Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - March 23, 2012

Sports Shorts

MAKING A SPLASH . . . Palo Alto High grad Liv Jensen, a senior on the University of California women's swim team, helped the Bears defend their title at the NCAA Championships last week with a stunning victory in the 50-yard free. Jensen raced to victory in 21.48, the 14th-fastest time ever, to have .02 seconds from her fourth-ranked lifetime best of 21.50 from last year's NCAA meet. Jensen became just the fourth swimmer ever under 21.5 while upending defending champ Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of Auburn, which hosted the championships. The victory returned the title to Jensen, who won it in 2010 before losing to Vanderpool-Wallace in 2011. Jensen is one of only two Cal swimmers ever to win the race and the only to win it twice. The victory also moved the Bears into the lead, one they held through Saturday's final day. The Bears finished with 412 1/2 points as fellow Paly grad Colleen Fotsch help provide points on the relays, as did Jensen. Stanford finished fourth, despite setting five school records during the three-day meet. The best mark came last as seniors Sam Woodward and Betsy Webb completed their Stanford careers as NCAA champions. Woodward and Webb joined Andi Murez and Maddy Schaefer to win in the 400 free relay in an American (and school) record 3:10.77 in the final race of the national championships.

OF LOCAL NOTE . . . Menlo Park resident F. Gabriel Morgan, 14, captured the U.S. Junior Squash Championship this past weekend at Yale University. Morgan competed in the Boys' U15 division and was undefeated in five matches, held at Yale's Brady Squash Center, en route to his first national title. Morgan defeated Timmy Brownell of Belmont, Mass., 11-7, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5 to wrap up the championship. During the weekend, 320 of the top-ranked U.S. junior squash players across five age divisions -- U11 to U19 -- competed in this prestigious tournament, which officially concludes the 2011-12 U.S. junior squash season. A member of the U.S. National Junior Team, Morgan is the No. 1-ranked squash player in the U.S. in his age division and is regarded as one of the top junior squash players in the world. A member of the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Morgan is the first junior from California to be crowned a national champion in squash. Morgan also is a top junior tennis player and will join the Menlo School tennis team as a freshman in the fall . . . The annual Menlo-Atherton High Hoops of Hope Free-Throw Marathon will be held Saturday in the school's new gym, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The goal is to raise $10,000 for African children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. For every $40 that Hoops of Hope raises, an orphan can be fed for a year. Free throws will be shot non-stop during the event, with shooters raising money from sponsors . . . Macalester College has named former Stanford assistant Gregg Olson as its new head men's soccer coach. Olson replaces Ian Barker, who left the St. Paul, Minnesota, school to become Director of Coaching Education for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Olson was at Stanford for four seasons.

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