2001 USCAA Nationals - Bios
The SCVAL team is made up of teachers and coaches from the five High School
Districts that comprise the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL).
Although the SCVAL has been around in one form or another (as schools open
and close) for over 50 years, the current makeup of schools has been solid
since 1985. This marks the third appearance of the SCVAL at the Corporate
Nationals, although they have been competing Regionally for four years now.
Team Captain Hank Lawson (Lynbrook HS) as spent hours pleading to prospects and
has assembled a team of 22 athletes to compete in the Division II-AA division.
The SCVAL Corporate Team allows coaches that normally compete against each
other to come together and try to achieve something as a single unit.
Our "cheerleaders" become the athletes we coach as there is a total role
reversal thanks to Corporate Competition. With the changes that High Schools
in the Nation are encountering, teachers are much more than just teachers/coaches.
And as the schools expand, walk-on coaches become more than just coaches/mentors,
they become teachers themselves - trying to help fill the demand that people expect
from our local schools. So as you pass us on the track (or are being passed),
know that we are running not only for our team but for all the kids whose lives
we all touch in one way or another.
SCVAL has won the Winter Corporate Relays the last three years in a row, placed
3rd at the ‘99 BACAA Regional’s and 3rd in the ‘99 USCAA Nationals - Div IIAA.
They have won the BACAA Regionals the last two years and have once again,
merged with MetroSport (a local shoe store) where many of the local coaches work
when not coaching, to try and defend their 2000 title. This merger will allow
SCVAL/MetroSport to have a team in every event. We look forward to a great
weekend of competition.
Patricia Grey Lawson (Fremont)
Teacher (24 years), Cross Country Coach at Fremont High School
graduated from Lynbrook High before Title IX so there were no competitive
girl sport teams, only GAA (intramural) Personal achievements: always active,
loving a wide variety of sports. Bicycled around Lake Tahoe in 3 hours, has
competed in several Dipsea Races, numerous mountain races, completed the 1999
Big Sur International Marathon in April. Loves to run, listen to Books on Tape
so I can get two things done at once Has 2 teenage girls (Heidi-19, Hilary 15).
Prior to being a teacher she was a flight attendant for Western Airlines but
got out of the business when one of her intoxicated passengers tried to open
the aircraft door - fortunately, they were still on the runway.
Grace Voss (Fremont)
Been teaching, coaching and running for years (only her hair dresser knows
how long). Is an avid reader of legal depositions and secretly would like
to study law. Has run the Regional’s and this is her second appearance at
the Nationals - welcome back Grace.
Andrew Sample (Lynbrook)
Past Head Track coach, and native Californian, Andrew Sample ('96 - 2000)
came to Lynbrook via DVC JC (46.61 - 400M) and UC Berkeley (51.8 - 400
IH) where he majored in Sociology from '90 - '93. Married in '95 to wife
Michelle and a dad in '96 to son Drew, Andrew had a very busy 18 months
prior to taking the Head coaches job for the '96 Track season. A new father
once again (6 month old) he is looking forward to jumping on the track so
that he'll be sooooo tired, he'll finally get to sleep through the night.
Hank Lawson (Lynbrook)
I'm Hank Lawson and I've been coaching X-C at Lynbrook since 1994. Before
that, I coached at Gunn High School from '88 - '92 and ran there from '69
- '73. In between, I ran for De Anza JC, San Diego State, founded and coached
the Hewlett-Packard Track Team in the SF Bay Area, worked and ran for Runner's
World Magazine and my last stint was running/coaching at Maxtor Corporation.
I'm very involved in Community Theater along with being a sound engineer
at my kids school plays. Oh yes, I'm a programmer in my spare time. I still run
and race competitively and plan to run with you all this fall. Most recently,
he set a World Masters Record in the Cendipede Division at this years Bay to
Breakers with 12 other teammates. He also keeps busy writing colorful bios
for those team members that didn’t write one themselves.
Shawn Hook (Lynbrook)
Coaches & Teaches at Lynbrook for the last 6 years. As a Robert Redford
look-a-like, he can be found weekends in Vegas riding his "Electric Pony"
for Corporate functions and birthday parties. Shawn was the weights coach
for track this season and coached a girl in both the shot & discus who has
become the School Record Holder. He also coaches Lynbrook’s football and
basketball teams. He is also the proud father of two golden hair labs.
Walt Van Zant (Wilcox)
Coached at Wilcox since 1994 as the XC and Track coach. During
his reign he has had two League Track Championships and one XC Championship.
A founding father of the West Valley Joggers & Stridders, you can find Walt
at West Valley College every Saturday morning arranging the days workout
(that is, if he’s not at a XC or Track meet himself). A owner of a 2:45
marathon PR, shows that he not only can run the short stuff, but the long
as well. When not busy running, he can be found on the web or photographing
models as he is the West Coast staff photographer of Play Girl magazine.
