A few days ago, St. Francis High-Mountain View senior Joey Descalso was just hoping to fend off a lingering cold and get some practice time in.
The midweek hiatus may have been a blessing in disguise.
Refreshed and ready to go, Descalso cleared a personal best 6-2 in the boys high jump to win the competition at the 2011 West Catholic Athletic League Track and Field Championships held at Serra High in San Mateo on Saturday, becoming the first of several St. Francis competitors to earn an automatic bid to next week’s Central Coast Section Championships in Gilroy.
The St. Francis senior was one of four participants in the boys high jump to clear 6-2, but because he made the successful jump in one less attempt, the happy Lancer got his ticket to CCS and a WCAL league title to boot.
“The first time jumping today, I felt a little off because of the lack of practice time lately,” Descalso said. “I was still expecting to do well today. It’s just really exciting to win. I felt more and more comfortable and really felt great after I cleared six feet.”
Fellow Lancer Dan Carlson also cleared 6-2 and will join Descalso in CCS.
“It’s all about getting to the next level,” Descalso said. “Winning this is just the cherry on top.”
Sophomore Marc Toney took first in the boys pole vault with a top mark of 14-00, while Khalil Johnson topped the list in the boys long jump, one of four first place finishers for the Lancers in the field events.
The WCAL meet brought the best-of-best to San Mateo for the gloomy skied, Saturday afternoon affair in San Mateo.
Descalso started the day off with a first place finish for the Lancers.
The St. Francis 4x400 boys relay team ended things with a bit more dramatic touch, but with the same sweet result.
A three school race for the duration, St. Francis runners traded places with competitors from Archbishop Mitty and Sacred Heart Cathedral through the 4x400 relay.
St. Francis senior Thomas Gore-schreck looked like his was shot out of a cannon during the second leg of the relay, quickly erasing the gap before taking the overall lead. The see-saw race wasn’t decided until the finish stretch where Rhett Ramirez churned ahead and nosed out a narrow first place finish. Four schools finished with a 3:25 time. However, St. Francis got the top mark with a 3:25.04 first place number.
SHC finished in second (3:25.18), Mitty in third (3:25.32) and Bellarmine Prep in fourth (3:25.46).
Another Lancer up to his usual exploits at the top of the leader board was country-strong junior Cody Bickham.
Bickham won the boys discus with a mark of 170-07. He also placed second in the shot put with a mark of 53-10.50, falling to perennial league rival Ben Parodi of Serra.
An elated first time qualifier to CCS was sophomore Marisa Padilla. The Lancers underclassman placed second in the girls 400 with a time of 59.45.
“It was the same kind of race in the prelims,” Padilla said. “It was another tight race. I was just looking at the finish line but knew I had someone close to me.”
Padilla turned the final corner with a competitor right on her hip but was able to outlast the nearby foe and take second place.
Also a member of the girls 4x400 relay team, Padilla ran the second leg and helped her team earn a second place finish and another berth to CCS.
Both the St. Francis boys and girls 4x100 relay teams took second place in their relay event and qualified for next weekend’s championship meet.
Distance runner Madeline Roemer grinded through her recent plantar fasciitis injury and placed in the top three in the girls 1600. Roemer finished third with a time of 5:20.21.
“I just wanted to qualify,” Roemer, a Lancers junior, said. “It’s really mental. You lose a lot of confidence having to sit out because of an injury. I’m glad I qualified. I know I’ll run faster in CCS.”
Other notable finishers for St. Francis were..........................................................
Girls 100- Micha Auzenne- 4th place (12.80).
Girls 800- Morgan Healy- 3rd place (2:22.26).
Girls 100 Hurdles- Micha Auzenne- 3rd place (16.14).
Girls 300 Hurdles- Lauren Madigan-2nd place (45.93), Gina Givens- 3rd place (47.24).
Girls High Jump- Tatiana San Juan- 2nd place (5-1).
Girls Pole Vault- Megan Benham- 3rd place (9-6).
Girls Long Jump- Micha Auzenne- 2nd place.
Girls Triple Jump- Lauren Johnson- 2nd place.
Girls Discus- Mary Data- 2nd place (98-10).
Boys 100- Khalid Johnson- 3rd place (11.09).
Boys 400- Jalen Davidson- 3rd place (50.90).
Boys 300 Hurdles- Thomas Gore-schreck (41.47).