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LVTC Annual Awards Banquet
Three Square Food Bank
4190 N. Pecos Rd., Las Vegas, 89115
Saturday, June 11, 2016 - 6pm
Press Release: 2016 Scholarships Announced
The Las Vegas Track Club (LVTC) is an all-volunteer, non-profit running organization (501c3) that was incorporated in the state of Nevada in April 1969. We are walkers, joggers, and runners who have embraced walking, jogging, and running as lifetime fitness activities. Our mission is to support youth running in southern Nevada, and we do that by making generous donations to youth running teams, high school cross country and track teams, and by giving scholarships to worthy graduating high school seniors.
The Scholarship Program, officially inaugurated in 2000, has distributed $151,600 in scholarship grants, with an average award of just over $1,600. Recently, at their last Board meeting, the club officially approved $15,000 in scholarship grants to nine LVTC members, named below, who are graduating high school seniors, class of 2016.
Jonathon Blaine NWCTA
Xavier Cummins Coronado
Carla Gatson SECTA
Danielle Greene Coronado
Joren Selinger Boulder City
Cody Thornock Clark
Kate Vanderstelt Palo Verde
Chase Wood Faith Lutheran
Marieta Wright NWCTA
The presentation of this year’s awards will be held at the annual LVTC Banquet in June, so it is not appropriate to announce the amount of each award at this time, but the minimum amount given to any of the nine recipients is $1000.
Please feel free to make this information available in any announcements or written publications that highlight achievements of these students. The above named seniors are to be congratulated. Their worthiness of this award reflects credit upon themselves and your school.
Phil Lawton, Scholarship Committee Chair
20th Annual Legends of Cross Country
5K Race & Seeded 5K Team Race
Sunset Park, Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, August 6, 2016 - 6:45am
***Championship Series Event ***
All entrants receive a custom “20th Annual Legends of Cross Country” t-shirt.
$30 LVTC Members $35 LVTC Members $50 EVERYONE
All proceeds go to the LVTC Scholarship Fund.
Three Divisions: Male, Female, Mixed (at least 2 men and 2 women)
Seeded Open Women—sub 22:00 Seeded Masters Women—sub 24:00.
* Exemptions granted to Seniors/Super Seniors
Friday, August 5, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Schramm and Santana Win Summerlin Half. Top Series Leader Board
By finishing overall first at the Summerlin Half Marathon, Erica Schramm widened her lead over Charlene Ragsdale and Toshie Bertsch, now tied for second. Erica has 50 points to their 33. Jennifer Lee, who was 4th overall—worth 17 points, as this was a race with more than 100 women finishers—in the Summerlin Half, slides into fourth place with 28 total points. She is closely followed by Linda Williams with 27 and Maria Riach with 26. All five earned points in the April event. Rounding out the top 10 among the women are Grace Edwards, with 22; Donna Pfeffer, with 19; Teri Gamer, with 18; and Katrina Williams with 17.
JJ’s Santana’s first-place finish in the Summerlin Half allowed him to gain four points on previous leader Eric Hosafros, who finished 5th overall in the same race. They are tied with 64 points. Kirk Buckley is now third in the standings with 39 points, following his 8th overall at the race in Summerlin. The next four places in the standings among the men didn’t change as Terry Stockdale (30), Ryan Williams (27), and Carl Wright (20) all skipped the event. Sergio Ibarra stayed with tied with Terry in the four spot by running “unofficially” in the race, thus earning no points. Danny Murphy, a newcomer to the Series, jumped into 8th place in the Series standings by finishing 3rd overall and earning 18 points for his effort. Mike Schramm is now alone in 10th place with 17 points after winning his age group at the Summerlin Half, good for 10 points.
The next Series event is the REVEL Mt. Charleston Marathon on May 7th, although any marathon run in the calendar year can be scored in lieu of running this particular marathon. But, no, you can only count one marathon, although if you run more than one you can count the one that earns you the most points. Be sure to let me know if and when you run a marathon this year. I know more than a few LVTC members ran Boston this year, as well as other 26.2-mile jaunts. Send me an e-mail with your results.
Phil Lawton, Championship Series Chair
Celebrate Education 8K Juggles Championship Series Standings
The third event in the CS brought out all the top-5 men on the Leader Board and, to no one’s surprise, JJ Santana finished first. Yet our new CS Leader is Eric Hosafros, who finished fourth Overall. How come? This anomaly came about as a result of Eric earning 14 wild-card points by finishing second overall at the Calico Race Labor of Love Marathon earlier in March. Well done, Eric! Eric now has 48 total points. JJ’s 15 points for winning the Celebrate Ed race gives him 44 points. Staying tied for third, as each earned 10 points in the March 8K, are Sergio Ibarra and Terry Stockdale. Sergio copped his 10 by finishing 6th Overall, while Terry won his age group. Both have 30 points total. Staying in fifth place, with 27 points, is Ryan Williams, who also earned 10 points by winning his age group. Moving into solo sixth place is Kirk Buckley, 5th Overall at the 8K, now with 26 points.
