It didn’t take long for 2019 to feature some stellar road race finishes for Strawberry Canyon Track Club.
At the Clarksburg Country Run Half Marathon, Megan Gentes shattered the club record by two minutes, and her own PR by four minutes, by running 1:19:59 to finish 3rd place. The race capped a long season for Megan which included her winning the 2018 Open Women’s PAUSATF XC Grand Prix.
In San Francisco, Jonathan Briskman defended his title by winning the Hot Chocolate 15k for the second straight year with a time of 49:41. This is a promising start to 2019 for Jonathan, who is coming off a club record time in the marathon from CIM just over a month ago.
This is just the start for what promises to be another strong year on the roads for Strawberry Canyon Track Club. But let’s not forget, track season is already upon us. January 19th will feature the first of three Cal All Comers meets, in all of which we will have a strong presence.
See you out there!
2018 ended on a high note as the Berries wrapped up a record setting year of track, cross-country, and road racing. We look back at the second half of 2018 (first half recap here) and review the year that was.
2018 saw the first time in which a Strawberry Canyon team targeted the PAUSATF Road Grand Prix Circuit, and the results could not have been any more exciting. The 12-race circuit, running from February through December, constitutes a year-long season in which teams compete at races ranging from 1 mile to the marathon. With the circuit a key goal for the open men, the Berries fielded a team at every single race throughout the year, which landed them at 2nd place in the overall standings. There were many great highlights along the way – they captured the team titles, always a impressive feat, at both the Los Gatos One Mile Bang and the Christmas Relays (the latter in dramatic fashion), the first ever road race team victories in club history. Club records fell in many events as well, from the road mile and 5k, all the way to the marathon.
Perhaps most impressive was the team effort that brought home the 2nd place open men team finish – 24 different Berries scored on the 12 road race teams throughout the year, a true testament to Strawberry Canyon’s hallmark depth and camaraderie.
The open women also made their first appearances on the road circuit – for the first time in history Strawberry Canyon fielded women’s teams at a PAUSATF Road Race, scoring squads at the SACTOWN 10 mile and California International Marathon. It feels as if it is just the beginning for the open women, as the club’s marathon presence has been steadily growing.
There were some tremendous finishes on the individual side as well, with respect to the year-long PAUSATF individual standings. There are two tiers for individuals, one for short distance races (1 mile – 10k) and one for long distance (12k and up). In the short circuit, three Berries landed in the top 15 to claim the coveted “comp” spots (they will get to enter all PA races for free next year); Kyle Dunn snagged a podium spot by finishing third on the season, while Colin Gannon was close behind in 4th and Cielo Aguilar came in at 11th. In the long circuit, an astounding five Berries finished in the top 15 after a year of steady running; Jonathan Briskman was 4th, while Colin Gannon was 11th and Ryan Smith 12th, and Kyle Dunn and Ryan Lok rounded out the comp spots in 14th and 15th respectively.
Always a club favorite, the Berries were out in force yet again in 2018 for the PAUSATF club cross country race circuit. The ten race series began in August in Santa Cruz and continued throughout the fall into November at the PA Championships.
The highlights of the season were Megan Gentes capturing the open women’s and David White the Senior men’s Grand Prix individual titles, which totals points scored at races throughout the season. Megan earned the honor after six stellar performances throughout the year, the third woman Berry in club history to achieve this prestigious finish, while David White took the crown in dominant fashion, by winning his division in all six races he competed in.
On the open men’s side, three Berries worked their way into the top 15: freshman phenom Denny Rich finished fifth on the year, while Kyle Bystrom was 11th and Harmen Hoek 15th. Greg McMillan and John Hill both finished 9th in their divisions, Masters and Seniors respectively.
On the team side, the open men and Senior men both finished 3rd on the season-long circuit, while the open women finished 7th.
