Cross Country 2015
Seniors Faraz Khan and Ella Hymel Qualify for State!
November, 21st, 2015
Seniors Ella Hymel and Faraz Khan capped their stellar senior campaigns by running their way into the California State Cross Country Championships next Saturday in Fresno. Both Ella and Faraz have been the top runners for the Panthers all season and their Saturday performances showcased their exceptional talents.
According to coach Denis Mohun, Ella’s race was “a perfect example of the type of grit and toughness she has.” Running amongst the top 12 for most of the race, Ella moved into medal position (the top 7) with just under a mile to go before finally settling for 11th overall. Her time of 19:26 was a solid performance for the 4th year runner and team captain. Senior Taryn Kisch-Gallagher ran second for the Panthers, finishing n 21st place. Junior Julia English (29th in 20:05), sophomore Genevieve Wiley (30th in 20:09) and senior Daniela Vaughan (37th in 20:24) rounded out the scoring for the 5th place Panthers, whose final team score of 128 points left them a mere 3 points shy of grabbing a team qualifying spot to state.
For Faraz Khan, his senior season has been nothing short of impressive. He has been amongst the top NCS Division 4 runners all season and his 6th place, medal-winning performance on Saturday solidified that. His 15:50 places him 4th all-time in school history on the Hayward High School championship course and earned him a trip to Fresno as well. “Faraz ran a fast race today,” said head coach Jeff Rogers. “But in some ways I think it was safe. He spotted the first 10 or 11 runners ten seconds in the first mile, then ran a lot of then down. I think you’ll see him take a chance at state…. try and stay a little closer to the lead pack in the first mile. Then, if he can finish like he has been, we might see something special.”
Finishing after Faraz were Owen Woo (16th in 16:39), freshman Finn Rudy (41st in 17:24), junior Peter Klem (53rd in 17:52) and sophomore Sasha Poletaev (59th in 18:08). As a team, the Panthers finished 5th overall.
Both Faraz and Ella culminate the Panthers 2015 season with a run at the State Meet on Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno. Good luck to both of them! Go Panthers!
Panthers Cap TCAL Season with JV Girls Win!
November 6th, 2015
The 2015 edition of the TCAL cross country championships featured enormously competitive races run by exceptionally talented runners from many in the 12 school league. Individual course records fell in both varsity races as well as in the frosh-soph boys race… while 17 varsity girls broke the vaunted 20 minute barrier and 16 varsity boys ran faster than 17 minutes!
“The league has not seen this type of depth and quality in at least 15 years,” said girls coach Denis Mohun. “The conditions were nearly perfect, the competition was there, and the runners took advantage of it.”
For the Panthers, 11 runners spanning all five race divisions achieved 1st team all-league status. Frosh-Soph boys winner Finn Rudy was the lone winner for the Panthers, running the winding, 2 mile Point Pinole course in a record 10:57. Senior Faraz Khan was the varsity boys runner-up in a course PR 15:46. Teammate Owen Woo joined Faraz on the all-league team with his 8th place finish. Seniors Ella Hymel and Taryn Kisch-Gallagher, running in the varsity girls race, each scored personal best times and 1st team medals while leading their team to a close 2nd place finish. Freshman Anya Van Noord ran her best race of the season in leading the JV girls to a dominating team win. Seniors Salome Ragot and Melissa Mariano joined Anya as first team all-league selections with their 6th and 7th place finishes. Junior Matthews Tessema eeked out the last 1st team spot in the JV boys race, while sophomore Sasha Poletaev and freshman Andrew Geist rounded out the top performances for the Panthers on Thursday, finishing 3rd and 6th for the runner-up frosh-soph boys squad.
“To see where these runners are now compared to where they started in September is truly remarkable,” said JV girls coach Kim Pacatte. “We had 11 girls run under 15 minutes today. Samantha, Jo, Jazmin, Sophia, Reyna, Noelle…. all of them showed such a ferocity today. What a great way to end the season!”
