4/3 – PR Central at the Distance Carnival

Results

We seem to thrive at this meet every year.

Once again the Berries of the Canyon crushed many PRs at the SF State Distance Carnival on April 3rd and 4th. First off was the morning 10000, and Bentley Regehr ran 33:18.20 for a top five listing in the club as well as a nice PR.

In the 1500 and 800 we had two berries:

M1500

Jeff Schaefer 4:03.03 (No. 4 club all-time)

M800

Ed Hill 2:06.17

We had three women under 18:00 in the 5000 + two more under 19:00, and two men broke 15:00 and a number of them set PRs:

W5000

Olivia Hill 17:28.86 (72-second PR!!!) 2nd club all-time
Megan Gentes 17:57.63 (dental visit impacted form)
Megan Lang 17:59.83 (amazing last lap to snag a sub-18)
Irene Graham 18:50.42 (come back trail)
Kimberly Sanchez 18:56.74 (40-second PR!!!)

M5000

Jonathan McKinley 14:34.25 (PR, club record)
Ryan Smith 14:57.50 (PR)
Jonathan Briskman 15:26.90
Colin Gannon 15:30.60 (14-second PR)
Colin Briskman 15:31.26

 

The next day we had a few more events

W200

Alyssa Ortega 30:69.

Then we had the two-mile where Kate Ashley dazzled less than three weeks out from the Boston Marathon, and a couple of men in the mile.

W Two Mile

Kate Ashley 12:00.86 (30-second PR)
Shellin Chuong 12:28.65
Melissa Quintero 13:09.76

 

M Mile

Emilio Flamenco 5:09.26
Matthew Perez 5:12.19

3/22 – Women run from Oakland to Hawaii

We're going to Hawaii!

The winning Oakland marathon relay team!

On March 22, the Strawberry Canyon TC got wind of a rather tasty prize in the form of a plane ticket per athlete to Hawaii (and back I might add) for winning 4-person relay teams at the 2015 Oakland Marathon.

So the women brought some serious heat to this race as Megan (House of) Lang, Julia (sizzle and steak) Sizek, Olivia (undisputed Queen of the) Hill and Megan (Gonna run you into the ground and enjoy every second of it) Gentes lined up for what we expected would turn into a formidable nip-and-tuck battle with other clubs vying for the all-valuable plane tickets. Right? Errr….Wrong!

No one of note really showed up and the Fearsome Female Foursome beat all of the women’s teams, averaging about 6:10 pace on the hilly course. They also beat all of the men’s teams, much to the chagrin of the Strawberry Canyon men who stayed home (and will continue to do so as the women jet off to Hawaii).

So Aloha to the woman and Hasta Manana to the men, at least for this posting. :)

Results are at http://georesults.racemine.com/Corrigan-Sports-Enterprises/events/2015/Oakland-Running-Festival/results

3/21 – Johnny Mathis meet – barely over/under PRs

The Berries brought some talent on the men’s side to the Johnny Mathis meet at the speedy San Francisco State University’s Cox Stadium track facility. (The women were saving their ammo for the Oakland Marathon relay).

Opening up in the men’s 1500 was Jonathan McKinley (4:03.37) and Jeff Schaefer with a PR (4:03.45). In another 1500 section Emilio Flamenco PR’d in 4:44.36 and Matt Perez finished in 4:46.56.

Ryan Smith ran a very good 5000 in 14:59.34, a scant half-second or so over his PR, while Alex Battaglino scraped under his PR by a second (15:05.09). In a subsequent section, Ryan Lok ran 15:39.04, Colin Gannon PR’d by less than two seconds (15:44.98), and Bentley Regehr (now in Truckee) ran 16:07.15.

3/14 – Davis meet recap!

We had some strong performances at the UC Davis home opener track meet yesterday. Opening up was the women’s 5000, in which the weather was unusually cooperative, cloudy, windless with moderate temps. Megan Gentes was a machine and cranked out a 17:44,63, a PR by 12 seconds and improved her No. 3 on the club’s all-time list mark. She also finished third overall and beat some D1 runners. Megan Lang, despite working 60 hours last week and feeling its effects, hung on for a very solid early season 18:19.53.

