20th Annual Legends of Cross Country
5K Race & Seeded 5K Team Race
Sunset Park, Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, August 6, 2016 - 6:45am
***Championship Series Event ***
All entrants receive a custom “20th Annual Legends of Cross Country” t-shirt.
$30 LVTC Members $35 LVTC Members $50 EVERYONE
All proceeds go to the LVTC Scholarship Fund.
Three Divisions: Male, Female, Mixed (at least 2 men and 2 women)
Seeded Open Women—sub 22:00 Seeded Masters Women—sub 24:00.
* Exemptions granted to Seniors/Super Seniors
Friday, August 5, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Summer Track Series for 2016 Opens with Championship Series 3200
Races on the track, sponsored by the Las Vegas Track Club, go back to the 1970’s when the track at UNLV was open to the public. Before the early 90’s the only tracks in the Las Vegas valley with an artificial surface were at UNLV, Eldorado High School, and what was then Clark County Community College in NLV.
In the early 90’s Clark County School District began building new high schools, starting with Cheyenne and Green Valley which opened in 1991. One of the features of the new schools was artificial-surface tracks, which became a magnet for runners and joggers, especially during the summer months when schools were not in session. Eventually all the high schools in Clark County—from Laughlin to Mesquite (Virgin Valley HS) and places in between were upgraded with new tracks and over the years LVTC would host summer events on the tracks in Henderson, Las Vegas, and NLV.
In 2010, the same year that the Championship Series was inaugurated, we restarted the STS. It consisted of six events—three at Durango HS and three at Green Valley HS—two weeks apart in June, July, and August. Events were held on a Tuesday night, starting at 7 p.m. and distances varied from a 400 meter run to a 5000 (16 ½ laps). One of the key features of the STS was its informality. Races were free—just sign up and run. We recorded times and posted them on our web site. The club provided water and cups. That was it.
This year, our seventh season, we have tweaked things a bit. We’re going back to UNLV for all our events. The use of the high school tracks have become more and more difficult to arrange and UNLV is a better central location anyway, now that it is available and open to the public. We’re also going to try using Saturday mornings for half of our races. This was suggested by some of our members. The evening temps are brutal in the summer months. We’ll still do one a month on Tuesdays, as in the past, and now one a month on Saturday mornings early, (6:30 start time). This way we beat the heat and get folks out of there in time to do other things on Saturday morning.
Races are still free but our donation jar will be there for those who wish to say “Thank you, “ with all donations going to our Scholarship Fund. Races will be on alternate Tuesday’s and Saturday’s starting June 14th. Signups start at around 6:15 p.m. with a first “gun time” of 7:00 on Tuesday and 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, with a start time of 6:30. Here is the tentative schedule. Check the web site (www.lvtc.org) for updates as to dates.
Date Event Location
June 14 (Tues) 3200* UNLV Track (all events)
June 25 (Saturday) 3200*
July 12 (Tuesday) 1600
July 23 (Saturday) 800/400
August 13 (Saturday) 3200
August 23 (Tuesday) 1600/800
*Championship Series Event—two sessions, multiple heats, compiled results
Dom and Amanda Show up on Race Day and Win Fat Boy 5K
Our own Dominic and Amanda Henriques had to start from scratch, but it didn’t stop them from finishing first at the 8th annual Las Vegas Fat Boy 5K at Bunker Park on Saturday. Both ran impressive times, 16:04.8 for Dominic and 19:32.1 for Amanda (6th overall, among all finishers).
Amanda had it pretty much all to herself; her nearest challenger, Kara Radzak, finished almost four minutes back (23:00.5). Dominic didn’t have it so easy. Andrew Duncan, the ageless wonder, hung tough with his 29-year-old upstart challenger throughout the race. Andrew finished less than four seconds back in 16:08.7. I wonder how many 48-year-olds, in Las Vegas or elsewhere, can still run a 5:12-mile-pace for a 5K? Not many I would suggest. Still, it was good day for the Henriques, who didn’t have to contend with fellow Red Rock Racers JJ Santana and Erica Schramm and snuck under the radar by not preregistering.
It was perfect day for the race. The noon start time meant temperatures in the low 70’s and there was little or no wind to contend with for this pre-Valentine’s Day gala. Race Director Kobbe Shaw did his usual superb job of providing great food—from donuts to BBQ pork and brats—and a variety of beverages, everything from beer to chocolate milk, and quirky prizes. Who else would come up with Fat Boy ice cream sandwiches as a give away? (They were good by the way. The winner shared them! No way you could take those home with you.)
If there was a fly in the ointment it was low turnout, fewer than 90 total runners and walkers, the smallest number in years. It was especially sad to see so much of the prepared food go begging, along with 200-plus left over tee-shirts. Yes, there were other local running events on the calendar, but still... to call the turnout for this event “disappointing” is an understatement. I don’t know the answer to this problem of low turnout for LVTC-sponsored event, but it needs to be dealt with. I don’t think I have ever seen so few LVTC members at one of our sponsored races, not this century anyway. I can only hope we do better for the Celebrate Education 8K next month.
That said, kudos go to those LVTC members who did show up to help, processing applications, passing out the goodies, taking pictures, and helping with course management: Tim Kelly, Mike Reago, Brenda Herbstman, Gary Campbell, and any others I have overlooked. Also, thanks go to Tim Simmonis and Natalie Thomas who did a flawless job of timing the runners and recording the results in near real-time.
Winter Tracksters Run 10K at UNLV
That was cool! It’s not often that you get to count down from 25 when keeping track of laps on the track. I can’t recall ever being involved with a 10K on the oval surface before. But I had put it on the schedule as one of our six races for this first-ever LVTC Winter Track Series, so there it was.