Charlene Ragsdale widened her lead in the standings by finishing second in her age group at Celebrate Ed. Those 9 points give her a total of 28, six ahead of Linda Williams and Grace Edwards. Grace, a sophomore at Palo Verde H.S., jumped six places in the standings with her fourth Overall in the 8K. Both have 22 points. Toshie Bertch also moves up on the Leader Board with a 5th Overall and stands one point back with 21. Also moving up were Donna Pfeffer, now with 19 points, and Maria Riach and Katrina Williams, now tied for sixth place with 17. All of those newcomers to the top echelon of the standings took advantage of the fact that many of the early leaders took a pass by not competing at the March event.
The next CS event will be the Summerlin Half Marathon on April 10th. This is sure to be a race with a large field, so the scoring rules will be somewhat different. Let me explain, because this is a revision to the rules as first announced back in January.
The rules for scoring Performance points, Overall and Age-Group, for races with more than 100 finishers of a gender are now as follows: Overall Top-15 (15-14-13 etc). There is no change for AG scoring: Top-5 (5-4-3-2-1). This means that 11th Overall is now worth 5 Performance points, the same as a 1st place AG finish. It corresponds to the original scoring for “large-field” races when prior to 2015 we awarded 20 points for winning overall and 10 points for winning your age group. This revision, to me, is fair. My rationale is that finishing Top-15 Overall in a race with lots of finishers is a big deal and should be worth more points. Also, these races almost always use 5-year age groups, so AG scoring takes into account that you essentially have more AG winners as well. This “tweak” in the scoring can, however, lead to a discrepancy. For example, the men’s race might have more than 100 finishers while fewer than 100 women finish. So the two races are scored differently. This did happen on more than one occasion when we used 20-point Overall scoring for large races. But since men aren’t competing against women in the CS it has no real effect.
One last thought. To the question, “Why not use this scoring for all races?” the answer is “Maybe we will, next year.” But not for this year since it would be changing the rules in the middle of the game. The only races on the CS schedule that are likely to have more than 100 runners of a gender are upcoming: Summerlin Half Marathon, REVEL Marathon, Legends, and Danny Gans. (Turkey Trot, hopefully, will have more than 200+ runners, but for that race we score both the 10K and 5K separately for CS points.)
Feel free to weigh in on this “tweak” I have made in scoring. It was only when it was pointed out to me that it didn’t seem fair that a top-10 Overall finish could be worth less than a top-5 AG finish. I agreed. I fixed it. I appreciate the feedback. Sometimes I write this stuff with the feeling that nobody ever reads it. Prove me wrong.
Phil Lawton, Championship Series Chair
Santana and Ragsdale Take Early Lead in Championship Series VII
It’s only the 2nd inning of a 12-inning competition but JJ Santana has taken the early lead, along with Charlene Ragsdale. JJ is defending his 2015 win, while Charlene, who finished in a tie for 8th last year, leads the pack for the first time.
JJ has racked up 29 out of a possible 30 points to lead the men’s division, while Charlene has accumulated 19 points. Both earned their points by competing in both events, as did men’s runner-up Eric Hosafros who now has 22 points and Linda Williams, runner-up among the women with 17.
The rest of top 10 among the men are Sergio Ibarra and Terry Stockdale, who both now have 20 after winning their age group in the January and February events, the Club Championship 10K and Winter Track Series Mel Sheppard 1500. Alone in 5th is Ryan Williams with 17 points. Tied for 6th are Kirk Buckley, George Schick, and Dominique Henriques with 15. Dominic earned his 15 by winning the WTS 1500 after skipping the race in January. Rounding out the top 10 are Alejandro Belmares with 14 points and Jeremy Wallace with 13, who also only competed in January.
The rest of the runners in the women’s field have only completed one event as well, and it includes most of the heavy hitters (extending my baseball metaphor). February’s winner Erica Schramm and runner-up Amanda Henriques stand 3-4 in the standings with 15 and 14 points, respectively, while Christina Jimenez, who was third in the 1500, stands alone in 5th place with 13 points. The rest of the leaders all earned their points in January: Tanya Carrier , 6th with 12 points; Jennifer Lee, 7th with 11; and four-way tie for 8th among Tosie Bertsch, Grace Edwards, Jamie Ross, and Marie Riach, all with10 points.
The next Series event is the Celebrate Education 8K in March. It should bring out our biggest turnout of the year to date. Points up for grabs will be Top 10 Overall (15-14-13 etc.) and Top 5 in the Age-Group placing (5-4-3-2-1). For this event there will be nine ten-year age groups from 0-10 up to 80+. So come on out to Kellogg Zaher on the 26th and join step up to the plate, or in this case the starting line.
