Summer Track Series


Summer Track Series for 2017

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 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 eighth season since the restart, we’re back to UNLV for all our events. Same format and goodies as per the previous paragraph.  As we did in 2016, we’re alternating between Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings for of our races. We’ll do one a month on Tuesdays and 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 Saturday, June 10th. Signups start at around 6:30 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 latest schedule. Check the web site ( for updates as to dates.

Day               Date                Time            Event(s)           Location
Saturday      June 10           6:30am        1500m             UNLV Track (all events)
Tuesday       June 27           7:00pm        3000m
Tuesday       July 11             7:00pm        5000m
Saturday      July 22             6:30am        800/400
Saturday      August 19       6:30am        3000m
Tuesday       August 29       7:00pm        1500/800                         

Phil Lawton

Map to UNLV Track


Notes from the Banquet

I thought things went well last night. The setting, again, was excellent. Linda Williams choice of the Three Square banquet facility and the menu to go with it was perfect. (I hope you took note of the fact that she included a vegetarian lasagna this time.) Tim and Brenda and Ryan did a great job putting the program together. I was happy to part of things. 

I always feel some frustration when so few show up for this annual affair (75, or so, seems like a small percentage of members), but I’m not sure what can be done about it. Mid June is a bad time for gatherings, what with school vacations just starting any many with school-age children taking advantage of that. 

That said, I was happy to see so many smiling faces when the scholarship checks were handed out. This was an amazing group of winners this year. All were deserving and more than twice as many recipients as last year. Ryan, our Treasurer, jokingly despaired at depleting the clubs balance, but I feel the opposite. We’re enriching our legacy by “paying forward” to our young people. I look at the list of scholarship winners from 2000 to 2016—we passed the 100 mark this year—and that makes me smile too. 

There was certainly nostalgia aplenty when Brenda and Ryan read their ode to Tim, our outgoing President. It’s hard to fathom how the club will be able to fill his shoes as far as everyday club tasks. Fortunately, Tim says he will still be around to help put on races, etc. Let us hope so.  

But a fresh start does seem in order. Not just the declining membership but the paucity of LVTC running events we manage to put out there. The cancellation of this year’s Notch Run is another canary in the coal mine, and the low numbers that show up when we do stage a low-key run —the race in Henderson on the morning of the banquet is the latest example—speaks loudly. Yes, Jared, as the incoming President you have your work cut out for you. 

One final thought. Gerry Morgan was a great choice for the latest Iron Camel. I just hope next year’s Awards Committee takes into consideration the other two nominees this year when it comes to choosing next year’s recipient. 

Phil’s Web Blog 2017

I want to call attention to this event coming up at the end of January. New Day Racing is headed up by founder and Race Director Charlene Ragsdale and her brother Kirk Buckley. Charlene and Kirk are not just long-time-LVTC members, they are active and involved members. If you have been following the Championship Series results, you know that this dynamic duo were both runners-up in the 2016 CS. The upcoming event on Saturday, January 28th is a 5K and 1M event. The price is right—from $15 to $30 for one or both and depending on when you enter—and it’s a convenient location, Sunset Park, using a similar course that we have used for many LVTC events in the past. It’s well worth our support. I plan to be there to help kick things off as New Day Racing begins its 2017 Race Series. You can enter via links from their web site New Day Racing.

Coach Phil

2016 Legends Announced 

Joining Bryce Odegard from Pahrump Valley, an automatic Legend by virtue of winning the Division 3 State Cross Country Championship in 2016, will be Lenny Rubi, Green Valley;  Daniel Ziems, Palo Verde; Kayla Roberts, Centennial; and Emma Wahlenmaier, Palo Verde. The four were elected into the Legends Hall of Fame by the Legends Selection Committee of past and present coaches and current Legends. All four received at least 75% of the votes with Wahlenmaier a unanimous selection. 

The five incoming Legends will be inducted into the Southern Nevada Cross Country Hall of Fame at the Las Vegas Track Club’s annual banquet in June and honored again at the 21st Annual Legends Run at Sunset Park, August 4, 2016. 