Nine participants signed up to run and fellow-volunteer Mike Reago and I assigned them all bib numbers so we could keep track of laps. (We knew many would be lapped multiple times before the race was over.) A couple of guys started early—keeping their own times—but we still managed to track their laps. Here’s how it all turned out.
From the gun our frontrunner was newcomer-to-Las Vegas Bhavik Kanzura, who ran an impressive 35:59. That’s a sub-6 pace! Bhavik is a recent graduate of UC Santa Barbara and he’s now living in Las Vegas, enrolled in med school. He saw the posting on the web site about our race and just showed up. I think we convinced him to join the track club. Bhavik would make a nice addition to our club as a member of what I call our “young guns” (Bhavik is 25), training and competing against guys like JJ Santana, Dominic Henriques, Ryan Ripley, and Devin Mancuso.
The next two finishers were women masters, our own Rosalva Bonilla and Toshie Bertsch. Both are terrific competitors, who need no introduction from me. Rosalva is a former Olympian, who moved to the Las Vegas area a little over a year ago, and Toshie is our 2015 Championship Series winner. Rosalva ran her 10K a tick under 43 minutes and Toshie was a lap back in 45 flat. Most impressive for a couple of ladies over 50.
Finishing just behind them was Cody Thornock. Cody and his dad, Steve, had split the 10K. Steve ran the first twelve-and-a-half laps and Cody finished it. Their combined time was 46:40. A good effort.
Following this dynamic duo was September Boles, a visitor, who ran 54:12 for her 25 laps.
Carl Wright, who had started early, finished next. He called his time as 1:00:34. Even with a three-lap head start, Carl was lapped multiple times by our leader, Bhavik, but it was still a nice run by Carl.
Our own Allen Bauer was next. Allen put on a surge at the end and finished his 10K in 59:59. Another good effort from a super senior (Allen just turned 60).
And last, but certainly not least, was our own Pat McMillin. Pat didn’t finish the 10K—he never intended to—but he had a good workout on the track and we appreciated his coming out.
It was a modest turnout, to be sure, but 10,000 meters on the track is never going to be a big draw.
I expect many more signups for our final WTS event, the Championship Series 1500 meter run on February 27th. Same time, same place: 8:00 a.m. start on the UNLV track. We’ll run multiple heats (slow to fast) as necessary and determine the top-10 finishers, by gender, based on composite times. Age-groups (top-5 score points) will be determined by who shows up. The price is right, a $1 donation in the scholarship jar.
Poker Run Winners Brave the Cold
When my wife and I used to go to auctions in England back in the early 70’s, we always had our best success when they were held in remote locations in the middle of winter. This year’s Poker Run was kinda like that. Old Silver Bowl park is tucked away at the east end of the valley, only accessible from an off street that even Map Quest has trouble finding. And January 23rd certainly qualifies as the middle of winter. There was no wind, but it was cold at 8 o’clock in the morning!
But those brave souls—all 36 of them—who came out to run and win prizes—ranging from a $100 voucher for pair of running shoes at Foot Solutions, to free race entries, to an 8-pack of Powerade—at this year’s Poker Run had a pretty good odds of winning. It turns out that at least 15 of them produced winning hands. And some of the least likely hole cards were the biggest winners, as you shall see.
This is a quirky event. Contestants run a 5K or a 2 miler and collect three cards. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or where you finish. You get your three cards. This year’s first finisher was our own JJ Santana, as you would expect. (After all JJ is the Championship Series defending champ.) JJ picked up a pair of Aces and King for his hole cards. First in, best cards, right? If I were playing at the World Series of Poker, I’d probably go “all in” with that. But that’s not the way this game is played. You have to wait until all the runners are in before the flop and the river, when four cards are turned over to go with the three hole cards to determine the best poker hands (or the worst—low hands can win too).
It was a long wait for JJ and some of the fast guys and gals (newest Legend Kate Vanderstelt was third behind JJ and Sergio Ibarra). But once the last runner collected his third card at the finish line, we were ready to go. Drum rolls, please.
Here they come: 8 of clubs, Queen of diamonds, 3 of clubs…and, finally, 2 of hearts. I knew as soon as that second club came up we had at least a couple of Flush winners since I had seen several of our players clutching three clubs. But so much for JJ’s pair of Aces and King; no winner, that.
The two top winners had a full house! Margot van den Acker had three Q’s and a pair of 2’s and Robert Chrisman had three 2’s and pair of Q’s. The next three winners did, indeed, have a club flush, the best one being a K-high flush held by Jack Henderson. Next came Janet Vanderstelt and Paula Hilt, who both had a Q-high club flush.
The best low hand was held by Pieter Hildebrand, whose “worst” five cards added up to 17. Also winners with low hands were Malcolm Singer and Sanne Hildebrand with a low total of 19, and Chelsey Minchell and Edwin Gonzalez with 21.
Other high hand winners were Carl Wright with trip 8’s, and four players who all had two pair: Jacob Hook, Q’s over 8’s; Katherine Singer, 8’s over 3’s; Christian Robinson, 8’s over 2’s; and Oliver Hildebrand (3’s over 2’s), (making the Hildebrands 3 for 3, among the 15 announced winners).
