, the highest placing by a JL girl at WVAL finals ever. Jonathan Rodriguez went 5-6 and Ace went 5-8 to give the team two boys who scored pints at WVAL finals, after having none the year before.

The hurdles team also took a big step forward. Two boys ran 44 seconds for the 300 hurdles, and Cody Huoch won the team its first ever league title in the event at WVAL finals. Cody also ran the best 110 hurdles time in years for the Comets, clocking 17.16. Hadji also broke the 18 second barrier running 17.83. Jonathan and Gustavo Aguilera ran under 19 seconds to give the team 4 boys under that mark, compared to only two last year.

Valeria Cortez captured the WVAL title in the 100 hurdles with a PR of 16.75, good for #3 in school history. She also brought her 300 hurdles PR down significantly to 52.12. Susie Peterson did the same thing by running 58.99, and Kirsten Yutuc ran a strong freshmen time of 54.44 in the event, as well as running under 20 seconds for the 100 hurdles.

The girls distance team stared the season with some difficulties. Arlet Miranda opened her season at Willow Glen with two great performances, running 5:41 and 2:34, nearly PRs for both events. She suffered injuries the rest of the season which greatly impacted her training. She was eventually able to run a PR in the 800 however, qualifying for CCS by running 2:28.42 at BVAL championships. Belen Sanchez stepped up to be a contributor for the team. She began the year at 7:05 at our first dual meet, and worked her PR all the way down to 6:12 by the end of the season.

On the boys side, the team was lead by Erik Olsvold. Erik took his freshmen year PRs of 4:54 for the 1600 and 10:36 for the 3200 down to 4:37 and 10:20 despite missing time due to a few different issues. While he was able to capture the WVAL title in the 3200, to some extent this was a disappointing season that Erik will be looking to bounce back from in XC. Azael Zamora took his 1600m PR down to 4:40, even though he too struggled with injuries through most of the season.

The freshmen boys were a highlight of the distance team. Hugo Marquez, Melvin Estrada, Daniel Portillo, Nien Tran and Mark Orpia all finished a full year of distance training between XC and track with great results. Hugo’s ran the mile trial for us in August and ran 7:37. He ended track season with a PR of 5:21. Similarily Melvin started off at 6:50 (though he actually had summer training) and ended Track at 5:20. Daniel started off at 7:23 and worked his way down to 5:52.

Mark and Nien did not have as much training time as they both came out from Wrestling late, but they enjoyed big improvement as well. Mark worked his way down from 6;06 to 5:06 and Nien from 6:20 to 5:28. This young group of boys figures to be a strong FS team in XC.

The throws team was improved on the boys side, and exceptional on the girls side. 3 boys threw above 100 feet in discus on the same team for the first time under coach Vela. Alex Alonzo lead the group at 111-4, a 10 foot PR from 2016.

The girls side was the truly remarkable group for the team however. Alejandra Ceron improved her Shot Put PR from 31-9.50 to 35-8.75, a new school record. She also improved her Discus from 90-10 to 95-11. Valeria improved from 99-8.50 to 108-3 in discus, and from 31-1 in Shot Put to 33-4. Charli took her PRS up to a whole new level after missing her Sophomore season. She went from 29-10 to 32-5 in Shot Put, and from 79-0 to 109-4 for discus. With her throw of 109-4, she took the school record from Valeria and became made CCS finals. A  fitting end of the season for a strong team.

The team ends this season with a lot to be proud of, and a big season ahead in 2018 with the ‘B’ division on the horizon.

A few notes looking ahead

For the first time this summer, James Lick athletes who join the East Side running/track club will compete in all comers meets in preparation for the 2018 track season. My club is open to anyone who wants to join of any age group, and the only fee is the USATF registration fee.

Some of the team’s athletes will begin preparation for their fall sports in a few weeks time as well. Coach Turner is the JV girls volleyball coach, and Coach Vela is the JV boys football coach (and I think Coach Steve may join him as a positions coach this year).  I will begin cross country conditioning with the oh so lovable distance rascals in a few weeks, and am happy to say I will be joined by two new coaches this season who have served as volunteer coaches this past track season.

Lastly, I’m very happy to announce that I will be beginning my teaching career when the 2017/2018 school year begins (teaching world history). 90% of my students grades will be participation in cross country or track! (just kidding of course).

I’ll do a general recap of JL sports for the school year if there is an interest in one. This was the best year we’ve had as a school this decade in terms of championships/overall record. Please comment if you’d be interested in such a blog.

Thanks for reading!

-Benny Reeves

 

Comets win Second Consecutive Girls Track Championship, Boys finish 2nd.

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The Comets Who Stuck Around for the final results after the meet was over

Day 2 of the 2017 WVD (West Valley division) finals took place on Friday May 5th 2017. The teams contested 4/15 events on the girls side, and 3/15 on the boys side two days earlier. The remaining events were contested on day 2, making it a day jam packed with meaningful competition.

The day

The meet began with the girls 4×100. The team of Lyndel Ventura, Susie Peterson, Silvia Amaya and Justine Austria ran 57.72 and succeeded in helping the Comets qualify for BVAL championships in the event for the 4th concessive year. The boys 4×100 made BVAL champs for the first time since I’ve been coaching. The team of Hadji Yono-Cruz, Cody Huoch, Misael Herrera and Ace Medina ran 46.88 despite poor handoffs to finish 4th.

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Coach Steve (Left) looks on as Justine Austria (Front) and Lyndel Ventura (Back) prepare for the 4×100

 

Field events were kicking off at the same time. The girls would go on to dominate the discus impressively. Despite the fact that they were throwing directly into the wind, Charli Chircop would win the discus in 103-5 a new PR, with Valeria Cortez 2nd in 103-4. Alejandra Ceron  threw a new PR of 95-3 for 3rd place to complete a 1-2-3 sweep of the event. This is the first 1-2-3 sweep of any event at WVD finals in school history for the Comets. Freshmen Mariah Santos also threw 71-4 for 7th place, giving the team a whopping 26 points in the discus alone, another school record for points in a single event at WVD finals. Adriana Marcelino also competed for the team, throwing 55-10.

Daniel Medina took 7th place in 35-10 for the boys Shot Put. This is Daniel’s first time scoring points at WVD finals. Roger Alonzo threw 34-1 as well for the team, just missing his PR.

