The Palo Alto swimming and diving team had a busy, and successful, weekend that saw the boys and girls win dual meets on Friday before the girls captured the St. Francis Yamamoto Invitational and diver Cole Plambeck set a school record on Saturday.
The highlight had to be the invitational title, that saw Palo Alto wait until the last relay to overcome Mitty and claim the championship by a single point.
The Vikings trailed by 11 points going into the final 200 free relay. Palo Alto's team of Sabrina Lee, Margaret Wenzlau, Sarah Liang and Jasmine Tosky won in a season-best time of 1:38.02, only .76 seconds ahead of St. Francis. Just as important was the sixth-place finish of Paly's B relay squad of Paige Devine, Megan Okada, Kristina Xiang and Anna Glaves. The combined efforts of the two relay made up the 11-point deficit.
Palo Alto started off the day with a victory in the 400 freestyle Relay with the team of Liang, Lee, Jayna Wittenbrink and Tosky clocking a 3:31.47. This beat out St. Francis by 1.39 seconds. Kristina Xiang, Rachelle Holmgren, Laura Cui and Anna Glaves placed an important fifth to help add to the points.
The girls also brought home victory in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:59.98 as Lee, Liang, Molly Zebker and Wittenbrink, swam a great race.
Tosky was a double winner, taking the 400 IM in 4:15.11 and the 200 fly in 2:01.49. Lee also was a winner in the 200 back with a time of 2:07.83 while Liang brought home victory in the 200 breast in 2:27.59.
At the Palo Alto Diving Invitational later on Saturday, Plambeck recorded a score of 497.90 for 11 dives to break the school record set by Chris Dale in 1974. He finished fourth. The meet was a great day for other Palo Alto divers as both Alex Francis (374.30) and Jordan Zenger (316.20) qualified for CCS while taking fourth and eighth, respectively.
Gunn's Miko Mallari (341.25) was sixth and teammate Josh Kern (319.60) was seventh, respectively, as both also qualified for CCS.
The day was just as bright for the Paly girls as Grace Greenwood placed third with a score of 433.15. All of the other Paly girls qualified for CCS. Nadya Nee scored 349.55 points for 12th, Emma Miller scored 344.20 for 13th and Serena Yee scored 332.95 for 14th. Also qualifying was Castilleja's Megan Pope (397.15), who finished seventh.
On Friday, the Palo Alto girls improved to 4-0 in the SCVAL De Anza Division with a 134-52 victory over host Los Gatos while the Paly boys posted a 98-88 victory. Tosky swam on three winning relays in addition to taking the 200 free in 1:52.88. She anchored the 400 free relay to a 3:38.28 clocking, likely the best time in the CCS this season, in addition to anchoring the 200 free squad to a sizzling 1:39.60..
Byron Sanborn paced the boys by winning the 200 IM in 1:58.66, winning the 100 breast in 1:00.24 and swimming on the winning 200 medley relay.
Senior pitched John Geary tossed a complete-game three-hitter with seven strikeouts and three walks to spark Sacred Heart Prep to a 6-0 nonleague win over visiting El Camino on Saturday.
The Gators (5-6) won their fourth straight as Mike Covell and Tomas O'Donnell each drove in a pair of runs. O'Donnell had two of SHP's five hits.
Menlo School finished third in the 12-team, two-day Carmel Invitational that wrapped up on Saturday. The Knights notched victories over Robert Louis Stevenson, Thacher School and Watsonville and lost to Poway. Sophomore attack Wiley Osborne was named to the all-tournament team.
The Knights relied on a tough defense throughout the tournament. Sophomore goalie Luc McNally had some great stretches that shifted momentum back in each game, coach Todd Blumbergs said.
Menlo dropped an 8-0 decision to perennial power Poway before beating RLS 10-4. The Knights also defeated Thacher, 7-2, and Watsonville, 5-0.
"Poway is one of the best teams in the state, and we had chances to score early, but we gave them a few opportunities and they made us try to play catch up," Blumbergs saidl. "Our next three games, we played pretty well and built solid leads and really confused teams by our defensive plan.
"We, as a team, are not even close to playing our best lacrosse, and everyone is on the same page knowing how good we are capable of being."
Menlo (6-3) plays at University High in San Francisco on Monday at 5 p.m., in a makeup match that previously was rained out.
Scoring 11 goals still wasn't enough for Menlo School as the host Knights dropped a 19-11 nonleague decision to defending Colorado state champion Cherry Creek on Saturday. It was Menlo's first game in 1 1/2 weeks following rained out contests with Amador Valley and Burlingame.
Last season, Cherry Creek compiled an undefeated season and won the state title for the fifth time in seven years. The visitors played up to their credentials by grabbing a 14-6 first-half lead as Anya Gersoff scored seven times and wound up with 10 points (eight goals, two assists) on the day.
Menlo goalie Hannah Rubin made nine saves in the second half, saving 64 percent of the shots compared to 1 percent in the first half. The Knights played the visitors even after intermission with each team scoring five goals, even though Cherry Creek led by 10 goals a handful of times during the second half. Menlo sophomore Michaela Michael scored four goals, as did junior Sophie Sheeline.
Track and field
Menlo School senior Sam Parker ran a personal best of 50.56 in the boys' 400 meters at the Stanford Invitational on Saturday. Parker took 11th overall among a field of 52. Palo Alto sophomore E.J. Floreal made his big-meet debut in the 400, clocking 50.57 to win Section 2.
Gunn's Andrew Prior finished second in Section 2 of the boys' mile in 4:26.53.