Trip 1 - 1979

Trip 1 - 1979
The first Arete West team. Back: Coach Taylor, Pete Dykstra, Michelle Kreuter, Gigi Geoffrion, Lori Saia, Lisa Vukicevich, Jess Taylor Front: Katy Dykstra, Raven Devito, Jenny Baumsteiger, Jenny Davison, Julie Zeigler, Theresa Martin


  • Switzerland: Baden, Basle, Lausanne, Zug, Lucerne, Bern, Yverdon, Uster, Zurich, Zermatt, Geneva, St. Moritz, Sils Maria
  • France: Paris


  • Jenny Baumsteiger-Adams
  • Jenny Davidson
  • Raven Divito
  • Katie Dykstra-Cantrel
  • Peter Dykstra
  • Gigi Geoffrion
  • Michelle Kruteuter
  • Theresa Martin
  • Lori Saia-Odisio
  • Jess Taylor
  • Lisa Vukicevich
  • Julie Zeigler-Nacco

Trip Leader

  • Mr. Taylor, age 46


  • Cory Taylor


  • Track meets came bang, bang bang, eight in all --- Baden, Basle, Lausanne, Zug, Lucerne, Bern, Yverdon, Uster
  • Nineteen victories in age group competitions
  • Basle special international meet
  • A fourteen year old named Gigi was especially impressive
  • The theologian, Barth, was of the Rhine, chased home from Germany by Nazi regime because he wouldn’t instruct his class to salute Hitler
  • Cory entertains by stage and dancing with Brazilian soccer team in Berne
  • Einstein more important than bear clock
  • The stark sanctuary of Calvin in Geneva
  • Lausanne with a sunny day for Jess and Gigi, “Elbow’s” wins 400m, others excel by personal marks
  • Zermatt, sprint workouts by the river
  • Hiking up the trail below the Matterhorn
  • Dancing and loss of one of our 400m lasses with ankle injury
  • Glacier Express to St. Moritz; “let it snow, let it snow….”
    Swiss passengers cleared out; snow balls in train car
  • Lori and Lisa cheat and escape the half mile walk to youth hostel in St. Moritz that the rest of us had to do
  • Arete discovers a petite track at St. Moritz; night workout
  • Haunted Nietzsche hotel in Sils Maria on cold, overcast day
  • play time in snow over Grindelwald; “bye, bye Gigi” as Jess tosses her screaming over the ledge
  • Sore shins at Zug track after hike the hike down the mountain the day before, but Lori still wins
  • Ominious dark clouds move down quickly from the Alps and Swiss umbrella’s shoot up immediately at finish line and event pits
  • Lucerne, Wagner, and a sudden decision to take the train to Paris
  • Lori uses little Katy as a pillow on cramped night train ride to Paris
  • Lori scatters Parisian commuters at Tuilleries exit with her huge suitcase
  • Maidens crossing through six lanes of on coming commute traffic at Concord circle; Frenchman stands up in convertible and blows kisses to them
  • All the way to the Arch of Triumph under puffy white clouds, a touch of a blue sky, after refreshing rain
  • The paintings by Leonardo de Vinci, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Pissarro, Monet, Rembrandt
  • Notre Dame by day and night
  • Zurich with cast of Lenin, Einstein, Freud/Jung, even Hitler greeting people at the train station
  • The night of threatening spiders and bugs for the girls
  • Anger over meager breakfast
  • A Swiss national meeting on new track at Uster
  • Outstanding performances by Arete runners still seething from lack of sleep and the offer of a fat sausage for lunch
  • Out of eleven entered by Arete at Uster, nine had personal best marks

The initial Arete trip was very track oriented. It also included a spontaneous train trip to Paris. And a well remembered experience in an abandoned hotel in Sils Maria where the philosopher, Nietzsche would have his meals. "Relics" found in the old hotel like room keys are still valued. This initial travel team spent nine months in preparation for such an encounter.

Photo by Jess Taylor

As early as 1977 during cross country training the seeds of Arete were in formation. Here are two of the "all time' Drake stars running around a familiar lake above the campus. Lori Saia (right), state track meet twice over 88O yards, is running with basketball star, Sarah Glass (left). Sara was a strong distance runner, too, and one very bright individual.

Jess Taylor enroute to winning the 800 meters in Basle, Switzerland

Four of the big guns on the track in eight meets in Switzerland in 1979 were (clockwise), Jess Taylor, Julie Zeigler, Gigi Geoffrion and Theresa Martin. All four could handle a fast pace over 1500 meters. Taylor and Geoffrion won 800m races as well.

Arete '79 is the first of many trips to Switzerland. This is in front of the youth hostel in Zurich.

The young ones, Gigi, Julie, Katy and Michelle, on track warming up at Lausanne, Switzerland in 1979

Gigi had six victories in the Swiss meets in 1979. This is a 1500m win against a competitive field in Lausanne

A very young girl named Michelle felt homesick on the 1979 trip, but here she is running "alone" in a meet on a dirt track in Yverdon, Switzerland. Michelle went on to "all league" times back home

An article published in the Marin Independent Journal upon return.

Jenny Baumsteiger and Lori Saia approaching the 400m mark of an 800m race in Basel, Switzerland in 1979. Baumsteiger, unfamiliar with the distance, ran 2:22, a promising mark. Saia made the California state meet, twice, as a half miler at Drake.

The goat bells from Greece and the hotel keys from Sils Maria, Switzerland, hang from the ceiling of Mr. Taylor's office. The keys were found in the abandoned hotel where Nietzsche use to have his meals. The 1979 students knew of Nietzsche from the pre-trip seminars and the hotel was rather mysterious and dark, especially in light of Zarathustra stories Mr. Taylor had told.