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ALL OUT Santa Clara

Mervyn’s Plaza 2118A El Camino Real Santa Clara, CA 95050 Phone: (408) 261 2255 - Fax : (408) 261 2254 Hours: Mon-Fri 10-5:30 Sat 11-5 Closed Sun

20% Discount for all Paly students

RIEKES CENTER Human Enhancement

Volume 2 Issue #5 April 2009 Staff List Editors-in-Chief Charlie Avis Peter Johnson Noah Sneider Adam Zernik

Business Managers Greg Stewart Matthew Tracy

Section Editors Oliver Davies Cassie Prioleau Ahna Rao Elizabeth Scott

Staff Sana Bakshi Sophie Biffar Hanna Brody Ben Brown Chase Cooper Malaika Drebin Emily Fowler Sam Greene Lauren Hammerson Wade Hauser Hana Kajimura Ashkaan Khatakhotan Brendon Rider Marco Scola Allison Shorin Spencer Sims Kylie Sloan Scott Witte

Photo Manager John Christopherson Photo Staff Charlie Avis Malaika Drebin Emily Fowler Hana Kajimura Allison Shorin Spencer Sims Design Editors Varun Kohli Noah Sneider Copy Editor Christine Chang Adviser Ellen Austin

The Viking Palo Alto High School 50 Embarcadero Road Palo Alto, CA 94301 650-329-3837 Email contact: Letters to the editor The Viking, a sports magazine published by the students in Palo Alto High School’s Advanced Magazine Journalism class, is an open forum for student expression and the discussion of issues of concern to its readership. The Viking is distributed to its readers and the student body at no cost. The staff welcomes letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit all submissions for length, grammar, potential libel, invasion of privacy and obscenity. Advertising in The Viking The staff publishes advertisements with signed contracts providing they are not deemed by the staff inappropriate for the magazine’s audience. For more information about advertising with The Viking, please contact the The Viking by e-mail at vikingeds or call 650-329-3837 for more information. Printing Services The Viking is printed six times a year by Fricke-Parks Press in Fremont, Calif.

The L

THE KICKOFF 6 | STAFF VIEW 7 | MEMoIrS oF A bIkEr Charlie Avis shares his experiences with the pain, and the reward of competitive cycling. 8 | zooM

10 | PoP CuLTurE/SAy WhAT/by ThE nuMbErS 11 | hoT & noT METEr 14 | TEn QuESTIonS

photo credits (clockwise from top left): spencer sims, hana kajimura. sophie biffar, malaika drebin, malaika drebin, john christopherson. cover by malaika drebin


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Volume II, Is

16 | FuELIng ThE MAChInE The Viking takes an inside look at athlete nutrition. by Kylie Sloan

15 | InSIdE ThE MInd oF EVE hIggInS


April 20



20 | ToP TEn SPorTS CoLLEgES Stressed about college? Senior Greg Stewart gives his choices on how to pick the right one: his top 10 collegiate sports powerhouses.

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SINCE wE LAST SAw yOu 22 | SPrIng SPorTS uPdATES The Viking reports on spring sports.

27 | gET FIXEd The run-down on the fixie culture that is sweeping Paly. by Hana Kajimura

30 | FLAShbACk To 1993 A look into the 1993 state champion basketball team. by Sana Bakshi

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l 2009

54 | FACILITIES The Viking takes a look at the new athletic facilities coming to Paly,

I, Issue V


by Hanna Brody and Cassie Prioleau

56 | zooM

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PROFILES 37 | ThE CounTErPArTS Golf duo Pierce Marchant and Elliot Snow hit the course, leading Paly’s varsity golf team.

FEATuRES 32 | LoSE ThE ShoES The Viking was on hand to take some pictures of this charitable barefoot soccer tournament.

by Chase Cooper

40 | LIVIng LEgEndS The story behind a true Palo Alto sports family: the Giannanis.

by Hana Kajimura

34 | brEAkIng ThE SurFACE Unlike many Paly athletes, Palmon has not devoted her life to one sport, rather her roots begin with gymnastics.

THE LAST wORD 62 | ArE you kIddIn’ ME? Ben Brown talks about some oddities in sports injuries in this issue’s back page column.

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62 | 64

GIVE AND TAKE 58 | CondoLEEZZA rICE The Viking’s own Sophie Biffar chats it up with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. by Sophie Biffar

by Oliver Davies and Emily Fowler

44 | onCE A runnEr Skyler Cummins has the pedigree and dedication of a runner, and the results are coming.

by Allie Shorin

by Lauren Hammerson

Paly is renowned for its athletic success, but The Viking covers the story of these athletes’ academic endeavours, a story that often goes unheard. by Christine Chang and Varun Kohli

CoVEr STory

48 | SInk or SWIM


the update

news and corrections clearing the air


t The Viking, we believe in maintaining high journalistic standards. To our great disappointment, we discovered, after the publication of our fourth issue, that a quote attributed to softball player Gracie Marshall (‘11) in the “Nothing Unusual” article on page 44 was fabricated. The source was never interviewed for the story. The Viking deeply regrets this breach of journalistic integrity. To prevent such incidents from occurring again, we have instituted more rigorous quote-checking and fact-checking policies. There were other errors in our previous issue. The corrections for incorrect photo credits, headlines and captions are posted to the right.

the Viking is now on Twitter! Follow “TheVikingMag” on Twitter to get game scores and stats from all Paly varsity sports games. TheVikingMag will update you merely minutes after a game has ended, making it the easiest and best way to follow Paly sports. To take full advantage of this resource, activate the text messaging option on your Twitter profile to receive our updates through text message. To specifically activate TheVikingMag text messages, go to your “following”, find TheVikingMag and click “device updates on”. You can also send a text to your twitter phone number with the message. “on thevikingmag”.



Photography Corrections Cover Shot: Hana Kajimura Page 4: Allie Shorin Page 5: Malaika Drebin Page 6: Malaika Drebin Pages 8-9: Malaika Drebin Page 22: Hana Kajimura Page 22: Malaika Drebin Page 25: Malaika Drebin Page 42:Hanna Brody




he race started five hundred feet below the ground in an abandoned mine. Two lights dimly lit the warm up room. I could see my breath at every exhale while trying to loosen up my legs on the stationary bike. The race was stage four of the 2008 Tour de l’Abitibi (Quebec, Canada), a unique, and partially underground, individual time trial that would settle the final outcome of the prestigious stage race. I had trained hard over the past few months to get to that moment at the bottom of the mine. With adrenaline pumping through my veins, that moment was all about my passion: cycling. My mind was clear and focused. There was no room in my thoughts for school or what happened last weekend. That instant was about cycling, and there was nothing else I would have rather been doing. Nothing is as thrilling as a bike race; the competitiveness, the focus, and the speed make it the most exhilarating event in sports. The excitement from being down in a mine, about to start the biggest race of my young career was the ultimate motivation. The commissaire called me to the start, so I climbed off the stationary trainer, stripped down to my skin suit, and clipped in to my bike. Slowing my breathing, a smile crept across my face as I got the infamous countdown - cinq, quatre, trois, deux, un, allez! Stomping on the pedals, I started climbing out of the roughly paved mineshaft. Nerves tensing, I sped into the pure darkness with only a faint glimmer of the occasional lamp to light my way. Eyes wide open with adrenaline, I trusted my bike to lead me safely through the tunnel. I felt eerily alone and uncomfortably claustrophobic, but I loved it. I ride for the adrenaline rush, the wind whistling through my helmet, the feeling of speed, and the competition. That moment climbing out of the mine had it all. Even though my legs and lungs burned with the effort, I broke out into a smile. I stood on the pedals, using energy from my whole body to keep momentum up the steep mine. Still smiling, I shot out of the tunnel into the open skies and embarked on the

remaining 14.5 km of the time trial. After the initial one-kilometer climb out of the mine, a follow vehicle (used for spare wheels in the case of a flat tire), jumped in behind me as I built up speed for the fast and flat section of the course. Two of my teammates were in the follow vehicle along with my coach and mechanic. My smile widened when they all yelled encouragement from the car, so I picked up speed because of the motivation my cheering teammates provided. I love the camaraderie that cycling creates. Through cycling, I have made some great friends around the country, and those friends are icing on the cake for a sport that already had a place in my heart. Good friends are the greatest things that I have taken away with me from my cycling experiences. However, despite the cheering of my teammates, my smile eventually turned to a grimace, for there is one undeniable fact about cycling: it is hard. It is difficult to write about cycling without describing the pain because it is that aspect of the sport that makes it unique. In the race, when the sign for five kilometers to go rolled by, I groaned, wishing that the pain would stop. With a dry throat and saliva hanging around my lips, I gasped for breath and my legs yelled at me to stop. The pain, however, motivated me to go harder. To push myself beyond what I thought possible was invigorating. With four kilometers to go, the agony could not have been worse, but then three kilometers to go rolled around and I had succeeded in putting my body into more discomfort. Two and then one kilometer to go both went buy with a blur as tunnel vision set in. Finally, I passed under the large blue finishing banner, barely even conscious enough to know that I had set the fastest time of the day. As I stood on the top step of the podium following the time trial, a feeling of accomplishment swept over me, a feeling worth all the pain that my body endured. Each race rewards me and gives me a new story to tell, which is why I will always be looking ahead to the next race, the next kilometer, and the next experience. <<<

I ride for the adrenaline rush, the wind whistling through my helmet, the feeling of speed, and the competition.



Noa Palmon (‘09) completes a one and a half “twister” during practice. Palmon is a standout diver on the Paly team as well as the team captain, and will go on to compete in CCS. Photo by Allie Shorin

Photo by John Christopherson


Conor Raftery (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;10) slides to first base as the Wilcox High School pitcher tried to pick him off. Raftery was safe but Paly went on to lose the game by a margin of 3-2.

? T A H W SAY “Anybody that Mark comes in contact with [he




Freshman Jasmine Tosky’s new school record in the 200 IM. This record is the longest standing swimming record and has been in place since 1979.

influences]. He is just an unbelievable human being; that’s all I have to say. “ - Peter Colombo (Living Legends. p.40)

THE PoP CUlTURE GRid Drew Pearson Emily Benatar Lauren Bucolo Michael Rizza


Tennis (‘10)

Lacrosse (‘11)

Softball (‘10)

Baseball (‘09)

Favorite Candy

Pink Starburst

Regular M&M’s

Reese’s Peanut Butter


Celebrity Crush

Jessica Alba

James McEvoy

Jake Gyllenhal

Blake Lively

Favorite Food

Cheese House Sandwich




worst T.V. Show

Lost and Heroes

Secret Life of the American Teenagers

I Love New York


Favorite Teacher

Pary Sarraf

Ms. Bowers

Mr. McNulty

Mr. McNulty


Sophomore TJ Braff’s batting average as of 5/7. Braff leads the team in batting.

The number of games that the 1993 Paly basketball team won during their season. They were the first team to go undefeated in California in 66 years.




After a slow start, the Vikings have won 10 out of their last 11 games, and have clinched a spot in CCS.


The Paly Lacrosse team made huge progress in their second season. After only two wins in the 2008 season the 2009 squad has turned things around and have won all but two games.


After a mediocre 7-9 2008 season, the Niners surprised everyone with a great draft class. They were the only NFL team to receive an A in ESPNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s draft ratings.


Exceeding expectations, the Paly Senior Prom was not only a good time, but also broke records with zero suspensions.


After a couple days of scorching hot weather, the atmosphere has changed to a surprising cold degree. This Bi-Polar weather is not suitable to most Paly athletes and averages out to lukewarm.


With a struggling offensive line and a need for some offensive firepower, the Raiders once again disappointed their fans by drafting three defensive ends in their first 7 picks


Coming into the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a 1 seed, the Sharks choked losing to the 8th seeded Ducks.

Fr E EZIng 11

WHo kNoWS JUNioR SWimmeR, JUNe AfSHAR, betteR? boyfRieNd , Will HoldeR; beSt fRieNd, SARAH mARtigNetti; oR oldeR bRotHeR, beN AfSHAR?



Will holdEr

sArAh MArtigNEtti


University of California at Santa Barbara

dReAm College


University of California at Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara City College

Umm That’s Awkward...

beSt PHySiCAl Definitely Not Her Butt feAtURe


She wouldn’t answer that

10 24

fAvoRite tv SHoW



biggeSt Pet Peeve

Me Not Shaving


Gossip Girl


10 Scruff

That’s awkward... why would you ask me that

People who are full of themselves

Me playing my music too loud

Scott’s little brother

John Kutay

10 Jack Witte

SeCRet CRUSH Channing Tatum

10 Tiger

fAvoRite ANimAl




In a Relaylay


In One

In a Relationship

In a Relationship?



A F s h A r

fAvoRite food

Her weird little persian stuff


10 Persian

10 Sarah

beSt fRieNd

Sarah Martignetti


10 Jiggling Eyes

SeCRet tAleNt Doesn’t have any

10 Sarah

10 This weird thing with her eyes

10 Didn’t know she had any







80 PoiNtS


inside the Eve Mind higgins


I played lacrosse instead of swimming for Paly. Swimming is not fun, and it’s not a real game. I am on the girls’ JV lacrosse team. Girls from North London are coming, and some of them are going to stay at my house. There’s going to be a 70 girl pasta feed, and we are going to play them. The girls are from a rich prep school.


Water polo is the most interesting to me. You hang out with them [teammates] at school, and do everything together, but during lacrosse you don’t do as much. The trips that you take, like we went to Fresno and we all slept in the same bed, so it feels like you are poor but it’s really fun. Then we dominate-- we are first in league. It was super fun because everyone is funny and nice.


I am obsessed with June because she is fun to annoy. I tell her creepy things like she’s really pretty, and I hug her and stuff. My brother was spitting seeds at her at my house, and then June called me for reinforcements, but I started spitting at her instead, and she got really mad at me.


I am in TEAM, and my favorite trip was to Seaside. I was about to be kicked out of TEAM because I was bad and I got called out of class. Then, Mrs. Martin got fired and she was at my old school and she teaches history and she gave me a lot of referrals. I said I’d be really good and then I was. I don’t really like her very much. I was going to go to Gunn because I’m in the Gunn district, but I don’t like them because they always lose at sports, and they are just nerdy. My friends told me spirit week at Gunn is crappy, but at Paly people go all out. The


Lacrosse Player Extraordinaire

Photography by Spencer Sims people who go to Paly are better because they are cooler and do more fun things. I was excited when I heard about the second spirit week, because I like spirit week.


