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!

4/17 – 3200m Time Trial

We had a few runners who appeared a little fatigued and mainly used this as a final tune-up and train-through workout for the Brutus Hamilton meet a week from Friday. Still, a number of Canyoneros and Canyoneras did compete well in tonight’s low-key 3200-meter time trial.

Other than poor Jack flinging his work bag aside and jumping in with literally no warm-up as we were counting down “three, two, one, GO!” this one went off pretty smoothly.

Results as follows: *denotes Cal Triathlon Club; **denotes not (yet) a member
Alex Battaglino 9:37.2
Ryan Smith 9:37.3
Richie LeDonne 9:41.1
*Dennis Roth 9:44.5
*Lauri Takacsi 9:48.0 (PR)
Rory Runser 9:55.3
Abraham Aldaraca 9:55.4 (PR)
**Rodrigo 10:03.2
Steve Bevan-Granger 10:04.3
Justin Huang 10:04.9 (PR)
Jack Wallace 10:11.8 
Megan Gentes 11:45.2
**Olivia 11:49.0
Jason Tyler Lowe 12:00.8 (PR)
Jeff Teeters 12:30.0
Paul Nolan 12:35.0
**Shellin Chuong 12:59.7


8/29 – SCTC Time Trial 2013

Below are the results from the time trial held yesterday at Edwards. There were some definite ups and downs with this, but everyone gave it a good, solid effort.

I want to express my gratitude to Carola Binder and Anthony Castro for helping with the pacing duties! Also, Carola, thank you for helping Christy out and taking her to clean up the wound when she got clipped in the race and fell.

I also want to express my great gratitude and say thank you to Sean McFarland, Kimberly Sanchez-Diaz, Nathan Leefer, David Yu and Dennis Roth for their invaluable assistance with the timing, placements and finish line duties in this event. We didn’t necessarily have a banner year with it, but we did what was important and kept this event going strong.

I’m also optimistic that we can build this up into a more significant event next year (within reason).

Results below:

Heat 1 (5:15):
1) Jonathan Nolasco 17:21
2) Steve Zirkelbach 17:40 (masters)
3) Alper 18:04
4) Brandon Brown 18:22
5) Megan Gentes 18:36
6) Naomi Cox 19:03

Carola Binder 11:42 (3200 time was the pacer)

Heat 2 (5:45):
1) Michael Coe 14:56
2) William Chen 15:25
3) Rory Runser 15:59
4) Cameron 16:06
5) Abraham 16:25
6) Ryan 16:35
7) Mike 16:39

Matt Bogdanowicz 4:54.6 (45-49 AG full mile)

Jack Wallace (10:06 3200)

*Brian Gillis 10:10 (3200) *I may be wrong on his time/place

Heat 3 (6:15):
1) Chikara Omine 16:38
2) Tim Keenan 17:24 (50-54 AG)
3) Lauren Schmidt 17:42 (PR)
4) Bill Salacuse 18:01 (45-49 AG)
5) Maria Monks 18:46
6) Tyrone C. 18:58
7) Jan Peters 19:21 (PR)
8) Mei Tung-Chen 19:33 (PR)
9) Steve Trutane 20:36
10) Sarah Syed 21:57


7/29 – 3200m Test Yields Club Record!

A number of club members and friends ran tonight’s 3200-meter time trial at Cal’s Edwards track. The runners did not let the fencing in lane two on the home straight bother them, which swung them wide by a few extra meters for good measure.

The highlight had to be Jonathan McKinley’s whopping 34-second PR (which based on his 1500 times, was long overdue and probably in line with where he should be). He crushed a 9:17 and looked like he had more in the tank. William Chen pulled an impressive 9:30, which is the No. 4 club mark all time behind Jonathan, Greg Timblin and Rick Baldocci. Neither has done anything but strong base work and mileage this summer. Wait till they sharpen up then it’s going to get really interesting.

On a unseasonably cool and breezy evening at the track, the guys got after it. Nice work, everyone!

