Monday, March 30, 2009

Volunteers Needed for Al-Impics

Los Angeles AL-IMPICS
Saturday, May 16, 2009

El Camino College
Compton Community Educational Center
1111 E. Artesia Blvd.
Compton, CA 90221

The Los Angeles AL-IMPICS is celebrating the continuation of a 36-year tradition started in Antelope Valley by Mr. Kurt Freeman from Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center in Los Angeles County. The 2009 AL-IMPICS promotes the societal benefits of community health through substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery. The AL-IMPICS promotes the message that recovery from alcohol and drugs is possible.

Volunteers are needed in the following areas: Kidz/Teen Zone, Track & Field, VIP Hosts Center, and Volunteer Center from 5:30am--4:30pm four to six hour shifts.

Download Flyer (PDF)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

SCA 5K Road Running Championships Results

The Coaster Run 5K
March 15, 2009
Results | GP Standings

Kick-off to 2009 SCA Road Championships & Grand Prix Series

The Coaster 5K Elite Race Start

BUENA PARK, CA—A record number of Southern California USATF runners assembled early Sunday morning, March 15, for the Coaster Run elite and open 5K races. It was less than a year ago that this race launched the 2008 Southern California Road Championships on the grounds of the famous Knott’s Berry Farm theme park. This year’s USATF entrants more than doubled those of last year with 40 runners in the open division and another 35 runners in the elite division.

Another reason to race the flat, fast Coaster Run 5K course was that it was also the first race of the new 2009 Southern California USATF Road Running Grand Prix series!

Southern California USATF elite runners were eligible to collect prize money awarded to the top-5 men and women finishers. And open division runners who placed in the top-3 in their respective 5-year age groups earned gold-silver-bronze USATF Association Championship Medals. What’s more, both elite and open runners were automatically entered in the 2009 Road Running Grand Prix series with their finish times generating age-graded individual and club team scores.

In the Elite 5K Race, Tove Berg was the first woman across the finish line in 17:21. Tove also captured the 2008 Road Championship 10K title at Dana Point last November and was an age-group winner at the 2008 Road Championship Half Marathon. Close behind Tove were Candice Chavez and Tania Fischer of The Janes Elite Racing team.

In the Elite Men’s 5K Race, Aucencio Martinez from Alamosa, Colorado ran 14:14 to record a :02 second victory over Jimmy Grabow from the newly formed International City Racing Team. Though Jimmy won 2nd place prize money, membership in the Southern California Association is required to participate in the Grand Prix Series, so Jimmy was the high point-scorer in the Grand Prix. Following Jimmy was his ICR teammate Michael Chavez, helping the new club to serve notice that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in Southern California distance running.

If there was a theme to Sunday’s races, it was the strength of Southern California Association youth athletes in both the elite and open 5K races with no less than twenty runners under age-18 and 6 youth division runners competing in the challenging Elite 5K Race. In the 5K Open Division Race, 16-year old Nicholas Lopez of Hemet was the first runner to cross the finish line, running 16:35—an impressive 5:19 pace for 3.1 miles. Meanwhile, 15-year old Kristen Ustariz led the open division women’s field with a winning time of 20:19. Kristen was joined on the award podium by her grandparents, James and Jo Ann Petersen, who also won gold medals by placing 1st in the men’s and women’s age 60-64 division.

All USATF Gold Medal Winning Family! (L-R) Jo Ann Petersen, 1st place finisher, women 60-64 - Kristen Ustariz, SCA 5K Road Championship open women's overall winner, and granddaughter of Jo Ann Petersen - Kristen's grandfather/Jo Ann's husband, James Petersen, 1st place finisher, men 60-64.

Three Southern California USATF running clubs had the required 5-finishers in the 5K race to accrue club scoring. Leading the club scoring were the USATF Masters Championship winners, Team Runners High. In a near statistical impossibility, members Tyrus Deminter (M45/16:19) and Perry Forrester M56/17:50) scored an identical 869 points in the age-graded scoring! With a total score of 4147, the average score for Team Runners High was an impressive 829.4!

Following Team Runners High were Santa Monica-based Track Club LA (3819 points) and Culver City-based Elite Health Track Club (3353 points), as both clubs fielded teams with both men and women finishers ranging from age 24 to 54.

With 5 kilometers of racing behind them, Southern California USATF runners re-fueled with free boysenberry pie courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm and looked forward to our next Grand Prix Series races: the Avia OC Marathon on Sunday, May 3, and the Brentwood 10K on Sunday, June 7. The newly redesigned OC Marathon will also be the 2009 Southern California USATF Marathon Championship, while the Brentwood 10K will be a Grand Prix scoring race only. As a reminder, to be eligible for cash prizes and awards at the conclusion of the 2009 year, runners must finish a minimum of 4 of the 7 Grand Prix Series races.

For more information, please visit:
Road Championship Series:
Road Running Grand Prix:

CONTACT: Wayne Joness
Chair, Open Athletics Long Distance Running Committee
Southern California Association/ USA Track & Field
Cell (310) 600-5332 Email:



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Catching Up with the Janes

Team History
The Janes are a competitive Nike sponsored women's running team based in Santa Monica, California. The team was formed in August 2002. Through grassroots efforts the team has grown from seven members to 15 and is now a member of the USA Track & Field-certified "Elite Athlete Development Club." The Janes are two time USA Cross Country Club Champions (2004 & 2005). The main focus for the 2009 season will once again be to target a top three placement at the Team Nationals held in Lexington, Kentucky.