The 1500s came up next for the Canyon and we had several runners. Jeff Schaefer debuted with a 4:06.72, and Alex Battaglino dipped under 4:10 in his heat with a 4:09.98. Ryan Smith went out a little hard (63s for three laps then hit the wall) and did most of the work. This caught up to him in the last 300 and he ran 4:13.07. Abraham Aldaraca had to hurdle a fallen runner and it threw his form off-kilter and he ended up running 4:17.03. Matt Perez improved on his CSU-Stanislaus time with a mark of 4:49 and Emilio Flamenco ran 4:51. Both of them went out a little hard and it caught up to them so there’s more upside.

Leonardo Valdez Ordonez was fighting something had an off-day in the 400, running 54.31. Ed Hill competed in the 800 finishing in 2:05.80 while Alex Battaglino ran 2:11 on tired legs from the 1500.

As the day wore on it climbed into the mid-80s, which presented a challenge on the shadeless Woody Wilson track facility. Olivia Hill ran the 3000 and cruised through it, unchallenged, in 10:37.85. Kimberly Sanchez ran a very gutsy and impressive race, the best of her life, literally battling with four other runners for the entire race, and pulled out a massive PR in 10:58.18. Great job, prez!

Colin Gannon competed in the men’s 3000 and the pace was sub-optimal for him – going out about ten seconds per mile faster than we would have liked. He hung in there and ran 9:19.85 in the muggy heat.

A good number of us also went down to the PA awards banquet in Los Gatos, namely Megan Lang, Kimberly Sanchez, Kate Ashley, Shellin Chuong, Naomi Wilcox, Julia Sizek, coach Carl and Keith Duncan. Members of the women’s team along with Keith claimed their well-earned and coveted awards.

 

On that topic – We may be asked to host that banquet next year so let’s keep that on our collective radar.

3/5 – Hot day in Redding for Masters & Kate

Six hardy folks ventured up to Redding and were rudely surprised by the unmitigated warmth of an unseasonably balmy morning. It was ideal for lounging around, BBQs, an easy jog, and tossing a frisbee around, not so much for an all-out long race.

Knowing we were in trouble with a 10 a.m. start and feeling perfectly comfortable without warm-ups, most of us still managed to go out too hard and melted down during the course of the race. Everyone felt like they were a good three or four minutes off of their projected times in what was deemed “by far the hottest Redding 10-mile race ever,” according to Chikara Omine of Excelsior. No argument here as it seemed to be pushing into the upper 80s at rest stops on the return drive home. Even the winner was ‘only’ 52 minutes and change which may be the slowest winning time on record.

Five oldsters from all parts comprised a ‘masters’ team, and Kate Ashley had the best race of the group, nailing a PR in rough conditions with a 1:12.50 despite not feeling all that great throughout. She’ll be ready to roll at Boston in six weeks.

Chafik Azerki made the trip from Mammoth and finished in 1:00.41, about three+ minutes off of where he was last year. Next across was Brian Gunn, who was hoping to break 65 and ran 1:08.27. When he called his 11-year-old son to update him on the race, Dylan, who is evidently not one to beat around the bush, quipped “What happened??”

Alan Dehlinger made the venture from Reno and finish four minutes off of his 65:00 goal with a 1:09.10. He was followed by new/former Pacific Strider senior Kevin Brunson in 1:09.36 – and they made the drive from Reno. Coach Carl was most definitely the caboose today as he started cramping up in his right calf for the last 2-3 miles and slowed down considerably. His last fond memory of the race was looking out across the river on the way back in and thinking to himself in all seriousness, “I could just swim over to the other side, drift down stream a couple of miles, and climb out at the finish.”

It was tempting but we needed five broken bodies across the line to finish, not four, so we did just that. It was a strangely warm day and I think we all learned the lesson about not going out too hard here. Sometimes it takes a little humble pie to reinforce these basic concepts.

So the team still manage to take 3rd overall and Kate actually did well, despite some rough patches in the race.

2/21 – Cal All-Comers Meet

Here are the Cal all-comer meet results. Forgot to mention Kate Ashley’s 3200 PR from two weeks ago in 12:30.49 so nicely done!

