Blach Intermediate School’s Natalie Mark made her mark at this year’s Santa Clara County track and field championships. The only Falcon to win an individual event, she also anchored a relay team that provided Blach with its other first-place finish at the meet.
Competing in the seventh-grade girls division, Natalie won the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 25.81 seconds and joined forces with Maya Narang, Grace Strode and Audrey Zhang to set a meet record in the 4x400 relay with a time of 4:23.18 last month at Los Gatos High.
“We all put in our best (effort), and it resulted in a record-breaking run,” Natalie said.
The Falcons “were ahead most of the time,” she added, and only extended their lead once Natalie took the baton.
“I was surprised,” the Los Altos resident said of her team’s time, which broke a record set in 2007. “We knew we had to improve by two seconds. I didn’t expect it.”
The Falcons didn’t lose a race all season (6-0) and steadily improved their time. At the Valley Athletic League finals the week before the county meet, the foursome clocked a 4:27.93 on the Graham Middle School track.
“From the beginning to the end of the season, we improved by 30 seconds,” Natalie said. “At the beginning, we were not in great shape, but we trained a little together and got better.”
Natalie’s best time in the 800 came at the league meet, where she ran a 2:24.66 to break a record set in 2006.
Other Falcons flourish at county meet as well
Although they didn’t win their events, a few more Falcons broke school records at the county meet.
Eighth-grade boys Chase Yocum and Nico Trepanier set new standards in the triple jump (39 feet, 10 1/2 inches) and 1,600 run (4:54.92), respectively. Chase placed second and Nico fifth.
Carter Lee’s third-place effort of 5-6 in the eighth-grade boys high jump tied the school record.
Several other Blach athletes placed at the county meet.
In the eighth-grade girls division, Isabella Walker placed second in both the 65 hurdles (10.31) and long jump (15-08 3/4). Teammate Nicole Marieatis finished fourth in the high jump (4-4).
Among Blach’s seventh-grade boys, the 4x100 relay team performed best by placing second (50.75). Alec Cross added a fourth-place finish in the shot put (36-1 1/2). Three Falcons finished fifth: Jackson Kim in the long jump (16-1 1/2), Zach Romero in the high jump (4-10) and Wesley Dunkle in the discus (81-2). In addition, Ethan Choe was sixth in the 800 (2:29.36).
Lillian Casazza took seventh in the seventh-grade girls discus (54-1), and the eighth-grade boys 4x400 relay team placed sixth (49.06).
As far as team scores go, Blach’s seventh-grade boys finished highest at the county meet; the Falcons’ 28 points was good enough for fifth place.
The eighth-grade girls placed sixth in their division (21 points), the eighth-grade boys came in eighth (21) and the seventh-grade girls were ninth (22).
“It was a good season,” said Steve Kane, Blach’s co-head coach and athletic director.
Several Egan athletes shine at county meet
Egan Junior High’s eighth-grade boys team placed fifth at the county meet with 32 points.
Jake Skaggs led the squad with a second-place finish in the high jump (5-6). The Vikings’ 4x400 relay team took third (3:54.67)and their 4x100 relay team came in fifth (48.72).
Egan’s eighth-grade girls placed 10th at the meet with 14 points. Olivia Pye paced the Vikings by finishing fourth in the shot put (31-0 1/2).
The Vikings’ seventh-girls girls team totaled 18 points to place 11th. Megan MacKenzie took second in the triple jump (32-3 3/4) and Kaitlyn Smiley was fifth in the long jump (14-10 1/4).
Egan’s seventh-grade boys placed 22nd with three points, provided by Ruslan Tavrow’s sixth-place effort in the long jump (15-6).
For complete county meet results, visit blachschool.org, click “Sports” and then the “county times” link.