2nd team all-league selections included juniors Julia English and Avi Wilson-Perteete for the varsity girls; Maya Hymel, Reyna Heredia, Jo Tarczynski, Gillian Barry-Smith, and Noelle Shaw for the JV girls; and freshman Max Emerling earned himself a medal with his 12th place run for the frosh-soph boys.
In the battle for team supremacy, the JV girls brought home the top prize for the Panthers with a 14 point win over runner-up El Cerrito. The F/S boys fell five points short in their quest for a team title… settling for the runner-up spot instead. The varsity girls top 5 finished in a tie for 2nd with rival Albany but was awarded the second slot on the basis of their 6th runner (Genevieve Wiley) finishing ahead the Cougars 6th runner. Finally, the boys varsity team finished in 3rd behind strong squads from St. Joe’s and Albany.
“Overall, our runners performed great today,” said coach Jeff Rogers. “We start out every season simply asking the kids to show up, practice as well as you can, and compete with not only your legs and lungs but your heart and mind. I feel good about saying our kids used all of those today.”
The TCAL championships serve as a culmination of the JV season, with the varsity teams now moving on to the North Coast Section championship meet on November 21st at Hayward High School. Good luck to both teams as they move into the post-season
JV Girls Win Mariner Invitational
October 17th, 2015
Buoyed by a 1-2-3 finish, the JV Girls posted a dominant win at the 32nd Annual Mariner Invitational. Hosted by Moreau Catholic and run at Hayward High School, the Mariner Invitational featured 30 schools from Fremont to Sacramento. Sophomore Genevieve Wiley, running alongside teammate Katie Woelffer, pulled away in the final 600 meters to record a :12 second win. Katie was second in 12:59 while junior teammate Avi Wilson-Perteete was third in 13:04. Seniors Maya Hymel and Salome Ragot completed the scoring for the Panthers, whose 31 points were 19 points better than runner-up James Logan.
“Obviously our girls got a big boost from the first three runners today,” said coach Kim Pacatte. “Still, all of our girls ran great today. Their desire was evident today, which is all I want from them when they race. Today was a good day.”
Matching the JV girls performance, the varsity quartet of Ella Hymel, Taryn Kisch-Gallagher, Julia English and Daniela Vaughan all broke the venerable 20 minute mark on Saturday. Ella finished first for the Panthers in 19:24, followed by Taryn’s 19:36, Julia’s 19:43 and Daniela’s 19:58.
The performances of the day, however, may have belonged to senior Faraz Khan and freshman Finn Rudy. Faraz, competing on the Hayward course for the penultimate time, ran the 3rd fastest time in school history on the Hayward course… completing the rolling 3 mile course in a lifetime best 15:38.
“Faraz is now running on another level,” supposed head coach Jeff Rogers after the race. “We’ve had some really good runners race on this Hayward course over the past 15 years or so and for Faraz to run faster than all of them but Matt Duffy and Dan Maxwell is pretty incredible. Even more incredible is I think he has more in him!”
Freshman Finn Rudy began the day with a spirited 2nd place finish in the boys Frosh-Soph race. His time of 10:45 is, according to coach Rogers, is “one of the fastest times by a freshman that we’ve ever had.” Fellow 9th graders Khalil Jefferson and Nic Lauxman finished 2nd and 3rd for the Panthers.
Next up for the Panthers is the final TCAL league meet against rival Albany. The meet is on Tuesday at Point Pinole Regional Park, with the first race beginning at 3:45.
Girls 4th, Faraz Khan 11th at Clovis Invitational
October 11th, 2015
The varsity girls proved their meddle and reaffirmed their place amongst the best division 4 teams in California by placing 4th at the ultra-competitive Clovis Invitational on Saturday. Clovis, located just outside Fresno, attracts teams from up and down the state who hope to administer a mid-season test to themselves on the same Woodward Park course that will host the state championships on Thanksgiving weekend. For the Panthers, it also serves as a barometer that measures the progress of the varsity teams.
