Dan Albano

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Orange County’s top committed football recruits from class of 2019

Orange County’s top committed football recruits from the class of 2019:

Name, school, height, weight, position, college

Jeremiah Criddell, Mater Dei, 6-1, 180, DB, Oregon

Sean Dollars, Mater Dei, 5-10, 190, RB, Oregon

Mase Funa, Mater Dei, 6-3, 240, LB, Oregon

Ryan Hilinski, Orange Lutheran, 6-3, 215, QB, South Carolina

Keyon Hudson-Ware, Mater Dei, 6-3, 308, DL, Oregon

Braedin Huffman-Dixon, Mater Dei, 6-3, 180, WR, Colorado

MuNir McClain, JSerra, 6-4, 200, WR, USC

Elijah Mojarro, Orange Lutheran, 6-5, 230, TE, Cal

Shawn Nielsen, JSerra, 6-3, 260, DL, San Diego State

KJ Trujillo, Orange Lutheran, 6-2, 170, DB, Colorado

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/25/orange-countys-top-committed-football-recruits-from-class-of-2019/

Rising La Habra wide receiver Deavyn Woullard transferring to Mission Viejo

Rising junior wide receiver Deavyn Woullard of La Habra said Thursday night that he is in the process of transferring to Mission Viejo because his parents’ jobs have relocated and his family will be moving.

“It is with much regret to inform you that I have withdrawn from La Habra,” he said. “My time at La Habra has been an amazing experience and I will truly miss my friends, the administration, my teammates and Coach (Frank) Mazzotta and his staff.

“Coach Mazzotta is a first-class guy who knows how to make things happen, maximize resources and inspire to achieve at a high level.’

Woullard (5-11, 180) will join forces with Mission Viejo rising junior quarterback Joey Yellen and a potentially high-powered offense. Woullard led the Highlanders last season with 30 receptions for 719 yards and 10 TDs.

He has received heavy recruiting interest this spring and holds offers from Air Force, Army, Cornell, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, Penn, Yale, Holy Cross and Cal Poly SLO.

Woullard also plays defensive back.

He also is the second top receiver from the Freeway League that appears headed to Mission Viejo. Troy wide out Chris Rahlwes (6-4, 203) is listed on Mission Viejo’s current roster on MaxPreps. Last season as a junior, he grabbed 48 receptions for 705 yards and eight TDs for Troy.

Woullard and Rahlwes were both first-team all-Freeway League selections last season.

As for La Habra, one move the Highlanders could consider is playing rising sophomore Clark Phillips III more at wide receiver. He was a first-team All-County cornerback last season but don’t be surprised to see him develop into more of a two-way standout as a junior.

Please send football news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/24/rising-la-habra-wide-receiver-deavyn-woullard-transferring-to-mission-viejo/

Hildebrand leads improved Esperanza past Rio Mesa in Division 2 playoffs

Esperanza’s growing confidence and the determination of pitcher Chrys Hildebrand continued to be a special combination on the softball diamond Thursday.

The Aztecs asserted themselves by scoring four runs in the first inning, highlighted by a three-run home run by Hildebrand, and followed the senior’s 14 strikeouts to a 4-1 victory against visiting Rio Mesa of Oxnard in the CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinals.

After missing the playoffs the past three seasons, third-seeded Esperanza (24-4) will appear in the semifinals Tuesday for the first time since 2001 when it plays at No. 2 Newbury Park.

“The biggest thing they started improving was believing in themselves,” said Esperanza coach Ed Tunstall, in his 15th season.

“They started believing they’re a good team. When they got that, everything changed.”

Esperanza seemed confident from the start. Speedy Maddie Schmidt led off the first with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Viviana Vejar and moved to third on a single by Sophia Tricoli.

Hildebrand followed with a towering home run to left.

Taylor Halterman then doubled and scored on a double off the wall in left by Hannah Coor to make it 4-0.

“Credit to Esperanza, they hit the pitches they needed to hit and (Hildebrand) did a job,” Rio Mesa coach John Ashley said. “We didn’t beat ourselves but we just ran into a buzz saw.”

Hildebrand (24-3) also was sharp in the circle. The San Jose State-bound senior allowed four hits, walked two and racked up 10 strikeouts through four innings en route to her single-season school-record 24th victory.

Evelyn Roman of Rio Mesa (24-7) hit a solo home run with one out in the sixth. Hildebrand retired the final five batters in order to close the game.

“Heart and determination, you can’t teach that, and she’s developed that,” Tunstall said. “She has turned into a bulldog.”

And Esperanza is a semifinalist.

“Starting from freshman year to (this point), it’s crazy,” Hildebrand said. “Such a big jump.”

In other Division 2 quarterfinals, Newbury Park defeated Laguna Hills 6-1 and ML King of Riverside topped Aliso Niguel 4-1.

In Division 1:

Norco 6, Huntington Beach 5 (9 innings): Kelli Kufta singled in the tying run in the seventh but the visiting Oilers fell on a Kinzie Hansen’s double in the ninth.

In Division 4:

Sonora 3, Norwalk 2: Gaige Garcia threw a strong 3 1/3 innings of relief to help the host Raiders (24-5) reach the semifinals for the first time since 2001. No. 2 seed Sonora plays at Santa Fe on Tuesday.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/24/hildebrand-leads-improved-esperanza-past-rio-mesa-in-division-2-playoffs/

Revered aquatics supporter Bruce Hopping of Laguna Beach dies at 96

Laguna Beach local legend Bruce Hopping, a revered supporter of aquatics sports from swimming and water polo to surfing, and a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, died last week at age 96, according to his friends.

“(He) passed away peacefully just after midnight on Thursday, May 17,” read an announcement distributed by his friend Christy Cones, a board member of Hopping’s well-known Kalos Kagathos Foundation.

For about 50 years, the foundation supported water sports, arts and environmental causes.

Hopping and the foundation also organized cultural exchange trips across the globe and sponsored the popular Southern California boys water polo awards banquet for several years.

