Menlo School, girls’ cross-country. For the first time in school history, the Lady Knights reached the podium at the CIF State Cross Country Championships Saturday in Fresno. Menlo took second place in the Division IV race, paced by senior Kyra Pretre who took 13th individually with a time of 18:27.2, the fastest time for a CCS runner on the Division IV stage. All of Menlo’s top six finishers placed in the top 50: junior Alexandra McCusker (26th, 18:47.5); senior Amanda Foster (34th, 18:56.3); senior Cameron Boom (37th, 18:58.1); junior Marisa Castagna (44th, 19:09); and senior Katie Aufricht (47th, 19:12.1).
Noah Short, King’s Academy football. The junior running back/linebacker did it all in the Knights’ 14-13 win over Terra Nova in the CCS Division III title game. He rushed for 101 yards and a score on 20 carries, he returned a punt 61 yards for his team’s second score, he stuffed a Tigers’ 2-point attempt with 30 seconds left and then sealed the win by recovering the ensuing onside kick.
Kaiya Brooks, Crystal Springs Uplands girls’ cross-country. The freshman soared into the Crystal Springs record books with her fourth-place finish in the Division V race at the CIF State Cross Country Championships Saturday in Fresno. Brooks dazzled with a time of 18:11.1, setting a new program record for the three-mile course at Woodward Park. The previous mark was held Aimee Raleigh with a time of 19:14 in 2006. In leading the Lady Gryphons to a 10th place finish as a team, Brooks had several distinctions in the overall context of the meet. She ran the 12th best overall time for a freshman on the day spanning all five divisions, and recorded the third best overall from the Central Coast Section.
Wilser Vasquez, Crystal Springs Uplands boys’ cross-country. With the Crystal Springs boys and girls the only CCS teams from the same school to each break the top 10, the Gentleman Gryphons enjoyed a seventh-place finish in the CIF State Cross Country Championships Division V race, marking the fifth straight year the team has cracked the top 10 at the state meet. Vasquez was at the forefront for Crystal Springs, as the senior took 14th place in the Division V race with a time of 16:07.4.
Noah Chang-Linenberg, Carlmont boys’ soccer. The Scots got off to an auspicious start in 2019-20 with a 5-1 non-league win over Woodside. Chang-Linenberg fronted the offense with two goals and one assist. The senior now has three goals on the year, adding Carlmont’s lone score in a 3-1 loss to Homestead.
Noe Diep, El Camino girls’ cross-country. The sophomore because the first girls’ cross-country runner to ever run in the CIF State Cross Country Championships, and enjoyed a solid showing. Diep placed 17th in the Division III race in a field of 203 runners, recording a time of 18:31.4.
Nate Bendo, Terra Nova football. The sophomore receiver hauled in two crucial passes that set up both Tigers’ scores in their 14-13 loss to King’s Academy in the CCS Division III championship game. His over-the-shoulder, 24-yard gain late in the second quarter set up the touchdown that cut the Knights’ lead to 14-7 at halftime. With just over a minute left in the game, he grabbed a 25-yard pass along the sideline to move the ball to the King’s Academy 3-yard line. Raphael Bendo, Nate’s older brother and Terra Nova starting quarterback, bulled his way into the end zone three plays later. Nate Bendo finished the game with four catches for 68 yards.
Justin Milch, Terra Nova boys’ basketball. The guard kicked off his junior season in style, pouring in 25 points. He hit on 10 of 14 shots, including 2 for 5 from behind the arc, in a season-opening 70-48 win over Marshall-SF. He also added six steals, five rebounds and three assists.
Jacqueline Klingler and Lizzy Bermudez, Mercy-Burlingame girls’ soccer. The 2019-20 soccer season got underway last week with the Mercy-Burlingame girls rolling to a 6-0 win over El Camino. Klingler and Bermudez scored two goals apiece, while last year’s leading scorer Izzy Bojorquez, along with junior Caroline Callagy, added one each.
Serra defense, football. With the Serra Padres earning the No. 1 seed in the CCS Division I tournament, they were essentially the top-ranked team in CCS this season. In taking on No. 2 Valley Christian for the Division I championship, Serra’s defense dominated in a 17-0 victory. It was the second time this year the Padres shut out the Warriors, also topping them 10-0 in regular-season play Nov. 2. Serra produced six turnovers in Saturday’s championship victory, including three forced fumbles and two interceptions on defense.