The cross country season culminated with four Berries competing at the USATF Club Cross Country National Championships in Spokane, Washington. Megan Gentes continued her amazing season by finishing 79th in the extremely competitive 6k race. Elizabeth Ordeman also had a strong race in the open women’s field, while Vanessa Lordi, the newly minted USATF Master’s LDR Champion, ran to a great finish in the Master’s division. Ryan Lok, fresh off an impressive Chicago Marathon performance, was the lone open men competitor.
Looking ahead to 2019
2018 was one of the busiest race schedules in Strawberry Canyon’s club history, and we’ll look to equal that claim again in 2019. As club membership has grown, we have increased the depth of specialties ranging from sprints on the track to longer road races. As always, keep up with us on Instagram, Strava, Facebook, and right here on our website for our latest adventures. In the coming weeks, we’ll post a Spring 2019 preview, so stay tuned! See you out there.
First across the line for the Berries was Jonathan Briskman who absolutely KILLED it with a new open men club record of 2:20:18, missing the US Olympic Trials qualifying time by only 78 seconds and setting an 8-minute PR; I have to think that was the best race of his life to date.
In yet another successful and prolific racing season, Spring 2018 was very kind to Strawberry Canyon Track Club. Things were bound to get off to a good start when a random mid-January track workout became the most highly attended practice in club history (with 40+ Berries in attendance!); however, this was just the first of many club records that would fall in the subsequent months.
Between the tracks and roads, the first five months of 2018 played host to an astonishing 27 new club records (and far, far more personal bests) covering 21 different disciplines ranging from 60m hurdles to the marathon, and spanning seven age / gender divisions. (As always keep up to date with the latest club records and SCTC PBs on our records page!)
- Open Men 60m Hurdles – Stephen Bailey
- Open Men 110m Hurdles – Stephen Bailey
- Open Men 200m – Stephen Bailey
- Senior Men 400m – Tom LeGan
- Open Men 400m Hurdles – Stephen Bailey
- Senior Men 800m – Tom LeGan
- Open Men 1500m – Harmen Hoek
- Masters Women 1500m – Vanessa Lordi
- Senior Men 1500m – Tom LeGan*
- Masters+ Women Mile (road) – Jen Bayliss
- Masters+ Men Mile (track) – Stephen Agar
- Open Men 3000m – Harmen Hoek
- Open Women 3000m – Megan Gentes
- Masters Men 3200m – George Torgun
- Open Men 3000m Steeplechase – Ben Harper
- Open Women 5000m (track) – Madeline Duhon
- Masters Men 5000m (track) – George Torgun
- Masters+ Men 5k (road) – Jaime Heilpern
- Masters+ Women 5k (road) – Jen Bayliss
- Open Men 10000m (track) – Jonathan Briskman
- Masters+ Women 10k (road) – Jen Bayliss**
- Open Men 15k – Jonathan Briskman
- Open Women 10 mile – Madeline Duhon
- Masters+ Women 10 mile – Jen Bayliss
- Senior Men 10 mile – John Hill
- Masters+ Women 25k – Jen Bayliss***
- Open Men Half Marathon – Jonathan Briskman
- Senior Men Marathon – John Hill
On the track
Things really got rolling at the Oxy Distance Carnival in Los Angeles and the Aggie Open in Davis in mid-March, which is where the first records started to fall. Next up was the first of two trips to the state capital for the Sacramento State Hornet Invitational, which was the grounds of several eventual season bests.
As April rolled around, focus shifted to Hayward where the club favorite meet SFSU Distance Carnival (temporarily relocated) and CSU East Bay Open took place. Between these two meets many club records and PRs fell as Berries took advantage of highly competitive fields. Late April featured a return to Edwards Stadium at Cal’s Brutus Hamilton Open, where unfavorable conditions lead to some off-the-mark times. However, the season was certainly not over.
