Check Out the Panthers Season Highlight Video on Youtube

December 6th
The Panthers concluded their 2012 season with the end of the year banquet on Thursday evening.  Check out the season highlight video here.

The coaching staff and administration thank all parents, athletes and supporters who made this such a great season.  Thank You!


Panthers Complete 2012 Season at State Championships

November 25, 2012


Scenic Woodward Park, located in Clovis just north of Fresno, has played host to the State Cross Country Championships since the championships’ inaugural year of 1987. On Saturday, the park hosted both Saint Mary’s boys and girls teams in this, the 25th championship.

For the girls, Spencer Moore led the team to a respectable 11th place finish… capping her third varsity season with her third straight state meet top 10 finish.  Running in unseasonably warm conditions, Spencer withstood a furious finish by a cavalcade of runners, holding on to ninth to secure her spot on the all-state team.  Also running a spirited race was sophomore Chloe Jenkins, who finished 22nd overall with a big 19:20 5K personal best.  Senior Natalia Riccardi closed her Panther cross country career with a fine 20:45, Lianne McKinney fought her way to a PR, and Josie Smale, Caitlin Kloess and Izzy Havens each competed in their first state championship meet.

In the boys race, the Panthers were led by co-captain Guy Forte, whose drive to break the coveted 17:00 minute barrier for 5k fell a scant 5 seconds short.  Still, his 17:05 was a personal best.  As well, junior Jovani Barajas ran himself to a 20+ second PR, running 17:12 as the Panthers 2nd finisher.  Josh Dull, Patrick Mariolle and Stephen Giuntini finished the scoring for the Panthers, with Nabai Habtemariam and sophomore Arlo Rudy making their state meet debuts in the sixth and seventh spots.  As a team, this group of upstarts finished 16th.

In all, 7 of the 14 runners who competed in this 2012 state meet for the Panthers were inexperienced, first-time participants.  Also, 11 of the 14 runners will be back next year… a year older, a year stronger, and a year hungrier.  As successful as the 2012 season has been, look for the 2013 season to be even better!   Thank you to all who have supported the Panthers this season!


Nabai Habtematiam & Josh Dull Featured on “Athlete’s Corner”

November 21st, 2012

Check out this week’s featured athletes, juniors Nabai Habtemariam & Josh Dull, on the “Athlete’s Corner” page.


Neither Rain, Nor Mud, Nor Cold Can Curb Panthers State Meet Plans!

November 19th, 2012 


A rainy Thursday and Friday put the Panthers cross-country teams on their marks in sopping wet, muddy conditions for the North Coast Meet of Champions on Saturday.    Despite the unfavorable elements, the Panthers brought the right attitudes for the race, willing to challenge the weather and focus on competing.  In the end, the girls finished second, the boys fourth to each earn a spot at the California State Championships this weekend in Clovis.  In addition, both teams placed a couple of runners on the first and second team All-NCS teams.

“The conditions weren’t what we expected,” said girls coach Denis Mohun. “Despite the slop, we still got in there and competed in what was true cross country — mud, hills, rain. It was a great experience for everyone and I’m proud of the grit and determination our runners showed.”

On the girls side, junior Spencer Moore led the Panthers to the runner-up prize with her  own 3rd place finish…. which also placed her on the 1st team All-NCS team.   Sophomore Chloe Jenkins was one spot short of joining Spencer on the 1st team, placing 8th overall and on the 2nd team.   Josie Smale and Natalia Riccardi followed closely behind, with Lianne McKinney, Amanda Keith and Izzy Havens joining in the mud-fest.  The team finished with 72 points… 10 ahead of ex-BSAL rival Piedmont.

For the boys, a state meet bid was no cinch.  Coming into the race, the meet preview saw the Panthers battling several other teams for the coveted 4th (and final) state meet spot.  Then, with senior captain Patrick Mariolle ailing, the Panthers goal of finishing amongst the top 4 got exponentially harder.  However, tough times produce tough runners… and the Panthers certainly responded to the adversity.   Junior Josh Dull , senior co-captain Guy Forte, and junior Nabai Habtemariam responded beyond what any of the pre-meet prognosticators could have predicted with races that were later described by head coach Jeff Rogers as “huge”.  “Our runners were mentally tough today,” Rogers said. “A lot of runners have this mentality that you have to get a certain time in the race.   Our mentality today was  just that we were going to go beat people.  To do that today in these kind of conditions… you have to be tough.  It’s great to know that on the worst conditions possible we can still perform.  I’m very proud of our guys.”   The boys racked up 106 points to place 4th… 6 points better than El Molino High School… whose 112 left them the odd team out.

