It’s mixed success for locals at US Track championships

Khallifah Rosser

Chaffey College freshman Khallifah Rosser finished second in the junior men’s 400 meter hurdles at the USA Track and Field Championships on Saturday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

Rosser, 17, went into the championship heat seeded second, having finished the Friday semifinals second to only Scottie Hearns, a freshman at Mississipi State. It was that opponent who was the only one to beat him again with Hearns registering a 51.01 and Rosser next in a personal best 51.42.

He didn’t quite know what to expect coming in.

“Going in the first round I really just wanted to get a PR,” he said. “I thought if I did that I would do pretty well.”

That finish makes him eligible to compete  for the United States in the World Junior Championships Aug. 23-25 in Columbia.

“I am excited about representing the US,” said Rosser, who will be competing internationally for the first time.  “I hope to go out and hit 50.00.”

Former Pomona-Pitzer standout Will Leer, now running for Nike, competed in the senior men’s 1,500 and placed fifth in 3:45.17, not far behind winner Matt Centrowitz (3:45.17).

Claremont High product Kori Carter was scheduled to run the 400 hurdles and was considered a favorite, having posted the top time in the world at the NCAA Championship meet representing Stanford. But Carter, who recently opted to forgo her senior year and sign with Nike, scratched.

The meet wraps up today. Brenda Martinez, out of Rancho Cucamonga High School and UC Riverside, is a favorite in the 800 meters, scheduled for 1:04 p.m. She had the fastest time in the semifinals on Friday, winning the heat with a strong last 200 meters.

The top three finisher qualify for the World Championships in Moscow next month.

Sagehens’ Bryant singled out

Jordan Bryant

Senior soccer standout Jordan Bryant of Pomona-Pitzer has been nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

The Woman of the Year Award recognizes graduating  female student-athletes  who have distinguished themselves in the areas of academics, athletics, leadership and community service.

A total of 455 athletes have been nominated – 214 in Division I, 90 in Division II and 151 in Division III.

Each conference selects one or two  women as its representatives. A selection committee then chooses the top 10 honorees in each division. A field of nine finalists is announced in September.

Bryant, a native of Claremont, was a first-team All-SCIAC and third-team All-West Region selection.  She was the team captain and was a starter at center back position.

ABCA/Rawlings Division III All-West Baseball Region

Players from all four local SCIAC schools made the cut, impressive  considering the size and quality of the West Region. A total of 21 players from the SCIAC were selected.


DH Philip Windham, East Texas Baptistl; C Josh Rapacz, George Fox (Ore.); 1B Nick Boggan, Cal Lutheran; 2B Tim Wilson, Linfield (Ore.); 3B Nicho Della Valle, Cal Lutheran; SS Trevor Koons, Cal Lutheran; SS Christian Muscarello, Trinity (Tex.); OF Pat Hirschberg, Trinity (Tex.); OF Jake Wylie, Linfield (Ore.); OF Nick Gentili, Pomona-Pitzer; UT Jake Peterson, Cal Lutheran; RHP Chris Haddelandm Linfield (Ore.); LHP Ryan Lucero, Trinity (Tex).; Rellief RHP Aaron Roth, Cal Lutheran; Relief LHP Sean Kistler, Texas Lutheran.


DH Johnathan Brooks, Occidental; C Stephen Zavala, Whittier; 1B Derek Dixon, George Fox (Ore.); 2B Jason Henning, Redlands; 3B Kevin Francke, Trinity (Tex.); SS Jordan Dresner, Redlands; OF Erik Munzer, Pomona-Pitzer; OF Nick Fisher, Linfield (Ore.); OF Kramer Lindell, Linfield (Ore.); OF Timothy Williams, George Fox (Ore.); UT Jake Bruml, Pomona-Pitzer; UT Scott, Hong, Occidental; Relief RHP Derek Miller, Texas-Tyler; RHP Zack Speer, Trinity (Tex.); RHP Matt Delegato, Pacific (Ore.); RHP Aaron Thomasson, Linfield (Ore.); RHP Kevin Knight, La Verne; RHP Jeff Spillane, Texas Lutheran.