The next running event on the track was the boys 1600. After an impressive victory over Overfelt’s Jesse Cruz in the 3200 on Wednesday, Jesse was the victor in the 1600 running 4:43 to win the race. Erik was 2nd in 4:46.81 and Azael Zamora was 4th in 4:48. Inteus Castro-Lopez and Mark Orpia also competed though neither boy PRd, Inteus just missed scoring by placing 9th overall.

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Jesse Cruz of Overfelt leading the 1600 with Erik Olsvold and Azael Zamora following 

Valeria Cortez was ranked #1 in the girls 100 hurdles fresh off a PR of 17.07 from Wednesday. She shattered that mark to run 16.75 and capture the WVD title, the 4th title of WVD finals for the team to that point. Her time was likely wind aided, but was nonetheless an impressive breakthrough. Susie Peterson and Kirsten Yutuc placed 6th and 7th to give the team 15 points in the event.  On the boys side, Cody Huoch ran 17.19 to take 3rd place in the 110 Hurdles. Jonathan Rodriguez ended his career with a PR of 18.52 for 7th place.

The boys 400 saw a huge upset win for the Comets. Gustavo Aguilera was ranked 4th entering the event, but after his mistake in the 300 hurdles likely costing him a shot at a WVD title there, he put all of his efforts into winning a title in his secondary event. Gustavo pulled it off, storming out of the blocks into the lead early on in the race, and holding off challengers down the final 100 meters to run a PR of 54.70 for the victory on the windy day. Misael Herrera placed 6th in 56.63. This put the Comets at 5 total WVD titles. Ace Medina matched his 100m time from trials in 11.80, taking 6th place for the team.

The girls 800 was next, and Arlet Miranda stormed out from the gun and won a decisive victory in a 2:34 solo run, 2nd place ran 2:40. This was a nice victory for Arlet after battling injuries throughout the season, a well deserved first WVD title for Arlet. Daisy Nava ran a seasons best 2:47 for 7th place and Belen Sanchez a PR of 2:50 for 8th place. Justine also competed for the team in the event running 2:58.

Valeria ran a 52.77 in the 300 hurdles for 3rd place in the event, ending her WVD finals with a grand total of 29 points to lead the team. A massive total, matching Ruth Lebeau’s 2008 WVD performance for the highest point total at WVD finals in school history. Ruth is pretty clearly the greatest track athlete in school history on the girls side, but Valeria is slowly building a pretty good case herself. Kirsten Yutuc ran a big PR in the race, running 54. 93 for 5th place, a nearly 2 second PR. Susie Peterson took 8th to score once again for the team.

Cody blew the field away to win the WVD title in 44.99. His final hurdle clearance was very poor and likely cost him a PR, but he was so far ahead that the title was his regardless. Jonathan ran 47.89 for 5th place in the event as well, a 14 point haul for the team in the event. Cody’s victory gave the team their 7th WVD title for the 2017 season, 4 on the girls side and 3 on the boys side, a great improvement over the 1 title a year ago, and the pre-season goal of 5 titles.

Ace ran 24.46, well off of what he ran on Wednesday but still secured 5th place for the team in the 200. The boys sprint team had a greatly improved performance over last year. In 2016, the sprint team managed only 8 points between the 3 sprint events. This year they knocked down 20 points despite the loss of Jose Limon to start the season. Next year’s team is poised to be a force. This shows the progress the team has made under Coach Steve’s sprint training.

The field events continued with a very strong day for the Comets in the jumps. Ace and Jonathan both had somewhat disappointing days in the high jump, only clearing 5-3.50. They took 7th and 8th, becoming the first Comets to score points at WVD finals in the boys high jump in several years. Juan Gutierrez competed as well.

In the girls long jump, Lyndel Ventura took 2nd overall with a huge PR of 15-3. Yaliza Cortez took 6th in 13-2.5 narrowly missing her PR. Kirsten scored as well, taking 7th in 12-11 though she scratched on a much bigger jump. Elyse Elder competed as well.

The boys triple jump was one of the biggest performances for the team as well. Cody jumped a 2 foot PR of 39-4 to take 2nd place. Freshmen Jamie Vong scored the first points of his JL career going 37-6.5 for more than a 2 foot PR and 6th place. Hadji Yono-Cruz jumped 36-10 for 8th place to give the team 12 points in the boys triple jump, the most points for the team in the event in over a decade.

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Jamie Vong in the final phase of his Triple Jump. Jamie placed 6th by PRing by more than 2 feet. 

The girls 3200 was one of the final events on the track. Arlet ran strong, placing 2nd in 13:19, a seasons best despite a not all-out effort. Denisse Calixto just missed scoring in 15:41, a 20 second PR for Denisse.

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Girls 4×400 team Left to right: Justine Austria, Daisy Nava, Belen Sanchez, Arlet Miranda 

The girls 4×400 was a struggle for the team to qualify for BVAL championships. Justine, Daisy, and Belen all ran admirable 400 legs, but the team handed the baton to Arlet (fresh off of her 3200) in 5th place behind 4th place by more than 2 seconds. Arlet was able to run down 4th place however, sending the 4×400 team to BVAL champs for the 3rd consecutive year.

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Boys 4×400 team left to right: Misael Herrera, Erik Olsvold, Nathan Bernardo, Gustavo Aguilera

 

The boys 4×400 went in aiming for the win even though they were ranked 4th. Misael started the team off in 5th place, running a 57 second leg. Gustavo worked the team up into 3rd place on his leg, splitting a 55 second leg. Nathan Bernardo moved the team into 2nd place on the 3rd leg, running a high 54 split, and Erik held that position with another 55 split on the anchor leg.

When all was said and done, the team scores for the WVD finals were as follows:

Boys

  1. Independence 139
  2. James Lick 127.5
  3. Overfelt 96
  4. Del Mar 55
  5. Gunderson 51
  6. Live Oak 47
  7. Yerba Buena 43.5
  8. San Jose 17

Girls 

  1. James Lick 141
  2. Yerba Buena 107
  3. San Jose 100
  4. Del Mar 71
  5. Overfelt 49
  6. Independence 42
  7. Live Oak 40
  8. Gunderson 19

The final scores mean that the girls clinch their 2nd consecutive WVD title, the 2nd in school history, and the boys clinch 2nd place for the season. While the boys were unable to win the WVD title, James Lick was by far the best combined team in the division all season.

Their 13-1 record beats both Del Mar and Independence who had combined records of 10-4.  Between both boys and girls divisions, The Comets scored a total of 268.5 points. No other team scored above 200 total points.

