By 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.”
For those interested in attending CIF-SS baseball or softball finals this weekend, here’s your schedule.
CIF-SS BASEBALL FINALS
Mira Costa vs. Harvard-Westlake, Friday, Dodger Stadium, 8 p.m.
Temecula Valley vs. Cypress, Friday, Dodger Stadium, 5 p.m.
Mira Costa vs. Serra, Friday, Dodger Stadium, 2 p.m.
El Rancho vs., Oaks Christian, Saturday, UC Riverside, 7:30 pm.
Ontario Christian/Oaks Hills winner vs. Citrus Valley, Saturday, UC Riverside, 1 p.m.
Desert Christian Academy vs. Capistrano Valley Christian, Saturday, UC Riverside, 4 p.m.
Firebaugh vs. Temecula Prep, Saturday, UC Riverside, 10 a.m.
CIF-SS SOFTBALL FINALS
Corona Santiago vs. Norco, Saturday, Deanna Manning, 7 p.m.
Lakewood vs. Chino, Saturday, Deanna Manning, 3 p.m.
Sunny Hills vs. Righetti, Friday, Deanna Manning, 7:30 p.m.
Santa Monica vs. Hemet, Saturday, Deanna Manning, 12:30 p.m.
Montebello vs. Aquinas, Friday, Deanna Manning, 5:15 p.m.
Mary Star vs. Bell-Jeff, Saturday, Deanna Manning, 10 a.m.
Southlands Christian vs. Mesa Grande, Friday, Deanna Manning, 3 p.m.
By Steve Ramirez
COVINA — 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).”