Phil Lawton, Championship Series Chair
Championship Series 1500 Wraps up WTS
Despite perfect running conditions on a fast track (at UNLV), it was the smallest turnout for a Championship Series event in the seven years that the CS has been in existence. But it turned out to be one of the most competitive races ever, for both the men and the women.
There were 24 runners signed up, 17 men and 7 women. I decided to run three heats. The first heat was Masters Men. It was won in convincing fashion by Eric Hosafros (4:59), with Kirk Buckley second (5:25) and Sergio Ibarra a close third (5:27). Terry Stockdale was fourth in 5:43, not too shabby for a guy in his 60’s.
The second heat was all women, and it was competitive from the starting gun. Erica Schramm took an early lead with Amanda Henriques and Christina Jinenez not far behind. With 400 meters to go, it was a two-women race between Erica and Amanda, with Erica still in front by less than a full stride. Then Amanda made her move with 300 meters to go, taking the lead.
At that point Tim (Kelly) turned to me and said, “My money is on Amanda…!” I didn’t offer a bet, but I suggested to Tim that Amanda had made her move too early. Besides, I knew that Erica was more of a middle-distance runner in college, and she liked the shorter distances, whereas Amanda was a 10K specialist in college, not a miler. I also knew that Erica Schramm is one very competitive lady, who does not like to lose, especially to Amanda, her junior by eight years.
I was right. Amanda had made a bold move, but she was unable to break away on the back straightaway; Erica hung tough, no more than five to eight meters back. Erica then timed her move perfectly. Coming out of the final turn, with 100 meters to go, she took the lead and never gave it back, finishing with a surge in 5:04. Amanda faded at the finish, four seconds back (5:08). What a race! Christina was a solid third in 5:28. Abigail Adams (6:19) and Charlene Ragsdale (7:04) finished four-five.
This set the stage for the showdown between the young guns: Series leaders JJ Santana and Dominic Henriques; newcomer Shavik Kanzara, winner of the resent WTS 10K; Colin Corrigan; and Devin Mancuso, two-time Series runner-up. All five of these guys are in their 20’s and they are all in superb running shape. Also in this heat were four high school runners: Casey Price, Cody Thornock, Ryan Williams, and Joren Sellinger. The race didn’t disappoint.
Dominic, the speedster—an 800-meter runner in college—took an early lead, surprisingly, rather than lay back and make it a one or two-lap race. JJ and Bhavik were quite content to let Dominic do the early work, but they hung close. The rest of the field tried to stay with the three leaders, but the pace was just too fast! With 400 meters to go, Dominic started to get some separation, and he gradually increased his lead around the last turn, but then he started to wobble. JJ, in particular, went after him, but Dominic hung on, barely. And it should be noted that if JJ hadn’t had to go around a lapped runner, just before the finish line, he might have caught Dominic. Both runners were timed in 4:07. Bhavik was four seconds back for third (4:11). Both Colin and Devin were under 4:30, giving them a four-five finish Overall (both heats). Casey led among the high school runners, finishing in 5:02.
Just past the finish line, Dominic turned to me, bent over, still gasping for breath, and acknowledged that if the finish line had been any further out JJ would have caught him. It was a great race and great way to finish the WTS.
And here’s a thought. Devin suggested to me after the race that we should do our Summer Track Series on Saturday mornings, early, rather than in the evenings, when temps are still at triple digits in June, July and August. I’ll certainly consider it. What do you all think? And I love the idea of doing them all at UNLV, if possible. It avoids the hassle of getting access to the high school tracks, which are kept under lock and key in the summer. Your thoughts?
JJ Santana and Tosie Bertsch Win 2015 Championship Series
On the men’s side the numbers tell the story. It was essentially over after the first three events. JJ Santana had a remarkable run, never finishing less than runner-up in any event, and he competed in all of them, except a marathon. And from August on he was unbeatable. No small feat starting with the Legends Run where he defeated the current high school state cross country champion and a two-time Legends winner. After winning the Forest Challenge and the Turkey Trot 10K, JJ could have sat out the Holiday Half Marathon in December and still claimed the 2015 Series crown by double digits. But, no, he proceeded to set a new course record over the tough Equestrian course (1:13:49), besting his own record by almost 5 minutes, conquering the dreaded “3 sisters” with ease. JJ accumulated 117 out of a possible 120 points, discounting the Wild Card Marathon. Impressive to say the least.
James Tanner ended up in second place, 25 points back, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. In fact all of the top five men in the final standings competed in all eight scheduled events. Two of them, Sergio Ibarra and Travis Schurr, also ran a marathon. To say they all earned their awards is an understatement.
