CHS track and field looks to continue winning legacy
by Steven Felschundneff | firstname.lastname@example.org
With girls soccer’s loss in the quarterfinals of the CIF tournament last week, winter sports officially sails into the sunset and now it’s time to talk about spring.
Track and field has been a strong program for many years and this year is no exception, with a cadre of distance runners leading the pack.
As a member of the soccer team, Maddie Coles hardly could catch her breath before it was time to start the track season. Of course, as a three-sport athlete—she is a state champion cross country runner as well—the sophomore doesn’t really take much time off. Nonetheless, Coles, along with teammates Azalea Segura-Mora and Isatu N’Diaye, will be out front for Claremont in the 800- through 3200-meter races this year.
The boys have their own muscle in the distance events with cross country stars Jack Keough-Lansford, Adam Trafecanty and Blake Bertrand.
Other girls to watch include: Nevaeh Cobb, hurdles; Selah Eum, sprints and long jump; Chelsea Lin, long and triple jump; Simone Murguia, shot discus; Bella Sanvictores, sprint and pole vault; and Victoria Rogers, sprints.
On the boys side: Alex Sotolongo, sprints; Cooper Holt, hurdles and all jumping events; and Nathan Hoon, hurdles and all jumping events.
Claremont hosted Damien and St. Lucy’s high schools on Tuesday, for a “friendly” meet where athletes compete, but scores are not tabulated. The real competition gets started this weekend as Claremont takes part in the Saddle Up Invitation at Vista Murrieta.
Palomares League action begins next Wednesday with a double dual against Glendora and Bonita at CHS. It should be very competitive, so go out and support the Pack!
Boys tennis rebuilding, but still have top talent
Kathy Settles has coached great tennis teams during the years in charge of the boys and the girls programs at CHS. They have several Palomares League titles and last semester the girls went to the CIF team championship game.
This season, the boys will be doing rebuilding after six varsity standouts graduated in 2019. As a result, the 2020 varsity squad only has 10 players, one of whom is ineligible until mid March because he recently enrolled at CHS. That is going to make things a bit tough as Coach Settles will have little flexibility to substitute players with injuries or illness. Having twelve members on a team is the sweet spot, she said.
Still, the defending Palomares League champion Wolfpack has some of the league’s top talent and has a very good chance of defending their title. Senior Ben Stapp, who played doubles last year, will be filling in at number one singles, and freshman Alex Chan will also be in the singles lineup.
Ayala’s Dylan Ojeda is possibly the best singles player in the league, so the Bulldogs should be strong again this season. Claremont will have a few matches before the start of league, which begins with an away game against Bonita March 11.
Claremont has one game in the books, a 13-5 win over San Gabriel on Tuesday, and the boys hosted Palm Desert on Thursday after press time.
Claremont tennis hosted the SoCal Mixed Doubles Challenge tournament earlier this month. The event is the main fundraiser for the coed tennis programs. Coach Settles plans to buy new metal placards to honor CHS championship teams and individuals.
Boys volleyball preps for league
Claremont is taking a trip to south Orange County, the home of the best volleyball in Southern California, to get in shape for the upcoming season. At the Foothill Volleyball Tournament this weekend in Santa Ana, the Pack will face top CIF division one teams. It’s one of Coach Bernie Wendling’s favorite early tournaments, which gives his team a chance to go up against the very best.
Like boys tennis, volleyball graduated six players and must begin the hard work of rebuilding. The Pack does have some returning talent, including senior Caleb Greene as well as juniors Mathian Miller and Roland Ferro. Coach Wending switched Miller from libero to outside hitter, making Ferro the new libero, which is the key defensive position. The team has also added several basketball players, including junior Sebastian DePrez, who was a reliable varsity forward on the basketball team.
“We lack experience, but have talent, so that is really fun,” Coach Wending said. “Now we have to get them ready in time to compete.”
Boys volleyball is the only team at CHS that competes in the Hacienda League, which includes just five teams. The league is a bit of a mix with Damien, Diamond Ranch, West Covina and Los Altos. Coach Wendling said that Los Altos would be the team to beat.
Claremont has moved down to CIF division four, which won’t affect league play, but bodes well for the playoffs as the Pack will face smaller schools. The boys first game of 2020 was at Centennial in Corona on Thursday, after press time.