Air Force Academy! I want to go to the Air Force Academy, but now I’m just in the Civil Air Patrol. They do 98% of the Air Force search and rescue missions, but at our squadron in Palo Alto we do things like get yelled at. But, I’m the Flight Sargent, so I get to yell at the kids and their uniforms have to be perfect, and there’s a lot of discipline. There are summer camps like encampment and it’s nine straight days of getting yelled at. It’s really scary, but you get to know the people around you very well because you are with them through that. There is a lot of stress because they don’t give you a lot of time to do things, so you have to do things as a team there’s obstacle courses and helicopter rides and drill down. Drilling is like marching in formation, and if you mess up then you get yelled at. I got into it because I like planes, and I knew you got to do a lot of stuff with planes, like learn how to fly them and the other stuff was just an awesome benefit. I’d wanna go to the Air Force Academy, but I’m not smart enough.


Swimmer Eve Higgins (‘12) takes a break from the pool and instead takes to the lacrosse field on the junior varsity squad. Higgins gave The Viking a few moments of her time to answer a few questions.

We [My brother and I] don’t really talk at home. My parents are kind of annoying, or my dad is. My brother isn’t really home a lot, but at school he seems popular. I’ve been interviewed by The Viking about him for his swimming. He is hella good at swimming.


I’m going to stick with Wopo because it’s super fun and everyone on the team rocks. Same with lacrosse; it isn’t super fun, but it’s just like there’s nothing better.


Fueling the Machine



he body is like a car; just load up the tank with fuel and it runs, literally. A car requires a particular make-up of gasoline, just like the body requires a balance of different food groups, to keep from breaking down. However, unlike a car, an athleteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diet contains more than just standard oil. A perfect diet helps athletes reach optimal potential. So, hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the breakdown: food groups, calories, portions and liquids. Keep these in check, and the engine will be ready for anything.

Photo by Hana Kajimura

Food groups “I eat what I want. Like Mickey d’s? That stuff’s hot.” -runner Philip Macquitty (’10) No athlete can live off fast-food alone. Instead, an athlete should focus on consuming the three main food groups: carbohydrates, protein and unsaturated fats. “I advise athletes to maximize the muscle fueling process by eating a balance of whole carbohydrates which consist of whole grains, fruits and vegetables,” Dr. Clyde Wilson, Ph.D. said, a health and sports nutrition professor at Stanford University and University of California San Francisco. “In addition to carbohydrates, an athlete should eat protein and unsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oil, olives or avocado.” Athletes should eat a healthy balance of these food groups whenever possible. However, during exercise they mainly need carbohydrates diluted into water. According to Dr. Wilson, this should be the main food group consumed before a game or practice, but athletes also need to watch for over consumption of carbohydrates. “Athletes typically over-eat carbohydrates in their meals, such as pasta and rice, not realizing that the insulin response drives their body fat up instead of giving them energy,” Dr. Wilson said. According to Palo Alto High School girls’ track coach and nutrition major Lisa Chin, athletes have similar misconceptions about protein. “Many athletes over-indulge on protein as they believe it will help build muscle,” Chin said. “Although protein aids in muscle

growth and repair, a serving size is only the size of a deck of cards.” Loading up on fast food will not help either. Fast food typically contains high levels of sodium, saturated fat, trans fat and calories, none of which provide the body with the necessary nutrients for exercise. These dense foods make the digestive process slower, causing athletes to exercise on a full stomach. Instead, an athlete needs to consume foods that can be easily digested. “Vegetables should be the centerpiece of the diet since vegetables slow down digestion,” Dr. Wilson said. “This allows the starches like pasta, rice, bread, and cereal to enter the bloodstream slowly enough to go to muscle instead of body fat.” In other words, if starch enters the bloodstream too fast, an athlete will not use the fuel in exercise, and it will pile on as fat in the body. So instead of stopping at McDonald’s or In-N-Out before a game, an athlete should try eating oatmeal with nuts and fruit, salmon with brown rice and salad, or chicken with whole grain pasta and vegetables. In addition to content, the timing of an athlete’s meal can also affect his or her performance. “Generally, a meal should be eaten three to four hours before exercise and a light snack one to two hours before exercise,” Chin said. “This will allow the body to completely digest and rest before performing exercise.”

Calories “I just pack myself four to five sandwiches that last me throughout the day. It’s just important to down calories to have energy.” -swimmer Mark higgins (’09) For a balanced diet, athletes should consume between 2,000 to 4,000 calories per day of the selective food groups. "This varies by body weight," Dr. Wilson said. "Since females tend to be lighter, there is a tendency for females to need fewer calories, but that has nothing to do with gender." An athlete should also be aware that caloric intake will vary between preseason and midseason, and that there is no perfect number of calories for athletes. "The best advice would be to listen to your body; eat when hungry, don't eat when you're not hungry," Chin said. "It sounds obvious, but many people eat out of boredom or other reasons

and don't listen to their hunger cues." According to Dr. Wilson, an athlete should divide the amount of calories in their diet: 40 to 60 percent carbohydrate,15 to 25 percent protein, and 20 to 35 percent saturated fats. However, when athletes start analyzing their caloric intake, they sometimes begin to analyze other aspects of their bodies such as weight, size or muscle structure. "The real problem with Paly athletes is that they think they need to be a certain weight or size for the sport they are playing," varsity track and field athlete Bobby Holman ('09) said. "They will do whatever they need to do to get to that desired


weight and size." Just as Holman suggests, varsity football coach and athletic director Earl Hansen has witnessed athletes altering their eating habits. "For the most part, we are more concerned about athletes who don't eat enough," Hansen said. Paly trainer Stacy Koffman agrees. "The low blood sugar not only leads to a decrease in perfor-

mance, but many times athletes can pass out," Koffman said. According to Chin, athletes may decrease caloric intake in order to loose excess fat or to enhance their physical appearance, but doing so only produces a negative result. "A diet with an insufficient amount of calories will adversely affect an athlete's performance," Chin said. "An athlete lacking proper caloric needs will fatigue more easily as glycogen is not readily available to the working muscles."

“Basically, you don’t eat or drink anything all day up until weigh-ins, then after you eat as much as you can,” -wrestler Tommy kramer (‘09) Eating one large portion all at once will not benefit an athlete's performance, even if doing so is a typical wrestling regime. According to Dr. Wilson, an athlete should eat three meals and two to four snacks a day. An athlete's total daily calories should be split up between these two categories: two-thirds for meals and one-third for snacks. "Eat a half fist of starch, never more than one fist, a half fist of protein, two fists of vegetables and salad and a couple thumbs of unsaturated fats," Dr. Wilson said. Following these guidelines for eating portions will benefit

athletes' performance. "Fueling muscle instead of fat allows an athlete to maintain a hard training schedule without becoming over trained, instead of being exhausted and increasing in body fat at the same time," Dr. Wilson said. Athletes should not try to substitute certain portions with vitamins or supplements that supposedly provide protein benefits. "Protein powders and supplements may lead to inappropriate intake of protein," Chin said. "In some cases, these supplements can be dangerous."

MEAL CHOICE Dr. Wilson recommends oatmeal with nuts and fruit. Adding vanilla yogurt also makes a good combo.



Liquids “on a race day, I’ll usually take down 100oz bottle of gatorade.” -Macquitty Most importantly, athletes should remember to drink water. Forgetting to drink water can easily become the case, but water can be just as important as food. “While most athletes remember to eat, many forget to drink water until they are dehydrated,” Chin said. According to Dr. Wilson, an athlete needs to drink one quart, about 32 fl. oz or two water bottles, of fluid for every 1,000 calories consumed each day. At least half of an athlete’s total fluids should be pure water with nothing added. “As the majority of blood is water, water will help blood flow, which then helps the muscles receive oxygen more easily,” Chin said. “This is why water is so important for athletes.” In order to maintain hydration throughout the day, Dr. Wilson suggests spreading out fluid consumption. This way an athlete will also be able to make up for water lost in perspiration. Athletes commonly substitute Gatorade, Vitamin Water or other sports drinks for water. While these drinks can benefit performance, these drinks do not benefit as well as water. “Energy drinks have electrolytes added, in particular sodium. Lots of sodium is lost during exercise and replenishing those electrolytes does help performance,” Chin said. “However, some energy drinks also have added sugar for added flavor and many have the same amount of calories as a soda. Sticking to water will suffice in most athletic events.”

revving up “Having a healthy diet is just as important as having the right shoes in which to run.” -nutritionist Lisa Chin These suggestions aim to help athletes perform better at whatever sport they play. While changing eating habits is no simple task, doing so can help an athlete play better, longer and stronger. While eating should be fun, its purpose is nutrition and fueling the engine. Why should an athlete's body, or any body, have to settle for less than what it deserves? <<<


Top 10 Powerhouse Colleges By GREG STEwART Stewart’s Scientific Formula for Success: - National Championship (10 pts.) - AP Polls (1st Place = 25 pts. - 25th Place 1 pt.) - Uniform (1st Place = 10 pts. - 10th Place 1 Pt.)

1 2 3

university of Florida Titles: 4 (2 basketball, 2 football) Total Points: 173 - Uniform Rank #3 Tim Tebow, warm weather and beautiful beaches all accessible while staying in close proximity to ‘The Swamp.” Could a college student ask for much more? Successive titles in 2006 and 2007 on the hardwood along with two BCS titles in three years on the gridiron propelled the Gators into the top spot. Chomp! Chomp!

university of Texas

Titles: 1 (Football) Total Points: 162 - Uniform Rank #5 The expression ‘Everything is bigger Texas’ is not limited to oil fields and cattle herds; it applies to the UT athletic program as well. Backed by the most consistent duo of football and basketball programs in the nation, Longhorn fans have enjoyed their recent success sandwiched in between stints from Madden cover boy Vince Young and reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant.

univeristy of Southern California

Titles: 1 (Football) Total Points: 147 - Uniform Rank #2 When it comes to finishing in the top five year after year, the men of Troy are second to none, compiling finishes of third, third, fourth, second and first in the past five seasons. The glory with the pigskin has yet to crossover to the hoops team, however highlighted by an OJ Mayo stopover and top recruiting classes for both this year and future seasons could lead to the Trojans climbing higher on this list. Fight on!

Ohio State university

4 20

When it comes down to making your final college decision you shouldn’t let bathrooms, where flipflops are a must for showering, or climate put you in a pickle. Plan for the future; I’m not talking college prep, but about the bragging rights you may earn on fall Saturdays and throughout March Madness. For a truly sensational college experience look no further than the latest Associated Press polls from this past year’s Men’s college football and basketball seasons. If you are like me and like sports and don’t care who knows take a gander at the top ten institutions of higher learning, ranked in order of success both on and near the playing field. Rankings are based upon the success of each school in the past five years, including number titles won; placement in the AP polls following the completion of the season; and of course, uniforms-for who in their right mind would want to head into the student section not looking their best?

Total Points 134 - Uniform Rank #4 Ever dreamed of dotting the ‘I’ at the Horse Shoe? If so, OSU could be right for you. Despite no recent national titles, Buckeye fans still have had a lot to cheer about from Greg Oden’s final four appearance to back-to-back trips to the National Title game headed by recruiting guru Jim Tressel. If only the Buckeyes could manage to win a football game in January. Maybe Tyrell Pryor is the answer.


university of North Carolina

Titles: 2 (Basketball) Total Points: 131 - Uniform Rank #1 The only school to only rely on points from one sport, but for good reason, UNC is turning into a NCAA basketball title manufacturing plant. Ever since Roy Williams took the helm, the Tar Heels have not disappointed. Winning two titles in the past five seasons and with recruiting not being a problem in the foreseeable future, many more should be on the way.

Louisiana State university

6 7

Titles 1: (Football) Total Points 117 - Uniform Rank #6 If you love ragin’ with the Cajuns, delicious gumbo and good football, LSU just may be your spot. The national champions of 2008 and 2004 have seen great success in college footballs toughest conference. Outside of ‘Death Valley’ the basketball team has quietly improved, and looks to build off a recent final four appearance and SEC crown under second year coach Trent Johnson. Geuax Tigers!

Kansas university

Titles 1: (Basketball) Total Points 111 - Uniform Rank #9 Don’t let the location get you down, for even Dorothy and watchdog Toto called Kansas home. Ripe with basketball tradition, an acceptance to Kansas this year could lead to you and your fellow Jayhawks getting your boogie on late in March. The Jayhawks are not limited to the hardwood as the football squad made their first ever BCS bowl appearance in January of 2008. Rock Chalk Jay Hawk!

university of Louisville

8 9 10

Total Points: 101 - Uniform Rank #7 When they aren’t racing horses, the locals are going wild at freedom hall. Known as a basketball powerhouse, the Cardinals have glimpses of the promise land yet nothing to show for their dreams. Foiling late in the tournament has become somewhat routine for Rick Pitino and his red birds. While the football team was a national contender from 2005-2007, it has seen a recent fall out due in large part to its former coach, Bobby Petrino, making the jump to the NFL. The Cards are slipping, maybe bringing back a national title to Freedom Hall would solve all their problems.

west Virginia university

Total Points: 97 - Uniform Rank #8 All that coal mining got you down? No worries. Nothing compares to a crisp autumn afternoon at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown. Always in the run for Big East crowns in both hoops and football, the Mountaineers, along with their rapid fan base, are just waiting to host a national championship parade.

university of wisconsin

Total points: 88 - Uniform Rank #10 The cheese heads find themselves quietly sneaking into the top ten behind consistently placing in the top 25 year after year in both basketball and football. Although it does get a bit nippy in the wintertime, the Badgers tournament runs are sure to take your mind off the cold in March.


siNCE WE lAst sAW YoU






Don’t count out Paly baseball yet. After a disastrous 0-9 start to its season, the varsity baseball team has since gone 10-4, and won nine out of its last 10, to improve its overall record to 10-13. Recent wins against Milpitas and Monta Vista put the Vikings into 3rd place in league, which if they hold on to will give them an automatic birth to the CCS (Central Coast Section) playoffs. “We are playing the best baseball we have in a long time,” first-year coach Donny Kadokawa said. “They [the players] are starting to believe in themselves.” Paly was able to overcome poor hitting, inconsistent pitching and team chemistry issues at the beginning of the season. Players and coaches agree that a new attitude and better team unity account for the team’s turnaround. “The biggest turnaround has been the players just believing in my philosophy, and adapting to my style,” Kadokawa said. Paly picked up big league wins against Wilcox, Los Altos and Gunn, with help from the bats of 1st baseman TJ Braff (‘11), designated hitter Joc Pederson (‘10) and shortstop Will Holder (‘09). “The standout hitters have definitely been Will Holder and Joc Pederson,” Kadokawa said. The Vikings had to overcome the loss of star pitcher Steven Burk (‘09), who left the team half way through league play. A four-year varsity starter, Burk pitched a no-hitter against Wilcox earlier this year, and his presence on the mound will be sorely missed. “It’s unfortunate that Steven left; he is the best pitcher in the league,” pitcher Matthew Tracy (‘09) said. “But we’ve just tried to go through that like it didn’t happen.” Along with Tracy on the mound, Freddy Avis (‘12) and Scott Witte (‘10) have been solid pitchers to make up for Burk’s absence, according to players and coaches. The Vikings wind down the season with two games against Homestead, and if everything shakes out Paly’s way, they will reach the CCS playoffs, a feat that seemed impossible mere weeks ago. “If we play to our potential, we should haven no problem getting into the playoffs,” Holder said. “And I think we could surprise some teams in CCS.”

