Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - April 30, 2010

M-A boys make splash in big swim showdown

Bears take sole possession of first place by holding off Burlingame, 86-84; SHP boys and girls win in WBAL

by Keith Peters

The Menlo-Atherton boys' swim team avenged last season's dual-meet loss to Burlingame and took a step closer toward an unbeaten PAL Bay Division mark with an 86-84 victory over the Panthers on Tuesday. Both teams came in undefeated, but only the Bears emerged with a 5-0 record. Burlingame made it close at the end by winning the 100 breast and 400 free relay.

Most of the races were close and most produced fast dual-meet times. In the 200 free, for example, Burlingame's Wyatt Butler (1:45.02) held off M-A's Nick Henze (1:47.66). In the 50 free, the Bears went one-two with Max Wilder (23.37) and Graham McClelland (23.40). Wilder came back to win the 100 free (51.03). Kei Masuda also was a double winner in the 200 IM and 100 fly (53.73).

In another key race, Scott Swartz (57.62) and Eric Wright (58.85) went one-three in the 100 back to help wrap things up. Wright, Wilder, Masuda and Henze finished second in the 400 free relay, but sped to a fast 3:20.58 clocking while Burlingame won in 3:18.89 — both excellent dual-meet times.

Menlo-Atherton surprisingly went one-two in the 200 medley relay to start the meet because Burlingame decided to stack the free relays. Had the Panthers gotten second in the 200 MR, they would have won the meet.

Alex Gow's fourth-place finish in the 100 back by 0.15 also was important. If reversed, the meet would have ended in a tie. Other races that had the same effect included the 100 breast, where M-A's Emory Welton was fourth, and both the 100 fly and 100 breast where M-A's Jed Springer dropped three seconds off his PR in both races. If Springer had improved by only two seconds in each race, the meet was a tie.

In Atherton, senior David Culpan and sophomore Tom Kremer turned in some top Central Coast Section times as Sacred Heart Prep wrapped up the West Bay Athletic League dual-meet title with a 111-59 victory over visiting Harker on Tuesday. The Gators finished 6-0 in league (7-1 overall) with their only loss a nonleaguer to St. Francis.

Culpan, better known as a water polo player, continued his breakthrough swim season by winning the 200 free in 1:47.03 and taking the 500 free in a lifetime best of 4:46.52, which ranks him No. 4 in school history. Kremer approached his personal best in the 200 IM while winning in 1:57.27 in addition to taking the 100 fly in 53.26, just off his PR of 53.00 that ranks No. 3 in school history. Both swam on the winning 200 free (1:29.75) and 400 free (3:25.59) relays along with junior Andrew Savage, who clocked a season-best 48.71 to win the 100 free.

In girls' swimming, Sacred Heart Prep swept aside the final contender for WBAL dual-meet honors with a 96-74 victory over visiting Harker on Tuesday. The Gators (7-0, 7-3) wrapped up the league dual-meet title with one final tri-meet left against beatable Mercy-Burlingame and Notre Dame-San Jose.

Harker had the first-place points with seven victories, but SHP had the depth. Sophomore Erin Sheridan sparked the Gators by winning the 100 free (55.06) and 200 free (2:01.01) in addition to swimming a leg on the winning 200 free relay.

In Burlingame, Menlo-Atherton and Burlingame may have battled to a tie in 2009 but it wasn't that close on Tuesday when the teams met again in a PAL Bay Division showdown in the Panthers' pool. While both teams came in undefeated, Burlingame showed that the teams aren't that close by winning eight of the 11 events.

M-A senior Sarah Winters broke up the Panthers' domination by winning the 200 free in a season best of 1:55.05 and doubling back to take the 500 free in 5:12.19. Burlingame, however, swept all three relays and lost only one other individual event as M-A's Becca Dorst won the 50 free in 26.44. The Bears fell to 4-1 in league and now must finish ahead of Burlingame at the league finals to either share or claim the overall PAL title.

At the fifth annual Section Challenge last weekend at Palo Alto High, sophomores Jasmine Tosky of Palo Alto and Kremer of Sacred Heart Prep made quite a splash in a meet that brought together some of the top teams and swimmers from the Central Coast, North Coast and San Joaquin sections. Tosky and Kremer certainly were two of the standouts during a record-breaking day.

Tosky, along with junior Sarah Liang, each won two individual events and swam legs on winning relays to help the Paly girls successfully defend their title. Kremer, meanwhile, won an event with a school record and took second in another in addition to contributing to a pair of runnerup relays to help the SHP boys finish third overall.

Tosky won the 200-yard free in 1:50.12, her fastest high school time ever, and captured the 500 free in 4:51.35 — again her fastest ever (non-club) time. Both times were automatic All-American clockings. Tosky also anchored two relay teams to victory in CCS-leading times to help the Vikings win the team crown by 4 1/2 points.