Laura Lopez (Saratoga)
What I wrote:
Coaches over at Saratoga and swears that she’s not a trackster - "When will
they include the marathon," she quips. Having completed the Napa
Marathon in 1999, we figure she’s in shape to handle anything, no matter
how short the distance. Originally, Laura was thinking about going into
the priesthood but once she started working with distance runners, she saw
the true light and we’re glad she’s here.
What she wrote:
I ran cross-country and track all four years of high school, in Arizona.
I also ran cross-country at Santa Clara University for three years. Since
college, I’ve done more of the longer distances and have run 6 marathons
over the past few years. I coach at Saratoga HS presently and also coach
for San Jose Fit.
Anne Hammond (Lynbrook)
A sprinter turned distance runner turned sprinter again. Thought it sounded
like "fun" so we did a quick recruitment and roped her in to the team. She also
plays on an all girls soccer team and is a backup keeper for the SJ CyberRays.
Ernie Lee (Gunn)
After attending Gunn High for 4 years, he’s now been coaching there just as
long. Coached by Hank Lawson (SCVAL coach) he’s now finding he’s got to
listen to the "Old Man" once again. "Come on Ernie, it’s just one more 400!".
A biologist by trade, he is working on a patent for Latex Plastic.
Mark Stauffer (MetroSport)
The distance coach for X-C and Track this past season, Mark brings some
"youth" to this again team. Although not the youngest on the team, he is
one of six under the age of 30 and we welcome his "fresh" wheels.
Mike Regan (MetroSport)
A manager on one of three stores, Mike is looking forward to "racing" again.
We figured it was time for him to shake the cobwebs off of his legs, and
his spikes too. Or will the store spring for some new ones?
Ray Russell (Alumni)
A company of 325 employees, Ray is the quickest, if not the only, runner from
the Corporation. A Master runner makes him an extremely "hot" commodity. Watch
for him quietly running in the Master’s races with yours truly.
Steve Headley (Homestead)
A thrower by nature doesn’t mean that he won’t be approached to run 200 meters
for the team. Doesn’t mean he’ll except the challenge either. Being in the
55-59 age group, we count on Steve to scoring some BIG points in the throws.
Verdine Baker (MetroSport)
A 20’ long jumper with 200 speed to boot. When asked if he’d feel comfortable
moving up to the 400 he said, "No way!", and that was the end of that. Look
for him in the sprint events (in the 400 of course).
KJ Jones (MetroSport)
The compliment to Verdine in the Sprint events. This gives SCVAL a 1-2 punch
for the 400's - yes guys, I said the 400's. A likeable and quiet guy that makes
you wonder if he really did deal cards in Vegas at the Luxor - watch for his quick
feet, not hands.
Eva Shu (MetroSport)
A closet psychologist that plans on working with software engineers on dot-com
depression. Her specially is the 400 but she'll say it's on the paper poor
working class citizens whose options are worth pennies but WERE worth millions
Abe Gore (MetroSport)
Having just completed the Rock & Roll Marathon in San Diego in under 3 hours this
guys treats a 5K as a mere warm up. Rooming with Laura Lopez, they have the same
battlecry, "when will you add the marathon to the track Nationals"!
Cary Matsuoka (FUHSD District)
One of the Top Dogs who we all have to eventually answer too, we're glad we got him
running for us before he got promoted to this higher position. We all know what
he looks like in his running shorts so he goes easy on us - right Cary? He
started as a 100/200 man but was convinced that he could make it all the way around
Sara Meyers (Gunn)
A 100,200,400 specialist - Sara likes to keep it to the 200 on down. Having coached
the sprinters at Gunn for the last four years she is making her first trip to the
Corporate Nationals. Because of the addition of all our sprinters (but especially
the female ones), SCVAL is able to field a team in every event for the first time
in its short Corporate track history.
Ericke Brigham (Alumni)
Ericke got his start in the weights when he was a bouncer at an under-21 club. He
found throwing obnoxious people around was intriguing so he decided to give the
shot and disc a try. During the summer he is a counselor at an all kids camp (no
adults allowed) and gets plenty of time to perfect his technique.
Mike Kreige (Alumni)
A distance runner in college, Mike hadn't raced for over 25 years. Then team coach
Hank got wind of his past talents and the rest is history. Ready to run from a
100 dash to a 5K run - we're even thinking of putting him in the Long Jump - where
he would PR without a doubt.
Becki Kreige (Alumni)
Who helped us discover Mike, Becki has been running for over 20 years (I hope that's
OK to say). With the addition of Becki on our team, the SCVAL can now say it's a
family affair. Along with husband Mike, dad Walt (VanZant) is also competing.