State Champion!!

June 3rd, 2017

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Heading into Saturday’s state championship final, reigning North Coast Section Champion Sanjay Kettels was riding an undefeated long jump season.  In fact, Sanjay hadn’t lost a long jump competition in which he’d recorded a fair jump since April 2016.  However, heading into the 6th and final round Saturday, he found himself in 3rd place… four inches from 2nd and eight inches from the lead.  With the crowd exalting him on.. breaking into a wildy excited rhythmic clap… the CAL-bound senior sprinted down the runway, hit the take-off board perfectly, and launched himself past 22 feet… past 23 feet… finally landing 24’3.75″ away from where he began.  That jump, his final one as a Saint Mary’s Panther, would be the best of the day and crown him California State Champion.

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“Everyone recognizes that winning a state championship requires a lot of talent” explained coach Jeff Rogers, “and Sanjay certainly has that.  But it also takes an incredible amount of determination.  I think the difference between Sanjay and some of the other guys today was that he wanted it more.  He just simply was not coming back from Clovis without a state title.  Simple as that.”

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Sanjay’s state championship is the 3rd in 2 years for the Panthers, the first long jump title in school history, and puts a fitting cap on an impressive career.

While Sanjay’s performance was truly one for the ages, teammate Kali Hatcher culminated her junior season with three state meet medals.  After scoring a 6th place finish in the long jump (18’11”), Kali overcame several adverse circumstances to hop, step and jump 41’1.25 inches on her fifth round attempt to place 2nd in the triple jump.  Kali then finished a long, hot two-days of competing by anchoring the 4 x 400 team to a 6th place podium position.

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Freshman Malcolm Clemons, maybe the brightest rising star in California, had an “unbelievably good meet” according to coach Rogers.  “Malcolm not only made both the long jump AND triple jump final… but he medalled in the triple jump (5th) and almost scored another medal in the long jump (7th).  If that’s not incredible then I don’t know what incredible is I guess.”

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Seniors Avi Wilson-Pereteet and Noelle Shaw said there good-byes by teaming with sophomore Sophia Alexander and Kali to complete the 4 x 400 quartet.  They ran a season best 3:49 in qualifying Friday night before running 3:50 on Saturday to secure a spot on the awards stand.

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Fellow seniors Owen Woo and De’Jah Robinson also ran very good races…. Owen in the 3200 and De’Jah in the 300 hurdles.  Owen’s 9:11 was good for ninth while De’Jah’s 45.08 finished 15th.  Avi’s 2:12 run on Friday in the 800 got her to Saturday’s final where she finished 11th.

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“Overall, the entire 2017 season has been incredible,” said coach Jay Lawson after the meet.  “and the state meet was a perfect end.  Our kids earned 8 medals at the California State Meet… the toughest, most competitive high school state meet in the country.  I’d say that’s a pretty good way to end the season.”


Milesplit Visits Saint Mary’s

June 1st, 2017

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Milesplit, the track & field version of MaxPreps, visited the Saint Mary’s practice on Wednesday as the Panthers prepared for this weekend’s California State Meet.  Senior Sanjay Kettels and junior Kali Hatcher were featured and provided their thoughts and insights on this weekend’s meet and on their Saint Mary’s experience.  Check out the videos by clicking here (practice video) and here (interview with Sanjay and Kali).


Girls Capture 3rd MOC Crown in 4 Years; Boys Claim 3 State Meet Spots!

May 28th, 2017

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Led by all-everything stars Kali Hatcher, UNLV-bound senior Avi Wilson-Perteete, and a cast of multi-talented teammates, the Saint Mary’s girls track & field squad captured its 3rd Meet of Champions crown in the last 4 years.

“This championship is very satisfying,” declared sprint coach Jay Lawson after the meet.  “Our championship is essentially an open championship where all schools, no matter school size, compete against each other.  That makes it very difficult to compile the talent and get the performances necessary to win.  So, to have all of our work come together and be able to beat the O’Dowd’s, Carondolet’s and James Logan’s of the track world feels really good.  I’m proud of our kids.”

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The girls team scored big points in several key areas. A 1 -3 finish by Kali and senior De’Jah Robinson in the 300 hurdles was huge, according to hurldes coach Moses Jocko.  Each runner ran a lifetime best while punching their state meet qualifying ticket.  Fellow hurdler Janelle Ingram, running the 100m hurdle race, also contributed a key 4 points in placing 4th in a personal best 15.22.

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The jumps, historically a strong event area for the Panthers, were also huge.  Kali bounded to a 41’0″ win in the triple jump on Friday before coming back on Saturday with a silver medal 18’5″ long jump.  Those 18 points, combined with her 10 points in the 300 hurdles, made her the Panthers athlete of the meet.

Senior Avi Wilson Perteete also had a great meet.  Not only did she anchor the 4 x 100  (De’Jah, Sophia Alexander, Janelle, Avi) and 4 x 400 teams (Noelle Shaw, Sophia, Kali, Avi) to 4th and 2nd place finishes respectively…. but her 2:11.69 in the 800 meters was a big seasonal best and an important 2nd place en route to the team title.

