A standout on the field and the court

Evelyn Baher-Murphy
Courtesy of Evelyn Baher-Murphy
Evelyn Baher-Murphy, a three-year captain of the Los Altos High girls lacrosse team, recently committed to Colorado College.

By Pete Borello
Staff Writer/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

When Evelyn Baher-Murphy joined the Los Altos High girls lacrosse team as a freshman, the fledgling Eagles were coming off an 0-17 season. So leading Saratoga by a goal at halftime of the 2017 season opener was a major accomplishment.

“I remember (co-captain) Katie Radcliffe saying, ‘We won our first half!’” she said. “We celebrated.”

The Eagles won that game by three goals and finished the year with an 8-12 record. They improved to 11-8 in Baher-Murphy’s sophomore season and last year made the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League playoffs for the first time. She started on all those teams.

Baher-Murphy expected Los Altos to have even more success this spring. But after a 2-0 start, the coronavirus pandemic put an end to the season.

“I was pretty bummed – it’s my last season and this is the strongest team we’ve had,” said Baher-Murphy, who was in her third year as team captain. “We had a lot of experienced players coming back and a lot of us played club in the offseason. I was excited to see how far we could go.”

At least her lacrosse career will go on; Baher-Murphy has committed to play for Colorado College. A midfielder for Los Altos and her club team, the Tigers recruited her to play defender.

“I visited in June and met with the lacrosse coach and then went back in October and stayed with a player,” Baher-Murphy said of her interactions with the NCAA Division III college in Colorado Springs. “Everyone was super nice and outdoorsy. I enjoyed the community.”

She also liked the small private school’s class schedule.

“It’s really interesting,” Baher-Murphy said. “You take one class for 3 1/2 weeks and then you get four days off.”

But the Mountain View resident may not get many days off now that she’s decided to play a second sport. Baher-Murphy said she was invited to play for the women’s basketball team as well and last week committed to doing to so.

While she acknowledged that “lacrosse is my main sport,” Baher-Murphy has played basketball even longer. She started at age 5, then added lacrosse in third grade and field hockey when she came to Los Altos.

“I’ve always enjoyed team sports,” she said, “because I like the people aspect.”

Baher-Murphy has played on plenty of them since arriving at Los Altos. She not only made the varsity lacrosse team as a freshman, but also played four years of varsity field hockey. She earned a spot on the varsity girls basketball team as a sophomore and served as co-captain this year.

“Evelyn’s our motor – she’s our go,” Eagles basketball coach Jaclyn Brode said of the guard/forward after she helped the team beat rival Mountain View in January. “She is by far our leader vocally and energy-wise.”

Baher-Murphy led Los Altos in assists and steals this year, ranked second in rebounds and was the team’s third-leading scorer. Her efforts helped the Eagles make a smooth transition to the SCVAL’s upper division, the De Anza, in which they went 6-6 to finish fourth.

“We really surprised ourselves this season,” Baher-Murphy said of the Eagles, whose 12-14 overall record included a first-round win in the Central Coast Section playoffs. “We really came together.”

She noted that the team’s best victory of the season came Jan. 24 against Palo Alto, the eventual De Anza Division champion.

“That felt really good,” Baher-Murphy said. “We beat them by a good margin (46-37), so they couldn’t write it off as some fluke.”

Her lacrosse team won its two games this season by decisive margins as well. Although Baher-Murphy scored a career-high 10 goals in the Eagles’ March 6 opener against Willow Glen, she savored next day’s win over Carlmont even more.

“That was really fun,” she said of the 17-7 blowout,” because we got to sub in all the other players.”

Baher-Murphy isn’t the first lacrosse player in her family. Her mom played in high school and so did her uncle.

“My cousin had played one season and then somehow I ended up playing,” she said.

Baher-Murphy added that she likes the “physicality” of lacrosse and the camaraderie.

“The girls I’ve met through lacrosse are fun to be around,” she said.

She hopes that continues in college. While the shelter-in-place orders have limited the training Baher-Murphy can do to prepare for next season, she said, “I try to work out as much as I can.”

Her training regimen includes running in the neighborhood and practicing against a wall.

“I’ve also been doing some stick tricks,” she said. “They’re not practical, but they get me more comfortable with the stick.”

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Swim club finds ways to keep members active and engaged

By Kaley Kwan
Town Crier Editorial intern

Although Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics-Dana Kirk Swimming last month had to shut down its practices at Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the youth club’s coaches have found new ways to help keep their swimmers engaged, communicating and in shape.

Coaches have been sending out regular emails that include swimming history, at-home workouts for swimmers and their families, and challenges – short activities they can do on land. Coaches also post photos of the challenges on Instagram, tagging “PASA-DKS.”

“Exercise releases endorphins and even if you feel horrible in the moment, 20 minutes later it makes you feel a lot better,” head coach Dana Kirk said. “What we’re trying to do with the workouts we send out is make them mentally engaging. We are trying to keep everyone connected and together and give everyone a little bit of a break every day.”

That’s welcome news for club swimmers like Jason Liu.

“The fact that everything’s canceled makes a big impact on people that swim there,” the junior-varsity member said. “I think people have to adapt to it by figuring out how to exercise without practice. For me, I walk around or do indoor stuff like pushups and curl-ups. Socially, there’s less interaction even with social media platforms ... which I’m kind of sad about.”

As for when the swimmers will be back in the water together, Kirk is taking a wait-and-see approach. The Olympic medalist said there is the possibility of small-group practices once the pandemic dies down and the state lifts restrictions.

For more information on PASA-DKS, visit teamunify.com/Home.jsp?team=pcspa.

MVLA District paying coaches in full for spring

By Pete Borello
Staff Writer/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

While there have been reports that some of the state’s high school coaches won’t be fully compensated for the spring season because it ended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s not the case at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools.

Local students complete Rosen Challenge, log 24 miles in 24 hours

Rosen Family
Courtesy of Justin Rosen
Emma, from left, Justin and Marc Rosen indicate the miles they’ve run in the Rosen Challenge. Dog Alani participated as well.

By Pete Borello
Staff Writer/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

It’s going to take more than a shelter-in-place order to stop distance runner Justin Rosen from getting his miles in. The Los Altos High junior recently came up with a creative way to do so that involved his family and friends.

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