Ayala’s Kenisha Liu breaks 36-year old CIF D2 record in 100 Free

Junior Kenisha Liu of Ayala is a back-to-back champion in the 100-yard freestyle event while breaking a new meet record at the CIF Southern Section Division 2 record with a time of 49.72 seconds, that has stood strong for over 36-years.

The record was set in 1979 by Jill Sterkel from Hacienda Heights Wilson High.

“I just wanted to bounce back (from her first event in the 200 free) and see if I could get first in this event because I won it last year,” she said. “I wanted to be a defending champion.”

Ayala girls' 200 yard freestyle team that broke its record from 2013 with a time of 1:36.30.

Ayala girls’ 200 yard freestyle team that broke its record from 2013 with a time of 1:36.30.

Liu finished second in the 200 free event with a time of 1 minute and 47.22 seconds.

“I wanted to get first but I got second,” she said. “Its okay because Taylor Ault (of Sonora High) who won was amazing.”

Her efforts contributed to the team’s third place finish in the meet behind Crean Lutheran and Glendora.

Lui also competed in Ayala’s 200-yard freestyle relay team which broke its own record from 2013 with a time of 1 minute and 36.30 seconds. Liu was one of two members, along with Megan Delgado, of this year’s team that was also in the record-setting event in 2013.

Freshman Mikki Thompson and junior Shannon Steele were also apart of the 2015 Ayala team.

The group of Ayala girls also finished third in the overall team standings behind Crean Lutheran and Glendora.

Thompson finished third in the 200 IM and 500 free championship events.

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Damien baseball team rallies from poor start to get playoff spot

Damien takes on Chino Hills earlier this year.

Things weren’t looking good for the Damien baseball team early in the season. The Spartans lost 11 of their first 14 games and had three top line pitchers derailed by season-ending injuries.

But first-year head coach Andy Nieto rallied his troop. At the end of the season the Spartans (10-14, 8-7) found themselves still in the hunt for a playoff berth, something they secured with a doubleheader sweep of Rancho Cucamonga earlier in the week.

“You really have to keep playing,” Nieto said, of his team’s early obstacles. “I told them this will represent who they are. It’s part of our code and what we stress here. You fight to the end.”

The final drama played out on Wednesday with the six Baseline League teams involved in three doubleheaders. Damien had the best of the draw because it was facing last-place Rancho Cucamonga. That doubleheader finished ahead of the other two so the Spartans fate wasn’t completely determined until later in the day.

Nieto insists he was not focused on the finishes of the other games, mainly because his team had the head-to-head with four of the five teams in the league. He looked at the last week as pivotal.

“We looked at the last four games like it was a double elimination tournament and we ended up winning three of those four,” he said.

Nieto credited junior pitcher Nick Lodolo who has three straight complete games and a streak of 20 straight shutout innings. Among the other pitchers stepping up are sophomore Isaiah Paige, senior Joe Kelly and junior Sean Davis.

Among the position players who have stepped up are senior catcher Andrew Garcia, junior outfielder Daniel Benedict and senior first baseman Grant Woodward. Johnathan Olson, one of the injured pitchers who has signed with UCLA, has been playing the outfield.

“He was willing to do whatever we needed to help the team,” Nieto said of Olson. “That goes to show the character of the players and students we have here. “

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Here are results from second round boys volleyball and where they play next

Chris Mercado of Damien goes for shot against Indian Springs

Several boys volleyball teams were in action Thursday night. Here are the results and what’s next for the winners:

Thursday’s matches

Redlands def. Saddleback Valley Chr. 25-15, 25-22, 25-27, 25-22
St. Margaret’s def. Yucaipa 25-16, 25-15, 25-9
Saturday’s match
Saddleback Valley Chr. at Redlands

Thursday’s matches

Damien def. Indian Springs 25-10, 25-9, 25-14
Ganesha def. Loma Linda 25-14, 25-17, 25-19
Ontario Chr. def. West Covina 25-17, 18-25, 25-18, 22-25, 17-15
Arrowhead Chr. def. Nuview Bridge 25-13, 25-11, 25-18

Saturday’s matches
Damien at Oakwood
Ontario Chr. at Laguna Blanca
El Rancho at Arrowhead Christian

Monday’s match
Ganesha at Santa Fe

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Day 5: CIFSS Division 2 Swimming Prelims Coverage

The Girls 200 IM will feature a number of local coverage area swimmers.

