Paly wins El Camino Division boys title; Gunn girls place second


It was a championship day for the Gunn and Palo Alto programs at the SCVAL El Camino Division Championships in cross country on Tuesday at Crystal Springs in Belmont.

All four varsity teams qualified for the Central Coast Section finals, which will be contested Tuesday at Crystal Springs in Belmont.

The Paly boys led the charge, successfully defending their league title with 27 points and continuing their streak of first place finishes at SCVAL meets this year.

Vikings' senior Kent Slaney went 15:18.4 to win the individual title. Teammate Henry Saul raced 15:40.2 to place second.

Paly's top six runners all finished in the top 10. Naveen Pai (15:59.1) placed seventh, followed, in order, by Spencer Morgenfeld (16:02.4), Ben Beaudry (16:16.9) and Sam Craig (16:29.6). Kai Oda (17:09.1) placed 17th.

The Gunn boys finished third, one point behind Los Altos' 72, and led by Jonas Enders, who raced 15:51.6 to place fourth.

Titans' Justin Chiao (16:39.2), Thomas Burton (17:05.5) and Colin Huang (17:17.8) all placed among the top 20 while Ronan Eltherington (17:20.5) finished 21st.

In the girls’ race, Gunn finished second with 47 points. Palo Alto was third with 63 points. Mountain View won the team title with 41 points.

Paly junior Julia Doubson moved up in the final mile to claim third place in 19:11.7. Gunn junior Joyce Shea took fourth (19:15.1), and Paly freshman Miranda Jimenez took fifth (19:18.4).

Gunn placed seven runners in the top 16, with junior Natalie Hill placing seventh in 19:31.1, senior Priya Thomas in ninth (20:02.4), freshman Amy Cheng was 13th (20:21.3) and sophomore Lily Jose completing the scoring for Gunn with a 14th place showing (20:22.1).

On the Paly side, sophomore Katia Martha was 12th (20:08.8), freshman Kai Douglas placed 18th (20:42.1), and sophomore Caroline Elarde ran 25th (21:11.2).

“They were outstanding,” Palo Alto coach Michael Davidson said. “There was a question about how they were going to fare today, but Julia and Miranda were terrific, and the rest of the team really rose to the occasion.”

In the boys race, Slaney, six seconds slower than his best at Crystal Springs, and Saul each recorded times that would have also won the De Anza Division race.

“The boys were great,” Davidson said. “Kent did a great job, as he always does. The supporting cast was amazing. Henry had an impressive race, and it was great to have Naveen and Sam back from their injuries.”

— Gordon Craig

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