After an incredibly successful season, placing first in the El Camino division, the Palo Alto High School girls’ varsity softball team only hopes to improve. Thus far, the Lady Vikes are undefeated in league play and have high hopes for the postseason. The 2008 season was head coach Jake Halas’ first year coaching the team and his leadership helped turn the softball program around after years of struggles. “Halas is a great coach because he’s always there and he’s very responsible,” third baseman Kristen Dauler (‘10) said. “He always has a plan, so we always get a lot done in practice. Also, he’s very motivating.” This year’s team lost no seniors from the 2008 squad, and kept its momentum to power through league play undefeated. “We’ve all bonded very well because everyone stayed on the team, “ right fielder Grace Stafford (‘11) said. While many teams as successful as the Paly squad would be anxious for the postseason, the Lady Vikes insist on taking the remainder of their season one game at a time. “We’ve been doing really well we just need to keep working hard in league,” catcher Allie Coleman (‘09) said. Standout players of the season have been Kelly Jenks (‘10), leading the team to victory with her pitching, and Caroline McDonnell(‘10), leading the team’s offense. Coleman has also been a key component for both the team’s offense and defense. The team has high hopes for the rest of the season and the Paly girls only plan to raise the bar from last year. As the teams in their league are mostly the same, winning league is a primary goal for the Vikings. As for postseason, the Lady Vikes hope to improve from last year when they made it two games into the Central Coast Section (CCS) playoffs. “Our goal is winning league for sure, and try to do as well as we can in CCS,” second baseman Gracie Marshall said. “We’re hoping to get father than last year because it’s basically the same teams.” The Paly girls are set for a promising remainder of the season and with a young roster have potential for success in many years to come.

~Peter Johnson

~Cassie Prioleau











After a flawless 6-0 record last season, Palo Alto High Schools boys’ varsity track and field team’s shot at a second consecutive undefeated season was shattered with two losses to Milpitas High School and Los Gatos High School. Following a strong start to the season, handily taking care of Los Altos High School, Mountain View High School and Monta Vista High School, the Vikings hit a road block facing Milpitas. “We had very high aspirations this season,” Bobby Holman (‘09) said. “Losing two meets is a real disappointment” Sprinter and team captain Paul Brown (‘09) agrees. “We definitely have holes in our jumping,” Brown said. “The loss of Mike [Scott] was a big blow, he was an amazing jumper.” Holman carries the majority of the load for the jumpers this year. “I’ve been able to do my best in helping the team this season,” Holman said. “The only loss I had this year was at the Stanford invitational.” Holman’s efforts for the Vikings helped with the wins against Mountain View, Monta Vista and Los Altos. In spite of the jumpers’ struggles this season, the sprinters have dominated the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) De Anza division. Prior to sprinter Daniel Jones’ (‘10) injury, he has humbly won every race he competed in this year. Brown has broken his 400 meter time in each of his races, and both Miles Anderson (‘11) and Kasey Fields (‘09) have provided stellar times in each of their sprints. Long distance runners also supported the endeavor of the sprinters this season. Philip MacQuitty (‘10) continues to dominate the SCVAL league, winning key races against both Mountain View and Los Altos. Although the Vikings expectations were not met so far this season, the boys still have the opportunity to win league and send several athletes to both the Central Coast Section meet and the State meet. For any other high school, Paly’s season would be looked upon as a successful year, yet for the Vikings this impressive record is seen as a disappointment in comparison to last year’s record.

After a difficult 2008 season, the Palo Alto girls’ varsity track team began what looks like a similar season, and has yet to win a meet. Lacking numbers on this year’s team, it will have to make up for these holes in order to compete with local powerhouses such as Los Gatos. “We can’t fill all the spots which hinders the team’s success,” head coach Jason Fung said. Fung believes the reason for fewer competitors on this year’s team comes from the growing amount of sports teams offered by Paly. “We have less numbers because with more sports, girls choose other sports over track,” Fung said. “The girls need to be more dedicated, track is becoming a second rate sport to everything else.” Although there is time left in the 2009 season, the girls are still struggling for their first win. With a record of zero wins and seven losses thus far the team will need to come together and improve its work ethic to create opportunities for success. “Teamwork is key,” sprinter Erika Hoglund (‘10) said. “We struggled at the beginning, but we’re definitely improving.” Although success as a team is coming in small portions this season, individual success is evident. Sprinters Emily yeates (‘10) and Hoglund (‘10) were preseason hopefuls and now fulfill the coaches’ projections on the track. “Erika [Hoglund] and Emily [yeates] are doing well,” Fung said. “Our 4x100 team is ranked ninth in CCS [Central Coast Section] which is good, but again only having a couple girls... its hard to win.” Hoglund attributes the 4x100 team’s early success to its practice habits. “Consistency in practice will insure our continuing success,” Hoglund said. On the field side of things, the Lady Vikes are still trying to find their groove. Without standout success or failure, the throwers are attempting to raise their competitiveness and improve week by week.

~Brendan Rider

~Scott Witte















Paly Badminton has a long history of tough losing seasons, and the trend looks like it is going to continue this season, with the team off to a 1-5 start. “To be honest, I was not expecting much out of this years team because we were lacking returning and experienced players,” Andy Baek (‘10) said. “I believe that the team is trying to set up the new players so that they will be able to train harder and eventually lead the team to more wins.” Although the team has struggled thus far, the players are optimistic for the rest of the season. “My expectations of the team record wasn’t very high coming into the season,” Jay Ko (‘10) said. “But now I think we could win four or more games.” While four wins would not be as successful a season in the traditional sense, it would be a significant improvement. The team’s past two seasons have produced one win each. The team knows that they will need to work hard in practice and translate that hard work into game time success. “Our team needs to continue to do the basic drills, like running and footwork to improve our overall skills,” Ko said. The team expects this improvement to be spearheaded by top players Ivan Zhou (‘10) and Karine Hsu (‘12). “I think the player that will determine whether or not we will win more games is Ivan Zhou,” Baek said. “He has drastically improved over the offseason and as a junior, he still has time to sharpen his game, and with the assistance of Karine Hsu, I know that we will be able to pull off a few more wins.” As good as Hsu and Zhou have been they will not be able to improve the Vikings record alone. “I think that all the varsity members have to step up this season,” Ko said “Because Paly’s level is lower than most of the other schools in this division.” Luckily, it looks like things can only get better for the Vikings.

Going into this May’s Central Coast Section (CCS) championships, the Palo Alto High School boys’ varsity tennis team is back in tip-top form. After showing its true potential by placing first out of 108 teams at the California High School Tennis Classic in early March, the team cooled off for a brief period in late March, but seems to have regained its momentum with the postseason looming in the near future. After two key victories over Sacret Heart Prep and Saratoga High School on April 20th and 21st, respectively, the team is optimistic about its current state. “Momentum in sports is a huge thing and you learn to respect it,” 11th year head coach Andy Harader said. “The beauty of having won these two tough matches this week is that all of a sudden we’re peaking, and its like, wow, we’re peaking at the right time.” Although the team dominated its opposition through the majority of the preseason, it hit a bit of a rough patch immediately after spring break. “Generally what happens when you come back from spring break is you’re flat,” Harader said. “That’s exactly what happened, and unfortunately we had two tough matches that we had to play that week and we lost both of them 3-4.” According to doubles player Drew Pearson (‘10), the team used the losses as motivation. “We were really frustrated,” Pearson said. “We decided to really amp up our games after that.” According to Harader, the entire team has played outstanding tennis down the stretch, pointing out singles players Sam Wong (‘09), Baramee Wongbanchai (‘11), Nicky Hu (‘12), and Dan Schwartz (‘09). The team, which expects a number two seed for CCS, has very clear expectations for itself. “Our goal is to make it to the CCS finals, which would automatically qualify us for Norcals,” captain Dan Schwartz (‘09) said. Although the team expects a challenging potential CCS semifinal match against Bellarmine College Prep, the players believe they have what it takes to make it all the way. “This is the best team I’ve ever had,” Harader said. “This is an incredible team. We’re premier. I think this our year.”

~Ashkaan Khatakhotan

~Adam Zernik












As the Palo Alto High School varsity boys’ swimming team heads into the final stretch of its regular season, there has been a clear presence of underclassmen talent helping propel yet another solid core of juniors and seniors to a sixth straight SCVAL title. “Tim [Wenzlau] (‘09), Mark [Higgins] (‘09) and Byron [Sanborn] (‘11) have all really stepped up this season,” head coach Danny Dye said. “They all swam well this year.” Solid performances from Sanborn and Rollin Lau (‘11) have helped the Vikings in many meets this season, leading the Vikings to a 4-0-1 record, with the single tie coming at the hands of a talented Los Gatos team to open the season. Since the tie on March 13th, the Vikings have never looked back, posting incredible defeats over Lynbrook, 98-81, Monta Vista, 97.5-88.5, and an especially nail-biting 92-91 victory over SCVAL rival Saratoga. “Saratoga was our toughest competition,” Wenzlau said. [The meet] was more strategy than fast swimming; they had the faster team, but we spaced out our points and ended up wining by one.” In addition to league meets, the Vikings have swam well in invite meets, placing third behind Campolindo and Bellarmine in the “Section Challenge Meet” on April 18th. As the regular season comes to a close, the Vikings hope to end the season on a solid note, bringing momentum into the CCS meet, where the Vikings expect many solid finishes against the elevated competition. “We’re currently winning the league,” Wenzlau said. “So we have high hopes [for CCS].

After a strong season last year, the Palo Alto High School girls’ varsity swimming team produced another impressive season, recently winning the Section Challenge, which included the top teams from both the Central Coast Section (CCS) and North Coast Section (NCS). Winning this prestigious event surprised many given the lack of experience the Lady Vikes had coming into this year’s season. In contrast to most championship caliber high schools, the Lady Vikes rely on their young talent to carry them through a tough league. With sophomores and freshmen flooding this year’s roster, the team has already proven depth and potential for the future years. “There really is no limit to the talent of our team,” coach Danny Dye said. “I think that the girls’ can win both league and CCS. They just have to stay focused.” With an abundance of young swimmers on the team, staying focused could potentially be an issue for a team. yet the girls seem to keep their focus and work toward becoming the best team they can be. “The girls have really coached themselves,” Dye said. “They all have a great work ethic.” Their work ethic has paid off, as seen by winning the section challenge. Jasmine Tosky (‘12) provided great times for the squad, winning the 200 IM with a 2:03.64 time. Not only did she break her personal best time, but she also broke the 1985 school mark of 2:03.92 set by Karen Kraemer (‘85). Tosky also anchored in the 200 meter medley relay helping the Lady Vikes place second. Another key competitor was Sarah Liang (‘11) who also swam well in the 200-medley relay. Allie Bollela (‘09) swam her best time in the 100 meter freestyle with a 24.78 time. The Paly girls’ swimming team looks to continue the success for the next couple seasons. Given the amount of underclassmen on the roster, the future for the Lady Vikes looks promising.

~Oliver Davies

~Brendon Rider





1. DEVINE, LIANG, TOSKY, BOLLELA1:52.19 200 MEDELY RELAY 2. TOSKY- 5:15.6≠2 500 FREE 3. LEE- 1:01.04 100 BACK








With the 2009 golf season well underway, the Vikings have not only met but also exceeded their preseason expectations thus far. With an 8-1 league record and a 12-1 overall record, the team feels confident about the season and hopes for continued success. “The season has gone great because the entire squad is shooting low consistently,” Aaron Lee (‘10) said. “We have a lot of good players this year.” The players agree that the team’s strength lies in the depth and talent on roster. “Our entire squad is compromised of solid players; our three, four, five and six players could potentially play in the top spots on majority of other teams,” Lee said. “On a good day, we can dominate anybody.” However, head coach Doyle Knight does not want the success to get to the players’ heads. “The whole team is doing great right now,” Knight said. “ But everybody needs to keep practicing hard and keep their heads clear when they play like they have been doing.” The team has done well, but everybody agrees that this season will mean nothing without a Central Coast Section championship. “We’ve been doing great,” Alexandra Groetsema (‘10) said. “But the season will not be complete without a CCS championship.” The team is confident that if it continues to play well, qualifying for the playoffs will not be difficult. “Right now in league our toughest competition is Los Altos, and it is even a stretch to call them tough,” Lee said. “All we need to do is play our game and we should cruise into the playoffs.” With the top two players Eliot Snow (‘09) and Pierce Marchant (‘09) playing well in addition to Lee, Groetsema, Michael yuan (‘11) and Hrishi Srinagesh (‘09), all exceeding expectations, the Vikings believe they have a good shot of winning the CCS title.

