Bellarmine’s track and field team earned the CCS championship on June 20 at Soquel High School. As noted by coach Patrick McCrystle, “We went from 3rd to 1st over the last three events of the meet due to some truly heroic, clutch efforts by a group of senior leaders. All in all, a day of excitement and joy for the 12 Bells who competed … and brought home Bellarmine’s CCS record 12th Track and Field team title.”
With three events to go (the 3200, the pole vault, and the 4x400), Los Altos had a 51-43 lead over Valley Christian, with the Bells in 3rd place with 28 points, and both Valley and Los Altos having a 4x400 relay entered. “But then the 3200 runners scored 24 points,” recalled McCrystle, “and the vaulters scored 14, and it didn’t even matter that Los Altos finished 2nd and Valley Christian 4th in the 4x400; our 66 points clinched the victory and a stunning, exhilarating finish to a great day of athletics.”
Additional highlights noted by McCrystle include Leo Garcia-Czarkowski’s ‘21 epic dual with St. Ignatius’ vaulter, going back and forth from 13’ up to 15’ until Leo emerged victorious on fewer misses; and the 1600, in which Nolan Topper ’21 won in the final stride of the race, running 4:07.97, missing the BCP school record by .02 but setting the meet record and running the 4th fastest time in CCS history. “It was a race that many at the meet said was the most exciting 1600 they’d ever seen at the CCS meet,” McCrystle said, also noting that Daniel Vaca ’21 went from 7th to 4th in the final 100 yards, running the 4th fastest 1600 in school history at 4:12.44. And in the 3200, the 6 Bells in the race knew they had to score as many points as possible and all 6 ran solely focused on their place in the race. “Again, the race came down to the last stride, and again Nolan Topper just outpaced the second-place runner,” noted McCrystle, adding “two victories for Nolan, and the combined distance of his victories was probably less than 2 feet! Behind Nolan, Vaca finished 3rd, Galen Topper 4th, and Ryunosuke Yanashita ’22 6th; 24 points, an unprecedented number of points in one event in CCS finals history, and combined with Leo’s victory in the PV, the winning margin was achieved! Go Bells!”
McCrystle also conveyed gratitude for the ongoing support of Louie Agelson, Mark Moreno, Colin Mello, Cindy Saglimbeni, Michael O’Shea, and Sergio Lamas.