Noelle Shaw’s 6th place in the open 400 completed the scoring for the victorious girls squad.

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The boys, whose team championship aspirations were cut short due to nagging late-season injuries, still managed a 4th place team finish.  Senior Sanjay Kettels, whose heading to CAL next year, exploded on his first long jump… sailing to a school record and state leading 24’4.25″ to capture the win.

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“Sanjay’s season has been limited due to some lingering injuries,” said jumps coach Jeff Rogers.  “Still, nothing was going to stop him today.  He was so focused and so intent on jumping far… this is no surprise to me.”  Sanjay’s performance also ranks him #8 on the all-time North Coast Section list and makes him one of the favorites heading into this week’s state championships.Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 8.55.11 PM

Freshman Malcolm Clemons, competing in his inaugural MOC meet, will now compete in his first California State Championship meet next week after finishing second in both the long and triple jumps.  His 45’8″ was a lifetime best in the triple… while his 22’9.75″ was just shy of his best ever.

Finally, the performance of the meet may have come from senior distance runner Owen Woo…. whose time of 9:03 in the 3200 not only earned him a state meet spot… but broke the school record by :05.  A gushing coach Mohun, whose star pupil had just bettered his previous lifetime best by 18 seconds, summed it up nicely afterwards.  “Owen’s performance was the most courageous, smartest and inspiring that I’ve seen in at least a decade.  He carried out the race plan to perfection… maybe even better than we had talked about. He has worked as hard and has sacrificed as much as any runner I’ve ever coached.  He deserves this. I’m very proud of him.”

Owen’s run, along with all the performances at MOC and all season, have truly been inspiring and  a culmination of the hard work put forth by athletes and coaches alike.  Congratulations to the Panthers for all their efforts this weekend and good luck at state!

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Girls Run, Jump, Hurdle to Bayshore Crown; Boys Edged Out, Finish 2nd!

May 20th, 2017

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Both boys and girls teams had explosive team and individual performances on Saturday, culminating in a girls NCS – Bayshore Area Championship and the boys finishing a close 2nd.  The girls team, led by super-junior Kali Hatcher and UNLV-bound senior Avi Wilson-Perteete, won a tightly contested battle over the Dragons of Bishop O’Dowd to emerge victorious.  Kali, whose jumping talents are beginning to attract state and national attention, won the long jump by over a foot and a half, edged out teammate De’Jah Robinson in a 1-2, 300 meter hurdle finish, took 2nd in the triple jump and anchored the 3rd place 4 x 100 team to a season best 48.46 clocking.

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“Kali’s confidence and demeanor on the track are starting to match her talents,” said coach Jeff Rogers after the meet.  “and that is great news for Saint Mary’s and really bad news for her competition.  It’s really, really hard to beat an ultra-talented, ultra-confident athlete.  I think we’re seeing one blossom in Kali.”

Avi, meanwhile, flexed her middle-distance muscles on Saturday, running a PR 5:19 for 1600 meters before doubling back to claim the top 800 meter prize at 2:18.  Later, Avi would anchor the winning 4 x 400 realy, which effectively clinched the team title for the Panthers.

Junior Kobi Thompson, who coach Jay Lawson called ” a huge piece to this championship” battled through injury to score huge high jump and long jump points while also propelling herself into next week’s NCS Meet of Champions.  Fellow high jumper, Lydia Howard, scored a lifetime best 5’0″ to join Kobi at next week’s NCS Championships.

Senior De’Jah Robinson also scored high praise from the coaching staff for her runner-up finish in the 300m hurdles and tenacious 2nd leg on the  4 x 100 relay.  Fellow seniors Noelle Shaw (400) and Julia English (1600) also ran lifetime bests which contributed to this year’s team championship.  Janelle Ingram and Sophia Alexander were other scorers on Saturday for the Panthers.

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For the boys, senior jumper/sprinter Sanjay Kettels and senior distance runner Owen Woo showed their experience, toughness and talent…. combining for 38 points between them… to lead the Panthers to the silver medal position.  Sanjay, widely regarded as one of California’s top jumpers, won both the long and triple jump on Saturday… despite being a bit hobbled by a nagging leg injury.  Owen, on the other hand, is completely healthy and his running reflect it.  His 4:19 for 1600 meters on Saturday vaulted him to #2 all-time in school history and a #2 placing in the race.  Later, he easily won the 3200… which he will make his main focus heading into MOC next weekend.

Freshman Malcolm Clemons, the heir apparent to Sanjay, served up a huge 45’5″ PR in the triple jump to finish 2nd, then later jumped 22’4″ to finish 3rd in the long jump.  He certainly will be one to watch next week at MOC and for years to come.

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Other notable performers for the boys on Saturday came from Donye Green, Miles Joyner and throwers Jovan Kitchen and Sam Hines.  Both weightmen threw lifetime bests in the discus… each punching their tickets into next week’s MOC at U.C. Berkeley.


Boys, Girls Sweep TCAL Titles!

