3 Comets at CCS Top 8 Meet: The Rise of James Lick’s Lady Throwers

In 2014, I came on alongside a few other JL coaches to become the head coach of the James Lick track team. Early into the season, I was introduced to coach Jonathan Vela, an alumni of Prospect HS and Fresno State, who had been working as a coach for the JV football team. He offered to work  with the throwers on the team, and after speaking with him, I was very eager to have him join our staff. At the time, I was only a 20 year old coach, one of many coaches brought into to fill the coaching void at JL, utterly obsessed with building the program, and helping JL succeed as a school. I knew very little about what building the program would entail, but I knew for certain that it would require coaches who could build the right team culture, and train athletes to the best of their abilities.

For this reason, I was very excited to gain a coach in throws, the area I myself was least confident in coaching. In a short time watching Coach Vela’s results, I knew that we had a legitimate throws coach. I could not have known then, that we had just added a coach who would transform our throws program completely, (especially on the girls side). The CCS has over 150 member schools. Many of those schools have outstanding throws coaches, but only one has 3 different girls throwers who qualified for the CCS top 8 meet this year.

Valeria Cortez and Charli Chircop both qualified for the prestigious meet in the Discus, and Alejandra Ceron qualified in the Shot Put. The CCS Top 8 meet has been contested for decades, and these three are the first lady Comets on record to compete in throwing events at the meet.

Valeria and Charli both thew decent marks, though not close to their PRs. Valeria threw the disc 96-11, and Charli threw 94-1. The big result for the team came in the girls Shot Put. Alejandra had been the last girl admitted into the meet at 33-4, ranked 20th/20 girls. Her very first throw of the meet went for a massive PR of 35-8.75, establishing a school record and helping her to a 6th place finish. This makes her the first Comet to score at the Top 8 meet since Joe Amendt in 1988. In fact, Alejandra is the first female Comet to score at the Top 8 meet in school history. The accomplishment puts her in elite company, the only Comets ever to score at the CCS top 8 meet are Henry Barba, Joe Amendt, and now Alejandra Ceron. Henry and Joe both were double champions of the Top 8 meet, Henry in 100/200 and Joe in the 800/1600 but we’ll happily take the 6th place performance from Alejandra!

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Left to Right: Charli Chircop, Coach Vela, Valeria Cortez and Alejandra Ceron all pretend they don’t see me taking a picture of them near the Los Gatos discus ring during the Top 8 meet.

Alejandra’s mark is just the latest in a very impressive progression under the tutelage of coach Vela. The story of the girls track team is similar to the story of the girls XC team. Many of JL’s greatest achievements on the boys side came in the first 25 years of the school’s participation in track (1950-1975). This includes the school records in boys Shot Put and boys discus.

Dan Lloyd holds the Shot Put school record with a toss of 59-9 in 1972, a few years later a Comet named Webster threw 56-0.5, and Bill Pabst threw 51-0.5 in 1969.  These 3 marks stand as the best Shot Put marks in school history by quite a margin. For reference, the CCS Top 8 meet was won this year with a toss of 51-0.25 by Mountain View’s Owen Mountford.

The top 2 discus marks in school history belong to James McGhee 159-9, and Bill Pabst 149-7, both achieved in 1969. (As always, these records are based on my research of results and communication with former JL coaches and athletes, if you have any more information about past teams, please feel free to contact me). 

So while the best boys marks in school history were set in the 60s and 70s, girls were not even allowed to compete until the mid 70s. Even so, Kathy Shelby’s Shot Put school record of 34-0 was set in 1975. A few years later a Comet named Dwyer threw 89-5  in the discus to set a school record that stood until 2002. A Comet named Ward threw 96-6 that year, a standout mark in an era of overall weak teams for the Comets.

Before 2013, one Comet girl had thrown above 90 feet in discus, and one Comet girl had thrown over 32 feet in the Shot Put. In 2014, coach Vela helped Robert Rios to a massive improvement in the boys Shot Put, from 35-10 the year before, to a WVAL title in 40-3. The next year Robert threw 43-2 to win the WVAL title again, and move into 8th on the school’s all time Shot Put list.

