After both finished the dual-meet seasons with perfect records, the Palo Alto boys and Gunn girls had to back up those performances at the SCVAL De Anza Division Championships on Thursday to claim their respective overall titles.
Palo Alto used its strength in the sprints and depth in the field events to score 125 points and successfully defend its league-meet title on a scorching-hot and windy day at Lynbrook High in San Jose.
The Gunn girls, meanwhile, were sparked by three victories from junior Sarah Robinson and individual wins by freshmen Robin Peter and Maya Miklos while scoring 143 points. Palo Alto, which finished second to Gunn during the dual-meet season, was runner-up again while scoring 92 points.
"It was a great performance by Palo Alto today," said Paly coach Jason Fung. "They came to perform. I was very happy how it turned out."
The Paly boys won last year's league meet with sprint star E.J. Floreal leading the way. Anyone wondering how the Vikings would fare without Floreal found out Thursday.
"We've moved on from that era," said Fung.
Last year, Palo Alto won the 400 relay, took the top four places in the 100 and 200, went 1-3 in the 400 and finished second in the 1,600 relay. On Thursday, the Vikings won the 400 relay, went 1-2 in the 100 and 200, 1-2 in the 400 and finished second in the 1,600.
Paly senior Nick Sullivan was the biggest point producer and one of three double-winners as he took the 400 in a meet record of 48.84, won the 200 with a personal best of 22.07 and anchored the winning 1,600 relay. Sullivan now owns league marks in the varsity and frosh-soph 400.
Fellow senior Jayshawn Gates took the 100 in a wind-aided 10.87 while his twin, Justin, finished second in 11.07. Jayshawn finished second in the 200 (22.31) and ran on both relays making his debut on the 4x400 team that clocked a season best of 3:24.59.
Paly's Michael Johnson won the 110 high hurdles in a wind-legal and personal-best time of 14.72 to take over the No. 2 spot in the Central Coast Section rankings. He hit only the seventh hurdle. Johnson, who has been bothered by a tight hamstring, scratched from the 300 intermediate hurdles and now can't run that event the remainder of the season.
Paly's recent spate of injuries also showed up in the field events where Victor Du (battling a heel injury) won the long jump at 21-11 ½ but scratched from the high jump costing Paly possible points at the CCS Championships later this month.
Grant Shorin provided additional points in the field with a second in the high jump (6-0) and a runner-up effort in the long jump (21-2) for the defending CCS champs.
"The kids are a little banged up now, but there's time," said Fung. "Rest and recovery will be most important this week."
The Gunn boys came up short in the depth department and thus had to settle for fifth place with 32 points. Eric Price was second in the triple jump at 43-1, Wyatt Eberspacher was third in the high hurdles (15.39) and Sean Lydster was third in the 100 in 11.18 to lead the Titans.
In the girls' competition, Gunn first-year coach PattiSue Plumer made a splashy debut at the league meet for the Titans even though she had been here before as head coach at Los Altos.
"We were just thrilled with our girls," Plumer said. "Our freshmen were awesome. It's great to win the dual-meet season and the league championships, which is not always one in the same.
"It was just incredible, particularly with the weather. It was hot and windy. Everybody was having a hard time with allergies. Even those who didn't know they had allergies had a hard time. Sarah (Robinson) was great, obviously, winning all three events."
Robinson opened with a 5:07.23 victory in the 1,600 and came back to win the 800 in 2:20.10 and the 3,200 in 11:01.25 to complete the most difficult triple in the sport.
"The biggest question was not whether Sarah would run three events, but whether we'd change our game plan based on the weather," Plumer said. "What made it hard was not the three events, but the weather."
Robinson weathered the tough conditions well and received plenty of support from freshmen Robin Peter and Maya Miklos. Peter won the 100 in a windy 12.54 after taking second in the 100 hurdles (windy 15.53) and running on the 400 relay. Miklos won the 400 in 59.46, finished second in the 300 hurdles (47.95) and took third in the 100 hurdles (16.25).
Gunn also got a victory in the shot put from Adriana Noronha (36-1), who took second in the discus (109-6) while senior Kirsten Baird won the high jump (5-0) and finished third in the long jump (15-4) for additional points to hold off Palo Alto. The Vikings won the opening 400 relay (49.61) and closing 1,600 relay (4:05.48), but couldn't produce any victories in between.