9/7 – Women rule, men survive GG Park XC

Girl Power rules at Golden Gate Park XC with 2nd-place effort; Open Men snag 2nd; Oldies…finished

The blue-collar and blue singlet-clad Strawberry Canyon Track Club brought their hammer and tongs to the no-holds-barred, 4.12-mile Golden Gate Park XC Open meet held on Sunday, Sept. 7th. We fielded full teams for the open women, senior men’s (50+), and open men’s races, but the clear highlight of the day was the race day shocker delivered by women’s team, which had never competed (as a group) in a race of this magnitude.

The SCTC women had been kept on the down-low for a few months, allowing them time to train together, build up a summer base, and to establish a mutual bond. The group’s emergence has been compelling to witness as they all trained in a speedy, tight pack, but would this translate to a strong race-day performance? They had yet to really test their mettle in the heat of competition. This race represented that test as they ended up in a hard-fought battle with four teams vying for second place.

Most of us would have been cool with a solid 4th-place team finish in what was a loaded women’s field, and ecstatic with a third-place finish. But these women, quite frankly, delivered one of the finest team performances in club history, setting the Pacific Association on its collective ear by upsetting three nationally regarded teams, West Valley Track Club, the Impala Racing Team and the ASICs Aggies to take second-place honors behind last year’s 9th-place team at USATF Club Nationals – New Balance Silicon Valley.

Rebecka Oberg went out leading the chase pack for about three miles and had a moment of doubt, but she rallied at the three-mile mark as teammate Tamma Carleton passed her, encouraging her to keep at it. Tamma ended up taking top spot for the Berries, rolling to an outstanding 9th-place overall finish in 25 minutes, six seconds, with Rebecka a slim six seconds behind her in 11th-place. Right behind Rebecka was a very impressive performance from Olivia Hill, who nailed down a sterling 14th-place finish.

Rounding out the scoring team was the Force of Megan as both Megan Gentes (18th) and Megan Lang (19th) finished in an identical time of 25:37.

These women had been so closely matched in workouts we sensed they would finish somewhat close to one another. But they slashed the field with an almost unheard-of 31-second “pack time” (differential between first and fifth scoring runners) an accomplishment which elevated them to an improbable second-place team finish.

Behind the scorers, Camille Plantier had a great breakthrough race in 27:32. Kimberly Sanchez had to work with a sore foot and finish in 28:39. Naomi Wilcox was next for us and finished in 29:39.

The seniors men (50-plus for you whippersnappers) did manage to bring four runners to the line and we seem to have been the 5th-place overall team. Scott Strait finished just ahead of Paul Nolan. Coach Carl crossed the line in 28:31, and 60+ Bill Brusher ended up just running to finish with a time of 36:08.

What is interesting about Scott is he and Eric Gullikson (who ran a road race, see below) are 59. Keith Duncan is currently 60 and crushing the PA circuit. Only three super seniors are required to score at PA meets. Needless to say this will be an indomitable trio of oldsters for 2015 Club USATF XC Nationals which will be held in San Francisco!

Last but not least the open men ran a smart race. A few teams were no-shows or watered down so they were able to eke out a much-needed second-place team finish to assist their Grand Prix title hopes. Sean McFarland is starting to come back after a summer of foot tendonitis, and he paced the Canyoneros with a good performance of 21:36. Not too far back was newcomer Ed Izaguirre, a strong runner who recently moved here from San Luis Obispo after training as part of the Cal Poly Distance Project. Ryan Smith followed him a few ticks back. Greg Timblin and promising freshman Brandon Kan closed out the scoring for the Berries.

In the next wave, Alex Battaglino seemed to be rounding into form a little bit and he was next. In the chase pack, Stephen Granger-Bevan had a really solid race as did Justin Huang.

