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Track team motivated to finish season strong

After delivering a crushing blow to Los Gatos High School on April 13, the Palo Alto High School track and field team will look to bring its speed and prowess to the upcoming meets — the De Anza League finals, the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) finals, Central Coast Section (CCS) Championships and States.

“Right now, our goal in mind is states, and doing as much as we can to get as many runners as possible to States and to CCS,” said Sherwin Amsbaugh, varsity runner and sprint captain. “We’ve worked all season on strength and now we’re getting into speedwork and doing our hardest workouts of the year. That way, everyone’s times are dropping and we can get as many kids as possible to States.”

As Paly’s biggest competitor in the league, the Los Gatos Wildcats presented a tough challenge to defeat for the Vikings.

However, all but the varsity girls team were able to handily outrun their opponents, with Los Gatos’s varsity girls barely edging out Paly’s varsity girls with a final score of 64 to 61.

“We wouldn’t have won by as much [against Los Gatos] if their top runner [ran] in all his events,” Amsbaugh said. “He kind of took it easy that meet, so we were fortunate but it was really good to build our confidence up going into championship season where we have Leagues, SCVALs and CCS in the next month.”

Prior to the Los Gatos meet, a select group of about 20 runners competed at the Arcadia Invitational, the most participants that Paly had brought to the meet in several years.

Every single person did incredibly well,” Amsbaugh said. “It was such an amazing experience. I’ve never felt so outclassed by some athletes before. There were Olympians there, national records were set multiple times over the night and it was just incredible to see some of the country’s not only top high school athletes, but top athletes in the nation.”

As the season comes to an end, the team hopes to continue their string of successes and end the season on a high note in their final races.

“This season has been really great, especially as a senior,” Amsbaugh said. “The new coaches have done an incredible job getting everyone ready for the championship season. Varsity boys are undefeated this year in our dual meets, so it’s been an incredible experience.”

In the last meet before League trials, the Vikings easily defeated Henry M. Gunn High School on April 26, hopefully foreshadowing success in the championship meets.

The championship season starts on May 2 with the De Anza League Trials followed by the finals on May 4. From there, the Vikings head to the SCVAL meet on May 12.

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