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2004 Earlybird

2004 Earlybird Invitational
September 11th, 2004
North Monterey County High School




2004 Earlybird Review!

2004 Earlybird results!!!

Earlybird Coverage at

2004 Earlybird Post-Meet Review

by Coach Gustavo Ibarra


            Perfect weather conditions, a great course, a loaded field, several course records and a very excited crowd made the 10th Annual Earlybird Invitational at North Monterey County High School the greatest ever!!  On to the details!

            First up, the varsity girls.  St. Ignatius came in ranked 4th in the state in DIII and 1st in CCS.  They were without the services of Ciara Viehweg and that made the difference in the title today.  Aptos came in ranked 13th in the state in DI and 2nd in CCS and seized the opportunity to come away with the title with some great up-front tandem running and great pacing for a slim 3-point win (84-87) and a 102:28 clocking.  Los Gatos was a distant third with 125 points although they had some great running in the other races and actually had the top team-time of the day at 99:55!  That makes them the 3rd fastest team ever!  So, keep on eye on the Wildcats when they put all of their apples in one basket!  Madera (150 pts.) and Monte Vista (196 pts.) rounded out the top 5.  The race for individual glory was never in question.  The two-time defending state champion in the mile and defending champion in cross country Alicia Follmar (Saratoga) took the early lead and never looked back.  Brianna Larson (2nd 18:42 Las Lomas) challenged her early but never seriously as Alicia clocked 18:30.  That’s good for 4th on the all-time list and a 26 second improvement from her previous best on this course.  Her run for another state title has begun!  The duo of Jessica Van Ausdall (19:12) and Meghan Hunt (19:17) from Aptos came from behind to place 3rd and 4th.  Amanda Moreno (Escalon) was 5th in 19:28.

            The boys ran in grade level races so we’ll let the combined team times tell us the story here.  Madera came in ranked 8th in the state in DI and 11th overall.  They were hot off a huge victory at the Granite Bay Invite last week and they didn’t cool off with the cooler coastal weather.  They clocked 82:02 making it the 2nd fastest team-time ever behind only their 81:54 from last year!  They used some great up-front leadership and a solid crew for the victory.  North Monterey County came in ranked 3rd in state in DII and 10th overall and almost pulled off what would have been a major upset running 82:27 without their ace Nathan Huerta that has recently started running after a couple of weeks off with an IT band injury.  Their team time is 3rd fastest ever and a team record by over a minute from last year.  The youngsters rallied without their leader and posted some huge improvements that make this squad very dangerous when their leader rejoins the troops.  Their team-time may have been sub 81:00 with a healthy Huerta!  San Benito came in with a young team and the youngsters acted like veterans clocking 84:30 and making them the 5th fastest team ever and contenders to defend their CCS DI title.  St. Ignatius came in as the #1 ranked CCS team in DIII and looked good at 85:03.  Carlmont graduated a ton last year but seem to have re-loaded nicely placing 5th at 85:05. 

            The senior boys are always loaded and 2004 was no exception.  Benny Madrigal (Madera) took control early and flew to a 15:32 clocking and 3rd fastest ever on the course behind the 15:18 course record by Alex Dunn (San Lorenzo Valley) in 2003 and the 15:20 by Brett Gotcher (Aptos) in 2001.  Benny is an individual threat at the state level with that kind of mark here.  Jason Yow (2nd 16:02-Monte Vista) and Keli Parker (5th 16:23-North Monterey County) battled about 20-30 meters back throughout the race and it was Steven Giron (4th 16:17-Los Banos) and Jose Garcia (3rd 16:12-North Monterey County) that moved up to finish well.  Madera was out hard in the team competition and never looked back romping to a 40 point total for the win.  North Monterey County held on for second with 113 pts and Monte Vista was 3rd with 121.

