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SPRING SPORTS : Garfield Swimmer Has Shot at 4 Medals

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Martha Ramos has a chance to become Garfield’s first swimmer to win four medals when she competes Tuesday at the City Section finals at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach.

By qualifying as the fifth seed in the 100-yard freestyle Monday at the City semifinal meet, Ramos already has secured an individual medal. The top six seeds are guaranteed a medal. Ramos and teammates Terry Medrano, Laura Avila and Dianne Jardon also secured a spot in the 200- and 400-freestyle team relays as the fifth seed. In City frosh-soph competition, Garfield’s Shawn Vasques qualified in the 50 butterfly as fifth seed. Bell’s Josue Otero qualified for the 100- and 200-freestyle races while South Gate’s Danny Dennis will compete in the 50 backstroke.

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In Monday’s City Section diving finals at the Rose Bowl, Garfield’s Johnny Vallejo finished third. Vallejo was named Outstanding New Diver. Teammate Alex Jimenez finished in seventh place. And Dolores Robles placed seventh for the Bulldogs in the girls’ competition.

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SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS

Roosevelt 2, Gardena 0--Liz Ballesteros pitched a one-hitter Tuesday, striking out nine batters to advance the Roughriders to the Division 3-A City Section semifinals. Ana Casique had two hits and scored both Roosevelt runs. Yvette Morales drove in Casique in the bottom of the second. Casique led off the sixth with a base hit. She scored after a Gardena outfielder dropped a fly ball with two outs.

Roosevelt faces defending 3-A City champion Verdugo Hills on Tuesday at South Gate Park. If the Roughriders win, they will seek their second championship in three years, facing the winner of the Monroe-Westchester game.

Westchester 1, Garfield 0--Westchester scored its only run off a walk in the seventh inning when the runner beat the throw at home plate. Garfield pitcher Alma Limon allowed four hits. The Bulldogs were held to one hit, which came in the seventh on a single by Vanessa Cardona. Garfield finished the season with a 12-2 record.

SOUTHERN SECTION VOLLEYBALL

Powerhouse Loyola (17-1) tied Harvard-Westlake for the Mission League title and enters the Division I playoffs as a strong contender for the title.

The Cubs were to play a first-round match against Huntington Beach Marina on Friday night. The winner faces Culver City or Santa Monica on Tuesday. The Cubs will rely on Dan Farmer, who has averaged 15 kills a match, and Pat Klein’s front-row dominance. Loyoloa will count on Davy Olson, whose intensity has helped the Cubs turn games around, for the edge it needs for its first solid run at the finals since 1988. “I expect big things,” said Coach Derrick Lucero. “They picked the right time to come together as a team.”

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The oddest thing can motivate a team.

When Salesian was down 10-2 in the second game of its final encounter with Los Angeles Daniel Murphy last week, Mustang Coach George Rodriguez showed the team a cartoon. “What got them excited was a picture of a frog choking a pelican as the pelican tries to swallow the frog,” he said.

The Mustangs came back to take the match, 15-10, 16-14, 15-11, for a third consecutive Santa Fe League title.

Salesian (5-1 in league; 9-5 overall) was to play Valley Christian on Friday for a second-round slot in the Division III championship playoffs. The winner plays the victor of Bell-Jeff and Pasadena Flintridge Prep on Tuesday.

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