While the boys are not throwing close to the marks of JL’s glory days in throws, the Comets of today under Vela are building up year by year, in pursuit of excellence. This is the first year that Coach Vela has had 3 boys over 100 feet in the discus for example. Given the team’s steady improvement, the team could be a force in years to come, the way that girls throwers already are.

In that 2015 season, we had two very talented freshmen join the team in Alejandra and Charli. They both showed great ability, throwing the Shot Put in the 23 foot range,and the discus in the high 50s, with essentially no prior training. By the end of that season, Alejandra threw 29-6 for Shot Put and 75-8 for Discus, while Charli threw 27-11 and 76-2. Alejandra qualified for BVAL championships as a freshmen. Charli lost most of her Sophomore year to injury, but did throw PRS of 29-1 and 79-4. Alejandra progressed to 31-9.5 in Shot Put which put her #2 on the all time list, and gave her and Coach Vela the firm goal of trying to break the school record of 34 feet. Alejandra also threw 90-10 in the girls discus to become the 2nd lady Comet to throw 90 feet in school history.

2016 saw the addition of Valeria Cortez, just to add to the riches of Vela’s dynamic duo. Valeria was as good in Shot Put as Alejandra and Charli were when they were freshmen, but better in discus. At her first HS meet she threw 25- 5 in the Shot Put and 65-10 in the discus. By the end of the season Valeria would beat both Alejandra and Charli’s freshmen marks, throwing 31-1 in the Shot Put (#5 all time at the time) and at BVAL Championships, threw a school record 99- 9.5 to make CCS trials.

The girls have reached even greater heights this season. Alejandra opened the season with a toss of 32-3 for a new PR. Charli opened her season by breaking the 80 foot barrier, and 90 foot barrier in discus with a throw of 95-11, followed by a cracking of the 30 foot barrier in the Shot Put. This years team is the first JL team ever to have 3 girls above 90 feet in discus, and 3 girls above 30 feet in the Shot Put.

A few weeks into the season, Valeria threw over 100 feet to extend her school record. The record was then taken by Charli when she threw 103-2, and then taken back by Valeria’s recent toss of 106-2. Charli and Valeria threw 32-7 and 32-5 in the Shot Put around the same time that Alejandra threw 33-4 to move ever closer to her coveted school record.

The top 8 meet would be the venue for the achievement, her mark of 35-8.75 a PR by over 2 feet. Alejandra is now ranked #2 across the entire BVAL, and should be a lock to make CCS Trials. She is also now ranked 8th in the CCS as a whole. A top 12 performance at CCS trials would advance her to CCS finals, which no Comet has qualified for since Ruth Lebeau in 2008. Valeria and Charli are currently ranked 3rd and 4th in the BVAL in the discus, putting them in an excellent position to make CCS trials as well.

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Alejandra preparing to throw the Shot Put. Alejandra uses the glide technique, popular among many professional Shot Put throwers.

 

The throws team is in great hands under Coach Vela and the fruits of the teams labor are paying off in this regard. With the girls 6-0 on the season, it’s been clear that James Lick is the best girls throws team in the WVAL, but it may be the very best girls throws team in the entire BVAL at this point.

The team’s three-headed monster in throws will lead the team against Del Mar next week, as the team will try to cinch it’s second consecutive undefeated season.

The team will then begin its championship season with WVAL finals. The girls will be pursuing a 1st place finish to hopefully clinch a 2nd West Valley Division championship in a row. The boys will be hard pressed to win their own title, (Independence will clinch the boys title with 2nd place at WVAL finals) but they will attempt to beat Del Mar and earn a 6-1 record, and then will try to place 1st at WVAL finals regardless of final standing.

The season is fast approaching its climax,

Thanks for reading.

