8/26 – Time Trial, Take 3

The 3rd Annual Strawberry Canyon TX/Cal XC time-trial turned on the fire with an 800 followed by three competitive heats of the 5000-meter time trial. You could see the tumbleweeds start to gather as people showed up in pairs and small groups, either to warm up or watch. The Cal track coaches came to observe the action, and the highlight had to be the remarkable film work of Elliot Jaramillo, who filmed this with all sorts of hand held cameras including one mounted on a remote controlled helicopter for wide angle shots. Who said running can’t hit the big time?? His work is amazing and people should start to really keep an eye out for it.

Shameless plug for Elliot’s web page. Here is a sample of his fine work: https://vimeo.com/103667919

First up was a lone entrant in the 800, Cal freshman Leonardo Valdez Ordonez, who was rabbited by our own Abraham Aldaraca for 500 meters. Hoping to go out about five seconds slower than he did, Leondro whipped through the first 400 in 59 seconds, seemed a little miffed that it was so speedy, but dug in and committed to the quick pace. It paid off with a sizable 4-second PR as he crossed the line in a solid 2 minutes, 6.67 seconds. The light went on for Leonardo, who now visualizes a sub-2:00 in his future.

There were also three sections of the 5000 for competitors, and there were probably more spectators than entrants. The first heat was designed to see if there were any women capable of walking on to the Cal team. We also sprinkled in a few club members and appropriately seeded athletes.

FYI – All times were rounded UP to the nearest second.

Bradley Afrolian, a UC Santa Barbara transfer, has just left their school’s running club for us, and he responded by winning his heat in 17:13. Jennifer Schtick and Flora Lai battled it out for first woman, and Flora prevailed with a bit more sensible pacing as the first lap went out in 80 seconds. Olivia Hill and Megan Gentes, fresh off a challenging cross country race over the weekend, were content to tempo together. And 60-year-old stripling and Strawberry Canyon TC-er wunderkind Keith Duncan hammered home a very impressive 18:51, a time which he can actually be expected to improve upon.

Full results of the first heat are below:

Heat 1

17:13 Bradley Afrolian (PR)

17:34 William

17:57 Kevin Hsu (PR)

18:14 Flora Lai

18:16 Jennifer Schtick 

18:40 Olivia Hill (PR)

18:42 Megan Gentes

18:52 Keith Duncan

19:09 Danny

In heat two the action was fierce up front as Anthony Joel Castro performed excellent pacing duties, knocking off perfect 72-second 400-meter splits. After it became a battle of wills and Matt Duffy carried the day with a pack of six. Duffy was gamely followed by SCTC-er Ryan Smith, Brian B. Gillis, incoming Cal freshman Brandon Kan, Eoghan Totten from Ireland, and SCTC veteran Sean McFarland trailed just off the pace.

Smith faded a bit and Kan hung on to the leaders for 4K and was on 15:10 pace, and then faded pretty hard in the last 800. Brandon’s performance was actually very impressive and his finishing time did not properly reflect the quality of his effort. An even paced race would have netted him a 15:20-25 mark.

Behind them Torrey Olson and incoming Cal frosh Matt Berberick paced more sensibly. Matt ended up PR’ing by over a minute with a 15:48 mark so he was ecstatic. We also had some other old hands in the race, including Jack Wallace, Rory Runser, Justin Huang and Matt Weber.

Heat 2

14:58 Matt Duffy

15:16 Sean McFarland

15:16 Brian B. Gillis

15:45 Ryan Smith

15:48 Matthew Berberick (PR)

15:49 Eoghan Totten

15:52 Torrey Olson

15:57 Brandon Kan (PR)

16:19 Jack Wallace

16:27 Rory Runser

16:33 Justin Huang (PR)

16:38 Ed

17:55 Matt Weber

The third heat was more spread out. A two-man race ensued up front. Jack Sweeney was hoping to come close to breaking 17:00, which was Tim Keenan’s goal too. They went out a touch hard but Jack was able to surprise himself and hold a personal-best pace. Tim ran a solid effort but fell 12 ticks short of his goal. Kimberly Sanchez worked with Camille Plantier and Jason Tyler Lowe, all of whom netted PRs. It was a nice run for Kimberly because she missed a lot of training over the summer, and it is obvious that her PR has room for improvement. Camille’s summer training paid off with a sub-20:00 and so did Jason’s. Jason was quite pleased but Camille felt like she could have given an even better effort. Look for her to break 19:00 in the not too distant future. Finishing the event for the berries was Steve “Sandal Man” Trutane, who eschewed sandals for bare feet. He completed the 5000 in 21:03.

Heat 3

16:48 Jack Sweeney (PR)

17:12 Tim Keenan

19:37 Kim Sanchez-Diaz (PR)

19:45 Jason Tyler Lowe (PR)

19:47 Camille Plantier (PR)

21:03 Steve Trutane

And props are also in order for Zachary Stauffer, who showed up to the time trial rocking street clothes. The reason? He set yet another marathon PR, this one in 3:00.37 at last weekend’s Santa Rosa Marathon. Yes, thirty-seven seconds off the vaunted three-hour barrier. We’ll blame this one on the earthquake, mmmkay? Great job, Zachary!

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…