Overall, the race may prove to be extremely beneficial for both teams heading into the state championship.   “Competing in an adverse environment against top-notch competition can certainly prepare a team to handle anything” says Coach Denis Mohun.  “I guess we’ll find out this weekend.”

Indeed, the Panthers close out their 2012 season with yet another trip to Clovis.  Be sure to follow the Panthers this Thanksgiving weekend as they compete against the very best from the Golden State!


Barbara Montano Featured on “Athlete’s Corner”

November 15th, 2012

Check out this week’s featured athlete, junior Barbara Montano, on the “Athlete’s Corner” page.


Guy Forte Featured on “Athlete’s Corner”

November 5th, 2012

Check out this week’s featured athlete, senior Guy Forte, on the “Athlete’s Corner” page.


Panthers Claim 4 of 5 Team Titles @ TCAL Championships

November 1st, 2012


In a letter to Supreme Court Justice Isham Reavis in 1855, Abraham Lincoln advised the struggling justice to “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”  Interestingly enough, 157 years later the entire Saint Mary’s cross country put these words into action as their determination to succeed propelled them to resolute victories at the TCAL Championships on Thursday.

For the JV runners, vigor and stamina were as evident in their races as they were in the words and actions of our greatest president.  Both boys teams (frosh-soph and junior varsity) scored resounding wins… while the JV girls eeked out a 13 point victory.   Freshman Gio Ricondo set the tone for the Panthers early, beginning the race day with a season-ending TCAL individual crown.  Sophomore Daniel Beeman followed Gio  to secure the runner-up spot.  Freshman Reilly Keith placed  4th overall to earn himself an individual medal as well.   Carlos Martin del Campo, Daniel Reyes, Edwin Kim and Che Cervantes all ran solid races for Coach Lawson’s group… whose improvement and dedication this season has been tremendous.

The JV Girls, meanwhile, continued to dominate league competition with yet another championship.   Their victory over rival Albany was the 6th straight championship for this group.  Leading the way was freshman Ella Hymel, whose 13:04 clocking was the fastest a JV girls has covered this course… ever!  Izzy Havens, Maya Hymel and Gabi Brito each earned all-league honors for their efforts, while senior Siggy Palafox, and freshmen Carina Upshaw and Ariana Corwin also ran competitive races for Coach Pacatte’s girls.

The JV Boys race was a bit of a misnomer for the Panthers who, because of race size limitations in the varsity division, ran 8 of their “varsity” runners in the “junior varsity” division.  Predictably, the race was a route with the Panthers more than quadrupling the runner-up score…finally winning by 44 points.  Sophomores Arlo Rudy and Mickey Tessema grabbed the first two spots… with a trio of Panthers (Zach Wilkinson, Jon deLeon and Jimmy Smale) next.  After that, several runners ran “big” races according to Coach Lawson… including Tony Lawson and Lawrence Teng.

In the varsity divisions, the girls ran their league championship winning streak to 6 straight years with a convincing win 22 point win over Albany.  Spencer Moore notched her third straight individual championship, while teammates Chloe Jenkins (3rd overall),  Josie Smale (6th) and Natalia Riccardi (7th) were each awarded 1st team individual medals.  Juniors Lianne McKinney and Caitlin Kloess crossed the finish in time to take home 2nd team honors.

The varsity boys, while falling short to state ranked St. Joe’s of Alameda, ran what coach Jeff Rogers called “their best race of the season.”  Senior co-captain Patrick Mariolle continued to guide the Panthers.  Patrick’s 15:56 over the 2.96 mile course was a personal best and good for 3rd place overall.  Co-captain Guy Forte, inspired by the finality of this… his final league championship race… huffed and puffed his way to a huge 16:25 PR and a 6th place finish.  After that, Jovani Barajas, Nabai Habtemariam, Josh Dull, Stephen Giuntini and Pedro Navea  (the entire Saint Mary’s squad) earned either 1st of 2nd team all-league status .  Overall, it was a bittersweet performance by this collection of emerging Panther runners.

Up next for the Panthers is the North Coast Section Championships, or “Meet of Champions”, on November 17th and Hayward High School.  For the varsity girls, the top 3 teams at the Meet of Champions will advance to the California State Championships the following week.  For the boys, the top 4 teams advance.   Hopefully we’ll see some of you at Hayward High on the 17th.  Go Panthers!


Amanda Keith Featured on “Athlete’s Corner”; TCAL Meet Schedule Posted

October 28th, 2012

     Check out this week’s featured athlete, junior Amanda Keith, on the “Athlete’s Corner” page.  Also, check out the meet schedule and Saint Mary’s entries for the TCAL league championship meet posted on the schedule page.  Simply click on the meet to pull up the information!


