SBVC kicker headed to Dixie State

San Bernardino Valley College sophomore kicker Mike Langston has signed a letter of intent with Division II Dixie State College of St. George, Utah.

He becomes the second Wolverine to join the program following sophomore offensive lineman Thad Quist who signed with that school in December.

Langston (Riverside Ramona HS) finished first in the American Division Mountain Conference in punting, averaging 36.7 yards per punt. He is a four-time conference Special Teams/All-Purpose Player of the Week. He had a long of 60 yards and had 13 downed inside the 20 yard line.

Dixie State competes in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and are coming off a 4-7 season.

Cal Poly Pomona men move up to fourth

The Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team moved up from ninth to fourth in this week’s West Region poll released earlier in the week. So the Broncos are sitting pretty with just two weeks to go.

Coach Greg Kamansky said Sunday that he thought his team would be sixth so the jump was a pleasant surprise. It was deserved though. There was no reason for the Broncos to drop from seventh to ninth the previous week when they won both games.

Credit huge wins over Cal State San Bernardino and UC San Diego for the sruge.

The Coyotes dropped out after losing both games to the Broncos and Tritons last week.
Coach Jeff Oliver’s team is in danger of missing the tournament for the for the first time since 2006 and just the second time since 1998.

The Coyotes need to do no worse than win four of the last five and probably need to win a couple of games in the conference tournament to move on.

The Cal Poly Pomona women are seventh, one spot behind a Domingues Hills team it beat twice but it lost twice last week as well.

The top eight teams qualify for the west Region tournaments at sites yet to be determined.

Redlands’ Harp named top swimmer

The University of Redlands swimming & diving team’s freshman Tyler Harp (San Bernardino, CA) garnered Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Athlete of the Week honors today following his dominance at the 2009 SCIAC Swimming and Diving Championships from Feb. 12-14 in Long Beach.

 

Harp torched the program record book, breaking three individual records while having a hand in four relay records. The only event in which he did not walk away a school record holder was in the 50 freestyle as he finished the event just .08 seconds behind sophomore Miran Terzic (Mostar, Bosna i Hercegovina) in an NCAA “A” qualifying time of 20.39.

 

Additionally, he won the 100 freestyle in an NCAA “A” qualifying mark of 44.97 and registered “B” marks with a first-place 100 butterfly (50.02) and a lead-off split of 1:40.69 in the 800 freestyle relay.

 

He served as a part of the winning 200 freestyle relay (1:23.16), the winning 200 medley relay (1:34.34) and the winning 400 freestyle relay (3:02.46). Also, he partook in the 800 freestyle relay (6:54.35) that took second overall. Each of his relay contingents captured NCAA “B” qualifying marks.

 

For his successes, the conference head coaches named him the men’s SCIAC Athlete of the Year, edging out worthy candidates such as his teammate, sophomore Alec Alders (Los Angeles, CA), and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges’ Vincent Pai.

 

Harp, as well as a few additional Bulldog swimmers, will compete next in the 2009 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships, which occurs from March 18-21 in Minneapolis, MN.

 

The SCIAC Athlete of the Week is voted on by the eight conference sports information directors on a weekly basis.

 

Stockton to host CCAA softball tourney

WALNUT CREEK – The California Collegiate Athletic Association, in partnership with the Stockton Sports Commission, will hold the 2009 Softball Championship Tournament at Arnaiz Field in Stockton, April 30 – May 2, CCAA Commissioner Robert J. Hiegert announced on Thursday.

The double-elimination tournament will pit the top four teams in the CCAA’s final regular-season standings; with the winner being tabbed the conference’s champion and automatic entrant into the NCAA Division II Tournament.

This season marks the first time that the CCAA Tournament will be held at a pre-determined neutral site.

“The CCAA is extremely excited to join the Stockton Sports Commission in this venture,” Hiegert said. “We are confident that this will be a first-class event at a top-notch facility and will be an enjoyable and memorable experience for the student-athletes to showcase their talents on a neutral field.

“The City of Stockton and Stockton Sports Commission have embraced this tournament and we look forward to the support of the local community,” Hiegert said. “A pre-determined site enables us to better market the event and allows the CCAA membership and fans to make advanced plans.”

“We are excited and proud to be the host of the 2009 CCAA Softball Championships,” Don Miller, Director, Stockton Sports Commission, said.  “Stockton is fast becoming a sports destination and having this event in our All-America City is a major accomplishment that adds to our list of first-class sports events.”