Another thing that stands out when you look at the top seven men is their diversity. Every age group is represented, from the teenager Ryan Williams—the first male runner in the 19 & Under age group to earn a top-5 bowl since we started the Series in 2010—to Terry Stockdale, a super senior (60 & Over), who finished tied for sixth with Chip Henry. Then there’s JJ, in his 20’s; Travis, in his 30’s; James and Chip in their 40’s; and Sergio, just turned 50.
Age was no handicap for Toshie Bertsch, the women’s winner. The ever-smiling veteran wasn’t to be denied this year. After losing to Erica Schramm by a single point in 2014, Toshie competed in every event this year, including a marathon. It was never easy, competing against younger runners, some of them much younger— such as Tiffany Barrett, Savannah Quintero, and Kat Tadich, half her age. But Toshie saved her best of last, finishing third overall in the Holiday Half and claiming the top step on the 2015 Series winner’s stand with a six-point margin over her friend Jamie Ross. Tiffany took third, despite passing on two of the eight events, and Janie Schurr finished fourth. But the record for getting the most out of the least goes to the reigning 2014 champion, Erica Schramm. Erica competed in only three scheduled Series events in 2015, winning them all, and then ran a marathon in Arizona and won that too, earning her another 15 points. Her total of 60 points edged out Linda Williams who ran every event, including a marathon and fell one point short. Ouch! But, as you would expect, Linda was as gracious as ever, claiming her reward was helping her son Ryan earn his top-5 place in the men’s standing, as he too ran all eight races. Linda is a class act.
The second tier of awards goes to those who finished 6-10 in the final standings and there too the competition was intense. On the men’s side, there was a tie for sixth, which Chip Henry won over Terry Stockdale, having competed in more events than Terry, but the tie for tenth between James Alejandro and Gerry Morgan couldn’t be broken with a tie breaker since they each ran in four events, including a marathon. Thus they each earn a 10th place award. Eric Hosafros and Phil Weiland finished 8th and 9th in the final standings. Phil earned his spot in the top 10 by virtue of running a marathon this month in Hawaii. Phil is one tough octogenarian.
On the women’s side it was Linda Williams alone in 6th. Jennifer Lee leapfrogged into the number 7 spot by virtue of winning the Holiday Half, and Maria Riach and Charlene Ragsdale ended up in the dead heat for 8th (same points, same number of races). Rosalie Montoya claimed the 10 spot in the final standing.
All the top-10 winners will be receiving their awards at the 2015 Awards Ceremony held before the start of the Championship 10K on January 9th at Kellogg-Zaher Park when we inaugurate the 2016 Series.
Phil Lawton, 2015 Championship Series Chairperson
Wood and Haymore Top Qualifiers Heading to State Track Meet
LVTC members Chase Wood and Karina Haymore are both defending State Champions, Chase in the 1600 and 3200 and Karina in the 800. Both are serving notice that they intend to successfully defend their titles, and more. And in case anyone needs reminding, both Chase and Karina won state individual cross country titles last November.
Chase, a two-time state champion (1600 & 3200) as a sophomore and junior, heads to Division 1A Regionals with the second-fastest 1600 in Nevada (4:21.87 at Arcadia), bested only by a northern-NV runner from D-1 Reed. Chase is #6 state wide in the 3200—#1 in D-1A—with a 9:49.68 (NIKE Chandler Rotary). Both times are PR’s for the Faith Lutheran senior. Chase also runs the 800 (he was 7th at State in 2015). His best time this year was 1:57.39 at Chandler (#10 in NV currently).
Chase after winning both 1600 and 3200 at Ron Resler Invitational (Boulder City)
Three other LVTC members are also among the leaders in men’s rankings heading for Regionals. Bryce Odergard (Pahrump Valley) is ranked #17 in the state in the 1600 (4:34.50), #36 state-wide in the 3200 (10:18.6) and #41 in the 800 (2:03.8). Jonathon Blaine (Shadow Ridge) has a best time of 2:00.86 for the 800, good for #27 in the state, and a 4:49.2, good for #70 state wide. Jonathon was 7th at state in the 800 in 2015. And Xavier Cummins (Coronado) is ranked #28 in the state in the 3200 (10:10.25) and #58 in the 1600 (4:46.0). Xavier placed 7th at state in the 3200 in 2015.
Among the girls, Karina Haymore has top qualifying times—state wide—in both the 800 and the 1600 and is ranked #4 in the 400. Karina is following in the footsteps of her teammate at Centennial, Sydney Badger (now running for University of Michigan), as one of the top middle distance runners in the USA, not just in Nevada. Karina has bests this year of 57.10 (at Ron Resler), 2:11.80 (at Mt. SAC), and 5:00.00 (weekday meet at Centennial).