            The junior boys had our pre-race sleeper out early.  Ivan Alfaro (North Monterey County) wanted the win and was willing to run hard early.  Juan Gutierrez (Yerba Buena) came in with much better credentials and looked to have the edge at 2 miles taking a 10-meter lead.  Ivan hit the last hill like a champ and rallied for the win with almost a 2-minute improvement at 16:06 making him the 4th fastest junior ever.  Juan held on for 2nd at 16:22.  JR Gonzalez (3rd-16:33 Westmoor) and Enrique Lopez (4th 16:34 Alisal) kicked hard with Josh Hernandez (5th-16:35 Evergreen) coming in hard.  St. Ignatius was a big pre-meet favorite but it was North Monterey County that played the spoiler here with a 70-73 point win led by Ivan and much improved Jeremy Schrock (8th 16:37).  Madera was 3rd with 113pts.

            The sophomore boys’ title was never in question as Matt Petrillo (Los Gatos) wasn’t going to be denied after going the wrong way as a freshman.  He was out hard and the course title was in jeopardy from the get go as he hit the mile in under 5 minutes.  He pushed the whole way to a 16:02 clocking breaking Benny Madrigal’s course record from 2002 by 24 seconds!!  In the post-race interview he exclaimed, “I’m coming back next year and breaking Alex Dunn’s course record”.  We believe you Matt!!  Wes Buntman (Monta Vista Christian) used his speed for 2nd at 16:32 and then it was Rigo Vasquez (San Benito) the defending champ and former freshman course record holder (see below) in 3rd at 16:38.  Madera used a nice 2-5 pack to win with 82 pts.  Los Gatos led by Matt was 2nd with 107 pts. and San Benito used their three super stars up-front for the last team award with 144 pts.   

            The freshman boys had gone the wrong way for two years and the quad leading them this year made it a race to remember!!  Isai Orea (Madera) went for it early but had to settle for 3rd in 16:52 as Brad Surh (2nd 16:46 Carlmont) overtook him and as Michael Landry (Santa Cruz) cranked a 16:42 for a huge course record.  The top three were all under the old mark.  The new course record broke the year-old mark by Rigo Vasquez (San Benito) of 17:24.  That’s a 42 second improvement!!! WOW!!  Isai and company were just plain outstanding scoring 43 points for the Madera win.  North Monterey County decided they’d like to have a few more years of fun with the Coyotes in 2nd with 102 pts.  St. Ignatius was 3rd with 119 pts.

