2003 North Monterey County Earlybird Post-Meet Article
2003 was, by far, the greatest Earlybird to date! 50 schools and 1500 runners graced the 3.0 mile course at North Monterey
County High School. The day was warm with plenty of sunshine as the typical fog was nowhere to be seen. Enough of the details,
lets get to the races!
Overall Boys (Combined times)
Madera, currently ranked 6th in California Division I, ran away with the 2002 top time (83:37) award and came back with
a stronger crew in 2003 flying to an 81:54. That team time is a meet record and look for them to surpirse many top teams
this year. Even more impressive than their running was their team spirit displayed throughout the meet inluding push-ups
by all as their coach came in during the all-comers race! Great job to the Madera squad!! Host North Monterey County ran
about a minute faster than they did last year to a fine 83:34 which is second fastest all-time on this course. They showed
some very strong up-front running that will greatly improve the squad at the State level. They are currently ranked 1st in
Division III California! San Lorenzo Valley, with the addition of a transfer student, surprised in the team standings at
84:13. That mark should place them on the awards podium come November at the State Meet. They are currently ranked 3rd in
Division IV California! The rest of the top 10 inlcuded St. Ignatius (84:55), San Benito (86:22), Clovis West (86:45), Seaside
(87:00), Serra (87:10), Silver Creek (87:42), and Los Banos (88:12). Well highlight the top individuals in their grade level
San Lorenzo Valley, San Lorenzo Valley, San Lorenzo Valley!!! They came to run and put on a team running clinic with 6
girls in the top 14!! Theyll make some noise this year and cruised to a 35 point win. They are currently ranked 3rd in Division
IV California!! Clovis East felt right at home with the warm weather and packed their girls nicely for a runner-up finish
with 86 points. The Madera girls also wanted medals and claimed third with 113 points.
Teammates Didi Chan & Kaitlin Kaufman (Clovis East) wanted to make sure it was a fast early pace and took the lead
early on. A group of 7-8 trailed and eventually reeled the leaders in. Ciara Viehweg (St. Ignatius) was the defending champ
and tried to return to past glory up-front. Alicia Folmar (Saratoga) decided enough was enough and charged to the lead using
her speed that gave her a win at the 2003 State Track Meet at 1600 meters! Alicia never looked back and cruised to an 18:56
win. Sarah Zerzan (Notre Dame Belmont), 2nd 19:02, and Annie Adams (Aptos), 3rd 19:05, ran great consistent races throughout.
Stephanie Hamilton (San Lorenzo Valley) led the SLV charge in 4th 19:07 and the defending champ, Ciara, slipped to 5th in
19:12. The rest of the top ten included Kelli Deane (San Lorenzo Valley) 19:15, Amanda Marino (Escalon) 19:18, Emily Romo
(San Lorenzo Valley) 19:19, Rachel Williams (San Lorenzo Valley) 19:28, and Dana Underwood (Monta Vista) 19:41.
Well, once again, unfortunately, the freshmen boys went the wrong way. Maybe next year well have to put them at the end
of the meet. A couple of individuals including a Los Gatos and a Monta Vista runner were leading, on course record pace,
and then took a wrong turn with only 400 meters to go. A trio of San Benito runners took advantage of the situation and cruised
in for a 1-3 finish for the Baler squad! Rigo Vasquez (San Benito) went 17:24 to knock off one second off the 2001 course
record. In the team competition, Madera kicked off their day of strong team running with a 9-10-11-12-17 scoring five for
the win. Los Gatos slipped to third with their mistake and San Benito claimed a runner-up finish with their strong front-running.
Daniel Rocha (Madera) returned to defend his Earlybird title and did it in fine style. He took the lead early and never
looked back to a 16:50 win. Steven Thompson (Seaside) ran the smartest race of the day, running a conservative first half,
he made his way through the field on to a runner-up finish. St. Ignatius showed their strength, crushing depth, placing their
top 5 in the top 20 for the team win. Host North Monterey County claimed a 2nd place finish with Bellarmine in 3rd.
Our pre-meet predictions were confirmed the moment the gun went off as a group of Madera and North Monterey County runners
darted to the lead. Last year Benny Madrigal (Madera) set the sophomore course record (16:26) and was back for more. He took
the early lead out of the gate but it was Nathan Huerta (North Monterey County) that decided to make it a race at 1000 meters
in. Nathan hit the speed bump in fine style and opened a 30 meter lead that he would never relinquish. He cruised to a 15:51
win on his home course and with that came the second fastest ever junior time behind last years 15:44 by Alex Dunn (San Lorenzo
Valley). Nathans time was the second fastest of the day. Benny held on for second (15:56) and led a trio of Madera runners
that slammed the door with a 33 point win. North Monterey County countered with their scoring five in the top 17 for 2nd
with 47 points. Seaside was 3rd with 100 points. These guys will be back in 2004! Look out!!!
The deepest field in Earlybird history did not dissapoint! Alex Dunn (San Lorenzo Valley) was the class of the field
and he didnt come just to win, he went hard and was on course record pace early on. The mile was reached in just over 5:00
with 2 miles at 10:10. Brett Gotchers (Aptos) 15:20 course record (2001) was in jeopardy and the crowd knew it. Cheering
him on, Alex flew through the last mile to a 15:17 course record!!! Back a bit, the rest of the field battled for runner-up
awards. Kyle Shackelton (Carlmont) and Darren Mattinson (Harbor) looked strong running 2-3 until the last 50 meters when
Kyles twin, Drew Shackleton (Carlmont), decided hed like to join his brother in the top three and kicked past Darren. Kyle
2nd-15:54, Drew 3rd-15:59, Darren-4th 16:03. San Lorenzo Valley surprised many in the team competition with the addition of
transfer student Russell Bush from Santa Cruz for the win with 89 points. St. Ignatius ran a nice tight pack for 2nd at 96
points and Dominc Vogl, 5th, led Serra to 3rd at 106 points.
Meghan Hunt (Aptos) ran to a 37 second win at 19:45. Samantha Baker (Evergreeen Valley) was 2nd at 20:22 and Maria Palominos
(Los Banos) was 3rd at 20:36. Notre Dame (San Jose) had 5 in the top 15 for a huge 63 point margin of victory at 52 points.
Los Banos, led by Maria, was 2nd at 115 and St. Ignatius showed why they had the best boys and girls combined program of the
day with another top 3 finish at 3rd with 126 points.
Junior Varsity Girls
Melissa Alva (Clovis East) ran to individual glory with a 22:10 win. Seana Burden (San Lorenzo Valley) was close for
2nd at 22:14 and then the St. Ignatius crew cleaned house led by Kristina Scolaris 3rd place at 22:26. St. Ignatius came
to run in this one with 5 girls in the top 10! St. Ignatius went 3-4-5-9-10 for the win! Notre Dame (Belmont) was 2nd with
87 pts. and host North Monterey County claimed the last set of medals with 3rd at 101 pts.
Wed like to thank all of you that made the 2003 Earlybird Invitational the best yet. We couldnt have done it without
the parents, coaches, sponsors, volunteers, and especially, the athletes, its all about them and we hope they had a great
time! The day wrapped up once again with the all-comers race, and , once again, I cant tell you who won! This year I was
a good ½ mile behind when they finished, the great part though, I was able to run the last 600 meters with my 5 year old!
Isnt cross country the best sport in the world!!!!! See you all in 2004 and good luck to everyone in 2003!! Meet results
and information are on our team website.
North Monterey County Cross Country