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Cross-country stays on top; latest football, tennis news

Claremont made its presence known at its second Sierra League match on Wednesday, winning four of five possible events in its second dominating performance in Sierra League action this season.

The Wolfpack girls varsity team nearly had a clean-sweep of the top five races, but settled for three top-five finishes in the three-mile run.

Annie Boos finished second with a time of 18:45.5 and teammates Merin Arft and Reily McLachlan crossed the line moments later, finishing third and fourth with times of 19:05.7 and 19:14.6, respectively. Kiana Cavanaugh finished just outside the top five at No. 6 with a time of 19:25.6.

Head coach Rob Lander was impressed with the way the girls ran early on, especially McLachlan, who put in one of her most impressive performances this fall, according to Coach Lander.

“Our girls ran a very nice team race,” he said. “Annie [Boos] was our first girl. Riley McLachlan had one of her better races of this season. She stepped up very nicely.”

Ayala’s Sydney Tullai edged out Claremont’s top runners with an impressive performance, topping the Wolfpack and the rest of the field by nearly 20 seconds.

The Wolfpack finished with 25 points to win the race, 14 points better than second-place finisher Ayala.

Claremont’s mens varsity team would mirror the performance of its girls team with a first place finish of their own, totaling 39 points to top two tough opponents, Ayala and Damien.

Jonah Ross put in the top performance for the Wolfpack as he locked up third place with a time of 16:08.8.

Anthony Ceccarelli rounded out the top five with a time of 16:12.1 after narrowly missing a fourth-place finish by two seconds. Damien’s Eric Stevens edged him out in the end with a time of 16:10.4.

Coach Lander noted the teams unity and ability to stick together throughout the course of the meet as a key to their overall finish in Wednesday’s league meet.

“[We had] some very good team racing,” Coach Lander said. “[We had] a lot of packing and teamwork, which is what we always emphasize.”

The girls junior varsity team put in the most dominating performance of the day, claiming four of the top five spots in their three-mile run.

Kaylee Jorgensen topped the ranks with a time of 19:52.4, while teammate Danielle Murrietta claimed second with a time of 19:55.6.

Julia Cantrell rounded out the top three with a time of 20:23.7 and fellow Wolfpack Hannah Chaput, who came in at 20:31.0, finished fourth.

In the freshman and sophomore three-mile run, the top six finishers were all Wolfpack, led by Tab Backman and Sean Renken, who finished in 17:09.1 and 17:13.0, respectively. Sean’s brother, Ryan Renken, finished third with a time of 17:15.5

Most programs would be happy coming out on top in four out of five events, but Coach Lander and the Wolfpack felt like the possibility of a clean-sweep was not farfetched. 

“We were hoping for a perfect day today, but we came up a little short.”

 

CHS football on losing end of low-scoring affair

Claremont lost, 17-14, in a defensive battle last Friday night against Sierra League foe Ayala.

Both the Wolfpack and the Bulldogs surrendered an interception, but it was Ayala’s senior quarterback, Brian Meyette, who was able to connect with his receivers for two touchdowns. Claremont senior quarterback Craig Myers was held without a touchdown.

On the ground, neither team was able to gain an edge. Claremont finished with 163 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns while Ayala, which used a run-by-committee approach, tallied 164 yards between seven different rushers. Senior running back Cecil Fleming led the Wolfpack rushing attack with 136 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

Senior wide receiver Baron Franklin hauled in six catches for 121 yards, a 20.17 yards-per-catch average.

The area where Ayala separated itself was on defense. It recorded three sacks and five tackles for loss to go along with its one interception. Aside from Claremont’s lone interception, they were only able to generate one sack.

Claremont takes on South Hills tonight at Claremont High School. The results will be posted in next week’s issue.

 

Girls tennis stays hot with three-game win streak

At 5-1, the Claremont girls tennis team is off to an outstanding start this season. The Wolfpack are currently riding a three-game win streak and have not lost a match since October 3 when they faced Ayala.

During Wednesday’s match against Chino Hills, the Wolfpack swept all nine sets in singles play. Sophomores Megan Huang and Hailey Kayatta and sophomore Nikki Rival carried Claremont to an impressive shutout performance.

The Wolfpack were engaged in a hard-fought battle with the Huskies in doubles play, but came up short in four sets, despite fighting back to close the scoring gap in each set.

Head coach Lilibeth Katigbak had plenty of things to be impressed about in Claremont’s Sierra League victory, which was its second victory against Chino Hills this season.

“I was most impressed with the growing team spirit and their ability to stay focused under pressure,” Coach Katigbak said. “As with all winning tiebreaker situations that have happened in the past with our team, I was proud to witness twin sisters, Evelyn and Lelia Kennedy, persevere in their close third round of doubles play against the Chino Hills HS number-one doubles pair.”

With the first half of the season now in the team’s rear view mirror, Coach Katigbak is stressing the importance of growing and playing smart with four regular season matches remaining.

“The most important aspect I emphasize to my players is continual improvement as we approach the second half of our season,” Coach Katigbak said. “From here on out, I hope for the team to continue to show improvement in reducing the amount of unforced errors in serves and net play.”

The Wolfpack took on Charter Oak yesterday, and results will be posted in the next issue.

—Bryan Stauffer

sports@claremont-courier.com

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