Actually, the LVTC Scholarship Fund was the biggest winner of all, as all the entry fees go towards scholarships. And one nice thing about this course “in the middle of nowhere” is that there are no fees to pay, unlike our more popular venues like Sunset Park, Bunker Park, Kellogg-Zaher and the like. I would love to go back to places like Pecos Legacy and other parks in Henderson for this event, but, frankly, we can’t afford it. So I guess we’re left with Old Silver Bowl Park. Hopefully, next year more than 36 folks will show up and play poker with us, but maybe that’s what it’s all about: find an auction (or game) in a remote location in the middle of winter. You have a better chance of winning.
As for this year’s fast runners, there’s always next year, JJ and Sergi. But Kate came out ahead, even if her pair of 2’s didn’t win. Her mom was a winner and copped a ticket to the banquet in June when Kate will be collecting her Legends plaque and, I suspect, other awards.
Finally, I want to thank our volunteers and those who donated prizes:
And as they say on PBS: “Viewers like you.” Thanks for coming out and donating to this worthy cause.
Phil Lawton, Scholarship Chair
|Winner's Name||Winning Hand||Low Total|
|Margot Van den Acher||Full House (Q's and 2's|
|Robert Chrisman||Full House (2's and Q's|
|Jack Henderson||Club Flush (K high)|
|Janet Vanderstelt||Club Flush (Q high)|
|Paula Hilt||Club Flush (Q high)|
|Carl Wright||3 of a kind (8's)|
|Jacob Hook||2 pair (Q's and 8's)|
|Katherine Singer||2 pair (8's and 3's)|
|Christian Roberinson||2 pair (8's and 2's)|
|Oliver Hildebrand||2pair (3's and 2's)|
Toshie Bertsch and JJ Santana
Toshie Bertsch, Jim Tanner & Jamie Ross
JJ Santana & Bree Thorpe Win Club Championship 10K
To begin the new year right, JJ Santana picked up right where he left off in 2015, winning races handily. He literally ran away from the field on a chilly day in January on the Kellog-Zaher Park 10K course. JJ’s winning time of 33:27.7 was more than two a half minutes faster than that of the next finisher, Alejandro Belmares (36:00.5).
The next four runners were spread out as well. Jeremy Wallace was almost two minutes behind Alejandro (37:45.9). Eric Hosafros (37:47.8) was a close fourth—the first Master to cross the finish line—but James Tanner, the second Master, who rounded out the top 5, was another 45 seconds back (38:31.3).
The first women to finish, and 6th overall, was “outsider” Bree Thorpe (38:56.2). Bree, who frequently runs in LVTC races (she was 1st at the Notch Run in July and 3rd at the Legends Run in August), still chooses not to join the track club. In fact, the first LVTC member on the distaff side to cross the finish line was Tanya Carrier, fourth overall among the women. Between her and Bree were Shelby Nelson and Nicole Jewell. Fifth place overall belonged to our own Jennifer Lee, who was the first female Master.
In total there were 47 finishers in the 10K, all of whom collected points towards the 2016 Championship Series. Also handed out at the awards ceremony after the race were the bowls and mugs earned by the top-10 finishers in the 2015 Championship Series.
The next event in the Series will be on the track at UNLV on February 27th, , a 1500 meter run.
Top 10 LVTC Events of 2015
1. JJ Santana and Toshie Bertsch win Championship Series VI
To say that JJ Santana dominated the men’s competition in 2015 is an understatement. He ran roughshod over it, earning 117 out of a possible 120 points! Of the eight events in last year’s series, JJ won six and was runner-up in the other two. And he shows no inclination to slow down in 2016, winning the Club Championship 10 in January, the first event in CS VII. If JJ can repeat in 2016, he would become the first back-to-back champion. Stephen Morgan won twice but not in consecutive years (2010 and 2012).
For Toshie Bertsch, it was more of a grind. She competed in every event, plus got points bonus for running in the Boston Marathon. Toshie becomes the oldest winner, the club’s first O-50 runner to get his/her name on the perpetual trophy. It was also redemption for Toshie after getting edged out by Erica Schramm by a single point for first place in 2014.
2. Banquet Honors Club’s top runners, etc.
Ryan Ripley and Erica Schramm: Runners of the Year
Jennifer Lee and Gamini Sugathadasa: Masters Runners of the Year
Erik Edmondson and Olivia Garcia: Youth Runners of the Year
Jeneke Heerema and Garrett Meyer: High School Runners of the Year
Evan Alejandro: Most Improved Runner
Gary Campbell: Volunteer of the Year
Meyer Family: Family of the Year
The names speak for themselves here. The annual banquet is the highlight of the LVTC year, recognizing the achievements of club members. Many who are highlighted elsewhere show up throughout other top-10 events as well.
An additional recognition here goes to Linda Williams who, as the Banquet Chair, coordinated the event at Three Square Food Bank. To quote from what was said at the time: “The food was outstanding and the setting and ambiance was perfect.”
3. Maria Riach newest Iron Camel
Maria’s award of the Iron Camel, the club’s most coveted recognition, was the highlight of the banquet and as such deserves its own place in the top-10. Maria clearly earned this award, not only for recognition as one of the club’s top senior runners—she has been in the top-10 of the Championship Series every year since its onset in 2010—but also for her longtime service to the club as a club officer and most recently as the Grand Prix Chair and as a member of the Scholarship Committee.
4. Scholarship Winners: Jeneke Heerema, Abigail Jimenez-Torres, Garrett Meyer, Delaney Paul
The number of qualified applicants was down this year, but that takes nothing away from the achievements of the four winners. All four had outstanding academic, athletic, and citizenship credentials. Jeneke and Garrett were also selected as the LVTC High School Runners of the Year.