The annual event recognizes top players and teams from the CIF-Southern Section. Hopping attended the banquet in January and received a standing ovation, said organizer John Kulisich.

“He loved going to the banquet,” Kulisich said.

For many years of friendship to aquatics, Hopping was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an honor contributor.

Born in 1921 in Saigon, Hopping served as a med-evacuation pilot in the U.S. Army and survived a crash in the Pacific Ocean. In the Korean War, he spent time on a minesweeper ship.

He used in the inheritance after his parents’ death to start the New Jersey Foundation in 1953 that sponsored aquatics events and commissioned artwork.

Hopping relocated to Laguna Beach around 1960. About six years later, he met UC Irvine professor Ted Brunner, who introduced him to the Greek education concept of Kalos Kagathos, which emphasizes physical distinction and nobility of mind.

Hopping renamed his foundation Kalos Kagathos. Cones said the foundation will continue to support aquatics.

“Very few Laguna Beach residents have left such a lasting indelible impression on this city,” the foundation’s announcement said.

“Since 1968, Bruce also has worked tirelessly through the Kalos Kagathos Foundation to ensure that Laguna Beach retains its historical legacy as an international destination promoting water sports, arts, and the environment.”

A celebration of Hopping’s life will be held June 14 at Thalia Street Beach in Laguna Beach at 4 p.m. and include a paddle out and swim.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/23/revered-aquatics-supporter-bruce-hopping-of-laguna-beach-dies-at-96/

Quick turnaround puts El Modena softball in the CIF quarterfinals

El Modena’s softball team went winless last season in league and encountered more setbacks this spring.

Yet on Thursday, the Vanguards will be among the Orange County teams playing in the CIF-Southern Section quarterfinals.

“I’m surprised how quickly we’ve been able to turn this around,” second-year coach Bobby Calderon said.

“Let’s see if we can keep it going.”

El Modena (15-14) will be at Don Lugo of Chino in the Division 3 quarterfinals.

Unranked in the final Division 3 poll, the Vanguards upset No. 2-seeded Crescenta Valley in the second round Tuesday. They beat host San Luis Obispo 7-3 in the first round.

El Modena’s trek this spring included an 0-5 showing at the Dugard Classic and winning a tiebreaker with Foothill for second place in the Crestview League.

The Vanguards lost their league opener against Yorba Linda 12-0.

“We’ve taken our lumps and grown,” said Calderon, a former assistant baseball coach at El Modena, his alma mater.

Calderon credits the leadership of utility player Emily Wagenbrenner for helping change the Vanguards’ direction. The Detroit Mercy-bound senior instilled confidence in her teammates, he said.

“She believed that we could do a lot of good things,” Calderon said of Wagenbrenner, a talented hitter who was selected to play in the Orange County coaches all-star game June 5.

Junior catcher Annie Gutierrez has been instrumental in helping the pitching staff improve, Calderon added.

The Vanguards operate by committee in the circle. The group includes senior Aspen Kyles, junior Katelin Reyes and freshman Gianna Pulido.

Gutierrez, an Azusa Pacific commit, also doubled in Gabby Saucedo with the winning run with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday. Saucedo, who plays right field, scored from first after a single.

El Modena’s postseason run is a reminder of the Vanguards’ proud past. They’ve reached three finals and won the Division 2 title in 2008.

Calderon wanted to restore the program’s reputation for friends and alumni but also build something for his three daughters, ages 9, 7 and 3. The two oldest play softball.

“I made an investment,” he said of taking over the program.

BUNT DELIVERS HUGE WIN

Laguna Hills, which tied for second in the tough South Coast League, used a squeeze bunt to edge visiting North Torrance 1-0 in a Division 2 second-round game Tuesday.

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, first-year coach Nikki Byron called for Jacci Crowe to bunt, which scored Teah Thies from third with the winning run.

Taylor Ward and Tanna Schweitzer combined on the shutout for the Hawks (17-7), who play host to No. 2-seed Newbury Park on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/23/quick-turnaround-puts-el-modena-softball-in-the-cif-quarterfinals/

Roundup: Pacifica continues to surprise, upsets Los Alamitos in Division 1 softball playoffs

Pacifica’s softball team struggled to be consistent during the regular season but has steadied itself in one of the most hazardous of postseason tournaments.

The Mariners’ results grew more impressive and surprising Tuesday as they upset second-seeded and host Los Alamitos 4-2 in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs.

“I wish I wasn’t (surprised) but I am,” Pacifica coach Mark Campbell said of the victory against the defending Division 1 champion.

“I’m in my 10th year and that’s one the biggest wins we’ve had because of the team we’re playing, where we’re playing. … and we haven’t been very consistent this year and needed people to step up and they did.”

Sophomore shortstop Alyssa Brito belted a three-run homer in the fifth inning and a solo homer in the seventh for Pacifica (20-10). Mariners junior pitcher Julia Cabral allowed three hits and two unearned runs in a complete game.

“She was strong the whole way through,” Campbell said of Cabral, who often split games with Eliza Sandoval.

Sophomore center fielder Carli Kloss helped support Cabral in the field by robbing Daisy Munoz of a home run.

With only one senior starter, Pacifica had its streak of nine consecutive Empire League titles snapped by Kennedy. But the Mariners will play host to Chino Hills in the quarterfinals Thursday.

“There’s some heart and competitiveness in (our youth),” Campbell said.

Ali Belarde went 2 for 4 with a triple and RBI for Los Alamitos (24-3).

 Also in Division 1:

Great Oak 8, Orange Lutheran 5 (9 innings): Catcher Sara Kinch hit a grand slam in the ninth as the visiting Wolfpack stunned the No. 4-seeded Lancers (26-5).

Mater Dei 9, Mission Viejo 5: Kelli Godin hit a bases-loaded triple in fifth to give the Monarchs a 7-3 lead at Thornton Park and the Trinity League champion advanced to the quarterfinals.

