9/5 – SCTC Opens XC Season, Hosts Time Trial

As August drew to a close, the Strawberry Canyon teams opened their cross country seasons on a cloudy but humid day in Santa Rosa at the Phil Widener Open. All three teams scoring – the open women, Master’s men, and open men, landed with second place finishes in the 3.43 mile race at Spring Lake Park.

The open women put three in the top 15, led by Julia Sizek and followed closely by Megan Gentes and Megan Lang. Naomi Wilcox and Kim Sanchez rounded out the quintet.

Women at the start of Phil Widener in Santa Rosa. Photo by Colin Gannon.

Women at the start of Phil Widener in Santa Rosa. Photo by Colin Gannon.

In the Master’s men race, Darrin Banks achieved a top 10 finish, coming in at 8th place. Tim Keenan, Dan Sivolella, and Carl Rose comprised the remaining scorers.

In the final race of the day, the open men showcased their depth, scoring two full teams which finished 2nd and 3rd in the team classifications. In the end, the Canyon put 8 in the top 10, with Dan Kramer, Ryan Smith, Dylan Verner-Crist, Jonathan Briskman, and Geoff Leonhardt scoring the points.

Several days later, Strawberry Canyon hosted it’s annual Fall Time Trial on August 31st. Conditions were moderately favorable, if not slightly warm, as the field ran one heat of the 600, and three heats of the 5000m on Cal’s Edwards Track.

600m:
  1. Kyle Bystrom: 1:27.83
  2. Stephen Bailey: 1:33.95

    Stephen Bailey and Matt Bogdanowicz compete in the 600m time trial. Photo by Eric Gullikson.

    Stephen Bailey and Matt Bogdanowicz compete in the 600m time trial. Photo by Eric Gullikson.

5000m Heat 1:
  1. Max Krall: 17:57.55
  2. Ed Hill: 18:03.04
  3. Mitch Negus: 18:24.01
  4. Megan Lang: 19:08.56
  5. Erin Hagan: 19:21.45
  6. Julia Lipson: 19:34.28
  7. Asha Culhane and Julia Sizek: 22:56.75
Several laps into heat 1 of the 5000m time trial. Photo by Eric Gullikson.

Several laps into heat 1 of the 5000m time trial. Photo by Eric Gullikson.

5000m Heat 2:
  1. Ben Harper: 15:24.96
  2. Geoff Leonhardt: 15:32.69
  3. Sam Euerle: 15:38.83
  4. Chikara Omine: 15:44.33
  5. George Torgun: 15:46.50
  6. Christian Choi: 16:23.08
  7. Erik Stein: 16:30.64
George Togun leads a pack in Heat 2 of the 5000m time trial. Photo by Eric Gullikson.

George Togun leads a pack in heat 2 of the 5000m time trial. Photo by Eric Gullikson.

5000m Heat 3:
  1. Jonathan Briskman: 15:36.37
  2. Sloan Cook: 16:50.83
  3. Ed Hill: 17:20.74
  4. Tim Keenan: 18:08.81
  5. John Spriggs: 21:34.40
Jonathan Briskman, Matt Weber, and Cielo Aguilar at the start of heat 3 of the 5000m. Photo by Eric Gullikson.

Jonathan Briskman, Matt Weber, and Cielo Aguilar at the start of heat 3 of the 5000m. Photo by Eric Gullikson.

The cross country season will continue on September 11th at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

5/30 – Spring racing brings victories, club records, and PRs

Spring 2016 was yet another successful racing season for the Strawberry Canyon Track Club, as records were set and stunning performances run in nearly every event from the 100 meter dash to the marathon.*

On the Track…

The Berries, one of the only USATF Pacific Association clubs to regularly compete in track meets, took advantage of some competitive fields and ideal conditions to set a slew of top marks and personal bests from January through May.

Among the most impressive performances was Geoff Leonhardt’s establishing of a new club record in the 1500m, with a time of 3:54.71 at the West Coast Last Chance Open, despite battling minor injuries throughout the season.

Geoff Leonhardt toes the line before his club record 1500m. Photo: Carl Rose.

Geoff Leonhardt toes the line before his club record 1500m. Photo: Carl Rose.