Complete meet coverage including results & pictures at



1    Madera                          82:02

2    North Monterey County           82:27

3    San Benito                      84:30

4    St.Ignatius                     85:03

5    Carlmont                        85:05

6    Monta Vista                     85:18

7    Los Gatos                       86:16

8    Westmoor                        86:26

9    Bellarmine                      86:38

10   Yerba Buena                     86:54

11   Saratoga                        87:17

12   Los Banos                       87:53

13   Evergreen                       88:05

14   Seaside                         88:50

15   Palma                           89:08

16   Aptos                           90:25

17   Scotts Valley                   90:33

18   Alisal                          90:59

19   Soquel                          91:15

20   Pioneer                         91:55

21   Atwater                         92:18

22   Santa Teresa                    92:31

23   Monte Vista Christian           92:32

24   Greenfield                      92:38

25   Silver Creek                    92:40

26   North Salinas                   93:11

27   Escalon                         93:27

28   Alvarez                         94:14

29   Santa Cruz                      94:28

30   Los Lomas                       95:20

31   Golden Valley                   95:22

32   Valley Christian                96:19

33   The Kings Academy               96:21

34   Monterey                        102:12

35   Watsonville                     104:48

36   Sacred Heart Prep               105:08



1    Los Gatos                      99:55

2    Aptos                         100:45

3    Monta Vista                   102:37

4    St.Ignatius                   103:28

5    Evergreen                     105:43

6    Madera                        107:08

7    Carlmont                      107:43

8    Silver Creek                  107:56

9    Saratoga                      109:49

10   Los Lomas                     110:48

11   Escalon                       111:03

12   Notre Dame-San Jose           111:07

13   Alisal                        111:38

14   Santa Teresa                  112:48

15   North Salinas                 113:37

16   Notre Dame-Salinas            113:40

17   Westmoor                      114:09

18   Presentation                  114:14

19   San Benito                    115:42

20   Notre Dame-Belmont            116:24

21   Yerba Buena                   117:00

22   Monte Vista Christian         118:05

23   The King's Academy            118:06

24   North Monterey County         118:22

25   Seaside                       118:40

26   Alvarez                       120:28

27   Watsonville                   121:12

28   Los Banos                     121:37

29   Golden Valley                 123:34

30   James Lick                    126:24

31   Monterey                      130:22

2004 Earlybird Invitational Preview by Coach Gustavo Ibarra

Anticipation is running high as the 2004 cross country season kicks off with the 10th Annual Earlybird Invitational hosted by North Monterey County High School in Castroville, CA! This meet promises to be the best yet as more than 50 teams and well over 1,500 athletes are expected to participate in the anniversary edition this Saturday, Sept. 11th. This just may be one of the most competitive early-season meets in the state of California!! Highly ranked teams and individuals will once again rip through the spectator friendly 3.0-mile course. As cross country is a true team sport, we’ll start by highlighting the top teams followed by the top individuals.
Let’s get started with the girls. St. Ignatius comes in ranked 4th in the state in Division III and 1st in CCS Division III. They are the defending CCS Champs and placed 8th at state last year. The exciting part for 2004, they return their full varsity squad! They are heavy favorites to run away with the team title here. Aptos comes in ranked 13th in the state in Division I and 2nd in CCS. They are also defending section champions and placed 11th at state last year. Keep an eye on Madera, they were 3rd last year at Earlybird and run great as a team. Los Gatos comes in ranked 3rd in CCS Division II and always has some wheels. Escalon comes in ranked 4th in Division 4 in the Sac Joaquin Section & should fare well.
The race for top individual girl honors could be fierce as several of the top ten girls ever on this course are back! This includes Alicia Folmar (Saratoga), the two-time defending state champion in the mile and defending state champion in cross country! She’s currently the top ranked harrier in California in Division III. Alicia has already kicked off her season with a victory at the Marshall Clark 4 miler in 24:20, a good minute faster than in 2003 so look out course record! Her only problem might be that the current course record holder is also in the field!! Ciara Viehweg (St. Ignatius) set the current course record of 18:03 back in 2002 and would like nothing more than to lower that standard. She placed 5th at the state meet last year and would love a shot at an individual title! She’s currently ranked 2nd in the state in Division III so look for a tough battle up-front between these two ladies. Other top 10 contenders include Amanda Moreno (Escalon), Brianna Larson (Las Lomas), Korina James (Madera), Zoe Unruh (St. Ignatius), Malinda Dominguez (Silver Creek), Jessica Van Ausday (Aptos), Adilene Sanchez (Alisal), Lisa Worsham (Monta Vista) and Sierra Siemer (Presentation).
