Article Launched: 05/07/2008 04:45:13 PM
For many competitors the high
school track and field season ended at the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League
division meets last week. Others, though, were just getting warmed up, with
visions of the state meet dancing in their heads.
The El Camino and De Anza finals signaled the start of the championship
season, a series of challenges that grow in difficulty and prestige each week,
culminating with the state meet, May 30-31 at Cerritos College in Norwalk.
But the road to Norwalk will narrow quickly. In fact, most of the contestants
who advanced from the El Camino and De Anza finals will not clear this week's
hurdle - the SCVAL qualifier meet May 9 at Los Gatos High. Of the 16 athletes in
each event, only the best five will move down the road to Gilroy High for the
Central Coast Section semifinals on May 17.
Then, out of about 30 challengers in each semifinal event, only eight (12
from the 1,600 and 3,200 races) will return to Gilroy on May 23 to compete for
the CCS's three berths to the state meet.
Saratoga high jumper Kiersten Dolbec, a CCS gold medal winner and state
finalist as a sophomore, started strong in her quest for a repeat trip to the
state meet. She also recorded one of the few surprises at the El Camino
championships, held April 30 at Santa Clara.
Dolbec's winning high jump of 5-7 was no surprise, considering she already
had cleared 5-8 twice this season and shared the section lead in the event. What
was unexpected was Dolbec's entry+
and victory in the long jump; her leap of 17-1.5 put her among the CCS top
10 in that event, too.
As expected, Dolbec and her teammates captured the team title. After going
unbeaten in six division dual meets, Saratoga secured the El Camino team title
with 109 points and first place at the EC finals. And they did it without any
points from talented senior sisters Nicole and Rachel Sabes, who were on a
cultural trip to Poland and Israel.
Junior Katie Nast also had a gold medal effort for the Falcons, running
11:48.15 to outleg Cupertino distance ace Sumika Shiokawa (11:56.79).
Like Dolbec, Homestead senior Sarah Engle competed at last year's state meet,
tying for 12th in the pole vault. Engle, whose personal record of 12-2 leads CCS
girls, and the other pole vault hopefuls did not compete at the division meets,
but will be in action at the SCVAL qualifier.
Engle still was plenty busy at the El Camino meet. She captured the 100-meter
hurdles race in 15.56, placed second to Dolbec in the long jump (16-8.5) and ran
fourth in the low hurdles, leading the Mustangs (73 points) to third place.
Cupertino, which finished second to Saratoga in the dual meet season, also
took second at the EC finals with 82 points.
Senior Stephanie Glick, who placed fourth in the CCS triple jump last spring
and just missed a trip to the state meet, bounded 35-7 to win last week's
contest. She also placed second in the high jump (5-0) and third in the long
Chung won the discus with a throw of 119-10, far short of her CCS best effort
of 142-4, and placed second in the shot put behind Wilcox sophomore Myeesha
Wilcox, paced by freshman sprinter Darynne Wickliffe's comfortable wins in
the 200 and 400, finished fourth with 62 points, two better than Santa Clara.
Lynbrook freshman Cindy Huang also was a double winner, taking the 1,600 in
5:26.65 and 800 in 2:28.05. Homestead junior Emily Evans ran 5:28.80 for second
in the four-lapper, edging Saratoga sophomore Karen Wai by .11 of a second.
Wai also finished third in the 800, clocking 2:30.3, two-tenths behind
Fremont junior Alexa Wallin and .19 ahead of Evans. Lynbrook sophomore Michelle
Yee placed fifth.
Junior sprinters Diana Lee of Lynbrook and Aly Rajah of Fremont both clocked
13.21 in the 100-meter dash, but Lee was judged the winner. Lee also placed
second in the triple jump (35-2.5) and fourth in the long jump.
Close behind in the 100 race were two Saratoga runners, junior Katie Gasik
(13.27) in third place, followed by sophomore Danielle Conway (13.39). Fifth
place also was a tough decision, but Homestead sophomore Carolyn Newswanger got
the nod over junior teammate Kaylyn Crump. Both clocked 13.58.
Gasik later ran 50.1 to earn second in the 300 hurdles behind Santa Clara's
Emily Gordon. Cupertino sophomore Kristin Wong (50.47) was third, followed by
Homestead's Engle and Evans and Cupertino sophomore Jackie Chang.
Junior sisters Katie Marsh and Claire Marsh ran legs of Saratoga's winning
1,600 relay team and placed behind Wickliffe in both the 200 and 400 races.
Katie (61.99) and Claire (62.57) ran second and third in the 400, before
finishing fourth and sixth in the 200.
Engle's strong showing in the 100 hurdles was Homestead's only first place.
