State Track: South Pasadena’s Pons wins 3,200 meters

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

CLOVIS – Sam Pons dreamed he was running as fast as he could and was getting passed right and left.

Fortunately, dreams don’t always come true.

The junior from South Pasadena High School took the lead in the 3,200 meters halfway through the race and pulled away to win a CIF State track and field championship on Saturday night in front of 9,572 at Clovis’ Buchanan High.

“I imagined winning this race and then imagined seeing a shadow, and that’s the worst feeling in the world when you know you can’t go any faster,” he said of his dream. “Nobody was there this time. It may have been the hardest race I’ve ever run. I hurt a lot.

“But I’m the state champion right now.”

Pons covered the eight laps in a personal-best time of 8 minutes, 55.40 seconds, the seventh-fastest time in the nation. Arcadia junior Ammar Moussa, the CIF State cross country champion, finished third in 8:57.42, also a personal best.

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SGV All-Star Game: Red powers its way to a 12-7 victory


Above: Temple City’s Dusty Sanderson tags out Monrovia’s Justin De La Nuez during SGV All Star Baseball Game at Moor Field in Alhambra.

By Nathan Cambridge, Correspondent

ALHAMBRA – Sunday’s 15th annual San Gabriel Valley All-Star Game played at Alhambra High School’s Moor Field marked an opportunity for 49 high school seniors to represent their schools for the final time.

The Red team took it to another level by hitting three home runs in a 12-7 victory over the Blues.

Glendora’s Joe Winterburn, starting at catcher for the Red team, hit a three-run home run in the first inning. Winterburn won overall MVP honors to add to a resume that included winning a CIF-SS Division2 championship on Saturday.

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Late Lima honored by Dodgers in Sunday’s game

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES — Jose Lima’s recent passing caught the Dodgers and the rest of the baseball world by surprise.

Lima, a 20-game winner and an All-Star during a 13-year major league career, died of an apparent heart attack in his Pasadena home May 23.

The Dodgers honored their former pitcher Sunday on Viva Los Dodgers Day by replaying on the video screen the 2004 performance at Dodger Stadium in which he sang the national anthem and “God Bless America.” It drew the crowd to its feet for a rousing ovation.

Melissa Lima, Jose’s former wife whom he was married to for 12 years and separated from in 2005, attended Sunday’s game along with her son, Jose Lima Jr., and other friends and relatives. Melissa said Dodgers owner Frank McCourt personally invited the family.

“It was amazing,” Melissa said. “I couldn’t even imagine seeing him again, and there he was. It was like he was real. He was real because I could feel he was standing beside us.”


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Dodgers do it again, rally to beat Braves 5-4 in the 11th

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY FROM STAR-NEWS PHOTOG KEITH BIRMINGHAM

Any Dodger fans out there? I covered the Braves-Dodgers game Sunday, and leave it to the Boys in Blue to go to extra innings the day the Celtics play the Lakers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Suffice it to say, I caught only the last 10 seconds of the game, but the Dodgers made it a great game.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES — This habit of winning games late – and in extra innings, no less – is getting old for Dodgers manager Joe Torre.

No, really.

“It started with the last game on the road trip,” Torre said. “It’s good practice, but it helps me age a little quicker.”

That may be so, but catcher A.J. Ellis certainly rejuvenated his teammates enough to run him down in center field to celebrate his winning single in the 11th inning that gave the Dodgers an electrifying 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on a sun-soaked Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

It was the Dodgers’ fourth walk-off win in the past week and sixth this season and it was Ellis, a career minor leaguer before finding his form in the big leagues with the Dodgers, who made his lone hit count to complete a comeback from a fifth-inning 4-1 deficit.

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BREAKING NEWS: La Salle dominates Marymount 6-0 to win the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 championship

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY FROM FRIDAY’S MARYMOUNT-LA SALLE GAME

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

IRVINE – An unlikely source of power emerged when the La Salle High School softball team needed it most on Friday.

