Eagles Track and Field excelling under Courtemanche
Last season, under Coach Shannon Maas, the College of the Siskiyous Track and Field Team set several school records, including California Community College State Champion Alex Hendersons 229' 1" Javelin throw. This season, Maas is coaching at Southern Oregon, but the Eagles havent skipped a beat under new Coach Les Courtemanche, especially in the throwing events.
In the Javelin, Kelsey Shaw is currently number-one in the nation for all junior colleges, and ranks among the top-five in the nation for all divisions, including NCAA D-1. Shaws throw of 50.69 (166'4") at the Sac State Invite two weeks ago set a meet record, and qualified her to throw in the Pan-Am Games this summer in Toronto Canada, where she plans to compete, according to Courtemanche.
Courtemanche, who coached Henderson the last two years, specializes in the Javelin and assists current throwing coach Katie Woodward in that area. He says that Javelin requires some special qualities in athletes.
"The Javelin event is unique indeed. When I am out recruiting or working with a group of beginner Javelin throwers I look for coach-ability and bravery. The Javelin event is one of the most taxing events on the human body. You are literally sprinting with a long spear into a complete stop. I call it the car wreck. It takes a lot of patience and pain to become a decent javelin thrower. When you finally get to become comfortable with the technique, you then develop the mentality of attacking the finish. I train most of my advanced javelin throwers to have an out-of-body experience when they throw at big meets. The javelin is a combination of skill, mechanics, and being a little crazy in the head," said Courtemanche.
Along with Shaw, several other throwers are showing great promise for this season.
"With the help of Katie Woodward, our throws team, which is very young, has been improving every week. Michelle Kinney, Kelsi Syverson and Taylor Gaines have done great in the discus and shot put on the womens team. Roy Allen, Chase Demoor, Diamond Pedro and Clarence Cowart have all had huge improvements in the men's discus and shot event. The javelin team (Elijah Marta, Derrick Doss, Aaron Larson, Trent Bateson, Kerry Stabler, Mike Martin, Terrence Brown) is still leading the state on the men's side. Kelsey Shaw, Michelle Kinney, Taylor Gaines, Keli Syverson, and Holly Quant are paving the way on the women's side. They will be gearing back up in three weeks to prepare for the post season and hopefully break the state records at San Mateo College on May 15," said Courtemanche.
On the track, DJ Bien-Aime, Elijah Chapman, Kendrick Murphy, and Drakkar Sweet all have leading marks in the 100m for the Golden Valley Conference. Courtemanche feels the four will most likely have a shot at breaking the COS 4x100m school record. Brady Svilich, Oudone Ngouyaphanh and Chris Taylor are the running, hurdles and sprints coaches.
Kendrick Murphy, Kaden Culp, and Seth Arena are leading the way in the Long and High Jump, according to Courtemanche. Ngouyaphanh and Steve Pappas coach the jumpers.
What level can the Eagles Track and Field Team reach this season?
"This 2015 team has been a huge surprise and I am excited to see the end result. My goal for the season is for our team to represent College of the Siskiyous and Siskiyou County in a respectable manner when we hit the road 12 times for track meets. We currently have a roster close to 40 total athletes which in my opinion is a fairly high number for a first year head coach. The team has been well trained and prepared for the end of the season, when points and performances matter the most, said Courtemanche. I anticipate our team being in contention for the GVC championship along with sending a majority of our team to the post season (Northern California Trials). We currently have the Fastest team in the GVC. We hold four of the top five spots in both the 100m and 200m sprints. We also have the fastest 4x100m time which is very close to our school record (41.65). Our jumps team is also holding strong in the conference. With some help from throws, middle distance and a few other events we may be able to pull it off."
Courtemanche gives a lot of credit to his coaching staff for the Eagles success so far this season.
"I am very fortunate to be working with a solid group of coaches. Every coach on staff has been there for the athletes and wants the best for each and every one. Every coach on staff is, or has been, part of our local track and field community which is what I enjoy best about the staff. Each coach brings a distinct style to our team that cultivates an excellent learning environment for the athletes."
While the season is still quite a ways from being completed, Courtemanche is already busy searching for next seasons stars.
"I have already begun the recruitment process and I definitely have my eye on a lot of local talent. I think the coaches in our local community are doing a great job with their athletes. I want all of our local track athletes to know if they have a passion for track and field and want to continue their dream of becoming a college athlete, then they will always have a home here at Siskiyous. No matter what the talent level is, I believe our staff and culture will bring the best out of any athlete whether it be on or off the field."