Freshman Mikki Thompson of Ayala finished with the fastest time among area swimmers with a time of 2 minutes and 06.03 seconds, which lead to her being seeded third going into the championship race. CIF Swimming and Diving

Kathleen Gani of Diamond Bar is seeded No. 6 while Mikayla Jean of Redlands East Valley is seeded at No. 9. Gani had a time of 2:07.10 while Jean had a time of 2:08.28.

Emily Longfellow of REV finished third in the Girls 200 IM and is seeded at No. 10, placing her in the consolation finals. Longfellow missed a chance at the championship race by .02 after posting a time of 2:08.30.

Longfellow also competed in the 200 Medley Relay to meet the meet along with REV teammates, Alexa Melara, Autumn D’Arcy and Emily Rigsby. REV finished with a time of 1:48.29.

Redlands (Melissa Pepper, Summer D’Arcy, Niki Proctor and Alex Zak ) placed No. 6 going into the championship race with a time of 1:48.97.

Diamond Bar will also compete in the race as the No. 7 seed after a time of 1:49.37 in the prelims. Diamond Bar’s team consist of Gani, Jenna Lloyd, Kelly Cheng and Kelsey Lloyd.

For Ayala, Kenisha Liu qualified for the 100 yard free championship race following a prelim time of 51.21. Rigsby will compete in the consolation race.

CHECK BACK for more

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Ganesha boys volleyball wins another

The Ganesha boys volleyball team continued its storybook season with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-19) sweep of Loma Linda in a second round Division 5 playoff match.

The Giants (23-4) got 13 kills from Kevin Martinez and 11 kills and eight digs from Thomas Espinoza. Sophomore middle Jorge Barajas, a basketball player turned volleyball player, added eight kills and seven blocks.

Setter Santana Carbajal dished out 30 assists.

It marks the first time in school history the team has been to the quarterfinal round.

“I think with that win the kids really started believing,” coach Joe Mariles said. “They played with energy and confidence. They were focused. It was all the things we had been preaching and it finally came together.”

The Giants will play at Santa Fe on Monday. That match was scheduled for Saturday but Ganesha has several graduation activities this weekend and Santa Fe agreed to move the match to Monday.


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Adrian Hui of Webb in the hunt for two individual CIF titles

Senior Adrian Hui of Webb will compete in the CIF Southern Section’s boys 50 yard freestyle championship event as the No. 1 seed. Hui had a qualifying time of 21.49 seconds.

Hui is also seeded No. 6 in the 100 yard butterfly following a time of 52.23 in the prelims.

David Albers of Webb will also compete in the consolation finals of the 50 yard freestyle. Albers is also competing in the consolation of the 100 yard free.

Richard Parnell will compete in the championship finals of the 100 free.

For live updates and times follow along at

Twitter: @JHWreporter / / 

Snapchat: IEsports


Stay tuned for more

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Chino Hills’ Tannon Snow continues assault on softball record books

Senior shortstop Tannon Snow of Chino Hills has one major accolade under her belt and another looming on the horizon.

The University of Washington commit slugged two home runs in a 7-6 loss to Los Osos on Wednesday giving her a career total of 58, an all-time state best. She also has 26 on the season, one shy of the state single-season mark.

“I feel like I am seeing the ball really well right now and I am getting some good swings,” she said.

Snow has been on a tear of late with six home runs in the last three games. For much of the season she trailed senior Alyssa Palomino of Mission Viejo who happens to be her friend and travel ball teammate. Palomino has 56 and had that many when Snow was sitting at 50. The only reason Snow knew what the record were was the attention focused on Palomino as she was in pursuit of the same marks.

“I really never thought about any sort of record coming into the season,” she said. “I can;’t say it was goal because I didn’t know what any of the records were.”

One would think pitchers might be tempted to pitch around Snow but Huskies coach Mike Southworth says Snow has had the benefit of a lot of base runners on in front of her, including sophomore sister Taylon who bats first in the order with Brittney Garcia next and Tannon in the No. 3 hole.

Snow has had 11 home runs in 10 Baseline League games. She also has 80 RBI. Even more remarkable is the fact she has struck out just four times.

“What she has done is really phenomenal,” Southworth said. “I thought she would have good year if she stayed healthy because she has the talent and the work ethic, all the things it takes. But I don’t know if anyone could have imagined this.”

