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CCS track and field finals: Los Altos, Mountain View, St. Ignatius, Mitty, Palo Alto standouts among top performers

CCS track and field finals: Los Altos, Mountain View, St. Ignatius, Mitty, Palo Alto standouts among top performers

GILROY – Nathaniel Guillory stumbled out of the starting blocks at Gilroy High in the 100-meter race. Not a great way to start the premier event at the Central Coast Section track and field championships, but also nothing he couldn’t handle. 

Even when the Los Altos senior saw Live Oak’s Christian Hauge pull out ahead, Guillory stayed level-headed as he sprinted toward the finish line.

“When Christian got out ahead of me, I didn’t tense up,” Guillory said. “I knew that the work was put in, and that I had the top speed to win.” 

His self-belief was justified a few moments later after he crossed the finish line in front of the pack with a time of 10.78. 

A couple events later, he beat out a couple of West Catholic Athletic League opponents in Serra’s Jaden Green and Mitty’s Prince Najeeb Babalola-Buchango for the 200-meter gold medal too. Guillory won with a time of 21.37 compared to Babalola-Buchango second-place time of 21.69. 

“It’s all about every little decision,” Guillory said. “Not going to parties at night, cooling down and stretching and the core work, the four in the morning workouts. It’s all about how much you want it.”

Guillory stressed that his preparation, and belief in his training, was his key to his success this season. 

“I looked around and said ‘I’ve worked harder than this entire field,’” Guillory said. “Being able to say that gives you confidence in the race.”

Guillory and the rest of the winners, alongside any qualifiers, will compete in the California Interscholastic Federation state track and field championships starting next Friday in Clovis.

Mitty’s hurdling trio headlines girls team champs, St. Ignatius is boys champion

Arch Bishop Mitty’s Taylor Oden smiles as she hugs her teammates Tiana Osuna, left, and Laniah Simpson, right, after placing first, second and third in the Girls 100 Meter Hurdles during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

Laniah Simpson, Taylor Oden and Tiana Osuna embraced as Archbishop Mitty teammates, medalists and CIF State championship qualifiers after finishing first, second and third respectively in the 100-meter hurdles. 

The Mitty trio of Simpson (14.63), Oden (14.80) and Osuna (14.91) were the only competitors to run the race in under 15 seconds. 

“It’s a friendly competition,” Simpson said. “We’re all trying to push each other and get better.”

That friendly competition is the reason the San Jose private school has the premier girls hurdling program in the CCS, and an exceptional relay team too. 

Those three, plus Shiloh Haliburton-Rudy, beat out Los Altos for the 4X100 relay title in 47.62. 

Mitty won the girls team title with 63 points. Los Altos was second with 56 and third-place St. Ignatius had 44. 

“They started training back in late September, on the weight room and onto the track,” coach Ryan Oden said. “At practice we do what we call competitive starts, where we line them up next to each other, and they push each other.”

St. Ignatius (55 points) beat out Bellarmine (47) for the boys title.

McCuskey-Hay, Rutherford repeat as CCS champs

St. Ignatius’ Ellie McCuskey-Hay pulls ahead of the competition to place first in the Girls 100 Meter Dash during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

Ellie McCuskey-Hay captured her second consecutive100-meter CCS title in dominating fashion, beating second place by 0.56. 

“I just get out as fast as I can by staying down and then I try to have a good drive phase and not overextend my arms too much,” McCuskey-Hay said. 

McCuskey-Hay also won the long jump at 18-01.50 and placed third in the 200-meter race. 

Mountain View’s Hannah Rutherford pulls away from the competition to win the Girls 400 Meter Dash during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

The latter event was seemingly won by Mountain View’s Hannah Rutherford until the last second, who was only a few meters from the finish line when North Salinas freshman Clara Adams accelerated past her to win in 24.62. 

“I really thought I had it until right at the end, but that just shows that you never know what’s gonna happen until you go all the way through the line,” Rutherford said after running it in 24.66. 

The junior couldn’t be too disappointed though, considering she had just repeated as the 400-meter champion a few events prior after she won in a meet record 53.81. 

“My coaches gave me a split to hit in the first 200, around 25.4 and I ended up going out in sub-25,” Rutherford said after she broke Leslie Maxie’s 42-year-old record of 53.92. “So it definitely hit in the end.”

Crystal Springs’ Benjamin Bouie and Paly’s Grant Morganfeld set records

Palo Alto’s Grant Morgenfeld competes in the Boys 1600 Meter Run during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

Benjamin Bouie could barely stand or speak after he rewrote the meet record book in the 1600-meter race after he won in 4:06.92, beating Mark Stillman’s old time of 4:07,22 set in 1977. 

The junior from Crystal Springs Uplands had given everything he had to secure his championship in the final stretch. 

“I felt kind of rough going into the third lap when the pace was fast, but I knew that it’s only 400 meters, and I know I can get through it,” Bouie said.

Palo Alto’s Grant Morgenfeld came in second despite also setting a meet record (4:08.20), and he’d have to wait a couple of hours to win the 3200. The senior pulled away in the final lap to win in 9:04.09.