The team’s top point scorers were:

  1. Valeria Cortez: 29 points
  2. Arlet Miranda: 27.25 points
  3. Erik Olsvold: 27.25 points
  4. Cody Huoch: 25.25 points
  5. Alejandra Ceron: 16 points
  6. Charli Chircop: 14 points
  7. Kirsten Yutuc: 13 points
  8. Lyndel Ventura 12.25 points
  9. Azael Zamora: 12 points
  10. Gustavo Aguilera 11.25

A very encouraging point about the list is the fact that the team’s top 9 point scorers are all not seniors. For the strength of the combined team, and the fact that so many of our athletes should be back next year, we will be making the case at the BVAL league meetings that we should move up to the Santa Teresa Division.

We would have loved to have come away with a title on the boys side, but the progress I think it is time for us to test ourselves against a new level of competition.

Over the past four years, our point totals at Division Finals have skyrocketed.

2014:    Boys: 35 points (6th)    Girls: 28 points (8th)   Combined: 63 points (8th)

2015: Boys: 51 points (5th)      Girls: 91 points  (3rd)   Combined: 142 points (4th)

2016: Boys: 78 points (4th)      Girls: 127 points (1st)  Combined: 205 points (2nd)

2017: Boys: 127.5 points (2nd)  Girls: 141 points (1st)  Combined: 268.5 points (1st)

This year also is the first time that more than 20 Comets will advance to BVAL championships, with a grand total of 27 total BVAL qualifications, another school record.

If the BVAl decides we should remain in the ‘C’ division we will attempt to succeed in winning the title on both sides next year, but my perspective is that our growth as a team is more important than titles, and the ‘B’ division will push us to grow rapidly if we hope to compete at that level.

Overall it was a very good season for the team. The team will head to BVAL championships next Thursday (May 11th) at Westmont HS, where they will hope to have multiple athletes qualify for CCS trials.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

 

 

Comets Win Two Titles on WVD Finals Day 1

Day 1 of the West Valley Division Finals took place on Wednesday March 3rd at Overfelt High School. It was a very hot meet, with the temperature sitting at 93 degrees for the majority of the meet. The hot weather made for good sprint times, but a tough day for distance times. Of the 15 events contested in the WVD, the girls saw 4 event finals completed, while the boys side had 3.

IMG_2430
The Comet hurdlers warming up before the meet. 

 

The meet began with the girls 100 hurdles. Unfortunate timing issues gave the meet an auspicious start. Both girls  100 hurdles heats had to be rerun due to timing issues. Susie Peterson looked to be running a huge PR in her heat, but was given no time and had to rerun the race at the end of the day. Valeria Cortez ran a PR of 17.07 despite having to run the race twice. She is ranked #1 for the final on Friday after running the fastest qualifying time. Susie made the final despite having to run the event after the 300 hurdles, running 20.08 to qualify.  Kirsten Yutuc made the final as well to give the team 3 girls in the 100 hurdles final for the 2nd consecutive year.

Cody Huoch managed a huge PR in the boys 110 hurdles, running 17.16 to beat his PR of 17.71. Cody also heads to Friday ranked #1 in the WVD. Jonathan Rodriguez ran a PR of 18.70 to nab the 8th qualification. Luis Escamilla also competed, though he did not PR.

The next event was the girls 400. Justien Austria and Denisse Calixto competed for the team. Justine placed 10th, not far from a qualifying spot as a freshmen. Gustavo Aguilera ran 55.71 to qualify for the final on Friday, where he will be ranked 4th. Misael Herrera ran 56.96 to make the final and is ranked 7th. This is a massive improvement over the 12th place 58.88 performance from Misael a season ago. David Bejines competed for the team as well.

Silvia Amaya ran very close to her PR clocking 14.34 in the girls 100. Aliana Santos ran under 16 seconds for the 2nd time in her career as well. Ace Medina made the 100m final by running 11.80, the 2nd sub 12 second clocking of his career. He is ranked 6th for the final on Friday. Hadji Yono-Cruz ran 12.34, his 2nd best ever 100m time, and Adrian DeLaRosa ran a seasons best 12.56.

At this time, field events were coming in as well. After placing 4th in the girls high jump a year ago, Elyse Elder placed 2nd this year, clearing 4-7.25. This event was a final, making Elyse the team’s first BVAL championships qualifier of 2017. Kirsten Yutuc went 29-3.75 in the girls triple jump to place 4th, and qualify for BVAL champs as well. Lyndel Ventura went a  seasons best 28-10.50 for 7th place. Yaliza Cortez just missed scoring after jumping a seasons best 27-8.50.

Hadji ended his James Lick long jump career at 18-1 in the boys long jump final. Juan Gutierrez managed a big PR of 17-8.50, his first time over 17 feet. Jamie Vong competed as well, jumping 16-7.

In the boys discus, Alex Alonzo came out with a PR of 111-5, his first time throwing above 100. He placed 5th, missing a BVAL champs qualification by 1 foot. Alex’s brother, Roger Alonzo, tossed the discus 101-8, placing 7th. The 6 points out of discus from two different scorers, represent a big improvement for the team from last season where no boy scored in discus at WVD finals.

The girls Shot Put had been one of the team’s most dominant events all season. Alejandra Ceron captured the team’s first WVD title of the season and her 2nd career division title after winning the discus a year ago. Her throw of 34-3 beat the 2nd place competitor by more than 2 feet. A slightly disappointing performance from the lady throwers saw Valeria Cortez and Charli Chircop placing 4th and 5th, both throwing a bit over 30 feet. Mariah Santos and Ruth Rodriguez also competed for the team.

Valeria, Kirsten and Susie all made the 300 hurdles final, sweeping their heat along the way. Susie ran a PR of 58.99 despite the hot weather, her first time under 59 seconds. The boys 300 hurdles saw Cody once again dominate the field, running a PR of 44.31 to head into the final on Friday ranked #1. A painful error lead to a disqualification for Gustavo, who’ll have to re-focus his efforts on the 400. Jonathan also edged into the 300 hurdles final, ranked 7th for the Friday.

IMG_2464
Cody Huoch leading his heat in the 300 hurdles by a huge margin. 

 

Silvia ran a 200m PR of 30.71, and Aliana ran the 2nd best time of her career as well. Ace ran a 200m PR of 24.17 to make the 200m final, once again ranked 6th for Friday. Misael did not make the final, but he ran a massive PR of 24.56. Chris Okoro also competed for the team, running a  PR of 26.63 in the event.

