Summer Track Series
2017 Summer Track Series
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 earl 90'w 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 North Las Vegas.
In 2010, the same year that the Championship Series was inaugurated, we restarted the Summer Track Series (STS). It consisted of six events - three at Durango High School, three at Green Valley High School - two weeks apart in June, July and August. Events were held on Tuesday nights, starting at 7:00 p.m. and distances varied from 400 meters to 5000 meters (12.5 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 website. LVTC provided water and cups. That was it.
This year, our eighth season since the restart, we're back at UNLV for all our events. Same format and goodies as per the previous paragraph. As we did in 2016 we're alternating between Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings for our races. We'll do one a month on Tuesdays and one a month on Saturday mornings early (6:30 a.m. start time). This way we beat the heat and get folks out of there in time to do other things on Saturday mornings.
Races are still free but our donation jar will be there for those who'd like to say "Thank you". All donations will go the the LVTC Scholarship Fund.
Races will be on alternate Tuesday's and Saturday's starting Tuesday, June 17th. Tuesday signups start at 6:30 p.m. with the first "gun time" of 7:00. On Saturdays signups will begin at 6:00 a.m. with a Start time of 6:30.
Here is the tentative schedule. Check the website (www.LVTC.org) for updates and/or changes to the dates or times.
Races will be on alternate Tuesday’s and Saturday’s starting Tuesday, June 17th. Signups start at around 6:30 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
Tuesday, June 17 1500m UNLV Track
Saturday, June 27 3000m UNLV Track
Tuesday, July 11 5000m UNLV Track
Saturday, July 29 800m/400m UNLV Track
Saturday, August 19 3000m UNLV Track
Tuesday, August 29 1500m/800m UNLV Track
5cholarship Eligibility Open to All High School Seniors
As the Las Vegas Track Club shifted gears in 2017 by going from a member-based club to a donor-based organization one of first things that happened was that the Scholarship Program, which has been the backbone of the club since the millennium (it was put into place in 2000), is no longer closed to non card-carrying members. It made sense initially to limit scholarships to LVTC members. It was benefit of membership. It encouraged those who would be applying for a scholarship to be involved with the club: run our races, volunteer to help at events, attend social functions, etc., since the Scholarship Committee took into account “LVTC involvement.” It was a case of looking after your own: “Only members need apply.”
As Scholarship Chair I was OK with that, but it always bothered me a little. As a 501c3 organization, which the Las Vegas Track Club was, and still is, it seemed to go against the idea of inclusion. We were giving money to support our charter, but we weren’t reaching out to the full community, in this case high school seniors who were runners and were headed off to college. By being exclusive to members, quite frankly, we weren’t always giving that financial boost to the “best qualified.” Usually, money was given to all who applied. Great for them, but something seemed amiss. It didn’t seem right that all you had to do was pay your dues and you could claim your prize. Well, now that’s changed.
Now any high school senior in southern Nevada is eligible. Otherwise the rules haven’t changed. It’s still a three-legged stool. We still weigh (1) academics; (2) athletics, with an emphasis on high school cross country and track, and youth running; and (3) citizenship. We do not take into account “financial need” per se, but it can be a consideration, along with other things like physical disabilities and other hardships. These “other things” can be brought out in the essay or the letters of recommendation.
We have tried to make the application package as compact as possible: cover letter, resume’, academic transcript, a short essay, and two letters of recommendation. (For an athletic resume, I go to athletic.net and add those findings to the package.)
I hope you flood me with applications this year! We are, as best as I can determine, the only game in town. Who else is offering scholarship money to graduating high school seniors who are runners? We will be looking for a final pool of candidates of up to 12 and will likely give away up to $15,000, with a grant range of $1000 to $3000. No strings attached. The money is given in the form of check that is to be used in support of continuing education.
Deadline for applying is April 5th. Go for it.
Phil Lawton, Scholarship Chair
2017 Las Vegas Track Club Scholarship Program
The Las Vegas Track Club (LVTC) Scholarship Program was officially established in 2000 to assist local high school graduates with college expenses. The program is funded by donations from club members, local organizations and individuals, and the fundraising efforts of the LVTC. The club designates at least one club-sponsored event per quarter as a Scholarship Race.
the Las Vegas Track Club Scholarship Program is a way of giving back to the Community to help foster interest in running and show our commitment to youth running in particular. By supporting young people who have demonstrated academic and athletic excellence, community involvement, and a strong interest in running, we are encouraging healthy, productive, and disciplined lifestyles in these young adults who are the leaders of the future.
