Sports

Palo Alto divers make it a clean sweep for their careers

 

Palo Alto seniors Reed Merritt and Mimi Lin made their final appearances at the SCVAL Diving Championships the best of their careers as they swept their divisions in historic fashion the fourth straight year on Tuesday at Gunn High.

Both divers became the first in league history to win all four years.

"They have definitely been a blessing," said Paly head coach Danny Dye.

Merritt won his fourth straight league crown with a score of 594.90 for his 11 dives. That broke his own school record of 559.90 points from last season.

The point total also is a meet record and puts him in position as the top seed heading into the Central Coast Section Championships (May 14), where he finished second last year.

Merritt is headed to the University of Texas in Austin, where he will dive for the Longhorns and major Aerospace Engineering.

Lin, who is headed to Princeton next fall, duplicated Merritt's accomplishments as she won her fourth straight title with a meet record and set a school record with 543.80 points. That broke the previous school mark of 538.95 by Michaela Fossati in 2006.

Lin is the defending CCS champion. She actually competed with the boys on Tuesday after being unable to dive earlier with the girls due to a late class. She wound up with the second-best total of the day, boys or girls.

The Paly boys also got a fifth from Jack Callaghan (398.85) and an 11th from Josh Wojtowicz (280.10), giving the Vikings 40 points heading into the swimming portion of the league championships on Friday (4 p.m.) at Gunn.

Gunn is the defending league champ and has 23 diving points from Jarrod Hsu (seventh, 339.75) and Jason Steinberg (eighth, 337.80). Homestead scored 44 points to lead everyone.

Gunn won last year's league meet by 83 points over Palo Alto.

For the girls, Gunn and Paly each scored 42 points. The Titans went 4-5-6 with Marisa Agarwal (463.00), Vivian Zhou (453.00) and Kira Hebbel (444.35) while Alice Saparov (423.05) was seventh for Paly, Emma van der Veen (395.85) was 10th and Miranda McShea (348.05) 14th.

The Paly girls are the defending league meet champions.

Baseball

Menlo School climbed back into the thick of the PAL Ocean Division race with a 5-0 victory over host Mills. The Knights (7-4, 15-6) got five strong innings from starter Chandler Yu (7-1), who struck out six and allowed two of the three hits that Mills scratched out. David Farnham finished up, allowing one hit over two frames.

Menlo got the winning run in the top of the first when RJ Babiera scored on a single by Farnham. The Knights took control with three runs in the fifth as Babiera had an RBI and Carson Gampell slammed a two-run homer.

In the sixth, Griff McGarry doubled and Rylan Pade delivered a two-out RBI to close the scoring.

Boys golf

Palo Alto wrapped up a fourth straight dual-match title in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League with a 202-236 win over host Fremont at Sunnyvale Muni on Tuesday.

The Vikings improved to 11-0 in league (13-0 overall) with only Gunn left on the schedule Thursday at Santa Teresa GC in San Jose. Paly now is 47-0 in league matches over four years.

Ahmed Ali once again led Paly, shooting a 2-over 37. Geg Eum, Spencer Rojahn and Larry Fu all shot 41 while Matt Lewis and Dillon Scheel carded 42s. The Vikings didn't need to play all their starters, but their depth was evident with the solid scores.

Girls lacrosse

Sacred Heart Prep maintained its one-game lead in the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) with a 15-9 victory over host Menlo-Atherton.

The Gators (6-0, 12-4) trailed by 6-5 at halftime, but exploded for 10 goals in the second half. Libby Muir had five goals and three assists for SHP while Juliana Clark and Emma Johnson each tallied four times with three assists each.

The Bears (3-3, 7-8) went on a 4-0 run to take a 4-1 lead in the first half. Grace Tully scored two of her four goals to open the second half, but SHP went on a 10-1 run to secure the victory. Izzy Regonini added two goals for M-A and SHP goalie Emma Briger had seven saves.

In Redwood City, Menlo School (5-1, 8-6) rolled over host Sequoia, 20-3.

At El Camino Park in Palo alto, Castilleja's freshmen led the way in an 18-9 win over Burlingame. The Gators (3-3, 8-5) jumped out to a 7-1 lead midway through the first half and never looked back.

Freshman Taylor DeGroff led the Gators with a season-high six goals and fellow freshmen Lauren Traum and Anika Adzich added four goals and a hat trick, respectively. Senior Laurel Nelson also notched a hat trick and seniors Celeste Woloshyn and Emma Glickman scored a goal each. Sophomore goalie Anika Tse recorded 13 saves.

Softball

Castilleja remained in the running for a possible title in the WBAL Foothill Division following a 15-5 romp over visiting Harker in six innings. Tara Thakurta improved to 10-7 while helping the Gators move to 4-1 in league. She gave up two runs while helping limit Harker to just three hits.

Megan Andersen and Jolie Kemp each had three hits for Castilleja, with Andersen driving in three runs.

At PAL Stadium in San Jose, Aisley Njissang struck out a season-high 16 to pace Pinewood to a 6-5 win over Notre Dame-San Jose in WBAL Foothill Division action.

In Santa Clara, Gunn dropped a 4-3 decision to the host Bruins in 10 innings in SCVAL El Camino Division action. The Titans fell to 4-4 in league (8-7 overall) while losing their fourth straight.

The Cupertino at Palo Alto game was not reported.

Boys tennis

It was Senior Day for Menlo School on Tuesday and the Knights celebrated in a number of ways.

Menlo toppled visiting Harker, 7-0, to cap a 12-0 season in the West Bay Athletic League. The Knights put the finishing touches on their 20th consecutive league title under head coach Bill Shine and improved their ongoing state record to 240-0 in league dual matches.

Highlighting the victory was the appearance of all eight Menlo seniors, including previously injured Lane Leschly. He had been ruled out for the season, but teamed with fellow senior Gabriel Morgan to win at No. 1 doubles, 6-1, 6-1.

Leschley's return bolsters Menlo's chances of defending its CCS team title, as the tournament begins next week. His contribution, however, will be limited to just doubles.

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