“Clovis is an annual trip for us,” said coach Denis Mohun. “We like the runners to experience the state meet course in a this type of setting. It helps them become familiar with the course and it offers us (the coaches) some insight into what we need to work on.”
The girls team, once again led by senior Ella Hymel’s 28th place finish, ran a tough race to capture the 4th spot in the 28 team, 200 runner field. Julia English and Taryn Kisch-Gallagher both ran under 21:00 to place 2nd and 3rd for the Panthers… while senior Daniela Vaughan ran just outside 21:00… finishing in 21:04. Avi-Wilson-Perteete and Maya Hymel rounded out the 6 person team at Clovis. Sophomores Genevieve Wiley and Katie Woelffer competed in the F/S race for the Panthers.
The boys, meanwhile, split their squad between the Varsity and JV races.. running 5 in each race. “We wanted to make teams so that guys would have teammates to run with and compete against,” said coach Jeff Rogers.
Senior Faraz Khan continued to flirt with elite-level status by placing 11th overall. His 16:24 on the state meet course is the 5th fastest ever in school history and indicates that he maybe ready to become more than just a force on the North Coast Section level. “Faraz is doing workouts that not many guys we’ve had could do,” said Rogers. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s competing for NCS and state medals later on this year.”
Juniors Owen Woo, Peter Klem and Andre Abayari… along with freshman Andrew Geist all had solid races according to Rogers. “The guys in the JV race were running in 90 degree heat and the guys in the varsity race were warming up before 7:00 am… so considering that I think most guys ran pretty well.”
Next up for the Panthers is a TCAL showdown on Wednesday against St. Joe’s at Crab Cove Park in Alameda. The first race begins at 3:45 pm.
Panthers Score Three Wins in 2nd League Meet
October 9th, 2015
Both JV Boys and Girls teams once again posted dominant victories in their TCAL competitions.. this time against rivals Salesian and El Cerrito. The girls placed a dozen runners among the top 16, while the boys practically matched that performance. Both JV teams are currently undefeated in league competitions. Full results are on the “schedule and results” page.
The Varsity Boys followed suit, staying undefeated in the TCAL by scoring an easy victory over El Cerrito and Salesian. Senior Faraz Khan once again led the way and has yet to be beaten by a TCAL runner this year. Unfortunately, the varsity girls suffered their first loss this year… a narrow 27-30 margin against upstart El Cerrito. Senior Ella Hymel was the top finisher for the Panthers.
Both varisty teams travel to Fresno this weekend for the annual Clovis Invitational. Good luck to the Panthers this weekend!
Panthers Run By Opponents in League Opener
October 1st, 2015
The Panthers opened their league season on Thursday with dominant performances by both JV and Varsity squads. Each team handily defeated teams from St. Patrick’s-St. Vincent, Pinole Valley and Hercules. The JV girls had the first 13 finishers in their race.. led by junior Avi Wilson-Perteete and senior Salome Ragot. Gillian Berry-Snith, Jo Tarczynski, and Anya Van Noord represented the junior, sophomore and freshman classes after that – finishing 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.
The JV Boys, meanwhile, had the first 11 finishers… 9 of whom were freshman… to equal the JV girls dominance. Junior Andre Abayari was the top finisher… followed by freshmen Andrew Geist, Max Emerling, Zander Lieske, and Nic Lauxman. “The guys ran really well today on a tough course,” beamed JV coach Craig Sutphin. “There were 4 pretty substantial hills they had to climb and they all handled them with some toughness. I’m proud of these guys.”
The varsity boys and girls also had convincing wins over all three schools. The boys were led by fast-rising senior Faraz Khan and junior Owen Woo… while the girls squad had the first 8 finishers in the race, with all 8 a mere 1 second apart.
