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M-A, Paly teams run to cross-country titles

Despite having four freshman in the lineup, the Menlo-Atherton girls ran off with the team title at the second Peninsula Athletic League meet of the cross-country season on Tuesday at Westmoor High in San Bruno.

The Bears finished with 62 points to hold off runner-up Aragon by 20 points.

M-A junior Taylor Fortnam led the way with a second-place finish of 15:11 with freshman teammates Annalise Crowe (15:44) and Maddie Worden (15:46) finishing seventh and ninth, respectively.

Katie Beebe, yet another freshman, ran home 21st overall in 16:40 while freshman Madeleine Baier finished 23rd in 16:42.

In the varsity boys' race, Menlo-Atherton (85 points) finished behind Carlmont (20) and Half Moon Bay (70). Senior John Lovegren led the Bears with a 12:55 clocking while taking seventh. Junior Zach Plante was 11th in 13:08, senior Alex Aguiar was 16th in 13:37, junior Eric Snyder finished 23rd in 13:51 and sophomore Adam Scandlyn was 28th in 14:00.

At the SCVAL Preview meet at Crystal Springs, Palo Alto won the senior girls' race with 56 points as Nora Rosati led the way with a fourth-place finish of 19:49.2 over the 2.95-mile layout. Chika Kasahara was sixth for the Vikings in 19:54.5 with Shaheen Essabhoy clocking 21:11.9 for 12th.

Palo Alto also won the senior boys' race with 66 points as the Vikings put five runners among the top 25, led by Ben Hawthorne's 13th-place finish of 17:22.2.

Palo Alto won the freshman girls' race with 38 points as five Vikings finished among the top 14 with Emma Raney leading the way in 21:06.1. Gunn was second in the team race with Gillian Meeks taking third overall in 19:47.6.

Palo Alto captured the sophomore boys' race with 82 points as Nate Cook took sixth in 17:12.6. Gunn was fourth as David Lee-Heidenreich came home seventh in 17:232.8.

In the junior girls' race, Gunn's Eliana Ribbe was second in 20:21.0 and Paly's Audrey DeBruine was third in 21:04.8.

In the sophomore girls' race, Paly's Katie Foug finished fifth overall in 20:43.1 to help the Vikings take second as a team.

Girls' golf

Castilleja remained unbeaten and atop the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) standings with a 213-282 win over host Notre Dame-San Jose at San Jose Municipal on Tuesday.

Sophomore Chloe Sales was the medalist with a 2-over 38 while senior Taylor Wilkerson was just a stroke back. Nicki Mitchell (42), Paris Wilkerson (45) and Ellie Zales (49) rounded out the scoring for the Gators (5-0, 6-0).

At Poplar Creek in San Mateo, Sacred Heart Prep helped Castilleja move into sole possession of first place by upsetting previously unbeaten Harker, 241-247. Emma Dake (43), Jessica Koenig (44) and Maddy Ellison (49) helped the Gators (5-3, 6-5) hand the Eagles their first WBAL loss.

Girls' tennis

Menlo School has reached the halfway point in the WBAL (Foothill Division) season and to no one's surprise, the Knights are unbeaten and sitting atop the standings once again.

Menlo improved to 5-0 in league (10-7 overall) with a 7-0 win over visiting Sacred Heart Prep on Tuesday. The only drama came at No. 1 singles where Menlo's Liz Yao battled for a 3-6, 7-5, 10-8 victory over Caroline Nordman.

The Knights won all the remaining matches in straight sets while stretching their winning streak in league matches to 193 straight since 1994.

In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Gunn held on to first place with a 6-1 triumph over host Los Gatos on Tuesday. The Titans (8-0, 10-7) took the top three singles matches as Alice Li, Stephanie Zhang and Laurie Perng all won in straight sets.

In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto (3-5, 11-7) handed visiting Mountain View a 5-2 loss.

In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton remained just a game out of first place following a 6-1 win over host Aragon. The Bears (9-1, 11-4) weer led by Erin LaPorte, Samantha Andrew, Maria Londono Tobon and Lindy LaPlante in singles. All won in straight sets.

Girls' water polo

Menlo-Atherton bounced back from an ugly loss to Leland last week and put up an impressive defensive effort to beat visiting St. Ignatius, 5-1, in nonleague action Tuesday.

Jessica Heilman tallied three goals and had four steals for the Bears (8-5) and Sierra Sheeper came up with nine goalie saves. Heilman provided all the scoring after the Bears had taken a 2-1 first-quarter lead.

Elsewhere Tuesday:

Palo Alto edged host Los Gatos, 6-5, as Tess van Hulsen and Martine LeClerc scored twice and the Vikings' stingy proved tough at the end. Paly moved to 5-2 in league (9-7 overall).

Palo Alto forged a 5-3 lead before Los Gatos rallied to tie midway through the fourth quarter. The Vikings finally got the winner when Tara Lawrence found an opening to put Paly ahead 6-5 with 2:27 left to play. Paly goalie Abby Bromberg played another solid game.

In PAL Ocean Division action, Kate Huneke scored both goals as host Menlo School held on for a 2-1 victory over Mills. The Knights improved to 6-2 in league (7-5 overall).

Boys' water polo

Palo Alto set the stage for a showdown with first-place Mountain View on Thursday by pulling away from host Los Gatos for a 14-6 victory in SCVAL De Anza Division action Tuesday.

The Vikings (6-2, 12-4) got six goals from Bret Pinsker and three from Sam Kelley and outscored the Wildcats in the second half, 7-1.

Palo Alto will host unbeaten Mountain View on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The Spartans hold a one-game lead over Los Altos and a two-game bulge over the Vikings.

In PAL Ocean Division action, Kyle Walden scored eight goals and Mike Schembri added three as Priory came up short in a 16-13 loss to Mills at Menlo School. The Panthers fell to 0-7 in league.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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