Year in an out, the Arcadia Invitational produces most of the best track and field marks in the nation at this time of year than any other meet. Palo Alto junior Philip MacQuitty would have to agree.
MacQuitty ran the second-fastest 3,200-meter time of his life on Saturday, a sizzling 9:16.59 that ranks him No. 1 in the Central Coast Section this season. That time, which is his fastest since winning the section 3,200 finals his freshman year in 9:11.99, was only good enough for 20th place.
Collin Jarvis of Rancho Buena in Vista (San Diego County) won the metric two-miler in 8:58.15 while the second- and third-place finishers were from Arizona and Oregon, respectively. MacQuitty's time was the ninth-fastest by a California runner in the field.
Mountain View junior Garrett Rowe, who'll be challenging MacQuitty for CCS honors this season and next, ran in the 5,000 on Saturday and finished third in 14:48.44 as the No. 2 finisher among California runners.
Another example of just how deep the fields are at Arcadia, where 25 U.S.-leading marks were set during the weekend, was Sunny Margerum's 10th-place finish in the girls' invitational long jump. Margerum, a junior from Gunn, leaped 17-8 to tie her CCS-leading mark but was well off the winning leap of 19-10 1/2 by Andrea Geubelle of Curtis (Wa.). The second-place finisher (19-10) was Karyn Dunn of Diamond Ranch, who is headed for Stanford in the fall. Dunn was among a handful of Stanford recruits who performed very well during the weekend.
Future Cardinal Alexandra Dunne of San Clemente won the girls' 3,200 in 10:16.83, winning by nine seconds. Oregon-bound Jordan Hasay, who had won this event three straight times, missed the competition due to the flu. Hasay and Dunne, however, will continue their head-to-head showdowns throughout the rest of this season and into college.
Justine Fedronic of Carlmont, another Stanford recruit, won the girls' 800 in a season best of 2:09.27. Jules Sharp of Oaks Christian finished third in the boys' high jump at 6-foot-9. He, too, will compete at Stanford next season. Twins Ryan and Tyler Valdes of Dana Hills helped their four-mile and distance medley relay teams win twice, with the 4 x 1-mile squad clocking a U.S.-leading 17:27.75. Ryan ran 4:19.2 and Tyler clocked 4:16.8 for his mile.
The Palo Alto boys' four-mile relay team that included MacQuitty, finished fourth in its race but out of the top 15 overall.
Gunn's Margerum also ran 15.57 in the 100 hurdles while freshman Kieran Gallagher clocked a fine 800 leg of 2:17 on the Gunn girls' distance medley relay that finished 16th in 12:29.46.
At the Leland "Don Bell" Quicksilver Classic on Saturday at Leland High in San Jose, Pinewood junior Angela Gradiska swept the girls' 100 and 200 races. She clocked a wind-aided 11.92 in the 100 and ran 24.75 to win the 200.
It took a controversial finish, but Menlo nonetheless pulled off a 4-3 victory over Riverton (Utah) in the fifth-place game of the Bishop Gorman Desert Classic on Saturday in Las Vegas.
In the bottom of the seventh, Menlo's Kenny Diekroeger was awarded home as he was interfered with during a run down between third and home after a missed squeeze play. That was the deciding run in the very close game as Menlo finished the four-day tournament at 3-1 while improving to 14-4 overall.
The Knights were led by outstanding pitching performances by senior left-hander Morgan Schwanke, who threw five innings and allowed one earned run, and sophomore right-hander Jake Bruml, who in his varsity debut retired all six hitters he faced and picked up the win. In the four games it played, Menlo scored 34 runs with 36 hits and committed 11 errors.
Menlo returns to PAL Bay Division play on Wednesday as the first-place Knights take on host Carlmont at 3:15 p.m.
Menlo-Atherton senior Nick Sako finished third individually, just two shots behind the leader, to help the Bears finish seventh at the fourth annual Champions' Invitational during the weekend in Indio (near Palm Springs).
Sako shot rounds of 75-74-68 for a 217 total. His 4-under-par 68 on Saturday was the lowest round of the tournament by two strokes over the Terra Lago Golf Club. The field included 164 players, making up 29 high school teams from around the country who played on the North and South courses.
Menlo-Atherton's David McNamara shot 237 for three rounds with teammates Ben Jackson (238) and Brian Jordan (254) also counting in the four-player team score.
The Bears return to PAL Bay Division action this week with matches against Carlmont (Monday), Aragon (Tuesday) and Sequoia (Thursday).
Palo Alto bounced back from a tough one-run loss earlier in the day to finish the Mission City Invitational with an 8-3 triumph over Mountain View on Saturday.
The Vikings (12-6-1) capped a 4-1 week by rallying with a solo run in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead before putting up four runs in the fifth for some insurance.
Junior pitcher Kelly Jenks finished her busy week with a complete-game four-hitter while Caroline McDonnell had two hits for Paly, which is off until April 20 because most of the schools in the SCVAL El Camino Division are on spring break this week.