 He and Kinga Czajkowska helped Paly win the 3200 in both the boys and girls divisions. 

Morgenfeld teared up after the race when recalling how far he’s come since last season, when the Paly standout struggled with injuries. 

“I’m just super happy for the opportunity and super thankful for all the people who helped me get there,” Morgenfeld said. “It’s been a full year getting back to this point.”

Prospect’s Kylie Hoornaert rocks the 800

Prospect’s Kylie Hoornaert competes and places first in the Girls 800 Meter Run during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

Some runners take a measured approach to the start of the 800-meter, saving their energy for the final stretch. 

Prospect’s Kylie Hoornaert is not one of those runners. 

“My coach told me I should run out first and try and drop a couple of people so I wouldn’t have as much pressure on the second leg,” the senior said after winning in 2:10.78. “ I’ll just go out faster because I, in my mind, want to secure it more easily, even if it’s a more risky strategy.”

She said she listens to Lil Nas X’s hit song SCOOP before races to simultaneously hype herself up and calm herself down. 

“This sounds really cheesy, but I’ve struggled with stress a lot. So much dread before every race,” the Prospect runner said. “This year, I decided to try to have fun and I’d tell myself, no matter how much I wanted to win, that I’d have fun.”

Hoornaert obviously had plenty of fun on Saturday. 

Other champions

Boys

Long jump: Wilcox’s Tyson Bonilla, 23-04.75

Triple jump: St. Ignatius’ Noah Gonzalez, 46-11.00

Shot put: Serra’s Luke Lewis, 57-09.50

Discus: Silver Creek’s Kyler Headley, 178-10

High jump: San Mateo’s Luka Sebisanovic, 6-06.00

Pole vault: St. Ignatius’ Lexington Lehnert, 16-00.00

4X100: Archbishop Mitty, 41.69

1600: Crystal Springs Uplands’ Benjamin Bouie, 4:06.92 (meet record)

110 hurdles: Archbishop Mitty’s Prince Najeeb Babalola-Buchango, 14.55

400: Serra’s Jeovanni Henley, 47.97 (freshman meet record)

100: Los Altos’ Nathaniel Guillory, 10.78

800: Homestead’s Evan Gardner, 1:53.99

300 hurdles: St. Ignatius’ Thomas Zang, 38.45

200: Los Altos’ Nathaniel Guillory, 21.37

4X800: Crystal Springs Uplands, 7:51.61

3200: Palo Alto’s Grant Morgenfeld, 9:04.09

4X400: Bellarmine, 3:21.30

Serra’s Jeovanni Henley crosses the finish line in first place while competing in the Boys 400 Meter Dash during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

Girls

Long jump: St. Ignatius’ Ellie McCuskey-Hay, 18-01.50

Triple jump: Hollister’s Hannah Vincent, 37-10.50

Shot put: Hollister’s Golda Demby, 42-08.00

Discus: Hollister’s Golda Demby, 139-07

High jump: Menlo School’s Summer Young, 5-06.00

Pole vault: Soquel’s Jonelle Scott, 12-03.00

4X100: Archbishop Mitty, 47.62

1600: Menlo-Atherton’s Tatum Olesen, 4:53.08

100 hurdles: Archbishop Mitty’s Laniah Simpson, 14.63

400: Mountain View’s Hannah Rutherford, 53.81 (meet record)

100: St. Ignatius’ Ellie McCuskey-Hay, 11.99

800: Prospect’s Kylie Hoornaert, 2:10.78

300 hurdles: Gunn’s Avery Adelman, 43.94

200: North Salinas’ Clara Adams, 24.62

4X800: St. Francis, 9:24.50

3200: Palo Alto’s Kinga Czajkowska, 10:39.76

4X400: Los Gatos, 3:54.05

Los Gatos’ Nicole Steiner competes in the Girls Shot Put during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Los Altos’ Nathaniel Guillory crosses the finish line in first place while competing in the Boys 200 Meter Dash during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Arch Bishop Mitty’s Prince Babalola-Buchango stretches to cross the finish line in first place while competing in the Boys 110 Meter Hurdles during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
A track official fires his starter pistol during the Boys 400 Meter Dash at the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Menlo-Atherton’s Tatum Olesen reacts as she crosses the finish line to place first in the Girls 1600 Meter Run during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Sacred Heart Catholic’s Miles Cook competes in the Boys 1600 Meter Run during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
North Salinas’ Clara Adams celebrates after winning the Girls 200 Meter Dash during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Arch Bishop Mitty’s Taylor Oden rounds the corner while competing in the Girls 4×100 Meter Relay during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Arch Bishop Mitty’s Prince Babalola-Buchango, center, competes in the Boys 110 Meter Hurdles during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Palo Alto’s Kinga Czajkowska (2) competes in the Girls 1600 Meter Run during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Los Gatos’ Madison Kohli drops to the ground after competing in the Girls 400 Meter Dash during the CCS track and field championships at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif., on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)