Here are the individual results for the racers:

9. Tamma Carleton 25:05
11. Rebecka Oberg 25:12
14. Olivia Hill 25:22
18. Megan Gentes 25:37
19. Megan Lang 25:37
Camille Plantier 27:32
Kimberly Sanchez 28:39
Naomi Wilcox 29:39

66. (23rd 50+) Scott Strait 27:09
69. (25th 50+) Paul Nolan 27:14
Carl Rose 28:31
Bill Brusher 36:08

16. Sean McFarland 21:36
19. Ed Izaguirre 21:47
20. Ryan Smith 21:50
27. Greg Timblin 22:13
28. Brandon Kan 22:17
31. Alex Battaglino 22:26
35. Stephen Granger-Bevan 22:40
Justin Huang 23:01
Edward Hill 23:09
Kevin Hsu 24:40
Joshua Seeherman 27:29

There is also a brief recap from the Walnut Festival 5K and 10K from Tim Keenan:

At the Walnut run, I did a 35:51, neither fast nor slow, but considering there are two 180-degree
turns on the course, and my age, I’ll still take the overall win (edit, he has tried to win this race for 22 years, so congrats to Tim, he can chalk that one off the list).

The rest of the group also turned in stellar individual performances, and though his time was nowhere near what he is capable of when fit, it was a pleasant surprise to see original Pacific Striders club founder Thom Trimble back in a race after a lengthy hiatus. (History lesson, we combined the 1983-2009 Striders aka older guys like me, Tim, and Thom, with SCTC aka new blood in 2009).

The 5K race results:

Eric Gullikson – 18:51 – top 55-59
Keith Duncan – 18:57 – top 60-69
Kate Ashley – 20:22 – 3rd female
Thom Trimble – 22:28 – 3rd 55-59

8/23 – SCTC Women Second at Ancil Hoffman

Team photo

SCTC women take 2nd at Ancil Hoffman!

The Strawberry Canyon Track Club brought five women to the starting line at the Ancil Hoffman 6K XC race in Carmichael, CA, which was inexplicably flip-flopped with Santa Rosa and became an August race. Regardless, all five women turned in a gutsy effort.

Finishing 5th overall was Olivia Hill, who turned in a well-paced performance, crossing the line in 22 minutes, 47 seconds. Next was Megan Gentes who went out a little hard. She was 6th in 22:57. Megan Lang rounded out the scoring for the Megans, posting up a time of 23:23 in 9th place. Next across the line was the ever-improving Kate Ashley, whose 19th place finish in a solid time of 24:48 represented the club well in her first-ever cross country race. (We appear to have another convert!) And despite spending the bulk of her summer rehabilitating her hip, Kimberly Sanchez bravely toed the line and hung in there to finish in 25:32 (24th place), which helped the berries take second-place!

In combined scoring they finished a scant 9 or so points behind the Impalas, which was good for the second team overall. This is the highest team finish in a PA-USATF race ever recorded for the Strawberry Canyon TC women so a hearty congratulations is in order!

And we all know who among us is waiting in the wings. This was just the tip of the iceberg. Our women’s team might be a top-15 team in the country (better?) when everyone is on the line and fit. Suffice it to say, the other clubs might want to think about getting a little bit nervous right about now…

6/26 – Three Crowns, Masters on the Track

Three. Crowns.

Hello Canyoneros-

Congratulations to Richie LeDonne for winning the Triple Crown in our local East Bay Trail races. He won the Tilden Tough Ten (miler) in May in 57:00-flat. He placed second in the very challenging Lake Chabot Half-Marathon in 1:18.17, and closed his title run out with a victory in the Woodminster Trail race in Oakland’s Redwood Park in 54:38.

Jack Wallace ran 1:31.39 and 1:02.16, and seniors runner (59 years young) Scott Strait ran 1:41.24 and 1:14.16 for those two latter races to place very well also.

At the Pacific Association USATF Masters track championship, the Berries made some serious noise on the oval.

Kevin Downie won the 40-44 400-meter event in 1:00.26; and took second in the 800 in 2:20.95. But the 1500-meter race was there the real excitement was.