Today was a really solid day for most of the club. In the 1500 everyone was just a couple ticks off their PRs which is solid stuff in February.

Men’s 1500

Brandon Kan 4:09.62 top 6-7 club all-time
Alex Battaglino 4:12.36
Bradley Afrolian 4:19.41
Edward Hill 4:19.99
Mike McKinley 4:30.00-flat (PR)
Kevin Downie (masters) 4:34.60
Emilio Flamenco 4:48.27

Men’s 800

Abraham Aldaraca 2:00.91
Alex Battaglino 2:08.69 (PR)

Men’s 3200

1. Ryan Smith (winner) 9:30.01 (missed PR by tenths of a second running solo, No. 3 club all-time)
3. Collin Gannon 9:45.38
4. Ryan Lok 9:46.89 (PR)
6. Jack Wallace 9:57.02
Justin Huang 10:18.37
Matt Perez 11:42.51
Carl Rose (50-59 + coach) 12:07.84

Women’s 3200

1. Olivia Hill (winner) 11:03.01 (PR)
2. Megan Gentes 11:03.81 (PR)
3. Megan Lang 11:21.01 (PR)
Irene Graham 11:56.21
Kimberly Sanchez 11:58.03 (PR)

11/16 – Women Grab PA XC Season Title, Men 2nd!

A golden dawn sky was belied with a pesky, cold breeze that swept through Golden Gate Park preceding the morning start of the long-awaited PA-USATF Cross Country Championships. The Strawberry Canyon TC women’s team, now squarely on the radar, warmed up nervously and vigorously as mostly the men (who raced later) set up the tent. This was a “take no prisoners” kind of day.

A little back story is in order: This particular group of women constituted the most inspiring regional team of the decade. They went from zero to regional / national-class in a matter of months, putting together what had to be classified as a “dream season.” In the summer they were a no-name, small group with 500-to-1 odds to win the Pacific Association-USATF team grand prix cross country championships. This would be the talk of fools and delusional coaches. However, in a few short months, they became a very tightly knit, focused and well-respected team locking horns with the best clubs in the region for a fighting chance to claim our club’s first ever women’s title.

The race started with butterflies, as the Canyoneras had been battling since August. This effort had left them tied with the West Valley Track Club, and beating them was necessary to win the Grand Prix. But we wanted to do more. The mighty Impala Racing Team was within striking distance and they brought several 2012 Olympic Trials marathon qualifers to the starting line to try and grab that title from us and defend their eight-year grand prix winning streak, and the No. 18-ranked (2013) ASICs Aggies who’d improved a bit in 2014, and No. 8-ranked New Balance Silicon Valley (2015 – and without their No. 1 runner at Club Nationals) squads also brought their hammers to this championship race. The Strawberry Canyon women’s team had one more test, and they were going to have to punch way above their weight yet again to pass it.

But this had all started in June. At this point, too much work had been invested and our women were on a mission. They had one chance to make history, to claim their destiny, a chance to upend the regional hierarchy, and make it that much sweeter as an underdog, unsponsored club…all of this was at stake and more. So here was the moment, they had to line up and see where things stood. Coach Carl gave them a little pre-race encouragement at the start, but there wasn’t really much else to do than to let things unfold and trust that they had been sufficiently prepared for this massive test. And so with that…off they went.

The women went out prudently, according to plan. As their race unfolded, it was a thing of beauty as they all ran pretty evenly and shredded the field in a tight 50-second pack between the No. 1 and 6 runners. (I heard a few shocked exclamations among the spectators). This was no accident – it was a perfect storm. We didn’t just edge WVTC for the title, we also beat the Aggies, Impalas, and West Valley TC in that order, and grabbed the title in the way it should be won, head to head when it counted.