After playing together for only one year, the Palo Alto High School girls’ varsity lacrosse team looks to continue its successful season into CCS. Having only lost one game to St. Ignatious, the number one ranked team in Northern California, the Paly lacrosse team is currently undefeated in both league and division games, a huge turn around from last year. “We have improved a lot since last year,” captain Helene Zahoudanis (‘09) said. “We are working a lot better as a team.” Other than chemistry on the field, the team has worked hard this year to improve through drills and practice. “Before the season, everyone was working really hard to get the basics down,” Zahoudanis said. “It really helped that people worked on their own so we could work better on harder things.” The overall improvement of the team has shown through in many tough games this season. A notable win this season was the Lady Vikes’ victory over rival, Henry M. Gunn High School. The team defeated Gunn twice. “[Gunn is] our cross town rival and it has had a program for seven years,” center Maya Fielder said. “They have always been a good team; they beat us 0-10 last year, then, we came back [this year] and won 6-2 and 11-10.” Another notable game was against Burlingame. “Our game against Burlingame was tough too,” defender Emily Kenyon (‘10) said. “We only won by one and we beat them by successfully doing a stall. There were three minutes left and we had to waste time.” As for the future, the team looks to do well in CCS after its success in regular season. The Lady Vikes are confident that they will perform at their best level in CCS. “I think we will do good because we have beaten a lot of teams who are doing well in a better division,” Kenyon said. “When we play harder teams we tend to play better because we are pumped up and we play our hardest. I think in CCS we will be pumped up and will play our best.”

~Ashkaan Khatakhotan

~Spencer Sims









he dark sky rumbles and rain pours down like pebbles on his head and shoulders. Riding down crowded Market Street in San Francisco, Taylor Dwight (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;10) thinks 30 seconds ahead. He swerves consciously between honking taxis and towering trucks, all the while inventing his next move and creating a bike lane of his own.


photography by hana kajimura


“yOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND that since breaking isn’t an option, you have to find another way out-- a gap between these cars, a lane between this trolley and this bus,” Dwight said. In a split second, Dwight loses control. His wheel catches in a trolley track over a slick steam vent. Thrown from his bike, he rolls, sprawling out in the path of an oncoming truck. Unlike Dwight’s fixed gear track bike, the truck is equipped with breaks, and applies them immediately. He lies still in the street as cars blasting their horns surround him, watching his chest rise and fall. “When you’re on a fixie you depend on yourself,” Dwight said. “There’s no brake lever to stop the bike for you and no gears to make the job any easier.” Dwight, like an increasing number of cyclists in the Paly community, rides a fixed gear bicycle or a “fixie”. A fixie consists of the bare bones of a bikea sleek frame, two wheels, a single gear and no breaks. In order to break, the rider must resist the motion of the pedals, causing the chain to catch so that they can skid and slow to a stop. Light, simple, and low maintenance, the popularity of riding fixed has grown across North America largely due to the rise of preference for finish and design. “There’s an odd sort of liberation in knowing you dictate the way you ride,” Dwight said. “I trust my own body and instincts better then that of any external source of control. I don’t get the same feeling of freedom on any other bike.” Fixies allow riders to create their own flow with no breaks. The unique colors and design freedom enable fixie riders to develop their own sense of personal expression. “They represent many things: independence, personal expression, simplicity and purity,” longtime fixie rider Julian Pitt (‘10) said. “Something about the colors and the customization hooks me in.” For others, the promise of simple entertainment allures them to ride fixed.

“They represenT many Things: expression, simpliciTy and pur

“I trust my own body and instincts better then that of any external source of control. I don’t get the same feeling of freedom on any other bike.”


“I ride my fixie because it’s more like a toy than a bicycle,” fixie owner Eoin Whitney (‘10) said. “It’s a lot simpler and about 300 times more fun to ride.” Because fixed gear bicycles cannot coast and can be associated with a lack of control, a sense of danger addicts riders. “There is a fair amount of danger in it and for some odd reason I have developed an addiction to knowing that I can’t always stop,” Dwight said. Fixies are more efficient and powerful due to a welldeveloped and practiced pedaling style. Pedaling must be consistent since there are no gears to increase the resistance against the motion of one’s feet. Many riders agree that riding hills is a welcomed challenge and serves as intense exercise. “They keep you focused and in better shape,” Pitt said. “you have to work to speed up and you have to work to slow down, so a ride is effectively twice as long as it would be on a normal bike.” While fixies are low-maintenance compared to other bicycles which often require break pad replacement and

s: independence, personal puriTy.” Julian tune-ups, excessive skidding can wear out tires. “Even though there is no brake pad to replace, you have to get a new wheel every once in a while,” Whitney said. As someone who has been in a few accidents, Dwight has also gained unparalleled experience dealing with pressure and stressful situations. “I’m very used to riding in traffic and it really doesn’t phase me,” Dwight said. “I know drivers are idiots and I have almost been hit countless times. I’ve been hit by a car and I woke up in an ambulance. Since I really don’t remember it happening, it doesn’t scare me.” Pitt, whose dad has had a true track bike for over 30 years, has been immersed in the fixie culture growing up. “Fixed culture is sick because it’s based upon a very real track heritage but adapted to a youthful and political group of people,” Pitt said. “I’m not quite as spiritual about it, but I appreciate the sort of neo-underground air of the culture.” Dwight also feels the laid back vibe of the fixie culture.

“A lot of the people you meet tend to be very open minded and introspective,” Dwight said. “There’s a blanket acceptance Pitt (‘10) that looms over it.” Because San Francisco is widely known as an international hub of fixie culture, fixed gear bicycles have infiltrated nearby suburbs like Palo Alto. “The culture is really interesting and has been coming closer and closer to Paly recently,” Pitt said. “I almost feel like I need an excuse to ride one because they’re getting so popular, like a style or a fashion statement for some people.” Other students feel that riding fixed has become too common, taking away from the different and individual nature of fixed gear riding. “The whole culture of fixed gear bicycles is beyond me and I’m not sure if I fit in or if I even like it,” Whitney said. “A lot of people just ride them because it’s the ‘cool’ thing to do.” However, the rising popularity of fixies does not phase Dwight. Dwight rides his bike at every chance he gets and even participates in underground races. His bicycle is his mode of transportation of choice. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from,” Dwight said. “If you love riding, you’ll feel the pulse of the community.” <<<


Flashback to 1993




simple green banner hangs in the gym. Students pass this banner everyday, in PE or during practice, without giving it a second thought. The sides are folded and the cloth wrinkled. The faded letters still read clearly as, “State Champions 1992-1993.” This banner does not represent a single game, but rather the pinnacle of a close-knit team’s preparation. David Weaver (‘93) led the team with the most points. His number, “31” happened to be the number of games they played, and won. Grant Elliot (‘93) played point guard and also led the varsity tennis team. Chad Smith (‘93), the team jokester, played defense. Mark Thompson (‘94) played guard that year. Josh Wetzel (‘93) and Dave Jefferson (‘93) were the essential “sixth men” on the team, supporting their teammates from the bench and on the court. The 1993 Palo Alto High School boys’ varsity basketball team was the first squad in the last 66 years to go undefeated in California. Though obviously talented, the underlying reason for this team’s enormous success was not its athletic ability, but something much more powerful. “They beat a lot of teams most of which were far more athletically superior,” Athletic Director Earl Hansen said. “Our league was one of the toughest leagues. Every game was a tough game.” After finishing the season undefeated, the ‘93 Vikings brought home a state championship title. Overall, the team’s exemplary teamwork and camaraderie lead to this historic event. “That was a very special team on many fronts,” Paly alum (‘93) Jonah Steinhart, a friend of many of the teammates said. “One of the biggest keys to its success was the time they spent together, playing on the same team since elementary school.” After playing together every year, the team played better and better each new season and their hard work finally paid off. “There was an elevated level of continued improvement over the past couple of years,” Thompson said, “It was our time to shine.” Winning a state championship does not just happen-receiving this honor requires perseverance and commitment. It has to be a goal all the players work towards. “We almost lost in the first round of play-offs. Those close ones made it clear to us that we had to actually work,” Weaver


said, “It wouldn’t just come to us.” The previous season, the Vikings lost to Seaside High School, taking them out of the playoffs and ruining any chance they had of winning the championship. When Seaside won the state championship later that year, the Vikings set the goal to take home a state championship for themselves. “It really was a group effort,” Weaver said. That season, the Vikings went undefeated, finishing with an astonishing record of 31-0. They beat everyone by an average of 28 points per game. Finally, on March 20th 1993, the Vikings accomplished their goal, but it was not an easy feat. “We’d talked about it so much and were totally geared for it, but to walk in to the [Oakland] Coliseum and keep it together was tough,” then senior point guard Grant Elliot said. The Vikings played against defending state champions, Morningside at Inglewood. Morningside had many players with scholarships to division one teams, unlike Paly. Only Weaver, the leading scorer, had scholarship offers. According to Steinhart, the Vikings looked like they were about to get trampled. “I thought Paly was going to lose, for sure,” Steinhart said, after watching Morningside’s players warm up. “I was as nervous as I have ever been for anything ... ever,”

TRIuMPH Not only did the 1993 team dominate on the court throughout the season, but it also had the best athlete GPA.

Weaver said, thinking back to the bus ride. In the first half, the team’s chemistry barely pulled it through the first half. “David Bennion kept us in the game,” Weaver said of his old teammate. “He single-handedly pulled us through the first half.” At half time, leading only by one, the Vikings focused on increasing their lead and keeping their heads in the game, while feeding off the energy from the screaming bench and bleachers. “Elliot does not look immediately to his fellow starters nor the cheering crowds,” Steinhart wrote in his 1993 Campanile column, “He turns instead to the Paly bench, clenches his fist and yells. The bench players have risen to their feet collectively at Elliot’s shot...Wetzel, Brown and the rest of the bench look at Elliot and share in the joy of his accomplishment. But Elliot looks to them for something too.” Dave Jefferson (‘93) embodied the spirit of the ideal sixth man on the team. “I played well that season,” Jefferson said, “That season made me realize how critical a sixth man actually is.” The second half of the game was exhilarating for the team. “We took advantage of opportunities as they came and it all fell in to place,” Elliot said. “They were better athletes but we

were a better team.” When the final buzzer rang, the Vikings had defeated the defending champions, Morningside at Inglewood by a resounding 20 points, 79-59. Winning, however, was bittersweet. “I remember hugging Weaver on the court after the game thinking two things: one, wow, we really did it,” Elliot said. “And two, it is all over. I can’t believe we don’t get to play another game. Playing on that team was so much fun. We were motivated to win States, but we also just wanted to keep playing and practicing.” For some, like Josh Wetzel, this state championship game would be their last time playing basketball competitively. Others, however, never gave up the game and continued to play in college. Mark Thompson, a junior guard at the time, played basketball at Stanford University. David Weaver played basketball at Harvard until 1998 and then joined a small pro-league in Ireland. Chad Smith, who also attended Stanford University, played basketball in his junior year, while studying abroad with Jonah Steinhart in Italy. “They fed me the ball, I was like our team’s Weaver,” Smith said of Italy, “I shot half of our shots. It was great; the Italians are so soft that I was able to score way more than I ever did in high school. They would move out of my way rather than try to defend.” Grant Elliot exchanged his high-tops for tennis shoes after that game. He attended Stanford University, where he won four straight national titles for the tennis team. Dave Jefferson also retired his basketball shoes and joined the Florida Marlins, playing in the minor leagues for nine years. After retiring in 2002 from the minor leauges, Jefferson opened a one on one baseball-training clinic, and then coached under Diepenbrock for two years. Although many of the players on the ‘93 team didn’t pursue a career in sports, basketball defines their bond with one another. “If I saw any of the guys from my team first thing I’d do is give them a hug,” Elliot said. “There will always be a bond there.” Years pass and the letters on the green banner continue to fade. New teams come and go, each leaving their own mark, but the banner still reads, “State Champions 1992-1993” and a legacy will always remain. <<<


Did you miss the last issue of The Viking? No problem, just visit today to catch up on everything you missed! Summer is on the way, and there is no better time to get dental work done! Need to fix that overbite? Get those dreaded wisdom teeth pulled? Get it all done now before the next school year begins!

The Viking is looking for photographers and artists for the 2009-2010 school year. If interested, please contact us at or visit Ms. Austin in room 203.



he hears her name called; then, as she walks forward, she pauses for a second. Taking a step back and glancing over, she sees her coach nod one time in eagerness. Refocusing on the task ahead of her, she visualizes her routine as she has done many times. Taking one last breath, and directing her attention ahead, she leaps into the air and completes a series of twists and turns. Five years ago she would have landed on her feet, now she plunges head first into the still, blue water.