The girls 1600 began with temperatures still sitting at 88 degrees. Arlet Miranda placed 2nd overall in 5:56. Belen Sanchez stormed from 9th to 6th place over the 400 of the race, running 6:15. Daisy Nava ran 6:22 in 9th place. Belen and Daisy had their best performance of the season in the 1600 when factoring in the weather. Valerie Flores ended her season running 6:47, and Analilia Regla ran 6:59 as well.

The boys 3200 was a fairly grueling race given the conditions. Jesse Cruz of Overfelt, the fastest WVD boy in the 3200 last year, lead the majority of the race. With 250 meters to go, Erik Olsvold passed him. Jesse stayed close but Erik opened up a 3 second gap in the final 100 meters of the race to give the team their 2nd WVD title on the day. Erik’s PR of 10:20.70, gives him the team’s first division championship in any boys running event since Ricardo Flores won the 3200 in 2011. Azael Zamora placed 3rd in 10:33, locking down a  BVAL qualification spot for himself as well. Nathan Bernardo and Inteus Castro-Lopez placed 6th and 7th for the team. This is the first time in school history that the boys have had 4 athletes score in the same event at WVD finals, in over 20 years of contesting the meet.

Last year the team had only one individual WVD championship, and the team has 2 already despite being less than 25% done with the meet.

After day 1, the team scores stand as follows.

Boys (3 of 15 events completed) 

  1. Independence 34 points
  2. Overfelt 31 points
  3. James Lick 27 points
  4. Live Oak 10 points
  5. Del Mar 6 points
  6. Yerba Buena 5 points
  7. Gunderson 4 points
  8. San Jose 0 points

Girls (4 of 15 events completed) 

  1. James Lick 45 points
  2. Yerba Buena 32 points
  3. Live Oak 23 points
  4. Overfelt 17 points
  5. Del Mar 15 points
  6. Independence 14 points
  7. San Jose 6 points
  8. Gunderson 0 points

The team will take to an even bigger day of finals Friday, and the weather is expected to be much more mild. The team is in pursuit of PRS as always, as well as WVD titles, BVAL qualifications, and points for the team.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for a full WVD finals recap after the meet on Friday.

 

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.

IMG_2367
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

 

Personal Records Abound as Comets Win Dual Over Overfelt

The Comets took on long time rival Overfelt High School on Wednesday April 12th. It was the 6th dual meet of the season, and the team entered a combined 9-1, with a 4-1 record on the boys side and a 5-0 record on the girls side. In a rare occurence these days, the wind was blowing hard as a tailwind, aiding sprinters instead of hampering them. As a result, many of the sprinters on the team blew their PRs out of the water, finally having the wind at their back instead of in their face.

The meet began with the lady Royals winning the 4×100 in 56.59. The Comet boys captured the boys 4×100 however, running a huge seasons best of 46.68. This is the first time this season that we put the team of Cody Huoch, Hadji Yono-Cruz, Misael Herrera and Ace Medina together and the results were immediate. That would not be the only big performance for the sprint group on the day.

Arlet Miranda won the 1600 in a comfortable 6:15 as she continues to work towards full fitness. Daisy Nava ran a huge seasons best of 6:21.33 for 3rd place. The boys side was hurt by the absence of Erik Olsvold. Nonetheless, Azael Zamora won the 1600 coasting home in 4:56 to win the event for the team for the 6th time this season. Inteus Lopez took 3rd.  Jose Limon ran his first race since injuring his hamstring at San Jose High to begin the season. The top sprinter to start the season, Jose contested the 1600 to work on his conditioning and test his hamstring. The event went well for him, with Jose running a 5:55 and not feeling any pain from his injury. Osman Lopez also ran a PR of 6:11.

The girls 100 hurdles saw a showdown of middle school friends and rivals Valeria Cortez of James Lick and Chrizna Milanes of Overfelt. Both competed at Ocala Middle School and achieved great success as freshmen last season. Chrizna was the WVAL champion in both hurdles events. The race was somewhat anti-climactic as Chrizna unfortunately fell on the 4th hurdle. She still managed to place 3rd, but Valeria took the race in 17.51. Susie Peterson took 2nd for the Comets in 19.30 Kirsten Yutuc ran the 1st of her 4 PRS on the day with a 19.90 in the event.

The boys side saw 3 PRS as well. Cody Huoch won the 110 Hurdles in 17.71, a small PR. Gustavo Aguilera placed 2nd and Jonathan Rodriguez 3rd, cracking the 19 second barrier for the first time, running 18.88. Luis Escamilla also ran a PR, clocking 22.18.

Arlet won the girls 400 in 1:12 and Analilia Regla took 3rd in 1:18. Valerie Flores ran a PR of 1:20 in the event as well. Nathan Bernardo was narrowly edged out in the boys 400, coming in 2nd with a seasons best time of 55.71. Mark Orpia ran an impressive debut time of 1:00.71 for the event. Hugo Marquez ran a 4 second PR of 1:04.41. Nien Tran, Melvin Estrada and Daniel Portillo all Prd as well, running 1:05.05, 1:07.48 and 1:13.66 respectively.

Silvia Amaya ran a new PR of 14.30 for the 100 to take 2nd place for the Comets. Only 3 girls ran the 100 however for a girls team that was thinned following the last grading period results. The boys side was an explosion of improvement.

Ace Medina took 2nd place in the 100, shattering his PR with a time of 11.68. Ace had never run under 12.2 prior to this race. Hadji was 3rd in a PR of 12.26. Misael was 4th in 12.30, a huge PR as well. David Bejines ran a massive PR of 12.71, as did Chris Okoro who ran 12.73. Hugo Pedrazza (13.00) , Austin Swank (13.18)  and Jaime Gomez (13.50) all ran PRs as well.

Arlet took the girls 800, giving her 3 victories on the day. Belen Sanchez took 3rd in a new PR of 2:52.11 Justine Austria made her debut in the event, running 3:09.08. Nathan won the boys 800 for the 3rd consecutive meet, cruising to a time of 2:18. Jesus Deloya scored his first point of the season in a seasons best 2:27.54.

The girls 300 hurdles saw a rematch of Chrizna and Valeria. Chrizna won the race in a seasons best 50.96. Valeria was pushed to a huge PR of 52.12 along the way. Kirsten ran 57.21 for a big PR and 3rd place, and Susie broke the 1 minute barrier for the 2nd time in her career as well. Gustavo and Jonathan combined to take 1st and 2nd in the boys 300, and Mark scored his first point for the team with a solid  50.65 clocking. Luis ran a PR of 53.41 as well.