If you would like to be an Eagles track and field athlete, Coach Courtemanche would like to hear from you. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 707-616-1772.
2014 Pre-Championship Season Wrap-Up
In 2014, the Eagles have continued their winning and record breaking ways established by Head Coach Shannon Maas and 2013 Assistant Coach of the Year Les Courtemanche. At the GVC Conference meet, Eagle athletes took home 14 gold medals and qualified 15 athletes for Nor Cal Championships to be held in Cupertino in early May.
The 2014 women’s squad has broken 4 school records, highlighted by local sophomore trackster Kristina Busby. Busby ran the fastest ever recorded 100m in Siskiyous history at the Chico Twilight meet, running 12.30 – besting the old record of 12.35 set in 1989 by Leslie Gebhard. Busby also ran the second leg for the women’s record breaking 4x100 (49.29) at the Nor Cal Championships on May 2nd in Cupertino. “Busby is a testament to what hard work, dedication, and never giving up can become if you believe in yourself” said coach Shannon Maas. “Busby had never run prior to Siskiyous. To go from learning how to setup blocks to breaking our school record in a couple years is remarkable in my opinion.” Standout Sophomore Jennifer Goacher, also a member of the record breaking 4x100 squad, recently broke her 400m record running 58.13 at the Nor Cal Trials this past weekend. “Jenny is one of my all-time favorite athletes, she really understands the concept of hard work and how to take care of herself on and off the track. I will really miss her when she moves on.” Sophomore Jamika Davis bettered Ashley Geer’s record in the javelin (140’ – 2008), throwing 144’ 9” at the Shasta Invite in early April. She is currently number one in Nor Cal and looks to vie for the State Championships on May 15, 16th. Freshman Casie Johnson has also come on very strong in the 400 hurdles, currently sitting second heading into Nor Cal Championships this weekend.
On the Men’s side, Sophomore Alex Henderson has dominated the California Community College scene by throwing a current season best of 229’ 1”. His throw, currently the school record, was the best throw in the nation at that point and time of any division in College athletics (including NCAA D1). Fellow javelin throwers James Nizich, Shaq Blair, and Derrick Doss are currently all ranked in the top 7 in Nor Cal and look to advance to state depending on their performances this upcoming weekend at Nor Cal Championships. The Eagle sprint and jump squad also had an excellent season, headlined by jumpers Kendrick Murphy and Jacob Hannah. Jacob leaped 23’ 4” at the trials, currently placing him in 5th heading into the weekend, and Kendrick Murphy qualified for both the long and triple for trials. Sprinters Carlton Boozer, Kendrick Murphy and Edwinn Mckinney all topped at out 10.87, 10.89, 10.90 in the 2014 season, but weren’t quite fast enough to qualify for Nor Cal Championships.
Les Courtemanche awarded 2013 Assistant Coach of the Year
College of the Siskiyous assistant coach Les Courtemanche was awarded the 2013 Assistant Coach of the Year for California Community College Track and Field. This award was received by vote from fellow coaches in the CCCAA and was recognized for his excellence in the throws, particularly the javelin. Siskiyous male javelin athletes captured 1st, 2nd and 5th at the 2013 CCC State Championships, as well as Jamika Davis taking 3rd for the women’s javelin. During his 7 year tenure, “Coach C” has coached over 28 GVC Champions, 9 Nor Cal Champions, 2 State Champions, 3 school record holders and 8 JUCO All-Americans.
In the 2014 season, Coach C has built on past success taking his “Savage Javelin” crew to new heights. Sophomore school record holder Alex Henderson currently leads the state of California by over 24 feet, and female thrower Jamika Davis currently sits in 2nd at the State level. Both Jamika Davis and Alex Henderson are only in their 2nd year ever competing in the javelin, having never thrown in high school due to California state rules in youth divisions. On May 9th, the Eagles will be competing in Cupertino for the Nor Cal Championships…wish the Eagles luck!
Track & Field at Nor Cal championships
On May 13th 2013 College of the Siskiyous freshman Garrett Snow signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Oklahoma.
2013/14 scholar athletes
Dane Bachman Mercedes Smelser
Kirt Terry Sam Williams
Casie Johnson John Levesques
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