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CHS girls sports celebrate highly competitive 2019

It was another strong year for Claremont High School girls athletics with soccer, cross country, water polo and tennis earning league titles. Unfortunately, they all fell short in CIF play.

Girls tennis came the closest to snagging a title, advancing all the way to the CIF Division Two Team Championships at the Claremont Club in November.

As the COURIER reported at the time: “There were close calls and heartbreak losses all day. There were also come from behind wins, and moments when it seemed like victory was just within grasp.” At the end of three rotations Claremont and Woodbridge were tied on sets, but the Warriors got the win on games, 82-80.

In the CIF singles competition Goldie La advanced all the way to the round of 16 where she lost to the eventual CIF champ Anessa Lee.

After winning league, both girls soccer and girls water polo had first round CIF matches on the same night. Both came into the competition as favorites, with undefeated records and the home team advantage. But only water polo moved on as soccer fell to Camarillo, 3-2. Water polo lost in the quarter finals to Mira Costa, 13-6.

Sophomore golfer Kelly Xu won her second straight Palomares League MVP title by 20 shots in November and then proceeded to make a run through the CIF tournament all the way to the state finals in Pebble Beach, which is a long way from Marshall Canyon Golf Course.

CHS cross country came into the season as a top ranked team with the defending girls CIF champion Maddie Coles leading the charge. The girls were also the defending CIF Division Two Southern Section champs and the defending state champs.

A huge class of runners graduated in June, plus a very strong Newbury Park was brought down from D1 to D2, which made for some challenges this year. Both boys and girls did snag league titles in 2019 and Coles took fourth in the CIF D2 finals. They also won the Crystal Spring Invitational in October.

Still, Claremont has one of the best cross country teams in the area and will definitely be back next year.

In addition to cross country, boys tennis and water polo also took league titles.

Boys varsity tennis went undefeated in league matches and continued to win through the CIF Division One Team Championships, defeating Fountain Valley High School, 11-7, at home. Next up was an away quarterfinal match against San Clemente High School that, much like the girls match, ended in a 9-9 tie. However, CHS fell short, 78-69 on games.

At the CIF Individual Championships at University of Redlands, five Claremont High School boys tennis players won first round matches. The Pack’s number-one seed doubles team of Ben Stapp and Jason Weisman won all three rounds during opening day, moving on to the round of 32 in Seal Beach.

Boys water polo overcame the hardship of having no home pool, and therefore no reliable place to practice, to win a title in a very competitive Palomares League. The final match was a very exciting 8-4 win over Glendora, giving the Pack a 9-1 record.

Claremont hosted a strong south Orange County team in the first round of the CIF playoffs at Pomona College’s Haldeman pool. The Pack played well but could not keep up with the El Toro Chargers, who won 9-6.

There were noteworthy achievements from CHS alums as well.

In October, Brittany Brown won a silver medal at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Doha, Qatar. In doing so, she brought Team USA its first podium in the women’s 200-meter since 2011.

University of California Berkeley sophomore (now a junior) and 2017 CHS graduate Annie Boos set a school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:14.83) at the Stanford Invitational in March.

Another 2017 alum, Katrina Strash, and her crew teammates on the third varsity eight boat at the University of Virginia won the ACC Conference Championships on May 18 in Clemson, South Carolina.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com

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