SAN FRANCISCO, CA
For the first time in Coach DeGrado's coaching tenure he had the privilege to take a small group west in search of fast times. Running in events from 800m to 10,000m the men and women competed at the San Francisco Distance Carnival. 10 of 12 that competed ran personal bests, there was 10 national qualifying marks, 1 school record broken again, and 1 runner qualified for this summer's USA Junior National Championships.
With the men's 10,000m getting the day started off right. Pedro Montoya who holds the school record in the 10k ran a season best time of 31:07.62 while his teammate Ricardo Banuelos finished in a time of 31:24.91. Those two are currently ranked #1 and #2 in the Nation respectively. Ricardo's time also qualifies him for the USA Junior Outdoor Championship meet in Clovis, CA. "Our goal for Pedro was to run under 30min which we felt like in February he was ready for that. But was clipped by an injury late indoors that cost him 2 weeks of training. Those things happen and you just have to take them in stride." "I know seeing guys he beat back in February go under 30min gave him some added motivation moving forward. "DeGrado said. Ricardo was able to knock out one of his personal goals coming into this track season. "We had talked about qualifying for USA Junior meet and we had one chance to get it done before we had to get back into training, so it was nice to get that out of the way also." Its back to the daily grind for those two who know they need to get their miles back up to make that run for the NJCAA Outdoor national meet. In order for Ricardo to qualify for this meet, he needed to meet the age requirement as well as hit the USA Junior standard which is faster than our NJCAA Qualifying standard.
Once the 10,000m races concluded the men's 800m run was the next event to be contested. Allen had entered 5 of their short distance runners into the event. Aaron Miller broke his school record again with a #3 time of 1:53.18 while his teammate Carlos James runs 1:53.85 which is #7. Vinny Butera and Chris Martin followed up their teammates performances with qualify ones of their own, running times of 1:54.59 and 1:55.47. Vinny is currently ranked #11 in the Nation. Cole Brockman ran a 2:04.68 to round out the group. The Allen Red Devils also have a nation leading time of 7:37.09 4x800m relay composite time. "Each year we have 800m runners graduate off our 4x800m relay and I wonder how'll we run fast again, and each year there we are again posting marks and running fast times." "Some people might think it's the training group this year, but year after year guys develop and keep getting faster which begs the argument that it's the training system that is in place."
The final event of the evening was the 5,000m and Allen had 3 females and 2 males entered. All five runners were able to run personal bests. Kaitlyn Shoemaker posts an all-time personal best time with a run of 18:05.69 which ranks her #4 in the nation while Kristina Silvers and Vicky Ibarra runs 19:07.99 and 19:12.18. "I didn't really know what to expect from Kaitlyn being that was her first race all semester, however I know what her times in practice have been so it was a matter of time." "To see those girls develop has been something special. They just keep getting better and better." Jeremy Brittain runs 15:53.71 while Chris Dunn runs 16:18.54. "We redshirted Kaitlyn for indoors because she battled an injury during Christmas break and I didn't want to waste her indoor season which she'll be able to use after Allen, so this was Kaitlyn's 1st track race ever in an Allen uniform.
Next up for the Red Devils will be Butler Grizzles Invitational.