2013 HQ W US Sports - Images by The Harker School The Harker School
This article originally appeared in the winter 2013 Harker Quarterly.
Editor’s note: As always, we thank the athletic department for its thorough and timely reports.
Fall 2013 was a monster season for numerous athletes at Harker’s upper school. A pair of runners took home huge honors and ran in the state meet (see complete story on page 39). A golfer became the best in the league for the second year in a row. The football team saw an offensive explosion in its three games. And the volleyball team reached the CCS semifinals.
Here are the results and records from the first season of the 2013-14 school year:
It was a spectacular fall season for the cross country team, as junior Corey Gonzales took home the 2013 CCS Division 4 league championship, and both Gonzales and freshman phenom Niki Iyer won West Bay Athletic League championships. Gonzales, Iyer and the team’s veteran leader, senior Claudia Tischler, all qualified for CCS after running great races at the WBAL championship. Gonzales and Iyer went on to represent Harker in the state meet, where Iyer took seventh in a stellar finish to her first varsity season, while Gonzales finished 85th, a distinct departure from his consistent single digit finishes of the season. He said he was fit for the race, but could have prepared better mentally. “Next season, I’ll just have to concentrate on state and make that my main focus rather than CCS,” he said.
Iyer’s first season at Harker was one for the ages. After winning her very first race, beating challengers by 30 seconds en route to the best time of any underclassman out of more than 450 runners, Iyer took on a varsity field in her second-ever race at Harker and finished second overall, missing out on first place by a single, solitary second. In her follow-up race, Iyer took home her first varsity win, obliterating the record for a Harker female runner by nearly a minute and scoring one of the 10 best times ever for a freshman in the course’s 70-year history. Iyer also won her first WBAL league race, but missed out on setting a new course record by, once again, a single second. The race after that, she succeeded in setting a new course record, this time by beating the previous year’s league champion. Amid her strong and record-breaking season, Iyer was named Santa Clara County girls athlete of the week by The San Jose Mercury News.
New CCS champion Corey Gonzales also had an incredible season, setting new school and course records en route to becoming the best runner in the division. (See feature story, page 39.)
Senior Kristine Lin became the most decorated female golfer in Harker’s history after winning the WBAL league championship for the second year in a row and then shooting the best score of any Harker girls golfer in CCS history. The team broke records as well, first shattering the mark for best score in Harker history in a 211-199 loss and then following that up a week later by beating the record it had just set, this time in a 210-265 win. The victory also saw a few Harker golfers shooting their personal best scores, including senior Connie Li and sophomores Daphne Liang and Ashley Zhong. “This is by far the hardest working and most improved team I have ever coached,” raved Ie-Chen Cheng.
After a fantastic regular season, the girls varsity team reached the semi- finals of the CCS tournament, finally falling to third-ranked Menlo. The team pushed Menlo to a fifth set in a tight and dramatic loss that stood between Harker and the state tournament. The game was set up by a thrilling win in the quarterfinals, when the Eagles rebounded from a first set loss to win the next three in a row in front of a raucous home crowd.
For the season, Divya Kalidindi, grade 12, led the team with 327 kills. Shannon Richardson, grade 10, and Shreya Dixit, grade 11, had 259 and 236 kills, respectively, while Dixit led the team with a 49.7 kill percentage. Editor’s note: As always, we thank the athletic department for its thorough and timely reports.
Selin Ozcelik, grade 10, led the team with a whopping 797 assists. Seniors Kalidindi, Mercedes Chien, Renu Singh and Christina Wong provided veteran leadership for the club, setting a powerful
example for the team to follow in the years to come.
The future is bright for that team. The junior varsity girls became co-league champions, defeating Mercy High School San Francisco in the dramatic conclusion to a stellar 15-3 season, and the freshmen girls split their season series with Milpitas. The majority of the varsity team will be returning next year, as Harker looks to make another push for the CCS championship.
Varsity football played three games this season, dropping their Homecoming game to Mt. Pleasant despite
recording 420 total yards of offense and blowing out Faith Christian and Livermore Prep by the insane scores of 41-0 and 58-16, respectively. In their first game against Faith Christian, running back Kevin Moss, grade 12, scored two touchdowns, kicker Alyssa Amick, grade 11, recorded 11 points, and Samir Chaudhry, grade 12, snagged two interceptions. Moss also added 128 yards and a touchdown in the Homecoming contest.
In that game, quarterback Keanu Forbes, grade 11, ran for two touchdowns and threw another to senior wide receiver Adarsh Battu, who caught five passes for a total of 142 yards. In the third and final game, Moss ran for two touchdowns, returned an interception for a touchdown, and raced a kickoff back for his fourth touchdown that day. Forbes also ran for a touchdown and threw three more, hitting his targets with passes to wide receiver Sid Krishnamurthi, grade 11, and running back Johnathon Keller, grade 10. All told, Harker racked up 387 yards of total offense. The defense also added eight sacks on the day.
The junior varsity team had a tremendous season of its own, going 6-1 with a mix of blowouts, tense games and big comebacks.
The varsity boys squad went 6-9 for the year but finished strong, winning two out of three games in its final tournament of the season. The varsity girls put up a 4-14 record, while the junior varsity boys went 2-10.
The most exciting game of the year came courtesy of the girls varsity team, when Delaney Martin, grade 11, scored a triple-overtime goal to give the team a sudden-death victory over San Lorenzo. The teams’ senior day was another highlight, as both the boys and the girls defeated Cupertino, with the boys crushing the Pioneers in a 15-3 blowout and the girls scoring a dramatic 5-4 win in a game where goals by two seniors made the difference.
The girls battled hard in a season in which they were beset by injuries, finishing with a solid 9-6 record. Highlights included a clutch come-from-behind win by Megy Appalaraju, grade 11, and Era Iyer, grade 9, in a victory against Crystal Springs Uplands. Sophomore Izzy Gross also provided heroics, battling back from triple match point for a thrilling win of her own against Crystal Springs Uplands and overcoming a devastating 1-6 opening set against Santa Catalina School on her way to a spectacular 12- 10 third-set victory.