Elings Terrain Festival doles out proceeds to cross country teams

(L to R) Caleb Johnson, Eric Jones, Olivia Perdices, Paul Bradford, Kyle Visin, Lawrence Stehmeier.

(L to R) Caleb Johnson, Mike Nelson, Olivia Perdices, Paul Bradford, Kyle Visin, Lawrence Stehmeier.


Not even two years ago, the cross country programs at Santa Barbara High, San Marcos and Dos Pueblos did not have the Elings Terrain Festival.

But thanks to a parent who saw the benefits his kids experienced participating in high school cross country, these three schools are now getting a couple extra thousand dollars per season to help a new generation of student-athletes experience the sport.

Paul Bradford presented a ceremonial check for at a recent Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon to high school coaches Kyle Visin of Dos Pueblos, Lawrence Stehmeier of San Marcos and Olivia Perdices of Santa Barbara High. The proceeds come from a running event at Elings Park in December that acts like a season-ending celebration and doubles as a fundraiser.

Bradford is the visionary. He became invested when his sons ran at San Marcos and Dos Pueblos.

“As I began to look at the impact the sport had on them, I thought, ‘how can I give back?’ So I organized this race called the Elings Terrain Festival,” Bradford said.


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Bradford was able to pick up Deckers as a main sponsor this year and his work pounding the pavement paid off with almost 40 percent more runners in the 5k.

The effort takes some of the fundraising burden off the teacher-coaches who are partly responsible for finding the extra funds necessary to compete. The school district only covers a stipend for the head coach and one assistant.

San Marcos hasn’t had new uniforms or warmups in 12 years and head coach Lawrence Stehmeier is saving. The ETF donation may put him over the top for uniforms.

Santa Barbara High was able to travel to the Clovis Invitational this season with money from last year’s festival.

“I have had 2 of (Paul’s) boys on my cross country teams and the Bradford family has always been very generous with sharing their home with the team,” Stehmeier said.

The Elings Park Foundation received a portion of the proceeds as well. The park, a privately funded public space, waived the usage fee for the event for the second consecutive year.

“They see the value in exposing the park to hundreds of families,” Bradford said.

Caleb Johnson, the park’s Sports Event Director who stewards the Mesa Trails running series, is happy to see another running event at the park.

“These two events promote safe trail running, and even though I believe the trails are still underutilized, we are opening a new experience to runners and the trails at Elings are being used more now than ever,” Johnson said. “I believe this trend will continue as the ETF and MT grow.”

The high school cross country programs were partly responsible for recruiting participants to help raise money. The high school team that brought in the most recruits – this year it was Dos Pueblos – was awarded a special trophy for their efforts: a golden running shoe on a pedestal.

The Elings Terrain Festival was a 5k and 3k run and post-race barbecue by La Cumbre Country Club chef Eric Widmer. It was held on December 13 at Elings Park.

Bruce Schmitz was the fastest runner that day, winning the 5k race in 20 minutes and 15 seconds. Matt Organista was second in 20:17 followed by Evan Bradford, 21:02, in third.

Thirteen-year-old Mazzy Genovese was the top female runner, completing the 5k course in 23:40.


1  Bruce Schmitz 23 Santa Barbara CA 20:15 6:32 1/26 Men_19-39
2  Matthew Organista 25 Carpinteria CA 20:17 6:32 2/26 Men_19-39
3  Evan Bradford 22 Santa Barbara CA 21:02 6:46 3/26 Men_19-39
4  Tyler Hansen 33 Santa Barbara CA 21:04 6:47 4/26 Men_19-39
5  Andrew McGuan 18 Santa Barbara CA 21:13 6:50 1/35 Men_18/Un
6  Ryan Sorensen 18 Santa Barbara CA 21:31 6:56 2/35 Men_18/Un
7  Logan Briner 16 Santa Barbara CA 21:46 7:01 3/35 Men_18/Un
8  Nathan Alvarez 16 Goleta CA 22:03 7:06 4/35 Men_18/Un
9  Bradley Apodaca 18 Santa Barbara CA 22:10 7:08 5/35 Men_18/Un
10  Nicholas Swider 19 Santa Barbara CA 22:12 7:09 5/26 Men_19-39
11  Hunter Clark 15 Santa Barbara CA 22:14 7:10 6/35 Men_18/Un
12  Kyle Visin 31 Santa Barbara CA 22:30 7:15 6/26 Men_19-39
13  Ethan Richardson 25 Goleta CA 23:13 7:29 7/26 Men_19-39
14  Tommy Schmitz 31 Goleta CA 23:14 7:29 8/26 Men_19-39
15  Dustin Oakes 16 Goleta CA 23:15 7:29 7/35 Men_18/Un
16  Jack Rogan 23 Santa Barbara CA 23:27 7:33 9/26 Men_19-39
17  Joshua McGregor 14 Santa Barbara CA 23:35 7:36 8/35 Men_18/Un
18  Andy Hunter 17 Santa Barbara CA 23:39 7:37 9/35 Men_18/Un
19  Mazzy Genovese 13F Rancho Palos Ver CA 23:40 7:37 1/16 Wom_18/Un
20  Dunbar Mecklin 16 Goleta CA 23:56 7:42 10/35 Men_18/Un