Karina run a PR for the 1600 at Centennial weekday meet
Other girls, who are members of LVTC, also running well this spring include Kate Vanderstelt (Palo Verde), Sierra Selinger (Boulder City), and Marieta Wright (Cimarron). Kate is currently ranked #7 in the state in the 3200 (11:46.88), #20 in the 1600 (5:26.07), and #44 in the 800 (2:29.6). Sierra is #23—state wide—in the 3200 (12:16.46), #34 in the 1600 (5:34.65), and #100 in the 800 (2:36.22). Sierra finished 7th at state, as a freshman, in the 3200 in 2015. Marieta is ranked #40 in the state in the 1600, with a best of 5:36.39; #52 in the 3200 (12:33.71); and #72 in the 800 (2:33.0).
We wish all these fine athletes, and other track club members not cited, the best of luck at Regionals and State. Run fast; run strong; do us proud
Summer Track Series for 2016 Opens with Championship Series 3200
Races on the track, sponsored by the Las Vegas Track Club, go back to the 1970’s when the track at UNLV was open to the public. Before the early 90’s the only tracks in the Las Vegas valley with an artificial surface were at UNLV, Eldorado High School, and what was then Clark County Community College in NLV.
In the early 90’s Clark County School District began building new high schools, starting with Cheyenne and Green Valley which opened in 1991. One of the features of the new schools was artificial-surface tracks, which became a magnet for runners and joggers, especially during the summer months when schools were not in session. Eventually all the high schools in Clark County—from Laughlin to Mesquite (Virgin Valley HS) and places in between were upgraded with new tracks and over the years LVTC would host summer events on the tracks in Henderson, Las Vegas, and NLV.
In 2010, the same year that the Championship Series was inaugurated, we restarted the STS. It consisted of six events—three at Durango HS and three at Green Valley HS—two weeks apart in June, July, and August. Events were held on a Tuesday night, starting at 7 p.m. and distances varied from a 400 meter run to a 5000 (16 ½ laps). One of the key features of the STS was its informality. Races were free—just sign up and run. We recorded times and posted them on our web site. The club provided water and cups. That was it.
This year, our seventh season, we have tweaked things a bit. We’re going back to UNLV for all our events. The use of the high school tracks have become more and more difficult to arrange and UNLV is a better central location anyway, now that it is available and open to the public. We’re also going to try using Saturday mornings for half of our races. This was suggested by some of our members. The evening temps are brutal in the summer months. We’ll still do one a month on Tuesdays, as in the past, and now one a month on Saturday mornings early, (6:30 start time). This way we beat the heat and get folks out of there in time to do other things on Saturday morning.
Races are still free but our donation jar will be there for those who wish to say “Thank you, “ with all donations going to our Scholarship Fund. Races will be on alternate Tuesday’s and Saturday’s starting June 14th. Signups start at around 6:15 p.m. with a first “gun time” of 7:00 on Tuesday and 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, with a start time of 6:30. Here is the tentative schedule. Check the web site (www.lvtc.org) for updates as to dates.
Date Event Location
June 14 (Tues) 3200* UNLV Track (all events)
June 25 (Saturday) 3200*
July 12 (Tuesday) 1600
July 23 (Saturday) 800/400
August 13 (Saturday) 3200
August 23 (Tuesday) 1600/800
*Championship Series Event—two sessions, multiple heats, compiled results
Dom and Amanda Show up on Race Day and Win Fat Boy 5K
Our own Dominic and Amanda Henriques had to start from scratch, but it didn’t stop them from finishing first at the 8th annual Las Vegas Fat Boy 5K at Bunker Park on Saturday. Both ran impressive times, 16:04.8 for Dominic and 19:32.1 for Amanda (6th overall, among all finishers).
Amanda had it pretty much all to herself; her nearest challenger, Kara Radzak, finished almost four minutes back (23:00.5). Dominic didn’t have it so easy. Andrew Duncan, the ageless wonder, hung tough with his 29-year-old upstart challenger throughout the race. Andrew finished less than four seconds back in 16:08.7. I wonder how many 48-year-olds, in Las Vegas or elsewhere, can still run a 5:12-mile-pace for a 5K? Not many I would suggest. Still, it was good day for the Henriques, who didn’t have to contend with fellow Red Rock Racers JJ Santana and Erica Schramm and snuck under the radar by not preregistering.
It was perfect day for the race. The noon start time meant temperatures in the low 70’s and there was little or no wind to contend with for this pre-Valentine’s Day gala. Race Director Kobbe Shaw did his usual superb job of providing great food—from donuts to BBQ pork and brats—and a variety of beverages, everything from beer to chocolate milk, and quirky prizes. Who else would come up with Fat Boy ice cream sandwiches as a give away? (They were good by the way. The winner shared them! No way you could take those home with you.)