Jonathan McKinley     9:17

William Chen     9:30

Kris Brown     9:49

Jack Wallace     10:28

Brad Afrolian     10:39

Brad Leach 10:50

Brandon Brown 10:52

Justin Huang   10:47

Tim Keenan     11:02

9/1/12 – SCTC Time Trial Of Glory

(Official results forthcoming)

There are time trials and then there are TIME trials. The Cal Cross Country/Strawberry Canyon TC time 2012 version was a rip-roaring TIME trial thanks in part to a steady drum-beat of promotional interest on its facebook page (fear of failure-induced, I might add). The turnout of nearly 60 athletes for a three-event hand-timed impromptu track meet was quite impressive. In fact, it kicked…tail.

There were some highs and lows on the newly resurfaced Edwards Track, but the majority of the response was overwhelmingly positive. In addition to the athletes, at least 150 people attended the meet to watch the fleet participants in the late-summer mini-meet, many repping the Cal cross country and track teams as well as the Cal Triathlon Club. There were also the hapless fitness and conditioning class participants, who probably came away a bit buffaloed by Coach Carl trying to clear the track for the next scheduled event.

By far the biggest contribution to the meet’s success was the hard work of the Strawberry Canyon finish chute volunteers (Sean McFarland, Eva Stuart, Bruce Thrupp, Cameron Bronstein, Erik Gullikson (primary timer), Joseph Doetsch, Carola Conces and Art Martin. Some excellent pictures were captured by the talented Ian MacLeod, along with some handy finish-line camera/timing work by Nathan Leefer.

The first race of the day was the first heat of the 400 meter event, made intriguing by the addition of three Oakland Tech high school runners. Newly minted (or is it berried?) Strawberry Canyon TC club member Justin Lee won the 400 pressing home in a strong time of 65.8 seconds at age 47. He was followed closely by Jessica T. from Oakland Tech in 66.8. The tenacious Carola Conces of Strawberry Canyon TC came in 3rd in her first 400 since middle school in 67.4. Maya Hinkston of Oakland Tech was 4th in 69.0-flat, while her teammate Kanukai Chigamba was 5th in 72.2.

The second heat of the 400 was for faster-seeded runners and former Brown University standout Matt Duffy ran 53.8 to claim the 400-meter event. He pulled Strawberry Canyon Track Club master’s ace Chris Dodge to a superb new master’s 400-meter record of 54.3, breaking his own record of 55.09 set last February on the same track. Chris was followed by a hard-charging Brian Gillis of Transports in 54.8, and Torrey Olson, also with Transports, who coasted in the last few meters in 60.7.

Next up was the first heat of the 5000-meter/3200-meter time-trial. It was a see-saw affair which turned into a spirited duel between Strawberry Canyon Track Club runner Jeff Teeters and former Cal runner (now masters runner) Steve Zirklebach (oh how they grow up so soon!). Zirklebach prevailed over Jeff with a very strong kick in 17:47.0 to 17:53.0, but Teeters was very happy to break 18:00. Following the two fast oldsters was a great run from Erika Erickson of the Cal Triathlon Club, who threw down a college-worthy time of 18:14.1. She pulled Alberto Bonda, an exchange student from Italy, to his time of 18:16.0. Kevin Jude was next at 6:00-flat pace in 18:37.2, and he was followed by Dan Riffe in 19:23.0.

New Strawberry Canyon TC member Mei Tung-Chen finished in a strong PR of 20:18.0. She was followed by SCTC masters runner and core guru Steve “Sandal Man” Trutane in 20:31.5, who edged out Jason Lowe (20:33). Kelsie Clausen, who runs for Tamalpa Racing, came in next in 21:24.2. New Strawberry Canyon TC member Katrin Cox came in after that in a 53-second 5K PR in a solid finishing time of 22:22.

In the 3200, Oakland Tech had two girls entered: Fiona Gregg (15:20.0), and Tiffany Huang (15:22.8). Chico TC masters runner Art Martin, who came to help out with the finish-line work, got through seven laps at about 6:10 / mile pace in his first hard run in many years.

