State Track and Field Finals today and Saturday; tweet updates from @keithllair; results posted here

Follow @Keithllair at the state track and field championships in Clovis today and Saturday. Keith will be tweeting and posting Tout video’s of competitors at finals. For up to the minute results, click the CIF-State results link.
By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
La Salle High School graduate Daniel De La Torre has had a one-track mind this entire spring.
He missed last Friday’s graduation ceremonies to work on his one goal for this season: Win CIF State track and field championships in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. He qualified in both events at last week’s CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet. “It’s all been a progression,” the UCLA-bound runner said. “I’m ready to run in state. I’m going to finish what I started, which is to finish strong.”
The goal remains intact heading into today’s two-day meet at Clovis’ Veterans Memorial Stadium at Buchanan High. De La Torre finished ninth in the 1,600 and fourth in the 3,200 last year. He must finish in the top nine in a 1,600 qualifying race today. There is no 3,200 qualifier.
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Damien golfer Brandon Tsujimoto is heading to the state finals after shooting at 70 at Brookside

golfBy Keith Lair, Staff Writer
Brandon Tsujimoto will be enjoying two trips to Carmel in June.
The Damien High School graduate used Brookside Golf Course for the springboard for both trips, too. He qualified for the June 17-22 California Amateur last week on the facility’s No. 1 course and earned a berth in next week’s CIF State finals by shooting a 2-under-par 70 in Thursday’s CIF/SCGA Southern California regional on the same layout.
“My game has been coming around and my scores lower and lower,” he said. “Shooting a 70, especially with the competition here, it’s a great number.”
Tsujimoto went through graduation ceremonies last week. He finished sixth in Thursday’s one-day tournament to qualify for the finals, to be held Wednesday at Quail Lodge Golf Club.
“It was a really consistent round,” he said. “It feels great to go to state for the first time and in my senior year. It’s a great way to go out.”
Five other Valley golfers tried to duplicate Tsujimoto’s feat, but none qualified for the top nine spots. Arcadia’s Johnny Lai and La Canada’s Collin Morikawa came within one shot of getting into a playoff for one of four remaining slots. They had even-par 72s.
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With three months before the high school football season, we’ve got ten questions?

I’m already fired up for the fall. This is your football thread to discuss anything you want, the 10 questions, transfers, whose expected to transfer, coaching changes, gossip, whatever. We’ve got a lot to talk about over the next three months

VBULLDOGS1. Will Antonio “Noodles” Hull, who transferred from West Covina to Diamond Bar, regain his football eligibility after CIF declared him ineligible citing an athletically motivated transfer. Hull’s family has hired an attorney to appeal the decision. My guess is nothing will change. If it didn’t change for South Hills’ Jordan Canada, it probably won’t change for Hull.

2. It appears Damien has had more high profile players transfer out than transfer in since former Bishop Amat legendary coach Mark Paredes took over. Before Damien heads to the Pac-5, will it do anything in the Sierra or Inland with Paredes in charge? My guess, they’ll probably go 5-5.

3. Will Gladstone and El Monte, who had two of the best season’s in school history, even make the playoffs after graduating so many talented players, especially Gladiators QB Kevin Amezquita and Lions QB Brandon Martinez? I say probably not.

hagerty4. Is Bishop Amat quarterback Koa Haynes good enough or great enough to lead the Lancers to a Serra league title without a top back returning? Is Bishop Amat good enough to make the playoffs, period? The past few years Amat has been idling. They’re not going up, they’re not going down, they’re stuck in neutral. Will that change? Probably not, expect another second or third place finish in the Serra, and probably a first-round playoff exit.

payton5. Will San Dimas junior football standout Jake Payton, the Valle Vista League player of the year, remain at San Dimas? I’ve been told by a very reliable source that he is seriously considering transferring and that the wheels are already in motion. Stay tuned!

6. How many players will transfer to Charter Oak knowing they’re going back to the Hacienda League and probably the Southeast Division by 2014? And before it leaves, is there any chance of getting past the second round in the Inland Division? Over/Under is 5 on players transferring in, and no, they probably won’t get past the second round.

7. Will we ever watch Kurt Scoby play football again? He’s been at Charter Oak, Duarte, St. Paul, Alemany and now Monrovia. It’s his senior year, will he play? I’d set the odds at 70-30 that he never plays high school football again.

medrano8. Is West Covina football, after winning back-to-back Southeast titles in 2010 and ’11, on the decline? I’m afraid so, by 2014, Edgewood is taking over!

9. How good will the South Hills freshman football team be with head coach Steve Bogan in charge? He might be the first freshman football coach with four CIF titles.