Her numbers are already impressive but her totals might have totally obliterated the record had she not missed eight games her sophomore year with a hand injury sustained when she got spiked in a play at second base.

Chino Hills is done with the regular season, having finished first in the Baseline League. Snow will get to continue her assault on the record books in the CIF Division 2 playoffs which start next week.

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Eitwanda baseball team has that late inning magic

VIDEO: Etiwanda coach Don Furnald talks about this team and the season.

Some teams have that knack for late-inning comebacks and some don’t. The Etiwanda baseball team is one that definitely has that.

The Eagles (18-6, 10-5) claimed a share of the Baseline League title with a 5-4, 6-5 sweep of Upland today at Memorial Park. It is the school’s first league title in the sport since 1996.

In both games Etiwanda won it in the final at-bat. The first game the Eagles were only down 4-1 but went into the final inning tied at 4. They won it in the bottom of the seventh with a run-scoring single by Tyler Freeman, just a sophomore.

The nightcap comeback was even more noteworthy. The Eagles were down 5-2.

It marked the sixth and seventh last inning wins of the season. That’s nearly one-third of the team’s games this season. And because they have done it to often, they are that much more confident they’re going to do it again.

The most notable comeback came against Damien when they trailed 9-0 in the fourth, only to emerge with an 11-10 win.

The Eagles have nine wins by one run and four more by two runs. They have just two losses by a run and just one by two runs. So more often than not they’re coming through in the clutch.

By now other teams know that too. I’m sure when the first two Etiwanda batters reached in the seventh of the second game some negative doubts had to creep in for the Highlanders.

Also remember Etiwanda is playing every game on the road because of the construction on campus of a new football stadium. The Eagles have to take a bus to practice every day as well. This is shaping up to be quite a memorable one already and the playoffs have yet to begin!

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CIFSS Division 4: San Dimas, Alta Loma make a splash in prelims

Brandon Howell led the way for San Dimas boys swimming team in the CIFSS Division 4 Prelims.

Howell earned the No. 1 overall seed going into the finals of the 200-yard individual medley following a time of 2 minutes and 1.97 seconds during the prelims.

He will also compete in the Boys 100-yard freestyle finals as the No. 4 seed after posting a time of 49.03 second at the prelims.

San Dimas James Hull and Jared Caldarone also qualified to compete in the 100 free consolation finals.

For the girls,  Alta Loma’s girls 200-yard freestyle relay team will enter as the No. 3 seed. The team is made up of Vanessa Murray, Mia Bailey, Morgan Thomas and Lindsey Whisler.

Bailey will also compete as the No. 4 seed in the 500 freestyle finals following a prelim time of 5:28.72.

Whisler will compete in the 50-yard freestyle finals as the No. 3 seed. She finished her prelim heat with a time of 25.23. She will also enter the 100-yard freestyle finals as the No. 6 seed. She posted a prelim time of 56.11.

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Diamond Bar tennis coach David Hamel ready to retire

David Hamel has been a teacher and coach for nearly four decades. But this will be his last and he is hoping his Diamond Bar tennis team can send him out on a winning note.

The No. 6 Brahmas start the playoffs today with a match against Hart, the third-place team out of the Foothill League. They swept through Palomares League play with a 10-0 record and are 14-2 overall

Hamel will retire on May 29 after teaching for 39 years, the last 16 at Diamond Bar. He previously spent 17 years at Anaheim  Canyon.

He also teaches art and admits the decision was not easy.

“There never really is a good time,” he said. “But I am retiring from teaching so it was also a good time to retire from coaching. I don’t want to have a schedule. If I am fishing in Montana I don’t want to have to worry about being back by a certain day for tryouts or a meeting.”

Hamel, 61, says he has enjoyed every team he has coached but some are particularly memorable. The 2008 team won a CIF Division II title and was invited to state regional play for the first time.

The Brahmas graduate seven players from a team that made the semifinals a year ago before losing to Palm Desert. Sophomore Neil Tengbumroong leads the younger, more inexperienced squad.

“You never like to say you’re rebuilding it. We look at it more as reloading,” he said. “We had some players really step up this year and we’re hoping to make another run.”

Hamel still enjoys tennis and track and will continue to participate in those sports. He and wife Chris, who reside in Yorba Linda, also plan to travel.



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