Photo By: Courtesy of Les Besser
Another meet, another record for Mountain View High’s Kolisa Nhlapo.
The junior set a meet record in the girls 300-meter hurdles at the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Qualifier Friday, a week after she broke school records in the 100 and 300 hurdles at the De Anza Division trials and finals. Nhlapo pulled away from the competition at the qualifier by finishing the 300 in 44.61 seconds.
That effort qualified her for Saturday’s Central Coast Section semifinals at Gilroy High, where she will also compete in the 100 hurdles (fourth at SCVAL Qualifier with a 15.46) and as part of the Spartans’ 4x100 relay team (third, 50.46)
“I am all-around elated about the results of the SCVAL meet,” Nhlapo said. “Our 4x100 team is so happy to place and qualify for CCS. I’m really excited to be going into CCS semifinals as No. 1 in the 300 hurdles.”
Nhlapo was quick to point out that she didn’t get this far on her own, praising hurdle coach Les Besser for his guidance.
“Having an amazing coach who was an Olympic hurdler doesn’t hurt,” she said. “Coach Besser is the best.”
Besser spoke just as glowingly about Nhlapo.
“Kolisa is already the best hurdler MVHS has had during my 11 years of coaching there,” he said. “She still has room to improve her hurdling that will lower her times both in the 100 and 300 races. I have confidence that she will go to the state meet at the end of this month.”
Several Spartans will join Nhlapo at the semis; the top six finishers in each event Friday at Los Gatos High qualified. Melissa Reed and Amy Lynch finished three-four in the 1,600 run, while Maya Weigel came in sixth. Lynch and Reed also advanced in the 800 run (third) and 3,200 run (fifth), respectively. Corinna Lee placed fourth in the 400 dash.
The Mountain View girls finished fourth as a team at the meet, while the boys were 11th. Only Kevin Bastoul and Drew Russert advanced for the boys, placing fourth in the 1,600 and triple jump, respectively.
Array of Eagles advance
The Los Altos boys and girls finished second and fifth, respectively, Friday and will be well represented at the semifinals.
“There were some awesome overall performances,” co-head coach Dave Barth said. “Everyone who qualified for CCS has worked extremely hard. ”
For the boys, senior Daniel Yeager won three events – the 110 hurdles (14.99), 300 hurdles (38.59) and high jump (clearing 6 feet, 5 inches) – and ran the second leg of the 4x400 relay that finished second (3:29.15). His 300 hurdles time was just 0.01 seconds off the meet record.
Yeager’s younger brother, sophomore Brian, claimed the triple jump (44-8) and placed fifth in the high jump (6-0).
Other boys qualifying: Jerry Liu in the long jump (third), Josh Cohen in the 1,600 (third), Konrad Niemiec in the 800 (fourth), Willem Van Eck in the 200 dash (fifth) and Alex Carr in the 3,200 (sixth), along with the 4x400 and 4x100 relay teams (both second).
On the girls side, Claire Bowie won the 800 with a time of 2:22.05 and Annaliese Gallagher placed fifth. Lauren Jacob finished second in the 3,200 (10:47.51) and fellow freshman Amanda Mell took third in the long jump (16-4 3/4). Both efforts were personal bests. Sarah Wobber placed fifth in the 400 dash, and the girls 4x400 relay finished fourth.