Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - April 19, 2013

Tennis trio heads to CCS

M-A, Menlo and Gunn earn automatic bids by winning division titles

by Keith Peters

The Central Coast Section boys' tennis playoffs don't begin until May 1, but the field is already filling up after Menlo-Atherton, Menlo School and Gunn all wrapped up league titles this week.

Menlo-Atherton clinched its fifth straight PAL Bay Division regular-season title and earned an automatic berth into the section playoffs with a 6-1 victory over host Woodside on Tuesday. Second-place Aragon (10-3), meanwhile, dropped a 7-0 decision to host Carlmont.

The Bears improved to 12-1 in league (18-2 overall) before taking on visiting El Camino on Thursday to close out the regular season.

Freshman Reed Fratt led the Bears at No. 1 singles with a 6-3, 6-3 victory with Saul Menjivar posting a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 2. Richie Sarwal returned to the lineup following a brief absence and contributed a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 3.

In doubles, Alex Iyer and Danny LaPorte continued their recent win streak — the duo won four straight matches last week — by posting a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 1.

Just a few miles away, host Menlo School wrapped up its 17th straight league title in coach Bill Shine's 17 years with a 6-1 win over Pinewood in the West Bay Athletic League.

The Knights improved to 11-0 in league, 18-1 overall and now have won 192 consecutive league matches under Shine. The Menlo seniors, meanwhile, improved to 100-2 in their careers.

Menlo went after another perfect league season on Thursday at Harker and will close its regular season on Friday by hosting Clovis in a nonleague match starting at 3:30 p.m.

Menlo also will host the WBAL Individual Tournament on Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Gunn wrapped up its second SCVAL El Camino Division title under head coach Jim Gorman with a 7-0 romp over host Santa Clara on Wednesday. The Titans finished 11-1 in league (12-7 overall) and will head to CCS after competing in the league's singles and doubles tournament.

Boys' golf

With Andrew Buchanan shooting even-par 35 and Max Garnick adding a 37, Menlo School rolled to a 196-201 victory over Pinewood in a WBAL dual match at Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club on Wednesday. The Knights held on to first place at 8-0 (8-2 overall).

Playing in windy conditions on the hilly course, Garnick hit 4-iron off the tee four times and even hit a 6-iron off the tee on the par-4 third hole. Despite giving up some length off the tee, Garnick didn't pick up a bogey until his par putt lipped out at No. 4. He got that back with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 seventh hole.

Menlo also got a fine 39 from William Hsieh while Ethan Wong shot 42 and Jeff Herr 43. Despite a recent struggle with his irons, Hsieh showed his composure by getting up and down for par on four of the first five holes before going double-bogey and bogey on No. 6 and 7 before finishing with pars.

On Tuesday, Menlo posted a 197-244 dual-match victory over host Crystal Springs at Burlingame Country Club as Buchanan earned medalist honors with a 1-under 35.

Also in the WBAL, Sacred Heart Prep senior Willy Lamb made a clutch three-foot putt on the last hole to seal a closer-than-expected 206-207 victory over Pinewood on Monday at Los Altos Golf & Country Club. Strong, gusty winds made scoring difficult for both teams, with putting even being affected. Nonetheless, the Gators (6-1, 8-1) prevailed behind as Lamb (43) and Taylor Oliver (43) both finished ahead of their respective competitors to help secure the victory and keep SHP in second place behind unbeaten Menlo School. Colton Bares of Pinewood earned medalist honors with a 1-over 36.

In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Avinash Sharma fired an even-par 36 and Curran Sinha added a 38 to help Gunn win a tri-meet with Los Altos and host Mountain View on Wednesday at Shoreline Golf Links in Mountain View. Anson Cheng added a 39 for Gunn (8-1-1) while Jack Jaffe shot 40 and Herbert Sadler-Wong a 41.

