Club history

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The Excelsior Track Club was founded in January 1973 by four runners who lived in the Excelsior District of San Francisco. The four were former collegiate distance runners who decided to form their own AAU club and compete in various events. The nucleus of the early membership came from local runners who were truly dedicated to the sport.

Later that year the club won the first of its numerous Pacific Association team championships.

Over the next two years the club began to establish itself as one of the top competitive clubs on the Northern California race circuit, winning several team and individual championships.

The club’s third year, 1975, marked a real breakthrough for the team as Jan Sershen joined the club and made his mark as the number one ranked runner in the Pacific Association.

By 1978 most of the Club’s top runners began to concentrate on the marathon. During that year fifteen Excelsior runners cracked the magic 2 hour, 30 minute barrier.

In 1979 Excelsior captured third place in the U.S. National Marathon Championships held at the Paul Masson Marathon in Saratoga. Ernie Rivas led the way in 2:21:16 to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Through the 1980s the club expanded to include a talented women’s team.

By the mid 1980s the average age of the club members began to approach 40. This began a remarkable string of performance in the Masters division. Excelsior has dominated Pacific Association Masters road racing since 1986. The club has won the Pacific Association Masters team road racing grand prix title in seven of the last nine years. In addition, Excelsior runners have claimed six of the last nine individual Masters grand prix championships.

In 1989 the Masters team captured the Athletics Congress National Cross Country Championships held in Golden Gate Park by a six minute margin beating a strong national field including the famous Boston Athletic Association.

As the club’s members have aged, the Men’s Open team declined throughout the first half of the 1990s. This trend reversed starting in 1996 as the club has made a concentrated effort to improve its Open team. In 1997 the Open team finished second in the Pacific Association grand prix championship, after a fifth place finish in 1996.

The club now has a good mix of open, masters & senior runners (male & female) with a goal of competing in the USATF-PA in all categories, in as many races as possible.

In 2011, the Open team, despite having a relatively small core roster, finished fourth overall in the PA Cross Country Grand Prix, and 3rd overall in the PA Road Racing Grand Prix, amongst highly competitive teams.