Gunn girls second, Paly boys third in SCVAL track finals


Perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2015 SCVAL De Anza Division Track and Field Championships was that it rained on Thursday night at Lynbrook High in San Jose.

While cool, windy and damp weather helped prevent any records being set, the Gunn and Palo Alto teams performed as expected and qualified athletes to the next postseason meet.

"No real huge surprises," said Gunn coach PattiSue Plumer, whose girls finished second to dual-meet champ Los Gatos once again.

The Wildcats used their depth and posted five victories while piling up 126 points. The Titans settled for second with 86 and Los Altos was third with 65. Palo Alto was fifith with 55.

Plumer said she was missing some athletes to AP testing, which has been going on all week and has affected scheduling of athletic events as well as athletes' schedules.

Fortunately for Plumer, she had juniors Gillian Meeks and Maya Miklos on hand.

After chasing Sarah Robinson to the finish line last year, Meeks stepped into the spotlight by winning the 1,600 meters in 4:59.76 and returning to take the 3,200 in 10:55.81 – defeating Lauren Jacob of Los Altos in both races.

"Really happy with how Gillian ran (actually really happy with all distance runners in all divisions)," said Plumer. "I think if the weather had been better during the 1600 (windy and rainy), she would have had a real shot at the record."

The meet record in the 1,600 was 4:56.0 by Palo Alto's Katie Brizgys in 1999.

"The same could be said of Maya's 400," Plumer noted.

Miklos won the 400 in 58.38, the only runner to break a minute. The meet record was 57.61 by Mia Lattanzi of Palo Alto in 2005. Miklos also won the 300 hurdles in 46.37 while defending her title and finished second to defending champ Caitlin Lanovaz of Los Gatos in the 100 hurdles.

Gunn also got a third from senior Emily Aiken in the 3,200 and a third in the shot put from Sarah Hinton.

The Palo Alto girls had one winner, Anna Dukovic in the high jump as she defended her league title with a clearance of 5 feet. The Vikings were second in the 400 relay and got a third place from Katherine Yu in the 300 hurdles and Julia Asin in the 400. Asin helped the 1,600 relay finish third, as well.

Speaking of third places, that's where the Paly boys finished for the second straight season. The Vikings scored 66 points to trail dual-meet champ Los Gatos (111) and runner-up Los Altos (88). Paly held off Milpitas by just two points.

Palo Alto got its meet off to a slow start by finishing an uncharacteristic sixth in 44.77. The Vikings' season best is 43.63, which would have good enough for second place. Junior Eli Givens, however, did not run as he competed in four other events.

Paly got rolling behind a personal best of 4:22.64 in the 1,600 by sophomore Kent Slaney before Givens picked things up. Givens defended his title in the 100 with an 11.05 and came back to win the 200 in 22.47. He also took second in the long jump (20-6 1/4) and ran a leg on the winning 1,600 relay that clocked 3:28.26 to defend its title.

Junior Dami Bolarinwa ran on the 400 relay, took second in the 400 in a personal best of 50.81 and added points with a fourth in the 200. Austin Cox was third in the 100 in 11.37 and ran on the 4x400 relay, but the Vikings fell flat in the field events with just 13 points. Take away Givens' long jump and Paly managed just five points.

Gunn had one individual winner as Andy Maltz took the shot put with a mark of 45-2 1/2. Teammate Tommy Farley, last year's winner, was second at 44-3 1/2 and Frederick Li was fourth.

"We had two 800 guys break 2:00 for the first time," said Plumer. "That's been awhile."

Mack Radin (1:59.70) and Aaron Miner (1:59.91) provided points with their 800 runs and sophomore Jeffrey Lee-Heidenreich provided second-place points in the high jump with a clearance of 6-2, losing out on a jump-off to Brian Yeager of Los Altos.

Next up will be the SCVAL Championships (De Anza and El Camino divisions) on May 15, scheduled for Santa Clara High.

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