Check here for your one-stop shop for what each spring sports team has accomplished to date and what is ahead for each team. Creative Commons Image: Pam Tso McKenney on Menlo Flickr
By Baily Deeter
The 7-8 Knights defeated Serra 13-8 on Friday behind Silas Stewart’s hat trick and two goals apiece for Brody LaPorte, David Schmaier, and Finn Leschly. Looking forward, Menlo will take on Sacred Heart Prep on Wednesday at home and Menlo-Atherton on Friday on the road with a WBAL championship at stake. The Knights fell to Sacred Heart earlier in the season but then defeated MA 9-7 to keep their hopes of a league title alive. In non-league play, Menlo has been extremely competitive with some of the best teams on the west coast, losing by one goal apiece to top-notch schools such as Kent Denver and the Bishop’s School. With LaPorte, Schmaier and Stewart leading the way on offense and stable defense of Emilio Simbeck, Cooper Stewart and Sam Holleran alongside goalie Jack McNally, Menlo has the pieces in place to succeed this week. If the Knights win both games, they will win the league title outright.
The Knights have dominated all season long in hopes of avenging their WBAL championship loss to Sacred Heart Prep from last season. Menlo is 13-2, 7-0 in league play, and has beaten well-regarded teams such as Carondelet while also dominating local teams. The Knights have outscored Sacred Heart 28-10 in their two games this season while also outscoring Menlo-Atherton 18-10 in their two games. With first-year coach Liz Shaeffer at the helm and seniors Indy Varma and Alena Stern leading the way, the Knights have been successful all season. They have the WBAL semifinals on Thursday and will likely compete for the WBAL title on Saturday.
While Menlo lost a close game to MA 6-5 on Thursday, they still claimed the league title outright with a league record of 10-2 and an overall record of 15-9. The Knights just defeated Half Moon Bay to wrap up league play, and they have one more non-league game versus Harker on Thursday before CCS playoffs begin on May 17. The Knights have succeeded on the mound and at the plate, as Griff McGarry and Chandler Yu have shut down opposing offenses while Ben Somorjai, Ian Collins, Landon Smith and a well-rounded offense have thrived as well. They don’t yet know what their seed will be in CCS, but it is likely that they will be one of the top seeds and that they will therefore be in a good position to defend their CCS championship. “We had a new lineup heading into the season, but everyone has stepped up and completely embraced their roles on the team,” right fielder Justin Kasser said.
The 22-2 Knights defeated Menlo-Atherton 6-1 in the second round of the CCS playoffs despite MA’s decision to stack the lineup, meaning that they would play some of the lower-ranked players against some of Menlo’s top players so that they would have a better chance of winning the doubles matches. Looking forward, the Knights will take on Bellarmine in the second round of the CCS playoffs. Menlo lost in the CCS finals to St. Ignatius last season, and a rematch will likely take place in the finals. Afterward, they will have the Norcal tournament as well. With verbal Yale commit Sid Chari leading the way at the top singles position with freshman Brandon Aprill and junior Clark Safran also thriving, the Knights are in a good position with key matches looming.
Boys and Girls Track
Individually and collectively, the boys and girls track teams have both been stellar this season. Robert Miranda has shined all season since bouncing back from a stress fracture in his ankle that forced him to miss all of the cross country season in the fall. Recently, in the CCS Top 8, Miranda finished second in both the 1600-meter and the 3200-meter race, as he ran the 1600, which is almost exactly equivalent to one mile, in four minutes and 14 seconds. For the girls team, Kyra Pretre won the 800-meter race at the Sacramento Meet of Champions while the 4 by 100 relay team of Lauren Hamilton, Alexandra Chan, Electa Narasin and De’Jeane Stine finished with a phenomenal time of 50.52 seconds.
Boys and Girls Swimming
Many individual swimmers advanced to the CCS Finals, while in the West Bay Athletic League Finals, the boys team placed second and the girls team placed third. For the boys team, sophomores Sam Untrecht and Alec Vercruysse, freshman Matthew Lim and junior Jason Li qualified for various events, while Natalie Hilderbrand, Nitya Tarakad, Sophie Golub and Meg Reinstra all qualified for relay teams. At the WBAL event, Scott Little won the 50-meter and the 100-meter freestyle races.
After a second-place finish in the WBAL tournament, the Knights are now currently in the CCS playoffs. Led by junior Max Ting and senior Rohin Chandra, the Knights have been solid all season long. At the WBAL tournament, Chandra shot a season-best 78 while Ting shot a 76 in the 18-hole round. Kripa Dharan shot an 81, Charlie Hsieh shot an 84, John Weingart shot an 85, and Seth Pope shot an 87 at the tournament. After an 8-2 record and solid showings at various tournaments, the Knights have the chance to finish their season the right way in the CCS playoffs.