C Chase Caldez, Schriener (Tex.); 1B Chris Whitehead, Schreiner (Tex.); 1B Trevor Keele, Dallas; 2B Marcus Uechi, Hardin-Simmons (Tex.); 2B Garrett Smith, Cal Lutheran; 3B Julian Barzili, Whittier; SS Logan Allen, Occidental; SS Scott Witte, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps; OF Collin Radack, Hendrix (Tex.); OF Tyler Pfeffer, Whitworth (Wash.); OF Tyler Bates, East Texas Baptist; OF Alex Scheiwe, Redlands; UT Carlton Brown, Howard Payne (Tex.); LHP Scott Peters, Cal Lutheran; Relief RHP Tyler Brunnemann, Hardin-Simmons (Tex.); Relief RHP Taber watson, Chapman; RHP Curt Copeland, LeTourneau (Tex.).


Former Sagehen playing in High Desert

David Colvin was one of the top Division III pitchers in the country when he competed for Pomona-Pitzer, graduating in 2011. Now he’s trying to chart a path at the professional level.

Colvin, 24, was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 27th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Now he’s coming out of the bullpen for the High Desert Mavericks. He has thrown 28 and two-third innings and given up 31 hits, seven walks and 10 earned runs with 30 strikeouts. He has a 2-0 record and an  ERA of 3.14. Those are legitimate stats for playing in such a hitter-friendly venue.

He went two innings and got the win in a 7-6 11-inning win over \Lake Elsinore on Monday.

Colvin spent the 2012 season with the Mariners Low-A team in Clinton (Iowa) of the Midwest League where he went 5-3, with a 3.15 ERA in 32 appearances.


Top 10 jobs by local college coaches

As always it was a banner year for local college programs. None won a national title but there were many in the running. Today’s countdown, the top 10 coaching jobs of the school year. Heavy emphasis placed on teams that won conference titles or were close.

10. Kristin Dowling, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women’s basketball

Gets major props for how far her team came in the course of a season. She got the job so late admissions were closed so she was left with whatever players remained. She had to get a tennis player and another who had never played before just to round out a roster of eight. The Athenas lost a lot of games early but were competitive by the end of the season. Can’t imagine how well she will do given a full year and chance to recruit.

9. Kristen Hauge, San Bernardino Valley College women’s soccer

The Wolverines (14-3-5) regained their Foothill Conference title and did so with a freshmen-laden roster. Some of the sophomores she did have, were ones with limited experience. Some minor injuries along the way also proved problematic but the Wolverines made their usual run deep into the playoffs. She also plays a difficult schedule and does a wonderful job of moving players on to the next level.

8. Bill Mierzwik, San Bernardino Valley College baseball

The Wolverines won their first Foothill Conference title since 2004 and they did it without a Pitcher of the Year or Player of the Year as those went to athletes from other schools. He might have been higher on the list it weren’t for a quicker than expected departure from the playoffs.

7. Chris Krich, University of La Verne football

The Leopards went 4-5, which was a repeat of the previous season. But it was a much better looking and more competitive 4-5. Let’s not forget how bad this program was when he took over three years ago. Numbers were down, interest was down. This should be the year the Leopards really turn the corner and make a significant impact.

6. Ben Cooper, Chaffey College men’s soccer

The Panthers went 16-5-2 overall, won the Foothill Conference and won three playoff games before falling to favored Golden West 3-1. The Panthers did it without a what you would call a “dominant” player. This is definitely a program on the rise.

5. Greg Kamansky, Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball

Another one that is going to be on the list every year. The Broncos (28-3) won what is one of the toughest conferences in the country by a whopping four games and they advanced to the West Regional semifinal. Kamansky did it with two experienced players in Mitchel Anderson and Terrence Drisdom. After that, Kamansky had a bunch of unproven role players. Yet the beat goes on for the Broncos.

4. Frank Pericolosi, Pomona-Pitzer baseball

The Sagehens (29-16) finished second in the SCIAC to Cal Lutheran and were given at at-large berth in the NCAA Division III regional. We have come to expect good things from the Sagehens because they have always delivered. But this year’s team  exceeded expectations. Pericolosi lost three pitchers and a catcher for a good portion of the year with injuries. One of the pitchers also plays first so it was like losing two players. Let’s not forget the high academic standards which  can make it tough to contend. Bonus points for playing a strong schedule that included three games against No. 1 Linfield (Ore.)

