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Boys Varsity Track, Girls Varsity Track · Track and Field Excels at PAL Championships


 A HUGE congratulations to the boys and girls varsity track & field teams for their amazing performances on Saturday at the PAL Finals, held at Menlo Atherton.  Out of 17 schools competing, the Cougar girls finished in 4th place overall, narrowly missing 2nd by only 2 points.  The boys finished in 6th place overall.
Claire Yerby started our amazing day with a huge win in the 1600.  When Beatta Gold from Aragon pulled equal with her with only 1/2 lap left, Claire stayed calm and ran smooth through the turn, and opened up down the final stretch to win by 2 seconds in 5:12.5.  Our first PAL champion of 2018!
Next, Kendall Mansukhani took the lead right away in the 800.  She controlled it even though Emma Madgic from Aragon tried to hang with her.  She pulled away to win in 2:17.99, narrowly missing her own school record.  Our second PAL champion!
Third, Sophia Valdez got out of the blocks fast in the 300 hurdles and cruised over every one without any hits or stutters to finish first in a big time personal best of 48.22, knocking off 2 seconds from her best time and breaking 50 seconds for the first time.  Our third PAL champion!
Last for the girls,  was the 4 by  400 relay.  Senior Makenna Colucci blasted out of the blocks and ran her best 400 leg ever to hand off to Claire Yerby in second place behind Menlo Atherton’s lead runner.  Claire controlled her position and gained on M-A.  She handed to Maile Bowers, who really ran an awesome leg.  She made up 30 yards on Menlo, handing off to Kendall Mansukhani for the anchor only 10 yards back.  Kendall quickly pulled up next to Menlo’s anchor leg.  She tried to pass but was held off.  She calmly stayed in the attack position on her opponent’s shoulder.  She shot past her off the turn and opened up a gap, bringing the baton across the line in first and upsetting the favorite by over a second.  Our 4th PAL Champion!
Of note, Danny Corona finished in the top 12 in the Shot put and discus, Sara Bower finished 7th in the discus throw, and could still make CCS.  Tasha Jones finished in 7th in the High jump, Sophia placed 3rd in the 100 hurdles, and Makenna was 7th.  Maile did three jumps, finishing 12th in the triple jump, 6th in the high jump and 10th in the long jump!
So,  With only 8 girls competing in finals, our girls took home 4 gold medals.  There are 16 events total.  HMB had 25% of the event champions!  AWESOME!!  We had the most girls champions of all the teams.   What a great day!
On the boys side,
Jake Quosig ran a personal best of 52.35 in the 400m to earn 4th place and a CCS berth.  Sean Fitzgerald ran a  a personal best of 15.31 in the 110 high hurdles to secure second place.  Cole finished in 6th place in the 800, narrowly being outleaned by a Sequoia runner for 5th.  He could still get into CCS.
Sean, Jake, and Cole teamed up with Jared Mansukhani to finish third in the 4 x 400 relay.  They were seeded 8th and came away with all league honors.  Jake led off and handed to Jared.  Jared moved up two spots to hand to Sean.  Sean ran a great final stretch to give the baton to Cole.  Cole got passed by a Sequoia runner, the same runner that edged him for fifth in the 800 earlier in the day.  Cole stayed with him, and was able to repay him with a last step lean to earn third over Sequoia’s 4th place.
Of note, Sorie Syme was 6th in the high jump, and could still qualify for CCS.  Others competing in the finals were Patrick Hann in the long and triple jumps, Ibrahim Syme in the triple jump, Natan Cristol Deman and Nick Moore in the 3200 and James McEachen in the 1600.
In THE race of the day, Sean Fitzgerald ran a flawless 300 hurdles, neck and neck with Jacob Jeffries from San Mateo.  They have been racing each other for 3 years now.  They ran shoulder to shoulder over every hurdle with Jeffries holding a slight lead over the 5th, 6th and 7th hurdle.  Sean kept his form and stayed long through the last hurdle and clipped the finish line in 39.71!  Jeffries finished in 39.72!  Only 1/100 of a second separated them and it was decided by a photo finish.  That was his first time under 40 seconds and gave Half Moon Bay High School 5 PAL champions for the day!  Way to go Cougars!!
Next up is CCS trials.  Automatic Qualifiers for the girls areClaire Yerby, Sophia Valdez, Kendall Mansukhani, Maile Bowers and Makenna Colucci.  On the bubble are Sara Bower, Maile Bowers, and Makenna Colucci.  For the boys, Sean Fitzgerald, Jake Quosig, Jared Mansukhani, and Cole Wilkinson.  Sorie Syme is on the bubble in the high jump.”