CCS Finals - 2021

SOQUEL — Palo Alto’s Aaron Kim had already won the Central Coast Section championship in the high jump Saturday when officials raised the bar once again. The Boston University-bound senior had just cleared 6-foot, 10 inches — tied for both the state lead this season and best mark at the CCS meet since Overfelt’s Jeff Rogers cleared 7-3 in 1985 — when he took aim at 7-0. Kim tried once and missed. He tried again and missed. Down to his last attempt, he trotted toward the bar, soared into the rarefied air, and hit the landing pad. The bar didn’t move. The 7-foot high jump at Soquel High highlighted a meet that included five double individual winners: Sacred Heart Prep’s Luci Lambert (1,600, 800), St. Francis’ Kaley Peterson (100, 200), Bellarmine’s Nolan Topper (1,600, 3,200), El Camino’s Yutaka Roberts (400, 800) and Stevenson’s Evan Johnson (100, 200). Kim didn’t win twice, but he had the day’s most memorable result. “I’m excited for him,” Palo Alto coach Michael Davidson said. “He’s worked really hard over this last year. He deserves every bit of accolades that he’s going to get. I know how much passion he’s put into this.” SOQUEL, CA – JUNE 19: Palo Alto’s Aaron Kim clears seven feet to win the boys high jump during the Central Coast Section track and field championships at Soquel High School in Soquel, Calif., on Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) Content that his lead-up to 7-0 included breaking the school record of 6-8 that stood for two decades and he matched this spring, Kim chose not to try for a higher target. “That wasn’t my goal for today,” he said. “I just wanted to get that school record.” Davidson said 7-0 is probably Kim’s limit, so “leave on a happy note.” And given that Kim’s personal best before this year was about 5-10, according to Davidson, the mark was even more stunning. “He came into the season, ‘Coach, I really want to get to 6-4,'” Davidson said. “We jumped on the first day of practice and he jumped over 6 feet. I was like, ‘I think we need to be looking at 6-6.’ But as he started jumping a couple of times at the beginning of the season, I could see 6-8. I’ve been telling him all season 6-8 or 6-9. He’s been pushing for it.” According to results on the CCS website, Kim’s mark ranks behind only Rogers’ 7-3 in the history of the section meet. SOQUEL, CA – JUNE 19: Bellarmine’s Nolan Topper (3) defeats Archbishop Mitty’s Taylor Iden (9) to win the Boys 1600 Meter Run during the Central Coast Section track and field championships at Soquel High School in Soquel, Calif., on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Topper won with a time of 4:07.97. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) Other highlights The boys 1,600 provided thrills on the track as Topper, bound for Stanford, lost the lead on the backstretch of the bell lap and reclaimed it from Archbishop Mitty’s Taylor Iden just before the finish line. Topper’s time of 4:07.97 — sixth-best in the state this season — just nipped Taylor’s 4:08.05. “I was a little worried,” Topper said. “But I am not going to collapse. I can’t give up. If I have a bad race, my team is going to lose the meet. I’d never beat him. I’ve raced him five or six times. Every time in the mile, even freshman and sophomore year, he would just kick ’em at the end.” Said the UC Santa Barbara-bound Iden, “He’s not a big kicker, so I was surprised that he caught me like that. I really thought I had it. I’m happy for him. It was a good race.” Topper came back later to win the 3,200 in 9:12.78, leading Bellarmine to the boys team title. Peterson propelled St. Francis to the girls team championship, winning the 100 in 12.23 and 200 in 24.82. She also ran anchor on the Lancers’ 4×100 relay, which won in 48.42. Sacred Heart Prep’s Lambert won the girls 1,600 by more than nine seconds, finishing first in 4:54.36. The University of Virginia-bound standout later won the 800 in 2:11.35. Both marks were personal bests. After the 1,600, Lambert said, “I really wanted to take control of that third lap. When I found myself shoulder-to-shoulder with the leader, I felt very cool and in control.” Once she grabbed a big lead, Lambert said it took “a lot of positive talk” to keep going fast. “Anything to keep myself focused and encouraging myself,” she added. El Camino’s Roberts could barely walk after his victories in the 400 and 800, a rare double given that there is only one race between the two events. Roberts won the 400 in 49.56, a personal best, and matched his top mark in the 800, charging down the home stretch to cross the line first in 1:53.32, the same time the junior had in the CCS semifinals last week. “At first, I always did the 400,” he