SINK OR SWIM
Samantha Silva missed classes at Long Beach City College Monday, but who could blame her?
Earlier that morning, the 17-year-old freshman from Millikan High completed a 21-mile swim from Catalina Island to Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, a journey which required 13 hours, 2 minutes.
"It was the first day I missed and I felt really bad, but I was very tired." Silva said.
She was also suffering from a sore left arm and back, and recovering from three jellyfish bites.
Silva, the 25th woman to complete the swim, left Catalina Island about 11 p.m. Saturday night to take advantage of calmer waters and light boat traffic.
She was followed by her coach Kalani Caldwell, who swam the channel in 1980, and Long Beach lifeguards Rick Miller, Matt Grunissen and Wayne Rahe, in kayaks during the journey. In addition to moral support, the support crew provided food--Pop Tarts--and liquids every half hour to prevent hypothermia.
"I couldn't have done it without my paddlers," Silva said. "I owe so much to them. At times, I felt so awful and cold, all I wanted was my mommy and my blanket. They made a boring and grueling swim seem like so much fun."
Silva said she was frightened by the darkness at the beginning of the swim but the most difficult part of the ordeal was spotting land about five hours into the swim and thinking she was almost done.
"The first time I spotted land I was only halfway done, but it seemed like the beach was around the corner," Silva said. "I felt strong and it made me go harder. It seemed like an eternity until I reached the beach."
She was not done yet. Under Catalina Channel Swimming Federation rules, Silva was required to walk out of the water and take three steps onto the beach.
"All the good outweighed the bad," Silva said. "It was the most wonderful feeling in the world. I feel like Wonder Woman from what I accomplished."
A four-year varsity swimmer at Millikan where she competed in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle, Silva took part in her first ocean competition at age 11.
Silva, who has competed in the Seal Beach 10-mile rough water swim the past two years, trained for the crossing for the last 1 1/2 years, swimming up to two miles a day. Silva also completed a 16-mile, eight-hour training swim.
"Going to a swim meet and winning first place cannot compare to seeing that sunrise," Silva said. "It was the most wonderful feeling in the world."
Paramount High Coach Ken Sutch recorded his 100th career coaching victory in the Pirates' 24-20 win over Lakewood. Centennial's 26-13 victory over Compton marked Coach Omar Bradley's first win. . . .
Whittier College Coach Ken Hoza will be seeking his first victory against Azusa Pacific Saturday at home. The Poets dropped to 0-2 after losing to Occidental, 17-13, in their Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener. . . .
St. Paul High defeated Fontana for the second consecutive season, 17-16. Before last year's victory, the Swordsmen had not defeated the Steelers since 1981. Fontana Coach Dick Bruich is a former coach at St. Paul. . . .
California High won its first game in nearly two years, beating La Habra, 23-13, to end a 14-game losing streak. Defensive lineman Hector Ramos had two fumble recoveries and a safety on a sack in the end zone. . . .
Former El Rancho High punter Rich Camarillo, a 1984 Pro Bowl selection with the New England Patriots, was selected to the Patriots' 35th anniversary all-time team. The 13-year veteran is playing for the Houston Oilers. He will be inducted into the New England Sports Museum in Cambridge, Mass. on Sunday.
The La Serna High water polo team defeated Brea-Olinda, 10-7, in the final of the Rowland tournament. Justin McLaughlin and Jeff Sato, who scored three goals, and goalkeeper Peter Green, who had 12 saves, were selected to the all-tournament team.
Marisa Avendano of Cal State Los Angeles finished second in the Nebraska Kearney cross-country invitational, covering the 5,000-meter course in 18 minutes, 23 seconds. The sophomore from Paramount High has also won the Aztec invitational in San Diego and the Whittier invitational for the Golden Eagles, ranked third in NCAA Division II.
The Long Beach, Cerritos and Compton college football teams remained undefeated, but Rio Hondo is still seeking its first victory.
Long Beach improved to 3-0 with a 30-19 victory over Riverside. Jeremy Calhoun had seven receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns, and was named the state player of the week.
Neo Agoa completed 16 of 25 passes for 245 yards and linebacker Kasun Charles had 19 tackles and forced a fumble for the Vikings, who have won 12 of 14 games. Long Beach, ranked third in the state, plays at Rancho Santiago Saturday afternoon.
Interception returns by Skinner Avinger and Derrick Winston lifted Cerritos over Saddleback, 33-19. Avinger scored on a 36-yard interception return and Winston returned another pass 96 yards for a touchdown for the fifth-ranked Falcons (2-0).
The victory marked Cerritos Coach Frank Mazzotta's 100th career victory. The 17th-year coach has a record of 100-63-5. He is one of only 16 football coaches in the state to win 100 games. Cerritos plays at Riverside Saturday night.
Compton intercepted five passes in a 26-14 victory over Harbor in a Western State Conference Southern Division game at Compton. Blase Anderson had a 100-yard interception return and Deon Hampton intercepted his fourth pass of the season for Compton (2-0).
Jachon Ramsey scored touchdowns on a 100-yard kickoff return and a 30-yard pass from Robert Smith. Smith completed 11 of 13 passes for 126 yards. The Tartars play host to Pierce Saturday afternoon at 1.
Joel Duarte of Rio Hondo completed 20 of 34 passes for 312 yards in a 41-20 Foothill Conference defeat against Mt. San Jacinto. Jesse Rafanan caught six passes for 94 yards and a touchdown and DeMarcus Cornay had four receptions for 89 yards for Rio Hondo (0-2), which plays host to Desert.
Humberto Sanchez of El Camino College, the 1994 City Section 3,200-meter champion at South Gate High, set a course record to win the Golden West invitational at Central Park in Huntington Beach. Sanchez clocked 20:16 for the four-mile course to eclipse the previous mark by 16 seconds.