Friday, September 30, 2011

Half Way Update

This week marks the half way point in the regular season.  So its a good time to take a step back to see the big picture for what's been accomplished and where we are headed!

First Half Highlights
  • We had over 80 students come out initially for the team.  In the first few weeks, we had some kids drop out, and have now settled on a firm roster of 74!  This is the largest roster we have ever carried for Maria Carrillo Cross Country!
  • Many novice runners that had never before run 3 continuous miles have made great leaps forward in their fitness, have made our minimum time standards, and are now able to confidently race 3 miles in competition!  We have a few more runners remaining that are close to making the time standard and are making great progress!  
  • Coaches have been able to get a good reading on each runner's current fitness and training level over the first few weeks.  We have now settled into fairly regular training groups tuned to each athlete's needs.
  • We've done fairly well at several large invitational meets
    • Ed Sias Invite - had close to 40 runners win medals as we had 5 teams place in the top 4 in their respective division race, and the F/S Boys won their division.   There were 40 schools represented at this meet!
    • Viking Opener - we won 5 of the 7 divisions at this meet.
    • Stanford Invitational - the girls finished 6th and boys 10th in Div 2 in this very competitive meet drawing top teams from all over the western US.
  • MCHS Runners of the Week! -each week the coaches select athletes that have stood out for their work in practice and improvement in competition.  We recognize these athletes in front of the the team and award them the MCHS ROW Shirts (can't miss them - BRIGHT neon green!)
    • Week of 8/29 (Rancho Invite) = Nick Jensen, Ashley Gunderson
    • Week of 9/5 (9/7 Interlock + Ed Sias Invite) = Austin Rivas, Shannon Palladino
    • Week of 9/12 (Viking Invite) = Steve Purugganan, Sam, Haleigh Frye 
    • Week of 9/19 (JV Interlock + Stanford) = Spencer Jones, Harrison Luft, Sophia Mahoney,  Brynna Thigpen

Second Half Outlook
  • Upcoming Meets
    • NBL (North Bay League) Meets begin in October - one each Wednesday through the month
    • Crystal Springs Invite (Belmont) on Sat, Oct 8.  This is similar to Ed Sias and Viking Opener, and a great opportunity for our JV runners to shine!
    • 64th Annual Mt SAC Invite (Los Angeles) - Oct 22.  Biggest Cross Country Meet in the World! We will take only 24 runners to this meet.  We will field a Varsity Girls, Varsity Boys, a Sophomore Boys team (these guys were #3 all-time frosh on this course last year), plus an additional 3-5 runners as selected by coaches in a JV race.  More info about Mt SAC to follow!
    • NBL Finals - Nov 4 - this is the big end of season meet for most of our team!  (only varsity competes in the last two meets).
    • North Coast Section Meet, Hayward - Nov 19.  Top 3 teams in our division (Div 2) move on to the state meet in Fresno.  We believe our boys have a good shot of finishing in the top 2, and the girls have a solid chance to win NCS.
    • State Championships, Fresno, Nov 26. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wednesday, 9/21/11 = JV Meet in Petaluma + Tempo 7:30PM

...What's happening next for MCHS XC = Wednesday, 9/21/11:

First: JV Meet in Petaluma:

-Bus Leaves MCHS 1:50
-First race = JV Boys 3:45, then JV Girls, should be back at MCHS 6PM-ish

Where: Shollenberger Park, Petaluma

Directions: Exit 101 at the 116 exit and head towards Sonoma. Turn right at So. McDowell Blvd. Park is located on Cader Lane, but very limited parking in the park itself. You can find some parking on Corporate Circle or try the lot next to the park which is part of Camelbak.

Next: For Stanford Invite roster only, starting at 7:30PM = 20 MINUTE NIGHT TEMPO (yeah!) at MCHS track

Any questions, call Greg at (707) 291-2967 or e-mail

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pasta Feed on Friday, September 16 + Viking Schedule!

MCHS XC Pasta Feed Friday Night!!!
Where: 603 Scotland Drive

When: Friday 9/16 from 7-9pm* (time pushed back so you can make both the pasta feed and Heart & Sole Racing Flat Event-see below for details)

What to bring:
  • Suit & Towel for swimming +
  • Freshman Boys: Bread
  • Freshman Girls: Salad
  • Sophomores: Dessert
  • Juniors: Salad
  • Seniors: Drinks
Directions: Hwy 12, Left on Los Alamos, Left on Scotland.

