NBL League Meet #1 (Oct. 4)

The Viking women attacked their first league meet of the season with vigor on Wednesday at Carillo’s construction zone filled campus.

triplethreatThe new “Triple Threat” of Mariah Briceno, Leah Haley and Jasmine Becker paced each other strongly throughout the first half of the race, following closely on the heels of Carillo’s two top women who led the race at the beginning. The remainder of Carillo’s top five and Ukiah’s top runner strung out behind the Triple Threat and just in front of the “Deadly Duo” of Grace Mackey and Isabel Holmes.

Briceno’s strong kick led her to finish first for the Vikings in 4th at the tri-meet, followed shortly after by Technology transfer Haley in 6th, full of pent up energy after being benched for the entire pre-season due to NCS transfer policy. Becker finished immediately behind Haley in 7th.

Mackey had one of her best races of the season for a ninth place finish, catching Carillo’sdeadlyduo 6th girl in the chute and nearly nipping their fifth as well. Holmes followed Mackey in 12th to complete the Viking quintuple. Abbey Colvin and Savannah Goshgarian raced well to finish out the varsity seven, completing the win against northern competitor Ukiah handily. While the Viking women fell to Carillo, they ran closer to them than ever before and will continue to chase them down throughout the season.

The rest of the Montgomery team struggled racing the reigning NBL Varsity and JV champions Carillo and northern competitor Ukiah, losing to both. While Fiona Sweet was out with ankle trouble, Maia Fingerlos led the JV girls team, followed by Serena Goshgarian, Jessica Celli, Jessica Dueck and Lulu Devoulin.

garrettOn the JV Boys side, Garrett Hurd led the team, followed shortly by Joshua Jones. Tan Luong, Grant Hurd and Ben Howe finished out the top five. Ryan Ward and JV Captain Jake Howe completed the top seven.

The varsity boys, though briefly crippled by the temporary loss of Brent Oru-Craig and Brandon Alvarado due to illness and injury, still had strong performances from Kyle Theurkauf and Ramon Cruz. Theurkauf led the Viking men finishing in 8th. Cruz came in next, followed by a strong performance from Justin Richter.  Freshmen Sebastian Herbst and Jaden Fernandez stepped in for the missing juniors, with Herbst scoring fourth for the Vikings. Jacob Williams continued to press through his battle with pneumonia to complete the top five. Charles Fisher and Kibby Tesfamichael continued their smart work together to finish the varsity showing for the day.

The Vikings will next journey south to Petaluma to meet strong rival Casa Grande as well as Cardinal Newman for their second league meet of the season.

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Piner Invitational & TMU Invitational (Sept. 27/30)

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Piner Invitational

The JV and a few varsity went up the freeway to Windsor for a quick scrimmage against Piner and Casa Grande at Piner’s tough XX mile course at Foothills Park. The remainder of the varsity team rested their legs for their Southern California debut on Saturday at the TMU Invitational in Los Angeles.

While the JV boys fell to Casa Grande and Piner, they ran in a tight pack and had multiple PRs. Fiona Sweet continued her winning streak from the previous week and won the JV Girls race.

Though Isabel Holmes and Abbey Colvin were unable to travel with the varsity team to Southern California, they delivered solid performances in the varsity girls’ race, finishing third and fifth respectively. Also unable to travel, Justin Richter led the Viking varsity boys showing, followed by freshmen Jaden Hernandez and Sebastian Herbst.

TMU Invitational (Los Angeles)

IMG_8918-1The Viking varsity teams traveled down to Santa Clarita’s Central Park to attend the TMU Invitational on Sept. 30, where they would compete against such SoCal powerhouses as Saugus and Arcadia High School. The invitational also allowed the Vikings to catch some college races including teams from UCLA, UC Davis and UC Irvine. 

The Viking men kicked things off for the day with strong performances from Kyle Theurkauf and Ramon Cruz finishing in the top 20 at the 5K distance. Theurkauf came in 11th and Cruz came in 17th. Brandon Alvarado, Jacob Williams, Charles Fisher and Kibby Tesfamichael completed the charge of Viking men to take fifth overall team in the meet, generating a top five callout by the meet’s announcers.

IMG_9017-1The Viking women matched up the men’s performance with an equal fifth place team finish. Jasmine Becker scored a top 10 finisher t-shirt in her seventh place finish with a time of 20:26 (6:35). Mariah Briceno came in 13th in only her second stab at the full 5K distance. Grace Mackey, Savannah Goshgarian, Ashley Keyte and Maia Fingerlos completed the Viking women’s showing, while Technology transfer Leah Haley cheered on her team in preparation for her own debut as a Viking at the team’s first NBL tri-meet this upcoming Wednesday.

