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