M1500 (40-44)

1. Chafik Azerki 4:26.02

2. Kevin Downie 4:27.48

M1500 (45-49)

2. Matt Bogdanowicz 4:38.90

M1500 (50-54)

1. Tim Keenan 4:42.38 (seniors club record!)

2. Bill Brusher 5:59.00

5/11 – Berries Deliver at USF Last Chance meet / Portola 5K / Senior Games

Theraplay 5K

Portola Valley (hilly and competitive PA-USATF road race)

Chafik Azerki 16:28 (3rd 40-49)
Tim Keenan 17:32 (5th 50-59)
Keith Duncan 18:48 (2nd 60-64)
Eric Gullikson 19:35
Jeff Teeters 19:38

University of San Francisco West Coast Last Chance Meet

Cox Stadium at San Francisco State

W 1500 Rebecka Oberg 4:40.48 (club record)
M 1500 Abraham Aldaraca 4:12.43
M 5000 Ryan Smith 14:58.71 (PR) #3 all-time SCTC 5000
M 5000 Alex Battaglino 15:06.21 (PR) #7 all-time SCTC 5000
M 5000 Lauri Takacsi 15:38.55
M 5000 Rory Runser 16:00.88_
Rory and Lauri did a half-ironman the week prior to their race and it took a big bite out of them.

M 4 x 400 team (Abraham, Alex, Lauri, Ryan) 3:58.81 ummm….whelp … #2 all-time SCTC list

Oxy Invite

Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA

W 5000 Megan Lang 18:03.27 #4 all-time SCTC 5000

Seniors Games

Palo Alto, CA

Bill Brusher competed in the 800, winning the 60-64 age group in 2:56.42.

4/22 – Brisbane and Boston

Hey folks-

We sent five hardy masters runners to the Zippy 5K in Brisbane, which is a hilly mess of a course.

Chafik Azerki crushed the masters race, finishing third in his age group with a very impressive 16:41. Whither art thou other masters runners?

We also fielded a strong seniors team which likely won the seniors title.

Tim Keenan (17:41) was the second senior overall. New member Keith Duncan was our second scoring senior with a strong performance of 18:56. He is actually 60 and absolutely wrecked his age category, so welcome aboard, Mr. Duncan! Finishing next for the Berries was Jeff Teeters (19:41) and he was closely followed by Eric Gullikson (19:44). Great job, gentlemen!

Three Canyoneros ran Boston on Monday. Alberto Tempia Bonda ran a PR – 2:54.55. Zachary Stauffer clocked 3:05.12. Masters runner Bill Salacuse had a rough patch later in the race and ran 3:08.17. I believe that wraps it up for the Canyon over the weekend. Hope to see some of you at Brutus!

- Carl

3/17 – ATB12K + SJSU Twilight Mile

Here are a couple of race results from the previous week.

On Thursday we had two competitors at the San Jose State University’s Inaugural Twilight mile. Conditions were quite windy. Ryan Smith took 3rd in 4:36.7 in the first heat, and Megan Gentes ran 5:40, taking second in the second heat. She was third female overall.

At the Across the Bay 12K race, conditions were beautiful albeit slightly warmish for the annual 7.46-mile pilgrimage across the Golden Gate Bridge. This race featured a strong performace by our men’s seniors (50-59) team. We would win that division handily, and a strong masters effort would likely give us second overall in the masters race. Decisions, decisions when it comes to scoring this…

Our newest masters terror Chafik Azerki paced the graybeards with his head-turning time of 41 minutes, 54 seconds. This placed him as the second masters runner overall in the race. Rob Elia continued his reign of terror on a new age group, taking second in the 50-59 age category with a 43:02 mark. Third overall and fourth in his 50-59 age category was the durable Tim Keenan (43:45). Keenan was trailed by Jeff Teeters, who looks like he is starting to come back into his own (47:05). Erik Gullikson ran another good race (49:42), and took 5th in the 55-59 age group for the Canyoneros.

We also brought  a scoring team of five open men to the races’ starting line and they appear to have finished fourth as a team (tough to tell this early on). Richie LeDonne has obviously started finding his gear again as he turned in a smokin’ performance on a challenging, undulating course and came home in an impressive 39:55. Comeback Jack Wallace rolled through next in 42:16, pulling along a pressed-into-service Andrew (listed as “John”) Willis, who battled through for a strong time of 42:17. Christoph Wanner was our fourth finisher in 43:29, and Matt Weber rounded out the open team in 45:26.

