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La, Drewery and Uribe compete in CIF; complete round up

Fresh off of their oh-so-close brush with a CIF team title, girls tennis was back in action this week at the CIF Southern Section Individual Championship Tournament at the Claremont Club.

Well to be clear, just three athletes—singles champion Goldie La and the doubles team of Jahday Drewery and Caren Uribe—were competing. But several of their teammates were on hand as a cheering squad.

It was somewhat bitterly ironic that Claremont was assigned to the very court where they narrowly lost the team championship to Woodbridge a week earlier, but they did not let bad memories stand in the way. 

Drewery and Uribe had an easy time knocking off Golden League’s number two seed Isabella Bravo and Naya Jackson, 6-0, 6-0, in the first round and North Hills number one Sarah Cohen and Brianna Bradburn, 6-1, 6-4. However, Gold Coast number one team Sammy Wadler and Sydney Lichtenstein proved to be a tougher fight. The Pack claimed the first set, 6-2, but lost the second, 6-4, and the tiebreaker 10-7.

La on the other hand will advance to the round of 32 next Tuesday at the Seal Beach Tennis Center after knocking off Desert Valley League number two Maritssa Nolasco, 6-0, 6-0, Freeway League number two Crystal Kim, 6-3, 6-2 and Crestview League number one Kristin Shiuey.

Cross Country advances to the CIF State Championships

All season the boys cross country team has been leading the way, but apparently the girls were just waiting until it really mattered: the CIF Southern Section Championships on Saturday in Riverside.

The girls came in second place with 116 points, well behind a very strong Newbury Park with 65 points, but ahead of El Toro at 139. Sophomore Maddie Coles was Claremont’s top runner with a seventh place finish, followed by senior Azalea Segura-Mora, 9th, and junior Angie Gushue 11th.

The boys put in a good showing with a fourth place finish behind Newbury Park, Dana Hills and Redlands East Valley. The spread between second and fourth place was a mere 16 points. Junior Jack Keough-Lansford was the Pack’s top finisher at 12th place followed by senior Adam Trafecanty, 19th and senior Yoon Cho 31st.

Newbury Park senior Nico Young ran a 13:54, which is a record on the Riverside City Cross Country Course.

National title for Sagehens men’s cross country, women soccer on to final four

The Pomona-Pitzer men’s cross country team claimed its first national championship Saturday. They won the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky, according to a news release from Sagehen Athletics.

“This really is surreal. Words can't really describe the feelings from today,” Coach Jordan Carpenter said after the Sagehens ended the three-year reign of North Central College, a perennial power from Illinois that had won seven of the last 10 titles. “So much elation and excitement for what these guys accomplished today.”

It was a dramatic weekend for Pomona-Pitzer. On Sunday in St. Louis, Missouri, the Sagehens defeated Washington University on penalty kicks one day after defeating the University of Chicago in overtime, to reach the final four of the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championship for the first time in program history. In addition, the women’s cross country team finished 12th at the NCAA Championships in Louisville. 

But nothing topped the men’s cross country title, the first NCAA team championship for Pomona-Pitzer since the women’s tennis team won in 1992.

“We came in with the goal of finishing on the podium, but we hadn't really talked about the ability to win,” Carpenter said. “We have such a young group and only had three runners with national meet experience, so I honestly thought that next year would be our chance to win. The guys proved me wrong and we had an amazing day today. The group ran with confidence and executed their race plans to perfection. The conditions were wet and muddy, but it didn't matter. The message to the team was that ‘fitness doesn't lie,’ meaning they just need to run hard and trust in their training to carry them through the race.”

Two Pomona-Pitzer men and two Sagehen women claimed All-American honors at the meet. Ethan Widlansky, who recently earned a NCAA West Region Championship title, took seventh-place in a time of 24:32.9. Not far behind him was Dante Paszkeicz with a 16th place finish at 24:48.5. Lila Cardillo  led the way for the women with a 12th place finish at 21:38.3 and Helen Guo took 14th at 21:41.0.

The men’s depth helped bring the title home. “The improvement this group has made from last year is remarkable,” Carpenter said.

El Roble Turkey Trot was a big success

El Roble athletics raised just over $18,000 during their annual Turkey Trot last week.

“We are excited because it will allow us to replace some big ticket items in our fitness lab, like bikes and other needed gym equipment,” PE teacher Debbie Foster said in an email.

Local businesses and individuals donated 54 raffles prizes, including an Apple Watch AirPod and a pizza party for 10. 

Teacher Chris Molloy’s classes brings in the most donations every year and this time was no exception, however, Ms. Foster’s classes were only $600 behind for a total of $4,080.00. In addition, sixty-seven bags of groceries were donated to the Upland Food shelter.

“So very thankful for every donation and can [of food] that was given, Ms Foster said. “Dora Scalco was my lead mom working tirelessly since summer to bring in every donation to create our awesome assortment of prizes.”

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com