-Benny Reeves

Best Girls Marks Under Coach Vela (2014-present) 

Name Grade Mark Location Date
1 Alejandra Ceron 11 35-8.75 Los Gatos 4/22/17
2 Valeria Cortez 10 32-7 Overfelt 4/1/17
3 Charli Chircop 11 32-5 Fremont 3/25/17
4 Leysmi Saldana 11 24-6 Overfelt 4/21/16
5 Karina Venegas 12 23-7 Live Oak 5/1/14
6 Mariah Santos 9 23-3 Gunderson 3/29/17
7 Arlet Miranda 10 21-0 James Lick 3/25/17
8 Ruth Rodriguez 9 20-11 James Lick 3/15/17
9 Valerie Flores 11 19-10 James Lick 4/14/16
10 Adriana Marcelino 9 19-5 James Lick 3/15/17
Name Grade Mark Location Date
1 Valeria Cortez 10 106-2 James Lick 5/15/17
2 Charli Chircop 11 103-2 De Anza 4/8/17
3 Alejandra Ceron 11 93-5 James Lick 4/12/17
4 Karina Venegas 12 74-3 James Lick 3/27/14
5 Mariah Santos 9 74-1 Fremont 3/25/17
6 Leysmi Saldana 11 72-8.50 Overfelt 5/4/16
7 Adriana Marcelino 9 65-1 James Lick 3/1/17
8 Karen Montes 12 57-11 James Lick 4/7/16
9 Valerie Flores 11 56-10 Overfelt 5/6/16
10 Audrey Nguy 9 52-7 James Lick 4/12/17

Comets Show Great Late-Season Form at Bearcat Invitational

The Comets headed up to San Mateo High School for their final invitational of the 2017 track season. In the 2 previous years, the invite has yielded many PRs for the team, and Saturday April 15th would prove no exception.

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Valeria Cortez on her way to winning the Frosh/Soph Girls 100 hurdles

The meet began with the Varsity boys running a 4×100. The team looked great through the first two legs but suffered a baton drop halfway through the race. The team would shake it off by the time the 100s began.

The 1600 saw PRs from virtually every Comet who ran. Denisse Calixto started the PR parade with a  6:53 clocking, taking 5 seconds off her PR. Azael Zamora ran a 6 second PR in the varsity boys race, clocking 4:40.90. Nathan Bernardo also PRd running 4:47.52. With his time, Azael moves into the team lead for best time in the 1600.

The Frosh/Soph girls 1600 was equally strong. Arlet Miranda took 4th place in 5:45, her best time since returning form injury 2 weeks ago. Belen Sanchez ran 6:12.39, a full 17 second PR. She was not the only Comet to shatter her 1600 PR on the day. Freshmen Mark Orpia ran 5:06.73 for a 13 second PR, despite leading his race for the first 1000 meters of the race. Fellow freshmen Melvin Estrada, Hugo Marquez, and Nien Tran, all ran PRs of roughly 20 seconds. Melvin ran 5:20.20, Hugo ran 5:21 and Nien ran 5:28. Hugo and Nien had never run under 5:40 for the 1600 before the race. Daniel Portillo managed a small PR of 5:52 as well.

Valeria Cortez won the Frosh/Soph girls 100 hurdles in 17.86. With this victory, she becomes the 2nd Comet of the season to be the champion of an invitational in any division. Misael Herrera ran the 400 for the team and managed a half second PR of 56.48.

Justine Austria ran a PR of 15.25 in the girls 100. Following his breakout performance in Wednesday’s dual meet, Ace Medina backed up his time with the 2nd best 100m he’s ever run, clocking 12.07. Hadji narowly missed his PR running 12.44.

The team saw more strong distance performances in the 800. Valerie Flores ran 3:03, a 6 second PR in the event.  Justine ran 2:53 for a massive PR, showing her potential as a distance runner. Arlet ran 2:32, a seasons best for 3rd place, a very encouraging performance as she continues to work towards full fitness for WVAL finals in 2 weeks.

Azael managed a 3 second PR in the 800 running 2:10.12, giving him 2 PRS on the day. Mark ran 2:24, managing a 2 second PR despite being exhausted from the 1600.Hugo ran 2:27 for a 3 second PR. Melvin and Nien ran 2:31 and 3:34 respectively, both managing a second PR on the day as well. Jose Limon ran 2:29, stepping up his efforts in rehab.