Go Pumas!!!
Any further questions regarding pasta feeds, please contact Kristina Gunderson -
*Heart & Sole is having a big racing flat promotion late Friday afternoon for all the local high school XC kids; they will be giving away prizes and have pizza, etc...

Viking Opener Lineups and Race Schedule

Be at the Spring Lake starting line by 9AM with the exception of the first two races (Frosh/Soph Boys and Frosh/Soph Girls who need to be there earilier- 1 hour before their race time.) 
Greg will be there by 7:30-7:45AM for early set-up.

Race Time and Rosters:

  • 9:00 AM = Boys Frosh/Soph (5 max): Colin B, Dante, Spencer, Nick, Ryan N (1st sub = DJ)
  • 9:20 AM = Girls Frosh/Soph (5 max): Andrea, Shannon, Paige, Sam, Sophia M (1st sub = Kayla)
  • 10:15 AM = Boys Junior (5 max): Harrison, Colin M, Rohan, Alex M, Conner (?) (1st sub = Alec)
  • 10:30 AM = Junior/Senior Girls (5 max): Lauren, Brynna, TJ, Gretel, Kelly B, (1st sub = Sophia R)
  • 11:00 AM = Open Girls = everyone else!
  • 11:25 AM = Senior Boys (5 max): Austin R, Steve P, Emilio, Gus, Colin G
  • 11:45 AM = Open Boys = everyone else!
  • Awards = 12:30ish… Should be done around 1:15!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The 411 on Viking Invite, September 17

  • Driving Instructions! - Greg will distribute parking passes at practice on Friday (or make alternate arrangements to get them.)  You will need to park at Swimming Lagoon parking lot (click on map left to enlarge- Montgomery Drive to Channel Drive to Violetti entrance) - BUSSES ONLY will be allowed at Oak Knolls "back entrance" via Hoen!
  • Athletes! Please verify that the information on your race tag is correct, especially the specified gender and grade level. Otherwise, you may be disqualified from your race. You may only compete in your grade level race or the Open race - you may not 'race up' a division.  If there is any problem - please let Ruben know!
  • Results! Will be posted on site as they become available, and can also be viewed online at: and
  • Concession services! Will include hot breakfast items provided by Bruno's on 4th. Cash only!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

9/7/11 Interlock Results + Upcoming Saturday, 9/10/11 Ed Sias Invite Highlights!

Overall, great team results from the 9/7 NBL/SCL INTERLOCK with Cardinal Newman, El Molino, Piner and Casa Grande at Spring Lake.

It was a dry/hot ~92 degree day and our strategy of going out controlled for the first mile was very well executed by most everyone! -PRs we're limited as this was the first time on the Spring Lake course for ~28% of the runners on the roster. Lauren Kraus got a personal best and Andrea's time of 19:07 is #18 on the all-time Redwood Empire List for Freshmen Girls.

Special thanks to all the parents that helped us host a successful competition; for most, it was the first time with new responsibilities and everyone did great!

Full race results from our 9/7 interlock + pics can be found on the Press Democrat's website:

WHAT'S NEXT? ...This Saturday, 9/10 = ED SIAS INVITE with 40 schools competing and over 2000 runners at Hidden Valley Park in Martinez! Link to the event website for more details + video, pics and results from previous years:

Logistics = Be at MCHS 6:15 = Bus leaves at 6:30; we should arrive at 8:00 with the first race at 9:00; we'll leave at 2:45-3:00ish and expect to be back at MCHS around 4:30 PM.

Important! -Pack a lunch or bring some $$ to buy something to eat = there will be a BBQ at the park we're running at. -Also, bring a water bottle and [especially for girls who run later in the day] remember to eat something and keep hydrated throughout the day!

Ed Sias schedule (Greg will share at Friday's practice which race each runner is entered in):

MCHS XC has a total of 66 runners entered in 9 races:

8:30 = Community, Jr. High, Coach's Race
9:00 = Boys Frosh (8 entries)
9:25 = Boys JV (7 entries)
9:50 = Boys Frosh/Soph (7 entries)
10:15 = Boys Frosh/Soph and JV (10 entries)
11:05 = Boys Varsity (7 entries)
11:30 = Girls JV (7 entries)
11:55 = Girls Frosh/Soph (7 entries)
12:20 = Girls Frosh/Soph and JV (5 entries)
1:10 = Girls Varsity (7 entries)


2:00 = Awards Ceremony and Dance Party (+ lots of shwag give-aways!)


