Strawberry Canyon Track Club competed in both road and track races in the Spring 2018 season
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.
Lots of Berries putting in the early season work at a Monday interval session
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
*Club’s all-time best age-grade performance, 94.68% at the Sacramento State Open
** USATF National Masters 10k Champion, 37:19 at the James Joyce Ramble
*** USATF National Masters 25k Champion, 1:40:13 at the River Bank Run
But to look only at the records is to see only a small part of the story of the season’s success.
On the track
The temporary closure of SFSU’s track lead to a circuit with a different look than usual. As is tradition, however, the season started with the three Cal All-Comers meets in January and February on our home track. A great opportunity to shake off the cobwebs and get the feel for race pace, these meets, along with a trip down to Los Gatos for their All-Comers meet, served as the launching point for the season.
Madeline Duhon runs to a 5000m club record at the UC Davis Aggie Open
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.
Ryan Smith competes at the Cal Brutus Hamilton Open
May brought about the final meets of the season with the Sacramento State Open and Oxy Invitational. These meets again had a high concentration of breakout races, most notably the setting of the club’s all-time age grade performance by Tom LeGan in Sacramento with a 4:10.97 1500, corresponding to an astounding 94.68% age grade, at the age of 51.
While the major spring meets have come to a close, some Berries are diligently pushing forward towards some summer meets. More fast times sure to come!
On the roads
SCTC “B” Centipede placed 8th at Bay to Breakers
While the spring has historically been reserved for track within SCTC, in 2018 the open men decided to try their hand in the PAUSATF road circuit. The year-long Grand Prix is but halfway through, however it is off to a promising start. The Open Men have locked down 2nd place team finishes at the SACTOWN Run 10 mile and Devil Mountain Run Mile of Truth; 3rd place finishes at the NorCal John Frank Memorial 10 mile and Stow Lake Stampede; and 4th place finishes at the Super Sunday Run 10k and Reach for a Star 5k. The Open Women also scored their first ever roads team, debuting with a strong 2nd place finish at the SACTOWN Run 10 mile.
Outside of the PAUSATF, some seriously impressive road performances took place. Kicking things off, Jonathan Briskman won San Francisco’s Hot Chocolate 15k, setting a club record in the process. In the Boston Marathon in treacherous conditions, John Hill won the Senior Men’s division, also setting a club record. Meanwhile, guest member Jen Bayliss won three (!) USATF Masters National Championships, the cross country title in Tallahassee in January, the 10k road title at the James Joyce Ramble, and the 25k road title at the River Bank Run.
SCTC “A” Centipede placed 3rd at Bay to Breakers
The season’s final hurrah went down in late May at Bay to Breakers. For the first time, Strawberry Canyon fielded two full centipede teams (which involves attaching 13 people together to complete the 12k course as a single unit). Now a club favorite tradition, the two squads finished 3rd and 8th in the competitive centipede division, competing against several other PAUSATF rivals.
Happy Berries after Bay to Breakers
The road season will continue all summer long, with the Across the Bay 12k, Los Gatos One Mile Bang, Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5k, and of course, Wharf to Wharf, coming up in June and July. Others will take a well deserved break after a long and rewarding spring season. But then it’s back to work, and training will begin for others for SCTC’s marquee season, cross country. We’ll be practicing throughout the summer and hitting the trails around the Bay Area and beyond for some destination long runs. See you out there!