This season marks the third year of the CCAA Softball Championship Tournament. The first two were held at HSU Softball Field on the campus of Humboldt Sate. The host Lumberjacks captured the 2007 title and Cal State Stanislaus was crowned the 2008 champion.

The 2009 CCAA Softball Tournament will open on Thursday, April 30, with games scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Three games, including two elimination contests, are slated for Friday, May 1, with game times of 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The championship game will played on Saturday, May 2, beginning at noon. A possible second title game, if necessary, will follow 30 minutes later.

The CCAA, an NCAA Division II member, is committed to developing students and communities by actively engaging in shared experiences. With that in mind, the CCAA will host a clinic for local American Softball Association (ASA) teams on Saturday morning.

For more information, visit the CCAA website at www.goccaa.org.

SBVC basketball teams near sweep of titles

The men’s and women’s basketball teams at San Bernardino Valley College are close to doing something that isn’t easy to accomplish – win Foothill Conference titles the same season.

Both teams have two games remaining in the regular season and they’re in first place. Both will host Rio Hondo on Wednesday and travel to Mt. San Jacinto on Saturday.

The women (20-9, 11-1) are in first place alone, one game ahead of Antelope Valley. Coach Sue Crebbin’s team needs to win just one of its last two games because it already has the tiebreaker against Antelope having beaten that team twice.

It would be a repeat for the Wolverines but the feat is more noteworthy this season because they graduated their top six players from last year’s team. The team is led by sophomore point guard Eisha Shepperd, who should be the easy choice as conference MVP.

On the men’s side SBVC (23-8, 10-2) is tied with Mt. San Jacinto. But that issue will be decided on Saturday when they go head-to-head, assuming neither slips up on Wednesday.

Coach Quincy Brewer has just one sophomore on the squad, to go with 12 freshmen. So that team should be commended as well.

If the Wolverines do sweep titles it would be the first time a school has done so since Antelope Valley managed the feat in 2004.

Former Chaffey star excelling at Kentucky school

Former Miller High School and Chaffey College basketball player T.J.
Smith is finishing his career in strong fashion. The 6-foot-2 guard
is averaging 15 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists at Division II
Kentucky Wesleyan University (16-6) in Owensboro, Ky.

Smith sat out the fall quarter and returned 13 games ago. His best
outing came earlier this month against Wisconsin-Parkside when the
tallied 40 points on 16-for-25 shooting from the field.

Smith narrowly missed a triple double. He also had nine assists and
eight rebounds in the same game.

He was the Foothill Conference Player of the Year (2005-06 season)
when he played for Jeff Klein at Chaffey.

UCR pitcher singled out

Baseball America released its 2009 Preseason All-America Teams Monday morning, and Highlanders relief pitcher Joseph Kelly was honored with a Third Team selection. The Preseason All-America Teams are voted on by Major League Baseball scouting directors.

Kelly enters his junior season with UC Riverside tapped as the team’s primary closer for the third straight year. His 12 career saves rank fourth on the Highlanders’ list, and the Corona, CA native has a 5-1 record in 39 career appearances.

As a freshman, Kelly appeared in 22 games, posting a 1.32 earned run average with six saves earning Freshman All-American honors in the process from both Collegiate Baseball and Ping!. Rivals.com named him to its All-America Second Team, and the Big West named him Conference Freshman Pitcher of the Year.

The Highlanders open the 2009 collegiate baseball season this Friday, February 20 at Cal. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 pm.

Redlands swimmers turn in strong finish

The University of Redlands swimming & diving teams finished as runners-up to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in both the men’s and women’s competition following the third and final day of competition at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championships.

 

Freshman Tyler Harp (San Bernardino, CA) received the conference’s Athlete of the Year honor following a meet where he set three program records and one conference record individually and four program marks and one conference standard as a relay member. With “A” qualifying standards in the 50 and 100 freestyle events, he receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship meet, which takes place in Minneapolis, MN, from March 18-21.

 

The Redlands record book got torched throughout the three-day meet as the men set a total of eight program records while three program marks fell on the women’s side.

 

Saturday’s finals session featured a timed-final heat of the women’s 1650 freestyle, and three Bulldogs managed top-eight finishes in the event. Sophomore Michelle Camburn (Sunnyvale, CA) stopped the clock at 18:16.25, taking sixth. Camburn’s swim bested the program’s former record of 18:16.60 in the event, which Cathleen Penney ’07 set in 2006. Sophomore Kayla Desai (Lakewood, CO) and junior Danielle Caver (Highland, CA) finished seventh and eighth with times of 18:54.20 and 18:58.71, respectively.