Tosky's 200 free established a meet record and improved her No. 2 rank in school history, trailing only school recordholder Caroline Killian's 1:48.69 from 1998.

Tosky came back a short while later and anchored the 200 free relay team to victory in a season-best and meet record of 1:38.66. She was in third place as she hit the water but ripped off a 22.57 split to bring the Vikings home. Her leg in the 400 free relay was even better, and more significant.

The Vikings, who won last year's meet by just a half point, trailed Mitty by 3 1/2 points heading into the final 400 free relay. Clearly, Paly needed to finish ahead of the Monarchs to win the meet. The Vikings' first three swimmers — Liang, junior Sabrina Lee and sophomore Margaret Wenzlau — gave Tosky a small lead for her anchor leg and that was all she needed on her way to a sizzling 50.20 split that carried Paly to first place in 3:32.95, a meet record and the fastest time in the CCSection this season. That clinched the title with 266 points as Mitty finished third in the relay and settled for second in the standings with 261.5.

Liang added victories in the 200 IM, a season best of 2:05.18, and another season best of 1:05.73 to win the 100 breast. Lee had a pair of fourth places (100 free and 100 back) while Wenzlau tied for second in the 50 free and finished third in the 100 fly in a season best of 57.16. None of the relay swimmers are seniors.

In the boys' meet, Kremer broke his own school record in the 100 back in 51.33, an automatic All-American time. He also took second in the 200 free in 1:41.02, another All-American time that also was his personal best (not including club times) while ranking him No. 2 in school history.

Kremer also swam legs on the Gators' runnerup 200 free relay (1:28.05) and 400 free relay (3:12.83), both of which clocked season bests. SHP beat perennial CCS champ Bellarmine (3:13.30) in the 400 free relay.

Kremer is clearly the team's big point-getter, but he has a strong supporting cast that includes senior David Culpan and juniors Philip Bamberg and Andrew Savage. That foursome made up both relay teams that produced sizzling performances.

Sacred Heart Prep finished third with 138 points, trailing first-place Bellarmine (276.5) and Campolindo (226) of the NCS. Palo Alto was eighth with 102 points.

Paly sophomore Byron Sanborn had a solid meet with a third in the 100 breast (a season best of 1:00.44) and a fifth in the 200 IM in another season best of 1:59.34. He also anchored the Vikings' 200 free and 400 free relay squads.

Golf

The two best boys' teams in the WBAL met for a second time on Wednesday and, for the second time, Sacred Heart Prep came away with the victory to wrap up the league's regular-season title at Palo Alto Hills Country Club. The Gators shot a season-best 188 to hold off the Knights (194).

On a cool, windy, afternoon, Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo completed WBAL round-robin play with the Gators coming through with a slightly larger margin of victory than the one-shot affair two weeks ago. Menlo junior Patrick Grimes led all scorers with a clinical, 3 birdie, no bogey 32. St. Mary's-bound senior Dalan Refioglu, and sophomore Kevin Knox, led the Gators with even-par 35's.

The win by SHP marked the final regular-season match for seniors Jeff Knox, Brett Van Zanten, Anthony Tran and Refioglu. Next up for both teams is the WBAL Championships on Monday at Menlo Country Club. One team and three individuals will advance from the WBAL playoff to the CCS regional tournament the week of May 10th. As the WBAL round-robin champion, SHP will be playing in the CCS regional on May 11th.

At the SCVAL tournament at San Juan Oaks in Hollister, Palo Alto (420) finished third behind Los Altos (409) and Los Gatos (411), both of which qualified for a CCS regional. The Vikings' only hope of advancing is with an at-large berth.

Palo Alto's Michael Yuan (167) did qualify as an individual.

Boys' lacrosse

Menlo clinched no worse than a tie for the SCVAL De Anza Division title with a 7-3 victory over host Menlo-Atherton on Tuesday. The Knights are 8-0 in the division (12-4 overall) with only two league matches remaining.

Menlo ruined Senior Day for the Bears' six seniors by scoring twice in the opening quarter and grabbing a 5-0 halftime lead. Kyle Bullington and Chris Kvamme led the way with two goals each. David Lee won 11 of 13 face-offs while goalie Grant Evans had five saves. Menlo's defense allowed only eight total shots for the second straight game.

M-A senior Zander Rohn paced the Bears with two goals with Tucker Albright tallying the third goal.

In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Palo Alto saw its unbeaten league season end in a 7-6 loss to host Woodside on Tuesday. With 40 seconds remaining to play, the Wildcats' Ian Merwin caught a pass from Connor Patrick and scored the deciding goal as the Vikings fell to 7-1 in league (11-4 overall) with Woodside improving to 4-1. The victory avenged an earlier 8-7 Woodside loss to Paly. The Vikings were led by Bryan Keohane's two goals and Kris Hoglund's two goals and one assist.

