It’s not often that a coach of a high school team races on the track – in dress slacks and shirt – against high school students. Despite the tomfoolery at Wednesday’s track meet against the Gunn High School Titans, Palo Alto High School’s team still managed to win its final dual meet.
The varsity girls won 69-57 and the varsity boys won 94-33, capping off a 4-2 season for the girls and a 6-0 season for the boys.
On the girls’ side, freshman Miranda Jimenez finished third in the 1600-meter race and second in the 3200-meter race, posting times of 5:29.40 and 11:58.85. Junior Julia Doubson also placed top three in both events.
Jimenez said she was proud of the team’s performance, adding that several team members have improved remarkably.
“I think the team did really well,” Jimenez said. “It helped that we were at home.”
The Paly boys swept the 800-meter run, with Kent Slaney, Kai Oda and Aashai Avadhani finishing first, second and third, respectively.
Avadhani attributed the win to smart race strategy.
“I think it was one of my best races of the season so far,” Avadhani said. “It was a competitive race, but I think that we were able to run smart and run strategically.”
For the field events, senior Michel-Ange Siaba took first place in both the long and high jump. Sophomore Emma Johnson and freshman Lesieli Latu snagged first and second, respectively, in the shot put.
Since it was the last dual meet of the season, as well as senior night, Paly athletes experimented with events that they didn’t usually participate in. Assistant coach Michael Granville expressed his amazement at their versatility.
“Seeing some of the athletes compete in events that they haven’t done before is fun,” Granville said, adding that these same athletes performed exceptionally in unfamiliar events.
Sophomore Henry Saul said the team is doing everything it can to make its postseason presence as strong as possible.
“We want to get as many runners to CCS as possible, especially CCS finals,” Saul said. “If any spots open up, we’d like to throw some runners at States too.”
The postseason will commence with the De Anza League Trials on Tuesday, May 2 in Milpitas.