This year’s Legends Run will include an Open 5K followed by a Seeded 5K race, which will be a team event, teams of seven runners, in three divisions, Male, Female, Mixed. Runners who meet qualifying standards my run unattached.

The Legends 5K course at Sunset Park in 2017 will be a true cross- country course run largely on grass and dirt trails. It will be similar to the course used for the 2014 Nevada State Cross Country Championships. With over 100 entries expected in each race, the Seeded race, will include many current college runners, most of them Legends, and many of the top local runners. The Seeded 5K will likely meet expectations as the “fastest 5K race run annually in the Las Vegas valley.” The defending champions from 2016 are Martin Ponce, who graduated from SECTA in 2013 and now runs for Montana State, and Sydney Badger, who graduated from Centennial and now runs track and cross country at the University of Michigan. Both are Legends.

  Legends Nominees for Class of 2016

                                       BOYS                                                                             GIRLS

                                       Steven Birch (Basic)                                                   Amy Amezcua (Green Valley)
                                       Nathan Cromwell (Coronado)                                 Skyler Free (Liberty)
                                       Tim Myers (Arbor View)                                           Tori Landers (Palo Verde)
                                       Leonardo Rubi (Green Valley)                                 Kayla Roberts (Centennial)
                                       Omar Rubio (Del Sol/Green Valley)                       Emma Wallenmaier (Palo Verde)
                                       Daniel Ziems (Palo Verde)                                        Julie Weaver (Centennial)

This year’s Selection Committee is comprised of 16 active or retired coaches and current Legends. In order to be elected, a candidate must receive 75% of the votes. Voters may select up to three candidates from each list. No write-ins allowed.

Bryce Odegard
(Pahrump Valley), a junior, the 2016 State 3A Champion is an automatic qualifier this year. Among the senior boys, none of the nominees ever finished higher than 7th at State, but Leonardo Rubi was twice All State (top 15) and Omar Rubio and Daniel Ziems were both Region champs (Rubio in 2016 and Ziems in 2015 and 2016). The other nominees this year all had less noteworthy careers but are deserving of the nomination. All of them went to State one of more times and finished in the top 10 at Region at least twice.
There were no carry-over candidates from 2015.

Steven Birch
Three-year runner at Basic. His best finish at State was 2015 when he was 9th. His top finish at the Sunrise Regional was in 2015 when he finished 3rd.

Nathan Cromwell
Four-year runner at Coronado. Twice All Region (top 10), in 2014 and 2016. Four times to State, best finish 18th as a senior

Tim Myers
Three-year runner at Arbor View. Three-time top-7 at Sunset Regional; three-time state qualifier, best finish 25th as a senior.

Leonardo Rubi
Four-year runner at Green Valley. Twice won Frosh-Soph. Twice runner-up at Sunrise Regional (his sophomore and junior year). Four times to State, never worse than 22nd; best finish was 7th in 2015.

Omar Rubio
Ran one year at Del Sol as a freshman (4th at Frosh-Soph). Transferred to Green Valley and did not run for two years—except at NXN SW Regional in 2015 when he finished 17th in the Open race (16:13 for 5K). In 2016 he won the Sunrise Regional and finished 8th at State.

Daniel Ziems
Three-year runner at Palo Verde. Twice Sunset Regional Champion as a junior and senior. Three times to State, improving each time with a best of 9th in 2016.

No automatic qualifier this year. Karina Haymore, who won the 4A race in 2015 as a junior, is already a Legend. Of the six nominees from this year’s class, clearly the top candidates for election are Kayle Roberts from Centennial and Emma Wallenmaier from Palo Verde. Roberts finished in the top-8 at State three times, was runner-up in 2014. Wallenmaier was top-7 at State three times, runner-up in 2015, and Sunset Region champion in 2015. All four of the other nominees had “noteworthy” careers of at least three years and all four were All Region at least twice. All four went to State at least three times, but none ever finished higher than 15th. As with the boys, how noteworthy is for you to judge.