Silvia took 3rd place for the girls with a big PR of 30.86 in the girls 200. Justine ran a PR of 31.82 as well. On the boys side, Cody ran a PR of 24.40, the best time by a Comet this season. Misael also succeeded in breaking 25 for the first time, running 24.94. David ran 25.95 to run under 26 for the first time as well. Austin (27.64) Osiris (29.26) and Jaime (29.33) also ran PRs.

Belen ran a PR to win the 3200 in 14:31.26 Daisy took 2nd in a seasons best 14:46.50. Denisse also ran a PR of 15:58.26. The boys swept the 3200 behind Azael (11:24) Nathan (11:32) and Inteus (11:35).

The Overfelt girls narrowly won the 4×400, while the Comet boys won the 4×400 in 3:52, an impressive team considering the fact that 2 ‘A’ team members were missing.

Lyndel Ventura and Kirsten took 2nd and 3rd in the girls long jump. Kirsten jumped a PR of 12-10. Hadji took 3rd for the team in the boys long jump. Lyndel won the girls triple jump with Kirsten taking 2nd in a big debut of 27-7. Cody PRd to win the boys triple jump in 37-2.50. Juan Gutierrez placed 3rd in a PR of 34-3. The Comets scored 1 point in both sides in the high jump. Justine and Jonathan were the scoring Comets.

Alejandra won the Shot Put going over 33 feet for the first time. Her toss of 33-4 inches her closer to the school record of 34-0. Valeria took 3rd in the event. Kiely Leal also PRd in the event. On the boys side, Josh Garcia won the Shot Put with a new PR of 38-11. Daniel medina took 2nd.

Valeria took her school record back from Charli Chircop with a new PR of 106-2. Alejandra took 2nd in a new PR of 93-5, and Charli took 3rd. Audrey Nguy and Kiely both threw over 50 feet for the first time.

On the boys side, Daniel took 2nd in 103-2, and Roger Alonzo scored his first point for the team with a toss of 102-2.

Overall it was a great day for the Comets with a total of 48 PRs, the most of any JL dual meet of the past 20 years. The girls won by a score of 69-58 and the boys won 80-47. The team will head up to San Mateo for their final invitational of the season this Saturday, before a hard week of training during Spring break next week.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comets Split Dual with Independence

IMG_2166
Adrian DeLaRosa gets into the blocks to begin the 4×100 relay. 

The James Lick Comets faced the Independence 76ers on Wednesday April 5th, in a clash of the reigning WVAL champs of 2016. The 2016 season saw the Lady Comets go 7-0 and capture the ‘C’ division title, while the Independence boys did the same thing. The team was ramped up tot ry to beat the Sixers on both sides, and we knew going in the boys side would be particularly difficult. A year ago, the 76ers won the boys side by a massive margin, 89-38. 

The meet began with the girls winning an upset victory in the 4×100. The team of Lyndel Ventura, Yeimili Adame, Silvia Amaya and Elyse Elder ran 56.96 for a huge seasons best to defeat the 76ers. The 76ers boys were a CCS finals caliber team  in the 4×100 a season ago, making them the clear favorites. A baton drop by the Comets gave Independence an easy win in under 45.64.

The girls 1600 saw more good performances by the team. Arlet Miranda won the event in 6:17, while Indy took 2nd and 3rd. Valerie Flores ran a massive PR of 6:44.93 after never having broken 7:00 before. Analilia Regla went under the barrier for the first time as well, running 6:57.32. Denisse Calixto ran 7:05.07 for a PR as well.

The boys 1600 was a fascinating race. The leading runners were on pace for around a 5:08 1600 with one lap to go before the field kicked in hard for a very competitive last lap. Erik Olsvold won the race in 4:57.93, Azael Zamora was 2nd in 4:58.40 and Isiah Tulio of Independence was 3rd in 4:58.51, edging out Nathan Bernardo by less than .01 second. Mark Orpia ran a PR of 5:19.07 in the race, as did Osiris Zamudio who ran 5:39.55.

Valeria Cortez ran 17.50 to win the 100 hurdles, the fastest time any JL girl has run on our (generally windy) track for the 100 hurdles in recent memory. Susie Peterson ran a solid 19.66 to take 2nd. Kirsten Yutuc matched her PR of 20.36 as well. The bosy race was disappointing for the team, hoping for a 2-3 finish, the team could only net a 3rd place finish with Cody Huoch placing in 18.76. Jonathan Rodriguez barely missed his PR despite the wind, running 19.22. Luis Escamilla made his debut in the event, running 24.83.

The girls 400 saw the debut of Yeimili in the event. She won with a time of 1:08.75, the fastest time by a lady Comet this season. Kirsten picked up a point for the team in 3rd place. The boys 400 was another win for Independence in an event the Comets dearly wanted. The team gave it all they had however, with Gustavo Aguilera running 56.55 and Misael Herrera running 56.97, both PRs. Silvia Amaya ran 15.08 in the girls 100 to take 2nd place for the Comets, a strong performance in the wind. Justine Austria made her debut in the event, running a solid 15.78. Cody and Ace Medina did all they good but were unable to net points for the team in the 100. Cody’s time of 12.50 into our wind indicates tome however that he is nearly ready to break 12. For reference, Indy’s 2nd and 3rd best runners, Marc Caliboso and Isiah Fimbrez ran 12.47 and 12.50, after both broke 12 seconds just a week ago at Indy’s track.

Arlet won her 2nd event of the day with a victory in the girls 800 in 2:50. Belen Sanchez ran a PR of 2:56.22 and Daisy Nava ran 2:56.71 to complete the sweep. The boys side was very similar to the boys 1600. Nathan, Erik and Azael competed very hard to try to complete a sweep but Isiah Tulio managed to scrape 3rd place from Azael by .43. Nathan and Erik combined to go 1-2. Daniel Portillo ran a small PR of 2:50.69.

By this time, several field event results had come in. The girls discus was a sweep for the Comets (as it usually is) with Charli Chircop throwing 101-2 to take the school record from teammate Valeria Cortez. Valeria took 2nd in 94-3 and Alejandra Ceron took 3rd in 89-6. The boys discus was won by Anthony of Independence with a toss of 114-4.50. The Comets were only able to manage a 3rd place throw from Daniel Medina of 100-7. The girls took 2nd place in the long jump behind Lyndel who jumped 14-1, and Yaliza Cortez managed a new PR of 13-3 as well. Kirsten made her HS debut in the event jumping 12-3.50. On the boys side, strong Indy jumper Marc went 20-8 for the win. Hadji Yono-Cruz took 3rd for the team in 18-0. The team also saw PRs from several jumpers. Juan Gutierrez and Jamie Vong both went 16-9 despite never having cracked 16 feet before. Jose Garcia also managed a PR of 15-5. Elyse Elder won the girls high jump for the team in 4-6, matching her PR. Justine scored points for the team for the first time by clearing 3-10 in the high jump as well.