5. Marathoners Thrive Throughout USA
At the risk of slighting many other LVTC members who completed marathons in 2015, it’s impossible to overlook the accomplishments of Toshie Bertch, Jennifer Lee, Gerry Morgan and Gamini Sugathadasa, who qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon;
Kat Tadich (first NV finisher) and Alejandro Belmares (sub 3) at the New York Marathon; and Erica Schramm, first female finisher at the Tucson Marathon (also sub 3).
6. High School Members Excel at State in Cross Country and Track
Cross Country: Karina Haymore (1st, Division 1), Mackenzie Morgan (16th, Division 1, 2nd freshman all races), Kate Vanderstelt (14th, Division 1), Chase Wood (1st, Division 1A), Sierra Selinger (16th, Division 1A), Bryce Odegard (4th, Division 1A).
Track: Karina Haymore (Division 1 800M Champion), Jeneke Heerema (Division-3 800M runner-up and 1600MX4 Champion [yes, four-time state champion!], Chase Wood (Division 1A 2Xdouble Champion: 1600M & 3200M)
Haymore and Vanderstelt will be inducted into the Legends Cross Country Hall of Fame (HoF), Class of 2015. Heerema and Wood were inducted into the HoF—Class of 2014—at this year’s LVTC Banquet.
7. Championship Series expands for 2016; adds Winter Track Series
LVTC joins forces with Desert Sky Adventures for the Summerlin Half Marathon and with Revel Racing for REVEL Mt. Charleston Marathon in 2016. Hopefully, these two high-profile, local events will help promote the club and boost our membership (each race offers a significant discount for LVTC members).
The Winter Track Series was added to the 2015-16 race schedule. As a complement to the Summer Track Series, it consists of two events per month in December through February. It will culminate in a 1500M Championship Series race on February 27th. All events are to be held on the track at UNLV.
8. Legends Run 2015
The 19th Annual Legends Run 5K at Sunset Park resulted in the biggest field ever, 269 finishers. JJ Santana and Erica Schramm were the two top finishers, winners of the Seeded race. Dajour Braxton, Solomon Bennett, Nick Meis, and Chase Wood finished 2-5 in Men’s Overall.
Erica Schramm, Laura Chappell, Bree Thorpe, Mercy Ray, and Kat Tadich finished 1-5 among all women, leading Red Rock Racers to a sweep in the Women’s Team event. Coach G’s All Stars were double winners, winning the Men’s and Mixed Team events.
9. New Faces on the Board for 2015-16
Elections announced at the banquet saw the reelection of Tim Kelly as President, Mike Reago as Secretary and Ryan Young as Treasurer. The elected Vice Presidents were Jared Sweet, James Alejandro, and J.P. Harvey. Since then Alex Tushinsky has been appointed as the Membership Chair and Cathy Meyer as the Events Chair. Another new face on the Board will be Brenda Herbstman who replaces Cathy as Events Chair in February of this year.
And finally, last but certainly not least….
10T. Sarah Hemphill and Ryan Young Get Hitched (10/10/15)
10T. Julian Dominic Henriques Arrives (10/26/15) and becomes LVTC’s youngest Lifetime Member (01/16/16).
Legends Hall of Fame, Class of 2015
Austin Rogers and Kate Vanderstelt Join Karina Haymore and Colin Schaefer
Two automatic qualifiers and two elected candidates comprise the Class of 2015 Southern Nevada Cross Country Legends Hall of Fame. Karina Haymore qualified by becoming the girls 2015 D-1 State Champion. Colin Schaefer earned his way in by becoming a qualifier for the 2015 Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) finals this past November. Although Colin no longer resides in Nevada, his two years as a varsity runner for Coronado before moving to Virginia, makes him eligible. The other two inductees each received at least 75% of the votes; no other candidate received the necessary 50% to remain on the ballot next year.
Elected - Percent of Votes (%)
Austin Rogers 100
Kate Vanderstelt 84.6.
Here is a brief look at all four of the newest Legends.
Austin Rogers. Austin’s unanimous selection was no surprise and well deserved. The Green Valley senior was the top D-1 runner in southern Nevada in his senior year, and the Sunrise Region D-1 winner for the past two years. He was 4th at state in 2014 and runner-up in 2015. Austin ran varsity for the Gators for four years and ran at state all four years. He and Chase Wood (Faith Lutheran), inducted as a state champion last year, clearly were the two dominant runners in southern Nevada this past season. Both runners had a 5K PR of 15:45, achieved on the same day but in different races at the 2015 Southern Division Championships.
Kate Vanderstelt. Kate was four-year runner at Palo Verde and a four-time state qualifier (she and Rogers were the only two among the candidates). Although often in the shadow of teammates such as Legend Marisa Suan and, this year, Emma Wahlenmaier (a junior this fall), Kate was top-10 in the Sunset Regional three times and improved steadily in her four years: a 5K PR (19:46) in 2015 and All-State status (14th ) as a senior.
Karina Haymore.. Karina earned her Legend status by becoming a state champion in November of 2015, but it was not without a roller-coaster ride getting there. As a sophomore at Foothill (after moving from Arizona after her freshman year), Karina won the Sunrise Regional, then finished 36th at State. When her family moved from Henderson to Las Vegas in 2015, Karina ran for Centennial this year. She won the Southern Division NW race but finished 16th in the Sunset Regional (as Centennial’s seventh runner). But then she pulled off the upset of all upsets at State by going from a 36th place in 2014 to 1st place in 2015, leading the Bulldogs to their second straight state title. Karina followed that up by running a 5K PR (19:17) in the Championship race at NXN Southwest Regional. She is a most worthy Legend.
