Cross Country Families – The seeds to our season starts with our Summer Camp and really took shape at our annual Big Bear High Altitude Training Camp. All the bonding and goal setting begins to solidify that week in the mountains. The real direction of the team began to take form and led to a very exciting and successful season at all levels.
The season began with terrific performances at the Cool Breeze Invitational at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. On a very hot Friday afternoon our parents carpooled our team through afternoon traffic to our first Invitational in almost two years. All teams ran great. Great early season performances by our boys varsity with a very strong 2nd place team finish. Followed with a terrific start with our varsity girls winning the Large School race and sending notice of things to come. Our newly acquired frosh teams ran hard and learned a great deal about their new sport. We had fine showings by the sophomores and JV teams. But the emergence of our JV boys was one of the early season highlights as we saw them race to a resounding win.
We navigated our way through the season with spectacular team and individual performances. It was wonderful to return to major invitationals, the always thrilling Warrior Mile and our very own Bay League Finals. Our Boosters and volunteers worked very hard and hosted an absolute first class Bay League Finals. The other league coaches were thrilled with the quality of the event. Our kids performed courageously and posted many personal best times and high team finishes. The ideal finish to a great season for many. The frosh girls began the season without the fitness background we typically provide. With so many joining the team late we knew it would be a challenge. As coaches this was one our most rewarding seasons watching our frosh teams improve through the season with our frosh girls winning the Bay League title. We had a remarkable season from both JV squads as they tore through the schedule and helped set the tone for the program at each meet. The JV boys perfect score of 15 at the Central Park Invitational was definitely a highlight none of us will forget.
The charge both Varsity teams made on their path to the State Championships was inspiring. Advancing out of the challenging Bay League into Division 1 of CIF Prelims was no easy task. The Bay League is one of the top Cross Country leagues in the nation. Both varsity teams placed 2nd in the Bay League and easily advanced out of CIF Prelims into CIF Finals, which serves as our Regional Championship and qualifier to the State Championships. For the first time since 2013 we advanced both teams into the State meet. With our boys securing the 7th and final team spot by 1 point! The Girls ran their usual great team race and placed 4th. At the State meet the girls once again raced well and placed 10th overall in Division 1. The boys raced without the team #1 runner but packed up and executed our race plan and placed 17th overall. The boys return the majority of the team and gained valuable knowledge as they prepare for next year.
I would like to thank our wonderful Booster Club for their continued support throughout the season and for hosting our End of Season Banquet. Jennifer Thomas did a fantastic job as our banquet coordinator. She pulled together all the details to ensure we had the top tier event this program deserves. Which includes organizing every aspect of the event and organizing all the helpful volunteers that showed up hours early to set up. Thanks to Tori MacLennan for coordinating all the certificates and awards before and during the event. Our Booster president Mikel Glavinovich along with board members Tim and Jennifer Thomas, Hector Valenzuela, Daryl Strazzeri and Tori MacLennan have all helped make this not only an incredible event but an amazing season. We could not have had the success or fun without the continued support of our Booster Club and these wonderful people. And a special thank you to Emily Butler for not only raising two amazing and fast daughters but putting together the beautiful Senior Books for the team. The Seniors will be enjoying these for years to come.
I am very fortunate to have our coaches Sal Rodriguez, Ryan Noro and Kirsten Leetch as an aid. This is the largest team in the history of our school but with these coaches we were able to coach and work with all the kids at all levels. It is important, in my opinion, that all our athletes have access to varsity coaches and the knowledge these coaches may provide. We are also blessed to have our dear friend Carlos Caracoza that makes and serves Gatorade for the team. Of course it is the smile and positivity that he serves with each cup that has the biggest effect on our team.
This has been one of the most exciting and rewarding seasons for me as a coach. The teams worked hard, had great attitudes and were very coachable. What a blast seeing their confidence grow with the racing and training successes. Thank you families for believing enough in our program to share your amazing kids with us for a few hours a day. This has certainly been a successful season by many standards. We cannot wait for track season to begin.
Track and Cross Country
Redondo Union HS
1 Seahawk Way
Redondo Beach, CA, 90277
Gill/USATF National High School
Track Coach of the Year
California Coaches Association
Girls Track Coach of the Year