Amy Amezcua
Three-year runner at Green Valley. She finished top 5 in the Sunrise Regional all three years and ran State three times as well, finishing 24th as a senior.

Skyler Free
Ran three years for Liberty. Top 8 in the Sunrise Regional three times, runner-up in 2014. Three time state qualifier and made All State by finishing 15th in 2016.

Tori Landers
Solid four-year varsity career at Palo Verde, never #1 on her team but All Region twice and four times to State. Best finish at State was as a sophomore when she placed 24th.

Kayle Roberts
The Centennial senior had a terrific four years. She finished first as Frosh-Soph both times she ran it; was top 6 at the Sunset Regional four times, runner-up twice; and made All State four times, finishing second in 2015.

Emma Wallenmaier
Three years at Palo Verde, and the team’s #1 runner her junior and senior year. She finished 4-1-2 at the Sunset Regional 2014-’16 and finished 7-2-5 at State, the #1 runner from the South her senior year. 

Julie Weaver
Ran a bit “under the radar” for high-profile Centennial but had three good years as a varsity runner. Twice All Region—4th in 2015—and three times to State with best finish of 17th in 2015. 

Voting begins December 6 and ends December 31. Winners will be announced in early January, 2017. Awards given at the Las Vegas Track Club banquet in June and/or the 2017 Legends Run in August.

Phil Lawton, Legends Selection Chair

Championship Series Update 2016

Santana and Bertsch Go Back-to-Back in Championship Series

For the first time in seven years we have repeat champions. JJ Santana and Toshie Bertsch clinched their wins by both running the Holiday Half. JJ was first overall and Toshie finished third overall among the women.

Toshie had already clinched the title, but she added another 13 points with her third-place finish, giving her 119 points total. There was some drama after that, however, in determining the next four places among the women. With Charlene Ragsdale sitting this one out, Erica Schramm could have overtaken Charlene with a first place finish and 15 points. As it was she settled for 2nd behind fellow-Red Rock Racer Mercy Ray. Erica’s 14 points put her in a tie for second with Charlene, both ended up with 84 points. Charlene clinched the runner-up award based on the tie breaker of more finishes in the series.

There was also a tie for fourth and fifth among the women. Young Grace Edwards ran the Holiday Half, now that her high school cross country season is over, and finished fifth overall, resulting in 11 points. This propelled her from 32 to 43, jumping over a number of runners ahead of her who did not run the Half. Grace ended up in the tie for 4th with Jennifer Lee. She wins the tie breaker with four races to Jennifer’s three. She is the first high school runner to crack the top five overall since Katie Gorczyca won it all in 2010. Jennifer will settle for the 5th-place bowl. 

For the men, the top five did shuffle a bit. Kirk Buckley added 5 wild-card points for a marathon and then 12 more by finishing 4th Overall in the Holiday Half, giving him 116 points. Eric Hosafros had been in second but by sitting out the Holiday Half he remains at 105. So second and third place switch. Gerry Morgan, in fourth, added 10 points to his total, now at 64, based on winning his age group in the Half. Sergio Ibarra remains fifth overall with 51 points. (Sergio ran the Holiday Half but, unfortunately, was DQ’ed for a course violation.)

The rest of the top 10 played out as follows. On the distaff side it was Linda Williams in 6th with 40 points. Also with 40 points was Christana Jimenez, but Linda won on the tie breaker. Maria Riach finished 8th with 36 points and Teri Gamer placed 9th with 35 points. Amanda Henriques was 10th with 32 points. Teri was the only runner among the five who ran the Holiday Half.

For the men there was no change in the standings as none of the next five ran the Half: Terry Stockdale (49), Ryan Williams (44), Carl Wright (35), Casey Price (34), and Jeremy Wallace (33).

The 2016 awards will be given out at the Club Championship 10K race at Kellogg-Zaher Park on January 7th.