Colin Schaefer. Based just on Colin’s two years at Coronado a strong case can be made for his status as a Legend. As a freshman he was second in the 9th grade race at the Frosh-Soph Championships, finished 8th at the Sunrise Regional, and was 36th at State. In Colin’s sophomore year as a Cougar, he won the 10th grade race at Frosh-Soph, was second at the Sunrise Regional (Rogers was third), and fifth at State (behind McQueen’s Kai Benedict and three Legends: Eddie Esquivel, Dajour Braxton, and George Espino). When Colin moved to Virginia—after his father was transferred from Nellis AFB—he really blossomed. He was 7th at state (Virginia 6A, the top class) as junior and 4th as a senior, as he led his team to the 6A state championship. Colin then qualified for NXN finals in Oregon with a fourth-place finish in the NXN Southeast Regional. He had a 5K PR of 15:10, achieved his senior year.
All four will be honored at the Las Vegas Track Cub Banquet in June and the Legends Run in August.
Championship Series 2016
This year we have gone back to the original formula of 12 events, one per month (with a minor exception in May). Events cover a spectrum from a 1500 on the track to a full marathon.
1. Twelve scheduled races. In the event of ties in final standings, consider participation: more is better. If still, tied share place.
2. Must be an active member of LVTC on day of race in order to score points.
3. Awards to be determined by the Board. Top five for the “big awards”; lesser awards for six through ten.
4. Scoring stays the same. You earn five points for participating in a race—and finishing—and score performance points (whichever
gives you the most points not both) as follows:
Overall (top 10): 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-), Age-Group (top 5): 5-4-3-2-1)
Age-Group scoring follows the scoring for that event. If that particular race uses 5-year age groups, you score that way. If results score 10-year age groups, etc., you score accordingly. Age-group points factor all runners, including those who were scored as Top-3 Overall or Top-3 Masters.
1. Club Championship 10K (January)
2. Winter Track Series 1500 meters (February)
3. Celebrate Education 8K (March)
4. Summerlin Half Marathon (April)
5. REVEL Mt. Charleston Marathon*
6. Summer Track Series 3200 meters (June)
7. Notch Run 4M (July)
8. Legends Run 5K (August)
9. Forest Challenge 11M (September)
10. Danny Gans Memorial Champions Run For Life 5K (October)
11. LVTC Turkey Trot 5K/10K (November) [can run and score either one]
12 LVTC Holiday Half Marathon (December)
*Wild-Card Marathon—a full marathon (26.2 miles and must be a USATF certified course/event) run during the calendar year.
Points awarded as per 1d (above). Race other than REVEL Mt. Charleston Marathon must be submitted to the Series Chair
Winter Track Series
I’m happy to announce that a Winter Track Series (WTS) is now underway. It compliments the popular Summer Track Series (STS) that runs from June to August.
It consists of six track events, ranging from the 400/800 all the way up to a 10,000 on the track. Since we’re entering an Olympic year, all events will be metric. Not sure how well a 10K on the track will work, but it is an Olympic event. What better time to try it than 2016.
We’ll host two events a month starting this December and running through February. Like the STS, these will be low-key events with no entry fee. We’re suggesting a modest donation of a dollar that goes into the Scholarship Fund jar but that’s it. No awards, per se, but we promise timed races with results posted promptly on the club’s web site. Each race will have one or more heats—fast and slow, slow first—to accommodate all who show up.
The last event in the Series will be special, included as the 2016 Championship Series event for February, the Mel Sheppard 1500 meter run (you can “google” him to see where I came up with that). Again, as many heats/sections as we need to provide fair competition. The top times will result in Championship Series points for top-10 Overall and top-5 in Age-Group scoring.
Instead of using high school tracks, this time we are using the tracks at UNLV and the William U. Pearson Center in NLV (MLK and Carey). Both facilities have adequate parking and rest room facilities and are more readily available than the high school tracks. All events will be on Saturdays and will start at 8:00 am—with sign-ups starting at 7:30.
Here is the latest schedule (subject to change). We are working around other LVTC events like the Half Marathon, the Club Championship 10K, and events like Chef’s for Kids and the Fat Boy 5K. Likewise, the track at UNLV will in use for their all-comers track meets in January and February, hence the use of two tracks.
December 12 Kick-Off 3000M @ UNLV
December 26 Boxing Day Speed Workout 400M/800M @ Pearson
January 2 Happy New Year 1600M/3200M @ UNLV
January 30 Bob Schul 5000M @ Pearson
February 7 Billy Mills 10,000M @ UNLV
February 27 Mel Sheppard 1500M @ UNLV
So, come on out and help us keep the “track” in the Las Vegas Track Club.
2015 Holiday Half-Marathon & Half-Marathon Relay
Congratulations to all the finishers at our Holiday Half Marathon and Relay yesterday. It was disappointing turnout for such an important event—the finale to the 2015 Championship Series—but those who did run and finish were rewarded with cloudless skies and no wind on a cool but pleasant December morning at Equestrian Park in Henderson.
The challenging 13.1 mile course that Race Director Tim Kelly laid out didn’t deter race winner John (better knows as JJ) Santana, who turned in a sparkling 1:13:49 for the Half, a new course record, and 5 minutes faster than his 2014 winning time. Just over 3 minute back was Ryan Daniels – new to the Championship Series – in a time of 1:16:51. And third overall was our own James Tanner who finished strong at 1:26:19. James is a Masters runner who ran off and left all the younger runners except JJ and Ryan.