In the 300 hurdles, Kirsten Yutuc ran a PR of 56.9, as did Gustavo Aguilera running 44.67. Silvia Amaya ran a strong 200 of 31.04, barely missing her PR set on Wednesday. The boys had a very srtong day in the 200. Ace ran a new PR of 24.50. Gustavo and David Bejines did the same, running 25.50 and 25.67. Neither had run under 26 seconds before this week. Misael ended his day with a mid 25 second 200 as well.

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Comets left to right: Ace Medina, David Bejines, Gustavo Aguilera. All 3 ran 200m PRs. 

The throwing events saw an off day for the Comets, but the team still took home some big points. Valeria placed 3rd in frosh/soph Shot Put and 2nd in frosh/soph Discus even though she did not throw near her PRs. Alejandra Ceron took 2nd in the varsity girls Shot Put throwing 32-4. Daniel Medina and Mariah Santos had off days in the throws. Kiely Leal and Sandra Naranjo competed in their first invitational for the team.

The jumps held the final PRS on the day for the Comets. Jamie Vong managed a small PR of 16-10 in the long jump, and a PR of 35-3 in the triple jump. Juan Gutierrez also PRd in the triple jump, going 36-1. Kirsten Prd by more than a foot as well, going 28-8, the best mark by a lady Comet in the triple jump this season.

James Lick is now on spring break, and the team can look ahead at a quality week of work with no meets. The team will take on the Del Mar Dons on April 26th in their final dual meet of the season, before they head to WVAL finals on May 3rd. The season is reaching its climax and the team will need to be working hard to be ready for the challenges ahead.

 

Thanks for reading,

-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

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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

Reigning WVAL Champs to Clash on Wednesday: James Lick Vs Independence Dual Meet

Note for Athletes: Use the following link to register for the meet. We will be attempting to create a meet program prior to the meet. Make sure to  register for your events (discuss with your coaches first) before 9PM on Tuesday Night.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScF2mOAOjdIlMDO4a0Dj4zdYaS22TyflggKJNkdSZqJKaVXzw/viewform?c=0&w=1

The 2016 season saw two East Side Teams as champions of the WVAL (‘C’ division). The James Lick Comets won the WVAL title on the girls side, and the Independence 76ers won the boys title.

The teams figure to be two of the top teams in the WVAL, James Lick will put their combined 8-0 record on the line (4-0 on both sides) while Independence enters with a combined 7-1 record after losing a close dual meet with Del Mar on the girls side last week.

While the lady Comets will attempt to repeat their victory from a year ago, the Comets on the boys side will have to be firing on all cylinders to beat a team that handed them a decisive 89-38 point victory a year ago. The 76ers boys were dominant throughout 2016, scoring 160 points at WVAL finals, with no other team coming within 40 points of their total, (James Lick scored 76 points at finals last year).

Part of the 76ers strength is in their depth, they have no significant weakness in any event group. Particularly strong athletes are leading jumper Marc Caliboso and leading sprinter Brandon Quan. Brandon is the top returning 100/200m sprinter in the WVAL from 2016, with a current seasons best of 11.47 in the 100m dash. Marc is the WVAL’s top returning horizontal jumper, consistently going near 20 feet in the long jump and 40 feet in the triple jump.

The team has their heart set on continuing their undefeated season, and both teams are sure to bring all they have on Wednesday.

The current forecast for meet day is 78 degrees and partly cloudy. Get ready Comets, an exciting dual meet is just days away!

-Benny Reeves

James Lick Track Team Continues Unbeaten Streak

The Comets took to Gunderson High School on Wednesday March 29th for a dual meet with the grizzlies. The meet yielded 34 PRs (Personal Records) for the team and many more seasons bests as the good weather made for the perfect dual meet for good times.

The meet opened up strong for the Comets with the girls team winning their first 4×100 of the season. Lyndel Ventura, Kirsten Yutuc, Silvia Amaya and Elyse Elder combined to run 57.87, the fastest 4×100 time of the season for the Comets. The boys team of Raven Alcantara, Hadji Yono-Cruz, Misael Herrera and Chris Okoro also ran a seasons best for the team, 48.67.