3. Laurie Nevarez, University of Redlands softball

The Bulldogs lost their All-American and career home run leader Amanda Lievanos to a knee injury before the season started and they didn’t have an experienced pitcher after workhorse Kayla Uphold. Still the Bulldogs won a ninth straight SCIAC title and came within one game of playing for the regional final and their 36 wins equals a program record.

2. Kim Cherniss, Cal State San Bernardino volleyball

Yes, she could collect a Coach of the Year honor pretty much every year. But this year was one of her best jobs. Maybe the Coyotes didn’t make it to nationals like they had done the previous four seasons but they did make it to the West region final, despite having graduated seven seniors. So this year’s run came with a senior setter and a boatload of freshmen yet the still won the CCAA by three games. If someone else didn’t win this year, they may never win. An absolute travesty that a coach with a sub-.500 record got Coach of the Year honors this season in the CCAA

1. Jeff Klein, Chaffey College men’s basketball

The Panthers (27-7) had the best season in school history, making it all the way to the state title game before falling to Mt. SAC 102-88. Most impressive was an 87-85 win over previously unbeaten San Francisco in the state semifinal. The Panthers had a solid, united core of sophomores that were the foundation for that success. They played hard, they played together, played with poise and were not in awe of their surroundings no matter what the situation. That’s a reflection of the coach and his staff.

Jeff Klein


Top 10 athletes I’m going to miss

The college season is about done. It’s always fun to go back and think about who did what to make it a memorable school year.

So I’m going to kick out a series of lists, just for amusement. Today it’s the top 10 athletes I’m going to miss covering – I’m talking seniors at four-year schools or sophomores finishing up at a local community college.

Got to start at 10 and work my way up . . . build the suspense. Hopefully those not making the cut won’t be offended. I truly enjoy what I do, every game I cover (that doesn’t go overtime) and every athlete I meet.

10. Annie Lydens, Pomona-Pitzer track/cross country

The last two years have been tough on her (injuries). But she was the subject of a feature her sophomore year. She has interned at the United Nations and her goal is to visit another different country for every year she has been alive. That tells you all you need to know. Nice to see great athletes with such a different perspective. Every interview with a Pomona-Pitzer athlete is an enlightening one.

9. Sarah Beeman, University or Redlands softball

A great player who finally got through a season injury-free and had impressive numbers to show for it. Bonus points for saving me from getting drowned by a celebratory water bucket a few years ago when the Bulldogs won the SCIAC Tournament. Coach Laurie Nevarez was the intended target.

8. Jordan Richard, Cal State Los Angeles basketball

So he doesn’t “play” for a local school. He qualifies as a local because he went to Los Osos and played at CS San Bernardino as a freshman, Riverside as a sophomore. And he played many a game against Cal State and Cal Poly. His game improved each year he ended up being the top shot blocker in the country this season. That’s a good way to go out.

7. Stacey Howard, San Bernardino Valley football

He made just some ridiculous catches this year for the Wolverines. Don’t know how opponents left him so open sometimes, especially on the halfback option. He was the subject for my season preview story and it’s always nice when those guys deliver. Almost makes it seem like I know what I’m doing. (Headed to University of Hawaii).

6. Luke Sweeney, Pomona-Pitzer football

Some times guys pile up lofty statistics against garbage teams or they just because they get a ton of carries but Sweeney is legit. He’s pretty small by running back standards and took a beating. Injuries really limited him last season but he still became the school’s all-time leading rusher. I have to wonder what numbers he would have put up with more talent around him.

5. Jordan Garcia, University of Redlands football

Not a big guy by any stretch but had a nose for the football and always seemed to come up with the big play on defense. Also the only athlete to ever email me and thank me for a story after the interview and before it was even published.

4. Camille Smith, Cal State San Bernardino volleyball

The latest in a line of great Coyote standouts and maybe the MOST interviewed player on the list because of the team’s high profile and her major role in her time there. She’s tough, real tough. And she has always been quite articulate, win or lose. Bonus points for always keeping us guessing what color her hair was going to be next.