Currently, team members are competing on three fronts: road races from 5K to the marathon, track races from 800M to 10,000M, and fall team cross country. Our mission is to provide a supportive training and racing environment for women so that they can reach their goals athletically and professionally while promoting a healthy spiritual well-being.

The Janes are fortunate to have two excellent coaches that push each athlete to reach her potential. Kirsten O'Hara-Leetch, a Cal Hall of Famer, has been coaching and training the Janes for the past few years. She comes with more than 20 years of personal running experience and has been coaching at Redondo High School for several years. She inspires the team through leading by example. Her determination and toughness are the two qualities most admired by her athletes.

Tania Fischer has been the coach of the Janes since the founding of the club. She has led the Janes to two National titles, while training side by side with her athletes. She coaches and teaches at Santa Monica High School where she is the Head Boys Distance Coach. She has been coaching there for over 12 years and has won 8 league titles. Her 30 years of running and competing at the highest level, give the Janes the direction to be an elite running team.

When the Janes Elite Racing Team was founded, one of our objectives was to find ways to serve our community by helping promote and encourage healthy habits and lifestyles among girls and young women. To this end, The Janes have participated in a variety of programs and events created to help prepare girls and young women for a future of self-respect and active lifestyles.

Community Outreach
The Janes have collaborated with local organizations such as Students Run LA, Girls on the Run, and The Girl Scouts of America, among others to help promote these values. Whether working with at-risk youths training for the L.A. Marathon or conducting clinics at local schools, The Janes value any opportunity to dedicate their time and talents to promote health and balance for the individual and the collective.

Membership Information
The Janes are competitive athletes with strong running backgrounds and racing experience. All interested parties are encouraged review our individual and team histories. If you feel that you would be able to commit yourself to training and racing with the team, and would contribute on a competitive basis, please contact us for further information by going to

Janes medal at the 2008 Coaster 5K (with Bob Larsen)
L-R: Cambria DeAmico, Grace Padilla and Tania Fisher

The Janes at the Human Race August 2008
L-R Cosette Smith, Kelle Taylor and Sissel Berntsen-Heber

Monday, March 2, 2009

Catching Up with the Fluffy Bunnies

Monday, March 2, 2009
Wayne Joness, Open LDR Chair

Last Sunday morning I had the chance to run a few miles through the streets of beautiful Santa Monica with David Olds and the Fluffy Bunny Track Club. For those of you not familiar with the Bunnies, their chosen moniker, "Fluffy Bunny" is a bit like the old SNL sketch: with a name like "Fluffy Bunny," they have to be fast! And fast they are! At the end of 2008, in what was reported as some of the most chilly, windy, challenging race conditions ever, the Fluffy Bunny masters team won second straight USATF National Cross Country title in Spokane, Washington. And just a month earlier, the Bunnies placed second to Team Run LA in the SCA USATF Cross Country Championships held at Kenneth Hahn Park. Also in December, Bunny member Tyson Sacco also ran 2:43:02 in his debut marathon at the California International Marathon.

The Bunnies are a hard working, motivated group of runners, and I met with them to announce the new SCA Grand Prix series. While the Bunnies compete in a variety of long distance road running events, from 5K to marathon, the Bunnies were glad to hear that it would be possible to take home the prize money offered in the SCA Grand Prix series by running only 5K and 10K races exclusively. I am certainly hoping to see the Bunnies out at our inaugural race, The Coaster Run 5K, where we will also be offering club scoring for the first time in our SCA Grand Prix series.

If I am being a little to transparent here, let me pause for a moment from shamelessly promoting our new SCA Grand Prix series to mention that the runners of Fluffy Bunny Track Club remind me of why it is so exciting to be a member of USATF in the Southern California Association. We have some of the top runners in the United States, living right here, as members of the SCA. A local Southern California 5K race can bring out the kind of talent other Associations have to fly in! As our Road Running Championship series and SCA Grand Prix series develop and grow, I expect the level of competition to match that of national event.

Of course, the key to our success is the turnout by our own SCA running members. I am looking forward to meeting more SCA USATF members at our races this year, and on training runs. Contact me or masters LDR chair Sissel Berntsen-Heber and let us know what you think: what races you would like to see on our schedule, any changes you would be interested in, etc. On our Sunday run Wayne Chen and Dan Cappiello suggested the idea of head-to-head club scoring, and Sissel and I talked about this later. We are just getting things rolling this year, and we predict that we will be fine-tuning the SCA Grand Prix series to adjust to the unique conditions of road racing in our expansive 34,000 square mile Association. USATF is here to serve the needs of the runner, so be sure to let us know how what works for you!

As for me, I'm sure a Fluffy Bunny run would work for improving my time, but after three miles I headed back with David Foote who also called it an early day. Based on their history of raising the level of competition in the LA area, the Bunnies will certainly be a club to watch in our 2009 USATF races. Thanks for the run guys!

Contact Information: Fluffy Bunny Track Club

Current listing of Southern California Association clubs active in your area: