ICYMI: PrepCalTrack highlight videos & interviews from the Mt SAC Relays, courtesy of @dylanstw__ & @runlike_caleb https://t.co/mploIxwkah pic.twitter.com/KV17YO1KIE
— Rich Gonzalez (@PrepCalTrack) April 17, 2017
When the race ended, Cooper Teare lay sprawled on the track, arms raised, staring at the Southern California sky, as if to ask, “Really? That close?”
One week after the St. Joseph Notre Dame star won a race for the ages in the 3,200 at the Arcadia Invitational, Teare took aim at running a sub-four-minute mile at the Mt. Sac Relays.
He darn near did it.
In a race that was never in doubt Friday, Teare dashed in at 4 minutes, 0.16 seconds.
It was the top time in the nation this season, the fourth-fastest time ever in an all-high school race and the 10th-fastest time in history by a high school runner.
But yet …
“I think he was definitely disappointed not to break four,” SJND distance coach Alex Mason said Monday. “He really went for it, gave it everything he had. To be that close is a little disappointing. But at the same time it was still an amazing performance. Good word to describe it would be a little frustrated.”
Following a pacer for nearly the first two laps, Teare grabbed the lead at about 700 meters and pulled away. The runner-up came in more than 10 seconds after Teare.
“He ran to his limit on that day,” Mason said.
In an interview with prepcaltrack.com, Teare said, “Coming into that last 200, I saw 3:31 coming around there. I heard the crowd cheering. I just kind of gave it all I had coming down that last stretch. It was disappointing. Coming across the line, I couldn’t tell if I got it or I didn’t. But I am happy with the effort.”
A week earlier, Teare broke a 41-year-old meet record in the 3,200 at Arcadia, running 8:41.46 to win an ultra-competitive race.
The University of Oregon-bound Teare will have another shot at a sub-four-minute mile when he competes at the Sacramento Meet of Champions on April 29.
After that, he’ll start to focus on the postseason races.
Baseball: Palo Alto in control
With four games still to play, the Palo Alto baseball has already clinched the regular season championship in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League’s De Anza Division. The Vikings did so last week by sweeping the division’s defending regular-season champ, Los Gatos, 2-1 in nine innings Wednesday and 7-3 on Friday.
In the game Friday, Niko Lillios had two hits and drove in two runs and Angus Stayte and Max Jung-Goldberg each had two hits as Palo Alto improved to 10-0 in league play.
Saturday, the Vikings ran their overall record to 17-3 with an 11-2 rout of Leland in a non-league game.
Leland, which has only one loss in Blossom Valley Athletic League Mount Hamilton Division play, fell to 12-4-2 overall.
Softball star on mend
Two-time Mercury News softball player of the year Holly Azevedo is getting close to being back at full strength for Pioneer, which will be a welcome sight for a team that has dipped in its star pitcher’s absence.
The UCLA-bound Azevedo has been dealing with injuries for the first time in her high school career but could be back this week, Pioneer coach Ed Barclay.
“She threw a couple of innings last week for the first time,” Barclay said. “She is still limited. But I am hoping toward the end of next week she’ll start to climb back to where she belongs. I would say in the next week she should be back to normal.”
Azevedo’s return could help Pioneer make a run toward a Central Coast Section playoff spot. The Mustangs are 5-7 overall and 2-2 in league play.
Pioneer plays Sobrato on Monday and Leland on Wednesday.
New San Jose High football coach Anthony Lombardi is seeking to coaches to fill out his staff. If interested, email Lombardi at firstname.lastname@example.org.