The Gunn boys and Palo Alto girls each took a big step toward defending their respective dual-meet titles in the SCVAL De Anza Division with solid victories over their rivals on Tuesday at Gunn.
The Gunn boys made some history with their 104-82 triumph, registering a second straight victory over Palo Alto for the first time in more than 20 years. The Vikings still hold a 12-3 edge in the series over the past 15 years, but the Titans are enjoying a wave of success with perhaps their best team ever this season.
Gunn improved to 5-0 while dropping Paly to 4-1. The Titans are now in the driver's seat to defend their dual-meet and league meet titles.
In the girls' meet, Palo Alto improved to 5-0 and beat Gunn (3-2) for the second straight season after the Titans won three straight times from 2012-14. The Vikings, however, haven't swept this meet since 2011.
The Gunn boys saw to that with a strong finish on Senior Day for both schools. Palo Alto held a 66-60 advantage after Alex Liang won the 500-yard free in 4:38.56. After that, the tide turned in the Titans' favor.
Gunn won the ensuing 200 free relay with the team of senior Trent Tosky, sophomore David Shau, senior Joao Ama and junior Michael Lincoln clocking 1:30.50. Gunn senior Daichi Matsuda then led a one-two finish in the 100 back with a 54.08 clocking. Tosky came back to lead a 1-2-3 Gunn sweep in the 100 breast with a 59.75 time before leading off the 400 free relay that won in a season best of 3:11.99. Lincoln, Matsuda and Ama finished off the relay. Paly was a close second in 3:12.52.
Over the final four events, the Gunn boys outscored Paly, 44-16, to remain undefeated.
Earlier in the meet, Matsuda won the 100 fly in 51.06, Paly senior Andrew Cho posted a 1:43.34 winning time in the 200 free to upend Lincoln's 1:44.10, and Cho (46.61) held off Ama (47.37) in probably the fastest one-two 100 finish in a dual meet this season.
"Our guys messed up on the 200 free relay and I was missing a backstroker," said Paly coach Danny Dye. "So, I was pleased. They are good; should make for a fun league meet."
In the girls' meet, Palo Alto dominated as expected while winning 11 of 12 events.
Sophomore Zoe Lusk won the 200 free in 1:56.60 and took the 100 fly in 59.80. She also swam a leg on the winning 200 medley relay (1:49.58) and 400 free relay(3:46.43). Junior Grace Zhao matched her teammate as she took the 50 free (24.06) and 100 breast (1:05.29) and swam a leg on the winning 200 medley relay and 200 free relay (1:40.80).
The 50 free was especially competitive with Zhao leading teammate Claire Lin (24.63) and Gunn freshman Milan Hilde-Jones (24.87) in the fastest dual-meet 50 in the CCS this season.
Palo Alto's Mimi Lin and Reed Merritt took the diving events on Monday.
In other swimming news, the Menlo-Atherton girls have strengthened themselves for the remainder of the season with the addition of Castilleja transfer Izzi Henig.
Henig had to sit out six weeks before becoming eligible, which she did this week.
"Fortunately, six weeks have passed and she'll be swimming for us this Thursday against Hillsdale," said M-A coach Jane Worden. "We are very excited!"
Worden and the Bears should be. Henig established herself as one of the top sprinters in the state last season during her freshman year.
Henig was second in the 100 free at the CCS Championships, her 50.11 time earning her automatic All-American status. She lowered that time further by finishing third in the inaugural state championships in 49.55.
Both of those times by Henig are faster than the existing M-A school mark of 51.32 by Brooke Stenstrom in 2013.
Gunn snapped a recent losing streak with a 10-3 nonleague win over visiting Wilcox on Tuesday. The Titans (4-9) got three hits from Josh Radin, including a double. He also scored twice. Collin Grant doubled home two runs and Charlie Racz finished with a double and two RBI and David Schwardt also drove in a pair of runs.
Junior David Clarke was the recipient of the offensive fireworks as he picked up the win while allowing only one earned and three hits over six innings. He threw 127 pitches and had 20 first-pitch strikes against the 29 batters he faced.
In the PAL Ocean Division, Menlo School suffered another league loss while dropping an 8-2 decision to host Woodside.
In a matchup of two of the top teams in the CCS, Palo Alto held off host Harker, 178-179, at the par-33 San Jose Country Club on Tuesday.
The Vikings (9-0) were led by Ahmed Ali's 1-under 32 with Matt Lewis carding a solid 34 and Henry Gordon right behind with a 36. Sergi Mata and Henry Hughes each finished with matching 38s. Harker features the three younger brothers of Stanford's Maverick McNealy, the reigning NCAA Player of the Year.
However, only one McNealy (Dakota) played Tuesday while Scout and Colt missed the match.
"Still, a good win," said Paly coach Doyle Knight.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton remained unbeaten following a 195-243 dual-match victory over Aragon at Sharon Heights Country Club. The Bears (10-0) were led by a 1-over 37 from freshman Jonathan Dicks while Bruce Sevy and Bill Kirkpatrick each shot 39 along with Andrew Dignum. Leo Tuchman rounded out the scoring with a 41.
Sacred Heart Prep maintained its hold on first place in the PAL Bay Division following a 10-2 defeat of visiting Menlo-Atherton. The Gators (2-0, 9-2) were led by Jack Crockett's three goals with Frank Bell adding two. Goalie Cory Weibe finished with five saves.
Sacred Heart Prep held on to first place in the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) following a 16-6 romp over host Sequoia. The Gators improved to 3-0 in league (9-2 overall) as Libby Muir poured in five goals and Emma Johnson added four. Cameron Gordon contributed three goals while Allison Carer finished with two goals and four assists.
In Atherton, host Menlo School remained a game back of SHP with a 19-7 victory over Castilleja. Nikky Price had six goals and two assists as the Knights moved to 2-1 in league and 5-5 overall. Abby Wolfenden and Indira Varma each added three goals with Allison Liddle and Abby Doll adding two each.
Taylor DeGroff had four goals and one assist for Castilleja (1-2, 6-3), which trailed by only 9-6 at halftime. Following intermission, Menlo dominated the draw controls (9-2), which ultimately led to its ability to capitalize on scoring opportunities. The Knights tallied four unanswered goals in the first five minutes of the second half.
In Burlingame, Menlo-Atherton remained tied for second place following a hard-fought 14-12 victory over the host Panthers. Grace Tully scored seven goals and Emma Easton added four as the Bears (2-1, 6-5) pulled away from a 6-6 halftime deficit.
After Burlingame grabbed a 7-6 lead just into the second half, the Bears retook the lead as Easton scored twice and Hannah Shaw added a goal. Burlingame scored before M-A's Annie Payne answered and then assisted Tully on her seventh goal to give M-A a three-goal lead.
In the final five minutes, the Bears limited the Panthers to a single goal. Izzy Regonini finished with three assists for M-A with Madison Nelson adding two. Izzy Carhardt and Grace Carlson combined for five defensive takeaways.
Menlo-Atherton tuned up for a big nonleague match at Menlo School by rolling over visiting Burlingame, 7-0, in PAL Bay Division action. The Bears improved to 10-0 in league (11-3 overall) as Reed Fratt, Jeffrey Jorgensen, Timmy Berthier and Jake Andrew all won in straight sets in the singles.
In the West Bay Athletic League, Sacred Heart Prep remained in second place followi g a 6-1 win over visiting Crystal Springs. The Gators (6-1, 9-5) swept the doubles in straight sets while two singles matches -- both victories -- went to a third set or tiebreaker.
SHP will host first-place Menlo School on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The Knights have won a state-record 236 straight league dual matches.
Track and field
Senior Eli Givens ran CCS-leading times in the 100 and 200 meters, but it still wasn't enough as the Palo Alto boys dropped a 74-53 SCVAL De Anza Division dual meet to visiting Los Gatos on Tuesday.
Givens sped to a 10.87 victory in the 100 and came back to win the 200 in 21.98. The times, neither of which was wind-aided, lead the section. Givens also ran a leg on the 400 relay that won in a season-best 43.23, good for No. 2 in the CCS.
Paly (3-1) also got a personal best of 1:57.72 by Kent Slaney to win the 800. He also took the 3,200, but Los Gatos outscored Paly 9-0 in the 110 high hurdles and 400 and went 8-1 in the 300 hurdles and high jump.
In the girls' meet, Los Gatos won 13 of 15 events and posted a 91-36 victory over the Vikings (2-2).