Central Coast Section (CCS) Top 8 Meet Preview

Girls 400 Relay 

Meet Record: Los Gatos 47.49 2014

The Silver Creek girls are quite talented as you will see in several other events. The come into this meet as the favorites with the fastest entry time of 48.70. They will be kept honest by a slew of teams that have all run under 50 seconds this season including Menlo Atherton (49.02), Los Altos (49.26), Los Gatos (49.32), St. Ignatius College Prep (49.34), Monta Vista (49.46) and St. Francis (49.57). Look for one or more of those teams to make a breakthrough at this meet as teams turn their attention toward the post seasong meets.

Boys 400 Relay

Meet Record: Mt. Pleasant 41.15 1992

This appears to be a two-team race as two schools have both dipped under the 43-second mark this season and they are Valley Christian San Jose (42.92) and Junipero Serra (42.96). Aside from this meet, those teams will see plenty of each other as members of the WCAL. With only two teams advancing to CCS from that league, this will be an opportunity for both schools to cement their standing in their league as well as this section. After Valley Christian SJ and Serra, the next best teams are Los Altos (43.25) and San Benito (43.27). They are both within striking distance of the two section leaders but will need flawless handoffs to give them a chance for the win.

Girls 1600
Meet Record: Nikki Hiltz Aptos 4:47.64 2012

The girls' 1600m has been a fairly strong event for this section. This year, one of the most talented distance runners in the United States, Santa Cruz senior Mari Friedman, has run the fastest time in this event with her 4:47.89 from the Stanford Invitational. She will be taking part in the 3200m at this meet which leaves the favorite role to fellow senior and league rival, Marea Zlatunich of Aptos (4:57.05). The only other runner in the section to crack 5 minutes is Homestead senior, Elena Kamas (4:59.59). The rest of the contenders should include a couple of 800m runners who will be testing their strength at this meet. Santa Cruz senior Anaya Ward has qualified to the state meet in the 800 and has a season best of 5:06.99. Menlo sophomore Charlotte Tomkinson has the 2nd fastest 800m in the section at 2:14.07 along with a relay split of 2:12. She will have an opportunity to really improve her personal best of 5:15.76 in this event.

Boys 1600
Meet Record: Matt Bates Los Gatos 4:12.80 2001

A strong group of 1600 runners will be missing from this event as they will be testing out their racing down south at the Mt. SAC Invitational. The favorite to win this event is 2017 California state meet qualifier, Jorge Estrella of Andrew Hill. He will be challenged by St. Francis junior Colton Colonna (4:16.91), 800m specialist Jason Gomez (4:17.96) and Willow Glen veteran, Zach Walker (4:18.24). St. Francis and Palo Alto will have a slew of runners in this event and will be looking for breakthrough races from their runners. A couple of runners that seem to be on the rise are Luke Scandlyn of Menlo Atherton (4:21.16) and Jeremy Miller of The King's Academy (4:23.99).

Girls 100 Hurdles
Meet Record: Tamara Gulley, Oak Grove 13.77 2000

The heavy favorite in this event is junior Jazlynn Shearer, Silver Creek (14.09). She won her second section title last year as a sophomore last season and should continue her pace to win four section titles in this event by the time she graduates. She has been consistently faster this season and is getting very close to dipping under 14 seconds. Her best of 14.09 came at the Stanford Invitational although that was slightly wind-aided (+2.3). The rest of the field will be looking to put themselves solidly in state meet contention. That includes Live Oak freshman Karlie Lema (15.02), Leland senior Kim Chae Eun (15.11) and Menlo junior Alexandra Chan (15.25).

Boys 110 Hurdles

Meet Record: Arend Watkins Silver Creek 13.89 1997

The top underclassman from last year's section meet in this event, Dangelo Mckenzie of Valley Christian SJ, has chosen to participate on the Track and Field team this spring. That makes Anthony Delgado of San Benito who qualified for the state meet as a sophomore with a best of 15.00. His competition should be a familiar one with Los Gatos senior Masaki Wada-Law (14.61), Menlo Atherton senior Nick Anderson (14.68) and Lynbrook senior Edward Choi (14.94).

