For the second year in a row, the Los Altos High gymnastics team edged rival Mountain View by less than a point to win the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League North Division finals – the last meet before today’s Central Coast Section championships.
The host Eagles put up a team score of 147.050, while the Spartans totaled 146.300 May 7.
“Los Altos had higher difficulty and starting scores on beam and bars, which made a pretty significant difference,” said Sarah Wallace, who coaches both squads. “Vault and floor were relatively even between the two teams, but beam and bars gave Los Altos an advantage.”
While the teams are friendly rivals that train together, their competitiveness kicked in at the meet.
“All of the gymnasts worked really hard and fought for every tenth (of a point),” Wallace said. “A few of the girls had season highs on events and/or all-around, which is great to have heading into CCS. We are very proud of how hard they are working and can’t wait to see how all gymnasts do at CCS.”
Mountain View’s Cindy Linker posted the best all-around score at the league meet, 38.100, but second and third place went to Los Altos’ Kelli Kuramoto (37.450) and Charissa Vesurai (36.700), respectively. Spartan Nomi Rosen placed fourth (36.500) and teammate Emma Paradise tied Eagle Emma Tsao for fifth (36.450). Los Altos gymnasts Courtney Krauss (36.050) and Roosa Uusitalo (35.650) occupied the seventh and eighth spots, respectively, while Mountain View’s Natalie Rockhold took 10th (35.250).
“This was a great meet for everyone and should carry some good momentum into CCS,” Wallace said.
The CCS meet is slated 4:30 p.m. today at Gymtowne Gymnastics in South San Francisco.
St. Francis qualified for the CCS championships by placing second at last week’s CCS Regional No. 1 at Laguna Seca Golf Ranch in Monterey. The Lancers’ score of 377 was just one shot back of winner Menlo May 8.
John Heckel led St. Francis with a 72 to tie for fourth place individually. Teammates Tyson Dinsmore and Matthew Adams tied for eighth with 75s.
The CCS championships were slated Tuesday at Laguna Seca, after the Town Crier’s deadline.
After a strong start at the May 8 CCS regional, Los Altos junior Carlos Arieta Winsett finished 40th with an 80. That ended the season for the Eagles’ lone representative at the event.
After shooting 2-over-par on the front nine, “he struggled for a few holes with distance control, and shot a plus-7 on the back,” Los Altos coach Rich Fujii said.
Gunn repeated as SCVAL champ by squeaking by Palo Alto 10-9 in Saturday’s league final.
Coached by Los Altos Hills resident Doug Arakawa, the Titans feature five players who also live there: Anna Tsai, Sydney Hetzel, Rachel Grant, Lauryn Nakamitsu and Rene Sweidy Stata.
Down 2-0 early, Gunn rallied to lead 7-5 at halftime and held the Vikings scoreless for the final 17 minutes of the game. Freshman goalie Nakamitsu finished with five saves.
“The girls worked very hard this season to earn the championship,” Arakawa said.
Gunn edged Mountain View 7-6 in the May 9 semifinals. The teams were tied at 6 with eight minutes to play, and the Titans scored the decisive goal four minutes later.
“After many opportunities in the last four minutes of the game, we were unable to get another goal to tie it back up,” said Mountain View junior Brianna Sauter, who noted that her team rallied from a 4-1 halftime deficit.
Kirsty Brydon and Rachel Hurst totaled two goals each for the Spartans, who placed third in league (14-4) and went 16-5 overall.
Tied with Carlmont at intermission, Los Altos struggled to score – and stop the Scots from doing so – for the rest of last week’s SCVAL playoff opener. The Eagles lost 18-11 after being outscored 10-3 in the second half.
Connor Quinn led Los Altos with five goals and three assists. Merlyn Boljonis added four goals, Nolan Brennan scored three and Hayden Hofmann had one. Goalie Nate Geiger recorded 14 saves.
The SCVAL El Camino Division champ Eagles finished 12-3.
Fourth-seeded St. Francis went as far as the quarterfinals of the CCS team playoffs. The Lancers (15-5) were eliminated by No. 5 Menlo-Atherton, which prevailed 4-3 May 7 at Cuesta Park.