Next up for the Panthers will be TCAL affair on Thursday against Salesian and El Cerrito at Point Pinole Regional Park. First race will begin at 3:45.
Panthers Compete at Stanford Invitational
September 27th, 2015
Both boys and girls varsity teams were in action on Saturday at the prestigious Stanford Invitational. The meet features many of the top teams from around the state, as well as teams from Washington, Oregon and Nevada. The girls finished 14th while the boys placed 26th overall. Full results can be found on the “schedule and results” page.
Youngsters Shine Under Hot Sun at Farmer Invitational
September 20th, 2015
Led by 2 top 11 finishers, the Freshmen boys squad highlighted the Panthers performance on Saturday at the Farmer Invitational.
“Finn Rudy and Andrew Geist definitely set the tone for all the younger runners,” said JV Boys coach Craig Sutphin. “Those two run with a lot of determination and moxy. I think it inspires everyone else to follow suit.”
Following Finn (11:31) and Andrew (11:40) in the freshman race were Matthew Rosenberg (13:00), Zander Lieske (13:11), Dominic Fadelli (13:13) and Julian Tran ((13:37).
Andre Abayari led the JV Boys finishers… completing the rolling 2 mile course in 12:34. Sophomore Ben Jaffe was just over a minute behind Andre, finishing in 13:36 in his first ever cross country race.
For the freshman girls, Sophia Alexander looked much improved from her time trial outing… finishing 36th overall (and 1st for the Panthers) in 15:39. Reyna Heredia wasn’t far behind in 15:41…. Followed by Angelie Cecka (16:05), Jazmine Newsom (16:18) and Madison Bevilacqua (16:30). Following the freshman race, the JV girls took their turn in the 90 degree heat being offered… with senior Salome Ragot just edging out fellow senior Giauna Nu’man – 15:23 to 15:24. Sophomore Jo Tarczynski finished her first ever cross country race in 15:33, with Melissa Mariano next in 16:00.
Overall, the Farmer Invitational served as a testing ground for the athletes – nothing tests a runner’s will quite like dry, hot weather. “For the most part, our runners did very well,” said coach Jeff Rogers afterwards. “Some made some tactical mistakes, all suffered under the bright sun, but very few didn’t fight through the entire race… especially the younger runners.”
Next up for the Panthers is a ‘varsity only’ race at the venerable Stanford Invitational next Saturday.
North Coast Section Detailed Preview
(Div. IV Boys & Girls)
by Albert Caruana, crosscountryexpress.com
As one Division IV coach stated, “Year in and year out, forecasting this division proves to be quite difficult because of the parity that exists between the perennial top dogs.” I agree with that statement wholeheartedly yet here I am trying to make sense of this upcoming season. I am not sure if I can pick a favorite with conviction (especially on the boys side) but I can point out the top teams and individuals.
Over the past 8 years, the most successful team has been St. Mary’s Berkeley….
Girls Varsity Team 4th _ Faraz Khan Fast at Ed Sias Invitational
September 12th, 2015
The 2015 Cross Country season officially opened on Saturday with the Panthers competing at the 31st edition of the Ed Sias Invitational. Hosted by Campolindo High School, the Ed Sias Invite features many of the top runners and teams from the North Coast Section and around the Bay Area. For the Panthers, the varsity girls team finished a very respectable 4th in the small schools race. Top time trial finisher Ella Hymel led the way, rolling her way around the hilly, 2 mile course in 13:38… good for 18th place overall. Junior Julia English and senior Taryn Kisch-Gallagher were within 1 second of each other, finishing 20th and 21st respectively. Sophomores Geneive Wiley and Katie Woelffer followed suit, running most of the race in close proximity before Genevieve finally prevailed. Still, there 28th and 29th place finishes were enough to propel the Panthers into team award position.
“I thought the girls were tremendous today,” said head coach Denis Mohun. “We have had a very tough training week so I thought we may show up tired and flat. These girls, though, are competitors who do not back down from a tough race. I’m proud of them.”
