It's a 3-mile layout across wonderfully maintained soccer fields manicured almost like putting greens. The course has some tight turns and is wonderfully spectator-friendly (the ordeal of parking notwithstanding).
The elite runners of the two-day event hear the starter's pistol on Saturday evening, after the sun has set and the usual mid-September heat has subsided. The energy under the lights is said to be one of the reasons behind the super-fast times at this meet.
This year's version of the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Sept 20-21. It will be the 39th year of the meet and the fourth consecutive year at the aforementioned speedway also known as the SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco.
- No other 3-mile meet in the country produced more than eight top-100 times. Those were the Peoria (IL) Invitational and Cool Breeze (Pasadena, CA), the later of which is run on a golf course under the lights.
- The only meet that came close to challenging Woodbridge among girls was the IHSA (IL) State Championships (Peoria, IL), which produced 13 top-50 times and 25 top-100 times.
Additionally, 16 of the top 50 returning boys nationwide posted their 3-mile season best at Woodbridge as did 14 of the top 50 returning girls.
Breaking it down in California, 11 of the top 15, 15 of the top 25 and 28 of the top 50 boys posted their fastest 3-mile time at Woodbridge. Among returning boys, 25 of the top 50 ran SBs at Woodbridge.
Among Cali girls, eight of the top 10, 13 of the top 20 and 27 of the top 50 3-mile times in 2018 were achieved on the SilverLakes course. Among returning girls, 23 of the top 50 times are from Woodbridge, including seven of the top 10.
Boys 3-mile rankings in 2017 list 18 of the top 50 times in the U.S. as being from Woodbridge, including four of the top six. Among just CA runners, 25 of 50 times, including the top four and six of 10 were clocked at SilverLakes.
For girls in 2017, 26 of the top 50 times on the U.S. list (including seven of the top 10) and 31 of the top 50 on the CA list (including seven of the top 10) were run at Woodbridge.
The boys rankings in 2016 list 17 of the top 50 in the U.S. from Woodbridge and 16 of the top 50 in CA (including the top four and five of the top 10). The girls rankings in 2016 list 22 of the top 50 U.S. times from Woodbridge, (including five of the top 10) and 24 of the top 50 CA times (including the top five and nine of the top 10 ) from Woodbridge.
Granted, the 3-mile distance is not as commonly used outside of a handful of states. In researching the top 100 U.S. list from 2018, there are only four states with more than one meet that produced a top-100 time in the 3-mile: California, Illinois, New York and Texas. Washington among the boys and Connecticut among the girls each had one meet. None of the states other than California had more than five meets represented on either list. California had 13 among boys followed by Illinois with five. On the girls top-100 list, California had 14 meets with top-100 times followed by Illinois with five.
So, if you're looking to run a super-fast 3-mile time in a cool and highly competitive setting, the Woodbridge meet at SilverLakes is that event.
On the pages below we break down the top 500 times run at the SilverLakes course.
While the top two all-time boys times at the Woodbridge meet were not set at SilverLakes, seven of the top 10 and 11 of the top 20 times were. The meet record is held by Blake Haney (Stockdale/CS) who ran13:55.0 in 2013 to edge Estevan De La Rosa (Arcadia/SS) by one second on the Estancia course, one of four courses used over the near-four decades of Woodbridge.
The meet record at SilverLakes was set in 2016 by Luis Grijalva (Armijo/SJ), who ran 13:58.0 to beat Cooper Teare (St. Joseph Notre Dame/NC) by 1.6 seconds. In 2017, Justin Hazell (El Camino Real/LA) dipped under Teare's time by all of .01.
Last season (video above), Newbury Park's Nico Young ran 14:01.1, the No. 7 time in meet history and the No. 4 time at SilverLakes. Young, one of the nation's elite, is back for his senior year and you can bet Grijalva's record is clearly in his crosshairs.
As was the case with the boys, the first year of Woodbridge at SilverLakes, 2016, also produced the fastest time. In this case, Brie Oakley's 15:53.6 tops the list. How dominant was the girl from Grandview (CO) that year? The next fastest time in 2016 at Woodbridge and also No. 2 U.S. that year, was the 16:16.7 run by Claudia Lane (Malibu/SS), which ranks 23rd in meet history.
All-time at Woodbridge, six of the top 10 and 15 of the top 20 marks were set on the SilverLakes course. Corie Smith, a now a senior at Buchanan (CS), has the fastest time among California girls at SilverLakes, 15:58.4 from 2017. That mark ranks No. 3 all-time in meet history.
In 2018 (video above), Great Oak's Tori Gaitan won the girls sweepstakes race in 16:06.1, the No. 11 time. She, like Young on the boys side, is back for her senior year and remaining outside the top-10 all-time would likely not sit well with her.