SBCC, San Marcos rewriting track & field record books; athletic trainers honored

The local athletic trainers were honored at Monday's Round Table press luncheon. Trainers in attendance were, bottom row, from left: Joseph Farias (SBCC), Wendy Whitehead (Dos Pueblos), Shannon Drew (Cate), Shauna Ericksen (Cate); top row: Susan Houlihan-Davis (SBCC), Kayla Linane (Santa Barbara High), Shiho Ando (SBCC) and Bryan Linden (San Marcos).

The local athletic trainers were honored at Monday’s Round Table press luncheon. Trainers in attendance were, bottom row, from left: Joseph Farias (SBCC), Wendy Whitehead (Dos Pueblos), Shannon Drew (Cate), Shauna Ericksen (Cate); top row: Susan Houlihan-Davis (SBCC), Kayla Linane (Santa Barbara High), Shiho Ando (SBCC) and Bryan Linden (San Marcos).

Records are being rewritten early in the track and field season.

SBCC coach Scott Fickerson and San Marcos High’s Marilyn Hantgin spoke about record-breaking performances by their athletes at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe.

Three longstanding school records have been broken at SBCC. The latest was in the men’s pole vault, where Chris Aichinger out of Santa Ynez High cleared 15-10 1/8 to set a new mark. The previous best of 15-2 1/4 was set in 2001. Aichinger’s height is seventh best in the state.

Two weeks ago, Andrea Mueller rewrote the school record in the heptathlon with 4,382 points. The previous best was set in 1991. Mueller, a native from Switzerland, will be competing this week at the Southern California Championships in Cerritos. The top six finishers will qualify for the State Meet. She is currently ranked fifth in the state, said Fickerson.

Mueller earned Athlete of the Week honors for her performance.

The third record set at SBCC came in the women’s 5000 meters. Tiffany Costello ran 17:34, shaving 5.27 seconds off the previous mark set by Anne Hayden in 1986.

SBCC will host the Easter Open on Friday, April 14 before heading into its postseason.

Hantgin said the girls distance medley relay team broke a 14-year San Marcos mark at the Stanford Invitational last week, running 11:54.72. The team consisted of Jenny Nnoli, Natalie McClure, Kaela Cleary and Erica Schroeder.

“We wanted to break the school record and ended up being the No. 1 time in the state. That was kind of a bonus for us,” said Hantgin. She cited Cleary’s 800 leg, which she ran in 2:17. “She ran down the girl that was ahead for her.”

Hantgin also introduced Abbey Willett, who does the 300 hurdles, and sprinter Matt Hempy. Willett ran a PR in the 400 hurdles at Stanford and will be part of a relay team at this weekend’s Arcadia Invitational. Hempy runs the 100, 200 and 400 and anchors the relays for the Royals boys teams.

“He’s probably the best sprinter in our league,” Hantgin said. “Hopefully, he will win county in a few weeks. He is a leader on our big squad.”

BASEBALL

Bishop Diego: Coach Ralph Molina said the Cardinals are “starting to gel as a team.

“Three of our last four games we’ve had 10 hits and we’re scoring runs,”  he said. “We’re doing a good job at the plate and we’ve had some good pitching from Will Goodwin and Gabe Arteaga.”

The Cardinals opened Frontier League with two wins over Villanova Prep.

Molina said sophomore catcher Jake Koeper and senior first baseman Tyler Green have made a big impact on the team. Koeper threw out two baserunners against Villanova and his riding a five-game hitting streak.

Green has gone from a role player last season to starting first baseman and relief pitcher. He earned a save against Villanova Prep “and has been hitting the ball really well for us,” said Molina.

The Cardinals have two non-league games this week against Malibu before a big league series against Frontier League favorite Foothill Tech next week.

SBCC: The Vaqueros are tied with Cuesta for first place in the Western State Conference and play the Cougars in a two-game set this week, Tuesday at Cuesta and Wednesday at Pershing Park. SBCC is 11-1 at home this season.

Former Santa Barbara High standout John Jensen is hitting .344 for SBCC.

Westmont: The Warriors play five games at home this week. They face Bethesda in a non-league game on Tuesday and play a GSAC rain make-up game against Menlo on Thursday. Menlo will be the home team. On Friday and Saturday, William Jessup comes to Russ Carr Field for a three-game series.

Westmont is in fifth place in the GSAC but only four games out of first.

Sports Information Director Ron Smith said shortstop Brody Weiss, injured in the season opener, is close to returning to the lineup. He is the son of former Major Leaguer Walt Weiss.

TRACK

Bishop Diego: Coach Ron Heller said, “We don’t have a big team but we compete hard and place in about every race we do. That’s what our goal is: to finish on the podium in every meet. Our kids have done that so far.”

He introduced team members Bella Molony, Clark Cossin, David Barrios and Clare Kelly.

He said Molony, a sprinter, is a team leader and a perfectionist. “She’s a joy to have on the team.”

Cossin, who does the 400 and 800, is headed to St. Andrews in Scotland to attend college. “He takes AP everything and volunteers a lot,” said Heller.

He called Barrios one of the hardest workers at the school. “He went from running with the wrong crowd and making some bad decisions to now leading our campus ministry and doing well and is going off to college. My heart goes out to him.”

Kelly is a hurdler and sprinter. Heller said she keeps him on his toes on what needs to be done at practice. He noted that she does a tremendous job working in the community. “She’s done 1,200 community service hours in 2 1/2 years at Bishop.”

Westmont: Smith said senior Becky Collier will defend her NAIA heptathlon title at the national championships in Gulf Shores, Ala., next month. Collier is the most decorated athlete in Westmont history, earning 13 NAIA All-American honors.

Westmont will be hosting the Sam Adams Combined Events on Friday and Saturday. Local Olympic heptathlete Barbara Nwaba is questionable to compete because an injury, Smith reported.

Olympic high jump gold medalist Derek Drouin of Canada is slated to compete. He will be doing a decathlon and attempting to set the world record for the high jump in the 10-event competition on Friday.

Westmont will be hosting the Golden State Athletic Conference championships on April 27-28.

RECOGNITION

The Round Table recognized the work of the athletic trainers at every school. Eight trainers were in attendance on Monday. They were Joseph Farias (SBCC), Wendy Whitehead (Dos Pueblos), Shannon Drew (Cate School), Shauna Ericksen (Cate), Susan Houlihan-Davis (SBCC), Kayla Linane (Santa Barbara High), Shiho Ando (SBCC) and Bryan Linden (San Marcos).

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at {encode=”bpunzal@noozhawk.com” title=”bpunzal@noozhawk.com”}. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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