On the roads
Though most of the Strawberries closed the fall racing season out with the Pacific Association Cross Country Championships, several decided to stretch it a bit longer, and December saw some big races for the club. At the California International Marathon, Regina Scarpin, Silvio Temprana, and John Hill all performed impressively. Regina capped off a great cross country season with a huge 35 minute PR, finishing in 2:55:15, which ranks her as one of Argentina’s best marathoners in 2017. John, also coming off a season of consistently strong races on the cross country circuit, narrowly missed a club record in the 50-54 division with his time of 2:44:45. And Silvio made his marathon debut in 3:24:25, looking confident and smiling even in the last miles of the race.
The following week, a small band of Berries looking for just one more slice of cross country action headed to Club Nationals in Lexington, KY. The championship race is always a thrilling and humbling experience, as hundreds of top runners from around the country aim to make this the peak of their fall racing season. Individuals shined, but Strawberry Canyon did not field any full teams for this year’s installment, with Vanessa Lordi in the master’s race; Megan Gentes and Elizabeth Ordeman representing the open women; and Ben Harper, Matt Perez, and Ryan Smith in the open men’s race.
A Friday evening arrival for most of the racers meant little time to explore Lexington, but Vanessa Lordi, who arrived a day earlier, toured the course at Masterson Station Park and gave the rest of us a report the day before. Grassy, with smooth rolling hills, the format was fairly straightforward: two 3k loops for the women, and the same route preceded by a 4k loop for the men. There was an unpleasant steady climb at the end of each loop, including through the finish line, but it was widely agreed afterwards that this was some fun running.
The next morning, the team bundled up and gathered at the course, where the breeze helped the sub-freezing temperatures to penetrate our California-softened skin. Vanessa Lordi was the first to take off, after her family made a surprise appearance at the start line. After the signature Berry cheer hit the national stage, she was off. She started a bit fast, and faded later on, but she managed to regroup for a strong kick and crossed the line in 62nd place with a time of 27:20.
Megan Gentes, newly minted Cal alumnus, and Elizabeth Ordeman, Cal freshman, were off next. Both ran smart races. It was clear from the start that Megan was feeling strong, and her new 6K PR of 21:44 was a real highlight, earning her 92nd place in a field packed with seriously fast folks. The cold racing conditions were more familiar to Elizabeth the Ohioan than the rest of us, and her family came to support. She has turned in strong race after strong race in her first season with the club; Nationals was no exception as she crossed in 22:33.
Last to race were the open men. As they approached the 3K mark, white flakes began to drift down, increasing to a steady snowfall by the end of the race. Ben paced well, catching Ryan in the last few meters. He was happy with his new 10K PR of 32:13, proving that his talent extends over a wide range of distances. Without a full team scoring, Ryan decided to play things just a little bit riskier than usual. He paid for early moves with a feeble finish, but was able to hold on long enough for a decent race, finishing in 32:14 in 143rd place. Matt claimed a PR as well, running 38:45 and finishing in 401st place. After wrapping up a season of new bests, he is excited to hit the track in the spring.
With numb hands and faces, cool downs were cut in favor of warmth and food. After an Indian lunch, Megan and Ryan got ready to fly back home. Ben and Matt took a little more time to explore, enjoying breakfast and a hike before they headed back to Berkeley the next day. Now these Berries are in hibernation mode, before a gradual ramp up to the spring racing season.
Written by Ryan Smith and Megan Gentes.
On a cool November Sunday morning in Lindley Meadow, as the call for Strawberries to assemble echoed through Lindley Meadow, the Strawberry Canyon Track Club prepared to toe the line and conclude another successful cross country season at the PAUSATF Championships in Golden Gate Park.
Months earlier, the Senior’s (50+) Men opened the season up at the UC Santa Cruz XC Open on August 19th. Tom LeGan, still a month before running his awe-inspiring mile, won the Senior’s division with John Hill close behind in third, and Bill Brusher rounding out the team.
A couple weeks later, the Open Women’s and Men’s teams joined the Senior’s team at the Phil Widener Empire Open in Santa Rosa. In the first race of the day, the women put a strong team together, finishing second as team behind a 3-4 finish from Julia Sizek and Megan Gentes. The Senior’s Men followed, scoring fourth place as a team. The Open Men also finished second, exhibiting their depth behind top 10 performances from Kevin Petow and Jonathan Briskman.