3. Sango Niang, Chaffey College basketball

The reason he makes the list is because I can’t remember the last time I saw a player improve so much from one season to the next. Sango excelled in track growing up. That comes from his father being an Olympian. He barely played basketball in high school. He was good as a freshman, phenomenal the past season. He’s small and quick but absolutely fearless. (He’s headed to Division II Simon Fraser next year).

2. Mitchel Anderson, Cal Poly Pomona basketball

He won a national championship with the Broncos in 2010 as a freshman. That is indicative enough of his talent. He’s just a smooth, consistent player. He may not be flashy but by the end of the night he is going to have his 15 pts, 8 rebs, 5 assists and a couple of steals.

1. Kwame Alexander, Cal State San Bernardino basketball

This was an easy choice. Who doesn’t like rim-rattling dunks? Kwame had some of the most ferocious ones I have seen at any level. Go ahead, Google him and check out the dunks on You Tube. Definitely the most exciting player to come along in the CCAA in the last decade.

Kwame Alexander vs. Chico State

All-SCIAC baseball players honored

Player of the Year: Jake Petersen, JR, California Lutheran

Pitcher of the Year: Aaron Roth, JR, California Lutheran

Newcomer of the Year: Jake Petersen, JR, California Lutheran

All-SCIAC First Team

1B: Nick Boggan, SR, California Lutheran

2B: Jason Henning, SR, University of Redlands

3B: Nicho DellaValle, JR, California Lutheran

SS: Logan Allen, SR, Occidental

SS Jordan Dresner, SO, University of Redlands

SS Trevor Koons, SR, California Lutheran

C: Sean McMillan, SO, University of Redlands

OF: Nick Gentili, SR, Pomona-Pitzer

OF: Erik Munzer, SR, Pomona-Pitzer

OF: Alex Scheiwe, JR, University of Redlands

P: Jake Bruml, SO, Pomona-Pitzer

P: Scott Hong, SR, Occidental

P: Kevin Knight, SR, University of La Verne

All-SCIAC Second Team

1B: Mark Saatzer, JR, Chapman

2B: Garrett Smith, SR, California Lutheran

3B: Julian Barzilli, JR, Whittier

SS: George Hanna, JR, University of LaVerne

C: Spencer DuBois, SO, California Lutheran

DH: Johnathan Brooks, SO, Occidental

OF: Connor Battaglia, JR, Chapman

P: Kyle Hart, SR, University of Redlands

P: Tyler Hebda, JR, California Lutheran

P: Scott Peters, SO, California Lutheran

P: Taber Watson, JR, Chapman

UT: Simon Rosenbaum, FR, Pomona-Pitzer

UT: Eliot Smith, SR, University of Redlands

Local product takes over at Citrus

Alicia Longyear has been named the new Head Coach for the Citrus College Cross Country program.

Alicia Longyear will take over the helm of the Citrus College cross country program. Longyear takes over the reins of the program from Nicki Shaw, who led the Owls’ cross country program the previous three season and steps down to accept an academic position.

Longyear, a product of Claremont High school and the University of Redlands, takes over the head coaching position after being away from the sport the past five years. Prior to that break, Longyear had served as an assistant coach with the Citrus track team, specializing in the distance events

Longyear also served as an assistant track and field and cross country coach at Claremont High (2003-2007). In 2004, Longyear helped direct the Pomona-Pitzer track program while head coach Kirk Reynolds was on sabbatical. Longyear’s coaching career began at the University of La Verne where she was a graduate assistant to the Leopard cross country and track and field teams while she earned her Master’s Degree.

“Now that my children are a little older I feel ready and excited to get back into it.  I have missed the sport,” Longyear said. “As a committed lifelong distance runner, I have continued to train on my own but being part of a cross country team is truly an extraordinary experience.  There is something special about a group of people pushing each other to their utmost limits.”

Longyear’s running career began as a junior at Claremont High School, where she picked up the sport and never looked back.

Along with her coaching duties, Longyear as serves as the Citrus College Athletic Counselor, a position she has held for the past nine years. Longyear holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Sport Psychology from Redlands, and a Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Athletic Counseling from La Verne.