Girls Clinch League Championship on Wednesday; Boys Win @ Mt. SAC on Friday

October 20, 2012

    It was a rewarding week for the Panther cross country teams.  On Wednesday, the girls varsity team clinched a share of the first-ever TCAL league championship by defeating Salesian and El Cerrito at Point Pinole Park.  The girls routed both the Pride and the Gauchos to run their league record to 11-0.  The varsity boys achieved similar results, placing the first 10 runners ahead of all others, to win by 35 points.

The JV races followed the day’s script.  The boys, led by the return of sophomore Mickey Tessema, crossed 7 runners ahead of all others to win big.  The girls managed the first 5 spots in their race to win by 30.

In all, Wednesday’s meet was a tune-up for the league championship meet to be held at Point Pinole on Thursday, November 1st.  If the regular season has provided an accurate picture of the talent and depth of the league, look for the Panthers to run their way to many of the top spots at the TCAL finale.


On Friday, the varsity squads traveled to Southern California to compete in the venerable Mt. Sac Invitational.  The meet, held at Mount San Antonio junior college, routinely features the top teams from around the southland and around the Golden State.  This year’s meet was no different.  Due to a 7 runner limit in the varsity race, the boys entered 2 races… the regular varsity race as well as a junior varsity race.  While the varsity race was competitive early, the junior varsity race was hardly a race, with the Panthers racing out to an early lead to post a dominant win!  Led by race winner Arlo Rudy, this group of “junior varsity” boys finished 1-2-3-4, amassed a scant 22 point, and won the race by 38 points over South Pasadena high school.  Mickey Tessema finished 2nd for the Panthers, followed by Pedro Navea, Zach Wilkinson, Jimmy Smale and Michael Enferadi.

** Check out the race video here **

In the varsity boys race, the Panthers huffed and puffed their way to a hard fought but convincing 34 point win over Central Section power Avenal.   Leading the way was senior Patrick Mariolle, whose 9th place finish earned him individual honors.  Jovani Barajas ran his best race of the season, according to Coach Rogers, placing 12th and taking home an individual medal.  Guy Forte finished 17th, an excruciating two spots out of the medals.  After Guy, juniors Josh Dull, Nabai Habtemariam and Stephen Giuntini all finished inside the top 25 to round out the scoring for the Panthers.

** Check out the race video here **

For the varsity girls, they elected to run in the “Sweepstakes Race”, which featured the top 10 ranked teams in division 4 in California.  Needless to say, racing the best Southern California teams on their home course is no easy task.  Still, the Panthers performance  showed that they are very close to cracking into that top 10, placing 11th.  Once again led by Spencer Moore (8th overall), the Panthers got fine performances from Chloe Jenkins (35th) and Josie Smale (59th)… as well as Natalia Riccardi, Amanda Keith and Izzy Havens.  According to Coach Mohun, “We wanted to test ourselves today and we certainly did.  Racing here at Mt. Sac is always tough.  The heat, the hills and our unfamiliarity with the course puts us at a disadvantage.  So, all things considered, I’m proud of our effort.  By years’ end, I think we can be even closer to cracking that top 10.”

** Check out the race video here **

In all, the Panthers now move into their championship season, beginning with the league championships in two weeks.  After that, the Panthers will take on the best from the North Coast Section at the Meet of Champions in mid-November, followed by the crown jewel of all meets: The California State Championships.  Come out and support the Panthers as the championship season begins.


Patrick Mariolle Featured on “Athlete’s Corner”

October 15, 2012

     Check out this week’s featured athlete, senior Patrick Mariolle, on the “Athlete’s Corner” page!


Panthers Move Closer to TCAL Title

October 11th, 2012

            On Thursday, the girls varsity cross country team, after 3 overwhelming victories against St. Patrick’s, Hercules and Pinole Valley, moved to within one victory of clinching the inaugural TCAL championship.  The boys varsity team and both JV teams also posted convincing wins.

The girls team entered Thursday’s meet against a much-improved St. Patrick’s team.  Still, the season is shaping up in a way that “much-improved” will not be enough to defeat Coach Mohun’s group this year.  With the venerable 1-2 duo of Spencer Moore and Chloe Jenkins leading the way, the Panthers talent, depth and determination are proving to be too much for most opponents, including the upstart Bruins.  Josie Smale also ran a tough race, coming from way behind in the last mile, passing St. Patrick’s #1 runner, before final succumbing in the final meters to finish 4th.  Still, her sub-19:00 clocking was a PR and serves as a microcosm into the emerging improvement of the entire group.   Natalia Riccardi and Izzy Havens both broke the 20:00 barrier, while Lianne McKinney,  Amanda Keith and Caitlin Kloess finished in 20:04, 20:11 and 20:12 respectively.