If there was a fly in the ointment it was low turnout, fewer than 90 total runners and walkers, the smallest number in years. It was especially sad to see so much of the prepared food go begging, along with 200-plus left over tee-shirts. Yes, there were other local running events on the calendar, but still... to call the turnout for this event “disappointing” is an understatement. I don’t know the answer to this problem of low turnout for LVTC-sponsored event, but it needs to be dealt with. I don’t think I have ever seen so few LVTC members at one of our sponsored races, not this century anyway. I can only hope we do better for the Celebrate Education 8K next month.
That said, kudos go to those LVTC members who did show up to help, processing applications, passing out the goodies, taking pictures, and helping with course management: Tim Kelly, Mike Reago, Brenda Herbstman, Gary Campbell, and any others I have overlooked. Also, thanks go to Tim Simmonis and Natalie Thomas who did a flawless job of timing the runners and recording the results in near real-time.
Winter Tracksters Run 10K at UNLV
That was cool! It’s not often that you get to count down from 25 when keeping track of laps on the track. I can’t recall ever being involved with a 10K on the oval surface before. But I had put it on the schedule as one of our six races for this first-ever LVTC Winter Track Series, so there it was.
Nine participants signed up to run and fellow-volunteer Mike Reago and I assigned them all bib numbers so we could keep track of laps. (We knew many would be lapped multiple times before the race was over.) A couple of guys started early—keeping their own times—but we still managed to track their laps. Here’s how it all turned out.
From the gun our frontrunner was newcomer-to-Las Vegas Bhavik Kanzura, who ran an impressive 35:59. That’s a sub-6 pace! Bhavik is a recent graduate of UC Santa Barbara and he’s now living in Las Vegas, enrolled in med school. He saw the posting on the web site about our race and just showed up. I think we convinced him to join the track club. Bhavik would make a nice addition to our club as a member of what I call our “young guns” (Bhavik is 25), training and competing against guys like JJ Santana, Dominic Henriques, Ryan Ripley, and Devin Mancuso.
The next two finishers were women masters, our own Rosalva Bonilla and Toshie Bertsch. Both are terrific competitors, who need no introduction from me. Rosalva is a former Olympian, who moved to the Las Vegas area a little over a year ago, and Toshie is our 2015 Championship Series winner. Rosalva ran her 10K a tick under 43 minutes and Toshie was a lap back in 45 flat. Most impressive for a couple of ladies over 50.
Finishing just behind them was Cody Thornock. Cody and his dad, Steve, had split the 10K. Steve ran the first twelve-and-a-half laps and Cody finished it. Their combined time was 46:40. A good effort.
Following this dynamic duo was September Boles, a visitor, who ran 54:12 for her 25 laps.
Carl Wright, who had started early, finished next. He called his time as 1:00:34. Even with a three-lap head start, Carl was lapped multiple times by our leader, Bhavik, but it was still a nice run by Carl.
Our own Allen Bauer was next. Allen put on a surge at the end and finished his 10K in 59:59. Another good effort from a super senior (Allen just turned 60).
And last, but certainly not least, was our own Pat McMillin. Pat didn’t finish the 10K—he never intended to—but he had a good workout on the track and we appreciated his coming out.
It was a modest turnout, to be sure, but 10,000 meters on the track is never going to be a big draw.
I expect many more signups for our final WTS event, the Championship Series 1500 meter run on February 27th. Same time, same place: 8:00 a.m. start on the UNLV track. We’ll run multiple heats (slow to fast) as necessary and determine the top-10 finishers, by gender, based on composite times. Age-groups (top-5 score points) will be determined by who shows up. The price is right, a $1 donation in the scholarship jar.
Poker Run Winners Brave the Cold
When my wife and I used to go to auctions in England back in the early 70’s, we always had our best success when they were held in remote locations in the middle of winter. This year’s Poker Run was kinda like that. Old Silver Bowl park is tucked away at the east end of the valley, only accessible from an off street that even Map Quest has trouble finding. And January 23rd certainly qualifies as the middle of winter. There was no wind, but it was cold at 8 o’clock in the morning!
But those brave souls—all 36 of them—who came out to run and win prizes—ranging from a $100 voucher for pair of running shoes at Foot Solutions, to free race entries, to an 8-pack of Powerade—at this year’s Poker Run had a pretty good odds of winning. It turns out that at least 15 of them produced winning hands. And some of the least likely hole cards were the biggest winners, as you shall see.
This is a quirky event. Contestants run a 5K or a 2 miler and collect three cards. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or where you finish. You get your three cards. This year’s first finisher was our own JJ Santana, as you would expect. (After all JJ is the Championship Series defending champ.) JJ picked up a pair of Aces and King for his hole cards. First in, best cards, right? If I were playing at the World Series of Poker, I’d probably go “all in” with that. But that’s not the way this game is played. You have to wait until all the runners are in before the flop and the river, when four cards are turned over to go with the three hole cards to determine the best poker hands (or the worst—low hands can win too).
