Stanford-bound Patrick Grimes birdied his last six holes, and had birdies on eight of his final 11 holes, to shoot a 7-under-par 65 and lead Menlo School to its third consecutive Titan Challenge title on a warm, calm afternoon at Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course on Thursday.
The Knights captured the title by a single stroke over Sacred Heart Prep, 376-377. The winning shot was produced by Menlo's No. 5 player, Jackson Dean, who stuck his approach shot on the 18th hole to within three feet of the flag. He made his birdie on the par-4 hole to produce the margin of victory. Dean finished with a solid 77.
Kevin Knox shot a fine 2-under 70 to pace SHP while finishing second. Andrew Vetter of Sacred Heart and Menlo sophomore Andrew Buchanan each shot 71. Sam Niethammer shot 76 to lead Palo Alto to third place with 399 strokes. Teammate Mathias Schmutz added a 77 and Grant Raffel shot 78 for the Vikings.
Host Gunn finished sixth with 410 strokes and was led by Anson Cheng's fine 1-over 73.
Menlo School and Sacred Heart Prep will meet again on Monday when the rivals play each other for the second time in a West Bay Athletic League showdown at Sharon Heights CC. The Knights are unbeaten in league, having handed the Gators their only loss.
The last time Menlo played Palo Alto it was to determine who would progress to the inaugural SCVAL championship game. Paly came from three goals back with 1 ½ minutes to go to set up an improbable overtime win that led the Vikings to the title game last year.
This year, SCVAL lacrosse is more competitive -- both teams already have lost to Mt. View, for example -- but the Vikings and Knights still featured plenty of intensity in their league showdown Thursday night at Paly. The Vikings wound up surviving nine minutes of penalty time and a 3-goal, 3-assist performance by Knight attackman Wiley Osborne, for a hard-earned 10-8 victory.
Palo Alto was paced by midfield John Brunett, who again dominated at face-offs, winning 13 of 15 and nine ground balls in the process. Brunett also scored once, and his laser passes netted him three assists. Midfield Kevin Proceviat also tallied four points for the Vikings, with 3 goals and an assist, while Jonny Glazier and Cory Valenti each notched two goals.
Sophomore midfielder Walker Mees' lone goal, however, was probably the most dramatic of the evening. With the contest deadlocked 8-8, with under six minutes to play, and a flag on the ground following a rare Menlo infraction (three penalty minutes for the game), Mees caught a sharp feed in stride from Proceviat and fired a rocket into the lower right-hand side of the net. Paly then made good on the man-up-opportunity with a Zack Spain assist to Valenti, who moved past the goalie for an elegant score, and all of a sudden the game seemed in hand at 10-8.
Thanks to stellar defensive play by seniors Michael Cullen and Cooper Levitan, and starting freshman James Harrison, the Vikings successfully held off the Knights for the remainder of the contest, despite additional penalties. Josh Chin had 10 saves on the evening for Paly. The Vikings are now 3-2 in league (5-3 overall), while Menlo falls to 2-2 in conference (3-4 overall).
Nina Kelty and Charlotte Biffar each scored four times to keep Palo Alto atop the SCVAL De Anza Division standings with a 13-8 victory over host Leland on Thursday. Kimmie Flather and Julia Poppy added two goals each as the Vikings (5-0, 5-4) pulled away from a 4-3 halftime advantage.
In the West Bay Athletic League, Julia Farino scored nine goals with two assists and Sydney Novak-Federmeyer added five to pace Menlo-Atherton to a 17-13 overtime victory on Thursday. The match was tied at 13 at the end of regulation before the Bears blanked the Panthers in the extra period while pulling away for the victory to even their league record at 1-1 (5-3 overall). Emily Carlsen added two goals for M-A while Neera Nazhand had 12 saves in goal.
Mandi Shore had four hits and drove in three runs and added a triple and three RBI as the Castilleja softball team rolled over host Menlo-Atherton, 15-2, in a nonleague game on Thursday. Frances Hughes picked up the pitching win as the Gators limited the Bears to just one hit. Sarah Hinstorff had two hits for Castilleja, which produced 11 hits. The Gators put the game away with an 11-run first inning.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, host Palo Alto posted a 6-0 victory over Mountain View on Thursday as senior Gracie Stafford pitched a one-hitter while facing only two batters over the minimum. The Vikings improved to 2-2 in the division (3-6 overall) while the Spartans fell to 0-3 (0-8).
Paly scored the winning run in the fourth when Mariah Philips walked and eventually scored when Anna Rissa's sacrifice bunt was turned into an error. Hannah Bundy had a double among her two hits for Paly.
In the West Bay Athletic League, host Menlo School posted a 4-0 victory over visiting Mercy-Burlingame as sophomore pitcher Kelly McConnell struck out four and had seven putouts in the defensive game. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth when Menlo strung together four hits, a sacrifice bunt and two stolen bases to score three times. Sophomore Priya Medberry had a triple and one RBI for the Knights (2-0, 2-2) while Rebecca Friedman and Serena Marini also drove in runs.
The Menlo-Atherton boys and girls remained perfect in the PAL Bay Division with dual-meet wins over host Terra Nova in Pacifica on Thursday. The boys posted a 94-76 victory while the girls splashed to a 128-36 triumph.
Danielle Flanagan (200 IM, 100 back), Holly Chen (200 free, 100 free) and Nicole Zanolli (100 breast, 100 fly) all each were double winners for the Bears in addition to swimming legs on two winning relays.
In the boys' meet, M-A had no double winners but the Bears swept all three relays and used its depth to hold off the Tigers. Evan Navarro, Nick Henze, Graham McClelland and Kei Masuda all won individual events in addition to swimming on two winning relays. The Bears splashed to victory in the 400 free relay in another solid time of 3:23.49.
Defending champion Menlo School continued its perfect season in the West Bay Athletic League by defeating rival Sacred Heart Prep for the second time this season, 7-0, on Thursday. The Knights (6-0, 13-1) swept the singles while losing only nine games.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton continued its unbeaten league season with a 6-1 triumph over visiting El Camino in boys' tennis action on Thursday. The Bears are 10-0 in the division (12-2 overall). Nick Fratt moved up to No. 1 singles and posted a 7-5, 6-0 victory to lead M-A.
Track and field
Grant Sauer clocked a quick 15.29 to win the 110 high hurdles and Tremaine Kirkman swept the 100 (11.51) and 200 (23.09) in addition to leading off the winning 400 relay (44.73) to pace the Palo Alto boys to a 79-43 victory over visiting Lynbrook in a SCVAL De Anza Division dual meet on Thursday. Tori Prati added victories in the shot put (a season-best 44-7) and discus (103-6) for Paly to help the Vikings outscore Lynbrook in the field events, 39-6.
With freshman Pippa/Philippa Raffel winning the 100, high jump and long jump and leading off the winning 400 relay, the Palo Alto girls posted their first victory of the season with a 68-53 triumph over visiting Lynbrook in SCVAL De Anza Division action Thursday. AnaCena Zander swept the hurdle races for Paly, as well.