The girls 1600 was won by Belen Sanchez in 6:35, a 7 second PR. Daisy Nava came in 2nd in 6:38, the first 1-2 finish in the 1600 for the lady Comets this season. The boys completed their 4th 1600m sweep out of 4 tries this season. Inteus Castro-Lopez ran a seasons best 5:04.08, narrowly missing his PR. Azael Zamora and Nathan Bernardo came in at 5:07 and 5:08.

The girls 100 hurdles was an outstanding race for the team. Valeria Cortez won the race in a new PR of 17.43, Susie Peterson ran a huge Seasons best and only missed her PR by .02. Kirsten ran a PR to complete the sweep in 20.33. The boys 110H was a similar success. Cody Huoch and Hadji went 1-2 in 17.82 and 17.83. The two boys are the first Comets to run under 18 seconds in the 110H in many years, and for Cody this is only his 2nd ever try at the race. Jonathan Rodriguez picked up the final point for the team in 19.36.

Denisse Calixto picked up 3 points for the girls team by taking 2nd place in the 400. Erik Olsvold ran the best 400 by a Comet this year, clocking 55.41 on the way to a victory. Misael and Nathan came in 2nd and 3rd to sweep the event for the team.

The girls 100m dash saw the debut of freshmen Yeimili Adame. Yeimili took 3rd place for the team with a time of 14.44, a very strong debut time. Silvia ran a huge PR of 14.63 and Kirsten Prd as well in 14.73. Susie ran a seasons best 15.3 in the 2nd heat and Aliana Santos ran under 16 seconds for the first time, clocking 15.67.

The boys 100 was similarly successful. Top Gunderson sprinter Sahib Bopari ran 11.39 to win the race with a very fast March time. Danny Nguyen and Raven both ran solid Prs, 12.55 and 12.60 respectively, to place 4th and 5th in the race. Adrian DeLaRosa ran a seasons best 12.85. Austin Swank in 13.36, and Isaak Herrera in 13.91 both ran seasons bests as well. Jaime Gomez went under the 14 second barrier for the first time, running 13.99.

Analilia Regla ran a PR of 3:10 to take 2nd place for the girls in the 800. Despite having ran the 1600 and 400 on the day already, Nathan won the boys 800 in a solid time of 2:10.96. Erik took 3rd in 2:21. Osman Lopez ran a PR of 2:45 in the race as well. Valeria got her 2nd PR on the day with a 56.16 victory in the 300 hurdles. Belen took 2nd in a seasons best 57.03 as well. The boys side was a 1-2 finish as well with Cody and Jonathan cruising to victory.

Jonathan would lead a 1-2 finish in the high jump as well, going 5-4. Ace Medina cleared 5-0 for 2nd place. Elyse and Lyndel combined to go 1-2 on the girls side of the high jump as well.

Yeimili continued her impressive debut with a 30.80 clocking in the 200 for 3rd place once again. Silvia also ran a strong 200m time of 32.36, and Aliana got her 2nd Pr of the day, running 33.93. Ace lead the boys side with a 24.97 debut in the 200. Erik shattered his PR, running 25.74. Chris did the same thing, running 26.78 despite neither boy having run under 28 seconds before.

After achieving her first ever 1600m win earlier in the meet, Belen made it a double victory with a win in the 3200 in 14:53. The boys side was swept by Azael, Julian Delreal and Osiris Zamudio. Julian and Osiris ran PRs of 12:22 and 12:24. Melvin Estrada also ran a PR of 12:30 as did Daniel Portillo who ran 13:10. Gunderson won the boys 4×400 in a  solid time of 3:48 to end the days running events.