More Berries made their season debut in mid-September to test out a variation of the traditional championship course at the Golden Gate Park Open in San Francisco. The Open Women edged out the Aggies to take second place, with Tamma Carleton finishing in the top 10 individually. The Super Senior’s (60+) men scored their first race of the season, finishing fifth. The Open Men finished third as a team, with Ben Harper cracking the top 10.
After sitting out the Rebels XC Open, the Berries returned to action at Hayward’s Garin Park XC Challenge in late September. The Open Men started off the action, narrowly finishing third with Ryan Smith leading the way with a sixth place finish. The Senior’s Men started to round into form, placing second with Rob Elia, John Hill, and Jeff Mann each finishing top 10 in the division. The Open Women also took third as a team, with Megan Gentes placing seventh individually.
In the highlight meet of the season, the early October Willow Hills XC Open in Folsom, saw team victories from the Open Women and Men. In the women’s race, Megan Gentes, Regina Scarpin, Elizabeth Ordeman, and Molly Schassberger all finished in the top 10, while Vanessa Lordi finished eighth in the Women’s Master’s division. The Senior’s Men again finished second, with John Hill, Jeff Mann, Tim Keenan, and Bill Reed finishing in the top 10 in the division. In the Open Men’s race, Ryan Smith took the win individually, and was followed closely by Kyle Dunn, Kevin Petow, and Harmen Hoek, each placing in the top 10. The Open Men also scored a “B” team, which took third as a team.
At the Aggies XC Open in Martinez, the Senior’s Men shined, winning their race as a team behind top 10 division runs from John Hill, Jeff Man, and Bill Reed. For the Open Men, Ryan Smith cracked the top 10 in the Aggie dominated race, pulling the Berries to a third place finish. The Open Women did not field a team, but Megan Gentes finished fifth overall individually.
In the final tune-up before championships at the John Lawson Tamalpa Challenge in San Rafael, the Open Women and Men both finished second as a team, with Tamma Carleton and Megan Gentes finishing the in the top 10 for the women, and Ben Harper and Ryan Smith in the top 10 for the men.
At the Association Championships, the Strawberries brought their A-game to take on highly competitive and elite fields. In the Open Women’s race, Tamma Carleton led the way, finishing 11th overall. Megan Gentes, Regina Scarpin, Elizabeth Ordeman, and Sylvia Jebiwott (just 2 weeks after a strong run at the New York City Marathon), rounded off the scoring team with a fifth place team finish. In the Senior’s race, Rob Elia paced teammates John Hill, Tim Keenan, Carl Rose, and Bill Brusher, finishing third as a team. The Master’s (40+) Men did not score a team, but saw George Torgun make his Master’s debut by finishing ninth overall in the race. For the Open Men, Ryan Smith’s 19th place finish led the Berries to fourth place team finish, with Kevin Petow, Jonathan Briskman, Ben Harper, and Kyle Dunn making up the rest of the scoring team.
The season of steady, consistent performances was rewarded in the end-of-season PAUSATF Grand Prix Standings. For the Open Women, Megan Gentes (4th), Elizabeth Ordeman (10th), Regina Scarpin (12th), Tamma Carleton (16th), Megan Lang (20th) and Kim Sanchez (24th) all finished in the top 30 in the final standings, finishing second as a team on the year. The Senior’s Men finished tied for third, with John Hill (6th), Tim Keenan (18th), Jeff Mann (19th) and Rob Elia (23rd) achieving top 30 finishes. Additionally, Scott Strait (Super Seniors, 29th) finished in the top 30 in his division. Finally, the Open Men wrapped up at tied for second in the team standings with top 30 standings from Ryan Smith (3rd), Ben Harper (5th), Kevin Petow (6th), Jonathan Briskman (12th), Kyle Dunn (14th), Matt Weber (28th), and Kyle Bystrom (30th) over the course of the PAUSATF XC season.
