Los Gatos star vaulting off to Harvard - San Jose Mercury News

As the No. 1 high school pole vaulter in the country, Los Gatos' Nico Weiler had his choice of the best college track and field programs in the United States.

But in the end, a top-flight education mattered most to the senior German exchange student.

Weiler made his decision last week and will attend Harvard.

"It's probably the best education I can get in the world and that has always been an important factor for me," said Weiler, who set a section record last year by vaulting 17 feet, 6 1/4 inches at the CCS meet before going on to win the state title.

This year he has a national-best mark of 17-4.

"I took a trip to Harvard and really loved the place," Weiler said. "It's a very beautiful, old campus with so much tradition. They give a lot of support to their athletes. The place had so much class. You could tell all the students fit in there and know what they want in life."

Weiler has dreams of his own - he would like to enter the world of international business - but first he wants to go as far as he can in the pole vault with an eye on the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

• Lynbrook hurdler Eric Surprenant fell on a hurdle at practice Monday and broke his right wrist.

The senior has the top time in the CCS this year (and the fifth best in the state) in the 300 hurdles (38.09). He is No. 2 in the CCS in the 110 hurdles (14.53).

Surprenant was training with a friend at Foothill College when he was hurt.

"I tripped up on a hurdle and landed on my wrist," Surprenant said. "I thought 'Oh great, right in the most competitive part of the season when you have the meets with all the big players.' "

Doctors told Surprenant he has a crack in his radius bone. He plans to compete with a cast on.

"At first I was scared I'd be out for the season, but now I'm more positive that I can run with a cast."

The cast might hinder him more in the 110 hurdles, where runners explode out of the blocks. In the 300 hurdles he may be able to start in more of a three-point stance, Coach Hank Lawson said.

• Los Gatos senior Bobby Kent won the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League tournament April 29 by shooting a 1-under-par 143 over 36 holes on the tough San Juan Oaks Golf Course in Hollister.

Kent, a star football and soccer player for the Wildcats, edged Mountain View's Adam Ichikawa by a stroke. The Wildcats (389) won the team title, beating Mountain View by 11 strokes.