Cool runnings

Members of the Tri-County Running Club work out at Gavilan

Hollister
– The high school cross country season is more than two months
from starting but area distance runners are already gearing up for
this fall’s campaign by getting into running shape with the
Tri-County Running Club.
The club was put together by San Benito High cross country coach
Jess Morales and North Monterey County High cross country coach
Gustavo Ibarra, but it is open to anyone from San Benito, Santa
Clara and Monterey counties.
Hollister – The high school cross country season is more than two months from starting but area distance runners are already gearing up for this fall’s campaign by getting into running shape with the Tri-County Running Club.

The club was put together by San Benito High cross country coach Jess Morales and North Monterey County High cross country coach Gustavo Ibarra, but it is open to anyone from San Benito, Santa Clara and Monterey counties.

“Our first practice was Monday and it went really well,” Morales said. “We had runners out from as far away as Salinas and North County, as well as Aptos. They all came out just to get into condition. That’s what the goal of the club is, to get an early start on the season.”

The club is a non-profit organization in its fifth year and features over 50 of the area’s finest distance runners. Over the years, the Tri-County Running Club has sent its runners to several big competitions, including the indoor Simplot Games and the Adidas/Nike Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

This year’s participants include Hollister Haybalers Rigo Vasquez and Amanda Boyd, both of whom competed on the SBHS track and field team as well as the school’s cross country squad. Boyd, who recently took 18th at the State Track and Field Finals in the 3200 meters, said that running with the club in the offseason gives her a big edge when it comes time for the high school season to start.

“It’s a good thing for me,” Boyd said. “I’ve run with clubs before but not with a big group of people like this. I like it a lot so far. There’s a lot of (college-level runners) out there, like coach Morales’ daughter, and they push me, which is good. A lot of the elite runners are training over the summer and so it’s going to help me be ready for the season.”

The club meets three times a week at 9am until August 1. Mondays, the club meets at the Gavilan College track in Gilroy, Wednesdays at Toro Park in Salinas and Fridays at Nisene Marks Park in Aptos. There are also afternoon sessions at San Benito High in Hollister at 4pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for those who work or are in summer school.

Many of the club members will travel to Lake Tahoe for a week of high altitude training in July and the club will also be holding overnight campouts at Mt. Madonna and Lake San Antonio.

For more information, contact coach Jess Morales at (831) 637-3062 or coach Gustavo Ibarra at (831) 524-1283.

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