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.

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

11/2 – Berries @ Santa Rosa XC – Women take close WIN

The Phil Widener Empire Runners XC meet in Santa Rosa was shuffled to the end of the year but that did not deter the Canyoneros from showing up and giving it a good shot on the challenging 3.43-mile course.

The women brought only five runners to the line and needed a really good race performance to stay in range of the West Valley Track Club, which had at the time a 1.5-point lead on our women’s team. The season’s dramatic build-up to the PA-USATF Cross Country Championships was coming to a head as the Canyoneras needed to nail down a “W” with a couple of their runners sitting this one out.

Tamma Carleton delivered a really strong effort despite dealing with some tendonitis in her foot, finishing in a prodigious 5th-place in a speedy 20:19. In 6th was the ever-impressive Olivia Hill who rolled through in 20:28. Following those two heavy hitters was Megan Gentes in 21:34 (13th-place), as she was starting to show a little fatigue from the long season. Megan was trailed by Jennifer Schick in 16th-place (21:44). Closing out the scoring team was Kimberly Sanchez, who knocked about two minutes off of her 2013 time in 22:18 (22nd place). That proved to be crucial as the final scoring came in four agonizing days later, confirming that the Berries had finished one point ahead of the Impalas. They opted for the masters money and hence the Berries beat West Valley and ended up in a tie with them going into the PA-USATF Championships in two weeks.

The open men managed third overall in this race as the Aggies and West Valley both brought some serious firepower. Jonathan McKinley was 7th (17:33), and he was followed by Sean McFarland (17:51 – 9th); Ryan Smith (17:51 – 10th); Ed Izaguirre (18:23 – 16th) and Jack Wallace (21st – 18:36) to round out the top five scorers. Also competing for the Berries was Bentley Regehr, a newcomer from Edmonton, in 18:42 (23rd), Colin Gannon – 18:43 (24th), Justin Huang 18:47 (26th), Stephen McKinley 18:54 (27th), Matt Weber 19:30 (32nd), and Daniel Anderson 21:05 (42nd).

10/25 – Berries roll at Aggies XC Open

After a week off from racing, the Canyon brought solid squads to the ASICs Aggies 4.2-mile XC Open held in Martinez, CA, and they needed to because the fields were stacked with lots of talent to contend with. The open men were paced by Jonathan McKinley, who took 8th in 21:11. Next across was Ryan Smith, who turned in a great performance in 21:43. Sean McFarland was a bit behind Ryan, followed by Ed Izaguirre, Colin Gannon, Jack Wallace, Rory Runser, Stephen Granger-Bevan, Justin Huang, Matt Weber and Dan Anderson. The open men took second to a loaded Aggies squad which brought the pain to their home race, and squeaked out a narrow one-point win over New Balance Silicon Valley TC. (Results are below).

Two elder statesmen aka seniors runners jumped into the masters race – Eric Gullikson (26:55) and Paul Nolan (27:07), both of whom turned in very strong efforts.

The women’s race was notable in that the Aggies fielded their full squad which topped the Berries women, but we were also able to edge West Valley TC,, hence allowing our women to stay within striking distance and maintain our close second-place team position in the Pacific Association USATF Grand Prix standings.

Julia Sizek sizzled (had to say it once) across the line in the 4.2-mile race with a very impressive time of 24:31 (6th place). Olivia Hill had a breakthrough performance and took 10th in 24:46. Tamma Carleton, Megan Gentes and Megan Lang followed to round out the scoring. Shout out of the day went to 17-year-old Jennifer Schick who finally shook off her month-long illness and rolled through in 25:28 (18th place). Kimberly Sanchez rounded things out for the Berries. (Results below).

Open Men (4.2 miles)

8. Jonathan McKinley 21:11
16. Ryan Smith 21:43 (1st 1-19)
17. Sean McFarland 22:01
20. Ed Izaguirre 22:16
26. Colin Gannon 22:43
28. Jack Wallace 22:47
31. Rory Runser 22:53
32. Stephen Granger-Bevan 22:55
33. Justin Huang 23:02
40. Matt Weber 23:42
54. Daniel Anderson 25:35

Masters/Seniors Men (4.2 miles)

Eric Gullikson 26:55
Paul Nolan 27:07

Open Women (4.2 miles)

6. Julia Sizek 24:31
10. Olivia Hill 24:46
11. Tamma Carleton 24:49
16. Megan Gentes 25:24 (1st 1-19)
17. Megan Lang 25:25
18. Jennifer Schick 25:38 (2nd 1-19)
35. Kimberly Sanchez 26:42

10/12 – Bring on the Johnny (Lawson XC)

This 4.25-mile race features one of the most scenic courses in the Pacific Association as it is held on the undulating single track trails at China Camp. This race was created in honor of John Lawson, a well-known and talented masters runner for Tamalpa who passed away roughly a decade ago. Of note, his uber-talented son, John Lawson Jr., competes for Cal and nearly broke 14:00 at Stanford’s Payton Jordan meet last spring. In addition to the great course, the Tamalpa Runners also provide beer and a free, artfully designed beer mug, thus ensuring the longevity of this race for years to come.

