Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - May 20, 2011

Paly girls take shot at CCS swim title

Menlo duo advances to NorCal golf while Knights' tennis team goes after a third NorCal championship

by Keith Peters

Danny Dye made quite a splash when he took over the Palo Alto swim teams for the 2005 season. His girls' squad wound up winning the Central Coast Section title that season.

Ever since the 2005 campaign, the Paly girls have been chasing Mitty at the section finals and have been coming up short.

Palo Alto was second in 2006, finished third behind Mitty and Monta Vista in 2007, was No. 3 again in 2008 as Monta Vista topped Mitty, finished second to the Monarchs by just three points in 2009 and trailed in second once again last year y 36 points.

Palo Alto will battle Mitty, and St. Francis, on Saturday when the year's fastest meet gets under way at the George F. Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara at 2 p.m.

While Bellarmine goes after a 27th straight boys' title and Paly gives chase along with Los Gatos, the focus will be on the top three girls' teams battling it out.

Not only will the Mitty, St. Francis and Palo Alto girls offer some great competition, but that half of the meet will feature two of the nation's best in Palo Alto junior Jasmine Tosky and Stanford-bound St. Francis senior Maddy Schaefer.

Tosky is back to defend her CCS titles in the 200 free (1:44.11) and 100 fly (52.77) and no one is close as Tosky closes in on national records in both events. Tosky also will anchor the opening 200 medley relay and closing 400 free relay, which could end up deciding the meet.

"Our girls will have to swim well and the relays will be huge!" said Dye. "I expect some of our girls like (CCS recordholder) Sarah (Liang) to move up and we will need to win the medley relay. I am going to have to play around with my order and swimmers on the relays, and take a few chances there."

Dye is banking on St. Francis to help take points away from Mitty, which is exactly what Schaefer is expecting to do in the 50 and 100 freestyles. She set a national Independent School record of 22.24 while winning the 50 last season and added a CCS record of 48.61 to take the 100 free.

Paly could get help from Sacred Heart Prep freshman Ally Howe, who is top seeded in the 200 IM (2:02.29) and 100 back (55.80), as long as she doesn't beat Paly's Liang in the IM.

In the boys' meet, Paly junior Byron Sanborn is back to defend his 100 breast title while Sacred Heart Prep junior Tom Kremer also returns to defend in the 200 free and 100 back.

Menlo-Atherton has Kei Masuda, Nick Henze and Evan Navarro among the favorites in their events after all three helped the Bears defend their PAL championship last weekend. Henze is No. 2 in the 100 free (47.18) and No. 6 in the 200 free while Masuda is seeded No. 4 in the 100 fly (51.80) and Navarro is No. 7 in the 200 free.

Boys' golf

Menlo School senior Patrick Grimes took a shot at history at the CCS Championships on Tuesday at Rancho Canada (West) in Carmel Valley. He missed.

Grimes was hoping to become the first three-time champion in section history, following up on the titles he won in 2008 and 2010. Instead, his missed out on the feat by just three shots as Michael Decker of R.L. Stevenson won individual honors with a 2-under-par 69.

"I had fun coming here," said Grimes, who also finished 10th as a sophomore and third this year. "It's always a confidence booster."

Grimes, who is entered in several summer tournaments, shot an even-par 71 as did Menlo sophomore Andrew Buchanan. Both will advance to the CIF-NCGA NorCal Boys Golf Championships on Monday at Butte Creek Country Club in Chico.

"You don't see many players get that tough in so few years," Grimes said of his younger teammate. "He's going to do well in big tournaments."

Buchanan, who has played over 30 rounds with Grimes, qualified for the California Amateur Championship in June and will also play in several more tournaments.

Buchanan was one of the few golfers on the day who benefited from the soggy conditions.

"For some reason I like the rain," he said. "Probably because I have to think more about things and slow down the process."

Grimes and Buchanan are the only local golfers moving on. Menlo-Atherton finished sixth in the team race with 400 and failed to advance, as did Palo Alto, which had a 413 and finished eighth.

David McNamara shot 78 to lead M-A while teammate Travis Anderson had a 79. Palo Alto was led by Michael Yuan's 79. None of the three advanced as individuals. Portola Valley's Maverick McNealy of Harker and Sacred Heart Prep freshman Bradley Knox each shot 82.

R.L. Stevenson, which uses Rancho Canada (West) as its home course, won team honors with a 358. Palma was second with 380, Ignatius was third with a 381 and St. Francis finished fourth with 390 strokes.

Everyone had to battle damp, windy conditions all day but escaped any heavy rain. Only five golfers shot par or better.

Lacrosse

The Menlo School boys captured the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League playoff title with an 11-9 win over Mountain View while the Menlo girls took the West Bay Athletic League title with a 20-15 triumph over Sacred Heart Prep, both at Woodside High last Saturday.

In the girls' finale, Menlo sophomore Michaela Michael scored eight goals to finish the season with 120, ranking No. 2 in the nation. She also finished with 152 points, just seven shy of the national leader. The Knights finished 18-6.

In the boys' title match, Menlo sophomore Wiley Osborne scored four goals and added three assists as the Knights finished 16-7.

Boys tennis

Two-time defending champion Menlo School will seek a three-peat at the CIF-USTA NorCal championships that get under way Friday at the Natomas Racquet Club near Sacramento.

The Knights (25-1) will open against the winner between Lowell (SF) and Orland, with an expected victory earning them a semifinal date on Saturday with Daivs or Piedmont. The championship match will follow at 2:30 p.m.

Menlo is coming off a record-setting 10th CCS title-winning effort last week at Courtside Club in Los Gatos, where the Knights dispatched Bellarmine, 7-0. The same teams could meet in Saturday's NorCal finale.

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