10T. Who will be the top recruited football player in the Valley? Sadly, can’t think of many.

10T. Who are your sleeper teams for 2013? I’ll give you three, Diamond Bar, Bonita, Duarte.

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Charter Oak baseball coach Tom Quinley not expected back

Sources at Charter Oak have confirmed that longtime Charter Oak baseball coach Tom Quinley, a walk-on, will not be back next season. Quinley led Charter Oak to the CIF-SS Division 4 title in 2007, beating Santa Monica, 7-1. He also led the Chargers to the Division 4 title game in 2005. Charter finished one of its worst seasons in memory, finishing 9-14 and last in the Sierra League.

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Northview produces pictures and VIDEO alleging Aquinas softball took illegal batting practice

BREAKING NEWS: Northview coach Jeff Butler informed me that after discussing with school officials, they have decided not to file a protest.

NEW VIDEO: Video footage of Aquinas allegedly hitting off a tee in pre-game warm-ups prior to its 9-1 semifinal victory was sent to us today. Again, you be the judge, are players hitting off a tee?

northproNorthview High School spoke with CIF-Southern Section officials today accusing Aquinas, who it lost to 9-1 in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 5 softball semifinal, of conducting an illegal batting practice. If CIF determined an illegal batting practice took place, Aquinas would have to forfeit its victory. However, Northview only produced pictures, which I have obtained, but has no video evidence of Aquinas taking an illegal batting practice. Also, Northview never filed a formal protest with CIF officials, so it appears nothing will likely happen. But you be the judge, are these pictures enough? In the top photo Northview alleges this is a picture of an Aquinas player hitting off a tee. I can’t tell with certainty, the pictures are blurry. But it does appear the ball is stationary because the ball is in the hit-zone and the player still has the bat on her shoulders. But who knows, it could be an Aquinas player tossing the ball too. Those are just my observations. I never liked the rule anyway, but if you see it happening and believe you’ve caught a team violating it, get your video camera out.
The CIF-SS Softball playoff Bulletin states the following:
BATTING PRACTICE– Includes bunting or slap hittimg. Teams entered in the softball playoffs WILL NOT be permitted to take batting practice on the day of the scheduled contest. Batting practice will be construed as any type of pitching motion with ANY type of ball from in front of the batter (including pitching machines, underhand tossing, overhand throwing or pepper). THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE BATTING WARMUP WILL BE SIDE SOFT TOSS.
northpro2The player who tosses the ball should be on a knee and to the side of the batter. The ball should be lifted, not pitched, to the batter. THE PENALTY FOR BATTING PRACTICE WITH WIFFLE BALL, SOFTBALL, BASEBALL, ETC. MAY BE FORFEITURE OF GAME.

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Rowland’s Devin Thompson a feel-good comeback story; He will compete in long and triple jump at state finals

thompsonBy Keith Lair, staff writer
The surprise of the high school track and field season has been the late-season surge of Devin Thompson.
The Rowland High School senior is only one of two San Gabriel Valley athletes competing in two individual events in this weekend’s CIF State meet in Clovis.
Thompson did not compete for 1 1/2 years because of academic issues. He will try to qualify for the finals in both the long and triple jumps on Friday.
“It’s been a wake-up call,” Thompson said. “I’m treating this as more of a comeback season. I really have to thank coach (Dan) Luna and the staff for pushing me through all these obstacles and making me eligible for track.
“I went in as an underdog and I’ve come out out in the middle of the pack. I’m pretty confident at this point.”

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CIF-SS Baseball/Softball finals schedule

For those interested in attending CIF-SS baseball or softball finals this weekend, here’s your schedule.

Division 1

Mira Costa vs. Harvard-Westlake, Friday, Dodger Stadium, 8 p.m.
Division 2
Temecula Valley vs. Cypress, Friday, Dodger Stadium, 5 p.m.
Division 3
Mira Costa vs. Serra, Friday, Dodger Stadium, 2 p.m.
Division 4
El Rancho vs., Oaks Christian, Saturday, UC Riverside, 7:30 pm.
Division 5
Ontario Christian/Oaks Hills winner vs. Citrus Valley, Saturday, UC Riverside, 1 p.m.
Division 6
Desert Christian Academy vs. Capistrano Valley Christian, Saturday, UC Riverside, 4 p.m.
Division 7
Firebaugh vs. Temecula Prep, Saturday, UC Riverside, 10 a.m.

Division 1

Corona Santiago vs. Norco, Saturday, Deanna Manning, 7 p.m.
Division 2
Lakewood vs. Chino, Saturday, Deanna Manning, 3 p.m.
Division 3
Sunny Hills vs. Righetti, Friday, Deanna Manning, 7:30 p.m.
Division 4
Santa Monica vs. Hemet, Saturday, Deanna Manning, 12:30 p.m.
Division 5
Montebello vs. Aquinas, Friday, Deanna Manning, 5:15 p.m.
Division 6
Mary Star vs. Bell-Jeff, Saturday, Deanna Manning, 10 a.m.
Division 7
Southlands Christian vs. Mesa Grande, Friday, Deanna Manning, 3 p.m.

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Softball: Aquinas ends Northview’s dream run, 9-1

By Steve Ramirez
Staff Writer
Northview and Aquinas high schools began Tuesday dreaming of winning their program’s first CIF-Southern Section title.
For the visiting Falcons, that quest is still alive.
Jessica Valenzuela hit a three-run home run in the third inning and Allie Hotetz was solid in the circle and Aquinas advanced to its first CIF-SS championship game with a 9-1 victgory over the Vikings in a Division 5 semifinal.
Hotetz tossed a four-hitter and struck out three and Maritsa Cardona had four hits and two RBIs for the Falcons, who improved to 25-2 and will face either Silverado or Montebello in the title game, either Friday or Saturday at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine. The CIF-SS will release the championship game schedule today.
Northview, which was in the semifinals for the first time, finished 21-8.
“A lot of girls who have gone on to college have built this program when we got to the quarters and the semifinals and we couldn’t get over the hump and get to the finals,” Aquinas coach Chris Ybarra said. “These girls are proving to everyone that it doesn’t always mean how big your school is, as long as you can come together.
“I said it last week, they play for each other. They don’t play for individual stats. They want to play for their team, because they want to win it as group. And they are playing for their seniors. It’s exciting, and I’m very proud of my girls and I hope it can continue (in the championship game).”
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IT’S OVER: Baldwin Park, Diamond Bar, San Dimas finished, and so is the SGV

Photo gallery of El Rancho, Baldwin Park

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
El Rancho’s history-making march in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 baseball playoffs took another giant step.
El Rancho rallied for a 5-4 victory over Baldwin Park in the semifinals on Tuesday, sending the Dons to their first title game ever.
Baldwin Park was hoping to play for its first title since 1982, but El Rancho’s Joe Sanchez broke a 4-4 tie in the top of seventh with a single up that middle that drove in Nick Vasquez for the go-ahead run.
“I know I had two strikes on me, but there’s no time to press the panic button,” Sanchez said. “I knew I had to get the job done and got it done. I stuck with the basics and went up the middle. That’s what I was thinking the whole way.”
Baldwin Park had a chance to tie in the bottom of the seventh. With runners on first and third and two outs, Dons reliever Julian Vizcarra struck out Braves clean-up hitter Dominic Hilo to end the game.
“Every day we say believe, believe, believe,” Sanchez said. “We never gave up and never put our heads down. We’re 24 strong and we got it done.”
After finishing third in the Del Rio League, El Rancho (20-10) will face top seed Oaks Christian, a 3-0 winner over San Dimas, in the championship on Saturday at UC Riverside at 7:30 p.m.
Baldwin Park finishes 23-4. (To continue, click link).


Division 3
Serra 9, Diamond Bar 2
Division 4
Oaks Christian 3, San Dimas 0
El Rancho 5, Baldwin Park 4
Tuesday’s semifinals
Division 5

Aquinas 9, Northview 1


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Baseball: The hits just kept on coming as San Dimas rolls Sonora, 19-5, to advance to semifinals

By Steve Ramirez
Staff Writer
The general concept says that the degree of difficulty is supposed to increase the further a team advances in the CIF-Southern Section baseball playoffs.
San Dimas High School might be the exception.
Ricky Ramirez had four hits and three RBIs and Josh Avila had four RBIs to lead a 22-hit attack as the Saints cruised to the semifinals with a 19-5 victory over visiting Sonora in a Division 4 quarterfinal game.
San Dimas, also getting three hits and three RBIs from Logan Murratalla and three hits and two RBIs from Andrew Espinoza, improved to 26-6 and will travel to top seed Oaks Christian, which eliminated Northview, 15-4, in Tuesday’s semifinals.
AJ Oviedo and Brandon Chandler had three hits each for Sonora, which finished 23-7.
“It did shock us,” said Ramirez, who had a double and single to highlight a 12-run third inning which put the game away. “We were expecting a battle. We had the opportunity to score a lot of runs and it made it a lot easier for us. It just made every thing go smooth.”
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Baseball: Baldwin Park, Diamond Bar, San Dimas advance to semis; Bishop Amat, South Hills, Northview finished