In addition to a few seniors runner strays, the Canyon brought full men’s and women’s teams to the Johnny and the men dominated while the women had to settle for second-place team overall. First across the line for the women was Julia Sizek in her first race as a Berry. She was followed closely by Olivia Hill, Rebecka Oberg, Megan Lang and Megan Gentes. Kimberly Sanchez and Christine Bowlus also competed. (Individual results are below). The open women had to settle for second vs. a determined West Valley TC squad. But note their 46-second “pack time” between the 1-5 scorers, because that element played to their favor later in the season.

The masters men scraped together three able-bodied seniors and hornswoggled them to the starting line. They were led by an impressive effort by Paul Nolan. Eric Gullikson and Carl Rose (coach) were in tow. (results below)

The open men brought their “A” game and really cleaned up the field in a convincing team victory. Jonathan McKinley outkicked Mike Hiscott of West Valley to secure runner-up honors. He was followed by Sean McFarland, Ryan Smith (who won the 1-19 age group yet again), Ed Izaguirre and Brandon Kan (who took second in the 1-19 age group). Following the five scorers was Ryan Lok, Colin Gannon, a New Balance Central Park Track Club transplant competing in his debut race, Justin Huang, Stephen McKinley (yes Jonathan has an older brother so some of you can be concerned now) and Matt Weber.

Open Women (4.25 miles)

6. Julia Sizek 25:46
8. Olivia Hill 25:58
10. Rebecka Oberg 26:20
11. Megan Lang 26:23
13. Megan Gentes 26:32
20. Kimberly Sanchez 28:23
37. Christine Bowlus 28:54

Masters/Seniors Men

Paul Nolan 27:43
Eric Gullikson 28:12
Carl Rose 29:33

Open Men

2. Jonathan McKinley 21:40
4. Sean McFarland 22:14
5. Ryan Smith 22:43
8. Ed Izaguirre 23:05
9. Brandon Kan 23:06
12. Ryan Lok 23:27
15. Colin Gannon 23:55
19. Justin Huang 24:13
23. Stephen McKinley 24:28
24. Matt Weber 24:37

10/4 – Double Trouble – Berries sweet sweep at Presidio XC

The Strawberry Canyon Track Club reached a new and exciting milestone, as both the men’s and women’s teams swept their team races at the rather extreme and sandy Presidio XC course. Apparently the Presidio Army base has one of two objectives as they have now added numerous logs to the very sandy and long up- and downhill at the beginning and end of the race course. They either want to see how challenging they can make the course as it morphs into a mud-run or they want the cross country meet held somewhere else. To add injury to insult, the course was rerouted so runners had to descend the log-strewn sand dune, and its final distance was slightly lengthened from its standard “5K” established in 2010. Our best guess is it is 7-8 seconds per minute slow.

As has often been the case this season the men went first when the weather was favorable and the women were forced to simmer in the mid-morning warmth. The men brought it as the ASICs Aggies also showed up with a full team of accomplished runners, albeit not their very best group. Jonathan McKinley dropped his anchor into the race and gave the field something to think about with a 17:02 mark, good for 4th place. Ryan Smith was next for the Berries in 17:21 (6th). Sean McFarland was a little off his game, but rolled through in 17:22 (7th). Ed Izaguirre came through in 17:27 (11th) and Brandon Kan closed out the scoring in 17:31 (12th). That 29-second spread represented a very nasty pack time which would ultimately deliver the Berries the men’s title in a close race with the Aggies.

Ryan Lok (18:08), Alex Battaglino (18:13), Justin Huang (18:19), Stephen Granger-Bevan (18:25), and Matt Weber (19:08) also got into the mix for the Canyoneros.

Coach Carl (23:16), a seniors runner, and Bill Brusher (27:52), a super-senior, jumped into the masters race for a go. Neither was particularly happy with their race.

Next up was the women’s race and the big questions were, would the hill training in Berkeley translate to a solid performance on the hardest course in the Pacific Association? Would the women be able to win their first team title in club history? And by default would the club have its first double-team men’s and women’s victory in club history? A banner day was within reach as nine hardy women toed the line against the formidable West Valley Track Club.

First across the line for the Berries was Tamma Carleton whose 19:58 4th-place finish represented an excellent performance. She was followed by 800/1500-meter runner Rebecka Oberg who’s been recruited into cross country for the first time since grade school. She was 5th in 20:23. Olivia Hill took 7th in 20:33. Booking in behind Olivia was Megan Lang (21:16 – 15th) and Megan Gentes (21:27 – 16th) to round out the scoring five for the Canyoneras. Following the Megans was Kimberly Sanchez (22:17), Kate Ashley (22:57), Shellin Chuong (23:40), and Jennifer Schick (23:52).

