Picture-perfect conditions welcomed our 80 schools and over 3,000 entries for the 22nd Annual Earlybird Invitational at the
newly re-opened Toro Park in Salinas.
The early risers had the opportunity to meet and greet our special guests right before the open race. North Monterey County
Coach Jackie Henderson tragically passed away in July and her mother and cousin flew in from New York to meet and support
our athletes at the meet dedicated in her honor. Jackie truly looked down upon all today as tears and laughter filled the
park throughout the packed-house event.
The open race was a nice start and the middle schoolers really showed in full force for their races. Although we give
medals to the top kids, we don't do results for them but we may need to start doing them with such an increase in field size
and competition for the young pups.
The frosh girls kicked off the main portion of the event with a nice showing putting 8 girls under 20:00! Audrey Reed
(19:20-Live Oak) held off all challengers to get her first meet win and gives Live Oak a nice addition along with their established
star. Emily Minjares (19:23-Lincoln) wasn't on our radar but certainly deserved to be with her runner-up effort. The ladies
from Palo Alto made their Earlybird debut one to remember with their first team win (73 pts.).
For the frosh boys, we had Kevin Andrews (16:24-Los Altos) pegged as the heavy favorite and he didn't disappoint with
a fantastic effort early on. He ran away from this field and left runner up Christian Yarwood (16:55-Bellarmine) over 30 seconds
back. Kevin is certainly a rising-star and made his effort look very easy. Bellarmine (66 pts.) ran away from everyone in
the team race winning by 89 points! That's usually unheard of at meets this size. The Bell army marches on.
The sophomore girls didn't want the 9th graders to show them up and punched 10 girls under 20:00 to best the rookies by
2! Oriana Jalal (19:13-Cupertino) was another pre-meet favorite who held true to form and held off the fierce upset-minded
challenger in Tevah Gevelber (19:16-Castilleja). Team-wise, the young ladies from Carlmont (47 pts.) ran away with an almost
30 point victory with the lowest team score of the day!
The sophomore boys made it 3 for 4 on pre-meet favorites as Garrett Macquiddy (16:00-Westmont) just missed breaking the
very difficult 16:00 barrier by one tick of the clock and will surely return to the park with that goal in mind next time.
He had to fend off the most competitive bunch as Ethan Dodge (16:02-Whitney), Marco Del Canto (16:04-Willow Glen), and Adam
Sage (16:05-Los Altos) were all within 5 seconds of the winner! A full three years of these youngsters locking horns. Willow
Glen (91 pts.) got their fine day started with their first team win in fine style winning by 30 points.
The junior girls lost the sub 20:00 challenge to the younger girl's races with only 7 girls under but sparkled up-front
with 3 girls under 19:00!! Quinn Hagerman (18:32) was our upset pick coming from the heat and she didn't disappoint with her
fine run in the cool Salinas breeze. Emma Madgic (18:44-Aragon) was one of the favorites and held form with a nice 2 second
runner-up effort. Our third shining star, Lila Roake (18:49-Santa Cruz), put pressure on the senior girls to match the three
deep up-front fireworks we saw here! It takes an 18:15 to make the all-time top 25 Toro Park list and this trio now has that
mark square in their sights. Monta Vista (49 pts.) provided yet another huge lop-sided team win by 61 points! Great team running.
The junior boys gave us the first sub 16:00 clocking of the day with Owen MacKenzie (15:39-Los Altos) and Henry Saul (15:50-Palo
Alto) etching their names into the list of elite runners that have done so. They both were pegged as surprise upsets and they
did just that after overtaking the hot early pace set by defending champ Victor Ochoa (16:04-Madera South). Victor held off
valiantly as Chris Anderson (16:04-SLV), Sam Lavorato (16:05-Palma), and Maximiliano Chavez (16:05-Cupertino) closed fast
to make it close at the end. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, the finish tags were not sorted properly in the chute and
only the top 95 individuals are believed to be correct times. Bellarmine (30 pts) is the unofficial team winner with only
those individuals scoring but we are confident they were on their way to their 2nd team win of the day with four guys in the
The senior girls had the biggest names on tap and had the most festive race as the DJ had spectators dancing while the
four-year runners made their last Earlybird tour. We knew Mari Friedman (17:57-Santa Cruz) was fit after her mind-boggling
17:41 first race effort at Toro last week. She pulled away easily in this one and ran away from an elite field to win by 19
seconds. Two sub 18:00 efforts in back to back weeks sets the CCS 800 meter champ up nicely for her senior campaign. Joyce
Shea (Gunn-18:16 upset some bigger names to snag a coveted runner-up spot here. Kaylah Grant (18:20-Live Oak) indeed held
on for a fast time and sets her 2017 season nicely. Marea Zlatunich (18:23-Aptos) came in with the best credentials and can't
be too disappointed with her nice showing for her first real test. Watch for her later in the season. The senior girls were
not going to be denied and blew everyone away with 13 girls under 20:00! All in all, 38 girls under 20:00 is not too shabby
for an early season meet! The ladies came to run today! The senior girls also got sick of team blow-outs and made it a rare
result with 3 teams separated by 2 points! Whitney (72 pts.) traveled far and was rewarded winning a 1-point decision over
(Santa Cruz 73 pts.) and a 2-point win over Gunn (74 pts.). A great team battle indeed.
