By : Staff : 6/20/07

The Castro Valley Track Club is in place for a big finish this year. “This is big, big news for us,” said coach Jim Phillips. Indeed this year’s team is big and making news.

With the goal of the National Junior Olympics in their future, the CVTC went to its biggest meet so far this year, the Pacific Association Championship, with high expectations. Over 1,600 young athletes from 24 USATF track teams competed in the event held in Fair Oaks on June 9-10.

A relatively young Club at seven years, the CVTC and its athletes recorded their best results ever, capturing second place overall behind powerhouse Roseville Express Track Club. With over 90 members, the CVTC success came from its depth among all ages and all events, and the personal best performances of its athletes.

The 7th-8th grade boys earned first place for their division. Now among the nation’s elite with their performances were the boys winning 4 x 400 relay team of Chance Moses, Anthony Martore, Stevy Chung, and CJ Hamilton with a time of 3:48.

In the 400 meters CJ Hamilton won the event with a time of 53.83. Anthony Martore was the 1,500 meters winner (4:34), and the 4 x 800 relay team of Jacob Habata, Anthony Martore, CJ Hamilton, and Stevy Chung (2.14.39) also placed first. Chance Moses in the high jump, and Matt and Mitch Saxton in throws also earned medals.

Leading the Club throwers were; 1993-94 division athlete Noelle Donnelly with first place in shot put (32’) and discus (80’8”), Anthony Martore took second place in the javelin with a toss of 32.28 meters, 1995-1996 athletes Tony Kawaguchi placed third in mini javelin and fourth in discus, 1997-1998 division athlete Orynn Johnson earned first place in shot put (20’3”) and turbo javelin (21.03 meters), and Jackson Phillips’ third place in javelin (107’11”) in 1989-90 division. Leading the jumpers were fourth grade long jumper Erik Clemensen, whose 12’10.75” leap earned him first place, and sixth grader Orianna Johnson’s long jump of 13’4” and Canyon eight grader Stevy Chung's 16’6”.

Eight grader’s Kelsey Santisteban and Elaine MacVay each improved their 1500 meter times by 7 seconds, as Kelsey placed second (5:00) and Elaine sixth (5:15).

Among the Castro Valley elementary school runners earning medals were the winning 4 x 800 meters relay team of Katie Embody, Indigo Flowers, Michelle Laponte, and Courtney Lewis. Michelle Laponte in the 3,000 meters and 1,500 meters, and the boys 4 x 400 meters relay team of Carter Mackey, Tomas Rozsa, Anthony Caracol, and Christopher Hitchcock.

Hurdlers also made it to the medal round, with CVHS sophomore Jordan Mackey winning the 400 meter hurdles (63.53) and Canyon seventh grader Celeste Martore placing in the 200 meter hurdles. High school junior Vitaly Drukers ran a season best 22.99 in the 200 and 11.90 in the 100 meter dash, taking 4th place.

Castro Valley Track Club’s head coach, Jim Phillips, expanded the coaching staff for all events, from throws (John Donnelly and Tyrenda Beatty), long and triple jump (Dooney Jones), pole vault and high jump (Peter Brewer, CVHS head coach), hurdles (Mel Ashford, CVHS coach), and running events (Dennis Coulter, John Whitfield, John Embody) for 12th grade to 3rd grade.

The club’s competitive focus is now the Junior Olympic meets, beginning this weekend, June 23-24, with the first of two qualifying meets leading to National Junior Olympics in late July.