After careful examination of the results which were printed out, it began to dawn on the team that the women had indeed WON this race. A ripple of energy became a great joy as all team members shared in the women’s celebration. It was official – they had notched their first-ever team victory! And by association, this was also the first time the club had ever won team titles in the men’s and women’s open races. Needless to say it was a very satisfying day for the club. Congratulations to everyone!

9/27 – Willow Hills Open XC 5K, Men win!

The open men went up to scenic Willow Hills near Folsom and snagged a much-needed team victory to support their PA-USATF Grand Prix points totals, escaping with a close win over SRA Elite on a fairly rugged course. We did not send a full women’s team and one super-senior competed as well.

Here are the results.

Open women

4. Rebecka Oberg 19:22
14. Jennifer Schick 20:10 (2nd 1-19)
31. Shellin Chuong 21:14

Open Men

8. Sean McFarland 16:21
13. Ryan Smith 16:42
19. Stephen Granger-Bevan 17:04
23. Jack Wallace 17:21
33. Matt Weber 17:45
43. Dan Anderson 19:02

Masters men

Bill Brusher 26:22

9/21 – Berries run solidly at Garin XC

On a pretty and pleasant fall morning that grew quite warm later, the Canyoneros brought full open men’s and women’s teams to the Garin Park XC Challenge in Hayward. This course is a club favorite, a rollicking 3.15-mile course that everyone always seems to enjoy. Inspired by the promise of post-race burritos at Los Cocos, the men as a whole ran well, and props to Sean McFarland who nailed a course PR by 11 seconds. Still, we came up short of winning outright to the deep ASICs Aggies team and had to settle for second. Also of interest, Ryan Smith, Ed Izaguirre, Brandon Kan and Matt Berberick ran very good times for the course and represent a formidable quartet of Cal undergraduates.

The women did not bring all of their top runners but gave it a game effort, and ended up with a third-place team finish. It also warmed up considerably by the time they had to race and some felt the effects of the heat. Of particular note, Olivia Hill fared quite well in the women’s race and Kimberly Sanchez turned in a breakthrough performance.

A couple of masters runners (seniors) who raced in the codgers race were in the mix as well, including coach Carl, but they did not field a full team.

Masters men (3.15 miles)

Scott Strait 20:29
Carl Rose 21:25

Open Men (3.15 miles)

4. Sean McFarland 16:03
8. Ryan Smith 16:35 (1st 1-19)
10. Ed Izaguirre 16:43
14. Brandon Kan 16:56 (2nd 1-19)
16. Matt Berberick 17:02 (3rd 1-19)
18. Alex Battaglino 17:06
25. Jack Wallace 17:31
27. Abraham Aldaraca 17:43
35. Matt Weber 19:00
37. Daniel Anderson 19:12

Open Women (3.15 miles)

8. Olivia Hill 19:27
13. Megan Gentes 20:10 (1st 1-19)
16. Megan Lang 20:16
21. Kimberly Sanchez 20:36
25. Jennifer Schick 20:39 (2nd 1-19)
34. Camille Plantier 21:39 (3rd 1-19)

9/14 – NorCal XC Challenge Redding – Men 2nd

An adventurous crew went up to Redding on Sept. 14th in an attempt to snag a men’s open team victory, but the Humboldt Track Club showed up rather randomly. It was a challenge for us to cobble a deep team together for the long drive, that involved an overnight camping expedition. The men’s team took second overall on a hilly and slowish course, and the women entered one lone entrant, Megan Gentes the stalwart.

Women (5K)
5. Megan Gentes 19:59 (1st 1-19)

Open Men (8K)
6. Sean McFarland 27:57
8. Ed Izaguirre 28:22
13. Ryan Smith 29:03 (1st 1-19)
19. Stephen Granger-Bevan 29:44
23. Justin Huang 30:02
67. Dan Andersen 34:37

 

9/7 – Women rule, men survive GG Park XC

Girl Power rules at Golden Gate Park XC with 2nd-place effort; Open Men snag 2nd; Oldies…finished

The blue-collar and blue singlet-clad Strawberry Canyon Track Club brought their hammer and tongs to the no-holds-barred, 4.12-mile Golden Gate Park XC Open meet held on Sunday, Sept. 7th. We fielded full teams for the open women, senior men’s (50+), and open men’s races, but the clear highlight of the day was the race day shocker delivered by women’s team, which had never competed (as a group) in a race of this magnitude.

