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June 03, 2005

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Publication Date: Friday, June 03, 2005

Sports wrap Sports wrap (June 03, 2005)

Clark places in three events, but state meet proves elusive

The Los Altos boys team completed its outstanding season by finishing in a tie for sixth place at the CCS Track and Field Championships.

The Eagles, undefeated at 6-0 during the regular season as well as winners at the De Anza Division Championships, earned 20 points at the season-ending meet at Los Gatos.

Jeff Clark showcased his talent by competing in the section finals in three events, but narrowly missed advancing to the State Championships.

The senior tied a season-best by clearing 6-4 in the high jump, good for fourth place, but he needed to either finish in the top three or record a jump of 6-6 to move on to Sacramento.

"This meet either causes a lot of sorrow or a lot of elation," said Los Altos coach Julia Widstrand. "There's nothing in between."

Clark also placed sixth in both the long jump and the triple jump.

The Eagles' 4x400-meter relay team notched its season best in 3:25.99 and finished in fifth place.

Meanwhile, the Los Altos girls finished in a tie for 22nd place with 8 points.

With the bulk of the girls returning for at least one more season, the Eagles, runners-up in 2004, look forward to re-ascending the CCS leaderboard.

"You've got such a young group of kids that are coming back and as a coach, that's thrilling," said Widstrand.

But at least one Eagle was already passing a wistful eye over the proceedings.

"It's definitely hard for me because track's been a really big part of my life for four years," said senior captain Daphne Owen, who ran a leg of Los Altos' seventh-place 4x400-meter relay team. "It's like the end of era. I feel like it's coming to a close."

Pole vaulters lead way for St. Francis girls

The St. Francis girls track and field team completed its season with an eighth-place finish at the CCS Championships.

The Lancers, who earned 18 points overall, again showed that they are the team to beat at the pole vault.

Sophomore Natasha Barthel nearly broke her own record of 12-6, but settled for a victory by clearing 12-5. Her teammate Taylor Franklin came in fourth at 11-9.

Franklin, who will join Barthel at the State Championships, spoke of the rigorous preparation needed to excel at her event.

"It takes a lot of work in a lot of different areas ... sprint training, vaulting and weight training," said the junior.

St. Francis also posted a pair of fifth-place finishes. Junior Samantha Williams ran the 400-meter race in 58.57 and senior Allie McGuire topped out at 39-00 in the shot put.

Despite the stress of the high level of competition, Franklin made sure to take the time to appreciate what she and her team had accomplished.

"It's always a thrill to be here," said Franklin. "It's kind of like a reward after a really long, hard season."
-- Scott Campbell

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