A handful of Berries will make the trip Lexington, Kentucky for the USATF Club Cross Country Championships on December 9th, before attention turns towards the track and roads in 2018.
- Stephen Sloan 4:08.65 (1500 – a 3+ second PR),
- Kyle Bystrom 4:05.49 (1500 – a six-second PR) and 1:55.72 (800 – 0.26-second PR)
- Erik Stein 1:56.02 (800 – a high school junior – 4.89-second PR!) and dropped from a 4:35 to 4:27 in the high school distance of 1600 meters (8 seconds)
- Megan Gentes 4:46.39 (1500 – ten second PR!)
- Stephen Bailey, who set at least 10 PRs this spring – 25.14 (200 – a 0.36-second PR) 54:89 (400 – a 1.67-second PR) and 1:00.38 (400 hurdles – a 2.30-second PR)
- Ben Harper 3:58.47 (1500 – a 6-second PR)
- Paul Green, who dropped from 4:08 to 3:57.20 in the 1500
- Colin Gannon 4:16.25 (1500 – a 2+ second PR) and 15:28.45 (5000 – a 2+ second PR)
- Matt Bogdanowicz 58.08 (400 – age 45-49 age group PR
- William (Sammy) Euerle 4:02.41 (1500 – a 3+ second PR)
- Cielo Aguilar 4:16.81 (1500 a 4+ second PR)
- Matt Weber 4:11.28 (a 12-second PR!) and 15:39.62 (5000 – a 22-second PR!)
- Ed Hill 4:12.09 (a 3+ second 1500-meter PR at age 39!)
- George Torgun 15:20.50 (5000 – a 3+ second PR at age 39!)
- Eugene Yang 26.20 (200 – a 2+ second PR),Max Krall set a 7-second PR in the 800 (2:08), and small PRs 1500 and Mile
- Matt Perez’s PR in the 1500 after many years
- Jonathan Briskman dipped under the 15:00 barrier in the 5000 with a time of 14:56.66. Earlier in the season he also set a new club track record in the 10000-meter event with an impressive mark of 31:13.93
- Kevin Petow dropped 22 seconds off of his 5000-meter PR with an impressive breakthrough time of 15:10
- Regina Scarpin debuted in the 5000 turning in an 18:45.65 time in her first attempt at a track race
We also shined on the roads as elder statesmen John Hill, Chafik Azerki, Tommy Harp, Eric Gullikson, Rob Elia, Tim Keenan and Alan Dehlinger all made appearances at several PA-USATF races including the Redding John Frank Memorial 10-mile road race in March (which was held on a new and challenging course due to flooding), the SacTown Ten-Mile in April, the Stow Lake 5K also in April, and the Marin 10K on Memorial Day. Tom Harp finally broke 38 minutes at the Marin race, a huge run for him, while Eric Gullikson broke 40 minutes for the 10K at age 62, his first time under 40 in four years and a monumental feat at 60+. Meanwhile, in the East Bay, the women consisting of our dream team quartet of Megan Lang, Julia Sizek, Tamma Carleton and Megan Gentes crushed the Oakland Marathon relay in a 30-minute victory over second-place, while the open men took second in the relay. Also, Jen Sung did well in the half-marathon.Speaking of half-marathons, we can’t overlook Jonathan Briskman’s effort at the Phoenix Rock ‘n’ Roll Half and full Marathon, in which Jonathan took an impressive 4th overall in 1:07.42 on the half-marathon course which unfortunately had just enough downhill to render it ineligible for club record purposes.
And earlier in the winter, Ashley Lin PR’d by two minutes with a 1:26.42 effort at the SF Kaiser Half Marathon in February.
