Mtn. View grad McGuirk earns All-American status

Courtesy of Jim McGuirk
Alex McGuirk jumps a hurdle in the steeplechase at last month’s NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Mountain View High graduate Alex McGuirk capped a decorated collegiate athletic career by finishing second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at last month’s NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The Chico State senior clocked a time of 8 minutes, 48 seconds – breaking his own school record – in the finals May 22 at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. The steeplechase is an obstacle race that includes 28 hurdles and seven water jumps.


Gold Star gymnasts shine

Owen Heery/Special to the Town Crier
Laura MacKenzie, a member of Gold Star Gymnastics’ girls artistic team, won the all-around title for Level 7 at the state meet.

The Gold Star Gymnastics girls artistic team recently completed its competitive season, and several local residents placed at state and regional meets.

Laura MacKenzie, a Junior Olympic Level 7 gymnast, posted a 38.000 all-around score to win the state meet in May. She won the balance beam (9.525), placed second on the vault (9.425) and third on both the uneven bars (9.325) and floor exercise (9.725). MacKenzie’s efforts helped Team NorCal finish second in the state team competition.


Sports on the Side

Coach Plumer honored

Los Altos resident PattiSue Plumer, head track and field coach at Gunn High, has been named a 2015 Spring Sports Honor Coach by the Central Coast Section. She previously coached track at Los Altos High. The awards go to coaches who have dedicated five or more years to coaching a varsity team and have made valuable contributions not only to the sport and the school, but also to the league, community and CCS. An important factor for deciding the recipients, according to CCS officials, is the ability to be an inspiration and mentor not only to the students, but also to other coaches, teachers, administrators, parents and the public. Plumer is a two-time Olympian who competed and coached at Stanford University.

Run for a cause

The Christmas in July 5K Run/Walk is scheduled 9 a.m. July 19, starting at On Your Mark, 378 Main St., Los Altos. The course includes pathways in Los Altos Hills. Refreshments and a raffle follow. Proceeds benefit Hope’s Corner, a nonprofit organization that provides comfort, assistance and meals to local people in need. Registration is $15, free for ages 5 and under and $50 for families of six or less. Participants are also asked to donate a pair of new or gently used running shoes. To register for the event or make a donation, visit and type “Christmas in July” in the search field.


Charlton's Chambers

Courtesy of Bruce Charlton
Longtime Los Altos resident Bruce Charlton served as lead architect on the Chambers Bay Golf Course, site of this week’s 115th U.S. Open Championship.

While other 10-year-old boys aspired to be astronauts, pro athletes and firefighters, Bruce Charlton was charting a course toward an unusual dream job. He was fixated on designing golf courses.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid,” the Los Altos resident said. “I drew golf holes on the back of the church programs instead of listening to the minister.”


Tri, tri again

Courtesy of Marathon Foto
Los Altos resident Jacob Tanz has competed in the past four Escape from Alcatraz Triathlons. He finished this year’s event in 3 hours, 28 minutes and 7 seconds.

After jumping from the boat into the bay to begin the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, participants don’t want to tread water – it’s all about swimming to shore as fast as possible.

But for some veteran competitors, like Los Altos resident Jacob Tanz, it’s just fine to tread water when it comes to finish time in the rugged race spanning 27.5 miles.


Sports on the Side

Local coaches team up

Two former varsity boys basketball coaches at local high schools will join forces at St. Francis High next season. Jim Forthoffer, who stepped down as coach at Mountain View High after last season, will serve as head coach of the Lancers’ junior-varsity boys team; Mani Messy, who guided Pinewood School before a mutual parting of the ways this offseason, will be Fort- hoffer’s lead assistant. Messy confirmed the move of both coaches to St. Francis and said his role “extends to also helping out with the varsity guys at practices.”

Swim lessons

The city of Mountain View offers an American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim Program over the summer. The 30-minute classes for tots to teens are held biweekly for four weeks at Rengstorff Park Pool and Eagle Park Pool. Cost is $56-$70. Register online at


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