said. “But at some point, I took on the 800. I was really good at it.” The competitors were grateful CCS officials held a meet this season, given there was not one last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and other large Northern California sections chose not to hold meets this year, either. “What a great way to end the season, with some good competition,” Lambert said. “I am so happy to be out here and to be able to be running. I ran CCS my freshman year. This is only my second time doing it. That was a great way to kind of close my high school career.” The meet began Saturday morning with Silver Creek senior Charlie Dang easily repeating as discus champion. His winning toss of 170-5 was well off his personal best of 187-6 but was better than his winning mark as a sophomore, 168-6. “It feels good,” he said. Running events Girls 4×100 relay Winner: St. Francis (Kiersten Vargas, Amariah Davidson, Hope Fordyce, Kaley Peterson), 48.42 CCS meet record: Mt. Pleasant, 46.55, 2006 Boys 4×100 relay Winner: Lynbrook (MingHan “Charlie” Chiang, Bennett Wong, Roy Chien, Siddharth Bawankule), 43.42 CCS meet record: Bellarmine, 41.37, 2016 Girls 1,600 Winner: Luci Lambert, Sacred Heart Prep, 4:54.36 CCS meet record: Anna Maxwell, 4:42.57, San Lorenzo Valley, 2013 Boys 1,600 Winner: Nolan Topper, Bellarmine, 4:07.97 CCS meet record: Mark Stillman, 4:08.7, Willow Glen, 1977 Girls 100 hurdles Winner: Chika Nwachukwu, Silver Creek, 15.24 CCS meet record: Vashti Thomas, 13.52, Mt. Pleasant, 2008 Boys 110 hurdles Winner: Shawn Toney, Los Altos, 15.16 CCS meet record: Arend Watkins, 13.84c, Silver Creek, 1997 Girls 400 Winner: Isabelle Cairns, St. Francis, 57.62 CCS meet record: Leslie Maxie, 53.92, Mills, 1982 Boys 400 Winner: Yutaka Roberts, El Camino, 49.56 CCS meet record: Calvin Harrison, 46.23, North Salians, 1993 Girls 100 Winner: Kaley Peterson, St. Francis, 12.23 CCS meet record: Khrystal Carter, 11.57, Valley Christian, 2005 Boys 100 Winner: Evan Johnson, Stevenson, 10.85 CCS meet record: Rubin Williams, 10.37, Valley Christian, 2002 Girls 800 Winner: Luci Lambert, Sacred Heart Prep, 2:11.35 CCS meet record: Alicia Follmar, 2.07.79, Saratoga, 2005 Boys 800 Winner: Yutaka Roberts, El Camino, 1:53.32 CCS meet record: Rick Brown, 1:50.7, Los Altos, 1970 Girls 300 hurdles Winner: Alison Tjoe, Lynbrook, 45.04 CCS meet record: Leslie Maxie, 41.15c, Mills, 1984 Boys 300 hurdles Winner: Kathir Balakrishnan, Fremont-Sunnyvale, 38.68 CCS meet record: John Montgomery, 36.60, Independence, 1988 Girls 200 Winner: Kaley Peterson, St. Francis, 24.82 CCS meet record: Khrystal Carter, 23.69, Valley Christian, 2005 Boys 200 Winner: Evan Johnson, Stevenson, 22.10 CCS meet record: Rubin Williams, 20.84, Valley Christian, 2002 Girls 3,200 Winner: Sylvana Northrop, Monta Vista, 10:46.72 CCS meet record: Cory Shubert, 10:09.5, Del Mar, 1983 Boys 3,200 Winner: Nolan Topper, Bellarmine, 9:12.78 CCS meet record: Gordon MacMitchell, 8:58.70c, Gunn, 1973 Girls 4×400 relay Winner: St. Francis (Amariah Davidson, Lillian Kaelber, Alexandra Cilley, Cairns, Isabelle Cairns), 3:52.85 CCS meet record: Piedmont Hills, 3:48.98, 2012 Boys 4×400 relay Winner: Serra (Cameron Quintero, Tommy Rogers, Peter Olson, Aidan Mendoza), 3:25.42 CCS meet record: Los Altos, 3:15.8, 1970 Field events Boys discus Winner: Charlie Dang, Silver Creek, 170-5 CCS meet record: Nik Kay, 204-10, Los Gatos, 2003 Girls shot put Winner: Kendall Fowler, Branham, 38-8.50 CCS meet record: Elena Bruckner, 53-8.25, Valley Christian, 2016 Girls pole vault Winner: Sarah Graessley, Carmel, 12-0 CCS meet record: Erika Malaspina, 13-9, Pacific Collegiate, 2016 Boys long jump Winner: Andrew Fu, Harker, 21-08.25 CCS meet record: Johnny Cleveland, 25-0, Soquel, 1984 Girls long jump Winner: Jennifer Luong, Piedmont Hills, 17-04.50 CCS meet record: Tisha Ponder, 20-06, Del Mar, 1996 Boys high jump Winner: Aaron Kim, Palo Alto, 7-0 CCS meet record: Jeff Rogers, 7-3, Overfelt, 1985 Boys shot put Winner: Jacob Kiesman, Valley Christian, 50-05.50 CCS meet record: Steve Wilhelm, 63-8.5, Fremont-Sunnyvale, 1967 Girls discus Winner: Julia Hicks, San Benito, 126-02 CCS meet record: Elena Bruckner, 168-8, Valley Christian, 2016 Girls high jump Winner: Elizabeth Churchill, Aptos, 5-6 CCS meet record: Jenna Grimaldi, 6-0, St. Ignatius, 2001; Wendy Brown, 6-0, Woodside, 1984 Boys pole vault Winner: Leo Garcia-Czarkowski, Bellarmine, 15-0 CCS meet record: Nico Weiler, 17-06.25, Los Gatos, 2007 Girls triple jump Winner: Jessi Barry, Valley Christian, 38-1 CCS meet record: Vashti Thomas, 43-01.5., Mt. Pleasant, 2008 Boys triple jump Winner: Will Denning, Serra, 45-1 CCS meet record: Harold Rucker, 50-11.5, Silver Creek, 1986