Everyone stepped up in their own way. Julia Sizek came on to the scene and started hammering people. This was no different as she blitzed through a very strong field and took 12 th. Second for the Berries scoring was Olivia Hill, who got better and better and better in every race and beat people she hadn’t ever beaten before at the championships – finishing with a strong kick. Tamma Carleton raced with painful tendonitis in her foot and we weren’t even sure if she was going to start. She gutted it out like a champion and ran an extremely gritty and courageous effort for 18th. Next there was the middle-distance specialist Rebecka Oberg (20 th), who was racing at a distance that was completely out of her comfort zone – finishing with a flash ahead of a couple of very strong runners, there was the team leader and women’s captain – our women’s team’s glue, Megan Lang (26 th), who also threw down a very impressive race. There was the ever dependable Megan Gentes (27 th), who never met a starting line she didn’t like and rounded out a very dangerous six-woman pack with another strong race performance. Next was the youngest was 17-year-old Jennifer Schick, who has a massive upside to develop. And the most improved of the bunch might be our club’s vice-president Kimberly Sanchez, who wrapped up the racing for the women.

When the dust had settled and the preliminary scores were posted – other team were genuinely stunned; some seemed upset, others were congratulatory and delighted for us. Our ecstatic SCTC women had pulled off the David vs. Goliath miracle finish – winning the grand prix title in a rather moving performance, and took second only to the elite development-based NBSV club. The rest of our club was glowing for them too –they knew that they had seen something special and this was a very proud moment for everyone in the club. To close – I quote Bill Brusher: “That has to be one of the coolest things that’s ever happened in the history of the club.” Yer damn right! :)

Their times and a video link to their historic finish is linked below:

Women’s 6K race

12. Julia Sizek – 21:30

14. Olivia Hill – 21:40

18. Tamma Carleton – 21:49

20. Rebecka Oberg – 21:55

26. Megan Lang – 22:15

27. Megan Gentes – 22:20

42. Jennifer Sc hick – 22:58

57. Kimberly Sanchez – 23:34

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp_75dB2FcA

The masters and seniors-plus men dusted off a few hearty graybeards and put together a solid group of oldsters. Many were pleased both with their performance as well as the new 10K course, which will also be the site of the USATF Club National Cross Country Championships in 2015.

Rob Elia and Darrin Banks killed it, taking the first two spots. Tim Keenan had an excellent race and exorcised his ‘jinx’ races at Golden Gate Park – he too, loved the new course. Chris Dodge was next, and the quarter- and half-miler by trade ran an impressive effort. A legend in the making is Keith Duncan, who at 60 is shellacking our club records. He was 4 th senior overall. Next was the smiling patron saint of the club, Sir Erik Gullikson, who seemed to be only moderately pressed and content to soak up the moment. Coach Carl Rose continued his coming back ways (with a ways to go) came through with a good effort relative to his fitness and had his best race of the season. Paul Nolan missed the start (everyone has that ONE “bad dream” race), and throwing in the towel, ended up running a tempo of the course, tangled behind the slower runners. Bill Brusher debated running but still finished since he already had the grand prix points in his sights.

Both the masters men and seniors were 4 th overall, which was a pretty solid result considering we were missing a few of our hitters.

Master’s Men’s 10K race

20. Rob Elia – 36:21 (5 th 50-59)

21. Darrin Banks – 36:23

28. Tim Keenan – 36:50 (8 th 50-59)

47. Chris Dodge – 38:18

68. Keith Duncan – 40:34 (4th th 60-69)

79. Erik Gullikson – 41:17

82. Carl Rose – 41:39

119. Paul Nolan – 45:18 (missed start)

166. Bill Brusher – 55:51

The open men weren’t as fortunate as the open women, as the ASICs Aggies added lots of depth and decided to show up to enough races to accumulate the maximum five wins going into the championships. Jonathan McKinley was not where he was at last year, which was putting the fear of God in everyone in the PA, after a long stretch with injuries, but we were still in the hunt for a valiant second-place team finish. Most of the guys ran well and were feeling the effects of a very long race season, particularly the younger runners. So we were a little outmanned up front, but still packed up pretty well. Their efforts locked us solidly into 4 th-place team finish at the PA XC champs but this was still sufficient to keep our club in second. Despite that we’re primarily running with undergrads that never ran in college and a few graduate students from small-college programs, they still held their own against the heavyweight clubs.

Here below are their finishes in order.