Phil Lawton, Championship Series Chairman



Championship Series Update 2017

JJ Santana and Braidynn Harchis Win 2017 Club Championship 10K

To begin the new year right, JJ Santana picked up where he left off in 2015 and ’16, winning and blowing away the field in a race! On a chilly day in January over the Kellog-Zaher Park 10K course, JJ’s winning time of 32:37 was more than two minutes faster than that of the next finisher, Andrew Duncan.  Andrew, the ageless wonder at 49, can still run with most anybody, as his time of 34:50 will attest, but JJ Santana is not just “anybody.”

                         JJ Santana                                                               Andrew Duncan

The next three runners were all within 21 seconds of one another: Ray Fong (35:06), Peter Downie (35:10), and Alejandro Belmares (35:27). Along with Fong (20-29), Downie (40-49) and Belmares (30-39), Ryan Williams (19 & Under), Sergio Ibara (50-59), and Brad Stewart (60 & Over) also took home a age-group trophies.

 Braidynn Harchis             Shelby Nelson

The first women to finish, 13th and 14th overall, were Braidynn Harchis (42:36) and Shelby Nelson (42:37), who train with LVTC member, Jeremy Wallace. The next three women to cross the finish line were Nicole Jewell (43:01), Bailey Gosse (43:19), and Tanya Carrier (43:37). In addition to Gosse (19 & Under) and Jewell (30-39), other AG winners were Tracy Aukamp (40-49), Toshie Bertsch (50-59) and Maria Riach (60 & Over).

In total there were 38 finishers in the 10K, all of whom collected points towards the 2017 Championship Series. Also handed out at the awards ceremony after the race were the bowls and medals earned by the top-10 finishers in the 2016 Championship Series.

1. Toshie Bertsch and JJ Santana (repeat winners from 2015)

                                JJ Santana with 2016 CS First Place Bowl

        Toshie Bertsch with 10K AG First Place and 2016 CS First Place Bowl

2. Charlene Ragsdale and Kirk Buckley
Charlene Ragsdale 2016 CS Runner-Up              Kirk Buckley 2016 CS Runner-Up

 3. Erica Schramm and Eric Hosafros
 4. Grace Edwards and Gerry Morgan
 5. Jennifer Lee and Sergio Ibarra
 6. Linda Williams and Terry Stockdale
 7. Christina Jimenez and Ryan Williams
 8. Maria Riach and Carl Wright
 9. Teri Gamer and Casey Price
10. Amanda Henriques and Jeremy Wallace

The next event in the Series will be the Celebrate Education 8K in April.

Coach Phil



Cornerstone Park

Las Vegas Track Club

Low-Key 5K/2M

Cornerstone Park, Henderson

Saturday, April 26, 2014 – 8:00am

Good times at Cornerstone.

Look how much fun these guys had the last time we ran at Cornerstone.
Join us for a 5K/2M race at a NEW location: Cornerstone Park Henderson! The race will be run on a paved path around Railroad Lake. See the map below for directions.
Las Vegas Track Club events are open to all runners; sign up starts about a half hour before the race. The race fee is $5 for members, $10 for non-members. All races are separated into sex and age categories, with ribbons awarded to the top five finishers in each division. In an effort to encourage young runners to join us, the Las Vegas Track Club does not charge for runners 10 years of age or younger.

Railroad Lake



Scholarship Program

5cholarship Eligibility Open to All High School Seniors

As the Las Vegas Track Club shifted gears in 2017 by going from a member-based club to a donor-based organization one of first things that happened was that the Scholarship Program, which has been the backbone of the club since the millennium (it was put into place in 2000), is no longer closed to non card-carrying members. It made sense initially to limit scholarships to LVTC members. It was benefit of membership. It encouraged those who would be applying for a scholarship to be involved with the club: run our races, volunteer to help at events, attend social functions, etc., since the Scholarship Committee took into account “LVTC involvement.” It was a case of looking after your own: “Only members need apply.”

