Palo Alto High School's sports news magazine

Viking Magazine

Palo Alto High School's sports news magazine

Viking Magazine

Palo Alto High School's sports news magazine

Viking Magazine

Track and Field Season Recap
Track and Field Season Recap
Tyler Frick and Evin Steele May 23, 2024
The softball team gathers in their dugout between innings on their senior night last Thursday. Photo by Grace Gormley.
Softball Season Recap
Trey Collins May 23, 2024
Courtesy of Harry Sherlock
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Boys Upperclassman of The Year: Grant Morgenfeld

Honorable Mention: Charlie Bates

Senior captain Grant Morgenfeld has spent his four-year career at Paly dominating the track. Although Morgenfeld grew up playing a variety of sports, he didn’t start running until middle school, when he joined the cross country team for fun. As a result of enjoying his middle school running experience, Morgenfeld joined both the Paly cross country and track teams as a freshman.

“I came in my freshman year without any expectations and I just wanted to have fun with it,” Morgenfeld said.

Morgenfeld quickly realized that track is something he is really good at and should take more seriously.

“[Track] really became a big part of my life as I have progressed through the ranks,” he said. “I have always been competitive on the CCS (Central Coast Section) level, and I eventually started becoming competitive on the state level and national level. Once I realized I can compete at a high level, I wanted to keep competing at a high level and getting better.”

By his senior year, Morgenfeld has become one of the most prolific runners in the nation and has cemented himself as a Paly track legend. Morgenfeld holds the Paly record for both the 1600 meter (1 mile), and 3200 (2 mile) events, with times of 4:09.06 and 8:49.21 respectively. Through his impressive performances at national competitions such as the New Balance Nationals Indoor, Morgenfeld has committed to Wake Forest University to continue his athletic and academic career.

His standout statistics have yielded a variety of awards across his 4-year career. In 2021 he aided his team to a conference and sectional championship, as well as receiving multiple individual awards for his efforts. He was 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-Region, All-State Division 1 3rd Team, Northern California Sophomore of the Year, and Central Coast Section Sophomore of the Year.

However, this success does not come without the necessary training. Morgenfeld works tirelessly year-round to maintain the necessary stamina, endurance, and mental toughness needed to compete at the highest level.

“Right now my workouts are full of track workouts, tempo workouts, long runs and getting in the gym,” he said. “It is time consuming but I enjoy the grind and I enjoy getting better.”

Not only has Morgenfeld shown his prowess on the track, but he is also an amazing leader and teammate.

“Grant is a really great leader, he’s a chill guy who creates a nice respectful team bond,” junior Monty Webber said. “[Grant] has good skills for leadership like leading the team through warmups and promoting a nice environment.”

Morgenfeld explains the adjustment of needing to become a leader this season.

“It was different this year coming in and having to step up and be more of a leader on the team,” Morgenfeld said. “We have a great group of guys and the team is really great and we are all really close. At least from our perspective, I feel like we have done a good job at setting an example.”

Although a proven leader throughout this season, he is not a stereotypical mentor-esque captain.

“He’s a silent leader, he’s not out there being very outspoken,” senior Zachary Spain said. “He leads by example, he puts in the work, he’s in the gym every morning for an hour doing cardio, then he does running and cardio. Him putting his head down and working is the leadership he shows for this team.”

Morgenfeld has had a really memorable four years on the Paly track and cross country teams, leaving a lasting impact on the team and its future.

“I am super grateful to have had this experience in my life,” Morgenfeld said

While Morgenfeld has enjoyed his time at Paly, he expresses his enthusiasm for competing at the division one level.

“I am super excited for it, it’s going to be awesome,” Morgenfeld said. “I am ready to take the step to the next level. I know it is going to take a lot from me and be really time consuming and really challenging, but I chose it because I wanted to. Specifically I chose Wake Forest, because the team and coaches there are going to be a great support system. I am ready for it.”

Senior Charlie Bates is a four-year varsity baseball player and is committed to Stanford University to play Division I baseball. Bates has been playing the sport from a very young age, and always dreamed of playing D1 baseball. He made that dream a reality after committing to Stanford for baseball during his sophomore year.

“Luckily, I got into contact with Stanford early in my sophomore year,” Bates said. “When they offered me it was a no brainer.”

Throughout his Paly baseball career, Bates and the Vikings have made two D1 CCS playoff runs, including a championship appearance his sophomore year. He looks to continue to lead the Paly team to a deep playoff run this season during his senior year. As of May 6, the Paly baseball team is 14-11 overall with a 9-3 record in league. Through 25 games, Bates has a .405 batting average (34-84) with 23 runs scored, 21 runs batted in, and six home runs. As Bates heads into his final few games as a Viking, he looks to finish his incredible Paly career strong as he transitions into D1 baseball over the summer.

“This is the last time where baseball is fun, [in college] it gets really serious,” Bates said. “This is my last run with people who I grew up playing with so I really just want to make this special.”

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About the Contributor
Tyler Martin
Tyler Martin, Online Editor-in-Chief
Hi, I'm Tyler Martin a current Online Editor-in-Chief on Viking and I have played basketball all four years at Paly. A fun fact about me is that I am ambidextrous.

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