Athlete of the Week: Paul Summers, Gunn & Allison Sturges, Mtn View - San Jose Mercury News


Sport: Cross Country

Class: Senior

Summers ran the fastest time of the day among all five divisions and won the Central Coast Section Division II title at Crystal Springs on Saturday, covering the 2.95 mile course in 14:41. Last season, Summers finished sixth in the CCS meet. A strong hill runner, Summers ran an intelligent race to hold off defending champion Garrett Rowe of Mountain View (2nd in 14:52) and 2007 champion Philip MacQuitty of Palo Alto (4th in 15:03), who was edged for third by Ian Myjer of Mountain View. "The competition was so tough in that race that I think it raised everyone's level," Gunn coach Ernie Lee said. "Paul is a smart runner who knows himself so well. He was on (Saturday) and felt he could push the pace in the hills. That's where he was able to break away." Cool weather made for perfect racing conditions and Summers was at his best, dropping 20 seconds off his previous best time on the course. His time was tied for the eighth all-time at Crystal Springs and was the fastest since 1985.


Sport: Cross Country

Class: Sophomore

Competing in her first Central Coast Section final, Sturges ran an excellent race to win the Division II title at Crystal Springs with a time of 18:00 on the 2.95 mile course. Sturges missed the CCS finals last year because of a stress fracture, but returned for track season to finish second in the 1,600 meters. Sturges ran a strong race from start to finish Saturday, finishing with the second-fastest time among all divisions (Carlmont's Jessie Peterson won the Division I race in 17:28). "I came in planning to go conservative at the start and slowly work my way up," said Sturges, who had been battling illness the last few weeks and finished fourth in her league meet. She said her previous best on the course was 18:45. Sturges laid back in about fourth place before moving up on the second hill and taking over the lead with 100 yards to go. "Allison is a gamer who loves to fight for the win," Spartan coach Evan Smith said. "We thought we had three girls who could win this race. She attacked at the right time and it paid off."