News and Announcements

Sent: Thursday, September 1, 2016 9:14 PM

Subject: XC Newsblast #3: Meet this Tuesday! (and more)

Dear Monte Vista XC Parents:


It's almost Labor Day Weekend! Don't forget that on Tuesday, it's our first meet of the year. Coach Mandee will be sending all the athletes a detailed email with information about the meet soon. If your teen is one of the many who "never checks their email," please give them a heads up to look for this one. Meanwhile, I have some news for you parents...


Monte Vista Invitational: Find race schedule and course details online. We still need 8 more parents volunteers. Can you help? Please? Easy work!  Click here to sign up.


Already helping? Please double check your assignment on Sign Up Genius. Since parking and driving in the parking lot immediately after school can be difficult, please plan to arrive early if you are working a 3:30 shift.


Uniforms: Tomorrow is Order Deadline: We've been telling the runners all week that if they need a uniform, they need to turn in the order form by this Friday at the very latest.


Donation Update: Thank you to those who've donated already! The suggested donation for 2016 is $245 per athlete. This is based on our team's basic costs divided by the number of runners on the team. There's no fluff in our budget, and, as you know by now, the team is almost 100% supported by parent donations. Athletes can turn in checks payable to MV Cross Country to any coach at practice. 


Overnight Relay Volunteers Needed! The famous Overnight Relay will be held on Sept. 17. We need some parent chaperones for this one-of-a-kind event. Please learn more about the event and sign up online here.


Please visit our Sign Up Genius page to see all the volunteer opportunities for the season. Thank you to all those who've signed up already!


Have a great weekend and see you on Tuesday! Go Mustangs!


Courtney Corda

Asst. Coach on behalf of the Coaching Staff

P.S. A copy of the information from the email Coach Mandee will send the athletes will be posted on our team's website:

From: Courtney Corda
To: Courtney Corda
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2016 2:19 PM
Subject: Cross Country Newsblast #2

Dear Parents and Students,


Thank you to all the parents who came to the meeting last night! Here is a recap:


Parent Night Presentation

  • Full presentation online here.
  • Key points:
    • The runners are building up their strength and we are headed for a season of fun, teamwork, and great competitive racing!
    • The team's website is the first place to go for information. It is updated regularly. Find it at We call this "the website" or "the team website". Please check the website often (and preferably instead of emailing common questions to coaches). Find our calendar, links to volunteer sign ups, our budget, info on nutrition, photos, news, and much more.
    • The team also uses another website for tracking runner attendance, performance/race stats, and training logs. We call this "XC Stats". Each runner has an account (and each parent has a parent account as well). Students and parents should use the "Planned Absence" feature on XC Stats to notify coaches of illness or other unavoidable conflicts (instead of plain email) as it is far easier for us coaches to manage.
    • Budget now online here.

Team T-Shirt, Uniforms, & Participation Donation Form

If you didn't turn in your form last night or did not get a form, please print this form, fill it out, and return to any coach with a check made to MVHS Cross Country. Don't forget to choose a size for your 'free' team t-shirt. MVXC is almost 100% parent funded. $245 is this year's suggested donation amount--less than the cost of a latte a day for the opportunity for your runners to build a lifelong skill and to experience everything a high school sport has to offer*. The school only pays for the head coach. Everything else comes from us parents. THANK YOU to all who already donated last night and especially to those who've already notified us of corporate matches!!!

Practice at 3:30 Today

Practice will be at 3:30 weekdays unless otherwise scheduled, even on minimum days.


Go Mustangs!

Courtney Corda on behalf of all the coaching staff

p.s. Please volunteer for the exciting MV Invitational meet on Sept. 6 -- no better time to volunteer as it is our only home meet. Sign up today here.

* Well, almost everything. We don't have cheerleaders at our meets. Or the band. Maybe we should invite them?!  Imagine a drum line tunnel for our runners to run through. Apparently, according to this thread, it's pretty cool.



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Posted by Courtney Corda at Aug 23, 2016 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

Bio's Coming Soon

Coach Bryan Jensen

Coach Courtney Corda

Coach Corda moved to Danville, CA from central Illinois at age 12. She attended Los Cerros Middle School and Carondelet High School, where she ran cross country. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in Comp Lit, and worked for 20+ years as a sales and marketing executive in the computer software industry. She's currently on hiatus from software and enjoying her roles as a subsitute teacher at MVHS, as a coach and team parent, and part-time project manager for her husband's small solar panel business.

Having discovered running in high school cross country, Courtney continues to run for fitness and fun, regularly running community 5ks and successfully completing 3 half marathons. 

Prior to coaching / team parenting at Monte Vista, she served on the board of the Blackhawk Swim Team for 5 years, and has volunteered with the local CYO cross country and track & field teams as well as local USATF youth club Oak Hill Racing (now Mt. Diablo Heat). Her son Matthew is a sophomore at Monte Vista and her daughter Meredith is a senior and co-captain of the cross country team. 


Coach Kara Wilson

Coach Tommy Greenless


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XC Newsblast #1: Welcome & Important News

Posted by Courtney Corda at Aug 18, 2016 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

From: Courtney Corda <>
To: Courtney Corda <>
Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2016 11:45 PM
Subject: Welcome to MV Cross Country! Important News!

Dear Runners and Parents,


On behalf of all the coaches, welcome to the 2016 cross country season!


It's been a very busy and fun week so far and the coaching staff has LOTS of information to share, so I apologize in advance for the long email (and for the late arrival in your inboxes).