For many divers, their past includes a passion for gymnastics. They switch to diving due to the similarities between the two sports, which make the transition natural. Noa Palmon (‘09), the only senior on Palo Alto High School’s diving team, has competed on varsity for the last four years. Each year, she has qualified for Central Coast Section (CCS). Palmon is estimated to be third in SCVAL, and has competed in the USA Diving Spring Region 10 championships since 2006. Palmon was not always a diver. When Palmon moved to Palo Alto from Israel before third grade, she had participated in another sport for three years: gymnastics. When Palmon moved, gymnastics was a way to get her through the language barrier. In gymnastics she did not need to talk, and this made gymnastics her cushion. She began to learn English from her teammates and gymnastic coaches. Palmon’s sister yael Palmon (‘12) agrees that the transition from Israel to the United States was made easier for Noa because of gymnastics. “It really helped her because she made friends and especially because it was hard for us to speak English in the beginning,”yael said. “Gymnastics was a way for her to be social with other kids.” Even before moving to the United States, gymnastics played a huge role in Palmon’s athletic career. Palmon became interested in gymnastics while in kindergarten. She began to develop an intensity for gymnastics that would carry over to other aspects in her life later on. “When I first started gymnastics I really liked flipping,” Palmon said. “As I got more into the sport I learned a lot and became more focused.” In eighth grade, Palmon injured herself while doing conditioning for gymnastics, and was forced to

dEFYiNg grAvitY Palmon completes a one and a half forward pike. She brings her chest to her knees and extends her legs while making the first full revolution. Then, she opens up her body during the next half revolution before plunging head first into the water.

take a break from gymnastics. “When I got hurt I had to stop gymnastics for a while, and I wanted to try something new,” Palmon said. “I always wanted to try track and field and diving out, so I did.” Due to her injury, Palmon realized that gymnastics had become too intense. Palmon decided that she was not ready to go back to gymnastics. “I had maxed out what I knew I could do in gymnastics,” Palmon said. “And it had started becoming too intense for me. At the height of my gymnastics [career] I was practicing sixteen hours a week. I knew I couldn’t keep up in high school.” During the spring of eighth grade, Palmon began diving with the Stanford club team. When Palmon had to make a choice between track and diving she chose to stick with diving. This decision was made partly because diving reminded her of her first athletic passion, gymnastics. “I realized that diving was the most like gymnastics,” Palmon said. “And it was the gymnastics fix that I needed because I missed gymnastics a lot. Plus I thought I could succeed more in diving.” For Palmon the move from gymnastics to diving was very intuitive and showed no difficulty. Gunn’s diving coach Aaron Pollock, who often helps coach the Paly diving squad, thinks that many athletes make the switch due to safety reasons. Additional similarities between the basics of the sports cause many exgymnasts to have an easier time diving. “[Having done gymnastics first] helps tremendously with learning good fundamentals in spinning, twisting, spacial awareness and discipline,” Pollock said. Despite the similarities between gymnastics and diving, they have distinct differences. “Two of the main differences between gymnastics and div-


ing are in diving you are trained to land head first which is counter intuitive for gymnasts,” Pollock said. “And secondly gymnasts are used to working on a platform without any bounce. Learning to be patient and learning to ride to board is something that is hard for many ex-gymnasts’.” Palmon still found that the gymnastics techniques that she had practiced for years on the mat and vault helped her when diving. “I found that I came to have mental

Although Palmon’s gymnastic skills carried over to diving, she has developed many new skills through her diving career. “I’ve learned to be braver, mentally tougher, more focused, and I’ve done [dives] that before I was afraid of and never thought I’d do,” Palmon said. “She has became more determined and has a great tenacity,” Wallace said. “She’s very well-rounded person in and out of the sport.” Since Palmon practices diving for up

“She came into diving basically pre-packaged with the basics,” Wallace said. “She knew how to twist, somersault, and point her toes.”

soAriNg ovErhEAd Palmon executes an inward pike dive. She starts standing backwards on the board and then launches into the air. She compresses her body forward and then gracefully begins her descent.


discipline from doing gymnastics,” Palmon said. “In gymnastics there is the saying that ‘it’s 90% mental,’ and I used this in diving. Even though your body can do something, it’s your mind that tells you when you’re ready to dive.” She also found that a diver must have tenacity and persistence to improve. “In gymnastics you learn to keep going,” Palmon said. “When you fall off a beam you get up and try it again. And this attitude really helped me in diving.” Palmon’s current Stanford club coach Ryan Wallace feels that having done gymnastics before has helped Palmon become the diver she is today. “She came into diving basically prepackaged with the basics,” Wallace said. “She knew how to twist, somersault, and point her toes.” The Paly varsity swimming and diving coach Danny Dye agrees with Wallace and feels that having done gymnastics before diving gave Palmon an edge over the competition when she first began her diving career. “She had an greater opportunity for success because she already learned the basics,” Dye said. “Diving and gymnastics have similar movements, and so she already know how to twist which is one of the hardest things to teach a new diver. All she had to do was get accustomed to the board.”

to ten hours a week, she has had to make sacrifices along the way. Wallace feels that though Palmon’s competitive diving affects her social life, it is a sacrifice that all divers must take in order to become successful. “When you join a sport like diving, if you want to be good at it you just have to devote that much more time to it,” Wallace said.” “This in turn means giving up your social life. [Palmon] has done this and because of it, she has become that much better.” Next year Palmon will be going to Tufts University where she will be competing at the collegiate level of diving. yael knows that her sister has the ability to go far in the diving world. “I think [Noa] can go as far as she wants,” yael said. “She’s got all the talent to go as far as she wants, it’s how important [diving] is to her that is what decides it though.” Dye feels that Palmon has the ability to compete in college and that it is her disposition and mentality that has given her the ability to do this. “She has a lot of talent, and although she has room to improve, she has a personality that always wants to improve,” Dye said. “If I were a college coach looking for an athlete to compete for me, she would be the athlete who I would want on my team.” <<<



Having built a special relationship on and off the green, co-captains Eliot Snow (‘09) and Pierce Merchant (‘09) hope for a memorable final chapter in their Paly golf careers...




ierce Marchant (‘09) watches his drive on the first hole at his home course, the Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course. He is satisfied with the distance of his drive, and anticipates his next shot. Before leaving the tee, he pauses to watch his teammate and co-captain Eliot Snow(‘09) attempt to drive past the hazardous sand trap. By playing together on days like these, the pair has grown accustomed to each other’s games, giving them the ability to constructively critique their teammate’s game. “We know each other’s games so well that we can tell when something is wrong,” Snow said. “Its like having a coach with you out there all the time.” The two captains stretch their games by playing more difficult big-name courses such as The Stanford Golf Course, Cinebar Hills and Poppy Hills Golf Course. “Its always fun to see a different course and test your game in a different way,” Snow said. The two work together to lead the charge for the Vikings, who are expecting nothing less than a CCS championship this season. “They have really taken it upon themselves to help the team develop,” golf head coach Doyle Knight said. After watching his father play, Marchant became intrigued by the sport, attending camps and taking lessons as early as the third grade. Marchant’s interest grew stronger after he was introduced to the sport, urging him

drivE Pierce Marchant (‘09) perfects his drive at Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course during practice in a tune-up for league play this season.


PErFECt PlACEMENt Eliot Snow (‘09) lines up for a putt during a practice round at Palo Alto Municpal Golf Course.

to play on a regular basis with his father. The work Marchant put in as a youngster has paid dividends; he is now one of the top players in the CCS. “Starting at a young age really helped me out,” Marchant said. “It gave me a head start.” His game got increasingly better each time he stepped out on the course, prompting him to spend more and more time practicing. “When I started practicing a lot I kept seeing better results,” Marchant said. “It motivated to get out there and play more.” Snow started playing golf later than most, but made up for his late start with hard work and dedication. “I got started playing in the 8th grade because I really enjoyed playing the sport,” Snow said. “I just stuck with it and kept getting better.” Snow’s game took off when he started meeting with his longtime coach Bill Johnson. Johnson focused his teachings on Snow’s swing, critiquing it and teaching Snow to develop a swing that would produce a consistent shot. “Bill has been very helpful throughout my golf career,” Snow said. “He played a huge role in my improvement when I was younger, and still helps me out a lot today.” Snow credits his success to his powerful drives and great focus during match play. Snow’s short game is also a strength of his, helping him to close out his opponents. His ability to focus has served him well throughout his high school golf career, enabling him to win close matches. “Having great focus is a huge strength of mine,” Snow said.

“It keeps me from getting rattled in a close match, and keeps me from getting distracted from the task at hand.” Although the two began playing the game at different times, their paths came together freshmen year when they both tried out for the golf team. “I had known Eliot before that year, but we really bonded when we both made the team,” Marchant said. Despite sharing many of the same leadership qualities and mental strengths, the two teammates take opposite approaches to their games. Marchant prefers to air-it-out and

off on the rest of the team.” Knight attributes the success of his top two golfers to their superior composure. “They always stay on an even keel,” Knight said. “Never getting down on themselves and making sure they stay level headed.” Snow took the first step of being a leader when he began helping his teammates with their games, attempting to spread his knowledge of the game to some of the younger players. “Eliot helps me out a lot on the course,” Loveless said. “He

outhit his opponents, while Snow prefers to rely on his short game and steady play to outlast his challengers. “I try to stay conservative and focus on hitting the ball straight rather than trying to crush the ball,” Snow said. While their games differ in the approach they take to the tee, they share some of the same strengths and weaknesses. They both have strong short games, but could use some work on their wedge game. “My wedge game is what needs the most improvement,” Marchant said. “Once I get that down my game will be a lot more complete.” As seniors, and the top two golfers on the team, it was no surprise when Marchant and Snow emerged as the clear cut leaders of the team. They were clearly on their own level during the start of practices, and took their level of leadership even higher. “Pierce and Eliot just go about their business the right way,” Knight said. “Their outstanding work ethic and attitude rubs

is always thinking about the team first.” With Snow and Marchant leading the charges for the 13-1 Vikings, the squad has exceeded expectations. “We are doing a lot better than I thought we would,” Loveless said. “Elliot and Pierce are a big reason why we are doing so well.” Both Snow and Marchant hope to continue their growth as golfers, and take their games to the college level. “I plan on playing wherever I go to school,” Marchant said. “Golf provides me with a fun activity that keeps me in shape.” Snow also wants to stay active through golf, and to improve his game even more. “By playing in college, I would be able to see how far my game could go,” Snow said. “That would be an exciting experience.” While the two may not play on the same team next year, they will undoubtedly carry on their leadership qualities to their next destination. <<<

CoNQUEriNg thE CoUrsE The two captains walk down the fairway as they prepare for their approach shots. Snow and Marchant, the two most experienced golfers at Paly, have been playing together on the team since their freshman year.


Living Legends


Mark and Joe Ginnani both impact the Palo alto sports community through their work at Jordan Middle school and at Palo alto High school.


any well-known families have made their way through Palo Alto over the years, through contributions to the school, enrichment to the community and unmatched athletic success. The Goodspeeds, the Fords and the Pintos are just a few of these families; however, as the years pass, it is clear that one family’s legacy will stand the test of time. The Ginnani name is synonymous with athletic success in the Palo Alto community. Its presence seems difficult to avoid at both Palo Alto High School and Jordan Middle School. One might find a Ginnani in the Jordan gym, where either father, Mark, or son, Joe, leads groups of adolescents through a physical education class, or on the Paly track where Joe has taken over as head coach of the boys’ crosscountry team. Mark’s wife, Cindy, also

School for two years and at Wilcox High School for eight years while also teaching middle school. However, when the Palo Alto School District offered him a job coaching at Paly and teaching PE at Jordan, he decided to relocate the family to Palo Alto. As Mark made a name for himself at both Jordan and Paly, the Ginnani legacy grew as his three children Joe (‘99), Christy (‘01) and Johnny (‘05) entered schools in the Palo Alto School District. It is no surprise that the three children quickly exhibited signs of exceptional athletic ability as they grew up surrounded by sports. “When I was younger, instead of having a babysitter or going to day care, my mom would drop me off at Wilcox and I would hang out at football or baseball practice,” Joe said. “I would go and hang out at the practices and chase after balls

[sports] more and more, and you realize, ‘yeah I want to do this.’” Soon, the Ginnani children followed their father’s lead and entered into the Paly athletic community. Joe excelled as quarterback, as a junior varsity wrestler and as a centerfielder for his father’s baseball team. Christy found her niche setting on the volleyball team, playing center midfield for the Lady Vikes soccer team, and dancing five to six hours a week at her mother’s dance studio. Johnny also stood out as a running back and free safety on the football field and played baseball for Colombo as both a second baseman and left fielder. “Their coaches noticed they were athletic in high school, and they stepped it up a notch,” Mark said speaking of his kids. “When coaches know that one of their players wants to go to the next level, and that they are capable of going to

“They are two great role models as far as how families get it done, as far as what everybody strives for, in terms of passion for one another. They do everything together, they’re close; they have true passion for one another.”

-Peter Colombo, longtime friend

owns and teaches at the local Dance Connection. “They are a Palo Alto family,” runner Skyler Cummins (‘09) said. “They really have a legacy going.” Since 1987, the Ginnani family has been a staple in Palo Alto athletics and passes on its love of sports to virtually anyone they come in contact with. “They are great role models as far as what family dynamics are all about,” long time friend and co-worker Peter Colombo said. “They are two great role models as far as how families get it done, as far as what everybody strives for, in terms of passion for one another. They do everything together, they’re close; they have true passion for one another.” Before moving to Palo Alto in 1987, Mark coached baseball at Peterson High

and stuff. Just mess around.” While never forced, the Ginnani kids thrived in sports as a direct byproduct of their father’s coaching experience. “We didn’t push them to play sports,” Mark said. “But we definitely encouraged them.” As the children came to Jordan Middle School, they inevitably began to take an increased interest in athletics. “When my kids were taking PE at Jordan, I did push them a little in that regard when I knew they were going to be athletes,” Mark said. Joe agrees that while he was never pushed into it, he developed a passion for sports at a young age. “At first I started playing sports to pass the time when I was really little,” Joe said. “Then you get older and you start to do

the next level, if coaches are doing their job, they will push them.” While many might anticipate an uncomfortable situation between Joe, the athlete and Mark, the coach, the two managed to tackle the inevitable divide between father and coach with ease. “I remember being nervous about going up to varsity, about people thinking ‘Oh, Ginnani is only playing because his dad is the coach,’” Joe said. “But he [Mark] did a really good job of establishing the team’s expectations and what it took to play. Everyone understood what it took to earn playing time. He and [cocoach] Tony did a good job establishing early on that you’re going play if you do this, this and this.” While Mark never coached his daughter Christy, she excelled at soccer and


sPlit sECoNd tiMiNg Joe Ginnani and assistant coach John P. Welsh read out the split times during the Paly track meet vs. their ultimate rival Gunn on April 23rd. continued her career playing Division I soccer for Colorado College. Johnny followed his brother to Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, where they both continued their athletic and academic endeavors. Meanwhile, when Joe graduated from Paly in 1999, Mark made the difficult decision to stop coaching baseball, but to remain in the district and teach PE at Jordan. “It was such a huge time commitment and I wanted to watch Joe in college,” Mark said. “When I was coaching, I was like the players. I didn’t go on vacation. We had practice and went to tournaments. you have to be all-in or all-out. I think players want to play for someone who is putting in time.”