 

Sophomore Alec Alders (Los Angeles, CA) completed the trifecta, winning his third event of the meet with a decisive 16:05.58 victory in the men’s 1650 freestyle. Alders flirted with the program record in the event (16:04.99) but earned an NCAA provisional qualifying time with the performance nonetheless. Senior Marc Hicks (Granada Hills, CA) caught Occidental Colleges’ Michael Wade at the 800 mark of the race and earned a fifth-place finish (16:47.88) while junior Ned Voytovich (Salt Lake City, UT) powered through the back half of his race to gain a seventh-place time of 17:01.21.

 

Utilizing her endurance, senior Hillary Nicholson (Santa Cruz, CA) maintained a solid spot in the middle of the pack in the women’s 200 backstroke throughout the entirety of the race and took fourth with a time of 2:11.16.

 

Backstroke depth again helped the men earn points as the Bulldogs placed sixth through eighth in the men’s 200 backstroke. Junior Ian Starkie (Arroyo Grande, CA) took sixth with a 2:01.41 time, sophomore Mike Reilly (Coral Gables, FL) finished seventh with a 2:02.78 mark and junior Chad Kyffin (San Jose, CA) stopped the clock eighth with a 2:02.95 standard.

 

Two young sprint talents allowed the Bulldogs to make a strong presence in the women’s 100 freestyle. Freshman Casey Sripramong (Glendale, CA) took advantage of a surge in the second half of her race to gain a fifth-place finish (54.91) while freshman Jaime Nippert (Gresham, OR) had a competitive showing as well, taking eighth with a 56.00 time.

 

Harp became the first-ever SCIAC swimmer to crack the elusive 45-second barrier in the men’s 100 freestyle as he lowered Greg Milton ’96′s program and conference record of 45.07, which he set back in 1993 when he won the event at the NCAA Championship meet. Harp’s swim also cleared the NCAA automatic qualifying time by .01. His teammate, sophomore Miran Terzic (Mostar, Bosna i Hercegovina), finished right behind him with an NCAA provisional cut time of 45.44. Two additional Redlands swimmers placed in the top eight as well. Senior Buddy Olds (Murrieta, CA) touched the wall at 47.07 for fourth place while junior John Floersch (San Jose, CA) captured seventh (47.50).

 

Three Redlands student-athletes swam in the championship final of the women’s 200 breaststroke, and freshman McKenzie Nakamura (Kenmore, WA) led the way with an NCAA provisional qualifying mark and a program record of 2:23.85 in her second-place showing in the event. Cathleen Penney ’07 clocked the former gold standard of 2:25.70 back in 2006. Sophomore Jo Navarro (Chandler, AZ) tapped in at 2:33.30 for sixth while sophomore Kelley Cooper (San Antonio, TX) finished eighth with a time of 2:34.70.

 

Freshman Mike Grant (Weston, MA) took out his first 100 in a 1:03.30 and pushed through the final half of the race to give the Maroon and Gray a fifth-place finish in the men’s 200 breaststroke (2:17.60). Rounding out the top eight finishers was Hicks who clocked an eighth-place 2:20.31.

 

Despite having just two Bulldog representatives in finals, Redlands took advantage of its depth as it accounted for six of the eight consolation finalists in the men’s 200 butterfly. Freshman Jesse Lieberman (Princeton, NJ) clocked a lifetime-best 1:57.82 for sixth in the championship final while sophomore Sonny Morin (Seattle, WA) managed a time of 2:02.43, which earned him eighth.

 

The Redlands women closed out the weekend with a fifth-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. Sripramong led off the relay with a 54.90 split, setting the pace for the quartet. Freshman K.C. Hughes (Gig Harbor, WA), Cooper and Nakamura followed suit and registered a final time of 3:41.52.

 

Perhaps none of the broken records of the weekend resonated as much as the Bulldogs’ victory in the men’s 400 freestyle relay. With the bleachers on the starting end of the pool packed with swimmers cheering on their teammates in the final event of the meet, a loud atmosphere ensued, setting the stage for a final curtain call by the Redlands sprinters.

 

Olds led off the relay with a time that was nearly a full second faster than that of his 100 freestyle in the championship final an hour prior, clocking a 46.26. Terzic extended the lead over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on the second leg with a 45.25 and handed a two-second lead off to Floersch. With a strong first lap to set the tempo, Floersch muscled his way through the 100 in 46.03 and gave the large lead off to the individual champion in the 100 freestyle, Harp. With the race already in hand, Harp battled the clock and turned in a remarkable anchor split of 44.92 to give the team a total time of 3:02.46.

