From the perspective of times, it was a good day for Palo Alto and Gunn athletes at the 49th annual Arcadia Invitational track and field meet on Saturday in Southern California.
Those times, however, weren't necessarily reflected in where those athletes finished, however, as rainy weather and outstanding competition ruled the day.
Palo Alto junior Kent Slaney, for example, had the best local finish by taking fourth in the Boys Seeded Mile in 4:20.36. When converted to the 1,600 meters, Slaney's time of 4:18.85 is second only to his lifetime best of 4:18.55 from last year.
Slaney was anywhere from second to ninth during the race in the pretty tight pack. His knees, bloodied by spike marks, reflected just how tight. He turned in laps of 68, 67, 63 and 60 seconds while turning in one of his best efforts ever.
Slaney was the fastest Central Coast Section runner, finishing one spot ahead of Lynbrook senior Justin Robison's 4:20.84. However, there also was a Boys Invitational, which featured some of the best in the nation. That race was won by Connor Dunne of San Clemente in 4:09.45.
Thus, combining both races, Slaney was a respectable 12th overall.
Also running a mile was Menlo School sophomore Robert Miranda. He competed in the Boys Rising Star Mile and finished fifth in 4:23.25.
Also competing were Gunn seniors Gillian Meeks and Maya Miklos plus Palo Alto senior Eli Givens.
Meeks essentially ran the race of her life in the 3,200 meters during scattered showers. She clocked a personal record of 10:33.43, surpassing her previous best of 10:38.30 from last year's Arcadia meet.
Meeks, however, wasn't even the fastest from the CCS while finishing 13th. Harker's Niki Iyer was 12th in 10:31.54. Stanford-bound Fiona O'Keeffe of Davis, the 2015 state runner-up, was only fifth in 10:17.74 as Rylee Brown of Sonoma Academy clocked 10:13.20 for the victory.
Miklos also competed in the most competitive race, the Invitational bracket of the 300 hurdles. Miklos clocked a season best and CCS-leadong 43.78, which got her sixth in the seven-girl race won by 2015 state runner-up Jurnee Woodward of Vacaville in 41.29.
Givens ran in the 200 and finished 11th overall in a season best of 22.44. He was fifth in his heat, running well for the first 180 before tightening up.
There were two other brackets, however, in the 200. The fastest (Invitational) race produced a meet record and U.S.-leading 20.48 by Noah Lyles of T.C. Williams in Alexandria, Va. That high school was featured in the movie, "Remember the Titans".
Lyles also won the Invitational 100 meters in 10.17, also fastest in the nation this season.
In the boys' 400, Michael Norman of Vista Murrieta ran a national-best 45.51 and Rachel Baxter of Anaheim Canyon set a state record in the girls' pole vault with a 14-2 clearance. That broke the previous state mark of 13-8 by current Stanford freshman Kaitlyn Merritt in 2013.
Menlo-Atherton capped a short trip to Southern California for spring break by defeating Westlake High (Los Angeles County), 19-6, on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
The Bears (5-5) were led by Annie Payne with five goals in a game that was never in doubt. Katelyn Wiseman scored four, including three in one minute. Sally Carlson and Grace Tully each had three goals and two assists. Strong defense from Dorthy Aldridge. Izzy Regonini had four assists, totaling eight for the weekend.
The night before at Oak Park High (Ventura County), M-A dropped a 19-11 nonleague decision to one of the top teams in Southern California.
The Bears were rusty from several days off and it showed as the Eagles jumped to a 7-0 lead. The Bears went on a 4-0 run to close the gap to 7-4. However, the Eagles' All-American Ania Brown scored four more of her seven first-half goals to put Oak Park up 13-4 at the half. In the second half, the Bears mounted a comeback with Carlson scoring three of her four goals on the night and Tully adding a pair, but the Eagles hung on for the win.
The Bears return to West Bay Athletic League action on Tuesday when they host Burlingame at 4 p.m.
The Scotts Valley at Sacred Heart Prep and Palo Alto at Carlmont games were rained out Saturday.