May 13th, 2017

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As the only school to ever win a TCAL track title, the Saint Mary’s Panthers entered the 2017 league championship meet with years of expectations behind them.  The boys team title run dates back to 1987 and spans four different league realignments.  The girls, meanwhile, have won the league team title in all but two years dating back to 1996.  As coach Lawson said on the eve of this years meet, “all of our kids know about the streak and none of them is interested in it ending.”

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On Wednesday and Friday, the determination to keep the streak alive was evident.  Led by double winners Kali Hatcher, Sanjay Kettels, Avi Wilson-Perteete, and Miles Joyner… both Panthers boys and girls teams swept the team titles at the TCAL championships.  Kali, her incredible talents on full display, lept to a state-leading 42’3″ in the triple jump before also winning the long jump at 18’7″.  Both marks are new meet championships records and the former ranks her 3rd in the U.S. so far this year.  Sanjay also set a new meet record in the long jump at 23’0″ after winning the triple jump at Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 7.55.44 PM45’4″.  Miles was a double winner in both hurdle races while Avi ran to victory in both the 800 and 1600.

“We really leaned on our upper classmen… the kids who’ve been there  before who we knew we could rely upon,” said a very satisfied coach Lawson afterwards.  “Those four were big, but so were Owen Woo, Sophia Alexander, Jovan Kitchen, and a dozen more kids who really competed well.”

Indeed, sophomore Sophia Alexander continued her ascendancy with a big 200 meter win (25.20), Owen Woo tallied 26 points by himself by winning the 1600 and placing 2nd in both the 800 and 3200… Noelle Shaw and David Watts won both 400 meter dashes, Jovan won the shot with a huge 44’3″ put  on his final effort, freshman Lydia Howard scored a huge win in the high jump and De’Jah Robinson led wire to wire in her 300 meter hurdle win.  Other strong performances were turned in by Donye Green (200, 400, 300H), Malcolm Clemons (LJ, TJ, 200), Gracie Arevalo (SP, Disc), Janelle Ingram (100H, LJ), and  Kobi Thompson (HJ, TJ, LJ).

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Both JV boys and girls also had successful meets.  Freshmen Amelia Trmain (hurdles, sprints), Jillian Aliakbar (sprints),  Mila Sutphin (400, 300hurdles), Lauren Goode (800) and Lucy Ihnken (high jump) all won or placed 2nd in their respective events.  The JV Boys, meanwhile, had Branden Owens (sprints, throws), Malo Gostlin (200), James Woo (Discus), Jordan Mure (HJ), and Isaac Yee (400) all claim either gold or silver in their events.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 7.47.40 PMOverall, the 2017 TCAL season was a clean sweep for the Panthers, who won all their dual meets as well as the championship finale.  Next up will be the Bayshore Championships, which feature qualifiers from the TCAL, WACC and MVAL who compete to try and qualify on to the Meet of Champions in two weeks.  The Bayshore Championships will be on Saturday at James Logan High School.  Field events begin at 11:00am.


Panthers Record Big Wins on Final Invitational Weekend

April 30th, 2017

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Flexing their collective might, the Panthers completed the invitational season with huge successes at both the “Clash of the Titans” and Sacramento Meet of Champions Invitationals.

At “Clash of the Titans”, the Panthers chalked up 7 individual wins along with a girls team title.  Sophomore Sophia Alexander, quickly emerging as a top flight North Coast Section sprinter, emerged with a pair of wins… in the 100 (12.49) and 200 (25.78).  Both times established new meet records.   Matching Sophia’s record-setting performances was junior Janelle Ingram in the 100 meter hurdles.  Her 15.57 win was almost a full second better than the rest of the field.Screen Shot 2017-02-25 at 4.55.22 PM

Thrower Gracie Arevalo, fresh off a PR performance at Woody Wilson, nearly duplicated that performance with a 31’6″ shot put win.  Jumper Kobi Thompson had a fine day, winning the high jump (4’10”) after bounding to a lifetime best 17’1″ in the long jump.  Seniors De’Jah Robinson and Noelle Shaw also turned in strong performances.  De’Jah finished 2nd in both the 100 meter dash (12.73) and the 300 meter hurdles (47.96), while Noelle finished 2nd in her specialty, the open 400 meters (59.89).

On the boys side, weightman Jovan Kitchen won the shot put (42’7″) and finished 3rd in the discus (129’3″) while fellow senior Elijah Frendberg-Mates won the triple jump (41’4″).  Field-eventer Zach Deering-Haddix jumped a career-best 5’10 in the high jump while track men Trenton Johnson (100 meters – 11.46), Miles Joyner (200 meters – 23.12), and Donye Green (400 meters – 51.56) all placed 4th in their respective events.

In all, many Panther athletes had outstanding days at the “Clash of the Titans”.

