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Best Friends And Bitter Rivals

COARSEGOLD – Long time best friends Michael Leath and Mason Black will stand together even when they stand apart, perhaps across a football stadium when their college rivals play the Big Game.

Leath just graduated from Yosemite High School, where Black walked the stage a year ago. Leath is headed to his first year at University of California Berkeley while Black will enter his Sophomore year at Stanford University.

The schools are historic rivals. The young men have been best friends since second grade.

This is going to be fun!

Mason Black was a Valedictorian in the YHS Class of 2012, along with achieving a host of other honors. He just finished his Freshman year at Stanford.

Black recently received a paid summer internship and will be a Research Assistant at Stanford School of Medicine. Specifically, he’ll be working in the Molecular Imaging Instrumentation Lab on data processing algorithms for an experimental PET scanner design.

A PET scan is made to produce 3-dimensional images of the function processes within the human body. PET scans can be used to diagnose a health condition as well as for finding out how an existing condition is developing and are often used to monitor treatment.

Michael Leath graduated from YHS on June 7th with the highest accolades: California Scholarship Federation (CSF) Life Member, Valedictorian and International Baccalaureate (IB) Candidate.

CSF Life Membership (Sealbearer) is achieved by qualifying academically four or more semesters in the last three years of high school.

The IB program at YHS is a rigorous study with an emphasis on research and critical thinking, part of an educational foundation designed to provide an internationally acceptable university admissions standard.

Mason Black and Michael Leath on a sleigh ride at Tenaya Lodge ca. 2002 - Photo Courtesy of Barbara LeathThese guys have a lot in common, having spent their early youth in the foothills. Their families are tight. Black and Leath shared parallel accomplishments throughout high school, including Academic Decathlon, Mock Trial and CSF, culminating the experience with full IB Diplomas from YHS. They did everything together and were each others biggest supporters.

Now, together, their colleges are the northern California powerhouse institutions, period.

With so much in common, will the Coarsegold compadres let a little bitter school rivalry get in the way of a life-long bond of friendship?

Let’s check back with these two this fall, before the lustily anticipated football game when the Cardinals go up against the Bears on November 23rd to settle this year’s score on the gridiron.

Until then, gentlemen, we offer our sincere congratulations and good luck.

Check out Yosemite High School’s IB Program

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