The varsity boys, running short-handed due to injury and illness, still placed 9 runners in the top 10 while running away to 3 dominant victories.  Up front was senior Patrick Mariolle, whose 15:47 win established a new Saint Mary’s school record for the Benicia course, bettering former All-State runner Dan Maxwell’s record by just :02.   Jovani Barajas placed 3rd overall, running a fine 16:21.  8 of the next 9 runners were Panthers, with Zach Wilkinson and Sammy Puebla having particularly good races according to coach Rogers.  “I was very happy with Zach and Sammy’s races.  Zach ran under 17:00 minutes for the first time and Sammy broke 18:00.  Those are big accomplishments for those two guys. “

The JV girls and boys also won… the girls rather easily and the boys in dramatic, come-from-behind fashion.   Ella Hymel and Gabi Brito lead the JV girls, who continue to flex their collective strength in the TCAL.  The boys, on the other hand, were in a race.    Having two runners out and three competing on the varsity level, Coach Lawson’s group found themselves behind in the early stages of the race.  However, pride, determination and lots of spirited encouragement from their teammates and coaches helped the group move up and past their competition… on their way to a well-deserved victory.   Daniel Beeman ran a terrific race for his first career win.  Reilly Keith and Carlos Martin del Campo, along with Che Cervantes, Daniel Reyes and Jonah Baumgartner also placed well for the Panthers.   In all though, this entire group ran the race of the day and earned themselves plenty of praise and commendation from their coaches.  Great job Panthers!

Next up for the Panthers is the TCAL dual meet finale against Salesian and El Cerrito on Wednesday, October 17th at Point Pinole Regional Park.   The first race is the JV girls race at 3:30.  Come out and support the Panthers as they close out their league season.



Spencer Moore Wins Clovis Invite; Girls Place 4th… Boys 6th

October 8th , 2012

The Clovis Invitational is the biggest, most competitive meet in Central California.  More than 40 state-ranked teams arrived on Saturday, hoping to test themselves and maybe get a state meet preview on this, the site of the state championships in late November.  Warm temperatures and fast competition greeted the runners at the start.

The Clovis atmosphere can be daunting so for the JV girls, their 11:35am start time added a bit more challenge to their already tall task.  Still, sophomore Gabi Brito, in her first ever 5K race, cracked the 24:00 barrier… running 23:56.  Maddy Woelffer, Ella May and Victoria Mariolle were next, each posting times in the 25:00 minute range.  Barbara Montano and Carina Upshaw completed the JV squad.  According to coach Kim Pacatte, the girls “did a good job of overcoming their nerves and the pressure you feel in an atmosphere like this.  I’m proud of how they ran.”

The  varsity girls, the runners-up in Oregon a week ago, certainly made some noise in the Division IV ranks.  Spencer Moore won the small schools race, with Chloe Jenkins 12th and Josie Smale 22nd.  Amanda Keith and Izzy Havens rounded out the scoring for the 4th place Panthers, who finished ahead of several teams ranked in their respective sections of California.  Don’t be surprised to see this group pose a serious threat to the overall state rankings later this month.

For the boys, Stanford had been a bit of a disappointment, so for the past week this team has been stewing.  Saturday was a day of redemption and fulfillment, as the boys team out-distanced several top teams on its way to a 6th place finish in the Small School Varsity division.   Patrick Mariolle continues to lead the team, running 17:02… good for 18th overall.  Junior Josh Dull ran the best race of his Panther career, finishing just behind Patrick in 17:08. Guy Forte (17:31), Nabai Habtemariam (17:42) and Jovani Barajas (18:00) completed the scoring for the Panthers.  Pedro Navea (17:59) and Jimmy Smale (18:19) also had fine runs for the Panthers in the JV race.. rounding out the trip for the Panthers.  Full results can be found on the “schedule and results” page of this website.

Next up is the penultimate TCAL league meet on Thursday at Benicia State Park against St. Patrick/St. Vincent, Hercules and Pinole Valley.  The first race begins at 3:30.  Come out and support the Panthers!