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Also on Saturday, four Panther athletes traveled to Sacramento for the annual Sacramento Meet of Champions.  The meet features most of the top talent from Northern California.  Senior Sanjay Kettles, returning from a nagging hamstring injury that has had him sidelines for 5 weeks, reminded the track crowd that the long jump pit certainly belongs to hm.  Limited to three jumps, Sanjay soared to a PR 23’10” on his very first jump, ranking him 2nd in California, 1st in Northern California, 2nd on the school’s all-time list, and 1st in the competition.  Not bad for 6 seconds of work!Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 10.36.30 PM

Teammate Kali Hatcher, no stranger to big stages and outstanding performances, bounded out to a PR 40’7″… establishing a new school record and a SAC MOC win.

Freshman Malcolm Clemons finished 5th in the long jump, a mere 4″ from second while senior Owen Woo, continuing his remarkable senior season, ran 4:22.90 to place 2nd in the open 1600 meter run.

Next up for the Panthers is their final TCAL meet, on Thursday May 4th against Salesian and DeAnza.  The meet will be at J.F. Kennedy high school and will begin at 3:45.


Malcolm Clemons Stars for Panthers @ Woody Wilson Invitational

April 14th, 2017

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Freshman Malcolm Clemons continued his stellar ascension up the varsity ranks with two victories at the Woody Wilson Invitational held on the campus of U.C. Davis .  After winning the varsity boys long jump with a personal best 22’10.5″, he completed his very first invitational triple jump competition with a 43’2″ win.

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“Malcolm may just be the most talented young jumper we’ve ever had,” said longtime coach Jeff Rogers.  “Along with his talent, his technique is very good and he’s really competitive.  He has all the ingredients that the great ones have.”

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Junior Kali Hatcher, herself no stranger to talent and accomplishment, won the 300 hurdles in a seasonal best 46.20, ran the anchor leg on the winning 4 x 100 relay team, and finished 2nd in the long jump at 17’11”.  Her season, according to Rogers, “continues to trend upwards.”  This for an athlete that won two state meet medals a year ago.  Whew!

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Senior weightman Jovan Kitchen also had a breakout meet in Davis.  His 134’8″ heave in the discus was a lifetime best by almost 10 feet…. and earned him a well-earned 5th place finish.  An hour later, he putted the shot 41’7″ to finish 8th.  Teammate Gracie Arevalo buoyed Jovan’s performance with a huge 2 foot PR of her own… throwing 31’10” to finish 3rd.  In all, coach Heuer’s group  had arguably their best meet of the year.

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The Panthers will be back in action on the weekend of April 29th… splitting the squad between the “Clash of the Titans” invitational at Skyline H.S. in Oakland and the Sacramento Meet of Champions at American River College in Sacramento.


Panthers on Big Stage @ Arcadia Invitational

April 9th, 2017

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The Saint Mary’s track & field team traveled to Southern California over the weekend to compete at the esteemed Arcadia Invitational.  Featuring top talent from all over the United States, Arcadia is THE measuring stick for athletes wondering where they stand in comparison to other upper-tier athletes.  By weekend’s end, the Panthers felt really good about their current progress.

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For the girls, their relay success has been tremendously successful over the past several years and, thus, they were rewarded with prime lanes in the most competitive heats.  Predictably, Coach Lawson’s squads responded with a pair of top California times that garnered 3rd place in the 1600 meter sprint medley (4:03) and 4th in the 4 x 400 (3:52).  The quartet of De’Jah Robinson, Sophia Alexander, Kali Hatcher and Avi Wilson-Perteete comprised the medley relay while senior Noelle Shaw joined Sophia, Kali and Avi to make up the 4 x 400.   Both relays were praised by Coach Lawson afterwards.

“I’m really excited by their performances this weekend,” said Lawson.  “All four girls in thh 4 x 400 were under 60 seconds… and all four ran very competitively.  Both of those were on our goal sheet for this meet.”

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In the field, junior Kali Hatcher continued her fine outdoor season with a 4th place finish in the girls invitational triple jump.  Kali’s best jump was a mere 2 inches from 3rd and 4 inches from 2nd.  Her jumper counterpart, teammate Malcolm Clemons’ high school debut on the big stage also went very well, sending the ultar-talened freshman to a PR 22’10”.

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Hurdlers Miles Joyner and De’Jah Robinson both ran seasonal bests in the 300 hurdles… as did senior distance runner Owen Woo.  Owen’s 9:22 in the 3200 meter run was a lifetime best and one of the top times in the North Coast Section this year.


Panthers Add to Medal Count at Prestigious Stanford Invitational

April 2nd, 2017

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The Stanford Invitational is regarded by many as the preeminent high school invitational in Northern California every year.  Attracting schools from all the Golden State, Stanford serves as a mid-season gauge for those who have championship aspirations in May and June.  On Friday and Saturday, the Panthers served notice that they’d like to be on the minds of the post-season prognosticators come championship season.

Headlining for the Panthers were the venerable girls 4 x 400 team.  After winning Stanford for a 4th straight year…. this time in a NCS leading 3:56.26, the team of Sophia Alexander, Kali Hatcher, Noelle Shaw and Avi Wilson-Perteete were exalted by head coach Jay Lawson.

“Our girls performed very well today.  There were several really good teams out there and, after a long two days, a few of them just couldn’t muster the mental energy to perform theor best.  Our girls did though… which makes our entire coaching staff very proud.”

