Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - May 13, 2011

Menlo-Atherton boys and girls pull off a sweep of the PAL track and field titles

by Rick Eymer

Stas Della Morte is making the most of his track and field experience. Catherine Carpenter didn't know what to expect this season.

Each of them had a hand in helping Menlo-Atherton track and field win both the boys' and girls' team titles Wednesday at the Peninsula Athletic League finals at College of San Mateo.

Della Morte, who won the long jump last week and has the Central Coast Section's top mark in the event at 23-1 1/2, also qualified in the 100, the high jump and as a member of the 400 relay team.

He plans to compete in all four events at the CCS trials, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, at Gilroy High. The finals are May 27, also at Gilroy.

This is his first season on the Bears' track and field team and he loves every minute of it.

"I love all the sports I do," said Della Morte, who was accepted to Oregon as a student before he even knew he would participate in M-A track and field.

"I'm into jumping," he said. "I am dunking a basketball at six feet and I did high jump and long jump in middle school. I was doing pretty good then so I thought I might do OK."

During the football season one of the track coaches saw him running and asked if he'd consider running track.

"I figured, why not?" he said. "I usually stopped playing after basketball season."

And to think he needed a push from his father, Tony, to start playing baseball at age 11. Before then he was content reading comic books and bicycling with his mother, Iryna.

"He just thought it would be a better environment for me," said Della Morte, who has since decided to pursue track and field at Oregon as a walk-on.

Carpenter, who won both the 200 and 400, still has another year before committing to a college but it will be academics first.

"I would love to run track in college," she said. "I know that running at the Division I level is really time-consuming; maybe Division III."

Carpenter has been bothered by shin splints all season and after resting for a while, nothing changed. So she decided to run through the pain.

That's what makes winning two events at the league meet even more satisfying.

Carpenter won the 400 in 58.64 and the 200 in 26.43. M-A freshman Naomi Tovar won the 100 in 12.97 and won the long jump last week.

Menlo-Atherton's 400 relay team defended its league title with a group including junior Peyton Bush, junior Daryn Tinsley, freshman Megan Kurtz and Tovar. They finished the race in 50.85. Tinsley also qualified in the 400, finishing fifth.

Carpenter, Kurtz, Bush and Tinsley also qualified with the 1,600 relay, finishing second in 4:15.09 to clinch the team's three-point victory over Westmoor, 74 1/2 to 71 1/2. The M-A boys nudged Woodside, 68-67.

Freshman Taylor Fortman earned a trip to the section trials, finishing fifth in the 1,600 in a personal best 5:33.87.

In the boys 1,600, Michael Hester finished fourth and Jack Beckwith was fifth to qualify. DellaMorte was fourth in the 100 in 11.54.

The M-A boys' 400 relay team of freshman Zack Plante and seniors Brogan O'Hara, Theodore Tussing and Della Morte also earned a trip to CCS, finishing third in 45.15.

Other qualifiers include Katelyn Doherty and Alyssa Sterns in the pole vault, Di'jonn Williams in the high jump, and Michael Hester in the 800.

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields