Boys and Girls athlete of the year?

This will be the fifth straight year we name a boys and girls athlete of the year and would love your thoughts on who should be considered. This award recognize’s the best boys and girls athlete with participation in at least two sports. Specialization has ruined the two and three-sport athletes, but there are still a lot of quality throwbacks that play multiple sports and excel.

The Tribune’s first athletes of the year were named in 2008, Northview’s Hannah Fraijo and Glendora’s Michel Edwards. Who should take the picture this year?

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Damien nearly pulls off shocker at Division 2 swim finals, finishing second to Crescenta Valley

Photo Gallery at CIF-SS Division 2 swim finals

Video of the final race of the meet, the 400 meter relay. Damien, a heavy underdog, almost pulled it off to win the team title. Damien’s in the fourth lane and winner Crescenta Valley (above them in lane five), battle it out, especially over the final two legs and 200 meters.

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN

RIVERSIDE — Without any individual champions at Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2 swimming finals at the Riverside Aquatics Center at Riverside Community College, Damien coach Andrew Gates knew the stars had to align for the Spartans to win their first team title since 2001.

And they almost did.

Damien trailed huge favorite Crescenta Valley by two points heading into the final race, the boys’ 400-meter relay, and they nearly pulled off a shocker behind the incredible performance from Carson May, Michael Forbes, Austin Miller and anchor Jason Haney.

Damien momentarily took the lead on Miller’s speedy third leg and Haney regained the lead and led with 25 meters to go, but Crescenta Valley’s super junior Young Tae Seo, who already had won two races earlier, overtook Haney in the final moments in a record-setting performance for both teams.

Crescenta Valley broke La Canada’s 2009 meet record (3:06.39) by winning the 400 relay in 3:05.50, ahead of Damien’s 3:05.92, which also would have broke La Canada’s record and set a Damien school record.

Crescenta Valley won the team title with 301 points. Damien, which would have won the title with a victory in the final race, finished second with 293 points. Los Osos was third with 203.

“It’s no fun to lose, but we gave it all we got,” Miller said. “You can’t do much better than your best ever (in the 400 relay). I’m proud of our guys.”

Gates, whose voice was barely audible, almost choked up talking about the final race.

“I have never seen four kids show that much heart in Damien school history in any sport,” Gates said. “That was all guts and all heart. We just lost to an amazing Crescenta Valley team. It would be nice to win, but we lost to a great team and the way we competed with the meet on the line was incredible.”

It was only fitting that Damien’s lone win came in one of the three relays.

The Spartans’ 200 freestyle quartet of Forbes, Miller, Haney and Adam Nelson rallied over the final two legs to touch home first in 1:25.30, ahead of second-place Los Osos (1:25.49). The Spartans’ Nelson, May, Corey Maier and Chad Cooper finished fourth in the 200-medley relay in 1:38.26. (To continue click thread)

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Baseball: It’s over, Nogales scores on a sac fly in the bottom of the eighth to beat San Dimas 1-0 and win the Valle Vista League title.

A pitcher’s duel is the last thing anybody who saw Wednesday’s slugfest between Nogales and San Dimas high schools expected in a showdown for the Valle Vista League championship.

But that’s exactly what San Dimas’ Shawn Kennedy and Nogales’ Caleb Rodusky staged Friday. With neither starter willing to budge, the game fittingly was decided on a sacrifice fly by Jorge Manzo that scored Adrian Guzman and gave Nogales a 1-0 win in eight innings and outright ownership of the league title.

As usual, the Montview League baseball race wasn’t decided until the final day of the regular season.

Duarte High School knocked off first-place Sierra Vista 6-5 on Friday with a game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh inning by sophomore Sergio Garcia.

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Baseball: Valle Vista and Montview League titles on the line today

San Dimas’ incredible come-from-behind 9-8 win over Nogales on Wednesday set up today’s Valle Vista League title game at Nogales at 3:15 p.m. Nogales is 20-6 and 9-2 and San Dimas is 17-7 and 9-2 for a winner-take-all. Covina is at Northview in a battle for third, but both teams are expected to make the D-4 playoffs. In the Montview, Sierra Vista (16-5, 11-2) is tied with La Puente (15-10, 11-2). Sierra Vista finishes today at Duarte while La Puente is home against Azusa. If both teams finish in a first-place tie, Sierra Vista owns the league tiebreaker to enter the playoffs as the league’s top representative.

“I don’t need tell our guys anything,” Nogales coach John Romano said. “You guys (Tribune) have called them a surprise all year and have written that they’re (not very good). My guys are going to come back and play hard, I know that. They’re not supposed to be here. The guys who know everything about this, the sportswriters and coaches, they didn’t expect us to be here fighting for the title, so what the big deal? We’ve lost games before. We lost six games. But we’re going to come back Friday and play for the league championship.”

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San Dimas boys finish sixth at Division 3 swimming finals in Riverside


Above: San Dimas’s Amy Patrick finished 10th in the 200 yard freestyle during the CIF-SS Swimming Championship at Riverside City College in Riverside (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham)

San Dimas’ Austin Garcia helped the Saints’ boys swimming team to a sixth-place finish at the Division 3 swim finals in Riverside on Thursday. The Saints’ girls were 18th overall.

Garcia finished third in his 50 free race.

“The only thing I can beat them all on is the turn,” the junior said.

“They all have faster strokes than mine. They pass me on the straights. And their starts are all way better than mine.”

In his first CIF-SS finals appearance in the event, he swam 21.70, just behind Pacifica’s Dylan Alba, who had a 21.13 and Jack Brubacher of Cabrillo, who had a 21.66.

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Baseball: Glendora blows its opportunity to win the outright Baseline league title, giving up three runs in the seventh to lose, 4-3

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN,twitter@sgvtribpreps
The Glendora High school baseball team was one out away from celebrating the outright Baseline League title and a precious guaranteed home game when the difficult CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs begin next week, but the Tartans couldn’t close the deal.

After Glendora scored twice in the sixth to take a two-run lead, visiting Etiwanda scored three times in the seventh to pull out a 4-3 victory.

The loss was somewhat bitter-sweet for Glendora because Alta Loma, the team Glendora was tied with for the Baseline league lead entering the day, also lost to Upland, 7-5.

That left Glendora (16-9, 10-5) and Alta Loma (18-7, 10-5) to share the league title, but Alta Loma will enter the Division 2 playoffs as the league top entry because of its 2-1 series edge over the Tartans.

“I didn’t know (Alta Loma lost) until you told me,” Glendora coach Dan Henley said. “We told the kids all week if you take care of your business, that’s what you’re in charge of.

“That’s what we attempted to do, but we fell a little bit short, so we’ll deal with the consequences. We know they’re a lot of good team in Division 2, so we’ll have to get this loss out of our collective memories and focus on what’s next.”

Glendora starter Wyatt Wood was sailing along through six innings. He gave up just two hits, struck out nine and the only run he allowed came on a fourth-inning, bases loaded two-out balk that allowed Eagles shortstop Tyler Robles to score to tie the game, 1-1.
The Tartans looked like they would get the win for Wood after scoring twice in the bottom of the sixth.

Glendora’s Nick Kaye singled home D.J. Peters for the go-ahead run and Johnny Juarez tripled home John Angiuli for a 3-1 lead.

Junior Matt Young took over for Wood to close the seventh and was one-out away with the Eagles’ Eddy Santana on first with two outs, but Young walked the next two batters to load the bases and fell behind 2-0 to Michael Bradley, forcing Henley to make another pitching change, bringing in sophomore Kale Morton.

Morton worked the count to 3-2 on Bradley, but the senior delivered with a single to center to bring in Santana and Austin Berglund to tie the score, 3-3.

Michael Gonzalez followed the game-winning blow, singling home Robles to push the Eagles ahead, 4-3.

Glendora didn’t go away quietly.

After the Eagles got the first two outs in the seventh, the Tartans loaded the bases on a hit batter and consecutive walks.

But Kaye, who singled home the go-ahead run earlier, hit a blooper to short to end the game.

Looking back, Henley said the decision to replace Wood was an easy one.

“Wyatt’s pitch count was up there,” Henley said “I do watch pitch counts and he’s got a chance to pitch at the next level and I don’t want to be that guy.

“To me, no game is more important than one individual. Wyatt’s got tremendous upside and it’s the first year he’s a full-time pitcher. He hasn’t pitched seven innings all season and after he gave us six, I knew that was enough.”

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TRACK: The road to Mt. SAC and the CIF finals begins at Saturday’s CIF prelims

Division I, Trabuco Hills High School: Division 1 prelim heat sheets
Division II, Moorpark High School: Division 2 prelim heat sheets
Division 3, Estancia High School: Division 3 prelim heat sheets
Division 4, Carpenteria High School: Division 4 prelim heat sheets


By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
The road to the CIF-Southern Section track and field finals at Mt. San Antonio College on May 19 will take shape on Saturday during the prelims, held at four locations.

Most San Gabriel Valley hopefuls are competing in Division 2 and 3, with the Division 2 prelims at Moorpark High School and Division 3 at Estancia High School.

Rowland senior Nick Rivera headlines the Division 2 boys prelims, hoping to qualify in the 1,600 and 800 meters.

Rivera’s 800 time of 1 minute, 53.71 seconds at the Hacienda League finals was the seventh-fastest in the state and the leading mark of all D2 qualifiers.

Claremont’s Klyvens Delunay is among the state’s best in the boys long and triple jump.

Delunay is the state leader in the triple jump, setting the mark of 49 feet, 6 inches at the Arcadia Invitational. He has the state’s fourth-best mark in the boys long jump, leaping 23-11.

Glendora’s Makayla Jacoub is one of the favorites in the Division 2 girls pole vault. She is tied with several others with a leading qualifying mark of 10-8. Jacoub’s teammate Rocki Bartholomew is hoping to capture the girls discus. She has the second-best qualifying throw (133-01).

Ayala freshman Jaela Williams has a chance for medals in three events. She is among the favorites in girls long jump and 100 and 300 hurdles. Her teammate, junior Ifunanya Gwacham, is a contender in the triple jump.

At the Division 3 prelims at Estancia, Bonita senior Toure McCully enters with the leading qualifying mark in the boys’ 110 hurdles (14.33), and is hoping to qualify for the finals in the 100 meters and long jump.

Diamond Ranch senior Andrew Fischer is a favorite in the 300 hurdles with a second-best qualifying time of 37.80. But he will have to contend with Damien’s Jarrett Gonzalez, who boasts the leading qualifying time of 37.56.

Bonita sophomore Nikki Wheatley, who was the area girls basketball player of the year, is among the favorites in three events, the long jump, triple jump and high jump.

Bonita distance specialist Marissa Scott is competing in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 races.

In the Division I prelims at Trabuco Hills, West Covina’s Jimmy Frazier boasts the third-best qualifying time in the 110 hurdles at 14.61

626-962-8811, ext. 2161

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San Dimas rallies from five-run deficit, then scores three times in the eighth to pull off an improbable 9-8 victory over Nogales to keep its Valle Vista League title hopes alive

“I don’t need tell our guys anything,” Nogales coach John Romano said. “You guys (Tribune) have called them a surprise all year and have written that they’re (not very good). My guys are going to come back and play hard, I know that. They’re not supposed to be here. The guys who know everything about this, the sportswriters and coaches, they didn’t expect us to be here fighting for the title, so what the big deal? We’ve lost games before. We lost six games. But we’re going to come back Friday and play for the league championship.”

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
— With the Valle Vista League title on the line, the San Dimas High School baseball team was doing everything imaginable to give it away, committing five errors, walking six and hitting four batters to fall behind five runs after four innings.

But San Dimas’ Shawn Kennedy said enough was enough.

The senior shortstop led the Saints back with two home runs, including a game-tying two-run homer in the sixth that sent the game to extra innings where the Saints produced even more magic, scoring three times in the eighth to squeeze out a 9-8 victory after Nogales had scored twice to retake the lead.

“It’s one of those deals,” San Dimas coach Mike Regan said. “Kennedy got us going and the momentum carried us through. It was a great win. You always tell your team to keep fighting. This is why.”

Kennedy, who finished with four RBIs and three hits, also scored the game-winning run after Josh Avila’s bases loaded, one-out grounder to third skipped into left for an error, allowing Kennedy to easily score from third for the winning run.

Nogales (20-6, 9-2), which led 6-1 through four innings, will host San Dimas (17-7, 9-2) on Friday for the outright league title at 3:15 p.m. (Click thread to continue)

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Baseball: South Hills clinches Sierra League title with 6-5 win over Claremont in 8 innnings

South Hills beats Claremont in extra-innings to clinch league title: In typical Sierra League fashion, there would have to be some dramatics.

South Hills High School’s baseball team scored a run in the seventh to tie visiting Claremont at 5, then scored another in the eighth to win 6-5 and clinch the league championship on Wednesday afternoon. Only, it wasn’t nearly as easy as it sounds.

Sierra League Results
Damien 13, Ayala 4
Chino Hills 5, Charter Oak 1

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Baseball league titles on the line today: Nogales looking to wrap up VVL; La Puente wants payback after Azusa cost it the league title last year; Claremont, yes Claremont, can win the Sierra and Amat can win a league title without playing

Valle Vista League: It all comes down to the final two-game series between leading Nogales (20-5, 9-1) and second-place San Dimas (16-7, 8-2). The Nobles already have swept Covina and Northview, beating the Vikings twice last week in one-run games. Nobles veteran coach John Romano has 593 victories, but all the Nobles need is a split to win the league title. The first game is at San Dimas today at 3:15 p.m., and if the Saints win, the championship is Friday at Nogales.

Sierra League: Claremont (12-9-2, 7-5-1) can win the Sierra League title. Really? That’s the scenario with South Hills (15-7, 9-4) facing the Wolfpack twice this week. If South Hills wins at home today at 3:30 p.m., the Huskies win the title. If not, both teams will meet again Friday for the outright title at Claremont. BTW, I thought there were no ties in baseball. Claremont is 1 1/2 games behind South Hills because of a 3-3, 14-inning tie with Damien that was called because of darkness in April.