Panthers Dominant in 2nd TCAL Meet

October 4th, 2012  

On Thursday, the Panthers competed in their 2nd TCAL meet of the season.. this time at Cesar Chavez Park in the Berkeley Marina against cross-town rival Albany, JF Kennedy and De Anza.  Entering the meet, prognosticators would have made both JV and Varsity boys teams heavy favorites… while giving the Albany girls a realistic chance of upsetting the defending league champions.  Both boys races ran according to form.. with the Panthers dominating up and down the line-ups.  However, form charts and predictions don’t run races… runners do.  And on this day, the Lady Panthers ran rough-shot on the dope sheets. From the opening gun, the Panthers ran to the front, extended their leads, and scored convincing wins against the Cougars, Eagles and Dons.
The Junior Varsity girls began the meet with a narrow, hard-fought win to improve their league record to 6-0.   Leading the win was sophomore Gabi Brito, who covered the 1.85 mile course in 12:38.  Freshmen Ella May (12:46) and Maya Hymel (13:14) were next.  Victoria Mariolle, Carina Upshaw, and Ariana Corwin also ran solid races according to coach Kim Pacatte.
The Junior Varsity Boys echoed the girls win with one of their own, but unlike the girls, their win was achieved in dominant fashion.  Because the varsity races were limited to 12 runners, Josh Dull ran his first junior varsity race in two years.  Predictably, he cruised to a 30 second win.  Junior Tony Lawson, in his best race of the year, followed in 10:32.  Michael Blanco, Daveon Sadusky, and Gio Ricondo finished the scoring for the Panthers who placed 8 runners amongst the first 13.  Daniel Beeman and Gabe Aguilar also ran tough races for Coach Lawson’s group.
The Varsity Boys, facing a depleted and rebuilding Albany squad, scored the first 10 places in a lopsided 35 point win. The Varsity Girls race, curiously scheduled as the finale, signaled to the rest of the league that un-seating the defending champions is going to take a Herculean effort.  The Lady Panthers, already strong and who seem to be improving by the week, dismantled the challenge posed by the Cougars while running to a convincing 21 -35 win.  Spencer Moore won the race, followed by a come-from-behind 2nd place finish from Chloe Jenkins.  Josie Smale and Natalia Riccardi finished 4th and 5th respectively, while Lianne McKinney ran her best race of the season while finishing 9th.  “Lianne was inspiring today,” said coach Denis Mohun.  “Her attitude and willingness to get out run as aggressively as she did inspired her teammates.  Izzy, Caitlin and Ella ran great today because of the pace Lianne set.  They were all  great.”  Izzy Havens also ran very well according to coach Mohun, as did freshman Ella Hymel in her first-ever varsity race.
Overall, the Panthers, once again, were impressive.  Good distance running requires not only a lot of work… but and a LOT of determination and desire to want to succeed. On Thursday, Saint Mary’s modeled good distance running.  Congratulations to the Panthers for a fine effort!


New Pages Added to Cross Country!

Check out the new additions to the Panthers Cross Country Website!  Go to to enjoy pictures from the season thus far.

Then, check out this week’s athlete profile on the “Athlete’s Corner” page where senior co-captain Natalia Riccardi shares her stories and insights!


Panthers Test Themselves Against Premiere Talent

September 29th   

The Panther varsity cross country teams split up this past weekend, with the boys staying close to home and competing in Northern California’s premiere event at Stanford… while the girls tested their metal against teams from all over the western United States at the Nike Pre-Nationals in Portland, Oregon.

For the boys, the champions of the 2011 meet, this year would be invaluable as well as humbling.  Facing powerhouse teams from inside and out of the Golden State, the youth, nerves and relative inexperience of this 2012 group showed.   Patrick Mariolle once again led the way, followed by his co-captain Guy Forte,  junior Josh Dull and sophomore Mickey Tessema.  Jovani Barajas., Stephen Giuntini and Pedro Navea completed the Panther squad that finished 15th out of 35 teams.

The girls, meanwhile, came home from Portland with a multitude of stories and a 2nd place finish!  Led by race 2nd placer Spencer Moore 2nd  and an impressive top 10 finish from sophomore Chloe Jenkins, the lady Panthers as a group showed very well, according to coach Denis Mohun.  “I’m very proud of how these girls traveled, represented themselves and their school, and the toughness they showed in the race.  It is exactly what I hoped for and expected from them.”  Josie Smale, Natalia Riccardi and Izzy Havens and Maddy Woelffer all ran particularly good races.

Overall, all the runners had great experiences this past weekend.   Running against local competition on local courses asks one thing.  Taking on top flight teams on unfamiliar courses in different cities asks other questions.   This weekend, the Panthers provided many answers… specifically, that they represent the red and white of Saint Mary’s with pride, courage and determination.  Good job to all the runners this weekend!

Next up for the Panthers is their 2nd TCAL league meet.  The meet will be against Albany, De Anza and JF Kennedy on Thursday at Cesar Chavez Park in the Berkeley Marina.  The first race features the JV Girls @ 3:30, followed by the JV Boys, Varsity Boys and culminating with the Varsity Girls race at 5:00.  Come on out and support the Panthers this week!