Norco 2, Santa Margarita 1: Paige Vargas held the top seed to four hits and struck out three but the Eagles fell.

In Division 2:

Aliso Niguel 2, Edison 1: Danielle Mandichak doubled in two runs with one out in the sixth inning and Carley Brown (18-7) escaped a jam in the seventh to lift the visiting Wolverines (21-8) into the quarterfinals.

Edison had runners at second and third with two outs in the seventh, but Brown induced a ground out back to the circle to seal the victory.

“I wanted this win so bad and it means a lot,” Brown said. “We want a home game (in the quarterfinals).”

Aliso Niguel plays at Martin Luther King of Riverside in the quarterfinals Thursday.

Mandichak’s opposite-field double to right chased Edison starter Jenna Bloom, who retired the first 11 batters and struck out 10 through five innings.

“We knew that we just had to stay in it and stay up(beat),” said Mandichak, who hit two home runs in Wolverines’ first-round win. “I knew that my team was down, so I needed to pick them up.”

Leadoff  batter Serena Starks went 3 for 3, scored and drew a walk for the Chargers (15-11).

In Division 6:

Rancho Mirage 15, Anaheim 3: The host Colonists struggled on defense with six errors against the fourth seed.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/22/pacifica-continues-to-surprise-upsets-los-alamitos-in-division-1-softball-playoffs/

JSerra defensive lineman Shawn Nielsen commits to San Diego State

All-Trinity League defensive lineman Shawn Nielsen (6-2, 260) of JSerra has committed to San Diego State, the junior recently announced on Twitter.

Nielsen is the first recruit from the class of 2019 to commit to the Aztecs, according to 247 Sports.

The high-energy and aggressive Nielsen was the Lions’ second-leading tackler last season with 48 and added eight sacks, which also ranked second on the team. He was selected first-team All-Trinity League last season.

Nielsen is the second JSerra player from the class of  2019 to commit, joining wide receiver MuNir McClain (USC).

He also is first top Orange County recruit to commit to San Diego State since Tesoro wide out Shane Coleman from the class of 2017. Coleman now plays tight end for the Aztecs.

JSerra won its first seven games last season before falling to Mater Dei in a duel of undefeated teams in Week 8. The Lions lost to Long Beach Poly in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs.

Please send football recruiting news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter   

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/22/jserra-defensive-lineman-shawn-nielsen-commits-to-san-diego-state/

Mater Dei duo of Sean Dollars, Jeremiah Criddell commit to Oregon

 

  • Rancho Cucamonga’s Sean Dollars avoids Norco’s Cody Hinson in a non-league high school football game in Norco on Friday September 1, 2017.

    Rancho Cucamonga’s Sean Dollars avoids Norco’s Cody Hinson in a non-league high school football game in Norco on Friday September 1, 2017.

  • Rancho Cucamonga’s Jeremiah Criddell (4) celebrates after scoring against Upland Friday night. Rancho Cucamonga hosts Upland Friday night October 6, 2017 in CIF prep football game at Rancho Cucamonga High School.  (Will Lester-Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

    Rancho Cucamonga’s Jeremiah Criddell (4) celebrates after scoring against Upland Friday night. Rancho Cucamonga hosts Upland Friday night October 6, 2017 in CIF prep football game at Rancho Cucamonga High School. (Will Lester-Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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The pipeline from Mater Dei’s football program to Oregon delivered two more prized recruits Sunday.

Running back Sean Dollars and defensive back Jeremiah Criddell each committed to the Ducks, joining a 2019 recruiting class that already features Mater Dei All-County linebacker Mase Funa and defensive lineman Keyon Ware-Hudson.

Dollars (5-10, 190) and Criddell (6-1, 180) transferred to Mater Dei this offseason from Rancho Cucamonga and will debut for Mater Dei this fall.

Ware-Hudson (6-2, 305) transferred to Mater Dei from Vista Murrieta but was injured this past season for the Monarchs.

The foursome will join former Mater Dei defensive linemen and brothers Andrew and Austin Faoliu at Oregon. Andrew is from the class of 2018 while Austin, a former first-team All-County selection, will be a sophomore this fall. He started two games last season for the Ducks and appeared in 12 games.

Please send football recruiting news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/21/mater-dei-duo-of-sean-dollars-jeremiah-criddell-commit-to-oregon/

Softball notes: Anaheim feeling like winner after extraordinary playoff run

Anaheim’s softball team and its high-powered offense plays host to a dangerous opponent Tuesday in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.

But even before the Colonists throw their first pitch against fourth-seeded Rancho Mirage (19-5), it will be hard not to look at them as winners.

Under the leadership of second-year coach Sam Favata, Anaheim has achieved significant history and been inspired during a culture change for the program.

“It’s been a great run,” Favata said Monday, “no matter what happens.”

Anaheim (16-12) won a third-place playoff game against Century in the Orange League to earn a spot in the Division 6 playoffs. The Colonists defeated Oxford Academy in the wild-card round 11-0 and Riverside County’s Nuview Bridge 18-7 in a first-round game to collect two victories in the same postseason for the first time.

The team also tied the school record for victories in a season with its win Thursday.

Earlier in the spring, Anaheim captured the La Quinta tournament for its first tournament championship.

The Colonists’ offense has helped fuel the breakthrough.

Third baseman Melanie Cervantes is hitting .578 with 14 home runs and a staggering 65 RBIs. The junior bats third, one spot ahead of catcher Felicity Zachry, who has six home runs.

Freshman leadoff batter and center fielder Jayleena Perez is hitting .443, which ties Zachry for second on the team.

“Our offense has been great all year,” Favala said.

Perez, along with right fielder Rachel Opyrachal, played on the Colonists’ girls basketball team that reached the semifinals and SoCal Regionals in the winter.

Junior Carol Rodarte is Anaheim’s ace and takes a 14-12 record with a 2.86 ERA into Tuesday’s 3:15 p.m. game.