Variable: may be given to a single individual or divided among multiple recipients at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee and, ultimately, the LVTC Board of Directors. Awards can be expected to range from $1,000 to $3,000. In 2016 a total of $15,000 was distributed among nine (9) finalists.
The Scholarship Committee is made up of club members selected by the LVTC Board of Directors. The Committee Chairman is appointed by the Board and serves as the point-of-contact.
Any graduating high school student (Class of 2017) from southern Nevada (currently defined as Clark County, Nye County and Lincoln County) may apply. NOTE: Active membership in the LVTC is no longer a requirement.
Scholarships are based upon achievements during the student's high school career in the following areas: (1) academics, as measured by high school grade point averages (GPA), both un-weighted and weighted (if applicable), and SAT/ACT test scores; (2) athletics, with emphasis on cross country and track & field and participation in youth running; (3) extracurricular activities and community involvement; (4) a personal essay; (5) two letters of recommendation.
Weighting between these areas will be determined by the sole discretionary judgment of the Scholarship Committee and the LVTC Board of Directors, whose decisions will be final.
Use of Funds and Distribution:
The award is intended for the use of the recipient in the pursuit of post-secondary education; money will be awarded to the winner or winners in the form of a one-time, single cash grant.
Application Deadline and Notification of Award Selection:
Applications must be submitted to the Committee (see address below) and received no later than Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Applications are available on-line at www.LVTC.org (the LVTC web site) or through the mail by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope with an application request to:
Attention: Scholarship Committee
Las Vegas Track Club
P. O. Box 30134
Las Vegas, NV 89173-0134
Applicants will be notified no later than May 10, 2017, regarding the results of the selection process.
I want to call attention to this event coming up at the end of January. New Day Racing is headed up by founder and Race Director Charlene Ragsdale and her brother Kirk Buckley. Charlene and Kirk are not just long-time-LVTC members, they are active and involved members. If you have been following the Championship Series results, you know that this dynamic duo were both runners-up in the 2016 CS. The upcoming event on Saturday, January 28th is a 5K and 1M event. The price is right—from $15 to $30 for one or both and depending on when you enter—and it’s a convenient location, Sunset Park, using a similar course that we have used for many LVTC events in the past. It’s well worth our support. I plan to be there to help kick things off as New Day Racing begins its 2017 Race Series. You can enter via links from their web site New Day Racing.
2016 Legends Announced
Joining Bryce Odegard from Pahrump Valley, an automatic Legend by virtue of winning the Division 3 State Cross Country Championship in 2016, will be Lenny Rubi, Green Valley; Daniel Ziems, Palo Verde; Kayla Roberts, Centennial; and Emma Wahlenmaier, Palo Verde. The four were elected into the Legends Hall of Fame by the Legends Selection Committee of past and present coaches and current Legends. All four received at least 75% of the votes with Wahlenmaier a unanimous selection.
The five incoming Legends will be inducted into the Southern Nevada Cross Country Hall of Fame at the Las Vegas Track Club’s annual banquet in June and honored again at the 21st Annual Legends Run at Sunset Park, August 4, 2016.
This year’s Legends Run will include an Open 5K followed by a Seeded 5K race, which will be a team event, teams of seven runners, in three divisions, Male, Female, Mixed. Runners who meet qualifying standards my run unattached.
The Legends 5K course at Sunset Park in 2017 will be a true cross- country course run largely on grass and dirt trails. It will be similar to the course used for the 2014 Nevada State Cross Country Championships. With over 100 entries expected in each race, the Seeded race, will include many current college runners, most of them Legends, and many of the top local runners. The Seeded 5K will likely meet expectations as the “fastest 5K race run annually in the Las Vegas valley.” The defending champions from 2016 are Martin Ponce, who graduated from SECTA in 2013 and now runs for Montana State, and Sydney Badger, who graduated from Centennial and now runs track and cross country at the University of Michigan. Both are Legends.