The women’s race was won by our own Jennifer Lee in a time of 1:38:01, the second fastest women’s time on this course after Erica Schramm’s 1:35:11 run last year. Still, Jennifer beat all but the first seven men and right behind her (ninth overall, second woman) was Jaime Ross in 1:40:24. The third women overall, and a Masters runner like Jennifer, was Toshie Bertsch in 1:47:15.
And while we’re pointing out Overall and Master’s winners in the Half, let me apologize for the oversight of not having the awards available for those winners. The age-division top 3 got their medals after the race, but the top-3 Overall and top-3 masters will have to wait until January to get their awards. Hopefully, it will be worth the wait. Their awards will be given out at our annual Championship Series awards distribution, January 9th at Kellog-Zaher Park, following the Club Championship 10K. That race will inaugurate our 2016 Championship Series.
Back to the Half Marathon and Relay. As I pointed out, the turnout was pretty sparse, only 35 finishers in the Half—20 men and 15 women. I’m convinced that not having a shorter-race option kept many of our regular LVTC runners away. Maybe we need to take another look at that when we plan our race for next year.
That said, the Relay alternative to the Holiday Half Marathon did attract seven teams and there was competition in all three divisions: Men-Women-Mixed. The first team to finish was a mixed team of four fast teenagers: Audrey Boch-Collins, Sedona Gallagher, Michael Pasimio, and Trevor Pearl. Running 5K-5K-5K-6K legs they crossed the finish line in 1:34:40. The second team to finish was a Men’s team of Robert English, John Schaeffer, Scott Fiszer, and Chris Anaya, who were all Masters. The first Women’s team to finish was a team of Kellie Phillips, Maria Vivion, Erica Parva, and Olga Titova. All three winning teams collected $100 and a medal for their efforts.
Finally, a word of thanks to our team of LVTC volunteers, including Tim Kelly, Mike Reago, Ryan Young, and Sara Hemphill Young.
Also yesterday was the LVTC’s annual Holiday Party, hosted again by Steffen Schneider at his home. Those who showed up were treated to great food and lots of holiday cheer. And those who did attend will get their Grand Prix points. Promise. (We do need to get that updated. The last posting was from an event back in April.). Thanks, Steffen. Your efforts are appreciated.
Our next LVTC event will be the second event in our Winter Track Series, a 400/800-meter workout—at least two heats of each—on the Pearson Community Center track in NLV (Carey and MLK), at 8:00 a.m. on Boxing Day (December 26th). I hope to see many of you there.
2015 Turkey Trot
This year’s LVTC Turkey Trot managed to hit triple digits as just over a hundred runners turned out for the combined 10K—5K—1M events. Before I discuss the results in detail as to their effect on Championship Series standings, here are a few comments from our own Tim Kelly, this year’s race director:
The Turkey Trot had some interesting twists.
· The Clark County Public Works Dept. issued us a permit based on the barricade plan we submitted. They neglected to tell us (no notification at all) that there was a sewer reconstruction project underway near the turnaround point.The road was blocked off, and there was heavy equipment and pipes scattered around the area where the road had been.Consequently, the 5K was shortened.We ran as far as we could, then turned around well short of the turnaround point.
· The women's winners in the 5K & 10K are sisters: Mercy Ray and Bree Thorpe.
· I expected some of the men to switch from the 10K to the 5K where they had better hopes of winning the prize money. None of them did.
So how did things play out? As expected the 10K was the more hotly contested race. The three money winners ($200-$100-$50) among the men all ran sub-34 with the rest of the field at least two minutes back.
JJ Santana (33:29.1) nipped Devin Mancuso (33:44.4), with new-daddy Dominic Henriques another 11 seconds behind Devin (33:55.6). Martin Garcia finished fourth (36:07.6) while Eric Hosafros (38:01.8) finished 5th overall and was the first Male Master.
As has already been noted above, the first woman overall was Bree Thorpe. Not only was Bree the first female finisher, she was sixth overall—both genders—in an impressive time of 38:30.1, more than five minutes ahead of the next woman. The second and third-place money among the women went to Priscilla Ortiz (43:43.3) and Jaime Ross (43:52.6). The first Female Master was Janie Schurr (1:02:03.3).
The 5K had the most finishers (64) and was shortened to something less than a 5K, as Tim noted earlier, so times were faster than would be expected. Nevertheless, the first three men all broke 16 minutes and shared the same prize money as the “heavy hitters” in the 10K. Derek Williams, (15:12.8), relatively new on the scene, was first; Jorge Mejia (15:30.5) finished second; and Raymond Fong (15:58.3) took the money for Show (third). Alejandro Belmares finished fourth (16:21.7), and the first Male Master, fifth overall, was James Tanner (16:45.1).
The first three women were right behind James, sixth-seventh-eighth overall—both genders. Mercy Ray’s time of 17:51.6 was a full minute better than runner-up Christine Gentile’s time of 19:05.7. Third-place money in the 5K went to Tiffany Barrett (19:10.1). Christine was the first over-40 runner among the women; however, in this era of “no double dipping,” the first Female Master medal went to Toshie Bertsch (20:54.7).
As for Championship Series standings, both the 10K and the 5K were scoring events, with the following effects. Among the men the leaders—top seven—all competed and earned no less than 9 points. JJ Santana, with his 15 points for winning the 10K, increased his lead over James Tanner, who garnered 11 points. Travis Schurr and Sergio Ibarra are now tied for third. Here are the standings for the men (top 10 and ties).
Among the women Toshie Bertsch added 11 points to her total and stayed in first place. Among the top six before the Turkey Trot, only Erica Schramm stayed home. Here are the top 10 women after this next-to-last event.
