Despite the recent stormy weather that wiped out numerous events, the spring sports season is nonetheless picking up steam as it heads toward season-ending championships.
The Menlo-Atherton boys' track and field team, for example, shook off last Thursday's dual-meet loss to host Mills in the Peninsula Athletic League and bounced back with an impressive team victory at the Serra Top 7 meet on Saturday in San Mateo.
The Bears scored 63 points to hold off Bellarmine (62), wrapping up the championship by winning the final 1,600-meter relay in a meet-record and season-best time of 3:26.45. The team of George Baier, Michael Hester, Jordan Scanlyn and Di'john Williams broke the previous meet mark held by the Bells, who were second in 3:26.76.
The Bears scored 10 points and the Bells eight, enough for the team title. Menlo-Atherton also won the team title earlier this season at the St. Francis Invitational by winning the final relay.
In addition to his relay leg, Hester ran a season best of 1:57.42 to win the 800. Teammate Ian Proulx added a personal record of 13-0 in the pole vault while taking an important second place. The Bears also scored 14 big points in the 3,200 as Jack Beckwith (9:47.10 and John Lovegren (9:50.27) finished second and third, respectively.
M-A also picked up seven points in the 400 as Williams (51.75) and Zack Plante (51.77) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Plante and Williams joined with Nick Garcia and Radri Green to finish third in the 400 relay (44.30) and earn another six points.
Green also earned four points with a fourth place in the 300 intermediate hurdles (42.64) and earned three more points in the long jump with a fifth-place finish of 19-10 1/2.
The Sacred Hart Prep boys finished fourth with 30 points with junior Nico Robinson scoring 26 points by winning the high jump at 6-0, taking second in the long jump at 21-0 3/4 and second in the 110 high hurdles (15.90). SHP senior Tyler McCool added a fourth in the long jump at 20-2 1/4 to wrap up the Gators' scoring.
In the girls' competition, Menlo-Atherton scored 21 points and tied for ninth. The Bears' best finish was a pair of third places in the relays. The 400 relay team of Payton Bush, Catherine Carpenter, Annie Harrier and Naomi Tovar was third in 51.89 and the 1,600 squad of Carpenter, Bush, Harrier and Cassie Stansberry ran a season best of 4:12.95.
Harrier added a fourth in the 400 (1:02.36) while Gunn senior Kieran Gallagher was fourth in the 800 in 2:24.55.
In dual-meet action this week, Gunn will host rival Palo Alto in SCVAL De Anza Division action on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. The Paly boys are currently unbeaten in dual meets and looking to finish unbeaten in the regular season and chase the division championship meet title.
Christian Lonsky drove in four runs and Ben Sneider came on in relief to win his seventh game of the season to spark Palo Alto to a 10-8 victory over visiting Santa Clara on Saturday in a SCVAL De Anza Division game.
The Vikings overcame a 4-0 deficit after 3 1/2 innings, tying the score at 4-4 in the the bottom of the fifth before exploding for six runs in the sixth.
Palo Alto improved to 8-1-1 in league (16-3-1 overall) and remains on the heels of first-place Los Altos (9-1) heading into a series with Saratoga on Wednesday (away) and Friday (home).
Sacred Heart Prep had some solid efforts at the California Catholic Challenge on Saturday at Santa Margarita High in Orange County. The SHP boys finished second with 439 points, despite missing standout senior Tom Kremer, while the Gator girls was fifth with 310.5 points.
Kremer remained home to train while getting ready for the European Championships in late May as he attempts to qualify for the Turkish Olympic team.
Kremer will be with his teammates the remainder of the season, including a dual meet with visiting Menlo School on Wednesday, the Section Challenge at Palo Alto High on Saturday (9 a.m.) and next week's double-dual with Harker and King's Academy to decide the regular-season title in the West Bay Athletic League.
Kremer also will be on hand for the WBAL and Central Coast Section Championships.
Kyle Koenig paced the SHP boys by winning the 50-yard free in 22.86 and taking second in the 100 free in 49.75. Harrison Enright was second in the 100 fly (57.05) and third in the 200 free (1:49.34). Koenig and Enright also swam on the winning 200 free relay team (1:33.00) that included Mackey McGibben and Chris Hinrichs.
Sloane Sturzenegger added second place in the 100 breast (1:07.04) and a third in the 200 IM (2:12.13). The Gators' 400 free relay also finished second, clocking 3:32.34 with the team of Koenig, John Howard, Max McKelvy and Michael Swart.
In the girls' competition, SHP's Ally Howe won the 100 back with a meet record of 55.59 in addition to taking second in the 100 fly in 56.11.
"We swam OK, although nothing outstanding," said SHP coach Kevin Morris.
Part of the problem was the fact the Gators walked around Disneyland for about 12 hours on Friday during a day that saw heavy rain. Morris said the exhausting day probably cost Howe a victory in the fly.
SHP senior Erin Sheridan was second in the 100 free (54.60), fifth in the 50 free (25.74) and anchored the Gators to a third-place finish of 1:53.52 in the 200 medley relay.
Sheridan, Howe, Selby Sturzenegger and Erica Myers combined for a second place in the 400 free relay, a solid 3:36.24 clocking.