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The Campanile

Paly track and field finishes strong in league, SCVALs


There are few athletic teams who can top the league competition, as well as qualify to the regional championships across grade levels and events.

Last week, the track and field team accomplished both of these. At the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) championships on May 11, the Vikings competed in a wide range of events and blew away the competition.

In the 1600 meter, senior Sam Craig outkicked favorite Owen Mackenzie from Los Altos to win, while junior Henry Saul came in third.

In addition, Saul and junior Donald Taggart triumphed in the 3200 meter, finishing third and fifth, respectively.

Furthermore, senior Aashai Avadhani, sophomore Luca Pagani, senior Niklas Risano (member of The Campanile) and senior Reed Foster ran the 4×400, finishing fifth with a season best of 3:31.36.

Lastly, Foster clinched first place in the 800 meter, his signature event.  Junior Aaron Gao competed in triple jump with a fourth place finish and senior Philip Ericsson (member of The Campanile) achieved a sixth place finish in the 110 meter high hurdle. These athletes all qualified to Central Coast Section (CCS) trials.

“From there [CCS trials], they have a shot at qualifying to CCS finals, which gives them a shot at State trials,” Foster said.

Female athletes also succeeded in a number of races and qualified for CCS trials. Senior Karen Li, sophomore Brianna Miller, freshman Ariel Le and senior Maya Reuven ran the 4×100, finishing fifth.

Freshman Madeline Lohse, sophomore Ella Ball, Reuven and Miller swept the 4×400 with a third place finish. Both squads qualified to CCS trials.

In the individual events, Li finished fourth in the 100 meter HH to qualify; Reuven was fifth in both the 100 and 200 meter, qualifying in the latter; Ball qualified with a third place finish in the 800 meter; senior Julia Doubson  qualified with a fifth place finish in the 3200 meter and junior Emma Johnson qualified in shot put with a sixth place finish.

Prior to SCVAL championships, the team competed in De Anza SCVAL trials and De Anza SCVAL League finals and finished third in the league overall.

“We have a bunch of people that are moving on, we’re trying to get as many people to States as possible.”

Ella Ball

Even better, the league trials and finals came with a number of new personal records (PR): Reuven achieved a PR in the 200 meter dash with a time of 25.57, and Doubson ran a PR in the 3200 meter with a 11:34.14. Additionally, at the recent Gunn High School meet on April 26, Ball ran a PR in the 800 meter with a 2:21.

“Our distance team is still looking very strong; there haven’t been any injuries, and (fingers crossed) we should be in prime shape come CCS and States,” Foster said. “It’s a big shift going into championship season, because a lot of the team is gone, so you’re only training with a small group.”

The team also competed against Gunn prior to SCVAL trials, but was plagued with some injuries to some sprinters along the way.

“As far as the team as a whole, we lost our two top short sprinters (100-200 m) which really hurt us at meets,” Foster said. “We managed to win a number of our dual meets but finished third in the league.”

The team now has CCS trials and finals to look forward to thanks to their strong performance.

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