While Mark does miss coaching, he does not regret his decision to focus soley on teaching. “you’re with your players three hours a day, you really get to talk about stuff,” Mark said. “It’s not quite the same as PE. I miss all that stuff, but I don’t miss the practices in the rain, putting on the slickers and making everyone run. My kids have come and gone. I can go hang out with Johnny now; I can go fishing; I can go running; I can go on spring break.” As Mark made the difficult change to life without coaching, Joe went through a significant change of his own. After years of excelling on the football field as quarterback, Joe’s coaches at Linfield switched him to wide receiver after his first year on the team. Then, Joe did not

make the cut for Linfield’s baseball team his sophomore year. These abrupt changes laid the foundation for a new passion: running. “I really don’t like complaining about it, but I was surprised I didn’t make the team,” Joe said. “[I learned that] the thing about cross-country and track is you can’t argue about a position. Either you are putting in the work or you’re not. Everyone on the cross-country team is going to get better regardless of where they are at the start of the season.” Despite the temptation to transfer from Linfield College after not making the baseball team, Joe graduated with a new love for running. In a testimony to the strength of the Ginnani bond, Joe decided to return to his roots and accept a teaching job in Palo Alto. After teaching at Terman middle school for two years, Joe became a PE teacher at Jordan, a transition that did not surprise his father. “In college, he knew he wanted to teach PE, and he was fortunate to get into our district,” Mark said. “Many kids don’t realize how much children mean to their parents, and I get to work with mine. I get to throw the ball around with my son and get paid for it. We have a lot of fun, we have a good time.” Just as Mark established his name in Palo Alto’s athletic community as both a PE teacher and a coach, Joe followed in his footsteps by coaching both crosscountry and track at Paly. After assistant coaching for three years, Joe replaced former boys’ cross-country head coach Jeff Billing. Mark acknowledges the role his son now plays in continuing the legacy. “I’m going to be 50 in about a month and he brings a lot of youth into the program,” Mark said. Through their widespread influence coaching and teaching at Jordan and Paly, the Ginnanis have firmly established themselves as both role models for the Palo Alto community as a whole. Colombo recognizes that the Ginnani influence spreads further than simply the students they teach and the players they coach. “Mark influenced me a lot, he got me into the district, he got me the job, without him I wouldn’t even be here,” Colombo said. “He’s a great mentor and a great

“When I was coaching, I was like the players. I didn’t go on vacation; we had practice and went to tournaments. you have to be all in or all out. I think players want to play for someone who is putting in time; I think that is important.”

-Mark Ginnani

role model.” Colombo believes it has been easy for the parents to share their values, not only within their family, but also to reach out to the other people they interact with daily. “Mark and [his wife] Cindy have always walked the walk and have always been

there for their kids,” Colombo said. “The way they’ve grown up, they’ve gotten it done, both with academics and as people. Their parents have been great role models; they don’t just talk it, they walk it.” The Ginnanis have been in Palo Alto for 22 years and have firmly cemented their status as positive influences for everyone

they meet. As their careers overlap, it appears as if the Ginnani story will be told for years to come. As Colombo simply puts it: “Anybody that Mark comes in contact with [he influences]. He is just an unbelievable human being, that’s all I have to say. “ <<<

APPlE doEsN’t FAll FAr FroM thE trEE Mark (left) and Joe (right) Ginnani chat before Joe coaches a Friday at track practice. The Ginnani family has played an influential role in the Palo Alto sports community for 22 years as both coaches and teachers.



photos by john chRistopheRson and hana kajimuRa


n Monday afternoon, the Palo Alto High School varsity boys’ long distance track team sets out to run two miles consecutively and four in total. As usual, the boys run to the Bark Trail at Stanford University with their heads hung low, dreading another routine workout. As boys start the long workout, one runner leads the pack: Skyler Cummins (‘09). As Cummins runs his third consecutive mile, his teammates take a break before completing the last two miles. Cummins continues his same pace with determination. As the other boys return to the trail, Cummins effortlessly powers ahead, with long elegant strides and an intense pace. The group decides to stop its third mile, but Cummins keeps running without a moment of hesitation. When he finishes the fourth mile, the whole team returns to the Paly track for more endurance training.


lEAdErshiP Cummins leads the team in his role as boy’s varsity captain and has influenced many younger runners on the squad this year. As one of the track captains, Cummins is a top long distance runner for the fall and spring seasons. However, this has not always been so. For Cummins, the commonly known saying, ‘you can do whatever you set your mind to,’ is not just a cliché. “He’s out there every day pushing himself to do the best he can and always doing as much as possible to improve,” Cummins’ friend and fellow runner, Emily Benatar (‘11) said. “He has definitely set his mind to improving and it has paid off.” Running has been a part of Cummins life since childhood. His father enjoys hiking and his mother runs as well, so as Cummins and his siblings grew up, running became a hobby. His sister and Paly alumnus, Renata Cummins (‘07), runs


competitively at Harvard University and his brother, Lance (‘11), runs for Paly. Although running had always been a hobby for Cummins, in middle school, he devoted most of his time to BMX Biking. “He would spend a ton of time at the bike park when he was younger and he went to a biking camp over the summer,” Renata said. “He got pretty good.” When Cummins entered high school, he initially joined the cross-country and track teams to be around friends and get a prep period. Previous coach and mentor, Jeff Billing, recalls vividly the moment in which Cummins realized his potential as a runner. At the end of track season of his freshman year, Cummins ran an informal time trial with a few friends. In the time trial, Cummins broke the 5:00 minute mile barrier for the first time. “I remember seeing how psyched he was and telling his sister that he was hooked [on running],” Billing said. “After that, he started to become a runner.” After his freshman year, Cummins focused less on biking and dedicated more time to running. He had no idea what he could accomplish as a runner. “I knew how much potential he had and I was just trying to figure out how to flip the switch so that he would want it,”

tine for both track and cross-country. He goes on a run every day of the week, while occasionally taking a Sunday off for rest. On Saturdays, he joins the team for an optional run of 14 to 16 miles of easy pace running. The difficulty and courses vary, but on average Cummins runs between 50 and 60 per week. Off-season training requires an entirely different level of dedication. “Skyler has definitely evolved as a runner,” teammate Josh Newby (‘10) said. “He has stepped up the intensity significantly over the last two years. I have noticed his mileage in-

ENdUrANCE Cummins has been running for the Paly track and crosscountry teams for the last four years and looks to continue in college.

“I’ve told many of the younger kids who ask, ‘How can I get faster?’, to just run with Skyler every day.”- Jeff Billing

Billing said. According to Cummins, Billing influenced his newfound dedication for running. Cummins’ gives Billing credit for making him the runner he is today. “Jeff [Billing] was probably the guy who got me into it the most,” Cummins said. “He taught me the most about it and just got me into it. He got me to get more serious about the sport.” For his first three years in high school, Billing coached Cummins in cross-country and track. Cummins’ running developed through the inspiration and dedication that Billing brought and the enthusiasm that the team had collectively. “He [Billing] had a really good philosophy for the team and the team had really good goals,” Renata said. During sophomore year, Cummins realized he had the talent, skill and passion he needed to become a successful runner. “I started looking at it differently,” Cummins said. “I was getting a lot faster and I was running with the top guys on the team so I started to take it more seriously.” From that point on, Cummins’ commitment to running increased drastically. Since then, Cummins’ training schedule became fairly rou-

creasing and his rest days decreasing.” As focused as Cummins is on training and improving, neither prevents him from being a good teammate and supporter for everyone else on the team. “He is very knowledgeable about his teammates abilities and improvement,” Billing said. “He finds joy in seeing his teammates improve, whether they are the fastest kid on the team or the slowest.” Cummins teammates recognize his supportive nature towards everyone, regardless of skill level. According to Billing,


this quality makes him such a successful captain. “Skyler’s a great leader, he really likes to rally the ‘fellas’ and get them psyched about running,” Newby said. “He’s truly an inspiration when it comes to running hard. I can’t imagine anyone more fitting of the team captain position.” Cummins not only inspires his other teammates, but also leads by example.

“I’ve told many of the younger kids who ask, ‘how can I get faster?’, to just run with Skyler every day,” Billing said. In addition to his leadership abilities, Cummins lightens the team mood with his humorous personality. “Skyler [Cummins] has an very unique personality,” Newby said. “He takes running very seriously, but he has a great sense of humor as well. He knows when to quit the childish shenanigans and slap on his game face.” From the beginning of his junior year, Cummins stood out as an emerging runner. By the end of the season, he qualified for the Central Coast Section (CCS) championship meet. Although, when it came to the day of the race, Cummins was not able to compete. “The morning of the CCS meet I woke up puking,” Cummins said. “So I obviously could not run that day.” Cummins could not run in his final race of the season due to an unknown virus, thought to be food poisoning or the flu. Although after a disappointing end to the cross-country season, that same year, Cummins completed a successful track season. Yet it was not the most remarkable of seasons for Cummins. As a senior, Cummins participated in his last high school cross-country season this past fall. After the loss of coach, Billing, due to a move to Connecticut, Cummins new coaches, Joe Ginnani and John Welsh, had large shoes to fill going into


the cross-country season. “I think Joe [Ginanni] and John [Welsh] did an incredible job,” Cummins said. “Having Jeff [Billing] leave at the end of last year was definitely pretty bad and I was wondering how it would all fit together this year. But they did a perfect job, they could not have done a better job, I mean nobody could have.” Throughout the season, the team worked towards a goal,

TEammaTE JoSh

on hiS woRk EThiC: “Skyler has a tremendous work ethic; he is at all the Saturday long-runs, all the workouts, he does all his homework, and he turns in all his college apps. It sounds cliché, but that kid gives 110% effort.

on hiS PERSonaliTy: “Skyler is a Casanova too, the only thing smoother than he is with the ladies are his freshly shaven legs.”

which it successfully accomplished. The 2009 Palo Alto High Boys’ cross-country team qualified for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) finals. During this race, Cummins set a personal record of 16:09 and the team placed eighth overall. “That was exactly how I wanted to end high school crosscountry,” Cummins said. “I really don’t think it could have gone any better.”

nEwBy on CUmminS:

on hiS SUCCESS: “I’d say Skyler can attribute most of his success as a runner, and with the ladies, to his physique. He has the body of a rippling Greek god. Tall, lanky and for the most part hairless. Nothing slows him down on the track or with the female folk.”

Once cross-country season ended, Cummins expected to train, gain mileage, and rest during the few months he was off. Yet during the winter of 2009, while running in the snow over winter break, Cummins dislocated a bone in his foot. For the following three weeks, Cummins had to stay off of his foot and could not run or train at all for the upcoming track season.

This track season looks bright for Cummins, who has had a successful recovery and slowly gains up his previous speed during cross-country season. During this track season, Cummins competes in the one-mile as well as the two-mile. Although Cummins prefers the cross-country season, he still hopes to have and looks forward to a successful track season. After high school, Cummins plans to attend Wesleyan University in Connecticut and continue running for their athletics program. Currently, Cummins does not have any serious postcollege plans for running, but he knows he will never give it up. “I love everything about the sport,” Cummins said. “I really enjoy the act of running. Going out for runs is enjoyable for me but the way you become a good runner is when, you go out and you just work really, really hard every day.” From BMX Biking to running competitively, Cummins shows that dedication and persistence can help anyone accomplish their goals. “I think their [Cummins’] family genuinely finds life more enjoyable when they have something to be working towards and dreaming about,” Billing said. “Frankly, I think that’s a pretty awesome way to live your life. Skyler has lived that way the last few years, and I hope he never loses that fire, whether it burns for running or for something else.” <<<





On a Friday aFternOOn, the tardy bell rings and the last straggling students take their seats in a seventh period math class. the day is almost over, and despite the lively chatter, the tired students impatiently await the end of school. Class has started, and so has conversation between students. Some talk about the school musical from the night before, while others discuss weekend plans, which include everything from Satâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to group projects to enjoying the warm weather. Others describe their late thursday nights after coming home from sport practices, games and meets and then having to study for tests the next day. every day, student-athletes push the bar of expectations higher as they chase success in both athletics and academics. these student-athletes live in a bubble, where high expectations are the only expectations and close to anything can be sacrificed to achieve perfection. the expectation of excellence and rejection of mediocrity touches all students (or most), whether they are the starting captain with a perfect






GPa or the student who has just been deemed academically ineligible to participate in high school athletics. and, as history teacher and teacher advisor Jack Bungarden says, the endeavor for perfection exists beyond the sports subculture at Paly. “athletes have the same problems as other students,” Bungarden said. “it’s the same thing for mock trial, church-anything. it may be that there’s a wide spectrum of athletics at this school, but it’s a greater problem.” With nearly half of all Paly students participating at the interscholastic level, student-athletes find themselves overwhelmed with schoolwork, practices, games, in addition to any family and social obligations. the Viking takes a closer look at the lives and schedules of different student-athletes at Paly, as they cope with the culture of achieving success and try to find a balance between life, schoolwork and sports. the combination requires much more work, dedication and sacrifices than anyone, including the student-athletes themselves, may recognize. While we may all be studentathletes, we all live and deal with different circumstances and situations. no two student-athletes are the same, but all hold themselves to the standard of excellence. How does the academic and athletic community define the “problem”? While some students take on every responsibility offered, others concentrate on one. the broad range of student-athletes at Paly presents unique examples of stress, time management and commitment. While the causes, the problems and the solutions present a tangled web in themselves, any teacher, coach, parent or student could tell you this: this is who we are. the 20092010 edition of Paly’s Program of Studies clearly states athletic eligibility requirements. the rule reads: “to be eligible, students must have received passing grades in 20 or more credits of course work and have a cumulative GPa of at least 2.0 in the previous grading period.” Students also must be taking at least five classes. a 2.0 GPa may be achievable for most students, but students of all academic and athletic caliber find meeting the community standards of acceptable more difficult. Paly boasts both a nationally-renowned academic program as well as an excellent sports program. Some student-athletes balance the two

“Traditionally people tend to find one area that they’re good at and focus on that. [At Paly] there are a lot of people who have been able to be successful in both...”

worlds. Others focus on one side and pursue the other with less fervor. Study skills teacher elizabeth Mueller recognizes a unique culture of excellence at Paly. “Traditionally people tend to find one area that they’re good in and focus on that,” Mueller said. “Here it seems that there are a lot of people who have been able to be successful in both that it becomes a ‘See it’s possible to do, so then everyone can do it.’”

tHe Sun SHineS on a particularly warm California day, and erika Hoglund (‘10) sits on a faux marble bench in the Quad. She wears a Princeton university sweatshirt and her efforts as a student athlete are no short of an attending student there. “Will this take very long?” asks Hoglund. “i just need ten minutes at the end of lunch to review something for a test.” She takes a bite of her sandwich, and as she speaks her face takes on a concentrated look. “if students are varsity athletes, they should be able to handle both school and their sport,” she declares. Hoglund, a second year girls’ varsity soccer player, not only plays two sports, one of them year-round, but also carries a heavy course load of seven classes, with aP’s and honors credits aplenty. She insists that playing a sport is a privilege, as well as a responsibility.


