McConnell's late surges lead to first-place finishes at CCAA track and field championships

Courtesy of Diane Ramelli
Kelly McConnell, middle, crosses the finish line in the finals of the 400-meter hurdles. He won the race in a personal-best 52.75 seconds.

Kelly McConnell’s win in the 400-meter hurdles came at a cost – he injured his foot after already suffering from shin splits at the California Collegiate Athletic Association championship meet – yet the junior was determined to anchor Chico State’s 4x400 relay team later that day.

After all, the Los Altos native wasn’t the only member of his relay running hurt.

Local jr. high athletes shine at county meet

Courtesy of Steve Kane
Blach’s Isabella Walker won three events at the county meet.

Based on how athletes from Blach Intermediate School and Egan Junior High performed at the county meet, the local high schools should be excited about the future of their track and field programs.

The seventh- and eighth-graders from the two Los Altos schools combined to win 13 events May 18 at Pioneer High in San Jose. They were runners-up in four events and placed third in five events. In all, the Blach Falcons and Egan Vikings came home with 35 top-five finishes.

One CCS discus champion helps another

Courtesy of Tanya Rowe
Mountain View High grad Brielle Rowe, left, this season coached the throwers on the Homestead High track and field team, including CCS girls discus champion Miranda Zinola, right.

Mountain View High graduate Brielle Rowe this season coached the throwers on the Homestead High track and field team, including Central Coast Section girls discus champion Miranda Zinola.

With a throw of 127 feet, 10 inches, Zinola edged Mountain View’s Sinai Fatafehi (126-11) for first place at last month’s meet in Gilroy.

One Spartan throws, the other walks

Mountain View High senior Rachael Estell, who won the long jump at the Central Coast Section finals, chose to skip last weekend’s state meet so that she could graduate with her class.

Rachael Estell chose to walk rather than run and jump Friday, while Mountain View High teammate and fellow state meet qualifier Sinai Fatafehi opted to throw the shot put and discus instead of her graduation cap.

Estell and Fatafehi – both top-three finishers in two events at the Central Coast Section finals the week before – seemed fine with their decisions regarding the state track and field championships, which coincided with Mountain View’s graduation ceremony.

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