Track & Field: Coaching Staff

PVHS Track & Field Victor Mancusi

Head Coach: Renee Capozzola
Phone: 310-378-8471 Ext. 229

PVHS is extremely proud of its coaching staff, which includes:

Head Coach / Sprints / Relays -- Renee Capozzola. Renee ran track for PVHS herself, graduating in 1989 with school records in the 200 meters, the 400 meters, and the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays. Upon graduation, Renee attended UCLA, where she continued to run track. In recent years Renee's own athletes have broken all of her PVHS records.

Renee teaches Biology II AP, Biology I Honors, and Anatomy at PVHS. She is also a licensed Physical Therapist. Prior to getting her teaching credential and joining the PVHS staff in 2003, Renee practiced as an orthopaedic and sports medicine physical therapist. Renee also served as a physical therapist for the USA AVP teams playing on the European beach volleyball circuit during the summer of 2004, and she instructed Indian physical therapy students in Vellore, India through Health Volunteers Overseas during the summer of 2005.

Distances -- Brian Shapiro and Jeff Atkinson. Since PVHS reopened in 2002 Brian and Jeff have firmly reestablished the Sea Kings as one of the finest distance programs in the state.

Brian is a graduate of Peninsula High School where in 1996 he was a member of one of the state championship cross-country teams (and the only such boys team) coached by Palos Verdes and Peninsula legend Joe Kelly. Upon graduation Brian continued his distance career at Washington University in St. Louis before returning to California to teach. Brian teaches Chemistry and Biology, and joined PVHS in 2006.

A South Bay native, Jeff established himself as one of California's best distance runners while at Mira Costa High School during the early 1980s, then went on to Stanford University where he was an All-American in the 1500 meters. In 1988 Jeff was the national champion and represented the United States in the 1988 Seoul Olympics in that event, reaching the final, and he enjoyed a lengthy career racing on the professional track circuit. After retirement, Jeff returned to the South Bay. In addition to his coaching duties, Jeff owns and operates the South Bay's original fitness "boot camp," Olympian Fitness.

Pole Vault / High Jump -- Kirk Bentz and Graham Bentz. Kirk was an accomplished high jumper and pole vaulter for Cal State Northridge during the 1970s. He held the Cal State Northridge school record in the pole vault at 16'7" until 1986. Kirk still competes in Masters meets at the national and even international level. In 2008 Kirk was ranked fifth in the world in his age bracket for the pole vault, and he improved to third in 2009. In August, 2009 he was the United States Senior National Champion in that event held at Stanford University, and set the meet record in the process. Kirk has continued these successful results in recent years, earning medals at the Masters national finals in the pole vault and numerous other events and setting a Senior Games 55-59 age group record with a vault of 13'3". Kirk works for Schenker, Inc. (a cargo logistics transportation company) during the weekday mornings, and coaches after school. Under Kirk's coaching the Sea Kings won Bay League titles in both the Boys Frosh/Soph & Boys Varsity Pole Vault in 2009 and in 2012 one of the Sea Kings' varsity girls placed at league and qualified for post-season competition. Son Graham was PV's team MVP in 2009 and repeated in 2010 when he was also Track & Field's Senior Athlete of the Year Nominee for Boys Track & Field. Graham was a potent multi-event threat for the Sea Kings throughout his career in pole vault, high jump, long jump, and triple jump. In 2010 Graham qualified for CIF post-season competition, taking third in the Bay League in the pole vault (always a stacked boys event in Bay League) and second in league in the high jump. In 2009 Graham was the Bay League champion in the pole vault and finished 5th in CIF-SS Div. III.

Long Jump / Triple Jump / High Jump -- Alex Broughton. Originally from North Idaho, Alex was a three-sport athlete in high school (football, basketball, and track) before attending the University of Idaho. Alex has been the PVHS freshman basketball coach since 2006, and Alex brought his coaching skills and enthusiasm over to the track & field team in 2009 to coach the horizontal jumps and high jump. Since Alex assumed his role as jumps coach the Sea Kings have enjoyed back-to-back league championships and a CIF-SS Div. III fifth place finish in the boys triple jump and a new school record in the girls high jump. Alex also teaches math at PVHS and is an assistant coach for the PVHS cross country team.

Hurdles / Long Jump / Triple Jump / Multi-Events -- Marieke Miller.  A 1994 graduate of UCLA, Marieke was a three-time NCAA All-American including a third place heptathlon finish at the 1993 NCAA Championships while competing for the Bruins.  Upon graduation Marieke competed professionally for ten years.  In 1995 and 1997 she qualified for the USA World Championship teams and in 1996 Marieke competed for the USA in the long jump at the Olympics; her personal best in the long jump is a stunning 23'5" and in the 100 meter hurdles an equally impressive 12.78 seconds.  Since 2001 Marieke has been a personal trainer specializing in strength and conditioning workouts with an emphasis on nutrition advice.

Throws -- John Caruso. John has twenty-five years of coaching experience, including at PVHS and elsewhere in the South Bay, and under his instruction PVHS athletes have recently set new school records in the boys and girls discus and in the girls shot put. John graduated from UC Irvine in 1986, where he was captain of the track team and conference champion in the javelin. Since 1990 John has been a strength coach and a certified personal trainer, allowing him to supplement his specific understanding of shotput and discus throwing techniques with his general professional knowledge of strength training and kinesiology. John is also an avid outdoorsman who runs custom, professionally guided nature and canoeing adventures through his company,

Utility -- Damian Capozzola. Damian graduated from PVHS in 1988 and was a member of Coach Joe Kelly's dominant PVHS distance program during the late 1980s; he was a part of three relay teams that set PVHS records (all broken during the 2012 and 2013 seasons). Damian went on to run cross-country and track at UC Santa Barbara, and in 1993 he was the Big West Conference Champion in the 1500 meters, set the school record in the mile, and was UCSB Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He assists with all aspects of the program behind the scenes and often announces at home meets. Damian is an attorney who practices in commercial, health care, and labor litigation.