The SCTC women had been kept on the down-low for a few months, allowing them time to train together, build up a summer base, and to establish a mutual bond. The group’s emergence has been compelling to witness as they all trained in a speedy, tight pack, but would this translate to a strong race-day performance? They had yet to really test their mettle in the heat of competition. This race represented that test as they ended up in a hard-fought battle with four teams vying for second place.

Most of us would have been cool with a solid 4th-place team finish in what was a loaded women’s field, and ecstatic with a third-place finish. But these women, quite frankly, delivered one of the finest team performances in club history, setting the Pacific Association on its collective ear by upsetting three nationally regarded teams, West Valley Track Club, the Impala Racing Team and the ASICs Aggies to take second-place honors behind last year’s 9th-place team at USATF Club Nationals – New Balance Silicon Valley.

Rebecka Oberg went out leading the chase pack for about three miles and had a moment of doubt, but she rallied at the three-mile mark as teammate Tamma Carleton passed her, encouraging her to keep at it. Tamma ended up taking top spot for the Berries, rolling to an outstanding 9th-place overall finish in 25 minutes, six seconds, with Rebecka a slim six seconds behind her in 11th-place. Right behind Rebecka was a very impressive performance from Olivia Hill, who nailed down a sterling 14th-place finish.

Rounding out the scoring team was the Force of Megan as both Megan Gentes (18th) and Megan Lang (19th) finished in an identical time of 25:37.

These women had been so closely matched in workouts we sensed they would finish somewhat close to one another. But they slashed the field with an almost unheard-of 31-second “pack time” (differential between first and fifth scoring runners) an accomplishment which elevated them to an improbable second-place team finish.

Behind the scorers, Camille Plantier had a great breakthrough race in 27:32. Kimberly Sanchez had to work with a sore foot and finish in 28:39. Naomi Wilcox was next for us and finished in 29:39.

The seniors men (50-plus for you whippersnappers) did manage to bring four runners to the line and we seem to have been the 5th-place overall team. Scott Strait finished just ahead of Paul Nolan. Coach Carl crossed the line in 28:31, and 60+ Bill Brusher ended up just running to finish with a time of 36:08.

What is interesting about Scott is he and Eric Gullikson (who ran a road race, see below) are 59. Keith Duncan is currently 60 and crushing the PA circuit. Only three super seniors are required to score at PA meets. Needless to say this will be an indomitable trio of oldsters for 2015 Club USATF XC Nationals which will be held in San Francisco!

Last but not least the open men ran a smart race. A few teams were no-shows or watered down so they were able to eke out a much-needed second-place team finish to assist their Grand Prix title hopes. Sean McFarland is starting to come back after a summer of foot tendonitis, and he paced the Canyoneros with a good performance of 21:36. Not too far back was newcomer Ed Izaguirre, a strong runner who recently moved here from San Luis Obispo after training as part of the Cal Poly Distance Project. Ryan Smith followed him a few ticks back. Greg Timblin and promising freshman Brandon Kan closed out the scoring for the Berries.

In the next wave, Alex Battaglino seemed to be rounding into form a little bit and he was next. In the chase pack, Stephen Granger-Bevan had a really solid race as did Justin Huang.

Here are the individual results for the racers:

9. Tamma Carleton 25:05
11. Rebecka Oberg 25:12
14. Olivia Hill 25:22
18. Megan Gentes 25:37
19. Megan Lang 25:37
Camille Plantier 27:32
Kimberly Sanchez 28:39
Naomi Wilcox 29:39

66. (23rd 50+) Scott Strait 27:09
69. (25th 50+) Paul Nolan 27:14
Carl Rose 28:31
Bill Brusher 36:08

16. Sean McFarland 21:36
19. Ed Izaguirre 21:47
20. Ryan Smith 21:50
27. Greg Timblin 22:13
28. Brandon Kan 22:17
31. Alex Battaglino 22:26
35. Stephen Granger-Bevan 22:40
Justin Huang 23:01
Edward Hill 23:09
Kevin Hsu 24:40
Joshua Seeherman 27:29

There is also a brief recap from the Walnut Festival 5K and 10K from Tim Keenan:

At the Walnut run, I did a 35:51, neither fast nor slow, but considering there are two 180-degree
turns on the course, and my age, I’ll still take the overall win (edit, he has tried to win this race for 22 years, so congrats to Tim, he can chalk that one off the list).

The rest of the group also turned in stellar individual performances, and though his time was nowhere near what he is capable of when fit, it was a pleasant surprise to see original Pacific Striders club founder Thom Trimble back in a race after a lengthy hiatus. (History lesson, we combined the 1983-2009 Striders aka older guys like me, Tim, and Thom, with SCTC aka new blood in 2009).

The 5K race results:

Eric Gullikson – 18:51 – top 55-59
Keith Duncan – 18:57 – top 60-69
Kate Ashley – 20:22 – 3rd female
Thom Trimble – 22:28 – 3rd 55-59