Dante Pettis is More Than a Track Standout

Dante Pettis, JSerra Football and Track athlete
Dante Pettis, JSerra Cornerback and Track athlete

By Eric Sondheimer, LA Times

Having run the 200 meters in 21.84 seconds and leaped 23 feet, 7 inches in the long jump, Dante Pettis of JSerra established himself as a track standout in Orange County last season as a junior.

But he’s also an all-Trinity League cornerback in football, and based on how well he was covering receivers at the Edison passing tournament on Saturday, you can only conclude college recruiters are going to be excited about having someone with his speed and size.

San Diego State and Nevada have made scholarship offers.

He’s 6 feet 1, 170 pounds, and he wasn’t backing away from trying to contain Long Beach Poly’s talented group of receivers.

“It’s a challenge but good to see,” he said of the competition.

Coach of the Year Martin Dugard Takes a Look Back to See What’s Ahead

JSerra Blog chatted with the Orange County Register’s Coach of the Year, Martin Dugard, to find out what keeps this coach, screenwriter and father going and what got him to where he is today.

High school: Graduated from Notre Dame High School in Riverside.

College: Northern Michigan University and Cal State – Long Beach

High school/ college sport: Cross-Country, Track

What was your first job? Flipping burgers

What is your favorite sports memory in high school/ college?

High School: Breaking 10 minutes for the first time in the two-mile; College: My final track race, a steeplechase event where I finished fifth but gave it my all.

What is your favorite coaching memory? The look on my runners’ faces when we won State in 2010.

Who or what was your inspiration that drove you to success? Jesus Christ, Steve Prefontaine, Ernest Hemingway

What were your childhood career goals?

Fighter pilot, writer

First job: Flipping burgers

If you could live in any time period but now, what would it be?

1840-1875: the golden age of exploration.

What was your childhood celebrity crush?

I thought Steve Prefontaine was about the coolest guy on the planet

Favorite band growing up: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Have you had the chance to write a book about your life/ success?

Three: Surviving the Toughest Race on Earth (1998); Chasing Lance (2005); To Be A Runner (2011)

If you were a super hero what would it be?

I don’t believe in heroes or idols. You have to find your own superpowers, whether they be running, writing, math… whatever.

Favorites: My wife, my sons, trail running, reading, writing

Food: Pescatore

TV Show: No Reservations

Animal: Lion

Sports team: Angels

Color: Robin’s Egg Blue

Vacation spot: Top Secret

Delaney Named Track Co-Athlete of the Year

*From the OC Register

The continual pursuit of excellence helped define the historical accomplishments of both JSerra senior Katherine Delaney and Woodbridge senior Gabrielle Scott throughout the 2011 track and field season.

To read the full article click Athlete of the Year.

JSerra Valedictorian: Greetings From Fresno

*By Penny Arevalo of the Patch.com

Photo by Christi Park

“We have a problem, Houston,” outgoing Principal Tom Waszak said to a packed audience in the Fieldhouse Gymnasium. “Luke [Decker] is not here. Luke is in Fresno,” competing in the CIF state track championships in the 1600-meter race.

But the valedictorian prepared a DVD for his class from Fresno, Waszak said. It kicked off with a musical montage of scenes of Decker running.

The “secret” to his success, Decker said, was found in the faculty and staff – and his fellow students – at the school. “I surrounded myself with successful people from the day I set foot on JSerra High.”

To read the full story click Greetings from Fresno

Delaney and Decker Qualify for State

*Currently running on the Patch.com 

Katherine Delaney running at the CIF Masters in Norwalk, photo by Brandon Petersen

JSerra senior records third-fastest mile in U.S. this year to lead a contingent of local athletes who qualify for state finals during Friday’s CIF Southern Section Masters Meet.

She did it again.

A week after taking down a 28-year-old record in the 1600 meters at the CIF Southern Section championships at Cerritos College, JSerra senior Katherine Delaney was back in Norwalk Friday for the Masters Meet and turning heads again, this time by chalking up the third-fastest current mile mark in the United States, a 4 minute 42.95-second gem, good for first place overall by a wide margin.

To read the full story click Record Breaker.

VOTE Austin Hedges & Kat Delaney for OC Varsity Athletes of the Year

*OC Varsity

Vote now for the MLB’s Prime Catch Austin Hedges for OC Varsity’s male Athlete of the Year.

Vote for Cal Berkeley’s fiercest runner Katherine Delaney, for OC Varsity’s female Athlete of the Year.

Austin Hedges, JSerra Baseball~ Catcher
Katherine Delaney, JSerra Running Lions 2011 CIF Winner

Vote Male Athlete of the Year

Vote Female Athlete of the Year

JSerra Track Coach Martin Dugard Releases To Be A Runner

Track and Cross Country coach and author Martin Dugard, shares his experiences with coaching JSerra’s State Championship cross country team, and his own adventures as a runner.

With an exuberant mix of passion, insight, instruction, and humor, best-selling author—and lifelong runner—Martin Dugard takes a journey through the world of running to illustrate how the sport helps us fulfill that universal desire to be the best possible version of ourselves each and every time we lace up our shoes.

To Be a Runner represents a new way to write about running by bridging the chasm between the two categories of running books: how-to and personal narrative. Spinning colorful yarns of his running and racing adventures on six continents—from competing in the infamous Raid Gauloises to coaching his son’s high school cross-country team—Dugard considers what it means to truly integrate the activity into one’s life. For example, how the simple act of buying a new pair of running shoes can be a source of meaning and hope. As entertaining as it is provocative, To Be a Runner is about far more than running: It is about life, and how we should live it.

To Be a Runner is on sale at all major retailers, May 10.