Eagles, Lancers on track to finish season strong

Anna Zaeske
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Anna Zaeske, center, sprints toward the finish line in the 400 dash. She set a personal record in the division finals.

The Los Altos High track and field team continued its division domination last week, as the girls and boys squads both finished first at the SCVAL De Anza Division finals to remain undefeated.

The girls put up 135 points – 18 more than runner-up Lynbrook – and the boys edged Los Gatos 158-153 Thursday at Los Altos.

“Overall, it was a wonderful team effort by both the boys and girls teams,” co-head coach Dave Barth said. “Lots of hard work and dedication went into getting to this spot by the athletes. Now we look forward to competing at the SCVAL championships on Friday in Los Gatos for a chance to win another title and move forward to CCS.”

The girls 4x400-meter relay team should get there, based on its stellar performance Thursday. Jessie Bourgan, Thea Mollerstedt, Francesca Stepanov and Anna Zaeske combined for a winning time of 3 minutes, 59.19 seconds, which broke a division final record set 23 years ago.

“This is a very dedicated group of seniors who have put in the work on the track over the past four years,” Barth said. To be a sub-4-minute relay is impressive, and I know the squad is eager to keep improving and lowering their times.”

Mollerstedt added a win in the 100 hurdles (15.10 seconds), while Zaeske placed second in the 400 (personal-best time of 58.18) and 200 (26.44) dashes.

Maura Kelleher won the high jump by clearing 5 feet, and Naomi Donovan captured the 1,600 run (5:18.39) and took second in the 3,200 run (11:32.87).

The boys 4x100 relay team – comprising Steve Feng, Charlie Atkins, Alex Toeller and Weston Fairey – won its race in 42.87.

“This is a very fast team with lots of potential,” Barth said.

Owen MacKenzie claimed the 1,600 (4:29.39) and 3,200 (9:33.98) runs).

St. Francis boys poised to shine in WCAL finals

Coming off a strong showing at the Sacramento Meet of Champions April 20, the St. Francis boys should be in the running for the team title at Friday’s West Catholic Athletic League finals.

“We’ve got guys running competitive times, and they still have more in the tank,” said co-head coach Phil Pompei, whose school hosts the meet.

In Sacramento, Eric Eng and Juan Pablo Garcia finished fifth and ninth in the Invitational section of the 3,200 with personal-best times of 9:17 and 9:21, respectively. Aiden Maddison won the Open section of the race in 9:32.

Distance running is the team’s strength, according to Pompei, but the Lancers also have some formidable field competitors in pole vaulter Scott Toney (first in CCS) and high jumper Desai Lopez (fifth).

The St. Francis girls are led by distance runners Izzy Cairns and Christel Elkins, along with sprinter Kaley Peterson. Pompei said all three have a legitimate shot at advancing to CCS.

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