With rain, wind and gloomy skies pelting the Bay Area over the past two weeks, the usual pristine conditions at the annual Stanford Invitational took a little while longer than usual to arise.
Heavy rain opened Day Two of the Track and Field meet held every year at Cobb Track and Angell Field on the campus of Stanford University Saturday morning.
Featuring some of the top athletes from all across the country, the early season meet is one of the largest and most competitive meets in the United States.
For those who decided to brave the elements, the stellar athletes competing in several events were more than enough to wet their appetites.
The afternoon sunshine that finally cracked through on Saturday was just the cherry on top.
Several local high schools were represented, including competitors from Palo Alto, Gunn, Los Altos, Christopher, Scotts Valley, Aptos, Los Gatos, Leigh and Milpitas to name a few.
Two of the big winners on the day were Monta Vista High-Cupertino miler Kevin Bishop and Mountain View High high jumper Kylie McKown.
Both competitors took first place in their respective events.
Bishop glided with the pack during the opening lap before making his move in the final 400 meters.
The hard push towards the finish line gave the Matadors junior an impressive first place finish with a time of 4:18.58.
“I didn’t know where I wanted to be at first,” Bishop said about his position in the middle of the field during the opening two laps. “The plan today was just to go for broke. To win this is just something else. It’s a huge confidence boost.”
Several other locals excelled in the mile run as well.
McKown competed during some of the worst weather of the morning. The Spartans jumper fought through some heavy rainfall to clear the opening height on the bar. Only a handful of athletes were able to move on to the second height on the bar.
McKown eventually cleared 5 foot, 5 inches to claim first place honors.
Gunn junior Julia Maggioncalda also competed in the high jump, but didn’t make it past the first round of jumps.
“I don’t think you can blame the weather,” Maggioncalda said. “I think I definitely need more practice. It was kind of an off day for everyone. Not many girls cleared the first height. I’m disappointed but I’ll be ready to go and hopefully improve next week.”
Several other locals excelled in the boys and girls mile run as well.
Nikki Hiltz (Aptos) and Allison Sturges (Mt. View) finished in second and third place in the top heat of the girls mile.
Hiltz finished with a time of 5:03.06, while Sturges wrapped up the run with a mark of 5:03.90.
“I’m really happy,” Hiltz said of the second place finish. “It was a better finish than I expected. Now I have a target on my back going back into league meets.”
Another Aptos performer that had a big showing at the prestigious event was Aptos senior Sean Goetzl.
The Mariners senior finished in fifth place in the Boys 110 Meters Hurdles finals with a time of 15.10 seconds.
Goetzl took second in the prelims just ahead of Markell Stine of Los Altos High.
“I was trying to get a sub-15 time,” Goetzl said. “I ran the 400 yesterday and got 10th overall. Every day at practice I just have to keep working hard knowing that there is always someone better than me out there.”
While some of the top finishers were seasoned vets of the event, Jacqueline Lamb (Milpitas), Sarah Kline (Leigh) and Martin Ettema (Christopher High-Gilroy) were a few of the newcomers that were very excited to gain some valuable experience this early in the track season.
Lamb, a Trojans junior, competed in the 100-meter hurdles event.
“I definitely think I could have done better, but competing here will still help me a lot during the rest of the season,” Lamb said. “I hurt my ankle running in the 4x100 last weekend so I wasn’t 100 percent today.”
Kline and teammate Sarah Williams both raced in the Girls 100-meter.
“It felt great,” Kline said. “I was trying for a 12.3 but I’ll take a 12.6 in the rain any day.”
Kline finished with a time of 12.61 and Williams had a mark of 12.64 in the following heat.
Ettema competed in the Boys 110-meter hurdles and bested his personal record in the morning prelims with a time of 15.91.
“I was looking to break my PR and I did,” Ettema said. “That was the goal so I’m very happy.”
Other notable finishers included:
Girls 4X800 Relay: Aptos(5th), Lynbrook (6th), Mt. View (7th), St. Francis-Mt. View (10th).
Boys 4X800 Relay: Monta Vista (8th).
Boys 400: EJ Floreal of Palo Alto (12th).
Girls 100: Cekarri Nixon of St. Francis-Mt. View (4th, 12.37).
Girls 4X400 Relay: St. Francis-Mt. View (4th), Mt. View (6th), Los Gatos (7th).
Boys Discus: Cody Bickham of St. Francis-Mt. View (4th), Chime Ikema of Gilroy (21st).
Boys Shot Put: Cody Bickham of St. Francis-Mt. View (9th), Cordero Gonzalez of Gilroy (20th).
Girls Shot Put: Angeline Kimbo of Gilroy (9th), Terra Steadman of Leigh (10th).
Girls Discus: Brielle Rowe of Mt. View (4th), Jessica Mattos of Aptos (8th), Brianna Cueva of Watsonville (18th).