Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Track & Field Sign-Up

Thank you for your interest in the Valley Christian Track & Field program! Please take a moment to fill out our participant sign-up form at the link below:

Sign-up Form: CLICK HERE

HOW TO GET STARTED:
  • Fill out the sign-up form by clicking the link above.
  • Winter Conditioning starts in January. If you would like additional information contact Coach Small at joshsmall@gmail.com.
  • First day of Practice is Monday, January 29th. You will need a current physical and other forms on file in the Athletic Office before you can participate. You can find the physical form at this link: CLICK HERE
  • Be sure to come back to check our team blog for updates!


Friday, November 24, 2017

The Road to State: Joe Renati

Fresno, CA - Joe Renati has had an incredible cross country season, one that culminates with the CIF State Championship Saturday. There is no better race to end your high school career than the pinnacle of high school cross country.

But getting here hasn't been easy.

Renati started the season on fire, annihilating the team time trial record by more than 30 seconds. He then went on to finish second in both the Pacific Tiger (15:26) and Clovis Invitational (15:35), both 5k courses, against some of the top runners in the state. These performances, coupled with a 15:24 clocking at WCAL #2 put him on the radar as one of the top runners in the state and it got people asking, "where did this kid come from?"

Renati's first exposure to Track & Field came in 8th grade when he went out for the junior high track team "because there was a girl on the team who I liked." That first experience saw him partake in the discus and later the mile. By year's end Renati ran 5:44 for the mile and throw around 80 feet in the discus.

It was all running after that. He came out for cross country as a freshman and posted a respectable 19:33 for his first three mile race at the Early Bird Invitational. He ran 19:57 for his first 5k at Baylands and later went on to finish the season with a time of 18:46 at Crystal Springs.
Respectable marks for a freshman who was in his first year running but nothing indicating the level he would later reach.

Renati running the Crystal Springs course, 2015
Renati took a big jump his sophomore season, leading the Warriors to their first team appearance at the California State Championship. He finished the season with runs of 16:28 at Crystal Springs (CCS) and 16:41 at the State Meet. He carried that momentum into his junior year where he bettered Sean Davis' trial time record. However in the week leading up to the run he noticed what felt like a side cramp that wouldn't go away.

What resulted was a hernia diagnosis and surgery that all but ended his cross country season. A tough competitor he was determined to come back to help the team qualify for the section championship. He gritted out an amazing 16:58 in league finals following 6 weeks of rest and just one week of running.

Renati has a stubbornness to him. It is that character trait that has forged him into one of the state's top runners this season today and the reason he won't give up, and won't let up, be it in training or in a race. It's why he worked so hard to be there for his teammates in 2016 and is what has motivated him to work hard throughout this season.

While Joe has transformed into one of the State's elite runners, this season's success is not out of nowhere, nor has it come easy. This summer he ran... a lot. 70-80 mile weeks were the norm and the occasional 85-90 mile week was not out of the question. He would run in the morning, then again in the afternoon. Then take his dog out for a mile jog later that evening. When he didn't run he would supplement with biking or swimming. Not because he had to but because he wanted to. While Renati's talent is evident he has put in over 1600 miles since June. He has made it a priority to get the sleep needed when training at such a volume. He has done the little things like icing and rolling out and lifting that many skip to go home early. He is here because of the work he has put in. But most importantly he loves running.

This stubbornness is evident in the way he races too. "He goes out and pushes the whole way. He doesn't quit," Coach Small said.

The setbacks, the training, the perseverance have brought Renati to this point. It has been a 4 year journey that has required perseverance, determination and lots of faith. But Joe Renati battled and never quit. He will lace them up as a Warrior one final time November 25th, competing in high school's biggest stage.

Joe Renati returns to the State Championship for the second time November 25th at Woodward Park in Fresno. D2 boys race start is 12:05 pm.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Renati Punches Ticket to State Championship!

Salinas, CA – Joe Renati punched his ticket to the CIF Stat Championship finishing ninth in the D2 boys race at the CCS Championship Saturday. It marks the thirteenth consecutive year Valley Christian will be represented at the State Championship.

The senior had a bounce back performance after sluggish showing at WCAL the week prior. His run of 16:12 was enough to snag an individual qualifying position to the State Championship. Running in the eleventh position at the halfway point, just 7 seconds off the front pack, Renati made his move heading into the camel humps, a strategic set of three hills right before the two mile mark. Moving up to ninth position he held strong to the finish with a personal best time of 16:12, a mark that ranks #2 all-time in school history.

Will Luders was freshman running in his first CCS Championship and knew he was an underdog. Coming into the race with a do-or-die plan, he was going to go for it. Taking the first mile out hard he passed half way in 40th in 8:46, about 30 seconds back from the front pack. The quick start took a toll but he held on to finish 52nd in 17:52. He has a personal best 17:13 on the Toro course from the Early Bird Invitational, demonstrating the effect of starting too fast but Luders had no regrets. “Sometimes you gotta go for it and see what happens,” the freshman said. “I had nothing to lose.”

GIRLS RACE

Christine Albrecht has been stellar in her first year of cross country. She finished as high as second in league competition and entering the race was on the bubble of a state qualifying position. She came in prepared and ran a brilliant race tactically. The front pack took the pace out fast with Albrecht running patiently in the chase pack. Moving up from 12th at the mile mark to 8th at the halfway mark, she crossed the 1.6 mile split in 10:01, just thirteen 13 seconds off the lead pack.