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Baldwin Park pitcher Ben Fonseca pitched a complete game, allowing four hits with 11 strikeouts to lead the Braves to a 3-2 victory over Riverside La Sierra, sending the Braves to the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 semifinals on Tuesday.
VNORTHVIEWBaldwin Park (22-6), seeking its first CIF title since 1982, will face El Rancho, a 6-4 winner over El Segundo, in the semifinals at a site to be determined by a coin flip.
“We just want to keep going,” Baldwin Park coach Jake Barendregt said. “Ben was his stellar self again, he’s been like that all year for us.”
La Sierra’s Matt Hardy belted two home runs, his home run in the first giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
Baldwin Park’s Jordan Palacio scored Dominic Hilo on a ground out in the second inning to tie the score, 1-1.
The Braves took a 3-1 lead in the fourth.
Palacio’s ground out scored Hilo again, and Justin Tellez singled home Timothy Wells.
Hardy hit his second homer in the sixth inning to trim the Braves’ lead to 3-2, but they were able to hold on behind behind Fonseca and a clutch throw in the seventh.
Braves outfielder Ryan Cruz threw out the tying run at third to end the game.
“He (Foncseca) grinded it out and threw strikes,” Barendregt said. “He only made two mistakes (on the HRs), that’s it.”

Division 2

Vista Murrieta 2, South Hills 1
Division 3
Mira Costa 4, Bishop Amat 2
Diamond Bar 5, Gahr 3
Division 4
Oaks Christian 14, Northview 4
San Dimas 19, Sonora 5
Baldwin Park 3, La Sierra 2
Tuesday’s semifinals
Division 3

Serra vs. Diamond Bar
Division 4
San Dimas at Oaks Christian
Baldwin Park vs. El Rancho

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Mira Costa took advantage of Bishop Amat’s mistakes and senior lefty Chris Alcala did the rest, going the distance to lift the Mustangs to a 4-2 victory over the Lancers in Friday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3 quarterfinal.
Mira Costa (23-11) advances to Tuesday semifinals, where it will face the Peninsula-Elsinore winner.
Alcala gave up just five hits and retired the Lancers in order in the seventh to finish it off.
“I just tried to go out there and throw strikes,” Alcala said. “Coming into the game coaches told me we’re going to try and saw them off, throw the fast ball soft and away. It definitely helped.”
Alcala and Amat starter Andrew Eppenbach battled through four scoreless innings when Amat’s defense let Eppenbach down.
VAMATWith a runner on first and two outs, Eppenbach got Mira Costa’s Austin Henning to hit a routine grounder to second, but Evan Claproth’s throw to first was dropped for an error.
After the runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, the Lancers walked clean-up hitter Jack Webber intentionally to load the bases.
Braden Casady made them pay, singling home a pair to go up 2-0.
Mustang’s coach Cassidy Olson hasn’t spoken to the local media this season and said he doesn’t want to jinx it now.
But assistant Rob Duron was more than happy to talk about Casady’s pay-off single.
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Who is the area softball player of the year? Coach of the year? Who should be on first team?

Let’s see how good you’re selecting a Tribune first-team softball team. Fill in the blanks and discuss it amongst yourselves.
Player of the year:
(2) Pitchers:
(4) Infielder:
(3) Outfielders:
(1) Utility:

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Masters Meet: Bonita’s Nikki Wheatley, Marissa Scott, Rowland’s Devin Thompson and Amat’s Darren Andrews hoping to reach state track finals

The Masters Meet at Cerritos begins with field events at 4 p.m., followed by track finals at 6 p.m. You can find all the up-to-minute results by clicking the link.
scottBy Keith Lair, Staff Writer
It’s the strangest track and field meet of the season.
When 16 Valley athletes gather at Cerritos College in Norwalk for today’s CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet, it will not be about winning. It will be be about qualifying for next week’s CIF state meet.
Fist place will be as good as sixth place. Twelfth place in distance events might be as good as first place, too. An event’s first six places or a qualifying standard set by CIF will decide who will be advancing to the two-day meet in Fresno on May 31 to June 1.
“My big goal is to achieve,” La Salle’s Daniel De La Torre said. “There’s a lot more room for improvement.”
Field events start at 4:30 p.m. with running events at 6.
The CIF-SS has been granted six spots, no matter the marks, into the state meet. As many as 10 Valley athletes could advance based solely on the standard.
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