At this point in the meet the scores were:

Boys:  45-23 Independence

Girls: 54-20 James Lick

While the girls were only 10 points from the magic number of 64 the boys had some serious catching up to do. The girls inched closer to clinching victory with a win in the 300 hurdles. Valeria ran a huge PR of 54.38 to win the race. Susie Peterson also Prd in 59.16 breaking the 1 minute barrier for the very first time. She and Indy runner Vivian Ho were so close for 3rd that we had to call the race a dead heat and split the 3rd point. The boys 300 hurdles was the race of the day on a day of great races. Cody managed to win the race for the team in a PR of 44.75, and Gustavo was 2nd in 44.76. Indy hurdler Julio Santillan was 3rd in 44.79. Jonathan ran a seasons best 47.51 and Luis ran a PR of 54.73.

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Cody Huoch, Julio Santillan and Gustavo Aguilera clear the final hurdle of the 300 hurdles in an intense race to the line. 1st and 3rd were separated by .05. (Youtube video below)

Yeimili and Silvia ran PRs in the 200 of 30.70 and 31.74, clinching a victory for the Comet girls. Justine debuted in 33.27 for the event as well. Ace managed a point for the team in the boys 200, competing well against the strong Indy sprinters. Arlet picked up her 3rd victory of the day in the 3200, cruising to the win in 13:59. Analilia picked up 3rd in a big PR of 15:37.81 and Valeria also PRd running 15:46.18.

The boys finally got their distance sweep in the 3200. Erik ran a 11:04 to win the event, with Azael and Inteus Castro-Lopez takng 2nd and 3rd in 11:20 and 11:25 respectively. Mark made his debut in the event and ran 12:15.66 and Osman Lopez ran a PR of 14:29.

The triple jump results came in next. Lyndel picked up the win on the girls side with a seasons best 28-6. Yaliza managed a PR of 27-0. On the boys side, Ace and Cody took 2nd and 3rd place in the triple jump. Jose managed a huge PR of 34-9 and Jamie and Juan both went 34-0 for the first time to conclude a very strong day for the horizontal jumpers.

Alejandra threw a new PR of 32-8 to win the Shot put. Valeria and Charli completed the sweep. Audrey Nguy threw a PR of 18-7 for the team, as did Sandra Naranjo in 15-3.  The boys were helped enormously by an upset win in the Shot put. Josh Garcia threw 38-8.50 to win the event in a new PR. Daniel placed 3rd in 36-10 to pick up a needed point as well. Alex Alonzo threw a PR of 36-3, as did Rogelio Alonzo who threw 33-1.50.

With only the High Jump and the 4×400 remaining, the girls had clinched victory but the boys scores stood at

Indy: 62  JL: 51

Much closer than the scores were halfway through the meet. To win the meet, the Comets would have to take 1st in the 4×400 and take 1st and 2nd in the boys high jump. The team of Misael, Erik, Nathan and Gustavo combined for a seasons best 3:48.05 to win the event and make the score 62-56. The girls team won as well to make the final score on the girls side 88.5-38.5.

The team gave it all they could in the high jump with all 3 Comet boys matching or bettering their PRs. Jonathan and Ace both went above the bar at 5-6 and Juan cleared the bar at 5-2. Unfortunately for the team, Indy’s top jumper Dillon cleared the bar at 5-8 to seal a boys victory for the Sixers.

The final score on the boys side was 67-60. When considering Track scores, it is important to remember that track points are calculated out of a total available number (127 in a WVAL dual meet). Therefore the 7 point margin of victory is more like a 3.5 point margin. Any one event could have swung the meet.

Just to use one example, James So of Indy ran 55.48 in the 400, the first Indy sprinter to run under 58 seconds (based on Athletic-net records) this season. Had James ran 57.00, and the Comet times stayed the same, the final score would be 64-63 James Lick.

The team was disappointed to fall to 4-1 on the boys side, but the team competed as hard as they could, and most importantly, they made the 76ers earn the meet win, rather than losing the meet with poor performances. I for one am very proud of our season to this point, and we can still look ahead at improving on our 5-2 boys record from last season.

On a final note, the meet was contested with a lot of intensity, but also a very high caliber of sportsmanship. Both teams exuded a desire to win, but did not sacrifice an ounce of class or respect in pursuit of that victory. A tip of the hat to both teams for the supportive atmosphere of the meet, and best luck to the 76ers the rest of the way. (We’ll be gearing up to try to outscore them on both sides at WVAL finals nonetheless).

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

James Lick Track Combined 4-0 After Narrow Win over Yerba Buena

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With all other events over, both teams gather to watch the girls high jump (Elyse Elder jumping). 

The James Lick Track team hosted the always competitive Yerba Buena Warriors on March 15th. The Comets had not beaten the Warriors on the boys side in years, and the lady Comets handed the lady Warriors their only defeat a year ago. Heading into the matchup, we anticipated the dual meet would be a big early test on both sides, with the girls team being especially challenged.

YB won both 4×100 relays to begin the meet and took an early lead. They won with times of 55.24 on the girls side, and 47.58 on the boys side. The Comets earned their first wins of the day in the 1600. Inteus Castro-Lopez got his first ever event win, taking the boys 1600 in 5:08. Erik Olsvold and Nathan Bernardo were right behind him in 5:09 and 5:11 to complete a Comet sweep in the 1600, their 2nd consecutive sweep of the event to start the season. Mark Orpia ran a seasons best 5:38 and Osman Lopez ran a PR of 6:14 in the event as well.

After sitting out last week with a minor injury, Arlet Miranda returned to win the 1600 for the girls in 6:08. Analilia Regla ran a big PR for 2nd place, clocking 7:00.55 to give the Comets two girls knocking on the 7:00 barrier for the 1600. The girls 100h was slightly disappointing for the team. Valeria Cortez got off to a great start and lead for 7 hurdles before a misstep cost her the victory. She ran a solid 18.78 for 2nd place to top YB hurdler Angelica Salvador. Susie Peterson had a seasons best of 20.30 for 3rd place and Yvette Arciga ran a full second PR in 5th. Hadji Yono-Cruz won the boys 110h despite an off race, and teammate Jonathan Rodriguez took 3rd in a seasons best 19.71.