Panthers Take on More Than Just Hayward at Farmer Invitational

September 22nd, 2012

On Saturday, members of the Saint Mary’s cross country team traveled to Hayward High School, the site of  this year’s North Coast Section Championships, for the Farmer Invitational.  This year’s meet was the 10th annual and, unlike past years, attracted teams from all around Northern California.  To say the least, the meet would certainly serve as a barometer for the 2012 Panther squad.   Just what should we expect from this year’s Panther squad?

Hoping to provide answers, the Panthers returning all-state performer Spencer Moore made a bold statement in winning the girls varsity race.  From the opening gun, Spencer raced to the lead… steadily pulled away from the other 180 runners… and finally finished the 3.0 mile course in a very quick 18:22.  Following Spencer was Chloe Jenkins, whose 20:29 was all the more impressive considering this was her inaugural race on the Hayward course.  Natalia Riccardi, Josie Smale and Amanda Keith rounded out the Panthers top 5.

Seeking respect on the increasingly competitive NCS Division IV scene, the defending champion boys varsity boys team showed they are no push-overs with a spirited performance of their own.  Senior Patrick Mariolle led the way with a respectable 16:36 clocking.  Sophomore Mickey Tessema, also running for the first time at Hayward, broke the 17:00 barrier as well… finishing in 16:58.  Stephen Giuntini, Guy Forte, Jovani Barajas and Pedro Navea all flirted with 17:00 minutes before finally settling for finishing times just north of the  benchmark.   Of note, senior Mike Enferadi ran what coach Jeff Rogers said was “easily the best race of his career”.. finishing just seconds above 18:00…. In 18:03.

On the JV side,  junior Daveon Sadusky led the boys… with Tony Lawson and Lawrence Teng chasing not far behind.  Reilly Keith ran the best race of his young, freshman season, as did Carlos Martin del Campo and another freshman, Luis Ybarra.    Likewise, the JV girls ran strong… headlined by senior Siggy Palafox as well as rising freshman Carina Upshaw.  Taylor Kee and Soraya Shockley also ran well according to coach Kim Pacatte.

Overall, the Panthers proved that, no matter the course, competition or race conditions, they will show up and compete… with much success.   Next up for the Panthers is a rare splitting of the girls and boys squad.  The boys are traveling to the Peninsula for Northern California’s most competitive meet: the Stanford Invitational.  Meanwhile, the girls are traveling to Portland, OR for one of the premiere events in high school cross country… the prestigious Nike Pre-National Invitational.  Hosted and sponsored by the shoe giant Nike,  the meet features schools from all over the United States.  Good luck to both teams this coming weekend!


Panthers Tackle Tilden, St. Joe’s in TCAL Opener

September 20, 2012


The defending BSAL champion girls and North Coast Section Champion boys cross country teams opened the league season on Thursday as members of the newly formed TCAL (Tri-Counties Athletic League).  The opponents were their league rivals… the always tough St. Joseph’s Pilots.. as well as John Swett. In all, nearly 100 athletes would compete on the notoriously tough Tilden Park course.  In the end, the Saint Mary’s varsity girls and both junior varsity teams had positioned themselves as the favorites in this inaugural league season.

The JV Girls opened the meet with resounding victories over the above-mentioned competitors.  Led by up-and-coming stars Ella and Maya Hymel, as well as returners Siggy Palafox, Victoria Mariolle and Barbara Montano, the Panthers swept the first four places and scored a mere 17 points in their victory over the Pilots. Several other athletes, including freshman Carina Upshaw and sophomores Jessica Reed and Soraya Shockley ran solid races for Coach Kim Pacatte’s group.

Like the girls, the JV Boys were victorious on Thursday.  Unlike the girls, the boys had their hands full on Thursday.  Still, with notably strong efforts from race-winner Daveon Sadusky, freshman Giovanni Ricondo and juniors Lawrence Teng and Tony Lawson.. the boys squeaked by the Pilots, 27 – 29.  As coach Jay Lawson said afterward, “Today was a wake-up call for us.  Our early season has been a bit up and down but I think today was an indicator for our guys that with hard work comes success.  I think our guys are looking forward to practice next week.  We want to get better, both as individuals and as a team. We’re still trying to convince ourselves to accept the pain of running.  Once we do that, this team will take-off.”

Pain was certainly part of the Varsity Boys vocabulary on Thursday.  Running against the state’s #2 ranked Division 5 team, the Panthers game effort against the Pilots would eventually fall short.  St. Joseph’s captured the 1st four spots and placed 5 in the top 10 to post a 21 point win.  Still, sophomore Mickey Tessema, in his second career race, continued to impress with a 6th place finish.  Josh Dull, Jovani Barajas, Arlo Rudy and Jimmy Smale also ran commendable races for the Panthers.