All-SCIAC softball honors announced

SCIAC honors have been announced in softball and it is Claremont-Mudd-Scripps with a conference-best seven players recognized. The University of Redlands finished first in the regular season but it was CMS winning the post-season tournamentr.

Here’s the full list:

Player of the Year: Kayla Uphold, SR – University of Redlands

Rookie of the Year: Katie Savard, FR – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

All-SCIAC First Team

P – Natalie Both, FR – Chapman

P – Hayley Schultz, SO – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

C – Samantha Mellano, SO – Whittier

1B- Raven Freret, JR – University of La Verne

2B – Harmony Palmer, SR – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

SS – Danielle Vela, SO – University of La Verne

3B – Mercedez Cundiff, SO – Whittier

OF – Jenny Richards, SR – Chapman

OF – Jacqueline Shimamoto, JR – Occidental

OF – Sarah Beeman, SR – University of Redlands

DP – Nikoli Sharp, SO – University of Redlands

UTKaty Kibbe, FR – University of La Verne

At-Large – Marie Bradvica, SO – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

All-SCIAC Second Team

P – Brittany Vacura, SR – Occidental

P – Cassie Oregel, SO – Chapman

C – Shannon Tinsley, SR – California Lutheran

1B – Caitlyn Hynes, JR – Pomona-Pitzer

2B – Alexandra Flores, SO – Whittier

SS – Jordan Learn, JR –Whittier

3B – Candice Nunez, JR – University of La Verne

OF – Tara Robinson, FR – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

OF – Kerry Peterson, SR – Chapman

OF – AJ Carrasco, FR – University of Redlands

DP – Mikayla O’Neal, FR – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps          

UT – Shonna Christianson, SO – California Lutheran

At-Large – Megan Latta, JR – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

CMS, Pomona-Pitzer rivalry full of fun and intensity

I had Wednesday off and entertainment options were few. I could have stayed home and watched American Idol but wasn’t excited about seeing Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj go at each other.

So I headed over to Ducey Gymnasium, just a few miles from home, for the men’s basketball game between Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Pomona-Pitzer. I had always heard good things about the rivalry and never had the opportunity to take in a game with the majority of my game nights spent at Cal Poly Pomona or Cal State San Bernardino.

I arrived at 6:45 p.m., 45 minutes before tip-off, only to find a crowd of 100 or so in line waiting for the doors to open. I was able to find my way in before the crowd. Moments later people flooded in. By 7 p.m. it was standing room only – even that was hard to come by.

The CMS student side filled up fastest with all wearing either their gold or garnet T-shirts. Yes there were the obligatory men with the letters S-T-A-G-S printed on their bare chests. But we also had a guy in a skin tight gold leotard, with us those of us as the scorer’s table guessing he was supposed to be an Oscar’s statue. The leotard left little to the imagination. There was another guy dressed similarly in green. Not quite sure what  he was supposed to be.

The Pomona-Pitzer folks in the balcony also had their lively moments despite being outnumbered by quite a bit. The rooting sections took turns with chants during pregame warm-up. Only here would winning the jump ball warrant a standing ovation.

Both teams had trouble scoring early but Sagehens coach Charlie Katsiaficas says that often happens, with the teams taking a few minutes to settle into the rhythm of the game.

One thing struck me. It was so loud from start to finish I can’t see how the players could hear instructions being shouted from their coaches.

The other thing I noticed . . the lack of whistles early. It wasn’t until the 12:15 mark that the first personal foul was called. The referees pretty much let them play all night.

Games between the two usually go down to the wire but this time the Sagehens couldn’t get over the hump and the Stags won 65-58 behind a career night from Jack Grodahl who had 28 points, 20 of those in the first half.

It was unlike anything I had seen at a college event in my decade in Southern California.Real true passion from both sides. Nowhere else can there be two campuses so close together athletes from one have to walk through the other to get to practice.

I have heard its like that in other sports too but the fact that basketball is in an enclosed venue where the crowd is right on the court adds to the atmosphere. Both schools have good history in the sport too so they’re usually playing for more than bragging rights.

All in all a fun night out!