NOTES AND QUOTES for a Thursday in the Napa Valley:
Gregory Lane Hunter packed as much into a four-day trip last month to New York City as he possibly could as the winner of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sporting Green Giants Vacations Contest.
Hunter, a St. Helena resident and distance runner who has completed 86 marathons, was on hand for the Giants’ series against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Hunter said it was a whirlwind visit.
“I am still trying to take it all in and to savor my good fortune as long as possible,” he said. “It is especially fun now watching the Giants’ players, in particular, Travis Ishikawa, Joe Martinez, Nate Schierholtz, Eli Whiteside and Brian Wilson, that I briefly conversed with on my New York City trip.”
The first day took Hunter to Ground Zero, the former World Trade Center and site of a 9/11 memorial now under construction; Battery Park Esplanade/Promenade; Staten Island Ferry; Staten Island Ferry Terminal; Richmond County Bank Ballpark (home of the New York-Penn League’s Staten Island Yankees); September 11 Postcards: Memorial; St. George (Staten Island) Public Library; Staten Island Museum; U.S. Tennis Association National Tennis Center (site of U.S. Open championships); and finally Citi Field for the Giants-Mets game.
Day 2 took Hunter to Central Park, Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant & Sports Bar, Carnegie Hall, a Giants breakfast with Mike Krukow, Joe Martinez and Nate Schierholtz, and then back to Citi Field.
Hunter’s sightseeing didn’t slow down on Day 3, as he took a ballpark tour of Citi Field and went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Top of the Rock Observation Deck (70th floor of 30 Rockefeller Center), 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Times Square and Hershey’s Times Square. There was also the Giants-Mets game.
On his final day, Hunter went to NBC’s The Today Show, NBA Store, Central Park and took a tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
He completed his 16th consecutive San Francisco Marathon, held on July 26, in a time of 3 hours, 46 minutes, 54 seconds. Hunter placed 917th out of 5,093 finishers and was 18th in his age division for the 26.2-mile race.
He has qualified to compete in his 15th consecutive Boston Marathon on April 19, 2010.
Napa High School’s Kurt Ruegg, the third-fastest returning runner in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section, began the 2009 boys cross country season by breaking the course record and registering a 24-second win at the Lagoon Valley Classic in Vacaville Saturday.
Ruegg ran a time of 15:41 on the 3.0-mile Lagoon Valley Park course, which has two significant climbs. Trevor Halsted of Davis was second.
Junior midfielder Adriana Vasquez started and had an assist for the Sam Houston State women’s soccer team in a 6-0 non-conference victory at Prairie View A&M (Texas) on Aug. 30.
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Vasquez, a Vintage High graduate who also played soccer at Solano Community College, has started three of the four games so far.
With a 14-7 win over Serra-San Mateo last week, Bob Ladouceur of De La Salle-Concord became the state’s all-time winningest high school football coach.
Ladouceur, who has been De La Salle’s head coach since 1979, has 345 career wins.
The Spartans, No. 3 in the CalHiSports preseason state rankings, had to come from behind against Serra. De La Salle’s defense held Serra to just 73 total yards.
De La Salle’s next game is Saturday at Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.). The Spartans face Lakeland (Lakeland, Fla.) on Sept. 25.
Loren Roberts had his fifth consecutive Top-5 finish on the Champions Tour last week, tying for fifth at the Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.
Roberts’ finish allowed him to gain ground on Charles Schwab Cup leader Fred Funk. Roberts is now a mere 57 points behind Funk in the year-long chase.
The Champions Tour returns to the Sonoma Golf Club for the final time this fall, with the top 30 players on the official money list competing in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
The winner of the season-ending tournament, as well as the year-long Charles Schwab Cup winner, will be crowned at Sonoma. The 20th annual Schwab Cup, which carries a $2.5 million purse, takes place Oct. 26 to Nov. 1.
To purchase tickets, call 939-4131.
For more information, go to www.charlesschwabcupchampionship.com.
E-mail Executive Sports Editor Marty James at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 256-2223.