Finally, the Varsity Girls flexed their muscles on Thursday with a resounding win. Junior Spencer Moore, senior Natalia Riccardi, and sophomore Chloe Jenkins led a 1-3-4 Panther finish on their way to an 18 point win. Sophomore Josie Smale also ran a gutsy race, according to head coach Denis Mohun.  Complete results can be found on the “schedule and results” page.

Up next for the Panthers is the annual Farmer Invitational at Hayward High School, site of the North Coast Section Championships in late November.  Full varsity and junior varsity teams will be competing. Come out and support the Panthers as they continue to chase their goals, times and championship banners!


Panthers and Comets Share a Cross Country Day

September 12, 2012


On Wednesday, September 12th, the Saint Mary’s High School Varsity Cross Country team participated in a  day of running with the Corpus Christi elementary and middle school teams.   Designed to teach the kids elements of racing, race strategy,  proper biomechanics and core strength training, the afternoon also produced plenty of smiles, laughs and good times from both teams.   The hour and a half practice culminated in a raffle that sent a score of Corpus Christi kids home donning Panther gear.

All in all, the entire experience was instructional, educational and exemplified the spirit of positive Catholic teachings.   The Panthers would like to thank head Corpus Christi coach Mary Tarczynski and all the kids from the Corpus Christi team for their cooperation, friendliness and good spirit!


Much-Improved Panthers Open @ Ed Sias

September 8th, 2012

On Saturday, after months of planning and logging training miles, the cross country team was finally able to lace up their racing flats and assess how effective their summer had been.  Running the always-competitive Ed Sias Invitational at

Hidden Valley Park in Martinez, the Panthers came away Saturday convinced that July and August miles bear September fruit.

On Saturday, after months of planning and logging training miles, the cross country team was finally able to lace up their racing flats and assess how effective their summer had been.  Running the always-competitive Ed Sias Invitational at Hidden Valley Park in Martinez, the Panthers came away Saturday convinced that July and August miles bear September fruit.

For most runners, “improvement” seemed to capture the essence of their season-

opener.   The girls team, in particular, had some individuals whose progress was stunning.  Juniors Amanda Keith, Caitlin Kloess and Lianne McKinney all improved their 2011 times by at least a minute, while sophomores Isabel Havens and Victoria Mariolle did the same.  Chloe Jenkins and Josie Smale, running the course for the very first time, placed 2nd and 3rd respectively for the varsity girls.  Team co-captain Spencer Moore took home individual honors, running 12:34 for the tough 2 mile course. Newcomers Ella Hymel, Ella May and Maya Hymel also ran very competitive races in their inaugural outing.

For the boys, “improvement” also seeped out of their races… albeit not as forceful as for the girls.  Still, senior Jimmy Smale, junior Jon DeLeon and sophomore Zach Wilkinson all sported personal bests north of one minute after Saturday.

After that,  several runners posted times that were about :30 faster than last year.  Pedro Navea, Lawrence Teng, Mike Enferadi, Patrick Mariolle, Guy Forte and Nabai Habtemariam were all part of this group.

Collectively, the junior varsity teams notched a pair of top 5 finishes overall.  The JV boys took home medals for their 4th place finish, while the girls just missed the podium, finishing 5th.  The varsity boys, once again led by Patrick Mariolle, finished a very respectable 6th.  Of note was the eye-opening performance of the ever-improving Mickey Tessema.  The precocious sophomore gave notice that he is someone to be reckoned with in and around the TCAL.

Finally, the varsity girls, not having their senior leader Natalia Riccardi and after a scheduling mix-up, found themselves racing in the “large-school” race.  Still, with excellent performances turned in by the whole team, they managed to finish 8th.

Next up for the Panthers is their league opener against the formidable Pilots for St. Joe’s.  The meet is on Thursday, September 20th at Tilden Park @ 3:30.  Hope you can come out and support the Panthers in their TCAL debut.


Time Trial Shows Talent, Guts of 2012 Panthers

September 4, 2012

Time trials, in their classic form, are a test of a competitor’s individual speed over a set distance.  In staging them, evaluators and/or coaches hope to gain insight into a competitor’s physical fitness as well as their competitive desire.  The 14th annual cross country time trial not only accomplished both of these goals… but it also served notice that the 2012 edition of Saint Mary’s cross country is, once again, ready to fight hard for their share of championship banners.

On Tuesday, numerous runners solidified their place on the various all-time lists while also securing bragging rights amongst their peers.  The boys were led by senior Patrick Mariolle’s  #7 all-time senior performance, Josh Dull’s #5 all-time junior performance, Mickey Tessema’s #5 all-time sophomore performance, and Giovanni Ricondo’s #11 all-time freshmen performance.  No less than 7 other boys cracked the top 10 all-time for their class… including seniors Guy Forte, juniors Naba Habtemariam, and Jovani Barajas, and sophomore Zach Wilkinson.   Of special note was the 1:58 second improvement of junior Jon De Leon…. having run 11:27 this year after last year’s 13:25 time.