Both 400 meter races saw the Comets taking 2nd place, with Warriors 1st and 3rd. Belen Sanchez knocked down 2nd place for the girls with a seasons best time of 1:12, while Misael Herrera ran a PR of 57.47 to take 2nd on the boys side.

Valeria took 2nd place in the 100 with a time of 14.63, and Kirsten Yutuc took 3rd in 14.90 to get the team 4 points in the 100m dash. On the boys side Cody Huoch scored 3rd place for the Comets in 12.43. A few Comet boys ran PRs, namely Raven Alcantara in 13.13 and Josue Marcelo in 13.15.

The 800m was a key swing event for the team. Arlet won the girls 800 comfortably but 2nd place was a battle all the way to the line. Daisy Nava held off YB’s top 800m runner, Evelyn Garibay, by only .02 taking 2nd place for James Lick in 2:54.11, a seasons best. Denisse Calixto and Analilia ran seasons bests of 3:06 and 3:13 respectively.

On the boys side, Nathan ran 2:16 to lead a sweep with the help of teammates Erik and Inteus. Mark ran a 10 second PR of 2:26. Osiris and Melvin Estrada both ran small PRs (2:29 and 2:33 respectively) as did Julian Delreal and Daniel Portillo (2:40 and 2:51). Osman ran the event for the very first time, opening up at 2:57.

The girls 300h was won by Angelica from YB, though Belen ran a seasons best of 57.62 for 2nd place. Kirsten also ran a huge PR of 59.50 in 3rd place. Yvette had  strong debut time of 1:04.50 as well. The race of the day however was in the boys 300h. In only his 2nd ever race over the distance, Cody ran 44.87, a mark which stands as a 5 second PR and the 5th best 300 hurdles time in school history. Jonathan had a strong seasons best for of 47.55 as well, within a second of his PR to take 2nd place in the event.

Valeria took 2nd place in the girls 200, running 31.66 for her debut in the event. With the strength of the girls throws unit, we made the decision to have Valeria spend most of her time running against Yerba Buena. As the lone scorer for the team in the 200, this decision paid off handily. Irene Nava ran a big PR in the event to the tune of a 33.87 clocking.

The best distance girls on the team saved their energy for the 4×400. Even so, Raquel Rodriguez managed 3rd place for the team in the event. On the boys side, Azael Zamora and Nathan took 1st and 2nd place for the team. Osiris had a very strong debut in the event, running 12:38, and is showing good potential as a runner in general.

With all of the field events and running events save for the 4×400 determined, the score was 62 James Lick 60 Yerba Buena on the girls side, meaning the 4×400 would determine the meet. The team of Belen, Denisse, Kirsten and Arlet combined to run 4:48, a seasons best and good enough for the win. On the boys side, the team of Misael, Nathan, Azael and Eirk also ran a seasons best to earn the win, a 3:50.90 result.

The field events went a long way towards sealing the meet for the Comets. Alejandra won the girls Shot Put in 30-5, with Charli Chircop 2nd in 30-2.50. This was a big PR for Charli, and also the first time she has broke the 30 foot barrier. It’s early in the season, but so far based on Athletic-Net results, the Comets are the first team in the entire BVAL with 3 girls over 30 feet in the Shot Put. Valeria clinched 3rd for the team in 29-11. That wasn’t the end of the day’s excellence for the throwers however. Mariah Santos shattered her PR, throwing 23-0 despite never having thrown above 20 feet before. The same went for Ruth Rodriguez who threw 20-11 from a previous best of 19-5. Adriana Marcelino managed a small PR of 19-5, and Kiely Leal earned a massive new PR of 18-7 as well. Sandra Naranjo got a 1 inch PR as well.

The boys side saw equally strong results. After inching towards his PR of 36-7 (set last season) Josh Garcia busted out with a throw of 38-5 to win the boys Shot Put. Daniel Medina’s best had stood at 35-9 for a long time before he threw 35-9.50 last week. Against Yerba Buena however, Daniel threw 37-9. These heaves make the PR of Alex Alonzo (36-0 beating his best of 35-8 set a week ago as well) seem pedestrian by comparison. Alex’s brother Rogelio three 32-7 for more than a 1 foot PR as well, as did Nathan Rios, with a best toss of 29-0.

The girls took 1-2 in discus with Charli winning with a  90-1 toss,and Alejandra 2nd in 85-8. YB was able to net 3rd place. On the boys side Daniel won the Discus in 106-8, with Alex 2nd in 101-4. Josh took 3rd place. Nathan R also managed a he PR in discus, throwing 80-1.

Lyndel Ventura and Elyse Elder managed a 1-2 finish in the girls long jump with seasons bests of 13-5 and 13-0 respectively. They took 2nd and 3rd in the triple jump with more seasons bests, going 27-3 and 26-6.5. Elyse capped off her day by matching her high jump Pr of 4-6, taking 3rd place in the girls high jump for the team.

Hadji lead the boy jumpers with a 3rd place finish in both long and triple jump. Hadji matched his seasons best of 18-3 in the long jump, and went a seasons best 37-7 in the triple. Ace managed a strong PR of 17-5 in the long jump. Anthony Soto Prd in both horizontal jumps, going 15-10.50 and 33-5. Jamie Vong, Jose Garcia and Juan Gutierrez all PRd in triple jump as well, as they continue to get there feet wet in the low 30s.

Ybs best jumper won the boys high jump, but Jonathan placed 2nd with a jump of 5-4. Ace matched Jonathan’s 5-4 for a new PR as well, and Juan went 5-2 again to match his PR for the 3rd meet in a row.

When all was said and done the final scores were:

Boys: 

JL: 76 YB: 51

Girls: 

JL: 67 YB: 60.

Both teams are 2-0 now, and the team is stronger for having survived the meet with a very competitive opponent. Now the team will look ahead to a meet against the Live Oak Acorns on March 22nd, before heading to Fremont High School for the always fun “Firebird Relays.”

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comets Start Season with Pair of Wins at San Jose High

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The distance girls warming up prior to the 1600m 

 

The James Lick Comets opened their WVAL season at San Jose High on Wednesday March 8th. It was the first major step for the Comets in pursuit of their goal of a 14-0 (between boys and girls)  season.

The 4×100 got off to a very somber start for the Comets. The boys team rocketed into an early league but on the 2nd leg of the relay, the team’s top sprinter, sophomore Jose Limon, pulled up limping badly with what we think is a puled hamstring. The bulldogs would go on to win both the varsity boys and varsity girls 4×100 as a result. We can only hope that Jose makes as speedy a recovery as possible, and it was up to other Comets to pick up the slack.