As Scholarship Chair I was OK with that, but it always bothered me a little. As a 501c3 organization, which the Las Vegas Track Club was, and still is, it seemed to go against the idea of inclusion. We were giving money to support our charter, but we weren’t reaching out to the full community, in this case high school seniors who were runners and were headed off to college. By being exclusive to members, quite frankly, we weren’t always giving that financial boost to the “best qualified.” Usually, money was given to all who applied. Great for them, but something seemed amiss. It didn’t seem right that all you had to do was pay your dues and you could claim your prize. Well, now that’s changed.

Now any high school senior in southern Nevada is eligible. Otherwise the rules haven’t changed. It’s still a three-legged stool. We still weigh (1) academics; (2) athletics, with an emphasis on high school cross country and track, and youth running; and (3) citizenship. We do not take into account “financial need” per se, but it can be a consideration, along with other things like physical disabilities and other hardships. These “other things” can be brought out in the essay or the letters of recommendation.  

We have tried to make the application package as compact as possible: cover letter, resume’, academic transcript, a short essay, and two letters of recommendation. (For an athletic resume, I go to and add those findings to the package.)

I hope you flood me with applications this year! We are, as best as I can determine, the only game in town. Who else is offering scholarship money to graduating high school seniors who are runners? We will be looking for a final pool of candidates of up to 12 and will likely give away up to $15,000, with a grant range of $1000 to $3000. No strings attached. The money is given in the form of check that is to be used in support of continuing education.

Deadline for applying is April 5th. Go for it.

Phil Lawton, Scholarship Chair

2017 Las Vegas Track Club Scholarship Program

The Las Vegas Track Club (LVTC) Scholarship Program was officially established in 2000 to assist local high school graduates with college expenses.  The program is funded by donations from club members, local organizations and individuals, and the fundraising efforts of the LVTC.  The club designates at least one club-sponsored event per quarter as a Scholarship Race.

the Las Vegas Track Club Scholarship Program is a way of giving back to the Community to help foster interest in running and show our commitment to youth running in particular.  By supporting young people who have demonstrated academic and athletic excellence, community involvement, and a strong interest in running, we are encouraging healthy, productive, and disciplined lifestyles in these young adults who are the leaders of the future.

Award Amounts:
Variable: may be given to a single individual or divided among multiple recipients at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee and, ultimately, the LVTC Board of Directors.  Awards can be expected to range from $1,000 to $3,000.  In 2016 a total of $15,000 was distributed among nine (9) finalists.

Scholarship Committee:
The Scholarship Committee is made up of club members selected by the LVTC Board of Directors.  The Committee Chairman is appointed by the Board and serves as the point-of-contact.

Any graduating high school student (Class of 2017) from southern Nevada (currently defined as Clark County, Nye County and Lincoln County) may apply.  NOTE: Active membership in the LVTC is no longer a requirement.

Selection Criteria:
Scholarships are based upon achievements during the student’s high school career in the following areas: (1) academics, as measured by high school grade point averages (GPA), both un-weighted and weighted (if applicable), and SAT/ACT test scores; (2) athletics, with emphasis on cross country and track & field and participation in youth running; (3) extracurricular activities and community involvement; (4) a personal essay; (5) two letters of recommendation.

Weighting between these areas will be determined by the sole discretionary judgment of the Scholarship Committee and the LVTC Board of Directors, whose decisions will be final.

Use of Funds and Distribution:
The award is intended for the use of the recipient in the pursuit of post-secondary education; money will be awarded to the winner or winners in the form of a one-time, single cash grant.

Application Deadline and Notification of Award Selection:
Applications must be submitted to the Committee (see address below) and received no later than Wednesday, April 5, 2017.  Applications are available on-line at (the LVTC web site) or through the mail by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope with an application request to:
Attention: Scholarship Committee
Las Vegas Track Club
P. O. Box 30134
Las Vegas, NV  89173-0134

Applicants will be notified no later than May 10, 2017, regarding the results of the selection process.

Click here to download the 2017 LVTC Scholarship Application and Instructions