 

3/3 – Can’t Touch This! Chafik Goes Hammer On Redding

Hello dwellers of the Canyon. We have a few race results to report:

Cal all-comers meet held on February 22nd

1500

Shellin Chuong (women) 5:37.92

3200

3. Rory Runser 9:51.67; 4. Ryan Smith 9:58.92 (men)

5. Megan Gentes 11:28.84; Shellin Chuong 12:27.73; Melissa Quintero 12:42.58 (women)

John Frank NorCal PA-USATF 10-mile Championships in Redding, CA held on March 1st

Chafik Azerki debuted his 2014 road season with a win in the masters (40-49 age group) with a great time of 57:04 on a hilly course. Other results included a strong showing from our senior stalwarts from near and fat. Bill Reed made the journey from Reno and finished as 2nd senior (50-59 AG) overall in 1 hour, 1 minute and 7 seconds (1:01.07). Tim Keenan was 3rd senior (1:02.18); Jeff Teeters was 4th senior (1:03.08) in his best race in awhile after overcoming some hamstring troubles that plagued his 2013 campaign; Bill Salacuse rounded out the team’s scoring with a time of 1:05.23 in his preparation for the Boston marathon. Alan Dehlinger also made the trek down from Reno and finished in 1:08.21.

11/28 – McKinley Is Done

Results

As all of us well-educated members of the running community know, Alan Webb is done. So, by the transitive property of temporal greatness, from Jonathan McKinley’s defeat at the 2013 Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, we infer that Jonathan McKinley is done. I’m not sure exactly what he’s done with – his crazy impressive fall season, tearing pages out of our club record book, or maybe running with us washed-up ex-runners (surely Cal has noticed The Man On Fire and his fat, tasty slice of NCAA eligibility) – but his 14:30 is certainly on the shady side of Webb’s 13:57.

Oh wait, Webb is back? Hot diggety, I guess that means Jonathan ran pretty good.

Race Finishers Race Place Bib Name Team Name City Country Age Chip Elapsed Time Pace Division Div Place Gender Gender Place
1 8 DAVID TORRENCE NIKE OAKLAND US 27 00:13:33.849 04:22 Elite Male 1 M 1
2 10 DIEGO ESTRADA ASICS MEXICO 23 00:13:37.952 04:23 Elite Male 2 M 2
3 2 LEONARD KORIR NIKE KENYA 26 00:13:40.441 04:24 Elite Male 3 M 3
4 4 SHADRACK BIWOTT SRA ELITE/ MARATHONGUIDE .COM FOLSOM US 28 00:13:46.817 04:26 Elite Male 4 M 4
5 26 COLE ATKINS ZAP FITNESS/REEBOK BLOWING ROCK US 27 00:13:51.972 04:28 Elite Male 5 M 5
6 14 NELSON OYUGI AMERIKENYAN RUNNING CLUB KENYA 21 00:13:55.679 04:29 Elite Male 6 M 6
7 6 ALAN WEBB NIKE BEAVERTON US 30 00:13:56.164 04:29 Elite Male 7 M 7
8 12 MONDER RIZKI BRUXELLES BELGIUM 34 00:14:03.794 04:31 Elite Male 8 M 8
9 34 RILEY MASTERS BROOKS VEAZIE US 23 00:14:08.482 04:33 Elite Male 9 M 9
10 22 JACOB CHEMTAI AMERIKENYAN RUNNING CLUB KENYA 21 00:14:11.543 04:34 Elite Male 10 M 10
11 16 PHILLIP REID ASICS AGGIE RUNNING CLUB SAN LUIS OBISPO US 28 00:14:13.254 04:35 Elite Male 11 M 11
12 40 CHRIS GOWELL ADIDAS/ROGUEAC GREAT BRITAIN 27 00:14:17.670 04:36 Elite Male 12 M 12
13 38 DEVIN MONSON ROGUE ATHLETIC CLUB AUSTIN US 23 00:14:20.301 04:37 Elite Male 13 M 13
14 30 MATTHEW CLOWES GREAT BRITAIN 23 00:14:20.569 04:37 Elite Male 14 M 14
15 50 MATTHEW MALDONADO UNATTACHED EUGENE US 23 00:14:24.233 04:38 Elite Male 15 M 15
16 44 JESÚS ROMO NEW BALANCE SILICON VALLEY SAN FRANCISCO US 25 00:14:27.003 04:39 Elite Male 16 M 16
17 46 ANTHONY MALLORY AMERICAN DISTANCE PROJECT COLORADO SPRINGS US 23 00:14:29.039 04:40 Elite Male 17 M 17
18 28 MATT CLEAVER ROGUE AC AUSTIN US 23 00:14:29.195 04:40 Elite Male 18 M 18
19 220 Jonathan McKinley 21 00:14:29.334 04:40 PA/USATF Championship Males 1 M 1
20 204 NOHE LEMA SAN JOSE CA 22 00:14:30.929 04:40 PA/USATF Championship Males 2 M 2
21 208 MALCOLM RICHARDS WEST VALLEY TC SAN FRANCISCO CA 31 00:14:36.536 04:42 PA/USATF Championship Males 3 M 3
22 18 NICHOLAS KIPRUTO KENYA 29 00:14:41.533 04:44 Elite Male 19 M 19
23 56 SERGIO GONZALEZ CALIFORNIA RUNNERS MAMMOTH LAKES US 27 00:14:42.214 04:44 Elite Male 20 M 20
24 42 CARL STONES ROGUE ATHLETIC CLUB AUSTIN US 23 00:14:43.227 04:44 Elite Male 21 M 21
25 36 AUSTIN BUSSING ADIDAS ROGUE AUSTIN US 23 00:14:45.551 04:45 Elite Male 22 M 22

