Competitive season for CHS marked by highs and lows
New athletic director
One longtime educator replaced another as Athletic Director Rick Dutton retired in June, only to be replaced by former football coach Mike Collins.
Mr. Dutton was the football program’s offensive coordinator from 1978 to 1997, including CIF title years 1984 and 1985. He became a full time health and physical education teacher at CHS in 1984. In 1995 he became Claremont’s athletic director.
Mike Collins, who was hired 1995, praised Mr. Dutton for creating a first class sports program. “He was a huge supporter of Claremont football in my 20 years as head coach,” said Mr. Collins. “But a lot people don’t know that Rick is also an incredible football coach. He put together one of the best passing offenses ever in our area.”
Last spring, CHS announced the appointment of Shane Hile as its new football coach. Coach Hile was defensive coordinator at Claremont for six years when Mr. Collins was head coach.
Coach Hile began his football career at Damien High School as defensive line coach. He was an assistant coach at CHS from 2009 to 2012, and became the defensive coordinator in 2013. Coach Hile has been a special education teacher at CHS since 2010.
“Whether it is the classroom or the football field, you have to find a way to make the kid learn. Once you find that way, it’s just awesome, and they do well,” Coach Hile said during practice last summer.
The Pack ended the year 2-3 in league play, and 4-6 overall.
The continued domination of girls cross country tops the list of the COURIER’s sports stories of the year.
They swept the Palomares League meets, including the prelims and finals, added another CIF Southern Section Division 2 title, another California State title, plus the team took its first trip to the Nike Cross Nationals.
Junior Sydney Hwang, the team’s new leader, set a school record at Mt. Sac, beating a time set by last year’s star Annie Boos. Sophomore Azalea Segura-Mora also bettered Boos’ time.
Boys cross country had a banner year, sweeping league and claiming a CIF Southern Section title. The future looks good for the very fast freshman/sophomore team, which routinely posted faster times than the junior varsity runners.
The Pack’s consistent success is partly the result of the coaching staff led by Bill Reeves, who received a California Coaches Association’s coach of the year award.
With a cast of new freshman, led by a sensational performance from Goldie La, Claremont made it all the way to the CIF quarterfinal round, narrowly losing to Redlands.
La’s season included a remarkable run through the regular season, the finals and the team CIF tournament, throughout which she did not lose a single set. Her only loss came in the individual CIF tournament when, at the round of 16, Santa Monica junior Vivian Cheng defeated La, 6-3, 6-1.
The Wolfpack pretty much defeated all comers this year, even during the post season, but they lost twice to the same team.
Claremont tied Glendora, 0-0, in the final league game to become Palomares League co-champions with the Tartans.
Claremont got two 1-0 wins in the final rounds of CIF, but the tables turned on March 4, as South Torrance handed Claremont a 1-0 defeat in the championship game. Claremont only allowed two goals in the entire championship tournament.
The teams squared off again in the CIF Southern California Regional D3 Championship game, with South Torrance claiming the win in overtime. Tied at one goal after regulation, the Spartans knocked one in during the first overtime period.
It was a remarkable season for the girls with an 8-1-1 league record, 24-3-2 overall.
CHS boys basketball had one of their best seasons in recent memory.
The boys finished league play with an 8-2 record and 21-9 overall, earning a second-place finish just behind Bonita. But Claremont gained a dash of redemption, handing the Bearcats their only league defeat the second time the teams met.
CHS won their first-round playoff game over Citrus Hill, but lost in the second round to Leuzinger.
Claremont boys tennis claimed the league doubles championship title in May as Christian Settles and Jason Weisman defeated Glendora’s Tommy Folsom and Justin Lay at the Claremont Club.
The Pack claimed four of the eight draws for the final bracket, which certainly helped Claremont reach the finals in both doubles and singles.
In the singles finals, junior Leyton Bohren lost to Diamond Bar’s Neil Tengbumroong, the top-ranked singles player in the league.
Lyling Irwin’s final pole vault clinched victory over Glendora, 69-67, and an eighth straight league championship for girls track.
Claremont boys lost to the Tartans, 75-57. However, in a twist, the boys shared a three-way league title with Ayala and Glendora with a 4-1 record.
During - CIF Finals in May, senior Owen Bishop won the 1600-meter race while his senior teammate Ryan Renken took second. Renken also won the boys 3200-meter event. Senior Annie Boos placed second in the 1600 and fourth in the 230.
Boos and Renken added another victory to their accomplishments, winning 1600-meter race at the CIF Masters meet in Arcadia.
The following week Bishop ran the fastest 1600 meters of his high school career, taking second place during the California State Meet finals in Clovis.
Junior Cameron Kading won the 100-meter paralympic event at state. Kading also took second in the 200-meter event a fraction of a second behind Mater Dei’s Henry Waterman.
Claremont had a 2-2 Hacienda League record with two weeks left in season but won all remaining games, earning a three-way league title with Damien and Los Altos. Coach Bernie Wendling has enjoyed years of success at Claremont, so the come-from-behind victory was a particularly fitting end. They went on to defeat Yucaipa in the first round of CIF but lost to Channel Islands in the second.
CHS boys soccer faced two adversaries in the first round of the CIF tournament: Thousand Oaks High School and the weather. The rain was so heavy at times that it obscured the field, and the wind made shots go far off their mark. In the end, the Pack prevailed and advanced to the second round of CIF, where they lost to Saddleback. It was a good season and the boys say adios to 2017 with a 14-8-3 record, 7-3 in league.
Girls water polo
Claremont had a banner year, taking second place in league with a 4-2 record, 19-7 overall, and a third-place ranking in CIF SS Division 4. The girls’ only league losses were against undefeated Bonita, and because the CHS pool was closed all season they had no home games.
Coach Daniel Reighter, who got a league title and went deep into CIF, quit over the summer, so CHS hired Angel Posada. For anyone keeping score, that is the seventh coach in seven years.
In October, the Wolfpack came back from a 2-1 deficit on sets against Bonita on to win, clinching second place in the league. The following week Claremont lost a close match to Martin Luther King in the first round of the CIF tournament.
Claremont girls golf is enjoying another winning season, thanks in part to a very talented freshman who is tearing up the links. Jett Legacion shot very well all season and continued into the CIF Individual tournament.
Other notable events
The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women’s volleyball swept the NCAA Tournament, defeating Wittenberg in straight sets to win the team’s first-ever national championship.
CHS?graduate Sydney Fortson, a sophomore at the US Naval Academy, was named to the 2017 Women’s Soccer Academic All-Patriot League Team.
CHS graduate Kori Carter became a world champion, winning the 400-meter hurdles at the International Association of Athletic Federations World Championships in London. Carter, 25, ran a 53.07. It was her first major international victory.
Our Lady of the Assumption boys soccer team won the Catholic Youth Organization league tournament May 21, defeating Holy Angels, 3-0.