IMG_9010-1Following a brisk morning of racing, the varsity team enjoyed an entire day at Six Flags Magic Mountain to complete their Southern California adventure before heading home the next day.

The Vikings will look to see how they stack up against reigning NBL champions Maria Carillo and northern league competitor Ukiah High on Wednesday, Oct. 4, in a new 2.8 mile course on Carillo’s campus.

NBL/SCL Interlock (Sept. 20)

This year’s annual NBL/SCL Interlock on the Spring Lake home course included Analy, Cardinal Newman, Casa Grande and Piner.

21082937_10154869513642816_2829242527766306740_oThe Viking varsity and JV women had their first win of 2017 at the Interlock, both as a team and as individuals in a swatch of exciting performances. Mariah Briceno outkicked Casa Grande’s Siena Wigert (who won the Bob Shor Invitational earlier this year) and teammate Jasmine Becker to take home the win in a 19:44 (6:28) and a 25-second PR.  

Becker finished third in 19:47 (), followed by Isabel Holmes in 6th who knocked off nearly four minutes from her season opening time with a 20:31. Grace Mackey’s 20:50 was strong enough for a 7th place finish and Abbey Colvin’s 22:00 was a nearly three-minute improvement from her season opener, completed the winning top five. Jessica Celli filed her own 10-second PR with a 23:56 to complete the varsity performances.

JV Viking girls winner Fiona Sweet took an early lead during the first mile and won handily in a 22:37, another dramatic nearly three-minute improvement from her season opening time at the Bob Shor Invitational. Serena Goshgarian took fifth place 24:25, followed by teammate Ashley Keyte in 6th 24:36. Freshman Cristina Palacios ran her first race for the Vikings in a 25:41 and sophomore Jessica Dueck 26:26 rounded out the top five. Sophomore Lulu Devoulin completed the JV Viking girls’ performances with her first Spring Lake race in 29:16.

The Viking JV boys were led by Kibby Tesfamichael with a massive 1:29 second PR to come in eighth in the race in a 19:23. 

The Varsity boys struggled at the interlock, with some like Brent Oru-Craig having to sit out entirely and others racing slowly due to various bouts of injury and illness ranging from colds to walking pneumonia. 

PhillipUnhindered by ailments, Brandon Alvarado still delivered a strong performance to lead the Vikings, again pulling off a double improvement by breaking 18 and 17 minutes for the Spring Lake course in the same race, knocking 1:58 seconds of his season opening PR of 18:52 to drop to an impressive 16:50 (5:31). Kyle Theurkauf ran his first Spring Lake course of the season in a fine 17:37, followed immediately by teammate Ramon Cruz in 17:44 and later by Justin Richter 18:28 ().

Jacob Williams, despite walking pneumonia ran a time of 18:49, out-kicking teammate and flying freshman Sebastian Herbst’s 18:50 to round out the top five. Herbst dropped nearly two minutes off of his season opening time to finish sixth for the Vikings. Charles Fisher logged his first Spring Lake PR since his sophomore year, dropping an 18 seconds off of his time to register a 19:02.  Fisher spent most of his junior year cross-country season still somewhat recovering from a broken foot during an encounter with a water jump in an exhibition steeplechase during the 2016 track season.

Since the meet allowed for 10 varsity runners, freshman Jaden Fernandez had a chance to race his first full Spring Lake course finishing in a respectable 19:28. Cross-country newcomer and junior Joshua Jones opened his season at the meet with a 20:33.

The Vikings will split up again next week with JV attending the Piner Invitational at Foothills Park in Windsor and the varsity will journey down to Southern California to attend the college & high school TMU Invitational meet in Santa Clarita’s Central Park.

Viking Opener Invitational (Sept. 16)

mhs team 1 viking xc 2017The Vikings returned to Spring Lake on Sept. 16 to host their annual legendary Viking Opener Invitational. Montgomery hosted 40 junior high and high school teams from around the Bay Area for the 33rd edition of the 2-mile race.

Kicking things off for the Vikings was flying freshman Sebastian Herbst coming in 17th overall and zooming his way into tying for 16th on the top 25 Viking freshman all-time list in a time of 11:53 (5:57). Hayden Dalsing, Jaden Fernandez, Ben Howe and Tan Luong completed the fast freshman five.  

The sophomore boys race included PRs from Kibby Tesfamichael and Andrew Hagemann, and the Viking Opener debuts of Ryan Ward and Julian Hines.

