For the first time since 2014, Los Gatos High has an individual state track and field champion.
Wildcats junior Hannah Slover joined rarefied air when she won the girls high jump competition in the CIF State Championships May 27-28 at Veterans Memorial Stadium at Buchanan High in Clovis. With a winning mark of 5 feet, 6 inches, Slover joined five previous athletes—Bob Brannan, Ivan Moen, Nick Kay, Nico Weiler and Greta Wagner—as Los Gatos High individual state champions.
Brannan won the shot put in 1964, Moen the pole vault in 1984, Kay the discus in 2003 and Wagner the pole vault in 2014. Weiler is the school’s only two-time state champion as he won the boys pole vault in 2007-2008, but Slover will have a golden opportunity to win a second state title next year as a senior.
The surprise wasn’t that Slover won the championship, but that she did it with a mark of 5-6.
After all, Slover cleared 5-7 the week prior to finish in third place in the Central Coast Section Championships, and in most years the winning high jump mark at state is a couple of inches higher than at CCS. Slover cleared 5-6 on her first attempt at State.
Two other competitors—Golden Valley’s Meagan Humphries and California High’s Mara Lampsas—also cleared the height, but were unsuccessful on their first attempts. Therefore, Slover won on fewer attempts to clear the winning height. Slover, a UC-Santa Barbara commit for volleyball, has made a name for herself in track and field in her first season of competition since she was in middle school.
Fellow Los Gatos High teammate Nicole Steiner capped a tremendous freshman season, barely missing out on qualifying for the Day 2 finals. She placed 14th in the preliminary round of the shot put with a mark of 38-10 ¾. The last qualifying spot went to Carson’s Miah Molette, who had a mark of 39-1 ¼.
Among the Los Gatos High boys who advanced to State, Wil Brennan finished 20th in the preliminaries of the 400-meter run in 50.17 seconds, while the 4×400 relay team of Brennan, Levi Romero, Luke Pittock and Brady Kamali finished 18th in 3:24.47.
There’s symmetry in Slover winning the state title. Her grandfather, Bob, coached Weiler and Wagner to pole vaulting state titles. Bob also coached his son, Scott, Hannah’s dad, to two state championships, also in the pole vault.
Rich athletic bloodlines indeed, but Hannah Slover has carved her own path as a premier volleyball player and high jumper. Slover hit a personal-record (PR) of 5-8 at the Arcadia Invitational on April 9, had a mark of 5-7 at two different meets including CCS and went 5-6 in five different competitions this season, including State.
Known for her volleyball play with Los Gatos and Vision Volleyball Club, Slover has become elite in a second sport, track and field.
Sports editor Emanuel Lee can be reached at [email protected]