It was a long wait for JJ and some of the fast guys and gals (newest Legend Kate Vanderstelt was third behind JJ and Sergio Ibarra). But once the last runner collected his third card at the finish line, we were ready to go. Drum rolls, please.
Here they come: 8 of clubs, Queen of diamonds, 3 of clubs…and, finally, 2 of hearts. I knew as soon as that second club came up we had at least a couple of Flush winners since I had seen several of our players clutching three clubs. But so much for JJ’s pair of Aces and King; no winner, that.
The two top winners had a full house! Margot van den Acker had three Q’s and a pair of 2’s and Robert Chrisman had three 2’s and pair of Q’s. The next three winners did, indeed, have a club flush, the best one being a K-high flush held by Jack Henderson. Next came Janet Vanderstelt and Paula Hilt, who both had a Q-high club flush.
The best low hand was held by Pieter Hildebrand, whose “worst” five cards added up to 17. Also winners with low hands were Malcolm Singer and Sanne Hildebrand with a low total of 19, and Chelsey Minchell and Edwin Gonzalez with 21.
Other high hand winners were Carl Wright with trip 8’s, and four players who all had two pair: Jacob Hook, Q’s over 8’s; Katherine Singer, 8’s over 3’s; Christian Robinson, 8’s over 2’s; and Oliver Hildebrand (3’s over 2’s), (making the Hildebrands 3 for 3, among the 15 announced winners).
Actually, the LVTC Scholarship Fund was the biggest winner of all, as all the entry fees go towards scholarships. And one nice thing about this course “in the middle of nowhere” is that there are no fees to pay, unlike our more popular venues like Sunset Park, Bunker Park, Kellogg-Zaher and the like. I would love to go back to places like Pecos Legacy and other parks in Henderson for this event, but, frankly, we can’t afford it. So I guess we’re left with Old Silver Bowl Park. Hopefully, next year more than 36 folks will show up and play poker with us, but maybe that’s what it’s all about: find an auction (or game) in a remote location in the middle of winter. You have a better chance of winning.
As for this year’s fast runners, there’s always next year, JJ and Sergi. But Kate came out ahead, even if her pair of 2’s didn’t win. Her mom was a winner and copped a ticket to the banquet in June when Kate will be collecting her Legends plaque and, I suspect, other awards.
Finally, I want to thank our volunteers and those who donated prizes:
And as they say on PBS: “Viewers like you.” Thanks for coming out and donating to this worthy cause.
Phil Lawton, Scholarship Chair
|Winner's Name||Winning Hand||Low Total|
|Margot Van den Acher||Full House (Q's and 2's|
|Robert Chrisman||Full House (2's and Q's|
|Jack Henderson||Club Flush (K high)|
|Janet Vanderstelt||Club Flush (Q high)|
|Paula Hilt||Club Flush (Q high)|
|Carl Wright||3 of a kind (8's)|
|Jacob Hook||2 pair (Q's and 8's)|
|Katherine Singer||2 pair (8's and 3's)|
|Christian Roberinson||2 pair (8's and 2's)|
|Oliver Hildebrand||2pair (3's and 2's)|
Toshie Bertsch and JJ Santana
Toshie Bertsch, Jim Tanner & Jamie Ross
JJ Santana & Bree Thorpe Win Club Championship 10K
To begin the new year right, JJ Santana picked up right where he left off in 2015, winning races handily. He literally ran away from the field on a chilly day in January on the Kellog-Zaher Park 10K course. JJ’s winning time of 33:27.7 was more than two a half minutes faster than that of the next finisher, Alejandro Belmares (36:00.5).
The next four runners were spread out as well. Jeremy Wallace was almost two minutes behind Alejandro (37:45.9). Eric Hosafros (37:47.8) was a close fourth—the first Master to cross the finish line—but James Tanner, the second Master, who rounded out the top 5, was another 45 seconds back (38:31.3).
The first women to finish, and 6th overall, was “outsider” Bree Thorpe (38:56.2). Bree, who frequently runs in LVTC races (she was 1st at the Notch Run in July and 3rd at the Legends Run in August), still chooses not to join the track club. In fact, the first LVTC member on the distaff side to cross the finish line was Tanya Carrier, fourth overall among the women. Between her and Bree were Shelby Nelson and Nicole Jewell. Fifth place overall belonged to our own Jennifer Lee, who was the first female Master.
In total there were 47 finishers in the 10K, all of whom collected points towards the 2016 Championship Series. Also handed out at the awards ceremony after the race were the bowls and mugs earned by the top-10 finishers in the 2015 Championship Series.
The next event in the Series will be on the track at UNLV on February 27th, , a 1500 meter run.
