Presentation's Grelli pulls off double

Mercury News

In its 24th year, the CCS Top 8 Track and Field Classic has established itself as a midseason measuring stick for the best in the Central Coast Section.

Saturday at Los Gatos High School, several athletes passed that test with flying colors and showed that the competition for the CCS championship May 30 will be fierce.

Presentation junior Melissa Grelli pulled off an impressive double in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.

Valley Christian's Amanda Thornberry, who has the fastest 1,600 time in California this year (4:49.93), took over the lead from Grelli after the first lap, but Grelli stuck on her shoulder like a magnet and made her move on the back stretch of the final lap. She opened up a 10-yard lead and won with a personal-best time of 4:57.60. Thornberry was second with 4:59.09.

Two and a half hours later, Thornberry and Grelli were battling again in the 3,200. Grelli made her move at about the same spot and took a big lead, but a strong kick by Saratoga's Alicia Follmar nearly caught Grelli at the tape. Grelli said she could see Follmar's shadow closing in on her and leaned at the finish with a time of 10:48.13 to Follmar's 10:48.44. Thornberry came in third.

``I try not to come into a race intimidated by anyone,'' said Grelli, who placed second in the CCS 3,200 as a sophomore. ``I just concentrate on doing my best and if anyone ends up in front of me that just means they went a lot harder.''

Another double was made by Los Gatos thrower Nik Kay, the nation's top returning discus thrower. Kay dominated as expected in the discus, winning easily with a toss of 180 feet, 9 inches. But Kay, who prefers discus, was a bit of a surprise in the shot put, winning an intense duel against Fremont junior Matt Barkley, who has the best throw in CCS this year (55 feet, 1 inch). Kay matched his season best-mark of 54-2 to edge Barkley by five inches.

``I knew the atmosphere would be a lot more competitive today, and that got my adrenaline flowing and helped me to do well,'' said Kay, whose best throw came in a dual meet with Saratoga earlier this week.

Valley Christian senior Ashley Monfort had an excellent meet, running a CCS season-best 57.03 to win the 400 and coming back to win the 200 in 25.34. Monfort holds the best CCS time in the 200, as well.

Serra's Angelo Fobbs-Valentino won the 400 with a CCS season-best time of 48.69 and came back to win the 200 in 22.06.

Milpitas senior Danielle Povio, who finished second at CCS last year, won the 300 hurdles with a CCS season-best time of 44.99.

The Lynbrook 4x100 relay team of Garrick Wong, Durrell Roberts, Taimur Kahn and Chris Bencomo ran a season-best time of 43.22 to edge Serra (43.53).