The next step has been sprinted, run, thrown or jumped as local track and field athletes head into the Central Coast Section semifinals on Saturday at San Jose City College.
Some are coming off victories in their respective league championships while others have just squeaked in. No matter, the slate is clean once again this weekend when berths will be at stake for the CCS finals on May 29, also at San Jose City College.
Action in the semifinals gets under way at 1:45 p.m. for field events and 2 p.m. for running. In all events but the distance races, the top eight advance.
Palo Alto and Gunn athletes already have had two meets to navigate, the league and combined SCVAL Qualifier meet. Those athletes who enjoyed success during the regular season have, for the most part, moved on.
Palo Alto junior Eli Givens, for one, will be busy again this week. He won the 100 (10.90), 200 (22.23), ran a leg on the winning 1,600 relay (3:25.36) and took third in the long jump (21-2) at the Qualifier last Friday at Santa Clara High.
Joining Givens will be teammates Austin Cox (100, 1600 relay), Dami Bolarinwa (400, 1,600 relay), and Kent Slaney (1,600, 800 and 1,600 relay). Those efforts helped Paly score 45 points and finish fourth.
The Gunn girls tallied 52 points and took third. The Titans qualified Gillian Meeks, who won the 1,600 (5:02.17) and took second in the 3,200 (10:55.78) plus fellow junior Maya Miklos, who won the 300 hurdles (45.39), took second in the 100 hurdles (15.487), and helped the 400 and 1,600 relays qualify.
Other Titans moving on are Jessica Luo (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles), Emily Aiken (3,200), Mac Radin (800), Andy Maltz (shot put), Tommy Farley (shot put), Frederick Li (shot put), Amy Watt (long jump) and Jeffrey Lee-Heidenreich (triple jump, high jump).
For the Palo Alto girls, Anna Dukovic qualified for the CCS semifinals in the long jump, high jump and 400 relay with Catherine Yu moving on in the 300 hurdles, 400 relay and 1,600 relay. Other qualifiers include Marion Sellier (400 relay), Titi Bolarinwa (200, 1,600 relay), Adee Newman (1,600 relay) and Julia Asin in the 400, 400 relay and 1,600 relay.
Peninsula Athletic League
Menlo-Atherton will be sending 15 athletes plus three relay teams to the CCS semifinals following the league championship match last Saturday at Westmoor High.
The M-A girls finished second to Mills by a single point, 110-109, while the boys were fifth with 50.
The girls' meet came down to the final 1,600 relay, where Burlingame finished first, M-A second and Mills third. The Bears needed to win to pull out the meet title.
Junior Annalisa Crowe was the individual standout for the M-A girls as she defended her league titles in the 800 (2:21.31) and 1,600 (5:13.07) in addition to anchoring the 1,600 relay team. Annie Harrier was even busier as busy as she won the 400 (58.64), took second in the 200 and ran on both qualifying relay teams.
Kathryn Mohr won the pole vault (11-6), was second in the 100 (12.88) and ran on the 400 relay. For the boys, Adam Scandyln won the 800 (1:58.00) and finished second in the 1,600 (4:22.24) in addition to helping the 1,600 relay advance.
Other Bears competing this weekend will be Cat DePuy (1,600), Madeleine Baier (1,600, 3,200), Charlotte Schroeder (400), Diamond Hawkins (100, 200, long jump), Terrance Matthews-Murphy (100), Olivia Shane (800), Rohan DePuy (800), Marquise Reed (long jump), Bryce Rodgers (shot put, discus), Bobby McDonald (pole vault) and Chloe Mauvais (pole vault).
The M-A girls really missed sophomore high jumper Kalina Zanelli, who was the defending league champ and was among the CCS leaders this season at 5-3. She was ruled out Wednesday with a broken foot, after reportedly dealing with stress fracture issues in recent weeks.
Menlo School senior Lizzie Lacy will have a much-reduced schedule for the CCS trials after running in three distance events and helping the Knights win the league title by just two points last Friday at Sacred Heart Prep.
Lacy, who is headed to Amherst to compete in cross country and track next season, won the 1,600 with a meet record of 4:58.63. She also took second in the 800 (2:23.77) and second in the 3200 (11:06.49) as the Knights scored 102 points to edge Notre Dame-San Jose (100).
While she qualified for CCS in all three events, Lacy will run only the 3,200 on Saturday. She ranks No. 7 in the state in an event she has run only three times in her life. Her best is 10:25.05.
"Like three years ago, this title was a team effort and an upset since NDSJ came in leading by at least seven points in projected finishes," said Menlo coach Jorge Chen. "The girls knew coming in that we needed to make some upsets in a couple of events, along with doing multiple events, as every point counted."
Only the top two finishers from the WBAL finals move on to the section semifinals.
Advancing with Lacy will be teammate Elisa Merten (first in 100 hurdles with a PR of 16.72, second in 300 hurdles) plus the Knights' 400 relay team of De'Jeane Stine, Merten, Lauren Henske and Electa Narasin that set a league record of 50.12.
Other girls moving on include Lindsay Schott of Sacred Heart Prep (first in 400), Chloe Eackles of Pinewood (first in high jump at 5-2, second in triple jump), Ma'ata Makoni of SHP (first in shot put and discus), Claire Traum of Castilleja (second in long jump), plus Castilleja's 1,600 relay team.
For the WBAL boys, Sacred Heart Prep will send Garrett Mack (first in 1,600 at 4:26.67 and first in 800 in 1:59.19), Griffin Kraemer (first in 110 HH, first in 100, first in 300 hurdles, second in TJ), Daniel Hill (first in 3,200), Connor Cody (first in triple jump, first in long jump, second in 110 HH, second in high jump), and Brian O'Kelley (first in shot put).
Priory will send senior Ross Corey in the 800 and 1,600), Menlo has freshman Robert Miranda in the 3,200 and freshman Drew Wadsworth in the pole vault while Eastside Prep's Addison Partida qualified second in the 400 and 200.