The West Valley Track Club was founded in 1964, making it the oldest running club in Northern California. Club members have included 20 Olympians, two national trail champions, and numerous World Record holders. Our Masters Men's team currently vies for preeminence on the national stage, earning USATF victories in 2017 and 2019.
Our humble beginnings
WVTC was started in 1964 by Frank Cunningham and Wendell Smith with a small group of high school runners and one college runner in San Jose. Their goal was to develop the young runners in the sport, support good moral standards, and encourage decent grades in school. As the team's benefactor, Frank helped the team register as an official running club with the AAU, purchased uniforms, and cheered the team on at races and workouts.
After the team won the Junior National 30 km team-race during their first year, word spread quickly that West Valley was winning and having a wonderful time while doing it. This sparked the interest of runners throughout the Greater San Jose Area and San Francisco Peninsula, and the team quickly grew thereafter.
West Valley's inaugural members. Top: Keith Dyer, Wendell Smith (President/Coach), Bill Mackey. Bottom: Kirk Cunningham, Pat Jackson, Keith Duvall.
Nor-Cal Running Review (1969-1980)
West Valley TC started publishing a newsletter in 1969, which became the Nor-Cal Running Review magazine in 1971. Created and published by Jack Leydig (our current club records-keeper!), the newsletter kept members informed on what was happening with teammates and races. After being typed on an IBM Selectric typewriter, club members came together at now-coach Bill Clark's house each month to insert entry blanks, staple the edge of the magazine shut, apply mailing labels, and--at the magazine's peak--mail the issues out to nearly 3,000 subscribers. Browse the newsletter archives below for a blast from the past!
(Note: the newsletter is archived by LA84.org. The LA84 article titles for editions 1-14 do not accurately reflect the edition numbers, but they are correctly labelled below.)
Commemorating 50 years
WVTC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. To commemorate some of our historical milestones, club member John Marconi put together videos highlighting past club championships, Presidents, and Olympians.