Much of the program’s success traces back to Favata, 58. He responded to an advertised listing for the Colonists’ coaching vacancy and has brought a plethora of experience to his first stab as the head coach for a high school softball team.

Favata is the former baseball coach at Woodbridge and Edgewood of West Covina. He was the leadoff hitter on Cal State Fullerton’s 1979 national championship baseball team guided by Augie Garrido.

“We dedicated our season to Augie,” said Favata of his mentor, who passed away in March. “It’s just amazing.”

Favata also has assembled a coaching staff that includes Randy Reyes, Alyssa Gutierrez and junior varsity coach Dave Armbruster.

Favata also knows softball. He coached his daughter, Kindy, now at Fullerton College, and his wife, Sandra, played at Long Beach State.

The coach also has collaborated well with school, district and boosters to help upgrade Anaheim’s facilities this spring. The team has new dugouts, outfield fencing and a pitching machine thanks to district and school support and donations.

Favata credits Al Jabbar, president of the Anaheim Union High School District’s board of trustees, and principal Robert Saldivar for the improvements.

But he also is quick to acknowledge his players.

“I love these girls no matter what happens (Tuesday),” he said. “I love how they never give up.”

PITCHING DUEL

The county’s best pitching duel Tuesday might be between Aliso Niguel junior Carley Brown (BYU commit) and Edison junior Jenna Bloom (Arkansas commit) in the second round of the Division 2 playoffs.

“It will be an awesome matchup,” Wolverines coach Alan Caouette said of the showdown at Edison.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/21/softball-notes-inspired-playoff-run-has-anaheim-feeling-like-winners/

Orange County girls athlete of the week: El Toro’s Savannah Stocker

The girls athlete of the week for the Orange County Register on Monday, May 21:

Name: Savannah Stocker

School: El Toro

Sport: Diving

Year: Junior

Noteworthy: Stocker became the first Orange County girl to capture the diving title at the CIF State championships, scoring 507.55 points for her 11-dive list on the 1-meter springboard in Fresno. She took the lead for good in the eighth round and added the state title to her first crown at the CIF-SS Division 1 finals. “I’ve really been working hard for it, really wanting it,” Stocker said of the state title. “(My) slow start made me have to work for it more, made me want it more. It fired me up … to do better on the rest of my dives.”

Voting: Athletes of the week are chosen by the Southern California News Group staff. You can vote for Southern California’s Athletes of the Week at the SoCal Prep Legends website at socalpreplegends.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/21/orange-county-girls-athlete-of-the-week-el-toros-savannah-stocker/

Inspiring Canyon High senior Connor Ewing passes away from cancer

Inspiring Canyon senior water polo player and swimmer Connor Ewing, who was battling cancer for the third time, died Sunday. "He just has this incredible fight," Canyon coach Steve Anderson said last month. (Photo courtesy of Ewing Family)
Inspiring Canyon senior water polo player and swimmer Connor Ewing, who was battling cancer for the third time, died Sunday. “He just has this incredible fight,” Canyon coach Steve Anderson said last month. (Photo courtesy of Ewing Family)

Inspiring Canyon High water polo player and swimmer Connor Ewing, who beat cancer twice as a child and had been fighting the disease for a third time since August, died Sunday, his mother, Suzie, said.

“Connor passed away at 12:07 this afternoon,” she wrote Sunday in a Facebook post. “We don’t know what else to say right now. We are heartbroken.”

The post also included an image of two hearts with the words, “Some only dream of angels. I held one in my arms.”

Suzie Ewing said Monday that her son’s form of cancer, Neuroblastoma, spread and “took over” the 18-year-old from Anaheim Hills.

“Thankfully we were all able to be there with him,” Suzie said. “In the last 24 hours before he died, many of his teammates from the last two years came to say goodbye.

“Some even stayed in the hospital until the very end. He was part of a truly amazing team.”

Ewing played water polo and swam at Canyon during his first three years. But after being cancer-free for nine years and numerous follow-up exams, the Anaheim Hills resident became ill in mid-August, just before the start of the boys water polo season.

Neuroblastoma was back for the third time. The cancer often arises from the adrenal glands and most commonly affects children age 5 or younger.

Ewing was 6 when he first encountered the cancer. A second bout arrived about two years later.

He beat the cancer both times. After the second victory, he fell in love with water polo. He was profiled by USA Water Polo in a Hardcore Moment sponsored by the Navy Seals.

“He’s definitely a fighter,” his mother said last month.

The Canyon High community, USA Water Polo and the friends of the Ewings have been rallying behind Connor in his latest fight, which included plans by his mother and father, Bill, for a bold radiation treatment in San Francisco. His body didn’t respond to multiple chemotherapy sessions.

Friends started a gofundme page to help the family with expenses.

Ewing followed his older brother, Brennan, to player water polo at Canyon. His sister, Delanney is an age-group water polo player for the SOCAL club.

Canyon water polo coaches admired Ewing’s fighting spirit.

“The disease may have worn down his body but could not touch his spirit,” Canyon coach Celena Photopulos wrote in an article posted on the Canyon website. “Connor battled to his very last breath.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/21/inspiring-canyon-high-senior-connor-ewing-passes-away-from-cancer/

Winners, top Orange County finishers at CIF State swimming, diving champs

BOYS SWIMMING

CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships

At Clovis West High, Clovis West Olympic Complex

Finals

Team results –1. Northwood 157, 2. Oak Ridge 150

Diving (1M) — 1. Little (River Valley) 558.10, others: 3. Kanan (Esp) 515.85, 13. Leavell (SM) 431.65

200-yard medley relay – 1. Oak Ridge 1:31.32, 2. Northwood 1:31.46, others: 4. AN 1:32.83

200 free – 1. Sancov (Northgate) 1:34.13 – new meet record, old record 1:34.25 Sancov (Northgate) 1:34.25 2017, others: 14. Lou (Nor) 1:40.13

