RECAP Frosh McCuskey-Hay Stars at Central Coast Track Finals

St. Ignatius newcomer Ellie McCuskey-Hay won three individual events and ran on a winning relay team to headline the CIF-CCS Finals at Gilroy HS.

GILROY -- St. Ignatius freshman sensation Ellie McCuskey-Hay took gold in four events at the CIF-Central Coast Section Championships on Saturday at Gilroy High School.

McCuskey-Hay won the 100 meter dash in 11.92 (0.0), the 200m dash in 24.76 (-1.9), the long jump with a best of 18-09.50 (0.0), and teamed with senior Izzy DeSouza, sophomore Odavuia Goldman, and fellow frosh Sophia Boudraa on the winning 4x100m relay team (48.18).

McCuskey-Hay was undoubtedly the headliner in the section championship meet where the top three in each event (top two in the new 4x800m relay) earned automatic spots into the field at the CIF-State Championships on Friday and Saturday at Buchanan High School in Clovis.

McCuskey-Hay set the tone as youth definitely ruled the day on the girls side.

Mountain View sophomore Hannah Rutherford defended her title in the 400m (54.81) and ran second in the 200m (24.87).

A year after placing fifth in the event, St. Francis sophomore Sabrina Zanetto (St. Francis) won a fast 800-meter race in 2:10.35, just edging Menlo-Atherton junior Tatum Olesen (2:10.47) and Castilleja senior Samira Kennedy (2:10.87). Zanetto also ran legs on the winning 4x400m relay (3:58.49) and 4x800m relay (9:12.05). 

Scotts Valley junior Ashlyn Boothby defended her CCS title in the 1600 (4:52.27) with Palo Alto sophomore Kinga Czajkowska second (4:53.59) and Los Altos junior Jasleen Sidhu third (4:54.55). 

Mitty went 1-2 in the 100m hurdles with sophomore Laniah Simpson running a 14.78 (0.8) PR for the win over junior Tiana Osuna (15.02). 

It was a sophomore party in the shot put where Hollister's Golda Demby won the with a best of 43-04.50, Los Gatos's Nicole Steiner placed second (40-07.00) and Silver Creek's Brielle Moseley was third (37-10.00). 

In a battle of junior's, Jonelle Scott of Soquel was the winner in the pole vault with Branham's Kendra Williams placing second as both girls cleared 11 feet. 

The Hollister sophomore duo of Hannah Vincent and Emma Franks went 1-2 in the triple jump at 37-05.50 and 37-05.00, respectively. Monta Vista soph Clara Fan placed third at 37-02.00.

Senior girls also had representation atop the awards stand led by Los Alto senior Lauren Soobrian, who defended her CCS title in the 3200m in 10:38.16 to hold off Mitty sophomore Evie Marheineke (10:41.10) and Sidhu (10:43.11). 

Christopher senior Melia Middleton won the 300 hurdle in 43.74 to beat Gunn junior Avery Adelman (43.89). Homestead senior Ningning O'Brien defended her section title in the discus throw (138-04) with Mitty soph Maya Ifo Desai next (123-08). Notre Dame senior Melanie Castelli won the high jump (5-7) in an event where six girls advance. Defending CIF-State champion in the event, Los Gatos senior Hannah Slover, was among five girls to clear 5-5, the State at-large qualifying standard. 

Santa Catalina senior Juliette Kosmont placed second to McCuskey-Hay in the 100m (12.19)

Seniors ruled the day in the boys competition led by Leland 2023 Miles Roberts, who swept the hurdles, winning the 110m event in 14.17 (0.0), and the 300m barriers in a 38.02 PR. Junipero Serra senior Peter Olson placed second in the 300s (38.30) and third in the 110s (14.68). In that 300m hurdles race, Fremont senior Kathir Balakrishnan placed third in 38.38 and Santa Teresa senior Richard Salazar earned a State Meet spot in 38.50, 0.16 under the at-large standard.

Harker senior Andrew Fu ran a 21.31 PR to win the 200m. He also qualified with a third-place finish in the 100m (10.87) behind Live Oak junior Christian Hauge (10.75/-0.7) and Riordan senior Zachary Jones (10.81).

A pair of Los Gatos 2023s went 1-2 in the 400m, with Will Brennan running 48.02 to edge Levi Romero (48.28). Brennan was the runner-up as a junior. That pair teammed with junior Jake Bohane and senior Brady Kamali on the winning 4x400m relay team (3:18.27).

A year after placing seventh, Woodside Priory senior Levente Palvolgyi won the 1600m in 4:10.17 to edge Los Gatos sophomore Aydon Stefanopoulos (4:10.66) and Pioneer soph Carson Hedlund (4:11.16). Menlo senior Justin Pretre placed fourth in 4:11.42 to dip under the state at-large standard of 4:13.89, also earning a ticket to Clovis. 

Stefanopoulos came back to win the 3200m (9:00.33) with Mountain View senior Evan Markelz second (9:02.70), Wilcox senior John Cooper third in 9:04.29, and Santa Cruz sophomore Eli Fitchen-Young landing directly on the at-large qualifying standard of 9:05.52. 

Pretre teammed with his sophomore brother Landon, senior Aiden Deffner, and soph William Hauser on the winning 4x800m relay team (7:50.88). In a battle that spilled over from cross country, the Crystal Springs Uplands lineup of sophomores Tarik Baker and Benjamin Bouie, junior Dean Wu, and senior Furious Clay crossed a close second in 7:51.10 to earn the other CCS qualifying spot into the State Meet. Bellarmine was third in 7:51.33. The times by Crystal and Bellarmine rank CA Nos. 8 and 9 this outdoor season. Menlo ran CA's No. 6 time in the event of 7:47.23 at Arcadia. 

Other senior champions area Zachary Jones of Riordan in the long jump (23-02.75/-2.4), William Floyd of Menlo in the pole vault (15-00), Zachary Fagin of Los Altos in the high jump (6-5), Liam Brennan of Santa Clara with a 176-06 PR to defend his title in the discus throw.

In that long jump competition, six boys hit the at-large standard for State of 22-7, including Fatin (23-00.25/-1.4) and current CA leader Logan Saldate, a junior at Palma, who placed fourth at 22-09.50 (-0.7).

Non-senior boys also had their say as Homestead sophomore Evan Gardner won the 800m (1:54.71), Junipero Serra sophomore Luke Lewis won the shot put (54-00.50), and Bellarmine Prep junior Kenneth Tucker won the triple jump (46-02/0.0).

Jeffrey Parenti is the California State Editor for MileSplitCA

Photos by Marie Marheineke, Raul Ebio, Daniel Hernandez