Glenn Reeves: Future looks bright for Palo Alto's E.J. Floreal and Presentations Taylore Jaques

By Glenn Reeves Posted: 06/05/2012 07:44:37 PM PDT Updated: 06/05/2012 10:24:44 PM PDT Strength in the sprints is a key factor when it comes to contending and winning team championships in track and field. E.J. Floreal emerged this season in the sprints for Palo Alto, and as a result the Vikings tied for sixth in the boys team standings at the state meet. "If I can get one or two more guys to help our cause we can win state next year," Palo Alto coach Jason Fung said. "It's a fun thing to look forward to." Floreal, a junior who still considers himself a basketball player first, was third in the 200 meters, fourth in the 100 and anchored Palo Alto's 400 relay team to a seventh-place finish at the state meet. That was good enough for the 13 points Palo Alto scored. "Look at Notre Dame," Fung said. "They won it with one guy." Fung was referring to Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks, which won the boys team title behind Khalfani Muhammad, who won the 100 and 200 and anchored the 400 relay to another first-place finish. Floreal, in his second year running track, had bests of 10.51 seconds in the 100 and 21.16 in the 200. That's after coming out for track in mid-March, once the basketball season was over. "He's only going to grow and get faster," Fung said. "He can go high 20 in the 200 next year and 10.4 in the 100 is not out of the question. Now we're looking past league finals and CCS finals to how we'll do at state. I have the utmost confidence we can compete with the Southern California schools." Girls pole vault state champion Taylore Jaques has competed only two years, but it appears that she has the right people in her corner. Jaques, a sophomore at Presentation, is coached by her father, Warren Jaques, and Bob Slover, who has tutored many of the top high school pole vaulters to come out of the Central Coast Section. Slover was Warren Jaques' coach at Del Mar when Jaques went 15 feet, 1 inch in 1980. Slover's son, Scott Slover, was one of the few to clear 17 feet when he was at Leland. A look at the all-time CCS list shows 10 boys pole vaulters from Del Mar who cleared 15 feet. All were coached by Slover. Now Taylore Jaques continues the tradition, winning a state championship by clearing 13-4?1/4 on Saturday at Buchanan High in Clovis. She won against a historically robust field. Five vaulters cleared 13-0 on their first attempt. No second-place finisher in state meet history previously had cleared 13-0. Her winning vault was second-best in CCS history among girls behind Castilleja's Tori Anthony, who went 14-2 in 2007. "She's got the whole package," Slover said. "She's got the head to jump high and her technique is getting better. She's ahead of where Tori was at this time." Jaques started training for the pole vault the summer between the eighth and ninth grades. She went 9-2 at an indoor meet in January and 12-0 by the end of her freshman year. "She should break the national record by the time she's done with high school," Warren Jaques said. "It's a matter of keeping her healthy. We'll give her a little time off now. It's tough on the body. Give her a month off and let her do other sports. She'll play field hockey this fall."