The post season in track and field always brings forth a lot of nerves and uncertainty, as you really get to see how well your team prepared throughout the regular season. The goal is always to have athletes hit their peak performance at the perfect time. And that time is the PAL Varsity trials.
In their first post season step, the Varsity Panthers showed they are peaking at the right time, with most of our athletes either equaling their lifetime bests, or exceeding them. We saw incredible grit in the 1600m, with gutsy performances by Sonja Dommen in her first real action of the year in the GIrls event, as well as a trio of athletes (Brendan Creeks, Mark Habelt, and Jason Schech) in the Boys 1600m equaling that display. Namiha Yasuda was our sole athlete in the Girls 800m, and although she also displayed tremendous Panther grit, she missed qualifying for next week’s finals. Sonja and Jason have both qualified for the finals in the 1600m, and some of our distance athletes will compete in the 3200m events next week, but kudos to all of our athletes for a wonderful season.
In the 100m and 200m, our athletes ran their hearts out against a very fast PAL field. Zoe Keeley, Mahdi Shihadeh, Joshua Varghese, and Ryan Lowe performed very well in their heats, but fell short of moving on to next week’s finals. Juwon Park and Ethan Biddle put in great performances in the 400m as well, but also fell just short. Congratulations to each of these athletes for a great season.
Our best performances of the day, though, began with the field events. Aidan O’Sullivan, nursing a nagging lower leg injury, competed in both the high jump and triple jump, both events being finals. While his high jump performance suffered a bit, his triple jump performance was stellar, giving us 3 PR marks on six jumps in that event, finishing with a final leap of 38′ 7.25″. Aidan placed 6th overall in that event, and is to be congratulated for his top notch performance. But he also must rest that leg, as he competes in the long jump finals next weekend.
Cooper Glavin, competing in both the 110m HH and the 300m IH, entered competition with the goal of moving to next week’s finals in the 300m event, while using the earlier 110m event as a technical warm-up. Yet he surprised the league, and himself, posting PR’s in both, qualifying for next week’s 110m final, and leading the field in the 300m event with a lifetime best of 42.68. No one is close to Cooper, as he is the top performer in all of PAL in the 300m IH by over one second. We look forward to his continued dominance at next week’s finals, adn a potentiel berth to the CCS Trials in Gilroy on 5/11.
Finally, Senior Jessica Masterson, competing in the final PAL meets of her high school career, entered the day hoping to make the finals in the 400m, and just hold her own in the 200m. In true Jessica fashion, she qualified for next week’s finals in both events, coming within 0.1 seconds of her 200m PR, and setting another PR in the 400m while winning her heat in dominating fashion. Jessica, over her years of competing for BHS, has been one of our most consistent and dependable athletes, always finding a way to make it to next level among the best in the league as well as our Central Coast section. Year after year, she raises the bar for herself, and her teammates, and truly displays what being a Panther is all about. Congratulations, Jessica Masterson, for going out in style!
Next week’s PAL Finals are sure to be blistering fast, as the entire league will bring their best performances in hopes of medaling in their events, and potentially moving on the the CCS Trials. Let’s congratulate all the Varsity Panthers on a great 2019 season, and wish our remaining Panthers the best of luck in the week ahead. Go Panthers!