“When you are 16, 17 years old, you should be able to manage your time and get what you need to get done,” Hoglund said. “We’re all responsible for what we do.” For student-athletes like Hoglund, academics and athletics are both high priorities. But like any investment, maintaining a level of excellence in both school and sports takes its toll. Most notably, student-athletes sacrifice sleep and do so willingly if it means they will get to play in the succeeding day’s big game. Hoglund emphasizes that student-athletes must learn to prioritize and use their time effectively, but according to math teacher and teacher advisor arne Lim, this task in itself is a challenge. “Sometimes students need to work ‘harder’, but often they just need to work ‘differently’,” Lim said. Lim says that learning to prioritize begins when a student first enters high school. Ninth and tenth graders must learn to use their P.e. prep period wisely, for example. they must develop a habit of working during this free time. as athletes grow older, Lim believes the benefits of a prep period can be lost, particularly if athletes have the commonly used seventh prep period. “Because their prep is at the end of the day, they are less likely to use the prep for work, thus potentially creating extra work for themselves when they get home,” Lim said. “and who wants to do homework after they had a hard workout or game?” While some students lose sleep or miss out on weekend outings with friends, others hold fast to their athletic endeavors to the point where they might sac-


“I learned my lesson the hard way. I just stopped trying. I couldn’t do anything about it once I was off the team.” rifice their grades. These students prioritize according to what is most important to them. and for every student who may forgo grades for athletics, there is a student who gives up their sport in order to pursue schoolwork. Student-athletes must find balance between their schoolwork and sports or they face the looming threat of ineligibility.

LunCHtiMe HaS PaSSed and the seagulls descend upon the food-littered Quad, but Maurice Williams (‘11) has just begun eating lunch. He sets his soda down on a bench, but chooses to stand, balancing on the ridge of a planted flower box. Williams is at school, but no backpack is in sight. Williams, a wide receiver for the varsity football team and a member of the 4x100 relay sprint team, has the physique of an athlete, but put it to less use than expected this year. Williams spent the majority of his sophomore year off the field and off the track, and not just on the sidelines. athletic ability was and is not a problem; school rather than skill kept him off the field. during the football season, two weeks before quarter grades were due for official processing, Williams was informed that his grades totaled to a GPa below the eligibility mark, so he would not be allowed to play. “i just don’t try,” he says. “[i’m] just lazy.” For Williams, playing a sport has always been a part of who he is. However, as essential as sports are to his life, he finds the joy of playing only temporarily motivates him to keep his grades up. He recalls coaches urging him to get a tutor or to take a practice off in order to catch-up on schoolwork. He loves football; he loves track; he loves sports. He spent hours at practice and somewhere in this picture of dedication to his team and a budding football and track career, schoolwork had a hard time fitting in.





Like Hoglund, Williams takes responsibility, but in different way. “i learned my lesson the hard way,” he says. “i just stopped trying. i couldn’t do anything about it once i was off the team.” and perhaps the hardest of all, “yeah, [the eligibility mark] is fair,” he says. Once ineligible, student-athletes must find a way to raise their grades if they hope to participate in athletics. Paly offers an array of resources for students who need additional help with schoolwork. Such programs include the Study Skills class, aVid and student tutors c o o rd i n a t e d by the arC. additionally, athletic director earl Hansen has offered student-athletes teacher assistant periods, where students can use the time to raise their grades. Williams

“[Coaches] go over what it means to be a student-athlete... We talk about managing their time and some of the social things they may have to sacrifice in order to be as successful as they want to be.”

sought help at Mueller’s study skills class. Mueller notes that a lot of students come to her for help and each needs something a little different from the rest. the average class size at Paly holds thirty students. When teachers race the clock to get through the daily lesson, extra time for individual assistance must be set aside outside of class time. However, Mueller does not believe that not every student-athlete will use these options. “Some kids will find help wherever they can,” Mueller said. “But not everybody will. And that’s definitely a worry i have, there are some kids that i’ve found and i’ve helped but there are a lot of kids that don’t have that. i kind of wonder where they go and they find help.” While Williams may have been cut from the football team’s roster, he continued to practice with the team for a week. despite an overwhelming amount of work to catch up on, he helped out with drills and tried to help the team in any way he could. “Being involved in both sports and school takes up a lot of time,” Mueller said. “Once students are ineligible, some of them take it as a wake-up call.” FiFtH PeriOd iS WeLL under way and Wyatt Shaw (‘10) sits in the library reading a book. a bronze farmer’s tan peeks out from the sleeve of his shirt. Shaw, a former member of the baseball team recalls the day he found out, part-way through the season, his third quarter grades did not meet the eligibility mark. “i was surprised,” Shaw says as he sits at the carrel.

to either focus solely on sports or schoolwork.

“i knew i wasn’t working hard at all, but i had never thought about ineligibility.” Shaw admits he may not always have done his best on his schoolwork, but he never felt that he could take a day off from baseball. “i never skipped a practice,” Shaw says. “i feared the coach’s reaction and thought that my teammates would question my reasons.” although Shaw immediately took steps to raise his grades, there is little that an ineligible student-athlete can do to gain instant gratification. When student-athletes learn that they are ineligible at the end of a grading period, they have to wait until the end of the next period to participate in sports again. “At first I was embarrassed,” Shaw says. “it seemed like the end of the world, so i didn’t want to talk about it.” Shaw understands the reality of balancing schoolwork and sports, and he recognizes the responsibility is his. “you need to work hard in everything and go above and beyond,” he says. While Shaw and Williams may have had little choice in refocusing their attention academics, some Paly students make the difficult decision and choose

tHe SCHOOL day HaS ended and as Hoglund hurries to the track for sprint practice, Shannee Braun (‘10) heads home. Braun, a former member of the girls’ varsity track 4x100 team with Hoglund, spent her freshman and sophomore years of high school training with the sprint team. not only did she train hard, she also found success as a sprinter. despite a budding career on the track team, Braun decided to focus on school. “it’s not worth it to not fully commit to a sport,” she says in between studying for tests. “i felt bad leaving the team, but i knew i wouldn’t be able to train enough to be helpful this year.” For the relay team, complete attendance was imperative to a productive practice. even in her sophomore year of high school, Braun found she had little time after practice to complete her schoolwork. When she did miss a practice, Braun found some coaches supportive, while others were less so. “it’s understandable considering it’s their job to make sure i’m good at track, not school,” Braun says. However she does note a disconnect between teachers and coaches. “Some get it and some just don’t understand,” Braun says of both teachers understanding the demands of sports and coaches understanding academic demands. Braun’s decision to quit track stemmed from long practices and returning home from track meets to a copious amount of homework. Paly sports teams practice for different amounts of time, but practices average from two to three hours. On game days, student-athletes leave class as early as 1:15 and may not return to campus until 5:00 or 6:00 in the afternoon. Some student-athletes find themselves hard-pressed for time, but they use this pressure to increase their efficiency. While some students-athletes perform better academically during the offseason of their respective sports, others improve during the regular season. However Braun found herself weighed down from both. Prior to their respective sport’s sea-

son, coaches go over academic policies and requirements with their team. However, more athletes and even coaches concede that this review of expectations comprise of general statements. “We go over what it means to be a student-athlete and the commitment that goes along with that,” wrestling head coach dave duran said. “We talk about managing their time and some of the social things they may have to sacrifice in order to be as successful as they want to be.” although all coaches go over basic grade requirements, they hold different views regarding student-athlete responsibility. Girls’ varsity volleyball coach, dave Winn, has his players sign contracts with a list of priorities at the beginning of every season. He ranks family obligations first, school second and volleyball as third. as a coach, he believes that playing an active role in helping his players do well in school is important. “i make [an athlete’s education] a high priority for me,” Winn said. “One of our goals is to earn the aVCa academic team award (american Volleyball Coach’s association). to earn this award, we must maintain a 3.3 GPa or higher. in my coaching career, my teams have earned this award 6 times.”

tHey are duBBed ‘student-athlete’ for a reason. take away either word, and part of an identity disappears. at Paly, student-athletes hold themselves to a code of honor that exists within any athletic institution. never quit; never skip; at the end of the day, you are judged by the team’s performance, not just your own. On top of these responsibilities, they challenge and motivate themselves to pursue academic excellence. every student-athlete is different, but they all feel the pressure and are part of the frenzied hub of high school. they have all had lost sleep for schoolwork, come home late at night from games and meets and can attest to the culture of excellence and how it dictates the way they live. Whether this is “right” or wrong”, it is who they are and how they live their lives. and perhaps most importantly, this is what they love and will continue to do day after day. <<<


The Plan With the approval of the Palo Alto School Modernization and Expansion Bond of 2008, Palo Alto High School will be undergoing extensive renovations throughout campus. Part of the $378 million bond will be allocated to improving Paly athletics, offering Paly athletes stateof-the-art facilities and equipment. The renovations will take place in six phases, ultimately affecting all current facilities excluding the recently remodeled pool. Only Phases 1, 3 and 5 involve the renovation or construction of athletic facilities. “The renovations will make a program, which I think is second to none, easier and safer for all students and will encourage more to be involved,” Athletic Director Earl Hansen said. Phase 1 The first phase of renovations was scheduled to begin May 1, pending state approval of the plans. This phase will improve both the upper field and the “play” field. The play field currently includes both the baseball and softball diamonds, as well as a makeshift soccer pitch. The upper field will be the first area to go under construction. Beginning May 1, the El Camino field will be completely modernized with synthetic turf and the addition of bleachers for spectators. The turf will have three sets of lines- lines for both boys’ and girls’ lacrosse as well as soccer. Paly varsity lacrosse player Helene Zahoudanis (‘09) believes that the new field will greatly benefit the lacrosse program. “The field’s not regulation size at all which affects the game,” Zahoudanis said. Also scheduled to start this year, the play field will re be remodeled. Beginning June 1, the field will be redone completely with natural turf. A regulation size soccer pitch will also be put in between the two diamonds. “It will be great to have more room for practice so the soccer teams will each get the benefit of a full field and not be crammed on top of each other,” soccer player Erika Hoglund (‘10) said. Assuming a punctual start to the construction, the upper field should be finished in time to be used as a practice facility for football in the fall of 2009. The play field will be finished around February 2010, just in time for baseball and softball season. If approval from the state takes longer than expected, the project will be postponed until later that year, but eventually completed. “It will happen,” Hansen said. “It just may not happen when we want it to happen.” 1.87 million of the bond will be given for these field renovations.


Phase 3 Among improvements to both gyms and the football field, the most anticipated renovation of the third phase is the new weight room complex. The new complex will include a modernized and cleaner weight room with free weights, exercise machines, as well as mat rooms and aerobic rooms. This change is most anticipated because it will affect a great number of Paly athletes. A significant number of students use the weight room year-round and with the changes, the new weight room will likely attract many more. “The weight room is used year-round, from the early morning to after school,” Hansen said. “The mat and aerobic rooms will hopefully bring in more girls. You walk in there after school and it’s all guys in there, it’s kind of intimidating for a girl. It would encourage more people to work out.” The renovated weight room will be two stories and extended all the way to the girls’ gym. One of the greatest concerns of Paly athletes regarding the weight room is cleanliness. “I’m looking forward to new equipment that’s clean,” frequent weight room user Kevin Anderson (‘11) said. “People don’t want to go to it because it’s kind of nasty but if it was clean more people would work out.” The third phase of the renovations is not on the calendar yet, but will begin as soon as possible with 6.88 million from the bond.

Phase 5 The last phase, Phase 5, is not yet scheduled as well. This stage will modernize the old gym and completely remodel the small gym. No final plans for this phase have been made yet. The new gym will be constructed with $12.89 million while the old gym will receive $2.73 million in renovations.




by Hanna brody and Cassie Prioleau


On Sunday, April 5 Palo Alto High School hosted a 3 vs 3 barefoot soccer tournament as a fundraiser to fight aids in africa. PHOTOS AND TExT BY HANA KAJIMURA

“The hardest part was probably getting sponsors and getting people interested,” said Kershner as she posses above with the winning team, flashing the Guitar Hero logo on their free t-shirts made by Soccer Pro.

“When I was at Dartmouth soccer camp last summer, they told us about this program,” alex kershner (‘11) (pictured to the left with co-coordinator and Castilleja Emily Colvin (‘10)) said. “I talked to some friends from came who were really excited about organizing this with me.”

Jeff Cohen (‘11) prepares to block a shot in a preliminary game early Sunday morning. The organizers awarded prizes for best costume, provided free t-shirts and held a raffle for professional soccer game tickets.


Local soccer celebrities Teresa noyola and lindsay Talor, both freshman starters on the Stanford Womens’ soccer team, made an appearance at the event.

“I’m so glad I was involved with it because you see the students organize everything and it’s nice to see kids like that,” varsity girls’ soccer coach Ernesto Cruz said. “I think its great for the community.”

Because teams played barefoot on the new Paly turf on a hot spring morning, players could be seen rubbing their feet by the end of the event.



