Youth leads Silver Creek girls to Central Coast gold

GILROY -- Aniyah Augmon has had quite the freshman year. The San Jose Silver Creek High student helped lead her basketball team to its first Central Coast Section championship in March, also winning a game in the CIF Division 2 tournament.

Then, she joined the track team. Just 10 weeks later, she qualified for the CIF Championships in three events, finishing second in the 100 and 200 meters and helping her Raiders teammates to second place in the 400-meter relay at the CCS Championships on May 25 at Gilroy High.

Those 24 points keyed the Raiders team championship. Silver Creek finished with 65 points, with Menlo-Atherton a distant second with 44.

That she had an immediate impact on the basketball team isn't a surprise - she is a cousin of former NBA player Stacey Augmon, currently an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks .

This is Aniyah Augmon's third year running track.

"People always told me that I was fast," she said. "So I kind of just gave it a shot. I tried it out in seventh grade and I actually liked.

"Basketball is still my sport. Track is your own, you're going for yourself. You're matching yourself up against better people or people that are close to you and that gives you that drive to get better."

As with most of the sections across the state, the Central Coast Section was allotted three automatic qualifiers into next weekend's CIF-State Championships at Clovis Buchanan High. Additional athletes could continue their season by hitting an at-large standard. The standard is a combination of the average 9th place qualifying marks into the State Meet final from the previous three seasons. The section had five individuals not among the top three placers, hit the at-large standard to earn a trip to the State Meet.

One who didn't is Bellarmine senior Alex Scales in the 800. Scales was the runner-up at the State final in the two-lap race last year but was just 4th here (1:56.62), missing the at-large time of 1:54.68. Jason Gomez (Westmont) won in 1:52.89, the No. 6 time in the state this season.

Scales (Eric Taylor photo above) will be in Clovis to run the 1600 after winning the event in 4:16.12.

The boys 3200 was another race where familiar names were left out moving forward. Owen MacKenzie (Los Altos) won in 9:07.95 ahead of Andrew P. Hill's Jorge Estrella (9:09.51) and Menlo's Robert Miranda (9:09.91). Bellarmine's Meikael Beaudoin-Rousseau was 4th in 9:10.19, missing the at-large standard of 9:08.89.

The boys long jump field got five through led by winner Alex Enos (St. Ignatius) whose best of 23-11.25 was aided by a 4.4 meters-per-second wind. Menlo-Atherton's Nick Anderson placed 5th but advanced with a 22-06.50 best, aided by a 2.3 mps wind that helped him past the 22-4 at-large standard.

Augmon's teammate Jazlynne Shearer, a junior, advanced in three individual events, winning the 100 hurdles in 13.94 (-0.4), the No. 5 time in the state this spring. Shearer placed second in the long jump (18-08.00 (3.9) and third in the triple jump (40-03.25/0.0). 

Shearer (Eric Taylor photo above) came into the meet as the CA leader in the long jump but CA #2 freshman Megan Ronan (St. Ignatius) got the best of the dual here, winning in 19-03.00 (4.0). Shearer's teammate, senior Arianna Fisher was 4th in the long jump and her best of 18-00.50 (1.8) fell short of the 18-2 at-large standard.

Fisher, the state leader in the triple jump, was the winner here (41-05.25/0.8). Samantha Louie (Fremont) was 4th but used a 3.0 mps wind to hit 38-08.50, exceeding the at-large mark of 38-4 to earn a trip to State. 

State leader Laurel Wong (Santa Catalina) won the girls pole vault (13-00) and four others hit the at-large standard of 11-11 to move on.


Augmon started out the evening by running anchor on the relay team, which finished behind Monte Vista-Cupertino. The Raiders were clocked in 48.16, edging Menlo-Atherton by .02. The top three in each event advance automatically to the CIF Championships next week in Clovis.

In the 100, Augmon finished second to Menlo-Atherton's Jessica Eagle, who won in 12.16, to Augmon's 12.19. Maggie Hall of M-A won the 200 over Augmon, 24.87-24.94.

Augmon gets up fairly quickly and has elegant, long strides. She is working on improving her start and is looking forward to next week.

"I am excited to go to the state meet and go against better competitors," Augmon said.

The Menlo School-Atherton's Charlotte Tomkinson dropped over two seconds off of her personal-best in the 800, winning over a strong field in 2:11.01. The sophomore was only worried about qualifying for the CIF meet.

"I'm very happy with (the time)," she said. "I didn't expect it at all."

Santa Cruz senior Mari Friedman was second (2:11.90) and St. Francis freshman Isabelle Cairns was third (2:12.83). Nine runners ran 2:17.00 or faster but only three will go to the State meet.

"I have race pretty much all of these girls in invitationals since February," Tomkinson said. "All of the times are within one or two seconds of each other. We all do know each other, kind of know how we race and are friends on the side, too."

Tomkinson started out as a triathlete, picking it up when she was 8 years old. She competed in her last triathlon - at least for now - last year.

"I kind of put that aside so I could focus all my time and energy on training and offseason and being the best track and cross country runner I could be," she said.

Eight-year olds don't compete in those full-fledged iron man triathlons you see on television.

"Oh, it's really short, no, no, no," Tomkinson said. "It's a couple of laps in a pool, ride a little mile on your bike and jog. It kind of taught me what it is to be a competitor and how to race really hurt which is obviously something you need in this sport (track).

"I miss it but in the end, this is really what makes me happy and I have no regrets. This is where I want to be."

San Mateo Serra senior Tyler Mak won the boys 300 hurdles, but not in the most conventional way. Holding the lead late, Mak crashed through the final two hurdles, stumbling and nearly going down. He was able to regain his footing and finished in 38.37.

"That was my fourth or fifth hurdle race including the trials this year," Mak explained. "I did hurdles three years ago but I never did 300 hurdles. I got fourth in the (400) last year and they said, 'You should try the hurdles. You're tall!' Gave it a go. And yeah, as you can see, the hurdle technique isn't the best especially towards the end, I kind of split my knee open, but it worked out.

"You get to the last two hurdles and you don't really feel anything anyway, so a couple of bangs on a hurdle don't change much. It hurts ... just as much."

Mak then got his knee wrapped up and proceeded to run the second leg on Serra's winning 1,600 relay team. That win in 3:18.72 gave the Padres the boys team championship at the meet.

"I don't know when the last time Serra won the team title," Mak said. "That's awesome."

For the record, Serra's only previous CCS team championship came in 2003. The Padres finished with 61 points to Bellarmine's 54.

Sunnyvale King's Academy sophomore Anna Mokkapati had what might have been the most impressive win of the night. She suffered a "flat tire" with her shoe early in the 3,200, running with the heel tucked under her foot for half a lap before kicking the shoe away. She then ran the final six laps of the race with one shoe. Not only did Mokkapati finish, she won in a personal-best 10:47.91.

MileSplitCA editor Jeffrey Parenti contributed to this report.