This article was originally published in the summer 2013 Harker Quarterly.
This spring included league championships, scholarships and record-breaking performances for Harker. Without further ado, let’s get to it!
Track and Field
This year saw the most successful day in Harker’s track history when SumitMinocha, grade 12, won the CCS championship in the 200m, becoming Harker’s second-ever individual CCS champion. His effort was part of a banner day in which Harker had more of its most talented athletes qualify and score points at the CCS championships than ever before in its history. Nadia Palte, grade 9, Corey Gonzales and Julia Wang, grade 10, Claudia Tischler, grade 11, and seniors Isabelle Connell, Michael Chen and Ragini Bhattacharya all joined Minocha at the CCS championships. On the team side, both the boys and girls teams placed third in the team standings at the league championships.
Connell and Minocha finished up their high school track careers by becoming the first Harker athletes to qualify for the state meet, where they faced the toughest competition the state of California has to offer. Each came within less than a second of qualifying for the finals.
Track and field’s 2013 season has been studded with record-breaking moments. Cheryl Liu, grade 10, broke a Harker record in the 100m hurdles, then saw Palte break that same record minutes later. Michael Cheng, grade 12, broke a Harker record in the discus competition. Minocha broke a Harker record in the 100m for the boys, and Connell, who already owned the 100m Harker record for the girls, improved her own time. Minocha was also recognized as Athlete of the Week earlier this spring by the San Jose Mercury News. Congratulations to all of Harker’s track and field athletes on a thrilling season!
The girls won a league championship this year with an 11-1 record in league play, reaching the first round of the CCS playoffs. The league championship was the first in Harker’s history, and it came in dramatic fashion.
In the bottom of the seventh and final inning of a 1-1 tie game against King’s Academy with two outs and the league championship on the line, freshman Tong Wu singled to knock in sophomore Briana Liang from second base, delivering Harker a walk-off victory. With two out and no one on base, Liang knocked a double, setting up Wu’s hit and the exciting final moments.
Harker golfer Maverick McNealy, grade 12, is off to Stanford to compete on their golf team next year! He ended his high school career by tying for fourth place at the CCS championships after winning the WBAL individual title. Shrish Dwivedi, grade 10, also qualified for the CCS tournament.
Harker linksman Kyle Roter, grade 12, received a REACH (Recognizing Excellence, Adversity, Courage and Hard Work) scholarship of $1,500 this spring. Over the past 17 years the REACH Youth Scholarship Program has been providing college funds to high school students who have overcome adversity to excel in academics and sports. Roter suffered from Chiari malformation, a condition in which brain tissue protrudes into the spinal canal. He underwent an operation to correct the problem after headaches became intolerable. Roter received the scholarship at the REACH awards breakfast, chaired by former San Francisco 49er Ronnie Lott at the San Jose Marriott.
The boys ended their season with a 9-15-1 overall record. Kevin Cali, grade 12, led the team with a .425 average, socking seven homers with three triples and two doubles. Jacob Hoffman, also grade 12, led the team with 24 RBIs and was second on the team with three homers. Hoffman hit for a scorching .369 average this year, and senior Drew Goldstein also broke the .300 mark with a .333 average. Goldstein racked up a .452 on-base percentage, topped by Cali and Hoffman, who both reached base more than half of the time.
Overall, Cali and Hoffman had ridiculously impressive slash lines, with Cali slugging .863 and Hoffman slugging .723.
The boys volleyball team reached the CCS quarterfinals this year, finally falling to Leigh High School after winning their first-round game against Valley Christian San Jose.
On the girls’ side, Harker freshman Shannon Richardson and her partner won first place in the AAU Huntington Beach Open Volleyball Tournament 16U Division, qualifying to compete in the AAU Junior Olympic Games this July in Southern California and AAU’s Best of the Beach Tournament this August.
Congratulations to recent graduate Josh Tien and rising senior Andrew Zhu for being named to the boys volleyball All-Mercury News Honorable Mention list. This is an elite list of players from the 55 high school boys volleyball teams in the section. Go Eagles!
Boys varsity tennis got off to a great start, and the team was 5-1 in mid-March. The bottom end of the schedule was more challenging, but the boys held their own and then some, beating first Pinewood, then Priory 6-1, capping that streak by beating Aragon 4-3, thus holding a 9-4 record in early April. The team then hit a tough run of three losses to end up with winning record of 9-7 for the season.
In middle school, the varsity A tennis team (grades 6-8) swept both public and private league championships for the first time, winning 5-4 against Kennedy to clinch the second title. The team went 20-0 for the season.
This is the first time the team has gone undefeated in both the regular season and the playoffs, and the first time the team has won both the private and public middle school tennis titles. “This is about as big as it gets in middle school sports!” said Greg Lawson, assistant head of school for student affairs.
Lawson added that over the last two years, the team compiled a 36-2 record and won three of four divisional titles. “Coach John Fruttero has done amazing things with the team,” Lawson added.
At the winning game, Fruttero said, “Today was not the 9-0 against Menlo last week in the WBAL championship match, but special in a very different way. The team battled from being down 4-1 for the second time this season to win 5-4. It was amazing to see these kids grow and transform themselves into a united championship team, from the inside out. It was an honor to lead them in entertaining a couple of hundred cheering fans today. What a blast!”
The girls lacrosse team’s historic run for a league championship came to a halt with a 17-14 loss to Notre Dame. This year, the girls set a Harker record for the most victories in a season with 12. With heart, determination and senior leadership, the girls finished the season by defeating rival Mercy Burlingame 18-8. This win was a sweet one, especially after the team had fallen just shy of success in their bid to capture a league title. After several years of struggle, the lacrosse program now finds itself carrying consecutive winning seasons forward.
Additionally there is thrilling news for the girls and for the Harker community. Two Harker lacrosse players, Christine Lee, grade 11, and Hannah Bollar, grade 10, have been named to the regional team for the national tournament.
On April 21, female high school varsity players from all throughout the Bay Area came together to compete for spots on the two Sub-Regional Pacific NorCal teams. The teams will compete in the 2013 U.S. Lacrosse National Tournament in May. This year marks the 81st anniversary of the event. It is one of the largest women’s lacrosse events in the nation. The 2013 tournament highlights include division championships, a U.S. team exhibition and a premier recruiting opportunity for high school players.
Congratulations to all of Harker’s swimmers and divers on a fantastic season. Harker’s CCS swimmers include freshmen Angela Huang, Grace Guan and Sandhana Kannan; sophomores Aaron Huang and Craig Neubieser; juniors Manon Audebert and Kimmy Ma; and senior Amie Chien. Diver Stacey Chao, grade 10, was Harker’s lone diver this season.