Despite having the wind in her face and no competitor within earshot down the stretch, Sarah Robinson of Los Altos Hills ran one of the fastest times ever recorded by a girl on the Crystal Springs course at Saturday’s Central Coast Section cross-country championships.
The Gunn High senior finished in 16 minutes, 59 seconds to become the sixth girl to run a sub-17 time on the 2.95-mile course.
“I was close to running under 17 at the league meet (17:04) and that was my goal going into CCS,” Robinson said. “There’s so much history on that course, and I really wanted to push through and do it.”
Robinson – who won the Division I race by 38 seconds – took the lead as soon as the starting gun went off and never relinquished it. Well ahead at the one-mile marker, Robinson said she didn’t hear anyone behind her as she approached the finish line. She did, however, face resistance.
“After the second mile, it’s all uphill and that’s the toughest part – especially (Saturday) because it was really windy on the back stretch,” Robinson said.
She kept pushing, however, urged on by onlookers who informed her that she was on pace to break 17 minutes.
Now Robinson said she wants to beat her best time at Fresno’s Woodward Park, site of the state meet scheduled Nov. 30. She ran a 17:56 there as a sophomore.
Robinson and her Gunn team, which finished second at CCS, will have a lot of local company at state. The Los Altos boys and girls teams have advanced after each placed third in CCS Division II.
Los Altos sophomore Lauren Jacob won her race with a 17:20, eclipsing her previous best on the course by 30 seconds.
“I was very happy with how my race played out,” she said. “I really took advantage of my strength on the hills. … Once we hit the first big hill, I remained in the lead for the rest of the race.”
Ben Zaeske paced the Los Altos boys, finishing fifth with a 15:37.
The St. Francis boys won Division II, despite not having a runner finish among the top five. The St. Francis girls claimed their division as well, led by freshman Julia Bounds (second place, 17:52).
The Mountain View girls placed fourth in Division I, paced by Melissa Reed (third, 18:02).
Boys water polo
Mountain View beat St. Francis in the regular season, but the Lancers avenged that loss Saturday in the CCS Division I quarterfinals. The second-seeded Lancers defeated the No. 7 Spartans 14-9.
“I was very pleased that we earned a solid victory over a well-coached Mountain View team,” St. Francis coach Terry O’Donnell said.
Shawn Welch scored six goals for the Lancers (12-16) and goalie Benoit Viollier notched 12 saves.
St. Francis was set to face Menlo-Atherton in the semifinals Tuesday, after the Town Crier’s deadline.
In another Division I quarterfinal, No. 9 Los Altos (11-17) lost 14-6 to top seed Bellarmine Saturday.
Girls water polo
St. Francis appears well on its way to defending the CCS Division I crown it won a year ago.
The top-seeded Lancers routed No. 9 Carlmont 17-1 Saturday in the quarterfinals. Courtney Batcheller scored nearly half of the Lancers’ goals.
“Our girls came out very strong from the start of the game,” said St. Francis assistant coach Erin Inkster, whose team improved to 24-2. “The girls did a great job of working our counterattack and taking advantage of the speed that many of our girls, but namely senior Courtney Batcheller, possess.”
The Lancers are slated to play at No. 4 Menlo Atherton (17-8) 7:30 p.m. today in the semifinals.
Los Altos’ 6-5 overtime loss to Carlmont in the first round of the CCS Division I playoffs could be filed under: The One That Got Away. The eighth-seeded Eagles jumped to a 4-1 lead, only to see the Scots rally to tie it up at 5 with a goal in the final seconds of regulation.
Los Altos (12-17) never led again. Carlmont quickly scored the first two goals in overtime and held on for the win Nov. 12.
“We scored and got it within one,” Eagles coach Seth Tasman said, “but could not capitalize on our last opportunity.”
Casey Vanneman and Kimberlyn Tilley totaled two goals each to lead Los Altos. Senior Vanneman totaled 43 goals this season, tops on the team.
Goalie Romy Aboudarham notched 17 saves for a career-high 401 this season. The junior is among 10 underclassmen on the squad.
“We have a ton of young girls and will train very hard this offseason to prepare for next year when we look to push for a deeper run in CCS,” Tasman said.
Mountain View’s season came to an end the same day. Seventh seed Pioneer beat the No. 10 Spartans 8-6 in the CCS Division I opener at Mountain View.
Pioneer scored the final two goals of the game.
Samantha Hartman paced the Spartans (17-8) with two goals and Paige Taylor notched 19 saves.
St. Francis advanced to the CCS semifinals by pasting Presentation 4-1 Saturday at Leland.
Natalie Escobar led the Lancers (18-1-1) with two goals and Bridget Denzel tallied two assists.
No. 3 St. Francis is scheduled to meet No. 2 Los Gatos 4:30 p.m. today at Leland in the semis.