Top 10 LVTC Events of 2015
1. JJ Santana and Toshie Bertsch win Championship Series VI
To say that JJ Santana dominated the men’s competition in 2015 is an understatement. He ran roughshod over it, earning 117 out of a possible 120 points! Of the eight events in last year’s series, JJ won six and was runner-up in the other two. And he shows no inclination to slow down in 2016, winning the Club Championship 10 in January, the first event in CS VII. If JJ can repeat in 2016, he would become the first back-to-back champion. Stephen Morgan won twice but not in consecutive years (2010 and 2012).
For Toshie Bertsch, it was more of a grind. She competed in every event, plus got points bonus for running in the Boston Marathon. Toshie becomes the oldest winner, the club’s first O-50 runner to get his/her name on the perpetual trophy. It was also redemption for Toshie after getting edged out by Erica Schramm by a single point for first place in 2014.
2. Banquet Honors Club’s top runners, etc.
Ryan Ripley and Erica Schramm: Runners of the Year
Jennifer Lee and Gamini Sugathadasa: Masters Runners of the Year
Erik Edmondson and Olivia Garcia: Youth Runners of the Year
Jeneke Heerema and Garrett Meyer: High School Runners of the Year
Evan Alejandro: Most Improved Runner
Gary Campbell: Volunteer of the Year
Meyer Family: Family of the Year
The names speak for themselves here. The annual banquet is the highlight of the LVTC year, recognizing the achievements of club members. Many who are highlighted elsewhere show up throughout other top-10 events as well.
An additional recognition here goes to Linda Williams who, as the Banquet Chair, coordinated the event at Three Square Food Bank. To quote from what was said at the time: “The food was outstanding and the setting and ambiance was perfect.”
3. Maria Riach newest Iron Camel
Maria’s award of the Iron Camel, the club’s most coveted recognition, was the highlight of the banquet and as such deserves its own place in the top-10. Maria clearly earned this award, not only for recognition as one of the club’s top senior runners—she has been in the top-10 of the Championship Series every year since its onset in 2010—but also for her longtime service to the club as a club officer and most recently as the Grand Prix Chair and as a member of the Scholarship Committee.
4. Scholarship Winners: Jeneke Heerema, Abigail Jimenez-Torres, Garrett Meyer, Delaney Paul
The number of qualified applicants was down this year, but that takes nothing away from the achievements of the four winners. All four had outstanding academic, athletic, and citizenship credentials. Jeneke and Garrett were also selected as the LVTC High School Runners of the Year.
5. Marathoners Thrive Throughout USA
At the risk of slighting many other LVTC members who completed marathons in 2015, it’s impossible to overlook the accomplishments of Toshie Bertch, Jennifer Lee, Gerry Morgan and Gamini Sugathadasa, who qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon;
Kat Tadich (first NV finisher) and Alejandro Belmares (sub 3) at the New York Marathon; and Erica Schramm, first female finisher at the Tucson Marathon (also sub 3).
6. High School Members Excel at State in Cross Country and Track
Cross Country: Karina Haymore (1st, Division 1), Mackenzie Morgan (16th, Division 1, 2nd freshman all races), Kate Vanderstelt (14th, Division 1), Chase Wood (1st, Division 1A), Sierra Selinger (16th, Division 1A), Bryce Odegard (4th, Division 1A).
Track: Karina Haymore (Division 1 800M Champion), Jeneke Heerema (Division-3 800M runner-up and 1600MX4 Champion [yes, four-time state champion!], Chase Wood (Division 1A 2Xdouble Champion: 1600M & 3200M)
Haymore and Vanderstelt will be inducted into the Legends Cross Country Hall of Fame (HoF), Class of 2015. Heerema and Wood were inducted into the HoF—Class of 2014—at this year’s LVTC Banquet.
7. Championship Series expands for 2016; adds Winter Track Series
LVTC joins forces with Desert Sky Adventures for the Summerlin Half Marathon and with Revel Racing for REVEL Mt. Charleston Marathon in 2016. Hopefully, these two high-profile, local events will help promote the club and boost our membership (each race offers a significant discount for LVTC members).
The Winter Track Series was added to the 2015-16 race schedule. As a complement to the Summer Track Series, it consists of two events per month in December through February. It will culminate in a 1500M Championship Series race on February 27th. All events are to be held on the track at UNLV.
8. Legends Run 2015
The 19th Annual Legends Run 5K at Sunset Park resulted in the biggest field ever, 269 finishers. JJ Santana and Erica Schramm were the two top finishers, winners of the Seeded race. Dajour Braxton, Solomon Bennett, Nick Meis, and Chase Wood finished 2-5 in Men’s Overall.
Erica Schramm, Laura Chappell, Bree Thorpe, Mercy Ray, and Kat Tadich finished 1-5 among all women, leading Red Rock Racers to a sweep in the Women’s Team event. Coach G’s All Stars were double winners, winning the Men’s and Mixed Team events.
9. New Faces on the Board for 2015-16