Girls' lacrosse

Menlo remained perfect and atop the WBAL (Foothill Division) standings at 6-0 with a dominating 19-5 victory over visiting Menlo-Atherton on Tuesday. It was the Knights' (13-3 overall) second win over the Bears (0-6, 3-12) this season.

Menlo now has won 10 straight regular-season matches and 14 consecutive counting a 4-0 finish in the Western States tourney that featured shorter matches. M-A, which lost 12 seniors in a 2009 graduating class, is in a rebuilding mode this year.

Menlo was led by senior Maggie Brown with five goals and two assists. She currently ranks among the top five scorers in the nation with 84 goals this season. Also contributing to the lopsided win was senior tri-captain Mila Sheeline with three goals, senior tri-captain Natalie Williford with two goals and two assists, freshman Michaela Michael (three goals, one assist) and freshman Brooke Bullington (one goal, four assists). All four of Bullington's assists went to Brown.

Elsewhere, Castilleja traded goals with host Burlingame in the first five minutes of play before the Panthers pulled away for a 20-5 victory in WBAL (Foothill Division) action on Monday. The Gators, who fell to 1-4 in league (4-5 overall), got two goals from Stephanie Merenbach. Burlingame improved to 5-1 in league (10-2 overall) to remain just a game back of first-place Menlo.

In nonleague action Wednesday, senior Tory Wilkinson scored six goals and Julia Keller added four as Sacred Heart Prep (11-4) toppled visiting R.L. Stevenson.

Softball

Gunn moved into second place in the SCVAL El Camino Division race with a 3-0 victory over visiting Lynbrook on Tuesday. The Titans improved to 6-2 in league (13-9 overall) as freshman pitcher Claire Klausner struck out 12 and allowed only two hits to lead the way.

Klausner started off the bottom of the first with a single, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Laura Kidder, and scored on an error to account for the eventual winning run. Gunn scored again in the third after Klausner slammed a double to the centerfield wall, advanced on a hit by Kidder, and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Brooke Binkley. The Titans made it a 3-0 game in the bottom of the sixth when Binkley singled, advanced to second when Carly Fisher was hit by a pitch, and stole home.

Track and field

The Menlo boys and Priory girls provided many of the top efforts at the fourth WBAL meet of the season, held Wednesday at Menlo.

Menlo junior Sam Parker got the better of rival Arnaud Kpachavi of Priory in the boys' 1600 as Parker laid off the pace before finally overtaking Kpachavi on the homestretch to win in 4:39.73. Kpachavi was second in 4:43.06.

Menlo's Max Parker won the 100 (12.52), teammate Lowry Yankwich took the 800 (2:29.99), Alex Lawler won the 110 high hurdles (19.70) and the 300 intermediate hurdles (46.11), Nathan Rosenblum won the shot put (31-7), Jordan Williams won the long jump (18-6 1/2), John Shanley took the triple jump (37-4) and the team of the Parker brothers, Yankwich and Lawler took the 1600 relay in 3:45.04.

Kpachavi bounced back from his loss in the 1600 to win the 400 in 52.07. The Panthers also won the 400 relay in 48.02 while Tommy Shields took the 200 in 24.80 after running on the relay. Burt Sadler of Priory added a victory in the 3200 (12:02.86) while Nicholas Naclerio won the discus (78-2 1/2).

In the girls' side of the meet on a cold and windy day, Kat Gregory paced Priory with a 5:20.66 victory in the 1600. Teammate Eugenia Jernick won the 100 (13.68) and added a victory in the 300 hurdles (50.53), while the Panthers' 1600 (4:36.04) relay team also won with Gregory anchoring.

Castilleja was led by Claire Fraisl's victory in the 400 (1:01.63) and Claire O'Malley's win in the 800 (2:32.40).

A day earlier at Sacred Heart Prep, Matt Walter and Chris Gaertner each won two individual events to help the host Gators run away with the boys' team title in the fourth WBAL meet of the season.

Walter, who already has played football and soccer this school year, showed off his sprinting skills once again by sweeping the 100 (11.40) and 200 (23.06). Gaertner, a football/basketball player, added a victory in the 300 intermediate hurdles (46.08) and long jump (19-10 1/2) as the Gators piled up 144 points to outdistance St. Lawrence (99).

Sacred Heart swept the 400 (44.62) and 1600 (3:44.48) relays while Zach Watterson won the 800 (2:04.79), Greg Hook won the triple jump (38-10 1/2) and John Oppenheimer took the shot put (44-6).

In the girls' meet, Maddy Shannon of SHP won the 100 hurdles, Angela Gradiska of Pinewood made her season debut in the 100 meters and won it in 13.14 and came back to win the 200 in 26.80; Miranda Seto of Pinewood took the 300 hurdles in 51.81.

Pinewood finished fifth with 69 points while Sacred Heart Prep was sixth with 50.

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