RECAP Boothby Family Affair Among CCS Top 8 Highlights

Scotts Valley junior Ashlyn Boothby won the 1600m and the 800m at the CCS Top 8 meet, her sister Amber and brother Aidan also medaled Friday night at the showcase event at Los Gatos HS.

Some of the top athletes in the Central Coast Section gathered at Los Gatos High School on Friday evening for the annual CCS Top 8 meet.

The meet was a family affair in a few events.

The Boothby family of Scotts Valley won the girls distance events. Ashlyn Boothby swept the 1600 and 800 meters while sister Amber Boothby won the 3200. Their brother Aiden Boothby, a senior, earned a medal and a spot on the awards stand with a third-place finish in the 3200m.

Ashlyn Boothby, a junior, was actually disappointed with her winning time in the 1600 of four minutes, 50.19 seconds.

"I feel alright," she said. "I was hoping to PR here today. I had a real good race here last year and I was hoping I could do it again just with some luck. I was really aiming for sub-4:45 but it didn't happen, which I was a little disappointed about. But it's OK, the season's not over, I'll learn from it."

Her personal-best of 4:49.29 came earlier this season at the Dustin Distance Fiesta.

She returned later in the evening to win the 800 in 2:12.89, beating Palo Alto senior Hillary Studdert by about a second (2:13.83). Los Altos freshman Lily Symon was third in 2:17.02.

Amber Boothby, a senior, won the 3200 in 11:02.02 with another Los Altos freshman, Lydia Anderson, next in 11:05.13.

The Top 8 meet is designed to bring together the elite athletes in the Central Coast Section in a preview of the CIF section finals scheduled a month from now. It also serves as one final invitational for CCS athletes tuning up for the post-season grind that begins with league meets followed by a section semifinal meet and the CCS Finals, also a State Meet qualifier, on May 20.

Another family affair was Los Gatos senior Hannah Slover's victory in the girls high jump.

Slover, the defending California Interscholastic Federation champion in the event, cleared 5-4 for the win at the Top 8.

"I felt really great through the first few bars," Slover said. "I had a great warmup. I was coming in super-confident because the last school meet, I jumped 5-7.

"Coming back from my ankle injury, that was a super-exciting bar to make. Not super-excited about my jump today but glad I got the win for my school."

The ankle injury has bothered Slover for a good part of the season. She will be playing volleyball at UC Santa Barbara in the fall but had bigger plans for her senior season in track and field.

"I was planning on doing some running events and being more active in the program this year, but it took a while to come back from the ankle injury so I'm just happy to be able to jump now," she said, adding that she's at about 85 percent right now.

"Hopefully I'll get up to 100 percent by CCS and state," she said.

Slover is the daughter of Scott Slover, a two-time CIF pole vault champion out of Leland-San Jose before vaulting at UCLA. Scott Slover was coached by his dad, Bob, and now coaches Hannah. Her mother also ran track.

Santa Cruz sophomore Eli Fitchen-Young won the boys 1600 in 4:14.97. He was clear of second place Evan Markelz, a senior from Mountain View, who finished in 4:16.45.

"I knew it was going to go out at a good pace so my strategy was to not lead the whole first lap, which kind of worked out so that was nice," Markelz said. "Just take the lead if I needed to, to make it a little faster, which I did. I'm happy with my kick and I felt like I executed my plan really well."

Fitchen-Young came back later in the meet to place second in the 3200min 9:23.12 behind Los Gatos sophomore Aydon Stefanopoulos, who ran a 9:08.99 PR to win going away. The aforementioned Boothby brother was third in 9:23.44.

Among other girls results:

St. Ignatius freshman Ellie McCuskey-Hay won the girls 100 in 11.86, blowing away the field with a legal wind of +1.2.

She's having a huge freshman season with a personal-best of 11.81.

"After I PRd, I just wanted to PR again," McCuskey-Hay said. "And I'm getting close. Hard work pays off. I've just been training with my teammates and my coaches.

"My strongest event is the 100 but I still have a lot of potential in the 200 and the long jump." 

McCuskey-Hay won the long jump at 18-9.50 inches, well in front of teammate Suraya Newman (17-10.50). Another St. Ignatius jumper was third - Mariel Rocca, a senior who jumped 17-10.50. Rocca won the triple jump with a 37-9.25 PR to beat Los Gatos senior Abigail Lo, who also jumped a PR of 37-5.50.

McCuskey-Hay came back to take second in the 200 in 24.89. Hannah Rutherford, a sophomore at Mountain View, won that event in 24.55.

Archbishop Mitty girls swept the 100m hurdles with junior Tiana Osuna winning in 14.90 (1.9), sophomore Laniah Simpson was second in 14.99 and junior Taylor Oden placed third in 15.13. Osuna returned later to place second in the 300mH, running a 44.89 PR behind winner Melia Middleton of Christopher (44.35).

Simpson and Oden also ran on the winning 4x100m relay team (48.51) and Oden and Osuna ran on the winning 4x400m relay team (4:00.62). 

Los Gatos senior Nicole Steiner won the shot put with a 41-11.75 PR and Homestead senior Ningning O'Brien won the discus throw (132-9) and placed third in the shot with a 36-00.25 PR.

Among other boys results:

The Harker School  senior Andrew Fu won the boys 100 in a wind-legal 10.50 (+1.7 meters per second). 

Santa Clara senior Liam Brennan swept the boys weight events, winning the discus at 176-5 and taking the shot put at 52-3.50.

Leland senior Miles Roberts won the 110-meter hurdles (14.13/1.8) and placed third in the long jump with a 22-6 (0.0) personal best.

Christopher senior Kingsley Okoronkwo won the long jump with a 23-2 best to beat state leader Logan Saldate, a junior at Palma, who jumped 22-10 (0.7).

Los Gatos senior Levi Romero won the 400m in 48.20 to beat Junipero Serra senior Parker Harrison (48.78), and he ran on the winning 4x400m relay team. 

Damin Esper is a Bay Area-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to MileSplit

California MileSplit editor Jeffrey Parenti contributed to this report

Photos by Daniel Hernandez and Jeffrey Parenti