Top CHS athletes make move to college ranks
Each year Claremont High School celebrates the student athletes who will be competing in college sports. This year’s list includes a diverse group who will play volleyball, softball, soccer and track at schools from the University of La Verne to George Washington University.
Outfielder Taylor Alarcon will play softball for William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. Alarcon said she was happy just to have the opportunity to play college-level ball, and chose the Cardinals after meeting with a scout during softball camp last year. She may be starting a CHS legacy at William Jewell, following in the footsteps of Pack standout Faith Song who played four years with the Cardinals.
Roi Wallace will play volleyball at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Wallace, who is a setter, played on the CHS varsity team and on the local club team Pac Juniors. She is excited about the opportunity to compete on the Division 1 level and to expand her athletic skills. She was attracted to Morgan State in part because of the diversity in the Baltimore region and because the school is one of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities. She will be studying communications, with an emphasis on journalism.
Katrina Merrick will be playing softball at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Merrick’s strength is her power hitting, but she also plays first and third base. She will study psychology at Ferris State and admitted she was a bit apprehensive about the harsh winters in the Midwest. She is family-oriented, but felt that moving halfway across the country will force her to grow as she enters adulthood.
A member of this year’s Palomares League championship team, Jack Kolodge will take his soccer skills to the University of La Verne. He will study business finance and economics, which is a strong program at La Verne. A top scorer for the Pack, he will play forward for the Leopards. He selected La Verne after an encouraging meeting with the coach. He also is looking forward to joining a team that includes a few friends.
Another member of the championship soccer team, goalkeeper Nathan Armas will play for the Whittier College Poets. Armas was the backbone of the Pack’s defense for four years and will continue in that position at Whittier. He chose the local college so that he could help out his family. He is also looking forward to playing against the University of La Verne and his former teammate Kolodge. He will study business management with a minor in economics.
Sprinter Ira Clark will be joining the track team at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Clark runs the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races, although he says the 400 is his least favorite because of the longer length. He enjoys sprinting because, “You don’t have to think about it, you just go.” George Washington was a natural choice for the future international affairs student because the campus is mere blocks from the White House and the US State Department building. After graduation, he would like to pursue a career in foreign service.
Claremont lost a heartbreaker to West Ranch High School on Monday, falling short by four games. The two teams were tied at nine sets all, but West Ranch won by 87-83 in total game victories. The Pack went down 5-1 after the first round, Leyton Bohren winning the only set. “The boys played with determination and grit and came back and won the last two rounds 4-2 chipping away at the 10 game deficit,” according to Coach Kathy Settles. “I was so impressed with their comeback that it felt like we won.”
On Saturday during the CIF finals, the girls 200-yard freestyle relay team moved up to 11th and once again beat their own CHS school record with a time of 1:40 flat. Freshman Sophie Jackson led off with a 24:82, followed by junior Katrina Strash 24:43, senior Samantha Duran 24:94 and freshman Mary Margrave 25:81.
Earlier in the week the CHS team of Jackson, Duran, Strash and Margrave also competed in the girls 400-yard freestyle relay, placing just outside the finals time cut in 19th. However, they are the alternate team in case another team is disqualified. They missed the finals mark by just .01 of a second! They beat their personal best of 3:41.89 with a 3:40.83.
Individual times included Jackson’s 19th place in the 50-yard freestyle at 24:70, which makes her first alternate for the state championship meet, and Strash at 24.74 in the same race for 20th or second alternate. Ben Eagleton had a time of 22.51 in the 50-yard freestyle for 33rd place.
Several Claremont runners scored impressive results last weekend at the CIF Southern Section Division II Prelims in Moorpark.
Annie Boos took third place in the 1600-meter race, only a couple of seconds behind first place. Boos, along with teammates Kyla Morris, Kyra Tisopulos and Kylie Robinson, placed seventh in the 4x400-meter relay, which was good enough to make the time cut for the finals.
Another top distance runner, Ryan Renken, took fourth in the 1600-meter race, just over half a second off the first place runner. Owen Bishop crossed the finish line less than a second later in sixth place. Renken also finished seventh in the 3200-meter event.
Duy Tran Sampson also did quite well in the 100-meter race, finishing 9th in a result that was again decided by a split second.
Boys tennis reached the quarterfinal round of the CIF tournament but lost, 13-5, to number-three seeded Mark Keppel High School on Monday in Alhambra.
Baseball finished third in the San Joaquin League, earning a wild card game in the playoffs but ending up falling short to Rubidoux 4-1 on Wednesday.
Softball won the San Joaquin League and will host Rancho Mirage on Thursday at 3:15. The second round is scheduled for next Tuesday should the team advance.
Track and field had two athletes qualify to the CIF finals this week on Saturday at Cerritos College. Kelli Henry will compete in the high jump and Jeffrey Ran in pole vault.
Both men’s and women’s Claremont Mudd Scripps tennis teams are heading to the final rounds of the NCAAs in Kalamazoo, Michigan, qualifying over the weekend by winning their regional events. The men’s team will be defending their national championship.
CMS men’s golf won its first NCAA Division III National Championship and freshman Alex Wrenn (CMS) claimed a tie for second place individually on May 13 at the Midvale Country Club in Penfield, New York.