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The frosh/soph girls race delivered some of the top Viking performances of the day, as the Viking frosh/soph girls edged out archrival Santa Rosa by one point to steal second place behind Division V powerhouse and first time Viking Opener competitors Lick Wilmerding. Mariah Briceno led the team, finishing second overall in the race and jumping to 10th all-time Viking sophomore girl on the class record list. Freshman Isabel Holmes sped into 7th and Abbey Colvin into 18th on the top 25 freshman girls list. Freshmen Fiona Sweet and Cristina Palacios completed the fastest Viking frosh/soph girls team in years.

The Alumni race saw Viking participants from around the nation and world come to participate, generating perhaps one of the largest showings in recent years.

The junior boys race had long been the previewed race of the day as the class had previous success at the 2016 Viking Opener taking second in the sophomore boys race. The junior boys, primed and determined for success, won their division handily in a team average of 11:07 and 13 points ahead of second place team Vintage. IMG_8853Brent Oru-Craig and Kyle Theurkauf (who were so dramatically close in track season they ran the exact same 1600m times down to the hundreth of a second in completely different heats at the Dublin Distance Fiesta) led the Viking juniors in class record making times of 11:02 for Oru-Craig (tied for #20) and 11:06 for Theurkauf (#23). Justin Richter rounded out the top three, repeating his 11th place finish from 2016, but with a XX-PR in 11:XX. Brandon Alvarado and Garrett Hurd also had PRs to round out the top five. The boys were rewarded for their efforts by receiving their top 20 medals and ribbons in the chute from Viking alum and Olympian Kim Conley herself, whom they had informed their coach would be attending through some social media sleuthing before Conley even had.

IMG_8851The junior/senior girls were led by the top women’s performance of the day in senior Jasmine Becker’s launch onto the top 25 Viking all-time list with her 12:58 () mark in a tie for 19th and a tie for 10th on the senior class record list. Becker was followed by Grace Mackey, Savannah Goshgarian, Maia Fingerlos and Jessica Celli. Goshgarian and Celli had the primary PRs of the day with x and x respectively.

While the Open Girls race was nearly overrun with the yellow uniforms of Lick Wilmerding, New Zealander Ashley Keyte led the rest of the Viking women across the line in her first Viking Opener experience. Jessica Dueck and Lulu Devoulin completed their own Viking Opener debuts to round out the rest of the girls team.

Ramon Cruz and Charles Fisher were the lone Viking representatives in the senior boys race as Jacob Williams was sidelined with what would eventually be determined as walking pneumonia. Fisher generated a xx-PR with his time of xx.

In the Open Boys, Gage Hallin had perhaps the largest PR of the day, knocking xx seconds off in his time of xx to lead the rest of the Viking boys’ team across the line. Jake Howe had his own PR with xx, and Grant Hurd made his Viking debut chasing after his brother’s freshman year time. Jordan Haley, Jimmy Mackey and Luke Triola completed the open boys performances. 

Viking alum and Olympian Kim Conley was on hand to present the team awards of the day, closing a beautiful day of racing for all Viking runners.

Wednesday sees the Vikings attending one of the annual NBL/SCL Interlocks on Sept. 20.

Rancho Invite + Lowell Invite (Sept. 8/9)

Rancho Cotate Invitational

While Vikings have more recently attended the Rancho Cotate Invitational as their season opener, the meet was rescheduled due to football conflicts. This led to only the Viking JV squads being able to compete due to the Viking varsity team attending the San Francisco Lowell Invitational the next day in Golden Gate Park. 

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Freshman Isabel Holmes logged a 22:21 (7:31) to come in second in the JV Girls race on the flat and fast 2.97 course. Holmes was followed by freshman Fiona Sweet, whose 23:14 (7:49) mark took 7th place. New Zealand import and junior Ashley Keyte opened her season coming in third for the Vikings with a 24:21 (8:12), and freshman Serena Goshgarian 25:08 () came in fourth. While cross-country newcomers and Viking sprinters Jessica Dueck’s and Lulu Devoulin’s official times were lost due to a timing error, coaching staff logged their times as roughly X for Dueck and X for Devoulin.

On the JV Boys side, all Viking times were also unofficial due to timing errors and mishaps and we are still waiting for the results to come out.

Lowell Invitational

Varsity Vikings journeyed down to Golden Gate Park to attend the Lowell Invitational,  a meet varsity began attending last year which generally has good racing weather and produces fast times.

lowellThe varsity girls kicked things off for the meet with a strong team average of 20:57 (7:09) for the top five on the 2.93 mile course. Jasmine (Jazzy) Becker played her own tune of jazz music for her potential new college coaches at Academy of Art University with a 19:23 (6:37), a rousing 1:28 second PR from her 2016 race. Sophomore Mariah Briceno followed closely with her own dramatic 1:39 second PR of 19:38 (6:42). Grace Mackey paced for the Viking’s third with a 21:08 (7:12), while freshman Abbey Colvin had the surprise performance of the day with her 21:21 (7:17) time – nearly four minutes faster than her Spring Lake opener. Savannah Goshgarian registered a 23:12 (7:55) a 21-second PR, and Jessica Celli logged a solid 23:50 (8:08) to complete the team’s performances.