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Junior Kali Hatcher finished 2nd in an exceptionally loaded triple jump competition, bounding out to a season best 40’6″.  Likewise, freshman Malcolm Clemons led the Sanjay Kettels – less varsity boys long jump competition for most of the day until finally falling to third by a scant 3/4 of an inch.

Seniors Owen Woo and Avi Wilson-Perteete lived up to their esteemed status… Owen by finishing 2nd overall in the boys 3000 meter run (8:40) on Friday and Avi with her 4th place finish in the girls 800 (2:14.61).

Other solid performances were delivered by junior Janelle Ingram in the 100 meter hurdles and Noelle Shaw in the open girls 400 meters.

The Panthers return to action this weekend… Friday and Saturday… at the nationally recognized Arcadia Invitational in Southern California.


Panther Talent Continues to Shine at Castro Valley Invite

March 25th, 2017

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The season continues to ascend to impressive heights for the 2017 Panthers, this time at the Castro Valley Invitational.  Bolstered by meet records from Miles Joyner, Malcolm Clemons, and the girls 4 x 400 team… the Panthers once again showed off their talent across the track and field.

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Freshman Malcolm Clemons continues to cement his case for newcomer of the year… this time smashing the frosh-soph meet record and establishing a new lifetime best of 22’1.25″.  He also led off the victorious boys 4 x 100 team as well as ran a strong leg on the winning sprint medley relay. Quite a day for the talented 9th grader.

Senior Miles Joyner also had a great day… winning the 300 meter hurdles in a new meet record 40.15 and running a leg on the winning 4 x 100 (43.29) team.

Kali Hatcher, Avi Wilson-Perteete, Noelle Shaw and Xandra Kirkman won the 4 x 400… with the latter three also teaming with sophomore Sophia Alexander to win the sprint medley relay.

Kali, one of the most talented athletes in the entire NCS, won 3 individual events (long jump, triple jump, 300 hurdles)… establishing a new personal best of 40’5″ in the triple.

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Finally, senior Sanjay Kettels… whose season has been fraught with high-level consistency, won the long jump (23’3″) and anchored the winning 4 x 100.

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Other fine performances came from frosh-soph shot put winner Brandon Owens, freshman sprinter Sofia Bailey, varsity girls high jump winner Kobi Thompson, and veteran sprinter/hurdler De’Jah Robinson.


Cougars, Gauchos and Eagles No Match for Powerful Panthers in TCAL Season Opener

March 23rd, 2017

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Flexing all the muscle of a bonafide league powerhouse, the Panthers out-sprinted, out-jumped, out-hurdles and out-ran teams from Albany, El Cerrito and JF Kennedy on Thursday to notch their first three wins of the season.

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Led by junior Kali Hatcher’s double PR performance in the long (18’0″) and triple (40’2″) jumps, the Lady Panthers overwhelmed much of the competition.  Avi Wilson-Perteete won the mile and 800, Kobi Thompson won the high jump and finished 2nd in the triple and long jumps, Gracie Arevalo won the Shot Put and De’Jah Robinson won the 300h hurdles and had an overall solid meet to pace the win.

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For the boys, the day belonged to triple winners Owen Woo and Sanjay Kettels.  Owen scored the always impressive distance triple… winning the 800, 1600 and 3200 races.  The Pomona-Pitzer bound seniors performnace was “what our team needed today,” according to coach Denis Mohun.  “We didn’t plan on running the 2 mile but the meet got close at the end so Owen didn’t hesitate to jump in the 3200.  He’s so fit and running so well right now… there was never any doubt that he was going to dominate… even against a good Albany squad.”Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 9.42.26 AM

Sanjay, whose college decision is still up in the air, sprinted his way to a 100-200 double win… winning the century race in 11.02 before coming back later to score a 22.53 PR at 200 meters.  In between he bounded out to a practice-style 21’7″ win in the long jump.  Senior teammates Miles Joyner  and Elijah Frendberg-Mates chipped in by winning the 300 hurdles and triple jump respectively.


In all, the meet saw many solid performances scattered around the track and field.  Notable efforts were turned in by Julia English in the 800 and 1600, freshman Zach Deering-Haddix in the high jump, Malo Gostlin and Isaac Yee in the JV Boys 400, varsity boys 400 winner David Watts, De’Jah Robisnon in the 100, Sophia Alexander Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 10.04.46 AMin the 200 and 400, Trenton Johnson in the 100 and 200, Issa Abdus-Salaam and Cymone Rice in the long jump.

Congratulations to the Panthers on their victorious TCAL opener!


Panthers Win 6 Events, Break 1 Meet Record at St. Francis Invitational; Owen Woo Shines at Dublin Distance Fiesta

March 18th, 2017

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The Saint Mary’s track & field team continued it’s good fortune and record-breaking ways on Saturday at the St. Francis Invitational… winning six events, placing second in three others and third in still three others.  Leading the medal haul was UNLV-bound bound Avi Wilson-Perteete, who won the open 400 meters in a season best 57.67 and later anchored the winning sprint medley relay team to a near meet record.  Of the upbeat senior, coach Jay Lawson would say after the meet, “Avi had a really good meet today.  She ran with the kind of confidence you would expect from a senior whose been on the podium at the state championships.  I’d like to continue to see her carry herself that way.”