Freshman Katie Smither stepped to the plate in the grandest stage in front of a boisterous crowd, and she didn’t waver.

Smither, unable to shake nerves and emotions running high, not only showed she belonged, she owned the moment.

Smither went 3 for 3 with a home run, double and a single to power the Lancers past Marymount of Los Angeles 6-0 to win the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 championship at Deanna Manning Stadium.

La Salle (25-6) avenged its 3-2 loss to Marymount (24-7) in last year’s final to win its second CIF-SS championship in four years. It proved to be a pleasant departing gift for seniors Allie Forillo, Samantha Krost and Ashley Rodriguez, who also celebrated her birthday.

“We had one thing in mind all year, and that was to get to the CIF championship game regardless of who we were going to play,” La Salle coach Rich Diaz said. “These girls believed in each other and played with a lot of desire, and there was no stopping them.

“We played a good team, but somehow we had a feeling that we wanted it more.”

Marymount clearly wasn’t the same team that emphatically won the title last year. The top-seeded Sailors committed too many errors (four) to overcome a staggering offense in the lopsided loss. La Salle scored six runs on 11 hits. Marymount had only four.

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Softball: Forillo, Shuster lead La Salle in different ways

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

PASADENA — There’s a sweet charm and infectious smile to Allie Forillo that follows her no matter the setting.

Good vision and an eye for anticipation is the result of deep focus and centering that Sterling Shuster zones into, no matter the objective.

Together, the La Salle High School softball team captains blend to make a perfect pair of role models.

They’re exactly what La Salle will need when it takes the field against Marymount in the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 championship game Friday afternoon at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.

While Forillo and Shuster have their eyes set on that elusive CIF championship plaque — they brought home a runner-up plaque after losing 3-2 to Marymount last year — they go about the mission in different ways.

That their interests vastly differ makes them unique.

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Baseball: Dylan Covey earns Gatorade California Player of the Year honors days before the MLB Amateur Draft

Maranatha High School’s Dylan Covey joined elite company Tuesday when he was named Gatorade’s California Baseball Player of the Year.

The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Covey now becomes a finalist for the prestigious National Player of the Year award announced later this month. Past state winners include Derek Jeter (Michigan), Roy Halladay (Colorado) and Chipper Jones (Florida).

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior right-hander led the Minutemen (19-10) to the CIF Southern Section Division 5 quarterfinals, posting a 7-1 record with three saves, a 0.40 ERA, 138 strikeouts and 20 walks in 70.2 innings while batting .414 with a home run and 17 RBIs.

A 2009 Aflac All-American and the 2009 Division 5 Player of the Year, Covey is rated as the No. 2 prospect in 2010 by Perfect Game USA and No. 4 by Baseball America.

Covey maintained an unweighted 3.04 GPA and is active in his community where he has volunteered as part of multiple community service initiatives on behalf of his church’s youth group.

“Covey is the best high school pitcher I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen some good ones,” Pasadena Poly baseball coach Wayne Ellis said. “He consistently hit 94 and 95 miles per hour on our radar gun. He’s as good as anyone I’ve ever seen.”

Covey signed to play at the University of San Diego, but is expected to be an early first-round selection in Major League Baseball’s Amateur Draft on Monday.

Twenty eight of the 30 Major League teams have met with Covey over the last year. He’s expected to meet with San Diego Padres general manager Jed Hoyer.

After a tough loss to Campbell Hall in the quarterfinals last week, Covey and his family met with officials from the Milwaukee Brewers. The Padres, Brewers, Angels and Dodgers are showing strong interest in Covey. He and his family met with the head scout of the St. Louis Cardinals last Sunday and will meet with the Philadelphia Phillies tonight and the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.

Covey hit the national radar screen his sophomore year at the PGWWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Florida. There, he struck out 18 batters in a game against the Kansas City Royals scouts, drawing rave reviews from the 350 or so scouts in attendance.

We will document Covey on Draft Day and bring you the scoop Monday.