The Palo Alto boys officially opened their cross-country season in a big way by winning team and individual titles in the Varsity l race at the Lowell Invitational on a cool Saturday at Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park.
The Vikings scored 75 points to hold off Granite Bay (119) and San Ramon Valley (148) while Menlo-Atherton was 12th (317), Menlo School was 13th (335) and Sacred Heart Prep 15th (349) in the 30-team field.
Palo Alto junior Kent Slaney covered the 2.91-mile course in 15:13.6 to hold off Granite Bay teammates Tre Lockwood (15:13.9) and Jake Ritter (15:23.9). Menlo sophomore Robert Miranda was fifth overall in 15:24.2 with Palo Alto's Naveen Pai eighth in 15:40.9 and Sacred Heart Prep's Sasha Novitsky 10th in 15:46.2.
In addition to Slaney and Pai, the Paly boys had Samuel Desre take 18th in 15:55.9 and Sam Craig finish 19th in 15:57.2. Spencer Morgenfeld wrapped up the scoring with a 16:08.9 time for 30th overall.
In the girls' Varsity I race, Menlo-Atherton scored 81 points and finished second behind San Ramon Valley (63) in the 18-team field. Palo Alto was fifth with 142 and Castilleja was 10th (263).
Natalie Novitsky of Sacred Heart Prep was the top local finisher as she clocked 18:55.7 for eighth place. Cat DePuy led M-A with a 12th-place finish of 19:23.4. Teammate Madeleine Baier was 14th in 19:42.5, M-A's Katie Beebe was 17th in 19:51.2, Annalisa Crowe was 19th in 19:51.9 and Olivia Shane wrapped up the Bears' scoring by running 20:05.9 for 24th.
Palo Alto was led by Julia Doubson's 19:42.7 clocking that got her 15th. Emma Raney was next for the Vikings in 20:08.5 for 25th.
In the Sophmore boys' race, Palo Alto's Reed Foster was second and Andrew Salinas of Menlo-Atherton was third.
At the Early Bird Invitational at Toro Park in Salinas, Gunn senior Gillian Meeks finished second overall to Cate Ratliff of Santa Cruz. Ratliff ran 17:00 on the 3.0-mile course with Meeks taking second in 17:53.
Gunn finished fourth overall while also taking first in the Junior race and second in the Senior race. Illi Gardner led Gunn in the Junior race with a second-place finish of 19:16 as the Titans scored 34 points to defeat St. Ignatius (75). That also placed her 14th in all the races combined. Teammates Joyce Shea (20:09) and Emma Chiao (20:16) were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Junior race and finished 37th and 38th, respectively, overall.
In the Senior race, St. Ignatius won the team title with 51 points with Gunn right behind with 59. Sisters Maya and Zoe Mahony were 11th and 12th, respectively, for the Titans with Kia Green taking 13th.
Girls water polo
Sacred Heart Prep wrapped up its first tournament of the season and gained a measure of revenge while finishing second at the St. Francis Autumn Invitational on Saturday in Mountain View.
The Gators won twice on Friday, including a victory over Leland (which had beaten SHP in its season opener), and advanced to the championship match with a 7-2 triumph over Davis as sophomore Addi Duvall and junior Maddy Johnston each tallied twice.
In the title match, Clovis jumped out to a 5-0 first-quarter lead and held on for a 10-3 victory. Junior Layla Waters had two goals for the Gators (3-2), but Johnston was blanked by a tough Clovis defense after scoring 15 goals in the first three matches.
"It was a good, early season tournament, for sure," said SHP coach Jon Burke. "We wanted to play in the finals and we achieved that but, came up short in terms of the outcome. Ultimately, these games serve as a measuring stick of sorts. We've got important games coming up in the next 2-3 weeks, so playing these competitive games right now is very valuable in terms of identifying our strengths and weaknesses."
Burke was happy to have Johnston back after she missed the season-opening loss to Leland as she was helping the USA Cadet Women's National Team win a gold medal at the UANA Youth Pan American Championships in Kingston, Jamaica.
Johnston led the way Friday as the Gators thumped the Chargers, 17-4, to avenge the earlier loss.
"Of course, it was good having Maddy back and we are excited to have her in the lineup again," Burke said. "She has great awareness and vision, so everything really opens up for us when she is in the water. Clovis did a good job defensively on her, so moving forward we'' be focusing on some other ways to free her up a bit."
In other Saturday matches in the St. Francis tourney, all held at Menlo-Atherton:
Palo Alto defeated both Menlo-Atherton (12-4) and Los Altos (9-4); Castilleja topped Burlingame (11-4) but lost to St. Francis-Sacramento (10-5); and Menlo-Atherton lost to Paly and St. Ignatius (7-5).
Castilleja finished 2-2 in the tourney with a 9-1 triumph over M-A coming on Friday. Celia Aldrete tallied six goals during the tourney for the Gators with Madison Lewis and Claire Pisani adding five each.
Boys water polo
Gunn wrapped up the three-day Santa Barbara Invitational with a pair of losses on Saturday -- 14-8 to Claremont and 11-9 to Laguna Beach. The Titans (3-4) finished 2-3 in the event.
Christian Znidarsic tallied four goals and Calder Hilde-Jones added three in the loss to Laguna Beach, which sent the Titans against Claremont. Jack Mallery tallied three goals in that match with Znidarsic and Hilde-Jones adding two apiece.
Hilde-Jones tallied 22 goals in the five matches with Znidarsic adding 16.
At the annual John Schmitt Invitational in San Jose, Menlo-Atherton (5-2) went 3-1 following a split of matches on Saturday -- an 11-6 loss to Lodi and a 12-8 win over St. Mary's.
The Bears won twice on Friday, 10-9 over Jesuit and 11-7 over Buchanan.