  1. Time trials this Friday, Aug. 19 during practice.
    The time trials will establish a baseline against which each runner can measure his or her progress throughout the season. We've gone over the schedule with the runners. Scroll to very end for schedule details.
  2. Contract, goal sheet, and XC Stats registration due by Friday, Aug. 19.
    We coaches have been repeating this all week at practice. We had over 150 students sign up for cross country; of these, 32 boys and 27 girls are at risk of being cut from the team tomorrow for not completing this requirement yet. Parent signatures are required on the contract. For details, see the home page of our team's website:
  3. Fall sports parent meeting on 8/24 in the theater at 7pm.
    Following the general session for all sports, there will be breakout session for our team. I will be introducing our coaching staff, presenting our team's budget, participation donations, and providing information about uniforms, meets, and more. I look forward to meeting / seeing you all. Coach Mandee Starn, our head coach, will unfortunately miss the meeting due to an unavoidable family conflict. But Coach Mandee will be available tomorrow afternoon, after the time trials, to meet and chat with any interested parents who have questions--it's an informal FAQ meet & greet.
  4. Practice times.
    Our goal is for practices to be over by 5:30 on most days. Mondays will be our long run day and practices will usually be over by 6. This week, with so many new kids and lots of administrative things to deal with, we have been running late. In another week or so, we will fall into a more regular groove with our practice schedules. This Saturday will be our first Saturday practice. Runners should meet at 9am on the track. Brand new runners who need to work up to running six days a week may skip this Saturday.
  5. Where to get information?
    Before emailing a question, please do check our team's website. I work hard to keep it updated. There is a calendar, news page, home page with highlighted info, and lots more. The team also has a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow us! The links to these are on the homepage of our team website.
  6. Team calendar.
    --Calendar page of our team website: Monte Vista Cross Country: Calendar
    --Full team calendar, one printable page (attached).
    --Google Calendar in iCal format: in theory, if you click the following link on your smart phone (or computer), a message will pop up asking if you want to "subscribe" to the calendar. When you say yes, all the team's events will automatically show up in your smart phone's calendar(s)
  7. Consistent attendance. Attending prepared.
    Running consistently is the key to injury prevention in this sport. Daily practice with Sunday as a rest day is expected. Thank you to all the parents who have been helping their runners arrive ready to run (with running shoes, a watch, plenty of water, and having eaten enough during the day).
  8. First home meet on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Help wanted!!!
    Please give us a hand as we host 20 teams at the Monte Vista Invitational. Sign up today. No experience necessary! Check out our other volunteer opportunities, too.


Go Mustangs!!


Courtney Corda

Assistant Coach and Team Parent


3:30 pm the 26 kids that are doing the mile arrive at the track to check in with Coach Mandee

3:30 all boys doing 2 mile meet Coach Jensen at Oak Hill Park (OHP) to check in, do core, warm up.

3:45 heat #1 of mile starts (fast)

3:50 heat #2 of mile starts

4:00 all 2 mile girls meet Coach Kara at OHP for check in, core, warm up and dynamics

4:10 all 2 mile guys are at start with Coach Jensen-gun goes off

4:40 girls are at start with Coach Kara-gun goes off

5:15-last race is finished

After all kids do time trial, they should do a long, cool down run with a buddy and stretch.

Who:  Michael Garaventa
Monte Vista Class of: 2011
Post High School: Cal State San Francisco

What:  We all know that long distance running is a cumulative effort.  The miles and workouts that you do over the course of many years builds up over time, leading to improvements in running efficiency and results.   It's not always clear when you start, where this sport might lead you if you put in the "work".   No MVXC alum might represent this line of thought better than 2011 graduate Michael Garaventa.

Michael was a four year member of the XC team, starting out as an eager freshman, with times that matched his relative inexperience as a runner.  Over the tenure of his high school career, Michael worked his way onto our "limited" teams, then the JV team, and finally over his last seasons, a scoring member of the varsity team.   As a senior, he "wore the whites" at the NCS meet at Hayward.   While there were other runners with faster mile PR's than his, his ability to put in the work is what put him on varsity over them.

He then proceeded to get a tryout at San Francisco State, who under their new Coach Tom Lyon, had started to build a regional power.  SF State has a notoriously small squad, but Michael worked, and raced, his way onto the team.  Over the course of his college career, he moved up steadily to become one of the Gator's top 5 runners his final seasons.  SF State Bio through 2014 season (2015 was his best however!)

Closing on this theme, Michael has competed in 10 consecutive MVXC Alumni races, missing only the very first year we had the event.  When asked why he didn't attend in 2006, Michael wisely replied "Because I was an 8th grader maybe??"   Michael has won the last two alumni races and plans to continue training and racing now that he is out of college.    CONGRATS TO MICHAEL  - Way to represent MVXC!

Alumni Race Results - M Garaventa
2016 - 1st
2015 - 1st
2014 - 2nd
2013 - 2nd
2012 - 3rd
2011 - 2nd
2010 - 4th
2009 - 7th
2008 - 13th
2007 - 21st (frosh year)

 photo P8100086 2_zpsewv5qdep.jpg  photo IMG_6342 2_zpskbmvlseo.jpg  photo rp_primary_All_Conference_honorees_zpshvdfpqky.jpg

From left:  Michael at the 2007 Alumni Race, at the 2010 EBAL Champs, and after the CCAA Conference Meet (with MV Alumni Drew Feldman (2012) in the middle)