The boys ran a split squad, with the freshmen boys running together in the same race, the newer varsity boys running in the JV race, and the returning varsity boys running in the varsity race. The two top performers of the day were clearly senior Faraz Khan and freshman Finn Rudy. Faraz finished 7th in his race, running the 2nd fastest time in school history at the Ed Sias meet.
“Faraz is a runner on a mission,” said coach Jeff Rogers. “Coaches talk about seniors either having a stellar senior season or suffering through a sub-par year. Faraz is running like a guy who wants no part of ‘average’ this season.”
Likewise, freshman Finn Rudy ran the 2nd fastest time ever by a Panther freshman at Ed Sias. After running in the lead group for the entire race, Finn held off two Bella Vista H.S. freshman to claim the runner-up prize. His was the top finish of the day for the Panthers. Andre Abayari also had a great race, according to coach Rogers. After posting the 13th fastest time at the team’s time trial on Tuesday, Andre ran the 6th fastest at Ed Sias. Coach Craig Sutphin was also very complimentary of his crew after the race. “I’m excited about these guys. This group is so much faster than we were last year at this time. They don’t mind working hard, they’re excited about competing, and they’re running fast! I’m having a great time with these guys!”
Up next for the Panthers will be two meets. The varsity girls will travel to southern California this Friday to compete in the prestigious Woodbridge Invitational…. while the rest of the team will stay local and compete at the Farmer Invitational on Saturday at Hayward High School. Good luck to all the runners this weekend!
Weather, Runners Burn Tilden Time Trial
September 8, 2015
With temperatures reaching the low 90’s by mid-afternoon, today’s running of the 17th annual time trial was literally and figuratively a scorcher. Runners doused themselves with water beforehand, strategized about their pace, consulted with their coaches, and then took to the blazing course… hoping their pre-meet meals and hydration attempts would pay off. In the end, 53 runners crossed the finish line,… tired, hot, several donning new personal bests, and all very thankful the race was over. “We scheduled the time trial for this day back in July,” said boys coach Jeff Rogers. “Little did we know it would be the hottest day of 2015! Still, all the runners braved the heat and did a great job. Our coaching staff was proud of all of their efforts.”
Among the standouts, senior Faraz Khan had the days fastest time, improving his PR :15 seconds in running 10:38. Junior Owen Woo finished behind Faraz in 11:16. The third fastest time of the day belonged to freshman Finn Rudy, whose 11:46 ranks as the 3rd fastest time ever run by a freshman. Only school record holder Matt Duffy and all-state performer Rob Riccardi ran faster in their inaugural year. Freshman teammate Andrew Geist showed his moxy with a #9 all-time freshman run of 12:25. Teammate Max Emerling, he too a 9th grader, had some difficulty finding his way around.. took a wrong turn… and still recovered to run 12:48 and make the all-time top 20 list. Freshmen Zander Lieske and Julian Tran, as well as sophomore Ben Jaffe and junior Alistair Sherris-Watt also received high praise from JV Boys coach Craig Sutphin.
The top girls performers were senior co-captains Ella Hymel and Taryn Kisch- Gallagher, who finished a mere :01 seconds apart. Their 13:17 and 13:18 times rank #8 and #10 all-time. Not far behind Ella and Taryn were varsity teammates Julia English and Daniela Vaughan, who finished just :03 seconds from each other and a scant :17 seconds from their captains. Sophomores Geneveive Wiley and Katie Woelffer both broke the 15:00 minute barrier for coach Mohun’s squad.
“Overall, our workload and the heat sort of caught up with us today… I thought we were a bit flat,” said coach Mohun afterwards. “However, I liked our grit and the fight the girls showed. I think this squad is progressing nicely and will show great improvement as the season gets on.”
