Thursday, September 3, 2015

Warriors Look to Contend For State Qualifier in 2015

San Jose, CA - The Warriors enter the 2015 season with a chip on their shoulder. Last year was painstakingly close: breaking every team record on every course they ran their number one runner fell ill just two days before the WCAL Championship. The team stepped up, placing six runners 17:45 or better advancing two runners as individuals to the CCS Championship. Another three came within ten seconds of the automatic qualifying time. They finished ranked fourth in the team rankings for D3 but did not advance to the section championship.

Seconds count and last year's disappointment has turned to motivation. Last spring in the track they had eight runners crack the 5 min mile and under 11 min at two miles. The most of any D3 team.

Since moving up to division three in 2007 the Valley Christian boys have yet to qualify for the CCS Championship. Running in the powerhouse conference that is the WCAL, a league that often features top ranked teams in the section and state, it has been difficult for the Warriors to finish in the top 4 earning a qualifying position to CCS.

This group finished 2nd in WCAL in 2012 as freshman and as sophomores running in the varsity division finished sixth. Combined with their track performances last spring some predict them to have a shot at the DIII CCS title. But it is getting to the section meet that may prove the bigger challenge with expected strong teams from Riordan and Sacred Heart Cathedral who also are competing for D3 bid to CCS.

"This team is capable of anything they put their mind to," Coach Small said. "We could win the whole thing, we could not even make it to CCS. If all our guys are all-in and show up healthy to the start line they will be very good."

Nedu Ndili is the top returner from last season. Finishing 18th in the CCS Championship as a sophomore he had a strong showin on the track last spring running 1:59 for 800 meters and 4:32 in the 1600.

Joe Renati finished eleventh in last year's WCAL Championship in the frosh-soph division with a time of 18:46. Renati went on to have an impressive track season running 4:46 in the 1600 and 10:35 in the 3200 as a sophomore.

Three boys were within 10 seconds of the CCS qualifying time but fell just shy. Dean DeMoss finished in 17:44, just 9 second off the CCS qualifying time. He saw some solid growth in the spring running personal bests of 4:47 in 1600, 2:08 in the 800 and 10:47 in 3200

Justin Baraona finished last season running 17:39 in the WCAL Championship, just 4 seconds off the CCS qualifying time. He was one of the top runners on the track in the spring running 4:5 and 10:32 respectively. Cameron Lockard was just two seconds away finishing in 17:37. Playing baseball in the spring he still ran impressive earning a personal best of 10:55 in 3200 at the conclusion of baseball season.

Others expected to be major contributors this fall will be Sam Cuevas.  He didn't run cross country last fall but he did have some awesome performances in track running running 4:56 for the 1600 and 10:31 for 3200. Peter Enfantino ended last season with a personal best 17:01 at the Lowell Invitational and enters the season as one of the top returners. Jeremy Dong looks to be a four time  CCS qualifier, he ran a personal best 17:32 at the WCAL Championship.

Kyle Higdon had a solid freshman year running 18:38 at Crystal Springs and 5:01 and 11:06 on the track this spring. Mitchell Rohr, a sophomore transfer from Tennessee owns a 4:49 personal best for 1600 and looks to challenge for a variety spot. Mathew Weeks ran 17:48 last season also returns.

The Warriors officially open their season at the RLS Invitational on September 12.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Good Times, Sweet Rewards at Annual Watermelon Run

Santa Cruz, CA - The Warriors kicked off the cross country season for the seventh consecutive year with a team time trial held at UCSC. Dubbed the "Watermelon Run" for the featured fruit of the post race feast, the course carves 2.1 miles through the rolling hills and redwood forest on the UCSC campus.

Joe Renati was the team's top finisher running the second fastest time in event history. His time of 12:03 is also the fastest a sophomore has ever ran. A very close pack that saw six Warriors finish within 35 seconds resulted in a new team time record. The top six boys all dipped under the 12:40 mark, something only four had done it in the six previous years combined!

Renati was one of six Warriors moving into the top 10 all-time performances: Nedu Ndili (12:09), Justin Barona (12:26), Peter Enfantino (12:35), Sam Cuevas (12:36) and Cameron Lockard (12:37).