Read more: http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=5508745&page=1#ixzz2m4PebfGM

#outin4:30

11/24 – McKinley Goes SACPOP On PA, Strawberries 9 Points Short

Individual Results

Team Results

Last Sunday was a major day for the fleet-footed Canyonists throughout the Bay Area. Fortunately for our stalwart competitors, the weather gods were most gracious as the day dawned with a light fog that burned off to crystal clear skies and virtually ideal conditions.  On center stage for our club was the heralded arrival of the PA-USATF cross country championships in Golden Gate Park, which delivered an ample supply of drama full measure.

First on the docket was the women’s 4.12-mile race, and the course was in perfect condition, compared to most years when things get sloppy due to the rains.Due to some last-minute obligations and obstacles, just two women made it to the start line. (Relatively) new mother Anne Ruminsky ran a solid 27:21, and she was followed by Kimberly Sanchez, whose 28:15 had to represent the most disappointing 53-second improvement over September’s identical race on record. She has been on fire lately and we were hoping for a sub-28:00. Next time for sure!

The master’s 6.19-mile race featured Coach Carl Rose, who was content to get in his daily exercise while doubling with coaching duties. He ran 45:14. Bill Brusher ran 49:18 to place fairly well in the seniors division.

The showcase event for the Strawberry Canyon Track Club was the open men’s race and it was an epic barn burner which netted an overall bittersweet result. From what we can delineate from the very murky overall team scoring we ended up taking 5th overall, a scant few points behind the strong New Balance Silicon Valley and Sacramento Racing Association Elite clubs.

We gave it our very best effort to beat these sponsored clubs, and came up a tiny bit shy, a net result which dropped the club into a tie with the potent West Valley Track Club for a share of the PA-USATF Grand Prix championship on total points. That being said, everyone showed up with their heart and mettle, and we delivered as well as we could on race day.

Special mention must be made of Jonathan McKinley, whose race explosion shocked the entire Pacific Association. Throughout the race I could hear spectators muttering things like: “Who the (expletive) is THAT guy?” Or “He’s going to blow up soon.” “I dunno about that, he looks awfully good.” Indeed Jonathan held on for a blistering 30:48 mark and 5th-place finish, an astounding performance which destroyed our existing club record.

He was followed by Dan Chebot, who’s quietly delivered a monster season, regaining and exceeding his old form from college. He pulled off a very remarkable 32:28, which is over 75 seconds better than his former PR on that course. Sean McFarland was our steady Eddie for the season, balancing a rigorous academic schedule with training and racing duties, notching a solid 32:39 performance.  Kris Brown (33:32) and Dan Duett (33:39), who closed with a hard-charging kick, rounded out the club’s scoring five.

Also in the mix were George Torgun (34:18), Rory Runser (34:46, almost a 3:00 PR on that course!), and Richard LeDonne (36:26).

Here are some tidbits about Jonathan’s monstrous race, which is destined to go down as one of the most uniquely astonishing and highest rated performances in club (and maybe Pacific Association) history.