Most of the teams highlights came in the running events, though the jumps and throws had some strong performances as well. Alex Alonzo won the boys discus in 105-0 and Josh Garcia and Daniel Medina placed 2nd and 3rd in the Shot Put with throws in the 36 foot range. Jesus Venegas threw a 10 foot discus PR of 75 feet. Valeria added her 3rd and 4th wins of the meet with wins in discus and shot put. She threw a PR of 31-6 in Shot Put, and equalled her PR of 100-6 in the discus. Teammates Charli Chircop and Alejandra Ceron combined to complete the sweep in both throwing events. Mariah Santos threw a PR of 23-3 in the Shot Put. Audrey Nguy also threw a solid PR of 49 feet in the discus.

Lyndel captured both the long jump and triple jump on the girls side, with Yaliza Cortez taking 2nd in both just behind her. Elyse took 3rd in triple jump to add another point to the teams total.  Hadji, Anthony Soto and Ace combined to sweep the boys triple jump. Anthony’s PR of 34-5 got him his first points for the team.

The final scores were:

Boys 

James Lick: 80 Gunderson: 46

Girls 

James Lick: 86 Gunderson: 34

With these victories the team extends their record to 4-0 on both sides for a combined 8-0 overall. The team will face its biggest test of the season so far however when they take on the reigning boys champs in the form of the Independence 76ers next week.

The team will get a look at them this Saturday at the first ever Royal Relays at Overfelt High School.

Thanks for reading,

-Benny Reeves

 

James Lick Throwers Shine at Firebird Relays

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The Varsity Girls Throws Team (Charli Chircop, Alejanda Ceron and Valeria Cortez) with their coaches and teammate Daniel Medina

The Firebird Relays at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale have been one of the team’s favorite invites for several years now because of the variety relays available. In addition to the standard 4×100 and 4×400, the meet holds the Distance Medley Relay and 4×800, as well as combination relays in all field events and the 300 hurdles.

To qualify for combination relays, a teams top 3 athletes have their best marks/times added up and compared across the top 3 of others teams. The team with the 3 best relays in each event received medals. This makes the Firebird Relays a great meet for the team to compare its depth against other teams.

The meet started off strong for the team. Susie Peterson ran a huge seasons best in the 100h, running 19.63 to go under 20 seconds for the first time this season. Kirsten Yutuc ran 21.15 for a PR in the 100h despite a fall on the final hurdle of the race.

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Left to right: Susie Peterson, Valeria Cortez and Kirsten Yutuc before contesting the 100 hurdles

Jonathan Rodriguez also ran a PR in the 100 hurdles, clocking a time of 19.16 for his race. Soon afterwards field events got under way.

Lyndel Ventura went 12-11.50 for the team in the long jump, though she was jumping from a board 2 feet behind the board the meet was using to measure from. This shows that Lyndel is near her 15 foot long jump PR.

The team sent 3 triple jumpers on the boys side to compete as a relay team. Ace Medina led the team with a new PR of 37-3. Cody Huoch was 2nd in a PR of 36-7.50 and Hadji Yono-Cruz was rd in 35-9. The team placed 5th in the triple jump relay, only missing 3rd place by a  combined 5 inches.

Arlet Miranda ran a 5:49 1600, well off the 5:41 she ran a few weeks earlier at the Willow Glen Invite as she continues to battle through minor injury. Daniel Portillo had an excellent race, breaking the 6 minute mile barrier for the first time to the tune of a 15 second PR of 5:54.

The Comets ran a Frosh/Soph Boys team of Raven Alcantara, Misael Herrera, AdrianDeLaRosa and Bryan Cuevas who combined for a solid 49.31. The Varsity team of Cody, Hadji, Ace and Chris Okoro competed as well but were Disqualified for a lane violation.

 

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Raven Alcantara handing off the baton to Misael Herrera in the 4×100 relay.

Both the Varsity Boys and Frosh/Soph Boys competed in the 4000m Distance Medley Relay or DMR. The Varsity Boys team placed 6th despite the absence of top runner Erik Olsvold and missed the school record by less than 1 second, running 11:30.81. Inteus Castro-Lopez started the team off with a 1200m leg of 3:38. Gustavo Aguilera ran a 57 second 400m split, followed by a 2:07 800m leg by Nathan Bernardo. Azael Zamora anchored the team home with a 4:47 1600m. On the FS side, Melvin Estrada, Misael Herrera, Hugo Marquez and Mark Orpia combined to run 13:01.