Legends Nominees for Class of 2016
Steven Birch (Basic) Amy Amezcua (Green Valley)
Nathan Cromwell (Coronado) Skyler Free (Liberty)
Tim Myers (Arbor View) Tori Landers (Palo Verde)
Leonardo Rubi (Green Valley) Kayla Roberts (Centennial)
Omar Rubio (Del Sol/Green Valley) Emma Wallenmaier (Palo Verde)
Daniel Ziems (Palo Verde) Julie Weaver (Centennial)
This year’s Selection Committee is comprised of 16 active or retired coaches and current Legends. In order to be elected, a candidate must receive 75% of the votes. Voters may select up to three candidates from each list. No write-ins allowed.
Bryce Odegard (Pahrump Valley), a junior, the 2016 State 3A Champion is an automatic qualifier this year. Among the senior boys, none of the nominees ever finished higher than 7th at State, but Leonardo Rubi was twice All State (top 15) and Omar Rubio and Daniel Ziems were both Region champs (Rubio in 2016 and Ziems in 2015 and 2016). The other nominees this year all had less noteworthy careers but are deserving of the nomination. All of them went to State one of more times and finished in the top 10 at Region at least twice.
There were no carry-over candidates from 2015.
Three-year runner at Basic. His best finish at State was 2015 when he was 9th. His top finish at the Sunrise Regional was in 2015 when he finished 3rd.
Four-year runner at Coronado. Twice All Region (top 10), in 2014 and 2016. Four times to State, best finish 18th as a senior
Three-year runner at Arbor View. Three-time top-7 at Sunset Regional; three-time state qualifier, best finish 25th as a senior.
Four-year runner at Green Valley. Twice won Frosh-Soph. Twice runner-up at Sunrise Regional (his sophomore and junior year). Four times to State, never worse than 22nd; best finish was 7th in 2015.
Ran one year at Del Sol as a freshman (4th at Frosh-Soph). Transferred to Green Valley and did not run for two years—except at NXN SW Regional in 2015 when he finished 17th in the Open race (16:13 for 5K). In 2016 he won the Sunrise Regional and finished 8th at State.
Three-year runner at Palo Verde. Twice Sunset Regional Champion as a junior and senior. Three times to State, improving each time with a best of 9th in 2016.
No automatic qualifier this year. Karina Haymore, who won the 4A race in 2015 as a junior, is already a Legend. Of the six nominees from this year’s class, clearly the top candidates for election are Kayle Roberts from Centennial and Emma Wallenmaier from Palo Verde. Roberts finished in the top-8 at State three times, was runner-up in 2014. Wallenmaier was top-7 at State three times, runner-up in 2015, and Sunset Region champion in 2015. All four of the other nominees had “noteworthy” careers of at least three years and all four were All Region at least twice. All four went to State at least three times, but none ever finished higher than 15th. As with the boys, how noteworthy is for you to judge.
Three-year runner at Green Valley. She finished top 5 in the Sunrise Regional all three years and ran State three times as well, finishing 24th as a senior.
Ran three years for Liberty. Top 8 in the Sunrise Regional three times, runner-up in 2014. Three time state qualifier and made All State by finishing 15th in 2016.
Solid four-year varsity career at Palo Verde, never #1 on her team but All Region twice and four times to State. Best finish at State was as a sophomore when she placed 24th.
The Centennial senior had a terrific four years. She finished first as Frosh-Soph both times she ran it; was top 6 at the Sunset Regional four times, runner-up twice; and made All State four times, finishing second in 2015.
Three years at Palo Verde, and the team’s #1 runner her junior and senior year. She finished 4-1-2 at the Sunset Regional 2014-’16 and finished 7-2-5 at State, the #1 runner from the South her senior year.
Ran a bit “under the radar” for high-profile Centennial but had three good years as a varsity runner. Twice All Region—4th in 2015—and three times to State with best finish of 17th in 2015.
Voting begins December 6 and ends December 31. Winners will be announced in early January, 2017. Awards given at the Las Vegas Track Club banquet in June and/or the 2017 Legends Run in August.