And we also brought nearly 20 Strawberry Canyon TC runners to the Devil Mountain road races in Danville in early May. Megan Lang and Silvia Jebiwott went 1-2 in the women’s 10K, and Matt Weber and Mitch Negus went 2-3 in the men’s 10K. John Hill and Tim Keenan swept the top two spots in the 50-59 age group while Erik Gullikson claimed the 60-69 age group title, while shocking a very competitive local runner in that age group. In the day’s elite road mile, Megan Gentes PR’d with a marvelous 5:12 performance, a new club record. Paul Green took third in the road mile (4:24) and was followed by Cielo Aguilar (4:38 – also a PR), Ed Hill, Colin Gannon, Max Krall and so on.
In other venues, Ashley Lin ran a 3:08 marathon at Boston, missing her PR by one minute in sweltering conditions while Jack Wallace PR’d by five minutes in 2:47, and Sylvia Jebiwott went back East to snare an 80-second half-marathon 1:25.34 PR at the Brooklyn Half. Also in NYC, Regina Scarpin ran in the Mini-Marathon 10K in Central Park later that month ‘for fun’ in just under 41 minutes. That same day, Tamma Carleton threw down the gauntlet at the Sugarloaf 15K road race in Maine, blitzing the course in 55 minutes and 59 seconds, which is a club record or second behind Julia Sizek’s 59:04 10-mile time from 2015. Also in the month of May, we razzle-dazzled the crowds with the sharp-looking, all-white Peet’s Cold Brew-sponsored Centipede at the 2017 Bay to Breakers.
With 13 + two extra open men sporting a clean look in matching singlets and white/black ball caps, we put together an impressive crew. They overcame some choppy strategical nuances in their first go at the race, and the guys adapted well and clipped off a respectable 5:45 mile pace to finish third in its inaugural netting a time of 42 minutes and 45 seconds. Finally, a special congratulations can be sent to East Bay Triple Crown winner Ashley Lin, who cleaned up a prestigious early summer trail grand prix title with impressive races at the Tilden Tuff Ten Mile (2nd), Lake Chabot Half-Marathon (1st) and Woodmonster Hill trail run (3rd). And yes, we did have two runners competing at the DipSea for good measure (John Hill, George Torgun), as well as Colin Gannon replicating his 18th-place finish at the Litchfield Hills road race in his native state of Connecticut.
In winding down the first half of the year, at the One Mile Bang in Los Gatos, the irrepressible Chafik Azerki notched a 4:38 mile and he’s closing in on age 45, while Alan Dehlinger ran 5:31 at age 56. The same two Canyoneros competed well at the July 4th Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5K, and Chafik was second masters runner with a fast time of 16:27, while Alan D. was exactly three minutes slower in 19:27. However some real fireworks were turned in at the Alameda 4th of July 5K race, in which the Canyon swept the 1-2 spots. Particularly impressive was the monstrous breakthrough turned in by Cielo Aguilar, who PR’d by over one minute and nearly skipped the 16s entirely with a speedy time of 16:01. Kyle Dunn, after missing the spring track season with an ankle injury sustained at the PA cross country championships in November, turned in a very solid 16:06. Ed Hill cruised to a 17:20 which was good for 7th place, his goal was to hit his planned Wharf to Wharf pace.
Overall it was a very exciting season for the Canyon with many more exciting seasons to follow.
Written by Coach Carl Rose
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.
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.
- Kyle Bystrom: 1:27.83
- Stephen Bailey: 1:33.95
- Max Krall: 17:57.55
- Ed Hill: 18:03.04
- Mitch Negus: 18:24.01
- Megan Lang: 19:08.56
- Erin Hagan: 19:21.45
- Julia Lipson: 19:34.28
- Asha Culhane and Julia Sizek: 22:56.75
- Ben Harper: 15:24.96
- Geoff Leonhardt: 15:32.69
- Sam Euerle: 15:38.83
- Chikara Omine: 15:44.33
- George Torgun: 15:46.50
- Christian Choi: 16:23.08
- Erik Stein: 16:30.64
- Jonathan Briskman: 15:36.37
- Sloan Cook: 16:50.83
- Ed Hill: 17:20.74
- Tim Keenan: 18:08.81
- John Spriggs: 21:34.40
The cross country season will continue on September 11th at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*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 email@example.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.