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Kali Hatcher, herself a holder of several state meet medals, once again ran away with the triple jump competition…. bounding out to a lifetime best 39’10.5″.  She also ran the 3rd leg of the victorious sprint medley relay… all after placing 2nd in the girls’ varsity long jump.  Certainly not a bad day for the multi-talenetd junior.Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 6.44.33 PM

Seniors De’Jah Robinson and Noelle Shaw also had solid meets.  De’Jah, after finishing 3rd in a seasonal best 47.80 in the 300 hurdles, ran a solid 1st leg of the 4 x 100.  One of the team leaders this year, De’Jah “is looking like she’s ready to make a run at another state meet spot later this year,” according to coach Lawson.

Noelle Shaw, another of the vocal leaders on this year’s team, ran a seasonal best 60.57 to place 4th in the open 400…. as did freshman Sofia Bailey in her frosh-soph 400 meter race… placing 2nd in 64.47.

On the boys’ side, senior Sanjay Kettels continues to serve notice that his senior year will be a memorable one.  He once again won the long jump to remain unbeaten in 2017.  His final mark of 23’5″ equaled a lifetime best and was nearly 2 feet farther than the runner-up.  Sanjay would later finish 5th in the invitational 100 meter dash as well as anchor the 4  x 100 team of Elijah Frendberg-Mates, Mile Joyner and Donye Green and himself to a 2nd place finish.  Not a bad day for Sanjay!

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 6.28.17 PMTwo underclassmen, sophomore Trenton Johnson and freshman Malcolm Clemons, also shined quite bright on Saturday.  Trenton started fast and finished faster on his way to a PR 11.66 – frosh-soph 100 meter win.  Not to be outdone, Malcolm Clemons reasserted himself as maybe the top freshman long jumper in California with a new meet record win…. soaring 21’11.5″.  Malcolm also finished 6th in the open frosh-soph 100 meter dash.

On Saturday evening, the distance runners… competing at the annual Dublin Distance Fiesta… scored several big PR’s.  Of note was the performance of senior Owen Woo, whose 6th place finish in the 3200 was certainly impressive… but it was his time of 9:25.39 that opened some eyes.  That time now stands as #3 all-time in school history and suggests that the Pomona-Pitzer bound senior may indeed make a run at the top spot in school history by later this year.

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On Thursday, the Panthers open the 2017 TCAL season with a meet against El Cerrito, Albany and Kennedy at El Cerrito high school.  First event starts at 3:45.


Panthers Win 5 Events, Break 2 Meet Records at Dan Gabor Invitational

March 4th, 2017

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Due to Enrichment Week activities, the Saint Mary’s track & field team sent just a handful of athletes to the Dan Gabor Invitational on Saturady.  Despite the paltry numbers, the Panthers emerged from the meet having won 5 of the 13 events they were entered in…. while breaking 2 meet records in the process.

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Leading the Panthers was junior sensation Kali Hatcher, whose 17’8was not only a seasonal best but also a new meet record.  Teammate Kobi Thompson finished 3rd at 15’6″.

Following her long jump effort, Kali joined senior teammates Avi Wilson-Perteete and Noelle Shaw and sophomore Sophia Alexander in winning the girls 4 x 400 meter relay in a new meet record 3:58.55.  Their relay time broke the 2014 record set by a Panther relay team that would go on to medal at the state championships. Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 5.39.09 PM

Adding to the winning haul was senior Sanjay Kettels who continues his long jump dominance… this time with a modest 22’1″ for him.  Following Sanjay in the runner-up spot was freshman Malcolm Clemons, whose 21’6″ was a mere 2″ from his lifetime best.   Senior Elijah Frendberg-Mates was 4th at 20’9″.

Finally, senior DeJah Robinson opened her 300 hurdle season with a nice win, crossing the line in 48.46.

Overall, the Panthers sprint and hurdle team performed very nicely at Dan Gabor.  Later Saturday evening, the distance team took to the track… with senior Julia English scoring a seasonal best 5:39 in the 1600 and senior Owen Woo racing to a huge win in the 3200… running a personal best 9:33. Go to the “schedules and results” page for complete results of all races and events.

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Panthers Win 7 Events, Break 2 Meet Records at Skyline Invitational

February 25th, 2017

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                                                            Janelle Ingram

The Saint Mary’s track & field team opened the 2017 season with a bang… winning 7 events, placing second in 7 other events , third in still 4 others… all while breaking 2 meet records in the process!

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                                             Owen Woo

“As far as opening meets of the season go, this one was pretty good,” said long-time coach Jay Lawson after the meet. “We had some headliners perform really well – breaking records and winning events – which did not surprise us.  But we also had a lot of younger and less-experienced kids do quite well which really pleased the coaching staff.

