Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - April 27, 2012

Sports Shorts

PALY OLYMPIAN . . . It may be tough for Palo Alto High student Lily Zhang to return to her normal class schedule for the remainder of the school year. She just might have other things on her mind. Like, for instance, competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Zhang, 15, made the final day of the North American table tennis qualifier a good one for her country by claiming the final Olympic berth with a victory on Sunday in Cary, N.C. Zhang beat Canada's Anqi Luo in a five-game women's final for a spot in London."It feels like I've been waiting for this opportunity for so long. It's been my dream ever since I was a little kid," Zhang told The Associated Press. "And now that it's finally here, I just feel like it's still a dream." The 15-year-old Zhang joined San Jose's Ariel Hsing — her teammate and friend from the Palo Alto Table Tennis Club who earned her spot Friday — as American women qualifying for the Olympics. Zhang, who was born in Palo Alto in 1996, was a 2011 US National Championship finalist and won a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games in '11.

OF LOCAL NOTE . . . Stanford sophomore Marissa Ferrante outlasted more than 500 competitors to take the women's overall title at Saturday's USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship in Tuscaloosa, Ala. A standout runner, Ferrante put together a complete race to cruise to victory on the women's side. She lifted the tape in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 28 seconds -- more than five minutes clear of the field on the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course . . . Menlo-Atherton has named Mike Molieri as its new head coach for boys' basketball. Molieri has been a member of the Bears' staff for the past two years. Prior to arriving at M-A, Molieri spent three years as a varsity assistant at Riordan. The Crusaders won West Catholic Athletic League and Central Coast Section championships during his tenure. Before that, he was an assistant varsity coach and the head frosh-soph coach at Jefferson High for eight years . . . M-A is looking for a new girls' varsity volleyball head coach after Jen Wilson recently resigned. She led the Bears to a 31-7 record and a berth in the NorCal Division I finals opposite eventual state champ Palo Alto. Interested coaches should e-mail a resume and letter(s) of recommendation to Athletic Directors Paul Snow (psnow@seq.org) and Steven Kryger (skryger@seq.org) . . . A Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Spring Lacrosse Clinic will be held Saturday at Stanford for grades 5-12. For more information: MundayLacrosse.com or e-mail: mundaylacrosse@womenslax.com . . . The inaugural AYSO El Palo Alto Invitational Tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday at parks throughout Palo Alto. The tournament is a partnership between the San Jose Earthquakes and Palo Alto AYSO, with prizes being offered by the Major League Soccer franchise. The event is hosted by Palo Alto AYSO Region 26 and boys and girls competing in the U-10, U-12, U-14 and U16 levels.

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