All Mercury News - 2012
Boys cross country: Milpitas' Yohaness Estifanos is Mercury News' runner of year
By Glenn Reeves
Posted: 12/05/2012 04:58:26 PM PST
Updated: 12/05/2012 04:58:27 PM PST
MILPITAS -- It all started for Yohaness Estifanos in his native Ethiopia, homeland of
some of the world's greatest distance runners.
"I was 10 or 11 years old and watching the Olympics on television," Estifanos said.
"It excited me a lot, I wanted to be one of those guys, I started running or jogging
to school in the morning."
That early training -- which brings to mind the movie "Endurance," about Ethiopian
running legend Haile Gebrselassie -- helped Estifanos develop into a dominant high
school distance runner.
This season he won the Central Coast Section Division I title for the second consecutive
year, set three course records throughout the season and placed sixth in the Division I
race at the state finals. For these accomplishments, he is the Mercury News boys cross
country runner of the year.
Estifanos was 12 years old, in seventh grade, when he moved with his family to the United
States and enrolled at Rancho Milpitas Middle School. He ran the 1,600 meters in 5:06 as
an eighth grader. He placed second at CCS as a sophomore. He set course records at Baylands
as a junior and then at Lynbrook, Toro Park and Central Park in Santa Clara as a senior.
He ran 14:38 at Crystal Springs in the Serra Invitational, No. 5 all-time on that course,
then started experiencing foot pain.
"After that he followed a minimal training schedule,'' Milpitas coach Bridget Hall said.
"But he still wanted to race. It's amazing he stayed at
that level. He's a really passionate runner. It's his love.''
As a junior Estifanos placed sixth at the state track meet in the 3,200 meters with a time
of 9:09.12 and had a best of 9:08.06. The goal as a senior is to break 9 minutes.
Then it's on to college. Estifanos has been contacted by a number of four-year colleges
and said he's leaning towards UCLA.
After that, it's a pursuit of his ultimate goal of taking part in the Olympic Games, the
inspiration that got him started on his path as a competitive runner.
"I want to represent the U.S.,'' he said. "That's how I would thank this country for the
opportunity I have received.''
boys cross country
Yohaness Estifanos, Milpitas, Sr.
Richard Ho, Leland, Sr.
Ryan Corvese, Sobrato, Sr.
Daniel Bereket, Carlmont, Sr.
Miguel Vasquez, Andrew Hill, Sr.
Terence Rabuzzi, Los Altos, Jr.
Raymond Meijer, Bellarmine, Sr.
Steven Sum, Saratoga, Soph.
Eduardo Garibay, Yerba Buena, Sr.
Ciaran Murphy, St. Ignatius, Sr.
Tim Layten, Carlmont, Sr.
George Baier, Menlo-Atherton, Sr.
Miles Meijer, Bellarmine, Soph.
Rory Beyer, Aragon, Sr.
Lucas Matison, Carlmont, Soph.
Joey Berriatua, Serra, Sr.
Jacob Calvillo, Leland; Justin Robison, Lynbrook; Ben Zaeske, Los Altos; Charles DeAnda, Bellarmine;
Arthur Schulte, Carlmont; Josh Cohen, Los Altos; Justin Barry, Bellarmine; Grant Murphy, Mills;
Alex Carr, Los Altos; Chris Swanson, Fremont; Chris Foster, Los Gatos; Logan Marshall, Half Moon Bay;
Wyatt Cooper, Aragon; Jose Pina, Lincoln; Ricardo Romero, Overfelt; Alex Sasser, Bellarmine;
Patrick Cummins, St. Ignatius; Tanner Sartwell, St. Francis; Ryan Dimick, Carlmont; Daniel Chiriaev, Prospect.
Girls cross country: Los Gatos' Danielle Katz is Mercury News' runner of the year
By Glenn Reeves
Posted: 12/05/2012 04:58:07 PM PST
Updated: 12/05/2012 07:08:32 PM PST
LOS GATOS -- Danielle Katz took her junior year off from running cross country. Judging by her
results as a senior, it was a good decision.
Katz won the Division II race at the Central Coast Section finals and took third in the state
Division II race, earning Mercury News girls cross country runner of the year honors as a result.
"I just needed to take some time off from running," Katz said. "I have a totally different
perspective now. I lived for the first time in high school as a non-athlete. It feels real
good to be back. The time away made the success I had that much more rewarding."
The training that dedicated distance runners undergo can take a toll. An example can be seen
in Aptos standout Nikki Hiltz, the state 1,600-meter champion, who didn't take part in cross
country this fall due to a stress fracture that put her in a cast for 10 weeks.
"It's not like other sports, you can't train five hours a day," Katz said. "There's a fine line
between peak performance and injuring yourself. I feel so lucky that I have coaches who take a
conservative approach to training and focus on long-term goals."
Katz took ninth at the CCS cross country meet as a freshman and third as a sophomore. In track,
she focused on the 1,600 and 3,200 her first two years at Los Gatos, with bests of 5:05.53 as a
sophomore in the 1,600 and 11:06.06 as a freshman in the 3,200. As a junior, she had a breakthrough
in the 800, running 2:13.33 at the CCS
finals and qualifying for the state meet.
"It's a tough call now," Katz said, regarding which event she will focus on during her senior
track season. "Last year I thought the 800 was my race and running the 4x400 was such fun. But now
that I had success in cross country, it's hard to say what I'm going to do."
Regardless, her future looks bright. Katz plans on running in college at Harvard, where she is
considering an emphasis in a pre-med course of study.
girls cross country
Danielle Katz, Los Gatos, Sr.
Kylie Goo, Westmoor, Sr.
Maya Weigel, Mountain View, Sr.
Lauren Jacob, Los Altos, Fr.
Catherine Lowdon, Burlingame, Sr.
Kendall Hacker, St. Ignatius, Jr.
Hannah Allen, Homestead, Soph.
Molly Haar, Archbishop Mitty, Sr.
Gillian Meeks, Gunn, Fr.
Zoe Enright, Menlo School, Fr.
Melissa Reed, Mountain View, Jr.
Hannah Wood, Presentation, Jr.
Katie Foug, Palo Alto, Soph.
Alyssa Johnson, Leland, Sr.
Lizzie Lacy, Menlo School, Soph.
Olivia Brobst, Archbishop Mitty, Jr.
Lauren Shlee, Willow Glen; Ellie Lemco, Prospect; Kellie Redmond, Sacred Heart Cathedral;
Olivia Rintala, Archbishop Mitty; Chandra Anderson, Half Moon Bay; Laura Reynolds, Mountain View;
Fiona Maloney-McCrystle, Castilleja; Ana Duffy, St. Ignatius; Ashley Dattalo, Archbishop Mitty;
Claire Bowie, Los Altos; Jacqueline Escalera, Fremont; Shaelyn Silverman, Lynbrook; Zoe Barrie, Aragon;
Taylor Fortnam, Menlo-Atherton; Shelby Cox, Fremont; Jenny Xu, Monta Vista; Ameena Tawakol, Homestead;
Gillian Belton, Sacred Heart Prep; Ashley Lara, Valley Christian; Ashley Mathews, Santa Teresa.