The team saw a similar theme on the girls side. Star runner Arlet Miranda did not run due to minor injury. San Jose High took the win in the 1600, with Milka Perez and Daisy Nava coming in 2nd and 3rd for the Comets. Milk’s time of 6:31 is a strong start to her season. Several other Comets in the race ran very well. Belen Sanchez came in at 7:05, and both Analilia Regla and Valerie Flores ran Prs, clocking in at 7:15 and 7:17 respectively.

Coming off of their STAL championship in cross country, it wasn’t a surprise to see the distance boys comfortably sweep the 1600. Azael Zamora took the win, with teammates Nathan Bernardo and Inteus Castro-Lopez close behind. Julian Delreal ran a sizable PR of 5:57 and Mark Orpia opened his season with a 5:50 as well.

The girls 100h was swept by the Comets to give the team a lead in the meet for the first time. Valeria Cortez, 18.65, Susie Peterson, 20.77 and Silvia Amaya, 22.64 completed the sweep. Freshmen Yvette Arciga competed for the first time as well, running 24 seconds for the event. On the boys side, Hadji Yono-Cruz netted a small PR in the 110 hurdles, finishing in 18.15. Jonathan Rodriguez cam in 2nd to complete a JL 1-2. A strong group of San Jose girls swept the girls 400, but the boys saw yielded a sweep for the Comet boys, lead by Erik Olsvold and Misael Herrera.

The San Jose girls showed strength in the sprints all day, but freshmen Kirsten Yutuc managed a point in the girls 100 with her first official sub 15 second clocking. Silvia also ran a PR of 15.13. On the boys side, Ace Medina took 2nd in a PR of 12.39. Cody Hucoh took 3rd in 12.48. Raven Alcantara, Jaime Gomez, Joseph Benitez and Jesus Deloya all ran solid PRs in the 100 as well.

Milka showed her talent again in the 800 with a  time of 2:51.92 for 2nd place once again. Daisy ran a seasons best of 2:55 for 4th. Valerie Flores PRd again to run 3:09. The boys saw another distance sweep behind Nathan, Erik and Inteus. Inteus even ran a small PR of 2:20.9 despite only running hard enough for the 3rd point due to his general dislike of the 800.

The girls completed another hurdles sweep in the 300h. Belen Sanchez lead the team with a sub 60 second clocking. Silvia and Susie picked up the remaining points for the team. Jonathan lead another 1-2 finish on the boys side, running a seasons best 48.94, just ahead of teammate Cody in a new PR of 49.64.

In the girls 200, San Jose claimed their 3rd girls sprint win of the day. Kirsten took 2nd for the Comets, and Aliana took 3rd narrowly missing a PR and scoring a point for the first With Jose out, Misael stepped up to win an event for the first time in his career. He matched his 200m PR of 25.70 en route to a 1st place finish. Josue went under 27 seconds for the first time, running 26.87, and Jesus Prd by nearly 2 seconds running 27.51. Chris Okoro also managed a PR of 28.16.

Analilia and Denisse Calixto ran the 3200 together to knock down eight points  for the Comets against the Bulldogs. Azael, Inteus, and Nathan combined to sweep the 3200 and earn the team it’s 3rd distance sweep of the day on the boys side, taking all 27 distance points in the meet. The Comets won the boys 4×400 and San Jose won the girls.

The boys were comfortably ahead after the results of the running events came in, but with field events yet to be scored, the Bulldogs lead the Comets 43-38 on the girls side. The team would dominate the field events on both sides however ensuring a victory for the Comets.

Both boys and girls long jump held 1-2 finishes for the Comets. Hadji and Cody both went over 17 feet to knock their points down on the boys side. Lyndel Ventura and Elyse Elder both went over 13 feet for the first time this season in the long jump. Both Juan Gutierrez and Anthony Sotto Prd in the long jump, going 15-5 each.

The girls triple jump was swept by both teams. Lyndel spearheaded the girls team, while Alejandra Ceron and Charli Chircop both triple jumped for the first time simply to secure more points for the team. Ace won the triple jump for the boys, and Cody and Ace followed him to complete the sweep.

The Comets ended the jumps with sweeps in the high jump. Elyse opened her season at 4-4 and Yvette debuted at 4-0. On the boys side, Jonathan won the high jump in 5-4, Juan went 5-2, and Ace went 5-0. Jonathan’s 13 points made him the leading scorer on the boys side for the meet.

The team’s best performance of the day very well may have come form the last group to finish competing, the throwers. After ending last year with a school record of 99-9.5, Valeria finally cracked the barrier, throwing 100-6 inches for the discus throw to win the event. Alejandra and Charli made throws in the mid 80s to sweep the event. Mariah Santos threw a PR of 59-1 for the discus as well. Kiely Leal also had a 4 foot PR in the event.

Alex Alonzo has been one of the hardest working athletes on the team for years. He gained his first ever dual meet win with a PR of 109-9. Teammate Daniel Medina was just behind him however, with a 15 foot PR of 108-6. Josh Garcia also Prd throwing 96-0. The Comets are poised to have 3 boys over 100 feet, (And 2 over 110) for the first time in over a decade. Rogelio Alonzo threw a PR of 87-0 as well.

Valeria won the Shot Put to complete a triple victory, throwing above 30 feet for the first time this season. Alejandra also threw above 30 for 2nd place, and Charli threw 29-2 for a new PR in 3rd. This trio has the very ambitious goal of taking EVERY dual meet throws point this season. An 18 point throws sweep vs. San Jose was the first step towards establishing a finish that the team hopes to repeat 6 more times and then again at WVAL finals.

Josh took the team lead in the boys Shot Put with a win in 36-4, just off his PR. Daniel just missed his PR throwing 35-9, and Alex threw 35-8 for a new PR in 3rd.

 

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

Girls: 

James Lick: 81

San Jose: 44

Boys: 

James Lick: 110

San Jose: 17

The Comets started their season with 40 total PRS and a pair of victories. As the team’s quest to go 14-0 and move up to the STAL (‘B’ league) continues, the Comets will take on the Yerba Buena Warriors in their first home meet of the season next week.

The boys suffered one of their two losses in 2016 at the hands of YB and have not beaten the Warriors in years. The meet will be a true test of the teams ability to achieve their goals.

The distance crew will head to Sunnyvale for the TKA Invitational this Saturday in pursuit of some fast times.

Thanks 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