Finally, the seniors closed the curtain on a great meet by producing one of the fastest individual times in park history!
Highly touted Meikael Beaudoin-Rosseau (15:17-Bellarmine) didn't disappoint. He came to run hard early on and blew the doors
off the competition throwing down a time that now ranks him as the 7th fastest ever at the park. Interesting that Bellarmine
with all their team success didn't have an individual in the top 25 all-time at Toro Park before today. Now they certainly
have that in Meikael as he sets his sights on bigger fish down the road and a very achievable shot at the park record of 15:02.
Zach Walker (15:48-Willow Glen) got his second Earlybird runner-up spot in fine style as well. Seth Garcia (15:51-Madera South)
adds a 3rd place to his two meet wins this season. Ryan Wilson (15:54-Carlmont) and Jorge Estrella (15:58-Andrew Hill) made
it a fab-five day for them with nice sub 16:00 efforts. Willow Glen (53 pts.) saw what the senior girls did and decided to
also win a 1-point decision over runner-up Bellarmine (54 pts.)! We saved the closest team races for the end and ended the
meet in great style.
Overall, the fastest team times came from a merged result. The ladies from Santa Cruz (95:15) came, took names, and walked
off with the 3rd fastest team-time ever at Toro Park. They happen to hold the park record (94:30) as well so look for them
to challenge that record down the road. Last week they ran 97:26 so things are pointing to a new course record soon by this
veteran line-up led by one of California's best. Aptos (99:54) ran well for second here and has the most room to improve down
the road to make another magical run this season. Their veteran crew will develop as their aces are just getting started.
Carlmont (101:20) broke all the form charts and beat many ranked teams.
The Willow Glen Rams (81:24) were coming off a sub-par showing and had a nice bounce-back effort here. It was enough
to give the host school (North Monterey County-81:10-2003) a little scare almost taking them off the all-time top 10 team
marks. The time is a new school record for Willow Glen making them a formidable opponent at the section and state levels.
They will certainly crack the top 10 all-time team times list soon. Bellarmine (81:32) kept it close with a crew not at full-strength
today. Give the Bells a few weeks and you will see a much different, record breaking monster once the injuries and illnesses
are long gone. They feature the top individual in this part of California and certainly have the fire-power to climb the elite
charts once again and take a crack at the park record (79:31). Los Altos (82:00) took advantage of their new young horse in
the stable and will ride that momentum up the rankings.
The top combined program of the day goes to the team with the best showing across all 8 races. Not counting the junior
boys (which we think Bellarmine won) due to the timing error, the 2017 meet gave us a thrilling 4 team tie! Earlybird veterans
Bellarmine, Willow Glen, and Carlmont welcomed meet newcomer Whitney and they will all share the overall best program title
this year! Willow Glen got to take the plaque home today with their 2 race wins but the other three teams can expect their
hardware to arrive soon.
We want to thank all the athletes and coaches for making the meet a special event. We especially want to thank the over
80 volunteers for their service. Without them it would not be possible! And finally, we want to thank Coach Jackie Henderson's
mom for making the trip from New York to be with us as we honored and remembered her daughter. Now we see where Jackie got
it from. We invite everyone to #RunlikeJackie in 2017!
Thanks for coming!!
Coach Gustavo Ibarra
Earlybird Meet Director
Results can be found on our new meet website at;
2017 Earlybird Results