200 IM – 1. Jhong (Amador Vly) 1:46.78, others: 5. Munoz (Nor) 1:48.75

50 free – 1. Daily (SanRamon) 20.07, others: 5. Slusiewicz (AN) 20.42, 8. Martinez (Ser) 20.86

100 fly – 1. Hu (Harker) 47.14, others: 7. Munoz (Nor) 48.48, 15. Sim (Nor) 49.87

100 free – 1. Finello (Viewpoint) 44.18, others: 5. Hitchens (Nor) 45.36, 10. Slusiewisz (AN) 45.57, 11. Lou (Nor) 45.61

500 free – 1. Koustik (CC) 4:19.14 – new state, old record David (Foothill/NCS) 4:21.66 2017,

200 free relay – 1. Bellarmine 1:22.34 new meet record, old record 1:22.74 Oak Ridge 2017, 2. SRV 1:22.52. 3. Crespi 1:22.62, others: 6. Nor 1:23.79, 11. Ser 1:24.83

100 back – 1. Cooper (Foot/NCS) 47.08, others: 16. Cho (AN) 51.37

100 breast – 1. Dillard (Oak Ridge) 53.96 – new meet record, old record Cullen (Serra/CCS) 54.10 2018p, others: 5. Wu (Nor) 55.53, 6. Koustik (CC) 55.84, 11. Trichery (AN) 55.60

400 free relay – 1. Bellarmine 3:01.04 others: 3. Nor 3:02.83

GIRLS SWIMMING

CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships

At Clovis West High, Clovis West Olympic Complex

Finals

Team results –1. Santa Margarita 266.5, 2. Monte Vista 159

Diving (1M) – 1. Stocker (ET) 507.55, 2. Earley (AN) 494.55, 3. Barnes (SM) 480.95,

200-yard medley relay – 1. Davis 1:41.31, new meet record, old record Ventura 1:41.76 2017, 2. Monte Vista 1:41.71 – others: 3. SM 1:44.10, 11. MD 1:46.35

200 free – 1. Heckman (Granada) 1:46.49, 2. E. Ristic (SM) 1:46.81, others: 5. Degn (SM) 1:49.05, 8. Shelton (SM) 1:53.00

200 IM – 1. Hartman (Monte Vista) 1:55.95, others: 6. Isa Odgers (SM) 2:01.96, Shelton (SM) DQ 1:58.44-touch, 15. Sommer (VP) 2:05.52

50 free – 1. Fackenthal (Country Day) 22.45 – ties meet record, ties record 22.45 Fackenthal (Country Day) 22.45 2017, others: 2t. Delgado (SM) 22.88, 7. Brenner (CL) 23.27

100 fly – 1. Kinsey (RioAmericano) 52.98, 2. Delgado (SM) 53.80

100 free – 1. Fackenthal (CountryDay/Sac) 48.43 – new meet record, old record Fackenthal (CountryDay/SAC) 48.82 2018p, others: 3. E. Ristic (SM) 49.68, 10. Brenner (CL) 50.88

500 free — 1. Heckman (Granada) 4:44.04, 2. Oliva (SaintFrancis) 4:44.26, others: 4. Su (MD) 4:49.87, 9. Degn (SM) 4:49.62, 11. Wright (Irv) 4:57.11, 13. Fimbres (Son) 4:59.16, 16. McKendry (AN) 5:01.98

200 free relay – 1. SM (Delgado, Hoffmann, Degn, Shelton) 1:32.44 – new meet record, old record, SM 1:32.90 2018p

100 back – 1. Clark (Granite Bay) 53.67, others: 12. Duncan (Irv) 56.75

100 breast – 1. Hartman (Monte Vista) 59.66 new meet record, old record 1:00.02 Hartman (Monte Vista) 1:00.02 2018p, 7. I. Odgers (SM) 1:03.15, 9. Nugent (SM) 1:03.44, 13. Woolfenden (SM) 1:03.86

400 free relay – 1. SM 3:19.56 (Delgado, Degn, E. Ristic, Shelton) – new meet record, old record Crean Lutheran 3:20.03 2015, others: 15. Irvine 3:32.54

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/19/winners-top-orange-county-finishers-at-cif-state-swimming-diving-champs/

Viewpoint’s Thomas Finello blazes to CIF State swimming title

FRESNO – Viewpoint sprinter Thomas Finello struggled to decide Saturday which of his two exciting achievements at the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships was best.

But it didn’t matter because both helped the senior cap his high school career in spectacular fashion.

The USC-bound Finello unleashed a dramatic personal-best time in the 100-yard freestyle and captured his first state crown by blazing a school-record time of 44.18 seconds at Clovis West High.

Finello sliced almost a full second off his lifetime-best — a 45.09 from his victory last weekend in the CIF-SS Division 3 finals — to touch first by two tenths of a second ahead of runner-up Max Saunders of Bellarmine of San Jose.

In the end, Finelllo picked winning a state title over his personal-best time as his proudest achievement at the fourth-year meet.

“State champ (is) something that I really wanted to end my high school career with,” he said. “It’s crazy. I shocked myself.”

Viewpoint coach Greg Bisheff called one-second drops rare for a 100 free.

“Very unusual,” the coach said. “That tells you how talented he is, how naturally-gifted he is. Good for him.”

Finello’s victory helped highlight the efforts from Los Angeles-area swimmers.

Crespi and Loyola finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in boys meet, won by CIF-SS Division 1 rival Northwood. The Cubs competed without a senior, so their future looks bright.

Los Osos’ CIF-SS Division 2 champion girls helped lead a small Inland Empire fleet, finishing 17th.

The girls 500 was one of the region’s best events. Los Osos’ junior Casslyn Treydte finished sixth and medaled with a time of 4:52.97.

In the consolation final, sophomore Liberty Williams of Redlands East Valley, who edged Treydte in the CIF-SS Division 2 500, placed a close second to Santa Margarita’s Mackenzie Degn to take 10th overall with a 4:51.18.

