42nd Annual Crystal Springs Invitational Preview

Crystal Springs Course History
The Crystal Springs course is one of the most historic and unique courses in California (if not the entire United States). The idea for the course was hashed out in the late 60s and the current course configuration was established in the early 70s. Much of the labor and devotion for the course has been handled by former College of San Mateo coach, Bob Rush. To this day, Bob takes care of preparing the course for the fall racing season in the summer and keeps a tight reign over the course rules with a firm hand. If you have some free time on your hands and want to learn more about the history of the course, you can go to this LINK

Central Coast Section Meet
It was just announced this past Monday that the Central Coast Section meet will be held at the Crystal Springs course. For many years, the Crystal Springs course was the host site until the section made the move to alternate their championship meet between Toro Park and Crystal Springs in 2002. On even numbers years, CCS is held at Toro Park while Crystal Springs is the host on odd numbered years. Unfortunately this year, due to the Sobranes fires, the location had to be changed which has forced many teams to scramble to find time on the CS course. Aside from several practice and league meets, this will be the largest meet held on the Crystal Springs course this year leading up to the Central Coast Section meet.

Saturday's Championship Races
The schedule for Saturday can be seen below. Teams will be divided equally between the blue and gold races. The boys races will also include a varsity and a championship varsity race. You can check out what teams will compete in what races at this LINK. In the championship varsity boys race, we should see a great battle between Central Catholic (Oregon), Bellarmine (CCS),St. Francis, Mt. View (CCS), Willow Glen (CCS) and an improved De La Salle (NCS) team. The video below is courtesy of Colleen Thompson, a Central Catholic parent. Her son Kyle won that 2013 race in 14:57.8 leading 6 additional teammates to sub 16:00 times as well as the 13th fastest team time in course history. Although Central Catholic may be more famous for one of their alumni, (Galen Rupp), the team has secured multiple state championships (8 state titles in the past 11 years with the last 4 straight) and three NXN qualifying efforts (2005, 2007 and 2013). Their coach, David Frank, competed at Stanford University and was a teacher/coach at St. Francis, Mt. View at one point. He has brought his boys back to this meet multiple times including this year as they face some very stiff competition from local teams. Both Bellarmine, St. Francis and Central Catholic are clearly aiming at this meet and we should see a tremendous battle at the front of this race.

This year, the meet will also have two girls races that are separated into varsity and championship varsity. You can check out what teams will compete in each race at the link I provided above. The girls course team time record was set in 2007 by the Carlmont girls at Center Meet #3 with a time of 91:20. The previous record was set by the Miramonte girls way back in 1980 at the NorCal meet. Those girls ran a team time 93:07.9. You can check out a complete list of all the top team times thanks to Crystal Springs historian, Hank Lawson at this LINK. One thing you may notice is that the Aptos girls came very close to the all-time record with a team time of 91:22.9 at last year's Crystal Springs Invitational. That team went on to win the California state meet Division III race and will be back this year to race once again at this invitational. They will be challenged by a very familiar team in league rival Santa Cruz. Several top individuals will also compete in this meet with Marea Zlatunich (Aptos), Niki Iyer (Harker), Sierra Brill (Lowell) and Mari Friedman (Santa Cruz). 

Live Results Link

Race Schedule
9:00am Boys Junior Varsity - Blue
9:30am Boys Junior Varsity -- Gold
10:00am Girls Varsity
10:30am Girls Championship Varsity
11:00am Boys Varsity
11:30am Girls Junior Varsity
12:00pm Boys Championship Varsity
12:30pm Boys Sophomore
1:00pm Girls Frosh/Soph
1:30pm Boys Freshman

Course Records
Boys Individual: Mitch Kingery San Carlos HS 14:28 1973
Girls Individual: Ellen Lyons Bishop Kelly, Boise Idaho 16:30.6 1979
Boys Team Time: Jesuit HS (SJS) 76:15.4 1985 (also set at Crystal Springs Invitational)
Girls Team Time: Carlmont HS (CCS) 91:20 2007

Course Map