12/31 – 2018 SCTC Year in Review

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.

Ryan, John, Collin, Steve, and Carl after winning the Christmas Relays

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. 

Kyle (left) and Cielo (right) both had strong years on the road

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. 

Open men’s race start at the Golden Gate Park Open

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.

Berries after Nationals in the Spokane cold

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.

Join us for practices every Monday and Thursday in 2019, 6pm at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley

12/2 – Eleven Berries Run to Fantastic Finishes at CIM

The California International Marathon took place on Sunday, December 2nd, serving as the USATF National Marathon Championships and the center piece race of the year for eleven Berries who competed. Coach Carl recaps the day in Sacramento.
Sunday proved to be rather astonishing day for many Strawberries – I was a little uncertain how things would shake out because of two weeks of not being able to run outdoors due to wildfire smoke. However, people did what they needed to do – treadmills, pools, cross-training in the gym – to salvage all of the hard work they had put in to get to this point.

Jonathan Briskman finishes in a new club record time

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. 

Shellin Chuong ran a 15 minute PR in 3:03:29 and surely has a sub-3 is in the cards. At this point, I really would not put anything past her – she is an absolute metronome.
Big shout out to Ryan Smith, who had battled several injuries of varying degrees in the past six months, and missed quite a bit of time, yet STILL beat the old club record with an amazing debut in 2:23:47! Just wait till he gets a solid run-up under his belt!

Kimmie Pavela and Silvio Temprana (right) both ran to PR times at CIM

Silvio Temprana has been getting better himself by leaps and bounds and damn near got a Boston qualifying time. Today he popped a 3:09:29 mark, right on the heels of Kimmie Pavela, who crossed the line in 3:09:28 – a PR for her!
Matt Perez also PR’d, betting his previous best by 12 minutes, although his old PR was some time ago, while pacing Shellin to a Boston qualifying time (today he ran 3:06).
Matt Weber ran a strong debut marathon in 2:44:50. We were happy with that although we also know there is room to improve and he would have gone faster with uninterrupted training… the smokocalypse did seem to affect him some.
There were a couple of off days: Colin Gannon PR’d by two minutes but was expecting to go a lot faster. However a combo of shin-calf issues and quads that seem to lock upon him in longer races contributed to a 2:39:20 time. Regina Scarpin still ran a solid 3:00-flat time, although she didn’t have her “A” game after running only once in the smoke (probably a very smart move long-term) and losing some of her edge. 
Rafael Oeschger broke the three hour mark, and Melanie Miksis ran 3:30.30, which amounts to a whopping PR for her!
Congratulations to all who ran!