The 5000m, the club’s unofficial favorite event, saw several top 5 club all-time performances for both men and women. Megan Gentes’ running of 17:26.01 at the SF State Distance Carnival was good for #2 in the club record books, while Julia Sizek’s 17:30.69 at the brutally windy UC Davis Aggie Open landed at #4 all-time. On the men’s side, Yohannis Estifanos and Ryan Smith ran fast times consistently all year, steadily improving all the while. In the end, Yohannis’s season best came in at #3 on the club lists at 14:43.33 from the SF State Distance Carnival, while Ryan Smith pulled his personal best down to 14:46.50 at Cal’s Brutus Hamilton Invitation, good for #4 all-time.

The Berries also showcased their burgeoning middle-distance and sprints divisions. Stephen Sloan, a high school senior, ran a 1:57.35 800m at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions, the club’s #2 fastest time. A few weeks prior, Geoff Leonhardt, in his second race of the day, recorded the club’s #5 record with a 1:58.7 at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational. And all the way back to early February, Kyle Bystrom ran the #3 all-time 400m record with a 54.28. Stephen Bailey established club records in the 110m high hurdles and 400 hurdles, while Laura Cummins wrote fresh records in the 100m and 200m hurdles.

Not to be forgotten, there were dozens of additional new PRs run from some truly gutsy races. Kyle Bystrom and Erik Stein in the 800m; Megan Gentes, Ryan Smith, Kyle Bystrom, Cielo Aguilar, and Matt Perez in the 1500m; Geoff Leonhardt, George Torgun, Kyle Dunn, and Matt Weber in the 5000m (George and Kyle both PR’ing for the first time in 9 years!); Mike McKinley in the 3000m steeplechase; and Colin Gannon and Kyle Dunn in the 10000m.

On the roads…

The roads were equally kind to The Canyon this past spring season. In one of the most memorable moments, Alex Battaglino took home the win at the Oakland Running Festival’s open marathon with a time of 2:34:51 on the hilly course. Possibly more impressively, Alex rebounded to record a #4 time on the club’s all-time list with a 53:00 in the SacTown 10 Mile just two weeks later.

Alex Battaglino pleases the crowd as he finishes first overall in the Oakland Running Festival Marathon

Alex Battaglino pleases the crowd as he finishes first overall in the Oakland Running Festival Marathon. Photo: Mercury News.

Also at Oakland, affiliate member Holly McIlvaine won the women’s marathon with a time of 2:58:25. Thomas Harp scored 2nd in his age division in the half marathon with a time of 1:24:43, while in the 5k Ed Hill and Ashley Lin took 3rd in the men’s and women’s open races with times of 17:02 and 20:22, respectively.

Strawberry Canyon was also very well represented at the Boston Marathon, sending five women and three men. Warm weather hit the entire field hard, and some unfortunate circumstances plagued the Berries, but some solid performances were turned in nonetheless. Ashley Lin ran the club’s #7 all-time mark at 3:07:56, Christine Arnerich ran a 3:18:11, and Katie Ellgass a 3:24:52. On the men’s side, Jonathan Briskman ran an impressive 2:34:46, and brother Colin was a few minutes back at 2:42:46. Kevin O’Neill, Kate Ashley, and Meredith Lansdown trained hard and put it all on the line for the world’s most famous race, but fell victim to various non-ideal and uncontrollable circumstances.

In the half marathon, Julia Sizek set the #2 club record for roads, except she did it on the tough, hilly trails at Wild Boar, running a 1:22:52 to win the race outright.

The Berries also dabbled in some unique relays and team races. At the Oakland Running Festival, the open men’s (Matt Weber, Colin Gannon, Kyle Dunn, Ryan Smith) and open women’s (Megan Lang, Megan Gentes, Olivia Hill, Tamma Carleton) teams fielded marathon relay squads which both finished 3rd in their divisions, with times of 2:25:27 and 2:59:21, respectively.

The icing on the cake was the team’s centipede entry at the famous Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco. Here, 14 runners tied themselves together and braved the crowds of 60,000+, running a very solid 48:12 for 12k. In the end, the team finished as the 4th overall centipede. The team consisted of: Colin Gannon, Justin Huang, Matt Weber, Matt Perez, Jack Wallace, Andrew Willis, Tim Keenan, Megan Lang, Julia Sizek, Rob Elia, Elizabeth Stephens, Lucas Wojciechowski, Mike McKinley, and Jonathan McKinley.

SCTC Centipede approaches the finish at Bay to Breakers

SCTC Centipede approaches the finish at Bay to Breakers. Photo: Spire.