Open Men’s 10K race

18. Jonathan McKinley – 31:54

31. Sean McFarland – 32:50

42. Ryan Smith – 33:21

46. Lauri Takacsi-Nagy – 33:29

52. Ryan Lok – 33:48

61. Colin Gannon – 34:18

62. Stephen McKinley – 34:23

64. Rory Runser – 34:40

69. Jack Wallace – 34:47

71. Brandon Kan – 34:50

73. Ed Izaguirre – 34:51

76. Dan Duett – 35:00

79. Justin Huang – 35:07

89. Bentley Regehr – 35:35

110. Stephen Granger-Bevan – 37:72

115. Matthew Berberick – 38:29

123. Kevin Hsu – 39:13

Thom Trimble RIP 1959-2015

Thom-CIM

From the PAUSATF website: “Thom Trimble at the 2009 California International Marathon where, at age 50, he finished in 2:48.”

Our club has been absolutely devastated by the sudden passing on of a true legend, Thom Trimble. This has been felt beyond our club as well as the Pacific Association of USATF, as sentiments have been pouring in nationwide.

For the record, Thom Trimble died suddenly of a heart attack while out running In Newhall Park in Concord on Saturday morning of January 3rd. This loss has hit everyone hard and in the worst way.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Lothrop-Trimble, his former wife, Laurie Mathews, and two daughters. They, along with his closest friends in the club, John Monteverdi, Tim Keenan, Carl Rose, Bill Brusher, Jeff Teeters, Rob Elia, Bill Salacuse, Jeff Mann, Matt Bogdanowicz, as well as many of the former club members and younger members are in a profound state of shock and grief.

The word I keep hearing over and over with reference to Thom was “mentor” and he was just that. Thom and John Monteverdi founded the original East Bay Striders in 1983, and Carl Rose became a member in 1985. It became the Pacific Striders in the 1990s and coalesced into the Strawberry Canyon Track Club in 2009. Thom coached the club from 1983-2008 and then Carl Rose took over that role so he could spend more time with his family. Thom also wrote the dry and witty race write-ups that only he could create. His creative genius and dry wit will be sorely, sorely missed.

Thom was a very devoted family man who went to virtually every soccer game and track meet his daughters competed in. Not a bad word has been spoken about Thom.

Thom was also a fierce competitor, having run a 1:09.28 at the SF Home Depot Half Marathon in 1991, which still stands as our club record. Thom was also a monster, particularly in cross country races. He ran a 2:48 marathon at Cal International marathon at age 50.

Thom’s health was always very sound, excepting a spate of running-related injuries. Still, being lean, active and trim and with a happy and positive attitude, this took us all by surprise.

So our advice to all masters runners is PLEASE GO AND GET YOURSELVES CHECKED OUT!

This terrible news has shaken every member of our club to the core. It particularly affects his family as his daughters will now be without a father, and his wife will now be widowed. We are beyond grief-stricken and don’t really know quite how to memorialize a true legend. But one thing is – Thom was a competitor till the end. His last email to me (coach) was a link on how to improve hamstring strength to prevent injuries, which was something he had been coping with. I received this two days before he passed.

RIP Thom Trimble. We lost a great friend, coach, mentor, father figure, and your void will be irreplaceable. If anyone is interested in any sort of a fundraiser, contributions can be made to the Thom Trimble Memorial Fund for the education of his daughters (Wells Fargo Bank account #5242617735).

Thom

Humboldt Half Marathon, 2011.

NorCal10, 2012

The master’s gang at the NorCal 10 miler, 2012.

Trimble - 4th in 50-54 10,000m

USATF club track nationals. Thom finished 4th in 50-54 10,000m!

11/2 – Berries @ Santa Rosa XC – Women take close WIN

The Phil Widener Empire Runners XC meet in Santa Rosa was shuffled to the end of the year but that did not deter the Canyoneros from showing up and giving it a good shot on the challenging 3.43-mile course.

The women brought only five runners to the line and needed a really good race performance to stay in range of the West Valley Track Club, which had at the time a 1.5-point lead on our women’s team. The season’s dramatic build-up to the PA-USATF Cross Country Championships was coming to a head as the Canyoneras needed to nail down a “W” with a couple of their runners sitting this one out.

