Boys and Girls Cross Country
Marty Dugard has resided over one of the most dominant girls cross country teams in CIF history. The Lions have won the Trinity League, CIF-SS and CIF State Cross Country Division 4 Championship a record three consecutive years. It’s a stretch that has been unparalleled and Dugard believes that the Lions still have fight left in them.
When asked about his outlook on the 2013 season, Dugard responded with something that might seem like hyperbole. But when looking at the team’s track record in recent years, it’s a statement that looms large.
“I honestly think this is going to be our best season ever,” Dugard said. “I want to win two state trophies (boys and girls) and I think we could do it.”
A key piece to the girls team’s hopes at another string of titles will be junior Ashley Geisler, who recently suffered a stress reaction but is on the mend and rehabbing. Geisler finished 14th overall at the state meet in 2012 and played an integral role in the Lions tight, top of the rotation placement in races, which became their trademark.
Dugard pegged sophomore transfer Charlotte Owen as a runner who will help add depth to the roster and could possibly have a breakout year.
The boys cross country team may not have a runner who will finish on the podium week in and week out, but they have developed a tight pack running mentality over the offseason, which Dugard believes will give them an edge in the major meets. Dugard said his current top five runners are all finishing their races within 45 seconds of each other. Dugard stressed that on any given day, it can be senior Nic Fracassi leading the way or it could be junior Anthony Mariconda.
The Lions’ first real test on their way to their lofty goals will be at the Trinity League Prelims on October 2.
With so much buzzing on campus, during the summer months JSerra Blog decided to feature some of the great athletes working hard.
This week JSerra Blog catches up with cross-country senior and San Clemente resident, Kylee Fracassi.
JSerra Blog (JB): How did you get interested in running cross-country?
Kylee Fracassi (KF): I actually tried cross-country because my brother ran, and ended up staying because I loved it.
JB: Greatest athletic memory thus far?
KF: My greatest memory, that I don’t think I could ever forget was winning the State Championships two years in a row. It felt so great to have all our hard work pay off.
JB: What do you look forward to this upcoming cross-county season?
KF: I am really excited about getting to know more of the girls on the team and making great memories. And, of course I’d like to win State again.
JB: Any exciting summer plans?
KF: I’m looking forward to being a camp counselor at the Special Camp for Special Kids, and going to Mammoth with our cross-country team.
Summertime isn’t just about running for Fracassi, she also finds time to volunteer at the Shea Center, and is a member of the Habitat for Humanity Club and the Environmentality Club at JSerra. The All-League athlete hopes to run for Texas Christian University after leaving the hallowed halls of JSerra.
“Kylee is fiercely competitive and driven,” said Coach Marty Dugard of Fracassi’s skills on the track.
For more on the running lions visit them on Facebook.
JSerra senior runner and scholar athlete, Colby Lindholm, was named female Trinity League Athlete of the Year.
Coming off of a record setting season Lindholm has become the 1600m champion in 2012 and the 3200m champion for 2013 in track and field for the Trinity League.
Lindholm was also a part of the three-time League, CIF, and State Championship cross-country team at JSerra. What Lindholm has accomplished has never before been seen in any CIF sport in Orange County, making her a triple crown three times, in only four short years.
Based on Lindholm’s impressive athletic resume she was voted the Trinity League Athlete of the Year by the League and its constituents.
“Colby’s long career list of accomplishments at the league, CIF and State levels are a testimony to her grit and outstanding work ethic. Without a doubt, she is the greatest runner — male or female — that JSerra has ever known,” said Head Coach Marty Dugard.
Lindholm will continue her legacy running as a Mustang at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this fall.
“I am honored to have been chosen, I was shocked when I found out, I had no idea I was even nominated, it’s very flattering,” said Lindholm. “I am excited to have the opportunity to run with such a competitive team at Cal Poly.”
Lindholm was invited to attend the Orange County Athletic Directors Association’s “Margaret Davis & Ken Fagans Orange County Athlete of the Year” awards banquet, to be held on Tuesday, May 28 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The JSerra girls cross country team has done what no school in Orange County, in any sport, has every accomplished; Three-peat. They won their third straight State Championship Saturday, with the added highlight of sophomore Brooke Kunzelman being named to the All-State team. In addition, the Running Lions won their third straight CIF Championship one week earlier, to go along with their third consecutive Trinity League Championship. Congratulations to all of the Running Lions, on both the boys and girls teams, for an incredible season and a continuing commitment to excellence.
OC Varsity covers the State Championship winners below.
The season-long journey of JSerra wasn’t always perfect or without challenges. But once again, that journey came to an end with the Lions celebrating another CIF state title.
JSerra placed five scoring runners in the top 30 to win its third consecutive Division 4 state title at the CIF State Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Woodward Park.
The Lions are the first county program in the 26-year history of the state championships to win three consecutive state titles.
“The girls came together, worked as a unit, and played their roles,” Lions coach Marty Dugard said. “It’s humbling because of the sacrifice that the girls go through. These girls have bought into this tradition of excellence that we have tried to build.”
The Running Lions competed in dominant fashion at Friday’s Trinity League finals. The girls varsity won their third straight Trinity League championship, with Ashley Geisler, Colby Lindholm, Brooke Kunzelman, and Kylee Fracassi earning All-league honors.
The frosh-soph boys also claimed a league championship, led by overall winner Andrew Burkhardt. In the boys varsity race, junior Nic Fracassi finishing eighth overall and being named to the all-league team. Now its on to CIF postseason competition for the Running Lions.
Next up: CIF Prelims at Mt. SAC Saturday, November 10.
Top varsity members of the JSerra cross-country team, competing as the San Juan Capistrano Track Club, have been invited to race in the British national cross country championships this January in Liverpool, England. The eighteen-athlete contingent will fly from Los Angeles to London on January 24, then spend four days in England racing and sightseeing.
“We’re very excited about this trip,” says Coach Marty Dugard, whose Running Lions have captured two CIF and two State titles in his eight years as head coach. “The race will be spectacular, some old-school cross country in the dead of winter, complete with snow and freezing mud. We’re also including an educational component by spending a day in London touring the British Museum, National Gallery, and Westminster Abbey — among others.”
The Running Lions are currently entering CIF postseason competition, which concludes with the State meet on November 24 in Fresno. The girls are ranked number two in their State division, while the boys are ranked number 11 in theirs.
JSerra’s track and cross-country coach Martin Dugard, sits down with Coast Magazine’s Terence Loose to talk about writing his first screen play, becoming a New York Times best selling author, and the strides of being a high school running coach.