-Coach Greg
Cell: (707) 291-2967

Monday, September 5, 2011

PR Report for Rancho Invite & MCHS Runners of the Week!

Overall, excellent effort by the Pumas at the Rancho Invite!  For many, this was their first competitive cross country meet, and the coaches were very pleased with what we saw - some very strong efforts by the rookies!  In addition, there were 39 runners competing that had run the Rancho course at least once before - of those 19 had PR's - GREAT JOB! (the list follows below).  Many more effectively matched their PRs - falling just a few seconds short.  Special congratulations are in order for Dylan Nelson, Drew Gallagher, and Paige VanDenberg - all had huge % improvements over their previous bests!

Complete meet results (plus some photos) can be found at the Northbay Running site.

Click here for more photos courtesy of Stephen Eik.

Runners of the Week:  The coaches have selected Nick Jensen and Ashley Gunderson as the MCHS runners for the past week.  Not only did each have very significant time drops over already solid PR's, they also showed confidence and competitive spirit with some aggressive (but sensible) moves in their respective races! A few others we'll mention with notable efforts: Spencer Jones, Ryan Nguyen, Andrea Natoli, Shannon Palladino, and Sophia Mahoney.  Finally, props to Lauren Kraus for running a very disciplined, even paced race (mile splits 5:56, 6:07, 5:57 [adjusted to full mile]- WOW!)

Previous PR
Time on 9/3
Dylan Nelson
Drew Gallagher
Nick Jensen
Colin Bartlett
Dante Hay
Spencer Jones
Gus Murray
Colin Metcalfe
Jake Luft
Steve Puruganan
Austin Rivas
Austin Lynch

Paige VanDenberg
Ashley Gunderson
Kelly Birkland
Lauren Kraus
Brynna Thigpen
Jackie VanDenberg
Sarah Barker

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Reminder = Workout Monday 9AM Labor Day at Howarth Park + Summary of Next 2 Weeks of Workouts

Hi MCHS XC Athletes, Parents and Fans,

Great kick-off to the season at the Rancho Invite = over 1/2 of our athletes with personal bests!

...More details/highlights coming over the next few days; stay tuned!


> Mon, 9/5 (Labor Day Holiday) 9AM = Spring Lake course intervals from Howarth Park

Tue, 9/6 = Cross Training + easy run from Howarth Park
Wed, 9/7 = MCHS Hosts Interlock at Spring Lake (first race JVB 3:45 > JVG > VB >VG)
Thu, 9/8 = Cross Training + easy run from MCHS
Fri, 9/9 = Medium pace run from Channel Dr.
Sat, 9/10 = Ed Sias Invite BE THERE 6:15 bus leaves MCHS 6:30 (first race 9AM)
Sun, 9/11 = REST -Catch-up with your homework!

Mon, 9/12 = 5 X Richardson Hill + 1 Mile at race pace from Channel Dr.
Tue, 9/13 = Cross Training + easy run from MCHS
Wed, 9/14 = 4 mi tempo from Park Trail
Thu, 9/15 = Cross Training + easy run from MCHS
Fri, 9/16 = Practice Spring Lake course starts/easy run from Howarth Park
Sat, 9/17 = Viking Opener at Spring Lake (first race 9AM > Awards 12:10PM)
Sun, 9/18 = REST -Catch-up with your homework!


WOW! ...We completed 990 laps (2nd best all-time!) and have raised $840 + $1260 cash from Oliver's + $600 checks = $2700 thus far! ...Still hoping to collect an additional $1300 to meet our goal of $4K! -Keep collecting donations to help us reach our goal! Special thanks to Nancy Thiele and Melanie Bartlett for coordinating all the fundraising activities with the help of several dedicated parents who were there from 7AM - 2PM working the garage sale!


Highlights from Coaches for Fri, 9/3 Rancho Invite results
Confirming Parent Help for Wed, 9/7 Interlock at Spring Lake
Rosters and details for Sat, 9/10 Ed Sias Invite

-Coach Greg
Cell: (707) 291-2967

Friday, September 2, 2011

Race Friday, Sep 2 at Rancho Cotate HS

Directions:  Race begins and ends on the track, within the football stadium.
Click here for driving directions to Rancho Cotate HS.

Race Schedule:
  • 400 PM JV Boys
  • 430 PM JV Girls
  • 500 PM Varsity Boys
  • 530 PM Varsity Girls

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