Tamma Carleton delivered a really strong effort despite dealing with some tendonitis in her foot, finishing in a prodigious 5th-place in a speedy 20:19. In 6th was the ever-impressive Olivia Hill who rolled through in 20:28. Following those two heavy hitters was Megan Gentes in 21:34 (13th-place), as she was starting to show a little fatigue from the long season. Megan was trailed by Jennifer Schick in 16th-place (21:44). Closing out the scoring team was Kimberly Sanchez, who knocked about two minutes off of her 2013 time in 22:18 (22nd place). That proved to be crucial as the final scoring came in four agonizing days later, confirming that the Berries had finished one point ahead of the Impalas. They opted for the masters money and hence the Berries beat West Valley and ended up in a tie with them going into the PA-USATF Championships in two weeks.

The open men managed third overall in this race as the Aggies and West Valley both brought some serious firepower. Jonathan McKinley was 7th (17:33), and he was followed by Sean McFarland (17:51 – 9th); Ryan Smith (17:51 – 10th); Ed Izaguirre (18:23 – 16th) and Jack Wallace (21st – 18:36) to round out the top five scorers. Also competing for the Berries was Bentley Regehr, a newcomer from Edmonton, in 18:42 (23rd), Colin Gannon – 18:43 (24th), Justin Huang 18:47 (26th), Stephen McKinley 18:54 (27th), Matt Weber 19:30 (32nd), and Daniel Anderson 21:05 (42nd).

10/25 – Berries roll at Aggies XC Open

After a week off from racing, the Canyon brought solid squads to the ASICs Aggies 4.2-mile XC Open held in Martinez, CA, and they needed to because the fields were stacked with lots of talent to contend with. The open men were paced by Jonathan McKinley, who took 8th in 21:11. Next across was Ryan Smith, who turned in a great performance in 21:43. Sean McFarland was a bit behind Ryan, followed by Ed Izaguirre, Colin Gannon, Jack Wallace, Rory Runser, Stephen Granger-Bevan, Justin Huang, Matt Weber and Dan Anderson. The open men took second to a loaded Aggies squad which brought the pain to their home race, and squeaked out a narrow one-point win over New Balance Silicon Valley TC. (Results are below).

Two elder statesmen aka seniors runners jumped into the masters race – Eric Gullikson (26:55) and Paul Nolan (27:07), both of whom turned in very strong efforts.

The women’s race was notable in that the Aggies fielded their full squad which topped the Berries women, but we were also able to edge West Valley TC,, hence allowing our women to stay within striking distance and maintain our close second-place team position in the Pacific Association USATF Grand Prix standings.

Julia Sizek sizzled (had to say it once) across the line in the 4.2-mile race with a very impressive time of 24:31 (6th place). Olivia Hill had a breakthrough performance and took 10th in 24:46. Tamma Carleton, Megan Gentes and Megan Lang followed to round out the scoring. Shout out of the day went to 17-year-old Jennifer Schick who finally shook off her month-long illness and rolled through in 25:28 (18th place). Kimberly Sanchez rounded things out for the Berries. (Results below).

Open Men (4.2 miles)

8. Jonathan McKinley 21:11
16. Ryan Smith 21:43 (1st 1-19)
17. Sean McFarland 22:01
20. Ed Izaguirre 22:16
26. Colin Gannon 22:43
28. Jack Wallace 22:47
31. Rory Runser 22:53
32. Stephen Granger-Bevan 22:55
33. Justin Huang 23:02
40. Matt Weber 23:42
54. Daniel Anderson 25:35

Masters/Seniors Men (4.2 miles)

Eric Gullikson 26:55
Paul Nolan 27:07

Open Women (4.2 miles)

6. Julia Sizek 24:31
10. Olivia Hill 24:46
11. Tamma Carleton 24:49
16. Megan Gentes 25:24 (1st 1-19)
17. Megan Lang 25:25
18. Jennifer Schick 25:38 (2nd 1-19)
35. Kimberly Sanchez 26:42