ON THE ROAD . . . Former Stanford runner Chris Mocko of Palo Alto celebrated his 25th birthday by winning the 33rd annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon on Sunday. With his father, Paul, watching at the finish line, Mocko raced home in 2 hours, 27 minutes and 2 seconds. Menlo Park's Kota Reichart was second in 2:30:29. Racing through the scenic Napa Valley wine-growing region, Mocko used a strategy of hanging behind the early leaders and then jumping at opportunity to score a victory and a personal record in only his third marathon. The former steeplechase and cross-country runner at Stanford did not attempt to accompany the leaders, who were attempting to earn the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon qualifying time of sub-2:19:00. At 15 miles, however, the last leader exited and left the race to Mocko and Reichert. "I got really excited when I heard that Kota and I were in the lead," Mocko said, "and at that I point I really picked up the pace. The adrenaline got me through 20 miles, but then I really started feeling it. But, I was able to hang on. Overall, I ran a negative split for the
race, so I was pleased."
ON THE FIELD . . .. Former Stanford baseball player Cord Phelps leaned over the railing near the Cleveland Indians' dugout, signed a few autographs and chatted with a couple of people. He played an inning at second base and was the last player to make the walk across the field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick to the visiting clubhouse underneath the center field wall. Phelps was wearing number '73' and he was playing with a major-league baseball team. Phelps is with the Indians this spring with a chance to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster. The infielder was a third round draft pick of the Indians in 2008 and has steadily risen within the organization. He batted a combined .308 between Double-A and Triple-A last year, with eight home runs and 54 RBI. "It's been a lot of fun getting some at bats and getting a few reps at second and third," Phelps said after the Indians lost to the Colorado Rockies, 3-1, in an exhibition game Sunday. "I'm learning from the older guys." He started his professional career in Rookie League. A year later he was playing at the high Single-A level. "I feel like, at every level, I've learned something," Phelps said. "It's not easy and I have to keep working hard." Phelps, who was born at Stanford Hospital and grew up in Woodside before his family moved to Santa Barbara, had a huge year for the Cardinal in 2008, when the team reached the College World Series. Phelps hit all 13 of his career home runs that year and finished his career with a .308 batting average and 91 RBI. He was even better in the NCAA tournament, hitting .360 with a pair of home runs and nine RBI in 13 games . . . The Bandits, an 11/12 South Bay youth baseball team, are looking for players for the upcoming tournament season. The Bandits are coached by two local high school coaches. Anyone interested in trying out, please contact: CoachDevintis@live.com or team coordinator at email@example.com.
COACHING CORNER . . . Sacred Heart Prep is seeking a girls' varsity basketball head coach for next season. All interested applicants should contact SHP Athletic Director Frank Rodriguez via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (650) 473-4031.