The second heat of the 3200/5000 featured nothing but 5000-meter runners. It was still a little warm for a distance race but the bouncy, fresh gold track seemed to be agreeing with people. The first five runners were all Strawberry Canyon Track Club runners who tempo’d the race as a workout.  Kyle Braam (16:27.4), Dayo Tao (16:29.0), Jack Wallace (16:42.0), Irtaza Haider (16:48.8) and Chris Goioa (16:51.9) all enjoyed the experience, helping to pull the next three runners under their goal time of sub-17:00. Tim Comay (16:55.9), Jonathan Nolasco (16:59.4) and Strawberry Canyon TC runner and Swiss rock climber extraordinaire Thibault Hottelier (16:59.8) all dipped under 17:00.

Chris Everett (apparently not a famous tennis player) was next in 17:21.0, followed by Strawberry Canyon TC senior’s stud Tim Keenan, who missed some time with a stress fracturebut celebrated his 51st birthday with a strong time of 17:33.4. Strawberry Canyon TC master’s runner Bill Salacuse ran a 5000-meter PR in 17:44.3. Mr. Reliable Barry Smith, fresh off his Pike’s Peak double marathon and the 18:00-flat pacer, finished in 18:00.2.

Two women hoping to walk-on to the Cal track team faded a bit toward the last mile and fell just short. Both were understandably a little saddened, Kelly Garton (18:23.7) and Elizabeth Scott, a Cal senior who runs for the Impala Racing Team and held high 17:00s pace for nine laps (18:44.2).

A nervous energy swept over the crowd as the sun dipped behind the west stands for the third heat of the 3200/5000-meter event, which seemed to have a little bit of a magical quality to it. Its race field was impressively loaded as some very serious runners toed the line, including Cal volunteer assistant track coach Bolota Asmerom, a 2000 Olympian in the 5000-meters. The pace was quick from its outset as several runners blew through the 400 in 67 seconds and another pack trailed them in 71-72 seconds.

Six runners opted to run the 3200 in this particular race, allowing for a fast start for a bigger group of guys than normal. Matt Duffy gapped Bolota at 1.5 miles and added the 3200 title to his 400-meter title as he blazed across the line in 9:04.3, nearly breaking the 9:00-barrier. Following Matt was Brian Gillis of Transports who in his finishing kick, keyed off of former Harvard University standout Chas Gillespie who loomed just ahead of him, to finish in a very impressive 9:26.6. Chas was continuing the race and completing over four more laps. Nate Beach was close behind in the 3200 in a strong time of 932.9.

Torrey Olson (9:44.8) and Sam Robinson (9:47.9), both of Transports, rolled in next, and they were trailed by an unidentified New Balance Excelsior runner in 10:20.0.

Those finishing the 5000-meter event found the track clearing out in front of them as the 3200 runners stepped off. Bolota Asmeron cruised to an unchallenged 5K time of 14:25.6, while Chas Gillespie surprised himself with a very impressive 14:44.4 mark after a long lay-off from hard training or racing. Following Chas were three aspiring Cal walk-ons who had to attain the 15:00-flat standard. Seamus Land made good and battled across the line in 15:00.7, garnering himself a walk-on spot to the Cal track team. Andres Diaz (15:09.7), and William Chen (15:17.8) narrowly missed on the team, but posted impressive marks which put them on Cal’s radar in the future.

Francis Corrigan, a New York Athletic Club runner who recently moved back to the Bay Area, notched a time of 15:36.9. He was followed by Chikara (Chow Hound) Omine of New Balance Excelsior, who placed in 15:50.4. Cal Triathlon Club member Lauri Takasi (15:55.9) cracked the 16:00 barrier thanks to some fine pacing by Strawberry Canyon TC members Rory Runser (16:00.1) and Christoph Wanner (16:05.8). Shinji Nakadai, a Strawberry Canyon TC member who is also an ultra-runner from Japan, closed out the meet with his time of 16:12.3.