The final event in this year’s Championship Series is the Holiday Half Marathon in December, not counting uncollected bonus points for a marathon run in 2015. Be sure to notify me directly, between now and the end of the year, if you are claiming marathon bonus points.
LVTC Members Past and Present Shine at State XC
Huge congratulations to the D-1 State Champions Centennial girls led by individual state champion Karina Haymore, an LVTC finalist for High School Runner of the Year. Also on that winning team was freshman McKenzie Morgan, daughter of Stephen and granddaughter of Gerry (Morgan). McKenzie was the #4 scorer on the Bulldogs winning team, 16th Overall and the #2 freshman among all scorers.
Palo Verde’s girls finished third overall—actually tied for 2nd before the tiebreaker—in the same D-1 competition. The #2 runner for the Panthers was Palo senior Kate Vandersteldt, 14th overall.
In the girls D-1A race, LVTC member Sierra Selinger was the #2 finisher among southern Nevada runners. The Boulder City sophomore finished 16th overall.
In the boy’s races, Chase Wood defended his title as the D-1A champion. The Faith Lutheran senior—also a finalist for LVTC High School Runner of the Year—won by a margin of 36 seconds and was one of only three runners—all divisions—who broke 17 minutes over the tough Rancho San Rafael Park course in Reno. In that same race, LVTC member Bryce Odegard finished 4th Overall. The Pahrump Valley sophomore’s time of 17:34 was bested by only three other frosh-soph runners—all divisions.
Other LVTC members who qualified and ran at State included the following boys:
Jonathon Blaine (Shadow Ridge), Xavier Cummins (Coronado), Trevor Goldsmith (Palo Verde), Matthew Clarke (SECTA), and Cody Thornock (Clark). Also qualifying and running were Marieta Wright (Cimarron-Memorial), Danielle Greene (Coronado), and Carla Gaston (SECTA).
Congratulations to all these fine athletes.
Celebrate Education 8K Juggles Championship Series Standings
The third event in the CS brought out all the top-5 men on the Leader Board and, to no one’s surprise, JJ Santana finished first. Yet our new CS Leader is Eric Hosafros, who finished fourth Overall. How come? This anomaly came about as a result of Eric earning 14 wild-card points by finishing second overall at the Calico Race Labor of Love Marathon earlier in March. Well done, Eric! Eric now has 48 total points. JJ’s 15 points for winning the Celebrate Ed race gives him 44 points. Staying tied for third, as each earned 10 points in the March 8K, are Sergio Ibarra and Terry Stockdale. Sergio copped his 10 by finishing 6th Overall, while Terry won his age group. Both have 30 points total. Staying in fifth place, with 27 points, is Ryan Williams, who also earned 10 points by winning his age group. Moving into solo sixth place is Kirk Buckley, 5th Overall at the 8K, now with 26 points.
Charlene Ragsdale widened her lead in the standings by finishing second in her age group at Celebrate Ed. Those 9 points give her a total of 28, six ahead of Linda Williams and Grace Edwards. Grace, a sophomore at Palo Verde H.S., jumped six places in the standings with her fourth Overall in the 8K. Both have 22 points. Toshie Bertch also moves up on the Leader Board with a 5th Overall and stands one point back with 21. Also moving up were Donna Pfeffer, now with 19 points, and Maria Riach and Katrina Williams, now tied for sixth place with 17. All of those newcomers to the top echelon of the standings took advantage of the fact that many of the early leaders took a pass by not competing at the March event.
The next CS event will be the Summerlin Half Marathon on April 10th. This is sure to be a race with a large field, so the scoring rules will be somewhat different. Let me explain, because this is a revision to the rules as first announced back in January.
The rules for scoring Performance points, Overall and Age-Group, for races with more than 100 finishers of a gender are now as follows: Overall Top-15 (15-14-13 etc). There is no change for AG scoring: Top-5 (5-4-3-2-1). This means that 11th Overall is now worth 5 Performance points, the same as a 1st place AG finish. It corresponds to the original scoring for “large-field” races when prior to 2015 we awarded 20 points for winning overall and 10 points for winning your age group. This revision, to me, is fair. My rationale is that finishing Top-15 Overall in a race with lots of finishers is a big deal and should be worth more points. Also, these races almost always use 5-year age groups, so AG scoring takes into account that you essentially have more AG winners as well. This “tweak” in the scoring can, however, lead to a discrepancy. For example, the men’s race might have more than 100 finishers while fewer than 100 women finish. So the two races are scored differently. This did happen on more than one occasion when we used 20-point Overall scoring for large races. But since men aren’t competing against women in the CS it has no real effect.
One last thought. To the question, “Why not use this scoring for all races?” the answer is “Maybe we will, next year.” But not for this year since it would be changing the rules in the middle of the game. The only races on the CS schedule that are likely to have more than 100 runners of a gender are upcoming: Summerlin Half Marathon, REVEL Marathon, Legends, and Danny Gans. (Turkey Trot, hopefully, will have more than 200+ runners, but for that race we score both the 10K and 5K separately for CS points.)
Feel free to weigh in on this “tweak” I have made in scoring. It was only when it was pointed out to me that it didn’t seem fair that a top-10 Overall finish could be worth less than a top-5 AG finish. I agreed. I fixed it. I appreciate the feedback. Sometimes I write this stuff with the feeling that nobody ever reads it. Prove me wrong.
Phil Lawton, Championship Series Chair
Santana and Ragsdale Take Early Lead in Championship Series VII
It’s only the 2nd inning of a 12-inning competition but JJ Santana has taken the early lead, along with Charlene Ragsdale. JJ is defending his 2015 win, while Charlene, who finished in a tie for 8th last year, leads the pack for the first time.
