As local sports go, this was a year to remember. A lot of high school teams and individuals either won Central Coast Section championships or made serious runs at them. And one team surprised us by simply being competitive. The Town Crier's top 10 sports stories of the year appear below:
10) Freshman phenom - Los Altos High tennis player Lena Sherbakov may only be a freshman, but she certainly didn't play like one last fall. The Eagles' No. 1 singles player won 23 straight matches before losing in the quarterfinals of the CCS team championships Nov. 22. She took third in the individual championships later in the month.
9) Making a splash - The St. Francis High girls swim team routed the competition at the CCS finals in June. The Lancers racked up 279 points - a whopping 78 more than runner-up Mitty. Senior Adrienne Mattos accounted for 40 points, breaking a meet record in the 50-meter free style and nearly eclipsing the 200 free record.
8) Size doesn't matter - What the Mountain View High girls volleyball team lacked in height, it made up in heart. The Spartans didn't have great size at the net, but the team still managed to reach the CCS semifinals in November. Jodie Antypas, Melanie Usas and Annie Tepe were the key ingredients on a team that went 27-9.
7) What a kick - The St. Francis girls soccer team upset defending champion Presentation 3-1 to capture the CCS Division II title March 1. The Lancers (18-2) were the only team to beat Presentation all season. St. Francis standouts included Anna Kraus, Sarah Clemm, Jennifer Medina and Jackie Rodriguez.
6) Hill peaks - Los Altos junior Andrew Hill reached new heights in cross country, winning the CCS Division I title Nov. 18 at Crystal Springs. A week earlier, he cruised past the competition at the SCVAL De Anza Division league meet.
5) Air Carey - St. Francis basketball star Senque Carey practically carried the Lancers and earned CCS Player of the Year honors for his efforts. The junior set eight school records, scored more than 20 points per game and led the team to the CCS semifinals.
4) Hitting her mark - Mountain View long jumper Christine Chan didn't let a sore right foot slow her down at the CIF State Track and Field Championships. Chan jumped a personal-best 18 feet, 10 1/2 inches to claim fourth at the June 7 meet in Sacramento. The senior won the CCS title a week earlier at San Jose City College.
3) Wrestling with success - St. Francis wrestler Jason Olmos dominated all challengers last winter, finishing 35-0. The 145-pound senior breezed through the CCS and capped the season by winning the state title March 8 in Stockton.
2) A return to respectability - For the first time in a decade, the Los Altos High football team contended for the league crown. The team wound up tied for second in the SCVAL El Camino Division at 4-1-1, barely missing the playoffs. An administrative error forced the Eagles (4-5-1 overall) to forfeit three early season wins that would have guaranteed them a postseason bid.
1) Killing the competition - The St. Francis volleyball team finished the fall season as the state's top-ranked team, and for good reason. The Lancers went 34-3 and won CCS and state titles in Division II. Senior Niki Hartley was named National Prep Player of the Year by Volleyball Magazine. Desiree Rook, Anna Kleinsorge, Stacy Millichap, Kelly Corbett and Julie Mariani rounded out the all-star lineup.