Amongst the headliners were record-setting jumpers Sanjay Kettels and Kali Hatcher.  Sanjay broke the meet record in the boys long jump, sailing a wind-legal 23’4 on his second jump.  Sanjay’s record-setting jump was more than a foot and a half better than the field and places him at the top of the Northern California rankings.  Sanjay later won the 200 in a personal best 22.89.  Teammate Kali Hatcher, herself the top-ranked triple-jumper in Northern California, unleashed a 39’3″ jump to break an 8 year old meet record.  She too won her event by almost 2 feet and, later won her heat of the girls 200.  She was also a mere 1/2″ inch away from winning the girls long jump… instead settling for the runner-up spot.

Other meet winners included UNLV-bound senior Avi Wilson-Perteete in the girls 800, junior high jumper Kobi Thompson, and senior Elijah Frendberg-Mates with a PR 44’0″ in the triple jump.  Elijah’s triple jump win was the 4th Panther win of the 6 jumping events contested on the day.

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Two runner-up places were earned by senior Miles Joyner in the open 100 (11.57) and 300 hurdles (42.63), while fellow senior Owen Woo ran a strong 1600 (4:34) to get 2nd.   Sophomore Sophia Alexander pulled a mini-shocker with her 2nd place finish in the open 100, running 13.13 for a huge PR.  Additionally, senior Noelle Shaw ran 61.18 in the 400 for 2nd, while freshman Malcolm Clemons added a foot to his already impressive youth level resume in the boys long jump, soaring 21’8″ to finish behind teammate Sanjay.

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                                                Robert Wood

Finally, 3rd place finishers Robert Wood (40’7″, triple jump), Janelle Ingram (16. 42, 100h), Sam Hines (42’4″, shot put), and Donye Green (52.19, 400)  all had fine outings according to coach Lawson.

“I’m glad to finally have gotten a meet under us.  We did a lot of good things out there today and also found out that we have some things to work on.  All in all though, I liked our competitiveness and the poise and fight we showed.  I can’t wait to get out there again next week and see if we can continue to improve.”

Next Saturday the Panthers travel to Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton for the annual Dan Gabor Sprint & Distance carnival.


Panthers Coaches Weigh in on 2017 Season

February 16, 2017

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The Saint Mary’s Track & Field season kicks off on Saturday, February 25th when the Panthers travel to the 13th annual Skyline Invitational.  The 2017 Panthers return several state meet competitors from a year ago along with a mix of newcomers and experienced runners, throwers, hurdlers and jumpers that promise to make this season quite a successful one.  Coaches Jay Lawson, Jeff Rogers, Denis Mohun and Jonathan Heuer shared their thoughts on their event groups as the season opener arrives.

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Jay Lawson – Sprints/Hurdles/Relays

What are you most excited to see from your group as the first races come up next week?
Well, like the athletes, I’m excited to finally be going to an actual meet!  We’ve done a fair amount of fall training and I think we’re all ready for a competition.  I’m also excited to see the improvement that a lot of the kids are showing in practice.

Are there any returners that you think will take a big step this season or are hoping will do that?
For the girls, our two most talented athletes are Kali Hatcher and Avi Wilson-Perteete.  Both of those girls have been top performers in the North Coast Section, both have been individual state finalist and both have state meet medals as part of our 4 x 400 relay team.  I expect both of them to have dominant years.  I also have high expectations for both Noelle Shaw and Xandra Kirkman.  Both of them have had a very good fall and both are experienced runners.  Look for them to be anchors for our relay teams and in their individual 200 and 400 races.  Lastly, I think junior Janelle Ingram in the 100 hurdles and senior De’Jah Robinson in the 300 hurdles have a chance to have breakout years.  They’ll also be important members of our relay teams.

On the boy’s side, seniors Sanjay Kettels and Miles Joyner will headline.  Sanjay is one of the top long jumpers in California and I think he has a chance to make some NCS noise as a sprinter.  Miles was a section finalist in the 300 hurdles last year and should be one of the top competitors again this year.  Senior Donye Green and junior David Watts will also play key roles as members of our relay teams.

How has the group of underclassmen fit in so far and what do you like about their potential?
We have a lot of young faces on the team and, so far, they’ve fit in very nicely. Sophomores Trenton Johnson and Julian Holdenried… as well as freshman Malcom Clemons have the potential to form a group that should be the future of Saint Mary’s boys track.  Trenton is primarily a short sprinter and jumper while Julian is better at the longer sprint races.  I think Malcolm may have the range to go from 100 to 400.  He’s also a very good long jumper.

Mostly, with younger athletes, it’s just them wanting to really be good. A lot of them have never really been exposed to high level track so it’s my hope that once they get exposed it’s something they really want.  So far, a few of them have worked really hard and I expect big things from them.

