The Palo Alto High School boys’ track and field team is looking forward to the De Anza League meets next week after a close loss against Lynbrook High School on Thursday.
Against Lynbrook, the varsity boys (4-2) fell short in the 4×400 meter relay, the final, and arguably most exciting event of the meet.
The Vikings started out strong with the boys varsity team winning the 4×100 meter relay and sophomore Kent Slaney winning the 1600-meter race, but things started to take a turn for the worse when Lynbrook swept both the 110-meter high hurdles and the 300-meter low hurdle races.
According to former boys sprinter Tak Nishi, who was added to the hurdles team just two weeks before the end of the season to try to get some points in the hurdle events, the team will only get better with time and practice.
“We have a really good coach who is new this year and even though I haven’t been in hurdles for very long from what I’ve seen, we just don’t have the numbers of boys that would allow us to perform well,” Nishi said. “In addition, we have only one varsity hurdler who has been there the entire season so our hurdles team is really very young.”
Placing in the hurdle events will be crucial for next year’s team success, which will compliment the strong frontline of athletes that have been dominating the varsity scene in sprints and distance races including juniors Dami Bolarinwa, Eli Givens, and sophomore Kent Slaney.
In Thursday’s meet against Lynbrook, Slaney showed his impressive abilities in his win in the 1600-meter race, when he opened a three-second gap in the last 150 meters of the race. Slaney finished with a 4:37.48 time.
Young talent such as sophomore Thorin Haussecker, who earned a personal record in the 200- meter race and is ranked 13th in the De Anza League, is looking forward to the opportunity of running varsity next season.
“I’m looking forward to racing varsity next year especially in the 4×100 meter race with some of the other great sprinters and I’m going to do a lot of training in the off season to make sure I’m in shape once next year’s season begins,” Haussecker said.
Despite the regular season being over and the loss to Lynbrook, the Vikings have their heads held high and many are looking forward to De Anza League trials at 3:15 p.m. next Tuesday, May 5 at Lynbrook High School. The Vikings, along with the other schools in DAL will send their three best athletes for each event to the meet for a chance to earn a qualifying spot in the De Anza League finals, which will occur on Thursday, May 7, again at Lynbrook.