Treydte also placed sixth in the 200 free with a 1:49.30.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/19/viewpoints-thomas-finello-blazes-to-cif-state-swimming-title/

Santa Margarita girls, Northwood boys win titles at CIF State Swimming and Diving Finals

  • Santa Margarita’s girls 200-yard free relay, from left, of Anicka Delgado, Samantha Shelton, Mackenzie Degn and Marriott Hoffmann won a meet-record 1;32.44 at the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships in Fresno on Saturday. (Photo by Dan Albano, Orange County Register)

    Santa Margarita’s girls 200-yard free relay, from left, of Anicka Delgado, Samantha Shelton, Mackenzie Degn and Marriott Hoffmann won a meet-record 1;32.44 at the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships in Fresno on Saturday. (Photo by Dan Albano, Orange County Register)

  • Northwood’s boys team, led by six close-knit seniors, won the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships in Fresno on Saturday. (Photo by Dan Albano, Orange County Register)

    Northwood’s boys team, led by six close-knit seniors, won the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships in Fresno on Saturday. (Photo by Dan Albano, Orange County Register)

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  • Santa Margarita’s girls swim team scored a record 266.5 points to capture the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships in Fresno on Saturday. (Photo by Dan Albano, Orange County Register)

    Santa Margarita’s girls swim team scored a record 266.5 points to capture the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships in Fresno on Saturday. (Photo by Dan Albano, Orange County Register)

  • Calvary Chapel’s Andrew Koustik captured the 500-yard free in a meet-record at the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships in Fresno on Saturday. (Photo by Dan Albamo, Orange County Register)

    Calvary Chapel’s Andrew Koustik captured the 500-yard free in a meet-record at the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships in Fresno on Saturday. (Photo by Dan Albamo, Orange County Register)

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FRESNO – Santa Margarita’s girls swimming team has dominated CIF Southern Section waters for five years running.

Northwood’s boys recently completed their rise by racing to the school’s first section title.

But on Saturday, the Division 1 champions set their sights on conquering the Golden State, arriving at the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships at full strength for the first time.

There was no stopping Orange County’s reign.

Santa Margarita and Northwood swept the team titles at Clovis West High, highlighting a finals session that featured two meet records by the Eagles girls relays and victories from Calvary Chapel’s Andrew Koustik in the 500-yard freestyle and El Toro’s Savannah Stocker in girls diving.

Santa Margarita again dominated, winning its first state title by scoring an all-gender record 266.5 points to outdistance runner-up Monte Vista at 159.

“It’s a culmination of all the work they’ve done,” Santa Margarita co-coach Ron Blanc said of his squad. “It’s about the Santa Margarita swimming family. … It’s been building for a long time.”

Northwood scored 157 points to edge Oak Ridge by just seven points. The Timberwolves sealed their first state by rallying to finish third in the 400-yard freestyle relay behind anchor Hunter Hitchens.

The senior teamed with Shawn Lou, Henry Wu and Gabe Munoz to bring the Timberwolves to the wall in 3 minutes, 2.83 seconds.

“We’ve stuck together,” Hitchens said of the team’s seniors. “It shows we got a lot of heart.”

The meet, in its fourth year, featured a record 885 athletes from 226 schools, and delivered several records, including Koustik’s 500 free and Santa Margarita’s girls 200 and 400 free relays.

The Eagles’ 200 free relay of Anicka Delgado, Marriott Hoffmann, Mackenzie Degn and Samantha Shelton clocked a meet-record 1:32.44.

Delgado, Degn, Ella Ristic and Shelton teamed to claim the 400 free relay in a meet-record 3:19.56.

The only damper for the Eagles was Shelton’s disqualification in the 200 individual medley for reaching toward her head during the butterfly leg. The two-time Register swimmer of the year touched in a school-record 1:58.44.

Koustik achieved his goal of breaking the 4:20 barrier in the 500 and smashed through with a lifetime-best and meet-record 4 minutes, 19.14 seconds.

“That’s insane,” Koustik said of the victory. “That felt really easy.”

The Texas-bound senior finishes fourth in county history in the 500. Only Grant Shouts (4:12.87), Olympian Larsen Jensen (4:16.93) and Nick Norman (4:17.00) have been faster than Koustik.

Northwood’s boys showed their desire in the meet-opening medley relay, rallying for second. Gabe Munoz (hip) again race and used a crutch between races to keep weight off his injury.

When Stocker finally achieved her long-sought goal in the diving championships, she hugged her parents and cried.

“I was very emotional,” the El Toro diver said after capturing the 1-meter springboard competition at Clovis West.

“I’ve been working for this for so long. Since freshman year, I’ve been wanting the gold, so I came in really wanting it today, (wanting to) keep the roll on from CIF and state qualifiers.

“For me to finally get it, it meant a lot.”

Stocker, the reigning CIF-SS Division 1 champion, shook off a fourth-place finish last season and a third-place award as a freshman to score 507.55 points lead an Orange County sweep of the top three places in the 11-dive competition.

Stocker became the first Orange County girl to win the state meet, a fact that quickly put a smile on her face.

“Wow! Really?” Stocker said. “That’s exciting. It’s one thing winning and then hearing that makes it even more special. … I feel very honored.”

Aliso Niguel freshman Brooke Earley (494.55) and Santa Margarita sophomore Alexandra Barnes (480.95) placed second and third, respectively, to give Orange County a sweep at the top of the awards podium.

On Friday, Esperanza junior Noah Kanan placed third in boys diving.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/19/santa-margarita-girls-northwood-boys-win-titles-at-cif-state-swimming-and-diving-finals/

El Toro’s Savannah Stocker becomes first Orange County girl to win state diving title

FRESNO When Savannah Stocker finally achieved her long-sought goal Saturday in the CIF State Swimmig and Diving championships, she hugged her parents and cried.

“I was very emotional,” the El Toro diver said after capturing the 1-meter springboard competition at Clovis West.

