Track and field: Boys prepare for CCS Top 8

April 24, 2009 — by Kelly Lamble

Later today, the boys’ varsity track team will hit the ground running as they compete under the lights at rival Los Gatos’ track in the CCS Top 8 Invitational. As its name implies, only the top eight competitors (or 16 if two heats are being run for that particular event) in CCS are invited to participate in this elite meet.

This year, the Falcons have five boys competing. Senior co-captains Alan Menezes and Kian Banks will be racing in the 1600m event. Banks will make another appearance in the 800m later in the evening as well as one in the final race of the night as part of the 4x400m relay team, which also consists of juniors Trevor Teerlink and Matt Marshall. The fourth spot will be filled by either sophomore Matt Cresci or senior Michael Beam; the final decision had yet to be made at publication time. Teerlink will also be competing in the individual 400m race.

While the varsity boys are competing in CCS Top 8 tonight, the frosh-soph team competed in the Top 8 preliminaries on April 3. Although many of the athletes did well, only one of them, freshman Brandon Oliveri O’Connor, placed high enough to advance to the next round. O’Connor placed eighth in shot-put, qualifying him for tonight’s final round.

Freshman Harry Curtis and sophomores Kyle Fukui and Matt Cresci also had noticeable performances. Curtis placed 27th in the 1600m with a time of 4:55.05 while Fukui came in a few seconds later at 4:57.24. This was a milestone race for Fukui, who had never broken five minutes before. Cresci came in 23rd in the 200m sprint with a time of 24.94 seconds.

Banks and Menezes were also the sole Falcon representatives at the Arcadia and Stanford Invitationals, respectively. At the prestigious Arcadia Invitational on April 11, Banks ran 2:00 in the 800m for 10th place. At the Stanford Invitational on April 5, Menezes came in 13th place with 4:38.07.

“It was a great experience to be able to run at a national meet like this one,” said Banks, “but I was really nervous before the race.”

Although the April 23 meet against Fremont could not be covered due to publication deadlines, the boys had a losing 1-2 record three dual meets into the season. One major reason for this record is the lack of top runners competing at the dual meets; they have been saving their energy for the weekend invitationals. The close March 26 victory against Cupertino supported this theory. The Falcons barely scraped by, winning 64-62 on the last event, the 4x400m relay. As the team watched anxiously, Beam started the first leg strongly, putting the Falcons in first place. Marshall, Teerlink and Banks held onto the lead, and lengthened it to 120m, resulting in a decisive victory for the Falcons.

“It was exciting to have the meet come down to the very last event and then pull through for the win like that,” said Banks.

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