Meanwhile, the strong Lady Comet throwers were strutting their stuff. In 2016, Alejandra, Charli and Valeria took 3rd in the Frosh/Soph Discus relay, and first in the Shot Put relay. Their combination relay mark of 83-8 gave them the win. Alejandra was the team’s leading thrower on the day with a  toss of 28-2.5. This year, with Charli and Alejandra being juniors, the team stepped up to compete at the varsity level and showed just how far they’ve come by winning the Varsity Shot Put relay with a combo of 96-5.5.

It was the first time in school history that 3 Comet girls cracked 30 feet for Shot Put in the same meet. All 3 girls PRd. Alejandra threw 32-7, Charli threw 32-5 and Valeria threw 31-5 to seal the deal.

The team had similar success in the discus Throw, taking 2nd as a team in that as well.  In 2016, the team’s combination mark was 214-10. This year the three-headed monster combined for a total of 287- 5.5. Valeria led the team with a throw of 99-2, Charli threw 96-5.5 and Alejandra threw a PR of 91-11, the first time 3 lady Comets have cracked 90 feet in the discus throw in the same meet.

As if the throws of the varsity girls were not impressive enough, freshmen Mariah Santos took 5th in the Frosh/Soph girls discus witha  huge PR of 74-1.50. For comparison sake, at the 2016 Firebird Relays, Aleajndra led the team in discus with a throw of 74-11. She backed up this impressive PR with a throw of 22-9 in the Shot Put. Adriana Marcelino also competed for the team.

The Comet throwers on the girls side are as impressive a group as the team as seen in decades. They have anchored the girls team all season and are probably the team’s strongest overall event group (the only possible competition being the boys distance crew).  With the rapid improvement he’s fostered in the team’s throwers, in my mind Coach Vela is the best throws coach in the WVAL by a wide margin, if not the entire BVAL.

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Alejandra Ceron throwing the Shot Put

The boys throwers saw a huge PR as well. Both Daniel Medina and Rogelio Alonzo competed. Roger threw a massive PR in the discus, hitting a mark of 97-11 after setting a PR of 89-0 just days earlier.

The team of Cody, Ace, and Hadji in the long jumped all jumped roughly 17 feet to end their day in the horizontal jumps. In the vertical jumps, the team took 2nd in the varsity boys high jump relay. 5 Different teams had 3 jumpers clear a height. Juan Gutierrez and Ace both went 5-0 for the team,and Jonathan went 5-4 to clinch the medal for the team.

The distance teams took both to the track in the 4×800 relay. The Varsity boys team only missed a medal by 5 seconds despite missing two of the team’s top 3 800m runners in Erik Olsvold and Gustavo Parra. The team’s time of 9:03 is the best time the Comest have run for the 4×800 on record. The Frosh/Soph boys clocked a time of 10:27 as well. Arlet Miranda ran a strong 800, but was caught on the line to finish 2nd overall to a San Jose High runner in 2:35. This sets up a  good WVAL rivalry going forward.

The Frosh/Soph boys 100m dash saw Raven go under 13 seconds for the first time, crossing the line in 12.91. Kirsten made her 400m debut in 1:15 as did Chris in 1:05.

The final event the team competed in was the 300 hurdles. Cody ran a strong time of 44.98, just a tenth of a second off his PR. Gustavo A ran a huge PR of 44.71, taking more than a full second off his PR from last season. Jonathan coasted home to a 49.28. The team was a combined 2 seconds away from a medal.

Overall the meet was a huge success for the team. Many athletes received medals, and the team competed well against some of the best teams in the CCS. The team placed 13th overall out of  more than 40 competing teams, giving them a confidence boost as they look ahead at the 2nd half of the season.

The team will take on the Gunderson Grizzlies at Gunderson on Wedensday March 29th, then they will head to Overfelt  on Saturday April 1st for the first ever Royal Relays.

Thanks for reading,

-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

 

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 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