Softball

Menlo School rallied three times before finally pulling out a 12-11 victory in eight innings over visiting King's Academy in WBAL action Tuesday. The Knights improved to 4-3 in league and 7-4 overall. Harker sits atop the league with a 5-0 mark.

Malia Bates tied the game three times for Menlo, while getting two hits and two RBI. Teammate Priya Medberry had three hits and three RBI to support winning pitcher Kelly McConnell.

Menlo scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth when McConnell reached second base and scored when Amanda McFarland's ground ball to short was misplayed for an error.

In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Gunn senior Claire Klausner registered 10 strikeouts but her teammates managed just four hits and no runs as the Titans dropped a 6-0 decision to visiting Milpitas on Wednesday. The Titans dropped to 5-3 in league (8-10 overall) while first-place Milpitas improved to 7-1 (12-9).

Track and field

The Palo Alto boys and girls set the stage for possible title-clinching wins next week by sweeping host Milpitas on a windy Tuesday. The boys won, 71-56, while the girls prevails, 88-33.

Nick Sullivan won the 400 (50.89) and 200 (23.13) in addition to running on the Vikings' winning 400 relay. Paly, which has been running consistently under 44.00 this season, managed only a pedestrian 45.58, a testament to the windy conditions.

Grant Shorin added victories in the long jump (20-5 1/4) and high jump (6-0) as Paly improved to 5-0.

The Palo Alto girls also moved to 5-0 as Audrey DeBruine swept the 1600 (5:29.40) and 800 (2:25.07) to help lead the way. Charlotte Alipate added victories in the shot put (321-4 1/2) and discus (101-3) while Katie Foug took the 3200 (12:15.65) and triple jump (31-2) for another double win.

Both Palo Alto teams will see their respective SCVAL De Anza Division dual-meet titles against host Gunn on April 25.

On Saturday, the Menlo-Atherton girls displayed their depth as the Bears scored 55 points and won the team title at the annual Serra Top 7 Invitational in San Mateo.

Junior Taylor Fortnam led the Bears by winning the 3,200 meters in 11:50.84 and ran a leg on the winning 1,600 relay team that clocked 4:13.20.

M-A also ran second in the 400 relay as the team of Cassie Stansberry, Miranda Simes, Kathryn Mohr and Naomi Tovar clocked a season best of 50.99.

Menlo-Atherton freshman Annalisa Crowe finished second in the 800 with a 2:22.88, moving her to fifth on the Bears' all-time list.

Gunn freshman Gillian Meeks won the girls' 1,600 in 5:12.95 with Pinewood sophomore Nicole Colonna fourth in 5:21.17. Meeks also ran fifth in the 800 (2:24.87) with Colonna sixth.

Menlo School junior Maddy Price tied for first in the girls' 100 in 12.80 and finished second in the 200 in 25.27. Teammate Laura Gradiska was third in the 100 hurdles (16.99).

In the field events, Gunn's Adriana Noronha was second in the discus (107-11) while teammate Kirsten Baird was second in the high jump 5-0.

In the boys' meet, Sacred Heart Prep (46) finished third and Menlo-Atherton (27) took seventh while athletes on each team won individual titles.

Sacred Heart Prep senior Nico Robinson took the Central Coast Section lead in the 110 high hurdles with a personal best and school record of 14.73. He also tied for first in the high jump with fellow SHP senior Cameron Van, both at 5-10.

SHP's Ricky Grau was third in the high hurdles (15.73).

Baier won the 800 in a personal record of 1:55.60, good for No. 3 all-time in M-A history and No. 3 on the 2013 CCS list. The Menlo-Atherton 1,600 relay team of Zach Plante, Connor Lindquist, Deverick Meacham and Baier ran a season best of 3:30.03 to finish second.

Plante added a third place in the 400 in 50.54, moving him to No. 5 all-time in school history.

Paul Touma of Menlo School was second in the long jump at 21-2 1/4 and Gunn's Eric Price was third in the triple jump at 42-9.

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