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La wins third league title; full sports round up

Goldie La wins third title in girls tennis league final

Claremont High School junior Goldie La can add another title to her personal record book after defeating Ayala’s Katelyn Yu, 6-2, 6-4, during the Palomares League individual finals Wednesday at CHS.

The two girls were very evenly matched and Yu even led for a while in the second set, but La was just too good, battling her way back from a 3-4 deficit for the win.

Teammates Jahday Drewery and Caren Uribe joined La in the winners’ circle, defeating Ayala’s Megan Chung and Phylicia Valdez, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, for the doubles title.

La’s sister, freshman Sydney La, took the third place trophy, defeating Ayala’s Emily Lam, 6-1, 6-2, while Ayala’s Loren Tayag and Kaylene Guzman defeated Claremont’s Salma Mohideen and Camile Movafagian, 7-5, 7-5, for the third place prize in doubles.

With the win Goldie La is now 24-0 on matches this season and will qualify for the CIF tournament for the third straight time. She will have good company as Drewery and Uribe will also be at CIF when it gets started on November 25 at the Claremont Club.

“We have three players going to CIF individuals, so that is exciting,” Coach Kathy Settles said.

She told her team all season long that the objective was to play better and keep improving rather than focusing on one result. This helps the girls relax and focus when the competition gets tough and it definitely paid off in the matches on Wednesday.

“I am really proud of Jahday and Caren coming back like that for the win,” Coach Settles said.

League finals played out over two days and under a new format with two brackets—one for the seeded players who were in contention for the league title and a second flight for players who did not qualify for the first flight.

The change was given a test run during boys tennis finals last season and it seemed to be popular with the coaches so they tried it with the girls. The reasoning was quite simple: In the old bracket somebody like La would likely play a much weaker player in the first couple of rounds with predictable results. Those matches would be no fun for either player, but most importantly, neither player could improve because of the experience.

By eliminating such lopsided pairings, each bracket, and every match, will feature better competition and the whole tournament will be more enjoyable. In addition, more players got to participate.

“I am a big fan,” Coach Settles said about the new format. Plus, the top girls come into the final game fresh because they only play one match on the second day instead of two, as they did under the old bracket.

Claremont hosted the league finals, which in the past were held at the Claremont Club largely because CHS is the only school in the league with enough courts to get the job done, so Coach Settles was very busy Tuesday not only coaching but also running the tournament. She expressed gratitude to the school and to the city of Claremont, which cooperate to maintain the courts at CHS and Cahuilla Park.

The undefeated Claremont Wolfpack will begin the CIF team competition next week with a bye in the first round and a home match to follow.

The tough competition in this week’s tournament is fantastic training, according to Coach Settles, because they will face some very competitive teams right out of the gate. Last year the girls made it to the quarterfinals, losing to eventual champion La Cañada.

“This is what we need,” she said. “To be pushed and to learn how to get through tough matches.”

—Steven Felschundneff

 

Xu takes third in CIF regionals

Recently crowned two-time Palomares League MVP Kelly Xu finished third overall out of 123 golfers at the CIF Southern Regional Finals on Tuesday at Los Seranos Country Club in Chino Hills. Xu shot a four under par 70, including one eagle and five birdies, which was just two shots behind the winner. Fellow sophomore Madison Stout also competed in the finals.

Water polo clinches league title

Claremont boys water polo netted another league title with a 10-4 win over Bonita on Tuesday in La Verne. As the league champs, the Wolfpack will host the opening round of the CIF tournament. However, because there is still no pool at CHS, it remains unclear where exactly that game will take place. Coach Kristin Rodriguez said recently that she would try to get the Pomona College pool for the game but had not secured it yet.

Pack even in league with win over Colony

Claremont is now 2-2 in the Palomares League after winning a good game, 38-29, against Colony on Friday at CHS. The Pack scored first and was ahead 14-7 at halftime. Both teams added a few more points in the third and then had big fourth quarter numbers with Colony adding 16 and Claremont 21.

The coaches selected junior Ryan Campuzano as the overall player of the game, with senior Logan Moran as the offensive player and sophomore Darius Eaves as the defensive player.

Quarterback junior Ricky Murillo had 13 completions for 260 yards and one touchdown. Moran had 81 of the Pack’s 138 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Eaves and Miguel Lopez each scored a touchdown after intercepting the ball. Junior Simon Jansezian had nine tackles, three solo.

Claremont will travel to Bonita for its final game. Win or lose, the Pack will have a winning season as the overall record stands at 6-3 following the victory over Colony.

Freshman football vie for league title

On Thursday after the COURIER had gone to press, the CHS freshman football team hosted Bonita in a game that determined whether the teams would share a league title or if the Bearcats would stand alone.

The Wolfpack went into the game with a 7-2 record, while Bonita was undefeated. If the Pack wins, then the teams will have identical league records and share the title, according to coach Ryan Campuzano.

Coach Campuzano’s son, and namesake, plays varsity, while his middle son Caden is on the freshman team. When the younger Ryan Campuzano was on the freshman team two years ago they also had a championship team. This could be a good sign for next year’s football program as the freshmen join the JV and varsity teams with some good experience under their belts.

Girls volleyball loses in first round of CIF

The varsity girls volleyball team’s season came to an end with a decisive 3-0 loss to Paloma Valley last Thursday in Menifee. The Wildcats came into the match undefeated with an Ivy League title and wasted little time getting the win in straight sets, 25-15, 25-15 and 25-17.

Claremont finishes the season with a 6-4 league record that included a dramatic win over then undefeated Glendora earlier this month. Palomares League first place team Alta Loma and second place Glendora also lost in the first round. Claremont ends the season third place in league with a 6-4 record, 15-13 overall.

Cross country to compete in finals this weekend

Claremont will go head to head with the other five Palomares League schools in the league finals on Saturday at Legg Lake in Whittier.

During the last meet, the Pack had little problem sweeping the field and, assuming everyone remains healthy, they should do well in this meet as well. According to the most recent rankings released by CIF, the boys team is now third in the Southern Section and the girls are fourth.