It was a successful day across the board as nearly every runner ran a personal best on the day. Other notable performances came from Dean DeMoss (13:04) and his younger brother Jake (13:27) who both move into the 20 all-time performances respectively. Sophomore Mitchel Rohr (13:43) ran strong despite heavy cramping and freshman Patrick Mahoney (13:51) had a strong debut also dipping under 14 minutes. Big jumps came from Nathan Baldry and Patrick McCoy both running personal bests.

The Lady Warriors also had a strong performances with lots pf personal bests of their own. Kiko Li led the way for the girls finishing in 16:00. Her time is #14 all-time. Freshman Mackenzie Thomas (16:02) was runner-up just seconds behind with a debut that places her #15 all-time! Camille Reed was just off of her best with a strong run of 16:13 while Vanessa Giacalone knocked off about 30 seconds from her best finishing in 16:59. Sophia Patterson had a huge jump over last year improving 4 minutes and 35 seconds over her time from last year!

Other strong performances came from Freshman Ashley Clayton (17:54) and Kayla Nanez (17:57), who add depth to a young Warrior squad. Another big personal best came from Grace Cardona who improved 80 seconds over her time from a year ago!

Full Results: CLICK HERE


Saturday, August 29, 2015

2015 Watermelon Run Results

12:03 Joe Renati
12:09 Nedu Ndili
12:23 Justin Baraona
12:35 Peter Enfantino
12:36 Sam Cuevas
12:37 Cameron Lockard
13:04 Dean DeMoss
13:27 Jake DeMoss
13:43 Mitchell Rohr
13:48 Jeremy Dong
13:51 Patrick Mahoney
14:11 Nathan Baldry
15:25 Mathew Weeks
15:25 Will Bainbridge
17:02 Matthew Zhou
18:58 Patrick McCoy
20:27 Yaseen Elashmawi
25:19 Yao Dai
25:23 Anthony Mac
30:50 Steven He

[61:46; Team Time Record]

16:00 Kiko Li
16:02 Mackenzie Thomas
16:13 Camille Reed
16:59 Vanessa Giacalone 
17:17 Sophia Patterson
17:54 Ashley Clayton
17:57 Kayla Nanez
22:16 Grace Cardona
25:59 Lia Kim

[82:31 Team Time]

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Watermelon Run Set For This Saturday!

IMG_2892Our 7th Annual Watermelon Run is scheduled for Saturday, August 29th at the University of Santa Cruz.

We will DEPART from the Valley Christian Parking lot (in front of the football stadium) at 9:00 am and caravan to UCSC.  Athletes, parents, coaches and alumni are all welcome to run for the glory of completing 2 miles and then enjoy the sweet reward of some post race watermelon!  The course is a 2.08 mile loop through the redwood forest on the UCSC campus and is traditionally one of the favorite courses run all year and should not to be missed!

For those of you who will meet us there, we will meet at the parking lot just past the UCSC firehouse on Chinquapin Rd. The official start time is "when we get there and after we warm-up," but we will try our best to begin approximately 11 am.

Team Records:
Sean Davis - 11:37 (2011)
Morgan Lira - 13:33 (2011)

Driving Directions to Saturday's Watermelon Run:
(Click & Zoom in the map for detailed directions)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Cross Country Sign-ups

Thank you for your interest in the Valley Christian Cross Country program! Please take a moment and fill out our participant sign-up form at the link below.

Sign-up Form: CLICK HERE

We are looking forward to another amazing season of Warrior athletics! Last season the girls cross country team qualified for their seventh state championship in nine years, finishing second in CCS for DIII. The boys are coming off their most successful season in school history and return six of their top seven from last season. It is good to be a Warrior!

  • Fill out the sign-up form by clicking the link above.
  • Summer training starts in the middle of June. Contact Coach Small at to get on our summer e-mail list.
  • You will need a physical and other forms on file in the Athletic Office. You can find the physical form at this link: CLICK HERE
  • Be sure to check out our team blog for updates throughout the summer!