Girls 400 Meters 
Meet Record: D'Airrien Jackson Wilcox 55.55 2015

This event appears to be wide open this year once you get past the top returner and favorite, Leigh senior Hawa Kamara. She finished in 2nd place at last year's CCS final and is also one of the top triple jumpers in the section. Her closest competitor will be Los Gatos sophomore Abby Monti who has a season best of 57.33 from one of her league races. San Lorenzo Valley teammates Camryn Crouch and Maya McCabe are the other two competitors in the field with personal bests under 58 seconds with 57.41 and 57.49 respective bests. 

Boys 400 Meters
Meet Record: Calvin Harrison North Salinas 46.32 1993

The class of this section in this event will not be competing here. Branham senior Adam Saleh has a best of 48.21 and will be the overwhelming favorite once we get to the section final. That makes Scott Fitzpatrick of Serra as the favorite and the lone state meet qualifier from last year's final. He seems to be safely in front as the only competitor to have broken 50 seconds this season (49.21). His closest pursuers will be Jaijit Singh of Saratoga (50.39), Joey Monti of Los Gatos (50.50) and Nick Marsano of Crystal Springs Uplands (50.51).

 Girls 100 Meters 
Meet Record: Damesha Craig St. Francis, Mt. View 11.54 1996

The fastest team entered in this meet in the 400 relay is Silver Creek. They will be looking to win that event and take the sprint title here with the two favorites in this event, Arianna Fisher (12.01) and Jazlynn Shearer (12.14). Archbishop senior Maya Shaw will be looking to break up the Silver Creek duo and has a best of 12.31 this season. Menlo Atherton junior Jessica Eagle has the same season-best and will be in the mix as well. Watch out for Woodside Priory sophomore Anysa Gray who has run 12.45 and may be led to a much faster time with good competition.

Boys 100 Meters
Meet Record: Tony Miller Riordan 10.40 1986/Carl Montgomery South San Francisco 10.40 1980

The top returner from last year's section meet will be the favorite here. Valley Christian SJ senior Nikolas Trofort has the fastest time in this field at 10.89. He is currently ranked #3 in CCS but the current top two sprinters will not compete here. His closest challenger, time-wise, is Los Altos junior Polen McKinley who has run a wind-aided 10.98. Evergreen Valley sophomore Kurtis Lee seems to be the best of the young sprinters in this section and will be looking to make a statement here.

Girls 800 Meters 
Meet Record: Anna Maxwell San Lorenzo Valley 2:09.34 2013

Santa Cruz senior Mari Friedman (2:09.79) is clearly the best half-miler in this section and has one of the top times in the nation. She rolled to her best time of the season at the Dublin Distance Fiesta as she finished in 2nd place behind the two-time defending state champion. She will be looking to lower her personal best in the 3200m here so that leaves a very wide open competition for the win here. St. Francis freshman Isabelle Cairns has the fastest time in this field at 2:14.39. She will sprint to the lead and attempt to race to victory from the front. Santa Cruz senior Anaya Ward is entered in this event and may be doubling back from an earlier event. She is one of the better closers in this event and will be aiming for a win here. Half Moon Bay sophomore Kendall Mansukhani is undefeated this season in this event and has a best of 2:17.34. Los Gatos senior Erin Moss will try to impress the home crowd and will definitely be in the mix with a best of 2:15.87 set at the Arcadia Invitational.

Boys 800 Meters
Meet Record: Dan Sikiric Leland 1:51.77 1996

This is a super tough event for this section as the top 3 finishers at last year's section meet all return this season all sporting PRs under 1:53. One of those runners is Westmont senior Jason Gomez who has a best of 1:57.18 but did finish off last season with a 1:52.22 at the CA state meet to finish in 4th place. He will be challenged by Palo Alto senior Reed Foster who has a best this year of 1:54.09. Willow Glen senior Zach Walker will keep the pace honest as he will surge to the lead early and try to run away from this field. Gomez's sophomore teammate Garrett MacQuiddy is one of the top sophomores in our section and will be looking for a fast time here.

Girls 300 Hurdles 
Meet Record: Reonna Collier Piedmont Hills 42.41 2014

The meet record in this event is quite safe although the winner of this event will be quite pleased with cracking the 45 second mark. The fastest time this season belongs to Soquel senior Chloe Kimes at 45.12. She will be challenged by veteran hurdler Chae Eun Kim of Leland who qualified for the CA state meet last season. Cupertino junior Maxine Schultz is the next fastest long hurdler in this field with a best of 45.91. All three hurdlers should establish themselves as favorites to make the state meet this year.

