St. Francis, Jesuit top Blue Devils in track showdown

Senior Nate Harper tries to clear the pole vault at a meet earlier this year. Harper vaulted 14' to win on April 8. Photo by Zoe Vikstrom.
Senior Nate Harper tries to clear the pole vault at a meet earlier this year. Harper vaulted 14′ to win on April 8. Photo by Zoe Vikstrom.

By Zach Hertz, Staff–

After a close fight, the Davis High Blue Devils failed to beat Jesuit and St. Francis at a league track meet Wednesday, April 8, despite clinching victories against both schools and host Sheldon in the frosh­-soph divisions.

DHS had a number of key runners out or not at full strength due to injuries and illness, including sprinters Juan-Pablo Almanza Soto and Alex McIntyre, and distance runners Brian Song and Maggie McManis.

Senior Luis Acevedo was the only Davis men’s varsity runner to compete in the 100 meter dash and ran a personal record time of 12.03, but was crowded out of the top six places by the Jesuit and Sheldon sprinters.

Although both varsity teams took second, head coach Spencer Elliott still thinks the Blue Devil squad performed well.

“There were a lot of PRs (personal records) all over the place; in almost all of the events there were some PRs,” he said.

In particular, Elliott “thought the varsity guys’ 1600 meters was really cool.”

Five Davis runners–juniors Kellen Browning, Willie Hall and Nick Borowsky, sophomore Michael Vernau and senior Charlie Harris–followed Sean Kurdy of Jesuit’s 4:21 to clinch spots two through six. All five Blue Devils set new PRs and finished within seven seconds of Kurdy’s time.

Other impressive results came from the women’s varsity high jump, where junior Amelia Otto-­Cutting and sophomores Bailey MkNelly and Mimi Miyamoto all jumped 4’10” to finish four inches higher than the closest St. Francis jumper.

Senior Blake Croft won the 800 meter race with a time of 2:00, and senior Nate Harper easily cleared the best Jesuit pole vaulter’s height of eight feet, going 14’.

Hall had a leg of the 4×400 meter relay that sophomore Peter Zhu described as “insane,” running 50.8 seconds to eliminate a 20-meter deficit and help the men’s varsity triumph in the event.

Despite Wednesday’s setback, Elliott said that team’s goal is still to be league champions.

“We control our destiny. We’ll focus on that,” he said. The Blue Devil men took the Sac-Joaquin Section title last year–Jesuit finished in a distant fifth–while the women are seeking redemption from their third place finish; St. Francis was first.

Davis will next compete Saturday, April 11, when it will host the Halden Invitational at the DHS track. Meanwhile, junior star Fiona O’Keeffe will be traveling to the prestigious Arcadia Invitational to face the best in the nation at 3200 meters.

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