Montview League: Sierra Vista (15-5, 10-2) and La Puente (14-10, 10-2) are locked in a first-place tie with two to play. Sierra Vista finishes with a pair against fourth-place Duarte at home today, and at Duarte (15-7, 7-5) Friday. La Puente ends at Azusa (8-11, 7-5) today and home against Azusa on Friday. If I’m La Puente, I make sure I’m not conducting an illegal batting practice at Azusa, the team that called them on it last year, costing the Warriors a share of the league title. They finished a game-behind Sierra Vista after forfeiting a 3-0 win to Azusa. Time for payback.

Del Rey League: The pressure is on La Salle (17-7-1, 9-2) this afternoon. La Salle did the heavy lifting by taking 2 of 3 from Bishop Amat (18-9, 10-2) to put themselves in position for their first Del Rey League title ever. But La Salle blew its chance to win the title outright with an 8-1 loss to St. Paul on Monday. La Salle can share the league title and go to the playoffs as the league’s top entry with a win at St. Paul today at 315 p.m., but if they lose, Amat wins the title outright without having to play a league game this week.

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Spring Football: Best team in the SGV ready to unleash sophomore QB Antonio “Noodles” Hull during spring passing tourney’s

“He’s going to start off trying to win the quarterback position,” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said. “He can play back, receiver, safety, corner, return kicks.He can play anything, but I see him playing quarterback.”

By Aram Tolegian
It’s possible that sophomore quarterback Antonio “Noodles” Hull will take the first snap when the West Covina High School football team makes its passing circuit debut later this month at the Rancho Cucamonga Tournament.

That’s saying something, considering Hull had limited experience on the varsity team after he turned 14 and was eligible to play with the big boys. The Bulldogs also return Jon Najera, who got ample experience at quarterback last season.

“He’s going to start off trying to win the quarterback position,” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said. “He can play back, receiver, safety, corner, return kicks.

“He can play anything, but I see him playing quarterback.”

The Bulldogs began spring practice Monday. Unlike the past two years, the defending back-to-back CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division champions are lacking in star power. There is ample returning experience, but the likes of Chris Solomon, Beejay Lee, George Johnson and Justen Meaders are missing.

That’s where Hull and defensive end Justin Hornsby come in to play.

Hull has been hyped since arriving on campus as a freshman with the legacy of a strong youth football career with the Compton Vikings behind him. He played quarterback for West Covina’s freshman team last year before being called up to varsity later in the season. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder is expected to be one of the Bulldogs’ top weapons this season.

Hornsby, who transferred last summer after being a starter his sophomore year at Rancho Verde, was denied eligibility by the CIF-SS and forced to sit out his junior season. Hornsby appears ready to be one of the area’s top defensive players. Maggiore thinks recruiters will soon be after the 6-2, 215 Hornsby once he gets more exposure.

Maggiore estimated his program has 180 players this spring, with several of them still part of the baseball team. Because of West Covina’s run-first offense, the Bulldogs rarely impress during the passing circuit, but this year may be slightly different with the unveiling of Hull. And that says nothing about how crazy it might get during the season.

“We would definitely run more option and more shotgun stuff with the quarterback being the second run option,” Maggiore said. “Those things (passing tournaments) are nice to see the guys compete, but we don’t put a whole lot of stock in that.

“Our game is based on play-action pass and the run game is going to set up a lot of the things we do.”

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Rowland’s Kaylea Snaer belts two homers, she’s at 16 going into final game against Bonita Thursday

Rowland junior Kaylea Snaer belted two home runs today in an 11-3 loss to West Covina on Tuesday, giving her a San Gabriel Valley record of 16 HRs. It’s been a homer-fest this season. Indio’s Heather Morales has 18 and Vista Murrieta’s Sierra Romero broke the CIF-SS record of 18 homers with 19 already. Rowland finishes with Bonita on Thursday, so the question is, will Bonita pitch to her like West Covina did, or will they walk her three times like the previous game against Diamond Bar?

CIF-Southern Section single-season record
19 – Sierra Romero, Vista Murrieta (2012)
18 – Heather Morales, Indio (2012)
18 – Bailie Kirker, Crescenta Valley (2008)
17 – Lauren Chamberlain, El Toro (2010)
16 – Kaylea Snaer, Rowland (2012); Lisa Estill, Grace Brethren (1998), Baile Kirker, Crescenta Valley (2009).
15 – Baile Kirker, Crescenta valley (2007), Brittany Spaulding, Los Alamitos (2008), Taylor Edwards, Vista Murrieta (2009), Lauren Sweet, Corona Santiago (2011).
14 — Sheri Ramsay, Hesperia (1990), Crystal Roberts, Grace Brethren (1998), Anissa Young, Bloomington, (2008), Shawna Wright, Lancaster (2007 and ’09), Alena Murgatroid, Quartz Hill (2009)

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