Boys 300 Hurdles
Meet Record: Scott Medina San Benito 37.99 2011

The best 300m hurdler in this section is Lynbrook senior Andrew Shao. He roared to a personal best 38.68 at the Firebird Relays which is easily the best time in this section. He may have run faster at the Arcadia Invitational but was involved in one of the most bizarre finishes as a hurdle from another lane slowed down his finish. He will be kept honest by Branham junior Hunter Beck (39.71), Lynbrook teammate Edward Choi (39.86) Evergreen Valley senior Evan Sablan (39.96).

Girls 200 Meters 
Meet Record: Annette Coleman Carlmont 24.17 1989

An interesting note on meet record holder Annette Coleman. She is the mother of 2015 California 400 state champion Hannah Waller who had bests of 23.64 and 53.01 in high school. The favorite for this event will be Archbishop Mitty senior Maya Shaw. She has a best of 25.13 which she recorded recently at the historic West Coast Relays. Menlo Atherton junior Jessica Eagle will keep Shaw honest as she has progressed nicely from her freshman season to a best of 25.42 this season.

Boys 200 Meters
Meet Record: Tony Miller Riordan 21.10 1987

It's unusual for a freshman or sophomore to be at the top of a sprint event but that is exactly what we have here. Evergreen Valley sophomore Kurtis Lee is one of two CCS athletes to dip under the 22 second mark this season along with 400m specialist Adam Saleh. Lee ran his best time of 21.97 at last weekend's San Mateo HS Bearcat Invitational. He will be a strong favorite here. Sequoia senior sprinter Ryan Reed qualified to the CCS finals last year and will be looking for a similar late season charge this year. Two other sprinters that should not be forgotten are the Serra duo of Scott Fitzpatrick and Tyler Mak.

Girls 3200 Meters 
Meet Record: Sarah Robinson Gunn 10:16.98 2014

There are several events that will take place tonight that will have overwhelming favorites. One of them is the girls' 3200m which will feature one of the best distance runners in the nation, Santa Cruz senior, Mari Friedman. She raced to a solo best of 10:28.94 earlier this season and will have to do so again here. I am certain that she will run faster here but will the meet record be in jeopardy? We will see. Racing for second will be Live Oak senior Kaylah Grant. She qualified for the 2017 CA state meet and will be aiming for a similar finish this year. Friedman's teammates, Lila Roake and Gabby Hughes will look to finish in the top 5. Aptos senior Marea Zlatunich is a strong competitor as well and should not be overlooked.

Boys 3200 Meters
Meet Record: Weston Strum Pioneer 8:59.53 2010

During the fall, the St. Francis boys' cross country team stamped themselves as the best CCS team in the history of the sport. They rolled to a state championship and qualified for the NXN meet in Portland. They have been impressive on the track as well and will be looking to a make a statement here with five competitors. Leading the way will be senior Shyam Kumar who has the fastest entry in the field at 9:17.72. Jorge Estrella has proven to a be a tough competitor and will be looking to display his late race charge. A couple of runners that should be noted as well are Los Altos junior Owen MacKenzie and Bellarmine senior Neerav Gade. 

Girls 1600 Relay 
Meet Record: St. Francis, Mountain View 3:54.29 1986

The key to making the state meet in this event from this section and more than likely most sections is to dip under the 4 minute mark. This has been a bit of an unusual season in that no teams have yet broken below that barrier. The fastest time in this section belongs to the Santa Cruz girls (4:02.63) but they will not be competing here tonight. That leaves the race wide open! The fastest team entered today will be the San Lorenzo Valley girls at 4:03.33. They will be challenged by the Los Gatos girls (4:04.03), Soquel (4:04.03) and St. Francis (4:05.71). This relay is always a fantastic way to conclude any track and field meet and we should get an exciting finish here.

Boys 1600 Relay
Meet Record: Independence 3:18.73 1991

It's very clear that some teams take great pride in the accomplishment of their relay teams. In this event, Serra HS has been one of our best teams in this event and this year, that fact remains intact. They rolled to victory at the Arcadia Invitational with a season-best 3:20.06. They will be the strong favorite to continue their domination of CCS teams as they continue to move up the state meet ladder. The Los Gatos team along with San Benito and Los Altos will try to keep the Padres within striking distance and put themselves in a position to join them at the California state meet.