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Spring notes: St. Margaret's Price enters state meet spotlight
One of the noteworthy stories to come out of the CIF-SS Masters Meet on Friday night involved St. Margaret’s Collin Price, the only representative for his school at the meet.
The senior qualified for his first state meet, placing fourth in the 3,200 meters in nine minutes to lead all county competitors.
“It feels amazing,” Price said. “I was just hoping to beat my (personal record) of 9:08. I didn’t know the whole pack would be going 4:30 the first mile, but that definitely helped me get that record.”
The county produced 27 boys qualifiers and 22 girls for the two-day state meet at Buchanan High in Clovis, which starts Friday.
Four county-leading marks were set on the boys side, including Kennedy’s Blair Robinson’s 46 feet, 3 inches in the triple jump.
Newport Harbor’s Hope Bender described her senior season as a “whirlwind.” The UC Santa Barbara commit set the county record in the 300 hurdles (42.51) at CIF-SS Finals. She followed that up by qualifying for her first state meet.
“I was awestruck,” she said of setting the county record on May 23. “I didn’t even know that was what I was going for. I think that’s the thing that has really been able to keep me sane. I’m running against myself, not anyone else.”
The record had belonged to Fountain Valley’s Sharon Hatfield (42.55) since 1982.
Santa Margarita senior Kaitlyn Merritt felt a sense of relief after qualifying for the state meet in the pole vault. She failed to qualify as a junior, but she tied a seasonal best (13-7) to win the girls pole vault Friday and advance to the state meet.
“I was still really nervous at the 11-7 bar because last year didn’t quite go how I wanted,” Merritt said. “After the 11-7 bar, it was just fun after that.”FOOTBALL
Mater Dei football coach Bruce Rollinson missed his first school graduation in nearly 40 years to guide the Monarchs at the Air Strike passing tournament Saturday at Dana Hills.
Thanks to Mater Dei’s emerging passing attack, he still witnessed plenty of advancement.
Behind quarterback Matt McDonald and wide receivers AJ Collins and C.J. Parks, the Monarchs stormed to the title with a 28-14 victory against Edison in the final.
McDonald (6-2, 194), a junior-to-be who is contending for the starting job, showed a strong and accurate arm in leading the Monarchs to their second passing tournament title of the spring. Mater Dei also won the San Juan Hills-hosted Gunslinger tournament.
Collins, a 6-5, 195-pound senior-to-be, is coming off a season-ending ankle injury but played aggressively to haul in high passes and balls thrown to the corner of the end zone.
Parks, a 5-8, 154-pound sophomore-to-be, made several dazzling catches in traffic to emerge as the Monarchs’ breakout performer.
Rollinson was pleased with the progress of all three players but cautioned that there is more work left.
“It’s like I told the kids, the only thing people are going to remember about May 30 is graduation,” he said. “They’re not going to remember that we won the Air Strike tournament. But with that being said, we executed at the right times. We made some big throws, some big catches.”
Receiver Garrett White and quarterback Grant Lowary helped power Edison into the finals.
DAN ALBANOBOYS VOLLEYBALL
Sean Morrissey is ready to assume the leadership role for the Huntington Beach boys volleyball team.
Morrissey will be a senior next year and one of eight players returning from this year’s team that captured CIF-SS and regional titles for the third consecutive year.
“I’ve learned so many things from TJ (DeFalco), Josh (Tuaniga) and Lucas (DeVries),” Morrissey said after the Oilers’ three-set sweep of Loyola of Los Angeles in the Division I regional final. “Hopefully I can teach all the guys on JV that are coming up to varsity and they can learn what’s it like on this team.
“Next year, we’re expecting the same thing. When we come back into practice, we’re going to try and keep this streak going and win try and be the best in the sport.” ...
Edison boys volleyball coach Trent Jackson has resigned, Athletic Director Rich Boyce confirmed.
DAMIAN CALHOUNBOYS GOLF
Villa Park’s Chris Adnams was the only Orange County player to advance to this week’s CIF State Championship. The last time the county had just one golfer in the prestigious event was 2009 with Alex Bungert.
There’s more to the connection between Adnams and Bungert.
Bungert also played for Villa Park. Both advanced to state through a sudden-death playoff. And like Bungert did in ’09, Adnams will play for the state championship at Poppy Hills in Pebble Beach.
Adnams advanced last week by shooting a 1-over-par 73 in the SCGA So Cal Championships at Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena. Trevor Norby of San Marcos also carded a 73 and ended up in a playoff with Adnams for the final spot in the state tournament. Adnams holed a par putt on the second playoff hole, the par-5 11th, to get the final spot. Norby took a bogey.
Adnams will have a 7:30 a.m. tee time at Poppy Hills on Wednesday. If the similarities continue between Bungert and Adnams, Adnams will finish in the top 10. Bungert tied for sixth in 2009 after shooting a 74 at Poppy Hills.
Jaime Flores confirmed that he has stepped down as Western’s wrestling coach after 13 years.
Flores, who will remain on campus as teacher, said the decision was made so he can spend more time with his three children (ages 4, 5 and 8).
“It was a hard decision,” he said.
Flores helped turn Western into one of the more respectable programs in the county. He said his first team, in the 2002-03 season, had 14 kids.
The Pioneers have a strong nucleus coming back next season. They will have nine returning varsity wrestlers, including a pair of CIF medalists, from a team that won the Empire League title.
Interested applicants in the job should contact Western AD Don Luethke at 714-334-2445 or Luethke_d@auhsd.us.