The spring racing season came to an unofficial close with the Marin Memorial Day 10k. SCTC was well represented, fielding both open and masters men’s teams, achieving a few fresh PRs and age-division bests. Ryan Smith finished 8th overall with a 31:40, landing him at #4 on the club’s prestigious road 10k all-time list. The open men’s field was rounded out by Kyle Dunn, Colin Gannon, Ed Hill, Matt Weber, Daniel Anderson, and Matt Perez. For the masters, Chafik Azerki and Rob Elia both took 1st place in their age divisions, running 34:10 and 35:58 respectively. Tim Keenan took 3rd in his age division, and Tommy Harp, Bill Salacuse, and Richard Sloan, also ran strong races on the warm day in Kentfield.

Looking forward…

Summer means quieter times at weekly practices, but a steadfast contingent will be working out every Monday and Thursday. From June until August, The Canyon will enter it’s only quasi-”off season” with the exception of a few races. Many Berries have their calendars marked for the Wharf to Wharf 6-miler in July, which is just one week before the San Francisco Marathon, in which several runners will compete in the 2nd Half Marathon. After that, things will begin gearing up for the club’s biggest season… cross country.

See you out there.

The Bay to Breakers Centipede post-race. Photo: Kim Sanchez.

SCTC Bay to Breakers Centipede post-race. Photo: Kim Sanchez.

*Note: Results and club records are crowd-sourced and prone to errors. If you would like to make a correction or addition to this post, or submit a result for the club records page, please email colin.s.gannon@gmail.com. If submitting a record, please provide a link to results and note that you must have been an active dues-paying member at the time of running the race.

11/22 – Open Women and Masters Men Claim XC Grand Prix Titles; Strawberries Ready for Nationals

For the second straight year, the Lady Berries stand atop the Pacific Association Cross Country Grand Prix standings.

After claiming their first ever Grand Prix Championship in 2014, Strawberry Canyon’s Open Women returned to Berkeley in August ready for another big year. The Berries’ historic season began with a win at the Phil Widener Empire Open in Santa Rosa. They then went on to take first place four more times, ultimately securing the Grand Prix title with a second place finish the PA Cross Country Championships.

In the Grand Prix individual, season-long standings, the women placed an association-leading five women in the top 10. Co-captains Julia Sizek (who established an astounding three course records during the season) and Tamma Carleton went 1-2, with Megan Gentes close behind in 4th. Megan Lang, Jen Schick, and Olivia Hill were 7th, 10th, and 18th, respectively, giving the Berries six in the top 20.

Open Women take first place at the Garin Park XC Challenge in September. Photo by Kim Sanchez.

But the Open Women’s victory wasn’t the only Berry Grand Prix title in 2015. The 50+ men, who fielded a team at nearly every race this season, had a resurgent year. With four first place regular season team wins and a second place finish as the PA Cross Country Championships, the Master’s Men can expect a big finish at Nationals in San Francisco.

Individually, Tim Keenan locked in a 5th place finish overall in the Grand Prix standings. Rob Elia (14th), Dan Sivolella (18th), Richard Sloan (22nd), and Coach Carl Rose (28th) gave the Master’s Men five runners in the top 30 in the popular division.

The Masters Men at the start of the 2015 PA XC Championships. Photo by Eric Gullikson.

The Open Men earned their third straight top three Grand Prix finish, after finishing with a win at Willow Hills and a pair of second place finishes throughout the regular season. A banged up squad at Regionals pulled in a 5th place finish in a stacked race.

Rising stars, Ryan Smith (3rd) and frosh Geoff Leonhardt (4th) both secured impressive top five finishes in the Grand Prix standings. Alex Battaglino, despite missing Regionals with injury, finished 15th in the standings, and captain Sean McFarland, after suffering a gruesome off-season injury, rallied amazingly, and finished off in the top 30 for the season.

Open Men Alex Battaglino and Geoff Leonhardt at the Aggies Open in October. Photo by Jack Wallace.

But the Berries’ season is not over just yet. The Pacific Association has the honor of hosting the USATF Club Cross Country National Championships for 2015. On December 12th, roughly 2,000 runners will descend upon San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and the Berries will be running a strong contingent. This is a can’t miss race – so whether you’re running or spectating, join the Canyon in the final race of a historic 2015 cross country season!

Don't miss the final unfurling at Club Nationals, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, December 12th, 2015.

Don’t miss the final unfurling at Club Nationals in Golden Gate Park, Saturday, December 12th.

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