1.       No one in our club has ever broker 32:00 on that course, let alone 31:00.

2.       Jonathan ran 2:00 (800); 4:22 (Mile); 9:51 (2-mile) in high school (Duxbury, MA).

3.       Jonathan is a Cal undergraduate, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering. He is likely to walk on to the open arms of the Cal track team soon.

4.       Jonathan had not run any cross country races since high school until he opened up the season for us in November, and he’s never raced that far in his life.

5.       Jonathan’s favorite event is the 1500/Mile. He PR’d with a 3:58.45 last spring.

6.       Jonathan spent several weeks off of running earlier in the fall, pool running while recuperating from a bout of shin splints. He is effectively combining land running with pool running.

7.       Jonathan tangled with and convincingly defeated several notable US Olympic Trials qualifiers. If it was just one guy having an off day it is one thing, but this race was no fluke.

8.       The look of sheer shock and awe on the faces of people from other clubs (and spectators) coming over to check him out after the race was … priceless.

9.       This was only the beginning as many seem to believe a star was born on Sunday. This massive performance got everyone’s attention. My sentiment, congratulate the man who ran 6.19 miles.

10.   The pizza after the race was pretty darn good too!

Golden Gate Park  PA-USATF results:

WOMEN (4.12 miles)
Anne Ruminsky 27:21
Kimberly Sanchez-Dias 28:15

MASTERS / SENIORS / SUPER SENIORS MEN (6.19 miles)
Carl Rose 45:14
Bill Brusher 49:18

OPEN MEN (6.19 miles)
5. Jonathan McKinley 30:48
24. Dan Chebot 32:28
28. Sean McFarland 32:39
35. Kris Brown 33:32
36. Dan Duett 33:39
40. George Torgun 34:18
45. Rory Runser 34:46
66. Richard Ledonne 36:26

11/17 – SCTC Drives A Hot Thin Spike Into The Right Eye Of The Competition

Results

Congratulations to the open men who prepped, repped, and stepped up for the Canyon at the scenic Ancil Hoffman 6K cross country race in Carmichael (near Sacramento) as they appear to have pulled off an improbable victory over several very reputable regional clubs: West Valley Track Club (which had a couple of key no-shows), Chico Track Club, Sacramento Racing Association Elite and NB Excelsior.

This puts our lads in a relatively favorable position in the team grand prix standings going into the PA-USATF Championship meet held next Sunday, Nov. 24th at Golden Gate Park with a 4.5-point lead. We will still have to bring it on Sunday but this really helped our cause immensely, so once again, a big congratulations to the open men and to Sean McFarland who’s been the glue which has in part held this group together during the season.

Nine competitors in all made it out to the grassy golf course, and Sammy Adams was the lone female in the women’s race. She ran the 6K n 27 minutes, 47 seconds, indicating a little improvement over her effort at Tamalpa’s race.
The masters race featured two Canyoneros attempting to get winded. Coach Carl ran another time he would rather soon forget, this one a slowish 25:40, while Bill Brusher did fairly well in the super seniors race with a 28:20.

The open men really got after it and were led by the spirited Jonathan McKinley, who smoked an 18:05 mark on the 6K course, a time which averages to 15:04 5K pace, good for third overall behind a resurgent Malcoml Richards. In sixth was Dan Chebot, who has flat-out been having a kick…tail cross country season. His 18:41 was about 40 seconds faster than his previous best on that course. The studious Sean McFarland ran a solid 18:47, and will continue to be required to balance a very heavy academic load with a reduced training schedule. Following Sean was Ben Chebot, who kicked down three or four rivals from other clubs to lower his points total. Ben whipped across the line in 19:12 in 11th place, while Richard LeDonne rounded out the scoring five with a great 19:19 debut. The sixth-place Canyonero, Rory Runser, was right on their heels with a time of 19:24, and in fact he ran his best cross country race as a member of the club.

So congratulations on a job well done. Rest up, gang, as we have one more big battle on our hands next weekend at Golden Gate Park. And I highly encourage you to bring fans, friends, groupies, we’ll even allow paparazzi at the championship events. Come one and come all, as it should be a really fun way to wind up the cross country season for the club.

- Carl Rose