The girls were paced by returning all-stater Spencer Moore, whose 11:49 over the rolling 1.85 mile course placed her #2 all-time amongst juniors and #3 ever.   Following Spencer were fellow co-captain Natalia Riccardi (13:47),

Time Trial Standouts Josh Dull, Izzy Havens, Ella May and Giovanni Ricondo

Chloe Jenkins (13:55, #6 all-time sophomores), Amanda Keith (13:57, #9 all-time juniors), Caitlin Kloess (13:58, #10 all-time juniors) and Izzy Havens (14:00, #8 all-time sophomores).   The performance of two outstanding freshmen was also noteworthy.  Two Ella’s:  Ella May and Ella Hymel both became part of Panther cross country history when they posted the 3rd and 9th fastest times ever for freshmen girls.  Ella May’s 14:07 outran the likes of former Panther and CAL Bear Gabi Rios-Sotelo.. while Ella Hymel’s  14:33 was run on her very first day of cross country!

All in all, Coach Denis Mohun may have summed up this day the best:  “ On paper, time trials tell you times.   But I was standing at the top of the time trial hill as the runners came up and could see the looks on their faces.  Today’s time trial told me a lot than just times…. that is a hard-working group of kids!  I expect a lot of other people will see that soon.”  Complete results can be found on the “schedule and results” page.

Next up for the Panthers will be the Ed Sias Invitational on Saturday at Hidden Valley Park in Martinez.  Hosted by Campolindo High School, the Ed Sias Invitational will feature great competition and a challenging 2.0 mile course.  Come out and support the Panthers in their season opener!


New League, Same Expectations for 2012 Panthers

August 21st, 2012

The Saint Mary’s boys and girls cross country teams enter their respective 2012 campaigns with new faces, a new league and high expectations after a solid 2011 season The boys team is the reigning North Coast Section champion, while the girls look to defend their string of 6 straight league championship banners.

Head girls coach Denis Mohun’s vision of the season is fairly straightforward: “The expectations for this season will be as they always are: to practice, compete and place the team goals ahead of all else.  If we do that, the athletes experience… as well as their results…. always seem to be just fine.”


The Panthers boys cross country team begins the 2012 season with high expectations after winning, in 2011, their 4th NCS Championship in 6 years  Head coach Jeff Rogers enters his 10th season with a young, relatively inexperienced but hard-working squad.

Returning All-League senior Patrick Mariolle leads the group, along with co-captain Guy Forte.  Mariolle is the Panthers most experienced and fastest runner, claiming the 2nd fastest time in school history on the much-celebrated time trial course.   Juniors Stephen Giuntini, Josh Dull and Nabai Habtemariam provide much-needed varsity level experience, as does senior Pedro Navea.   Coach Rogers is especially excited about the emergence of juniors

Jovani Barajas and sophomores Arlo Rudy, Zach Wilkinson and newcomer Micahias Tessema.

Other top returning runners are junior Jon Deleon and seniors Mike Enferadi, Sammy Puebla and Jimmy Smale who lead the returning group looking to compete for a top seven spot.


Head coach Denis Mohun begins his 15th year leading the Saint Mary’s cross country team and the veteran mentor thinks the Panthers are poised to challenge for the North CoastSection Championship and compete for a top 10 finish at the State Championships.

Junior Spencer Moore and senior Natalia Riccardi are the clear-cut leaders of the 2012 team. Moore is the defending league champion and was a first team All-State selection a year ago while Riccardi claimed 1st team All-League honors herself a year ago.

Coach Mohun has a unique enthusiasm for 2nd year runner Chloe Jenkins.  The prodigious sophomore had an impressive spring track season and looks to run in the lead pack with Moore and Riccardi.

A quartet of juniors could be the key to the success of the Panthers as Amanda Keith, Caitlin Kloess, Lianne McKinney and MaddyWoelffer lead the group.

Sophomore Isabel Havens begins the year as part of the top group, as does newcomer Josie Smale whose spring track season suggests she could be a real surprise this fall.

The schedule features four league meet competitions as well as the inaugural TCAL Championship Meet on November 1st at Point Pinole Regional Park.  On September 8th, the Panthers will travel to the Ed Sias Invitational to open the season.  Two weeks later the Panthers will get a preview of the NCS course when they run at the Farmer Invitational at Hayward High School.  Meets at Stanford and on the State Championship course in Clovis comprise the middle of the season before the Panthers close with meets at Garin Park in Hayward and the nationally-famous Mt. Sac Invitational in Southern California.