It sounds like the women’s 4×4 should be a strength, but what other events do you think will be ones to watch?
Well, if I were watching Saint Mary’s track this year I’d keep an eye on the long and triple jump pits… along with the girls 800, girls 400 and both boys and girls long hurdle races.  Kali was 3rd at the state meet in the triple jump last year and Sanjay was the top ranked long jumper in the NCS in 2016 so those are probably are best events.  Avi’s 800 meter personal best ranks amongst the fastest times ever run in the NCS so her potential is crazy high.  Both Noelle and Xandra are two of the top quarter milers in the TCAL and Miles and De’Jah rank amongst the best 300 hurdlers in the section.

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Jeff Rogers – Jumps

What areas are looking strong to you heading into the start of the season?
The boys long jump looks loaded with Sanjay, Elijah Frendberg-Mates, and Malcolm Clemons.  To start, Sanjay maybe the top-ranked long jumper in Northern California.  Then, Elijah jumped 21’6″ or so last season and already looks as good.  Now, we get a guy like Malcolm whose had all kinds of success as a Junior Olympic athlete.  Our boys long jump looks good!

The girls triple jump also looks really solid.  Kali has looked fantastic so far…. far better than she did a year ago and she was really good last year!  Kobi Thompson (who’s our best high jumper), Janelle Ingram and Cymone Rice also give us a lot of depth in that event.

How have the new athletes been looking so far through the fall?
I mentioned Malcolm already, and unfortunately have yet to see the guys who are just out of basketball.  Still, I have high hopes for sophomores like Josiah Robinson in the high jump and Taj Castaneda and Antoine Morales in the triple jump and junior Robert Wood in both the long and triple jumps.  Mostly, I’m looking for all of these guys to continue to work hard and really want to hone their technique.  There’s nothing more exciting to a coach than an athlete who is really eager and hungry to want to get better.

Any returners you see having breakout seasons?
Besides Kali and Sanjay, I expect both Kobi Thompson and Elijah Frendberg-Mates to surprise some people.  Both are excellent athletes with good frames and good ability.  Kobi has been in some pretty big high jump competitions already and Elijah is just so taleneted that I can’t imagine he won’t be knocking on the door. Still, they’ll both need to be able to compete at their best when the pressure is really on.  If they can, they can both be MOC (NCS – Meet of Champions) finalists.  We’ll see.

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Denis Mohun – Distances

What has you most excited about this group coming off the fall?
Well, the month of January was pretty good for us.  A lot of the kids have been running and their fitness levels are pretty good.  Also, they’ve done a fair amount of weight training so I’m hoping the added strength and power will pay dividends.

Specifically, I’m looking for our lone senior on the boys’ side, Owen Woo, to make some noise.  He had a solid cross country season and has worked very hard to get himself in position to be one of the top guys in the area so I’m excited to watch him lead the distance group and get after it. Sasha Poletaev has had flashes of excellence thus far and he’s in his third year now so I’m alos looking for him to lead the way as well.

Then, I’m excited to watch Julia English in her senior year.  She’s also coming off a fine cross country season of her own, where she was 1st team all TCAL.  Julia has a tenacity and a toughness that I’m hoping will continue to rub off on the other, younger runners.  She should be our top miler and hopefully she can surprise even herself.  I’m certainly a believer that she will have a great year.

Are there any others that are poised to reach a new level this year?
We graduated a lot of top talent last year but we have a lot of talent returning so who’s the next one that can have that breakout track season and can make it out of league?

Both Katie Woelffer and Genevieve Wiley are both kids that are certainly on the cusp. Can they run a DMR at Stanford this year?  Can they be at Bayshore this year?  That’s an exciting unknown that can only be answered with their will, toughness and dedication.

How did the freshmen and sophomores progress through the fall season and who could make some early contributions?
Obviously Zander Lieske has a running chance to make a splash.  He had somewhat of a break-out fall and he looks like he has a great chance of going sub 5:00 and much more.  I’m hesitant to go any further with predictions for the younger runners.  I’m really just hoping the Ben Jaffe’s, Anya Van Noord’s, Lauren Goode’s, Hannah Cornejo’s and Matthew Rosneberg’s will continue to work, improve, enjoy and believe.

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Jonathan Heuer – Throws

What are you most interested in seeing from your group in the early part of the season?
We’re just getting back into training  and we have a few new faces this year so I am excited to see, in my second yea,r our returners’ progression from the first year. They have come a long way, so I’m excited to see that progression take shape in a meet. We have some really talented throwers and I’m excited to see them step into a uniform and see where they start.

What returners do you think are poised to reach a new level?
I think Gracie Arevalo, Sam Hines, and Jovan Kinchen are going to take that next step this year.   All of them had good years last year.  For Sam and Gracie it was just their sophomore years of competition.  This year, we’ve started weight training and conditioning so I think the upcoming Skyline meet is going to be a good indicator of where we are and what we need to gear up and focus on in training.

Where would you say the strengths will be this season?

I’d say the strengths will in the fact that as a coach I’ll be more aware of who they are and what they need and they’ll be much more familiar with me and my coaching style.  Last season was my first and much of it was a feeling out process.  This year, I know the talent level and the abilities of JP, Jovan, Sam, Uche, Ricardo Gracie and the others.  I know what motivates them, what drives them, and what we’ll need to work on.  As a group, I think we’re excited.