Cupertino junior Christine Adame (16.52) ran second.
Homestead sophomore Aubreanna Bobb (27.22) was second in the 200, nipping
third-place Brittany Van Schravendijk (27.38) of Fremont. Cupertino sophomore
Katie Boyle was fifth.
Van Schravendijk added a fifth place in the 400, finishing just behind
teammate Wallin. Fremont sophomore Tina Liu also was a double placer for the
Firebirds, scoring fifth (17.38) in the 100 hurdles and sixth in the triple
Other Cupertino placers were senior Natalie Buchinski, fourth in the shot
put; K. Wong, fourth in the high jump; and junior Kathryn Steakley, fifth in the
Other Homestead placers were sophomore Alissa Hayes, third in the high jump;
senior Sarah Groeschen, fourth in the discus and fifth in the shot put; and
junior Laura Pochowski, sixth in the 3,200.
Sophomore Nicole Haight of Homestead was the top thrower in the girls junior
varsity category, placing first in both events. Freshman Megan Wong won the 400
for the Mustangs.
Bruins surprise Vikes
Although Lynbrook's hurdler supreme Eric Surprenant continued his run of
outstanding performances, the Vikings could not follow their unbeaten dual meet
season with a team victory at the EC finals.
Host Santa Clara won five events and scored 104.5 points, while Lynbrook
totaled 80 points and shared second place with Saratoga, which received two wins
from junior Kian Banks (1,600, 800) and a sprint victory from senior Mike
Surprenant ran away from the field in both hurdles races, and he nearly
surprised with victories in the 400 and high jump. The CCS hurdles leader posted
winning times of 14.70 in the 110 and 39.48 in the 300. In between, he chased
Marshall (50.92) in the 400, claiming second in 50.98, and stayed with Humer
(6-2) in the high jump but had more misses.
Marshall was doing the chasing in the 200, running 23.29 to place second
behind Santa Clara's David Zamora, who also won the 100.
Banks finished the 1,600 in 4:31.5, a few strides ahead of junior teammate
Alan Menezes, who placed third in 4:32.7. Cupertino senior Abiy Gebrekristos
(4:34.8) was fourth and Lynbrook sophomore Luca Signore (4:36.17) sixth.
Gebrekristos later placed second in the 3,200 with 10:06.86, about 15 seconds
behind winner Kindu Ejigu of Santa Clara. Signore finished third, Menezes
fourth, Cupertino junior Stas Rumyantsev fifth and Lynbrook sophomore Amrit
Banks' winning time of 2:03.43 in the 800 was more than two seconds better
than his closest challenger. Two Cupertino runners, senior Roger Hu and junior
Peter Chew, placed fourth and fifth, respectively. Lynbrook junior Gene
Burinskiy took sixth.
Lynbrook junior Scott Blomquist placed third behind tough competition in the
400 and high jump.
Homestead, led by jumper Steven Humer and thrower Austin Lopez, finished
fourth with 61 points, just a half point ahead of Wilcox. Both seniors claimed
gold and silver medals for the Mustangs.
Humer, one of five CCS boys to clear 6-6 in the high jump this season, added
a second place in the long jump. He sprang 20-7, just 2 inches behind the
winning mark of Wilcox's Marcus Romo.
Lopez captured first in the shot put with a heave of 47-10.5 and finished
second behind Santa Clara's Ralph Guerrero in the discus with a throw of 148-1.
Juniors Luke Rosener and Michael Bernal also turned in strong weight efforts for
Rosener, who also spends time as a starter for Homestead's championship
volleyball team, took third in the discus (132-10), fourth in the shot put
(44-0) and shared third in the high jump (5-8). Bernal was fifth in the discus
at 125-3 and seventh in the shot put with 41-1.
Homestead junior Marshall Dunford ran 53.9 for fifth place in the 400.
Fremont juniors Tim Brown and Peter Cabana earned medals in two events
apiece. Brown sprinted to third place (11.47) in the 100 and fourth (23.63) in
the 200, while Cabana earned third in the triple jump (38-3.5) and fifth in the
long jump. Another Fremont junior, Jose Gurrola just missed a medal in the 800,
placing seventh in 2:08.58.
Three Cupertino athletes placed in both hurdles events. Junior Anthony
Su-Vasquez took fourth and sophomore Ryo Kubozono fifth in the 110 race, then
switched places in the 300. Sophomore Dennis Rong placed sixth in both. Hu
finished fourth in the 400 for the Pioneers.
Ted Kang and Alan Lee helped Lynbrook dominate the frosh-soph boys
Three Homestead boys, sophomore Kevin Liantono (high jump) and freshmen Sean
Dinger (triple jump) and Andrew Davis (3,200), won gold medals in the frosh-soph