The boys won’t disappoint with the highest quality field ever assembled for this early-season meet!! For the boys, races will be run in grade levels but overall individual times will be combined to sort out the overall squads for “bragging rights”.
Madera returns from the central valley to defend their “time title” from the last two years and should do it in fine style. They ran 81:54 in 2003 making them the fastest ever at Earlybird. The 2004 squad should take down that record! They are currently ranked 8th in the state in Division I and return most of their squad from 2003 that placed 10th at the state finals. They are coming off a dominating victory at the Granite Bay Invitational last week. Madera impresses with their team spirit and will put on a team-running clinic on Saturday. Host North Monterey County will challenge for the title with runner-up finishes to Madera the last two years. The Condors return the key front-runners of a team that enjoyed its best season ever on way to a league and section title and a 4th place state finish. They ran 83:34 last year making them the second fastest team ever and could go under that this year. They enter the season ranked 3rd in California and 1st in CCS Division II! St. Ignatius comes in ranked 9th in the state in Division III and they are the favorites to win the CCS title in that division. San Benito is ranked 3rd in CCS Division I and features some of the finest young runners around. Watsonville is ranked 4th in CCS Division I and Seaside is ranked 2nd in CCS Division III.
In the senior boys’ race it should be part three of a three-year battle between Madera and North Monterey County. These two schools have a couple of the deepest senior classes in the state for 2004!! Nathan Huerta (North Monterey County) is back to defend his 2003 title. Last year he ran 15:51 making him the 3rd fastest ever behind the 15:20 by Brett Gotcher (Aptos) in 2001 and the course record of 15:18 by Alex Dunn (San Lorenzo Valley) in 2003. Nathan enters 2004 ranked 2nd in the state in Division II and is coming off a fantastic 9:08 2 mile during the outdoor track season and an All-American citation in the steeplechase. He is also a pre-season All-West 2nd team member. He’s currently on his way back from a slight IT band injury. If he toes the line, he may run a conservative team race. Benny Madrigal (Madera) ran second to Nathan last year and may be the pre-race favorite if Nathan isn’t up to speed. He’s coming off a dominating victory at the Granite Bay Invite last week. He holds the sophomore course record at 16:26 and is the 3rd fastest junior ever at 15:56. Look for him to go well under that mark. The sleeper is Keli Parker (North Monterey County) from the host school that could send some shockwaves to the running community in 2004. He placed 5th last year and is coming off the best summer of his life. Scott Campbell (Carlmont) is another one to keep tabs on. Anthony Pulido (Madera) and Claudio Moreno (Madera) return to try and duplicate their 2003 top 5 finish. Other contenders include Steven Giron (Los Baņos), Nathan DeVault (Madera), Jason Yow (Monta Vista), Jose Garcia (North Monterey County), Robert Maher (Palma), Chance Caruthers (Aptos), Hari Subramaniam (Saratoga), and Jose Tapia (Watsonville). Look for Seaside led by individual contender Adalberto Corres to make a run at team medals in 3rd.
In the junior boys’ race, Daniel Rocha (Madera) returns after a 16:50 win as a sophomore and a 17:25 win as a freshman. He’s going for a third win in as many years and is the heavy favorite. He’s well on his way to becoming the only four-time champ at Earlybird! Look for him to run around 16:00. Steven Thompson (Seaside) returns to defend his runner-up from last year but keep an eye on Scott Russell (Monta Vista) and a trio of St. Ignatius runners, Nick Alvarado, Daniel Morthole, and Robert Alvarado that should make it a close battle for the top 5. The sleeper in this one is Ivan Alfaro from host North Monterey County. Higher summer mileage and a strong determination will make him a contender for a top individual finish. Jose Sanchez (Greenfield), Kevin Bookholdt (Santa Teresa), and Jaime Gonzalez (Westmoor) should also contend. With their fine trio up-front, St. Ignatius is the pre-meet favorite for the team title but watch North Monterey County as they try and play the role of spoiler. The Bells from Bellarmine should also be in the mix.
In the sophomore boys’ race we hope they go the right way this year. In fact, to make sure, a scooter will lead all races this year! Last year as freshmen, the top couple of runners were misguided near the finish and I’m sure a few of them will be back with some unfinished business in mind. Rigo Vasquez, Eddie Trujillo and Alfredo Lopez all from San Benito return to try and duplicate their 1st-3rd sweep of 2003! Keep an eye on Matt Petrillo (Los Gatos) that was leading when the 2003 mishap occurred. He ran some great times in track and very well may be the favorite this weekend. Look for contenders to include Jimmy Jatho (Los Gatos) and Wes Buntman (Monte Vista Christian) that came on the scene with a 4:34 mile as a freshman. In the team competition, look for the crushing depth of the Madera juggernaut to once again pull off a win. San Benito is just too good up-front to not medal but not quite as deep as Madera and should once again play the role of runner-up. Los Gatos could make it a great battle for a top 3 placing.
The freshman boys are always the great mystery but at least they won’t go the wrong way with our lead scooter!!


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