In the days feature race, JV girls Coach Pacatte outdistanced JV Boys Coach Sutphin to claim campus bragging rights. “We were even for most of the race, but the last hill was the difference. I could feel myself gaining a bit of a lead on the hill, which motivated me to get to the finish line first. I commend Coach Sutphin though, he gave it all he had. Unfortunately for him, I didn’t plan on losing today.”
Coach Pacatte’s spirit and ferocity sum up today’s time trial. Every runner showed some of it.. some showed a lot. This weekends race, the Ed Sias Invitational, will require runners to summons that same attitude. 40 schools, sun shining, fast race, tough course….. the 2015 cross country season has certainly begun. Good luck to all the runners this weekend!
Excitement and Uncertainty Usher in 2015 Cross Country Season
August 19th, 2015
Each cross country season brings with it an air of uncertainty and the 2015 season will be no different. Having graduated 7 varsity runners from the boys and girls 2014 teams, this year’s teams are hoping that those voids will be filled, in numbers a
and performance, by hungry, dedicated, talented runners.
“Anytime you lose the kind of talent and depth that we did, a bit of uncertainty is surely to follow,” said boys head coach Jeff Rogers. “The jump from JV to Varsity is substantial, both physically and psychologically. So the challenge certainly lies in front of us. Still, I am optimistic that this group can carry on the strong tradition we’ve established over the past decade.”
These feelings of optimism are fueled by the combination of several returning runners and a group of talented up and comers. Leading the way for the girls will be senior co-captains Taryn Kisch-Gallagher and Ella Hymel. Each girl brings a bevy of experience, talent and toughness to their 2015
squad. “Our team will most certainly be led by Taryn and Ella,” said longtime coach Denis Mohun. “Those two have put in a lot of work this summer and both are looking for fast senior seasons. Historically, hard work and big desires result in strong performances. Look for those two to run well.” In addition to Taryn and Ella, junior Avi Wilson-Perteete will have a major impact on this year’s team. Despite this being her first full year on the varsity team, Avi is coming off a sophomore track season that saw her shatter the school record in the 800 meters, make the California state final is that event, and run a leg on the state champion 4 x 400 team. Talent is obviously not a question mark for this gifted junior. Add to the mix seniors Maya Hymel and Daniela Vaughan, junior Julia English, and the sophomore trio of Lupe Saldana, Katie Woelffer and Genevieve Wiley and Coach Mohun’s squad numbers nine deep… all with talent, desire and the type of dedication needed to field a championship squad.
For the boys, the 2015 team’s hopes rest on the ability of some of the younger runners to transition to varsity as quickly as possible. The team will be led by two very talented runners in junior Owen Woo and senior Faraz Khan. Faraz’s 2014 season ended with him representing the Panthers at the State Championships. He enters the 2015 season as one of the individuals vying for a medal at the
NCS MOC meet in November. Similarly, Owen capped his 2015 spring track season as one of the area’s top 2 milers.. clocking 9:45 for the 3200 meter distance. Combined with a big summer training season, all indications are that he too will enter the fray and compete for one of the top spots at MOC. After Faraz and Owen, the Panthers will rely on a pair of returning juniors, Roger Levaux and Jared Flint, to run solid and the #3 and 4 spots. From there, the development and desire of the trio of Matthews Tessema, Sasha Polataev, and Andre Abayari will hold a big key to the success of the Panthers.
“My hope for our 2015 team is that their appetite for running continues to grow,” says Rogers. “I think that is the prerequisite for improvement and success in this sport. I see a few of the guys already chomping at the bit but we’ll need everyone to match their enthusiasm. I’m equal parts excited and uncertain heading into this season.” Which, in many respects, is what most runners feel as they get on the starting line of a race… excited and uncertain.
The season opens on with the 17th annual time trial at Tilden Park on Tuesday, September 8th, followed by the Ed Sias Invitational on Saturday, September 12th. Come out and support the Panthers as they kick off their 2015 campaign.