Condoleezza Rice as told to Sophie Biffar

Not only is Condoleezza Rice Provost at Stanford University, the National Security Advisor, and the United States secretary of state, but she is also a hard-core sports fan. Dr. Rice has never missed watching a Super Bowl since the first game in 1967, even if it meant waking up at two a.m. one year, while in Jerusalem, to see the kickoff. Friends know that Rice aspired to be the NFL Commissioner, but was “busy” three years ago when the job opened up. Even so, the NFL asked her to address a large meeting of team owners last month and she received a number of standing ovations from the crowd. Where did this passion for sports come from, and how important does she see the role of sports for busy students today? Rice returned to Stanford after eight years in Washington D.C., and fortunately had the time to sit down with the Viking for an interview. You said you would watch anything with a score, when did this sports passion start? The passion came about because my dad was a great athlete. He played tennis, he played football, he played basketball, he was a football coach, he was a basketball coach and I was supposed to be his All-American linebacker. When I was born a girl and an only child, he decided to teach me about sports instead. So, everything that he knew about sports he tried to teach me, and that was our time together. We would spend Sundays watching the NFL, and I would go to football games with him. Arts was with my mother; sports was with my dad. I am sure our readers are curious about what teams you follow and support... I grew up in Birmingham Alabama and they didn’t have any teams - professional teams - so my football team was the Cleveland Browns because that was the team we had on TV most often. My basketball team was the Boston Celtics because that was my dad’s team. I don’t know why he was a Celtics fan, but he was. The New York Yankees were my favorite baseball team. Much later on when I moved out here, I became a San Jose Sharks fan, and they are great this year. They won the Presidents Trophy which means they are the best team in professional hockey, so that’s really good. Those are my teams in the pros. For college, I pull for Notre Dame and Alabama, but first and foremost for Stanford. Have sports always played an important role in your life and how has that made a difference? Sports have always played an important role for me because, as I said, my dad was very athletic and from the earliest time I can remember I was a little tom boy. I liked to go and tumble and jump up on things, so I started figure skating when I was six because we would go to Denver every summer and the skating school is the place I went while my parents went to school. I was really not the right body type for skating, I am 5’8” and I have 5’10” legs. I should have been a tennis player, but I loved skating and I worked very hard at it. I wasn’t particularly good, but I can truthfully say that I learned more from working really, really hard at something I wasn’t as good at as, say, piano, where I was naturally pretty good and didn’t have to work as hard. The other thing is I think I learned discipline and time management through skating because I had to get up and be on the ice at about five o’ clock in the morning. I’d skate, then I’d go to school and come back, and then I’d practice the piano and do my homework and then, during the season, I would skate again in the evening. I think I really learned how to manage my time, and I think athletes very often do learn how to do that. How did you use your sports knowledge in conversations with the president, or other male cabinet members? The first time my sports knowledge helped me was when I was a Fellow for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in an all-male office. I won the football pool, and after that I was “in” and everyone really respected my football knowledge. I loved watching sports with President Bush, even though he liked baseball much more than football. It’s a way to connect with people, but not just my male colleagues. A lot of my really good friends are also sports fanatics like me. How has that helped you in your career, your knowledge of sports? I just think it helps to give you something to talk with people about that’s not politics or difficult issues, sometimes worldwide. For instance, when the Chinese were getting ready for the Olympics, that’s a sports crazy country and it’s something you can bridge with. I went to Russia and they took me to see the figure skaters and they took me to see the figure skaters in China, and the then World Champion Pairs Champions came out to meet me. We took pictures and it was all over the front pages of newspapers in China, so I think sports really helps bridge cultures and differences.



Today students do so much- SATs, extra-curricular activities, and a lot of us play school sports. As a college professor and former Stanford administrator and a sports fan, how important a role do you think sports should play? Of course school comes first, but I think sports make you well-rounded. I know with school and public service and sports and all kinds of activities that life must seem really overwhelming sometimes, and it’s also important to spend times with your friends and enjoy life a little bit. Sports can be both a source of discipline and a source of joy because you know when you practice hard at something and then you achieve it really gives you esteem in an area different than just getting good grades, so I think they go together really well, sports and academics. What advice would you give someone playing a high school sport, who may not be good enough to play in college or professionally... I think it’s fine to not be good enough to get to the highest levels; very few people get to the highest levels. I think most of us are not going to be Olympians, most of us are not going to be varsity athletes in college, and most people are not going to play Wimbledon so you have to appreciate sports for what they do for you, which is that they give you a chance to be as good as you can be through hard work. Sometimes the hard work pays off and you perform really well; sometimes it doesn’t and you still have to get up the next day and go on and that’s an important lesson to learn but sports can also be with you for the rest of your life. Even if you learn to play tennis in high school you can play tennis forever, or if you learn to play golf you can play golf forever, so they can enrich your life for a long, long time even long after you have given up any hopes of competing. You recently addressed a meeting of NFL owners, and talked about the role sports, specifically the NFL, could play in U.S. diplomacy. You obviously think this is important, why? I think it’s important that American diplomacy is more than just what the government does. America is a great country with really varied people who have a lot of varied interests and sometimes other countries don’t like our policies or our politics but they love Americans nonetheless, so I try to have sports ambassadors. Michelle Kwan, the figure skater was an ambassador for us and Michelle is a ChineseAmerican and when she went to China she was just a sensation. She was on the front cover of the equivalent of Sports Illustrated in China. Cal Ripken, the great baseball player was a sports ambassador; Ken Griffey Jr. was a sports ambassador. So I just think it shows a different side of America, and when the Olympic basketball team was there in China they were just stars and everybody loved them. I think the NFL could be more international, and I don’t think it will be too long before it catches on. Do you think your passion for sports will play a role in your future professionally? There have been lots of rumors about you potentially owning a team? I’d love to own a team. I’d love to manage a team. I loved sports management when I was Provost at Stanford and Athletics reported to me. That was really great, it was hard work, you know, budgets and all that, but it was a lot of fun. Even if I never do anything professionally with sports in terms of management, sports are always going to be a part of my life. I’m never quite sure what people do with all their time without sports, [if they don’t] play it or watch it or whatever. I keep adding sports. I skated until I was a sophomore in college when I decided I was at the end of my skating career and I was tired of getting up at five ‘o clock in the morning and not being able to do anything with my friends. I gave it up, then I took up tennis and I played tennis for a long time. I still play tennis, and I took up golf a few years ago so now golf is my new passion. I keep adding sports... What role will it play in your life in 10 years or so? It will be a part of my life forever, God willing that I can physically keep up sports. I think one reason that I am so dedicated to physical fitness is because I was an athlete and I don’t feel right if I’m not physically fit. I think sports is a way for you to be physically fit and still have it be fun. I like to work out so it’s fine for me, but not everybody wants to get on the elliptical machine forever, but a lot of people like to play sports, so if you find a sport you are interested in that’s also good for your health. Who is your favorite player, past or present? I have a lot of favorite players. I love some of the old players like Bill Russell , who was a great center for the Boston Celtics and Michael Jordan of course and I love Tiger Woods. I like players who take their sports to another level, or make their sports different and all of those people did. I like really competitive people who even if they are very, very good work very, very hard. But I have a lot of favorites. I love Larry Bird of the Celtics. Probably my favorite athlete right now is Tiger Woods because he has made golf into a real sport. What is your favorite sports moment? When the US hockey team defeated the Soviet Union in 1980. The Big Red machine, the Soviet Army team, was invincible, or thought to be invincible, and it was a bit of a metaphor for the Soviet Union’s invincibility beginning to break down. It’s hard to believe it, but eleven years later, the Soviet Union no longer existed and so the combination of the political significance and this young upstart American team defeating this behemoth, the Soviet Red Army hockey team. I think that was my favorite moment.


Pierce marchant (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;09) hits a wedge out of the rough at Palyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home course. marchant finished second, one stroke off winner martin trainer, a USC bound gunn High School senior in SCvAls. Photo by Hana kajimura





4 11




vs. CCS Quarters (3:00)

at Lynbrook (4:00)


10 17 24 30







at Courtside- CCS SemiFinals (12:00 or 2:00) at Gunn (4:00)


at Notre Dame (4:00) vs Santa Clara (4:00) at Cupertino (3:30) De Anza League Finals at Milpitas- De Anza League Trials (TBA) vs De Anza League Finals League Tournament TBA at Gunn (3:30)

19 26 at Imperial Courts- CCS Individuals (11:00)


7 14

vs at Milpitas- De Anza League Finals (TBA) League Tournament TBA De Anza League Finals vs Lynbrook (3:30)

21 28 at Imperial Courts- CCS Individual Semis/Finals (11:00)


Baseball Golf Lacrosse Softball Swimming






at Gilroy- CCS Semifinals (TBA)

at Paly (9:00)

Tennis Track and Field Diving Badminton


at Cupertino (4:00) De Anza League Finals at Los Gatos (4:00) vs. CCS 2nd Round (3:00) League Tournament TBA



at Courtside- CCS Finals (12:00 or 2:00) at Los Gatos- SCVAL Qualifier (TBA)

at Paly (3:30)

29 at Gilroy- CCS Finals (TBA)


at Buchanan- CIF State Finals (TBA)



Are You Kiddin’ Me? Owning a Fantasy Baseball team puts a lot of stress on me. Everyday, I check my players to see who is pitching and who is on the bench. Aside from these check-ups, I have to look at which players on my team are injured. All this labor really makes me question why I waste my time with Fantasy Baseball. In Fantasy Football, I don’t have to worry about this so much. Philip Rivers, quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, played in multiple games with a torn ACL. Another NFL player, Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has had at least five concussions in the past five years and has continued to play. In baseball, players sometimes will sometimes miss games just because they don’t feel like playing on a specific day. Manny Ramirez claimed last year that he needs to sit for a game only because he “wasn’t feeling it” that day. Have you ever hurt yourself while ironing a t-shirt? Well John Smoltz has. Smoltz, starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, had to go on the 15-day Disabled List because he was ironing a shirt while it was still on his body. There is something I don’t understand about baseball players. With these newly alleged steroid uses, shouldn’t players be tougher? Only in baseball have I seen a player go on the Disabled List because of an injury obtained while playing the video game Guitar Hero. Joel Zumaya, a relief pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, was unable to pitch in the 2006 American League Championship Se-


ries because his wrist was sore from playing a fake guitar. Wow. And this guy is getting paid in six figures? And that’s not all. A few years back, Ken Griffey Jr. missed a couple weeks of games due to a hand he hurt while taking out the trash. I’m pretty sure that my four-yearold cousin could take out the trash without breaking his hand. Now, I don’t exactly have a four-year-old cousin, but you get the idea. This is supposed to be a man whose body is superhuman. Any professional athlete who is getting paid so much money should be able to withstand a trash can lid falling on top of his hand. I mean, come on. Another great example of embarrassing injuries is the New York Mets’ newly acquired relief pitcher, J.J. Putz (who, this year, is getting paid $4,400,000) who is listed with a Day-to-Day injury due to a fingernail. I can understand a pitcher needing to miss a start or two because of a broken hand or finger, but a fingernail? You have got to be kidding me. I bash my fingernails all the time on the boat when I do crew, and you don’t see me crying and needing a couple weeks to go and get myself a manicure. (That is what the hand one is called, right?) What really set me off though was when I was watching Opening Day in baseball this year. C.C. Sabathia, who has recently signed with the New York Yankees for $161 million, was the opening day starter. After Sabathia had been taken out of the game, the camera showed him sitting on the bench. Not only was he on the bench, but he also was using a heating pad. It reminded me of times when my great grandmother

would be lying down and ask me to bring her the blue heating pad. Granted, my great grandma, rest her soul, could not throw a fastball upwards of 90 miles per hour, but I still should not be having to compare C.C. Sabathia to my Nana. Clearly, C.C. is not in peak physical condition if he needs to use a heating pad after five innings of pitching. J.J. Putz and C.C. Sabathia make it hard to argue that baseball is one of the toughest sports. It seems like half the injuries that put the players on the Disabled List are happening off the baseball diamond. What I’m trying to say is that if a broken fingernail or a trash can was the reason for a prolonged injury rather than in football, where it could be a concussion caused by a full-speed collision, then maybe these athletes aren’t in as top-notch physical condition as we think they are. The examples don’t stop with C.C. and J.J. Do me a favor. Jeff Kent broke his left wrist while cleaning his truck. Sammy Sosa hurt his back while sneezing. Wade Boggs once slipped on a pair of cowboy boots. And maybe the worst, Steve Sparks, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, once dislocated his shoulder while trying to tear a phone book in half. Apparently he had attended a motivational speech, and he was so fired up by it that he wanted to try it himself. I guess that was a bad idea. Look at a list of current Major League Baseball injuries, and tell me that at least 1/4 of them are legitimate injuries. There is no way that fantasy baseball can be fun when you know that a player from your team might not play a game just because he needs to get a manicure. Go BlUE.

Paly Sports Boosters Annual Golf Tournament Friday, May 22nd 2009 Shotgun Start @ Noon Moffett Field Golf Course in Mountain View Come Play or Sponsor a Hole! All proceeds benefit Palo Alto High School Sports Teams For more information contact:

Come by and pick up a sandwich at JJ&F’s today!

Earl Hansen: 650-329-3886 Athletic Director Palo Alto High School Chris Conner: 650-996-1786 B:7.5 in T:7.5 in S:7.5 in


Dear White Gold, How do I get the attention of a girl who doesn’t know I exist? Bryan Houlette St. Ignatius High School Culver City, CA

Dear Bryan,

So chill it, skillet. Be yourself, stay strong, and make an immediate investment in the institution with the highest rate of return: the Bank of Bryan.

“Dear White Gold…” is America’s most popular advice column syndicated for student newspapers, created by an adult rock-and-roll singer who plays a milk-filled guitar. E-mail your questions to and learn more about White Gold at

©2009 California Milk Processor Board

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Dairy-o, White Gold

B:5 in


The best advice I can give is something that’s sewn on the underside of my sleep mask: focus on being the best you you can be. And that just means be yourself. Think good thoughts. If you feel stress coming on, get a good workout in and drink some chocoloco milk to rebuild those bodacious biceps. If this object of your affection is meant to dial your digits, it will happen in its

own time. It’s a rule that applies not only to the ladies but also the musics. You think I wrote “Is It Me, Or Do You Love My Hair?” by stressing over every single note and syllable? Check the lyrics. That was 100% inspiration, 0% perspiration. It came to me when I wasn’t even ready for it (I was playing tennis).

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First things first: you sure you’re not a ghost? Seriously. I mean, it can happen to the best of us. Did you see that movie about the psychiatrist and the short dude who could see dead people? That is one scary piece of business I’ll only watch when the sun is out. It’s bonkers, bro.

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Viking Volume 2 Issue 5 - Sink or Swim  

The cover story in this issue is a feature about balancing academics with athletics.

Viking Volume 2 Issue 5 - Sink or Swim  

The cover story in this issue is a feature about balancing academics with athletics.