“I’ve been working for this for so long. Since freshman year, I’ve been wanting the gold, so I came in really wanting it today, (wanting to) keep the roll on from CIF and state qualifiers.

“For me to finally get it, it meant a lot.”

Stocker, the reigning CIF-SS Division 1 champion, shook off a fourth-place finish last season and a third-place award as a freshman to score 507.55 points lead an Orange County sweep of the top-three places in the 11-dive competition.

Stocker became the first Orange County girl to win the state meet, a fact that quickly put a smile on her face.

“Wow! Really?” Stocker said. “That’s exciting. It’s one thing winning and then hearing that makes it even more special. … I feel very honored.”

Aliso Niguel freshman Brooke Earley (494.55) and Santa Margarita sophomore Alexandra Barnes (480.95) placed second and third, respectively, to give Orange County a sweep at the top of the awards podium.

On Friday, Esperanza junior Noah Kanan placed third in the boys meet.

Stocker overcame a slow start to average a meet-best 7.78 per dive. She clinched the title on her 11th and final dive, an inward dive pike that scored two 9.5 and four 9.0s.

Earley, the daughter of former Mission Viejo High and Mission Viejo Nadadores star diver Brian Earley, scored four 8.0s on her final dive, a forward 2 ½ somersault pike.

Barnes led after the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds before a slight miss in eighth. But she recovered to finish strong.

“I definitely had to fight hard,” Stocker said.

BREAKING NEWS

FRESNO El Toro’s Savannah Stocker became the first Orange County girl to capture a diving title at the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships, leading a first-second-third sweep by the county Saturday at Clovis West.

Stocker, a junior, scored 507.55 points to capture the 11-dive competition on the 1-meter springboard.

She was surprised to learn that she made Orange County history.

“Wow! Really?” Stocker said. “That’s exciting. It’s one thing winning and then hearing that makes it even more special. … I feel very honored.”

She narrowly held off Aliso Niguel freshman Brooke Earley (494.55) and outdistanced Santa Margarita sophomore Alexandra Barnes (480.95).

Earley is the daughter of former Mission Viejo Nadadores and Mission Viejo High star diver and two-time Olympic Trials qualifier Brian Earley.

The fourth-year meet attracted a record 885 athletes.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/19/el-toros-savannah-stocker-becomes-first-o-c-girl-to-win-state-diving-title/

Esperanza diver Noah Kanan places third at state, Santa Margarita girls set record

Esperanza diver Noah Kanan and Santa Margarita’s girls sprint relay highlighted Orange County’s opening day at the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships in Fresno on Friday.

Kanan, a junior, placed third in the 1-meter springboard competition with an 11-dive score of 515.85.

Senior Rylan Little of River Valley won the competition with a score of 558.10.

In the swimming prelims, Santa Margarita’s girls 200-yard freestyle relay of Anicka Delgado, Marriott Hoffmann, Mackenzie Degn and Samantha Shelton set a meet-record with a time of 1 minute, 32.90 seconds.

The group won the Division 1 title at the CIF-Southern Section finals last weekend in Riverside in an Orange County and meet record 1:31.47.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/19/esperanza-diver-noah-kanan-places-third-at-state-santa-margarita-girls-set-record/

Mater Dei duo of Elias Ricks, Michael Martinez offered by Alabama

Alabama signed Mater Dei All-County left tackle Tommy Brown in December.

Now, the reigning national champions are working quickly to keep their connection with the Monarchs’ high school football powerhouse going.

The Crimson Tide have offered rising sophomore defensive back Elias Ricks (6-3, 185) and junior tight end Michael Martinez (6-6, 240) in the past seven days.

Ricks, a cornerback, announced his offer from Alabama on May 11 while Martinez posted news of his offer on Thursday night.

Both players are racking up other offers but Alabama has entered the recruiting race.

 

Please send football recruiting news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/18/mater-dei-duo-of-elias-ricks-michael-martinez-offered-by-alabama/

Harvard-Westlake beats Peninsula for back-to-back Division 1 tennis titles

CLAREMONT – Harvard-Westlake of Studio City won the early exchanges with crisp shots and cruised past rival Peninsula on Friday to capture its second consecutive CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis title.

No. 1 and No. 2 singles players Stanley Morris and Corey Marley each rallied in the first round as the No. 2-seeded Wolverines cooled off No. 4 Peninsula for a 13-5 victory at The Claremont Club.

  • Harvard-Westlake’s Sacha Pritzker hits behind his doubles partner Timothy Li during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Harvard-Westlake’s Sacha Pritzker hits behind his doubles partner Timothy Li during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Harvard-Westlake’s Stanley Morris celebrates his victory over Peninsula’s Sahm Irvine during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Harvard-Westlake’s Stanley Morris celebrates his victory over Peninsula’s Sahm Irvine during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Peninsula’s Sahm Irvine hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Peninsula’s Sahm Irvine hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Harvard-Westlake’s Stanley Morris hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Harvard-Westlake’s Stanley Morris hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Peninsula’s Nabeel Khan serves behind his partner Adil Khan during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Peninsula’s Nabeel Khan serves behind his partner Adil Khan during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Harvard-Westlake’s Stanley Morris hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Harvard-Westlake’s Stanley Morris hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Peninsula’s Sahm Irvine hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Peninsula’s Sahm Irvine hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Harvard-Westlake’s Stanley Morris hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Harvard-Westlake’s Stanley Morris hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Harvard-Westlake’s Stanley Morris hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Harvard-Westlake’s Stanley Morris hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Peninsula’s Sahm Irvine hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Peninsula’s Sahm Irvine hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 1 boys tennis final between Harvard-Westlake and Peninsula at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Harvard-Westlake (22-1) beat Peninsula 12-6 earlier in the season and 10-8 in the final last season.

The Wolverines won their first back-to-back crowns since their undefeated seasons of 2004-05 but this squad will be remembered for something else.

“The fight of this team, the grit and desire has been something really nice to witness,” Harvard-Westlake coach Chris Simpson said.

