Competition arrived from within for the Palo Alto High distance runners.
Kent Slaney led a Paly sweep in the boys 1,600 Friday at the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League track and field championships at Los Gatos High. It wasn’t an easy first-place finish, as teammate Reed Foster battled Slaney down the stretch.
Slaney’s winning time was a season-best 4:21.84. Foster was second in 4:23.60 and Sam Craig came in third in 4:25.17.
When Slaney went for his second win of the meet in the 3,200 the battle he waged with Foster took its toll when fresh-legged sophomore teammate Henry Saul, in his first race of the meet, kicked past him to take first place in personal-best 9:21.73.
“He ran a great race,’’ Palo Alto coach Michael Davidson said of Saul. “He sat right off the lead, ran smooth and relaxed.’’
Slaney, who led for 95 percent of the race, was timed in a season-best 9:22.83. Another teammate, senior Naveen Pai, came in fourth (9:34.73) as the Vikings loaded up on points in the distance events.
Foster’s second race was the 800. He came in with a PR just under 2:02 and a goal of breaking 2:00. He achieved that goal Friday and in a big way, placing second behind Andy Buchanan of Milpitas with a time of 1:57.14.
“He didn’t crack the two-minute barrier, he decided he was going to go smash it,’’ Davidson said. “This race was the biggest boost to his confidence. I’m expecting good things from him in the future.’’
With field-event standout Michel-Ange Siaba supplementing the distance runners with 19 points from three events, Palo Alto came in second in the boys team standings with 79 points. Los Altos won the team title with 90.
Siaba placed first in the triple jump (43-6 ½), second in the long jump (22-1 ¼) and sixth in the discus (129-1).
The Gunn boys got first-place finishes from Andy Maltz in the shot put (47-3) and Tommy Boguess in the high jump (6-2).
Sophomore Jared Freeman, who the Gunn coaching staff was considering leaving on the frosh-soph, was second in both the shot put (44-11 1/2) and the discus (131-2).
“He just started throwing this year,’’ Gunn coach PattySue Plumer said. “He’s very athletic, big and strong. I’m excited. He’s just getting started, has a great future.’’
In the girls meet, Gunn’s Joyce Shea and Margaret Redfield won individual titles.
Shea dropped the 1,600 in order to focus on the 3,200 and won that race easily in 11:09.39. The race started slow and Shea was forced to take the lead in the second lap. She ran all by herself the rest of the way.
“She is ready to break 11,’’ Plumer said.
Redfield, competing late in the meet under cold conditions, won the high jump at 5-2
Palo Alto’s Titilola Bolarinwa (58.76) and Ella Ball (58.92) went 2-3 in the 400, both running personal-best times. Bolarinwa also placed third in the 200 in 25.93. Maya Reuven was fifth (26.60). Freshman Miranda Jimenez placed third in the 3,200 in 11:18.77.
West Bay Athletic League
With hurdlers Alexandra Chan and Electa Narasin leading the way and freshman Kyra Pretre a surprise winner in the 800, Menlo School won its third consecutive West Bay Athletic League girls team title.
Chan (15.40) and Narasin (16.53) went 1-2 in the 100 hurdles and reversed their order in the 300 hurdles, Narasin first in 46.79 and Chan second in 49.21.
Junior Makayla Conley topped a school record in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 1 inch for first.
Priory, which just had a track built six months ago, dominated the sprints. Keyshawn Ashford won the boys 100 (11.01) and 200 (22.96). Freshman twin sisters Amaya and Anysa Gray went 1-2 in the 200. Amaya won the 100 and Anysa won the 400.
“They’re both very quick and very competitive,’’ Priory coach Allison Burzio-Aagaard said. “It’s kind of crazy. They’re both real good in soccer, as well.’’
With Ashford running anchor and the Gray sisters running third and fourth for the girls team, Priory won both 4x100 relays.
Teammate Ayo Aderoboye took first in the 300 hurdles.
Castilleja’s Claire Traum won the 1,600, placed second in the 800 and ran the second leg on the winning 4x400 relay team.
Menlo’s Robert Miranda was a double winner in the boys 1,600 and 3,200. Sacred Heart Prep’s Graham MacFarquhar won the 800.