Phil Lawton, Legends Selection Chair
JJ Santana and Braidynn Harchis Win 2017 Club Championship 10K
To begin the new year right, JJ Santana picked up where he left off in 2015 and ’16, winning and blowing away the field in a race! On a chilly day in January over the Kellog-Zaher Park 10K course, JJ’s winning time of 32:37 was more than two minutes faster than that of the next finisher, Andrew Duncan. Andrew, the ageless wonder at 49, can still run with most anybody, as his time of 34:50 will attest, but JJ Santana is not just “anybody.”
JJ Santana Andrew Duncan
The next three runners were all within 21 seconds of one another: Ray Fong (35:06), Peter Downie (35:10), and Alejandro Belmares (35:27). Along with Fong (20-29), Downie (40-49) and Belmares (30-39), Ryan Williams (19 & Under), Sergio Ibara (50-59), and Brad Stewart (60 & Over) also took home a age-group trophies.
Braidynn Harchis Shelby Nelson
The first women to finish, 13th and 14th overall, were Braidynn Harchis (42:36) and Shelby Nelson (42:37), who train with LVTC member, Jeremy Wallace. The next three women to cross the finish line were Nicole Jewell (43:01), Bailey Gosse (43:19), and Tanya Carrier (43:37). In addition to Gosse (19 & Under) and Jewell (30-39), other AG winners were Tracy Aukamp (40-49), Toshie Bertsch (50-59) and Maria Riach (60 & Over).
In total there were 38 finishers in the 10K, all of whom collected points towards the 2017 Championship Series. Also handed out at the awards ceremony after the race were the bowls and medals earned by the top-10 finishers in the 2016 Championship Series.
1. Toshie Bertsch and JJ Santana (repeat winners from 2015)
JJ Santana with 2016 CS First Place Bowl
Toshie Bertsch with 10K AG First Place and 2016 CS First Place Bowl
2. Charlene Ragsdale and Kirk Buckley
Charlene Ragsdale 2016 CS Runner-Up Kirk Buckley 2016 CS Runner-Up
3. Erica Schramm and Eric Hosafros
4. Grace Edwards and Gerry Morgan
5. Jennifer Lee and Sergio Ibarra
6. Linda Williams and Terry Stockdale
7. Christina Jimenez and Ryan Williams
8. Maria Riach and Carl Wright
9. Teri Gamer and Casey Price
10. Amanda Henriques and Jeremy Wallace
The next event in the Series will be the Celebrate Education 8K in April.
Championship Series 2017
Some things change and some things stay the same. Changes first. This year’s Championship Series VIII will consist of four events, sort of like the Grand Slam in golf and tennis, except that none of the events will be held at Augusta or St. Andrews or at Wimbledon or Forest Hills. Four events, one each quarter and spread out throughout the Vegas valley.
We begin with the traditional 10K at Kellogg-Zaher, the Club Championship 10K. This year’s race will be January 7th at which time we will give out this year’s awards (2016). In April we move to a new venue for the Celebrate Education 8K. It will be held at that great new park in North Las Vegas, Craig Ranch Regional Park. And the race will be part of an exciting Pirate Fest. The date is a Sunday, April 23rd. You’ll be hearing a lot more about the Pirate Fest in the coming months. On August 5th we return to Sunset Park for the 21st Annual Legends Run 5K. This event provides a preview of the upcoming high school cross country season and is undoubtedly the fastest 5K in the valley, but then that’s what the CS is all about: competition, right? Finally, in December 2017, likely the 16th at a site in Henderson, we’ll have our Holiday Half Marathon. We’ll see how the new course at Mountain Lake Park works out before we commit to a course and site.
There you have it: four events. No gimmicks, no wild card points for a marathon, etc. No commercial races. No treks to Mt. Charleston or Lee Canyon either. In case of ties we’ll use the overall finishes in the four races to determine a necessary tie breaker. You can check out the rules below.
One more change this year is that membership in the track club is no longer a requirement. The CS is open to one and all.
So what stays the same? Same awards, bowls for the top three finishers in each gender this year, with the first-place winners getting their names engraved on the perpetual bowl, which is maintained at Foot Solutions in Henderson. Also, staying the same will be the posting of points and standings on the club’s web site.
Phil Lawton, Championship Series Chairman