Hitting the hills she moved up two places and into a battle with Gianna Mendoza of Presentation who also was moving up well. Running the steep downhill called the “corkscrew” right before the 2-mile mark, Albrecht’s hip flexor pulled. Over the final ½ mile the pain increased and she did all she could to she fight to the finish. Despite the injury she held on to finish 17th in 20:02, just 19 seconds off her personal best respectably.

“She ran her race and was right were she needed to be.” Coach Small said. “She was running the best I have seen her all year before the injury. She is a strong kid and I is going come back even stronger next year.”

Katelyn Stone had a strong summer but came down injured missing much of the early season. The sophomore debuted at the Pacific Tiger Invitational and had continued to show strong improvement running personal bests in every race she competed in. Finishing eighth in the WCAL Championship the week prior the sophomore was starting to find her groove. Unfortunately she fell ill and missed the majority of the week. Given the option of sitting out CCS she would have none of it. Despite the handicap Stone had a strong performance finishing the 3-mile course in 21:13, a time that ranks top 20 all-time for the Warriors.

Links: Results | Pictures

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Photojournalistic Journey: CCS Championships


Joe Renati finished 9th in the CCS Championship (D2) to advance to the State Championship as an individual.  His time of 16:12 was a personal best and is the #2 all-time mark in team history. Renati has been one of the top runners in the section this season. He finished 2nd place at the Pacific Tiger Invitational 5k in 15:26 and 2nd at the Clovis Invitational at Woodward Park in 15:35, both 5k races. In her first year running cross country Christine Albrecht has set herself apart as one of the best runners in school history, earning recognition on the team's all-time list for every course she ran this season. Her personal best of 19:43 for the Toro Park course ranks #6 all-time in team history.


Katelyn Stone has made the best of every opportunity this season. After a late summer injury delayed the start the her season she went on to set a personal best on every course she ran, culminating at the WCAL Championship with an 8th place finish where she earned all-WCAL honors and was the top finisher for the Warriors. CCS would provide yet another "opportunity" for Stone. Missing 5 days due to sickness she battled on, finishing 43rd in 21:13. Her time ranks #19 all-time in team history.



Christine Albrecht has been impressive all season and CCS would be no different. Running a strong tactical race she positioned herself in the chase pack, steadily moving up through the race. Running in 8th place and in State qualifying position with under 1/2 mile to go, she suffered a rare mid-race injury. Battling through a painful last 1/2 mile Albrecht held on to finish 17th with a time of 20:02.


Will Luders has been spectacular in 2017 setting freshman records for Valley Christian in all but one race this season (that one going to teammate Noah Shinn). Luders qualified for CCS after running the Crystal Springs course in 16:49, one of the top freshman times in the section this season. Luders finished 52nd in 17:51 in his first CCS Championship. He finished the season with a personal best of 17:13 for the Toro course, a time that ranks #6 all-time in team history.


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Friday, November 3, 2017

Warriors Come Up Short at WCAL Championship

Belmont, CA - The Valley Christian Warriors traveled to Crystal Springs to compete in the WCAL Championship Wednesday. Both boys and girls teams fell short of advancing to the CCS Championship. Girls missed the automatic team qualifier by 58 seconds, the boys by 82. Five athletes advance to the CCS Championship as individuals.

Christine Albrecht is one of those advancing to the CCS Championship. Starting with a fast pace, opting the first mile of 5:52 the early pace took it’s toll as she fell to 10th by the end of the race. Notably off her normal pace she gutted out a tough last mile to finish in tenth. Her time of 20:02 is #18 all-time in team history. Katelyn Stone also advances to CCS as she continues to round into form. Stone was the top finisher for the Lady Warriors completing the hilly 2.95 mile course in 20:01 in a personal best time that is #17 all-time for the Warriors.

Alexis McMahon has been a top varsity contributor all season and was once again solid as the team’s #3 runner. Her time of 20:50 was a one minute improvement over her time hear last season. Maylene Aguilar has also been stellar this season with notable improvements every race this season and WCAL would be no difference. Aguilar finished with a time of 21:46, nearly a 2-minute improvement over her time of 23:30 run last year.

It was a tough go for senior Sophia Patterson and Hannah Theaker. Patterson has consistently been in the 20-flat range all season and entered the race with a best of 20:14 run last season. Theaker has a best of 21:04. It wasn’t their day however as Patterson finished in 22:07 and Theaker 24:11.

BOYS

With the majority of the varsity boys cross country team graduating last season fielding it was a youthful team lining the start of this year’s WCAL Championship. With three of the six varsity runners on the line they held their own despite half the team running in their first varsity championship.

Joe Renati was the top finisher for the Warriors running 16:13 for 13th place. It was notably a rare off day for the senior who finished fourth in WCAL #2 and has run low 5 minute pace for the majority of his races this season. Though a small letdown Renati still managed a personal best time that ranks #2 in team history.

Will Luders was next to cross the finish. His time of16:49 was a freshman record and good for 26th place in the varsity race. He was followed by Noah Shinn who finished in 17:36. His time is #2 all-time for freshman and was just 7 seconds shy of the CCS automatic qualifying standard. He finished 46th. Nate Moore (18:04), Ben Kaestner (18:42), Raghav Saran (19:11) and Preston Nguyen (21:51) rounded out the varsity team.

Zachary Mullis was top finisher in the JV boys running a personal best 21:13. Jacqueline Santamaria led the JV girls with a finishing time of 23:32.

Links: Results | Pictures