LVTC Las Vegas Fat Boy 5K & 1M Walk
Wayne Bunker Family Park
Saturday, February 13, 2016 - Noon
2016 Celebrate Education 8K
1-Mile Fun Walk/Run
Saturday, March 26, 2016 - 8:00am
Kellogg Zaher Park, Las Vegas, NV
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.
JJ Santana and Tosie Bertsch Win 2015 Championship Series
On the men’s side the numbers tell the story. It was essentially over after the first three events. JJ Santana had a remarkable run, never finishing less than runner-up in any event, and he competed in all of them, except a marathon. And from August on he was unbeatable. No small feat starting with the Legends Run where he defeated the current high school state cross country champion and a two-time Legends winner. After winning the Forest Challenge and the Turkey Trot 10K, JJ could have sat out the Holiday Half Marathon in December and still claimed the 2015 Series crown by double digits. But, no, he proceeded to set a new course record over the tough Equestrian course (1:13:49), besting his own record by almost 5 minutes, conquering the dreaded “3 sisters” with ease. JJ accumulated 117 out of a possible 120 points, discounting the Wild Card Marathon. Impressive to say the least.
James Tanner ended up in second place, 25 points back, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. In fact all of the top five men in the final standings competed in all eight scheduled events. Two of them, Sergio Ibarra and Travis Schurr, also ran a marathon. To say they all earned their awards is an understatement.
Another thing that stands out when you look at the top seven men is their diversity. Every age group is represented, from the teenager Ryan Williams—the first male runner in the 19 & Under age group to earn a top-5 bowl since we started the Series in 2010—to Terry Stockdale, a super senior (60 & Over), who finished tied for sixth with Chip Henry. Then there’s JJ, in his 20’s; Travis, in his 30’s; James and Chip in their 40’s; and Sergio, just turned 50.
Age was no handicap for Toshie Bertsch, the women’s winner. The ever-smiling veteran wasn’t to be denied this year. After losing to Erica Schramm by a single point in 2014, Toshie competed in every event this year, including a marathon. It was never easy, competing against younger runners, some of them much younger— such as Tiffany Barrett, Savannah Quintero, and Kat Tadich, half her age. But Toshie saved her best of last, finishing third overall in the Holiday Half and claiming the top step on the 2015 Series winner’s stand with a six-point margin over her friend Jamie Ross. Tiffany took third, despite passing on two of the eight events, and Janie Schurr finished fourth. But the record for getting the most out of the least goes to the reigning 2014 champion, Erica Schramm. Erica competed in only three scheduled Series events in 2015, winning them all, and then ran a marathon in Arizona and won that too, earning her another 15 points. Her total of 60 points edged out Linda Williams who ran every event, including a marathon and fell one point short. Ouch! But, as you would expect, Linda was as gracious as ever, claiming her reward was helping her son Ryan earn his top-5 place in the men’s standing, as he too ran all eight races. Linda is a class act.
The second tier of awards goes to those who finished 6-10 in the final standings and there too the competition was intense. On the men’s side, there was a tie for sixth, which Chip Henry won over Terry Stockdale, having competed in more events than Terry, but the tie for tenth between James Alejandro and Gerry Morgan couldn’t be broken with a tie breaker since they each ran in four events, including a marathon. Thus they each earn a 10th place award. Eric Hosafros and Phil Weiland finished 8th and 9th in the final standings. Phil earned his spot in the top 10 by virtue of running a marathon this month in Hawaii. Phil is one tough octogenarian.
On the women’s side it was Linda Williams alone in 6th. Jennifer Lee leapfrogged into the number 7 spot by virtue of winning the Holiday Half, and Maria Riach and Charlene Ragsdale ended up in the dead heat for 8th (same points, same number of races). Rosalie Montoya claimed the 10 spot in the final standing.
All the top-10 winners will be receiving their awards at the 2015 Awards Ceremony held before the start of the Championship 10K on January 9th at Kellogg-Zaher Park when we inaugurate the 2016 Series.
Phil Lawton, 2015 Championship Series Chairperson