JJ has racked up 29 out of a possible 30 points to lead the men’s division, while Charlene has accumulated 19 points. Both earned their points by competing in both events, as did men’s runner-up Eric Hosafros who now has 22 points and Linda Williams, runner-up among the women with 17.
The rest of top 10 among the men are Sergio Ibarra and Terry Stockdale, who both now have 20 after winning their age group in the January and February events, the Club Championship 10K and Winter Track Series Mel Sheppard 1500. Alone in 5th is Ryan Williams with 17 points. Tied for 6th are Kirk Buckley, George Schick, and Dominique Henriques with 15. Dominic earned his 15 by winning the WTS 1500 after skipping the race in January. Rounding out the top 10 are Alejandro Belmares with 14 points and Jeremy Wallace with 13, who also only competed in January.
The rest of the runners in the women’s field have only completed one event as well, and it includes most of the heavy hitters (extending my baseball metaphor). February’s winner Erica Schramm and runner-up Amanda Henriques stand 3-4 in the standings with 15 and 14 points, respectively, while Christina Jimenez, who was third in the 1500, stands alone in 5th place with 13 points. The rest of the leaders all earned their points in January: Tanya Carrier , 6th with 12 points; Jennifer Lee, 7th with 11; and four-way tie for 8th among Tosie Bertsch, Grace Edwards, Jamie Ross, and Marie Riach, all with10 points.
The next Series event is the Celebrate Education 8K in March. It should bring out our biggest turnout of the year to date. Points up for grabs will be Top 10 Overall (15-14-13 etc.) and Top 5 in the Age-Group placing (5-4-3-2-1). For this event there will be nine ten-year age groups from 0-10 up to 80+. So come on out to Kellogg Zaher on the 26th and join step up to the plate, or in this case the starting line.
Phil Lawton, Championship Series Chair
Championship Series 1500 Wraps up WTS
Despite perfect running conditions on a fast track (at UNLV), it was the smallest turnout for a Championship Series event in the seven years that the CS has been in existence. But it turned out to be one of the most competitive races ever, for both the men and the women.
There were 24 runners signed up, 17 men and 7 women. I decided to run three heats. The first heat was Masters Men. It was won in convincing fashion by Eric Hosafros (4:59), with Kirk Buckley second (5:25) and Sergio Ibarra a close third (5:27). Terry Stockdale was fourth in 5:43, not too shabby for a guy in his 60’s.
The second heat was all women, and it was competitive from the starting gun. Erica Schramm took an early lead with Amanda Henriques and Christina Jinenez not far behind. With 400 meters to go, it was a two-women race between Erica and Amanda, with Erica still in front by less than a full stride. Then Amanda made her move with 300 meters to go, taking the lead.
At that point Tim (Kelly) turned to me and said, “My money is on Amanda…!” I didn’t offer a bet, but I suggested to Tim that Amanda had made her move too early. Besides, I knew that Erica was more of a middle-distance runner in college, and she liked the shorter distances, whereas Amanda was a 10K specialist in college, not a miler. I also knew that Erica Schramm is one very competitive lady, who does not like to lose, especially to Amanda, her junior by eight years.
I was right. Amanda had made a bold move, but she was unable to break away on the back straightaway; Erica hung tough, no more than five to eight meters back. Erica then timed her move perfectly. Coming out of the final turn, with 100 meters to go, she took the lead and never gave it back, finishing with a surge in 5:04. Amanda faded at the finish, four seconds back (5:08). What a race! Christina was a solid third in 5:28. Abigail Adams (6:19) and Charlene Ragsdale (7:04) finished four-five.
This set the stage for the showdown between the young guns: Series leaders JJ Santana and Dominic Henriques; newcomer Shavik Kanzara, winner of the resent WTS 10K; Colin Corrigan; and Devin Mancuso, two-time Series runner-up. All five of these guys are in their 20’s and they are all in superb running shape. Also in this heat were four high school runners: Casey Price, Cody Thornock, Ryan Williams, and Joren Sellinger. The race didn’t disappoint.
Dominic, the speedster—an 800-meter runner in college—took an early lead, surprisingly, rather than lay back and make it a one or two-lap race. JJ and Bhavik were quite content to let Dominic do the early work, but they hung close. The rest of the field tried to stay with the three leaders, but the pace was just too fast! With 400 meters to go, Dominic started to get some separation, and he gradually increased his lead around the last turn, but then he started to wobble. JJ, in particular, went after him, but Dominic hung on, barely. And it should be noted that if JJ hadn’t had to go around a lapped runner, just before the finish line, he might have caught Dominic. Both runners were timed in 4:07. Bhavik was four seconds back for third (4:11). Both Colin and Devin were under 4:30, giving them a four-five finish Overall (both heats). Casey led among the high school runners, finishing in 5:02.
Just past the finish line, Dominic turned to me, bent over, still gasping for breath, and acknowledged that if the finish line had been any further out JJ would have caught him. It was a great race and great way to finish the WTS.
And here’s a thought. Devin suggested to me after the race that we should do our Summer Track Series on Saturday mornings, early, rather than in the evenings, when temps are still at triple digits in June, July and August. I’ll certainly consider it. What do you all think? And I love the idea of doing them all at UNLV, if possible. It avoids the hassle of getting access to the high school tracks, which are kept under lock and key in the summer. Your thoughts?
JJ Santana and Tosie Bertsch Win 2015 Championship Series