 

Their collective efforts earned a quality NCAA “B” cut while erasing a 26-year-old SCIAC record (3:03.10) and a 16-year-old program record (3:05.31).

 

The Athenas won the women’s meet with relative ease, raking in a whopping 1004.5 points throughout the meet. Redlands finished second with 621 points while Pomona-Pitzer Colleges settled for third (547).

 

For the second consecutive year, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps won the men’s meet. Despite elite performances from both sides, the Stags edged the Bulldogs in the end by a 932.5-871 score. Pomona-Pitzer emerged in a three-team battle for third with 402.5 points.

 

Both Harp and Terzic possess NCAA “A” cuts and earn an automatic invitation to the NCAA Championship meet, which is held in Minneapolis, MN, from March 18-21. Those who possess “B” qualifying times are placed in an at-large pool but are not guaranteed a spot at the meet.

The NCAA will announce a psych sheet for the NCAA Championship meet after the conference championship season is completed. Further information on additional invitees to the national championship meet will be posted on www.goredlands.com.

 

Cal State men can’t seem to click

The Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team is in trouble. Big trouble.

The Coyotes (13-5, 11-5) were ranked eighth in the last West Region poll, exactly where they need to be to qualify for the postseason. But that was before losses last week to Cal Poly Pomona and UC San Diego. When the next poll is released Wednesday they will probably be out of the top 10.

That spells trouble because there isn’t a whole lot of season left – just four games. And there are a whole lot of teams in contention, some of whom play easier schedules and aren’t likely to lose.

It has been a puzzling season for coach Jeff Oliver who usually knows what buttons to push and gets the most out of his team. This one is different.

It isn’t that the Coyotes don’t have talent. They have far more than most of the teams to whom they have lost. Team chemistry and selfish play seem to be the issues.

Take the first half of Saturday’s game at San Diego. The Coyotes had one assist, eight turnovers and zero offensive rebounds. That means they aren’t playing good team basketball. And with this team it seems that they finish how they start. That was again the case. They didn’t get better.

Selfish team play has been the rule rather than the exception. They Coyotes are rushing the ball up the floor and whoever has it about midcourt is keeping it and jacking up a shot, most of the time, from 3-point land. Forget making the extra pass or working for a shot in the framework of the offense. That just isn’t happening.

Oliver admitted after the game this could well be his most underachieving team since the 13-13 debacle of 2005-06. He had to kick four players off the team that year. This team’s failure would be an even bigger disappointment because it has way more talent than that one.

One would think this group of players has learned by now that playing selfish doesn’t win games. Sure there is potential. The team played perhaps its most brilliant game of the season against a very talented Cal State Dominguez Hills squad. But for every step forward this team takes, it follows with two backward.

This team hasn’t been able to string together enough good wins to make the braintrust believe an extended run is possible. It’s a shame! Until the Coyotes learn to play together they will continue to lose to less athletic teams that are more team-oriented and fundamentally sound.

Martinez breaks record at UC Riverside

When last we saw Brenda Martinez in a track & field event she was competing in Olympic Qualifying eight months ago. On Saturday afternoon, she picked up right where she left off by breaking the school record in the mile with an NCAA provisional qualifying mark time of 4:39.92 at the University of Washington’s Husky Classic. That time places her in the top 10 in the nation in the mile.

But Martinez wasn’t the only Highlanders track & field athlete taking aim at the record books: Lauren Reid set the school record in the long jump leaping 5.65m with her first jump of the day; Andrew Jacobson’s 49.12 in the 400 meter dash established a new UCR mark; and the men’s 4 by 400 team of Marcus Marbrey, Jacobson, Sean Ferrera and Greg Lemon ran their heat in a Highlander-best 3:18.25.

UC Riverside is competing with over 50 other programs in this weekend’s Husky Classic. The women’s field features seven ranked teams led by No. 3 Oregon, No. 6 Florida State, No. 9 Penn State, and No. 10 Arizona State. Additional ranked teams include Arizona (12), BYU (18), and Stanford (19). On the men’s side, nine of the Top-25 teams in the USTFCCCA rankings are in attendance, including Arizona State (2), Oregon (3), Florida State (6), and Texas (7), BYU (12), Michigan (13), Stanford (16), Arizona (22), UCLA (23).