The varsity boys also had an excellent team average of 16:38 (5:40) in their race. The team was again led by Brent Oru-Craig with a 16:24 (5:36), followed by a recovered and operational Ramon Cruz with a 16:33 (5:39). Coming in third for the Viking was Jacob Williams with 16:42 (5:42), a 22-second PR, doubtlessly related to his own summer training. Kyle Theurkauf opened his 2017 season with a six second PR in a 16:43. Brandon Alvarado had the men’s performance of the day while successfully breaking 18 and 17 minutes for the first time ever on any course over 2.9 miles with a time of 16:46 (5:43) to round out the top five. Dramatic PRs were registered by the remainder of the Viking varsity squad when Justin Richter took sixth with a 17:20 (5:55) knocking 22 seconds off his previous time and Charles Fisher took seventh with a startling 1:45 second PR to complete the top seven in a time of 18:52 (6:26).

Next up? The Vikings host the 33rd annual Viking Opener Invitational at Spring Lake Park.

Bob Shor Invitational

blogpost1Montgomery Vikings XC, freshly clad in new uniforms and armed with the arrival of speedy young reinforcements, kicked of their 2017 pre-season competition with a solid showing at Spring Lake Park on August 25 at the Bob Shor Invitational.

The invitational, formerly known as the Super Septo, was hosted by Santa Rosa High and renamed after the legendary starter and track & field official Bob Shor. Shor, who was the primary starter for Montgomery’s Viking Opener, passed away earlier in 2017. The meet included competition from NBL and NCL II schools including Casa Grande, Cardinal Newman, Santa Rosa, Rancho Cotate and Technology.

The beginnings of Montgomery’s developing JV squad opened their season on a new 2.1 mile course created just for the invitational this year. Led by freshman Jaden Hernandez, top marks included Hernandez’s 14:23 (6:51), freshman Hayden Dalsing 15:03 (7:10) and freshman Ben Howe 15:33 (7:24). To round out the top five, JV captain and veteran junior Jake Howe registered a 17:04 (8:08), followed closely by freshman Tan Luong with a 17:07 (8:09).

The JV girls were unable to field a complete team for the first meet of the season, but still showed solid first-time performances on the 2.1 mile course from freshman Serena Goshgarian and veteran and JV girls captain Jessica Celli.

On the varsity girls side, returning sophomore and 2016 NBL XC all-league second team runner Mariah Briceno led the Viking women with a 4th place finish in a strong season opening time of 20:53 (6:51) on the traditional 3.05-mile home course. 2016 NBL XC all-league first team and senior Jasmine Becker finished second for Viking women in 21:22 (7:01), followed by three freshman Isabel Holmes 24:08 (7:55), Fiona Sweet 25:31 (8:22) and Abbey Colvin 25:32 (8:22) to round out the top five. Junior Savannah Goshgarian completed the remainder of the women’s varsity squad with a 25:57 (8:31), while returning junior and NCS MOC Track & Field qualifier Grace Mackey was briefly sidelined with a minor injury.

brentThe varsity boys race delivered a nail-biting finish with returning varsity junior and NCS MOC Track & Field qualifier Brent Oru-Craig battling it out with Santa Rosa’s Langston Hay for a nearly-200m stride for stride battle ultimately won by Hay for the race win. Oru-Craig’s second place finish still registered an early season 42-second PR for him with his 16:47 (5:30) mark, undoubtedly a result of his consistent summer training.

Coming in second for the Viking men was 2016 NBL XC all-league third team and NCS MOC Track & Field qualifier Jacob Williams with a solid 17:33 (5:45). With NBL XC all-league third team and 3200m specialist Kyle Theurkauf out of town for the first meet, junior Brandon Alvarado came in third for Viking men, also registering an early season PR from dedicated summer training knocking 11 seconds off his time from 2016 in an 18:52 (6:11). NBL XC all-league second team and senior Ramon Cruz, still coming off an injury that benched him for track season, opened his season with a 19:05 (6:16). Returning varsity member and junior Justin Richter completed the top five with a 19:10 (6:17). Freshman Sebastian Herbst came in sixth for the Vikings with a 20:58 (6:52), followed by senior Charles Fisher with a 21:03 (6:54) and sophomore Kibby Tesfamichael with a 21:52 (7:10).

The Vikings will next contest at the Rancho Cotate Invitational for the JV squads and the varsity squads will return to San Francisco’s Lowell Invitational in Golden Gate Park.