“My No. 1 singles and No. 2 singles both coming back in the first round was massive, but that’s kind of been the story all season.”

In the marquee duel of the section finals, the Middlebury-bound Morris overcame a 4-3 deficit to beat edge UC San Diego-bound Irvine Sahm 7-5 before a large crowd.

The fiery Morris posted 6-0, 6-3 victories in the final two rounds.

Marley, a sophomore, rallied to win his first-round match, 7-5.

Sophomore David Arkow helped Harvard-Westlake capture seven of nine singles matches.

The Wolverines received two victories from its Ojai Tournament doubles championship team of Sacha Pritzker and Timothy Le before they were substituted. The doubles team of Jonah Dickson and Phillip and Otero also won twice.

“It’s tough to play Peninsula again,” Simpson said. “Peninsula had a very good semifinal.”

On Wednesday, Peninsula (19-4) posted a 10-8 upset against top-seeded University, the only team to beat Harvard-Westlake.

“We lost some real super-stars last year and I don’t think people expected us to do this well,” Peninsula coach Mike Hoeger said. “We beat University. That was a big, emotional win. … It took a little out of us. We didn’t bring it emotionally today. We didn’t have the energy.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/18/harvard-westlake-beats-peninsula-for-back-to-back-division-1-tennis-titles/

Promising Troy boys tennis team falls to Ventura in Division 3 final

  • Troy’s Andy Hernandez serves during the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Troy’s Andy Hernandez serves during the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Troy’s Andy Hernandez hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Troy’s Andy Hernandez hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Troy’s Andy Hernandez hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Troy’s Andy Hernandez hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Troy’s Andy Hernandez hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Troy’s Andy Hernandez hits the ball during the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Troy’s Gordon Lin hits behind his partner James Lucero during the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Troy’s Gordon Lin hits behind his partner James Lucero during the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Troy head coach Ali Arredondo holds the Runner-up trophy after the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Troy head coach Ali Arredondo holds the Runner-up trophy after the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Troy head coach Ali Arredondo poses with the Runner-up trophy and her team after the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Troy head coach Ali Arredondo poses with the Runner-up trophy and her team after the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Members of the Troy boys tennis team look at the Runner-up trophy after the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Members of the Troy boys tennis team look at the Runner-up trophy after the CIF-SS Division 3 boys tennis final between Troy and Ventura at the Claremont Club in Claremont on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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CLAREMONT – Youthful talent and teamwork carried Troy’s top-seeded boys tennis team to the CIF-SS Division 3 final on Friday.

Unfortunately for the Warriors and star freshmen Andy Hernandez and Colin Kang, another talented young squad was waiting at The Claremont Club.

No. 2 Ventura swept all nine singles matches en route to a 14-4 triumph against the Freeway League champion to claim its first section title.

Neither school played a senior in the showdown, signaling a promising future for both sides.

“We’ll have a really strong team next year and we’re planning, of course, to get better and get even further,” Troy junior and team captain James Lucero said. “(Our) talent was definitely there (this season).”

Ventura (19-2) used the trio of junior Max Cohen and freshmen Ty Cohen and Hunter Leija to sweep singles and emerge from the shadows of its neighbor, Santa Barbara, a traditional power in boys tennis.

Hernandez put up a fight at No. 1 singles against Cohen, rallying from a 5-2 deficit to tie the score at 6 and force a tiebreaker. The Freeway League’s singles champion lost the tiebreaker 7-3 then fell in the next two rounds 6-3, 7-5.

Kang, the Freeway League singles runner-up, and sophomore Liam Pinson couldn’t turn the tide either. Pinson also suffered a narrow 7-5 loss.

“The whole season, singles pretty much carried us,” second-year Troy coach Ali Arredondo said. “(Ventura) had strong singles but there were some close matches. … Other schools (we played) didn’t have the depth that Ventura did.”

The doubles team of Lucero and junior Gordon Lin helped highlight the match for Troy (20-3) by winning two of their three sets.

Troy’s doubles teams of Tanmay Singhal-Josh Qian and sophomores Soham Bose-Tim Qin each won one set.

While the loss stung the Warriors, they took comfort in their journey. Last season, Troy lost in the second round to Thacher in the Division 3 playoffs.

“I’m beyond proud of these kids,” Arredondo said. “We’re still going to be strong next year. … Maybe we’ll be here again.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/18/promising-troy-boys-tennis-team-falls-to-ventura-in-division-3-final/

Santa Margarita girls, Northwood boys lead O.C. fleet for state swimming meet

Santa Margarita’s girls and Northwood’s boys, fresh of winning titles last weekend in Riverside, will be full-strength contenders this weekend in Fresno for the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships.

The two-day meet kicks off Friday at Clovis West with boys diving at 8:30 a.m. and the swimming prelims at 2:30 p.m. Esperanza diver Noah Kanan the county’s highest-seeded male diver in the meet.

On Saturday, the girls diving meet at 8:30 a.m. sets the stage for the 2:30 championship finals.

El Toro junior diver Savannah Stocker is the county’s top-qualified diver.

Santa Margarita co-coach Rich Blanc and Northwood boys coach Alex Nieto each said Thursday that their teams will be full-strength for the fourth-year championships. Nieto said Gabe Munoz (hip) will continue to race.

Both teams, along with Texas-bound swimmer Andrew Koustik of Calvary Chapel, are among the top O.C. storylines for the meet.

The meet again hasn’t attracted all the top talent from the county but Santa Margarita’s girls and Northwoood’s boys are coming off impressive titles at the CIF-SS Division 1 championships.

Santa Margarita features several high-profile swimmers such as Samantha Shelton, Ella Ristic, Anicka Delgado and Isa Odgers. The Harvard-bound Shelton will be interesting to watch in the 200-yard individual medley. Her lifetime-best is much faster than she clocked at the section finals.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/18/santa-margarita-girls-northwood-boys-lead-o-c-fleet-for-state-swimming-meet/