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Laguna polo ladies win gold

The Laguna Beach Water Polo 12 and under girls’ team went undefeated and won the San Diego County Cup this past weekend. The San Diego Cup is the second most prestigious tournament of the year, second only to the national Junior Olympics, which will be held the first week of August at Stanford.

Sixteen teams from both Northern and Southern California participated in this girls’ 12-and-under age division. Laguna held the top seed and didn’t disappoint. The defense proved the path to victory as they didn’t allow more than five goals in any game.

Laguna won the title after edging Newport, 6-5.


“I wish we had a couple more girls we can bring off the bench because we play such tough defense," Coach Chad Beeler said.

The first game was held on Friday night, and Laguna faced an old foe who put up a bigger battle than was expected. They played Los Alamitos and won, 6-4. The second game of pool play was against last year’s Junior Olympic champion from the Inland Empire, Extreme.

This was a much easier game than anticipated as Laguna won by a score of 8-2. The final game of pool play was against Newport’s B team, where Laguna found the net fairly easily and won by a score of 15-1.

The quarterfinal game was Saturday afternoon where Laguna beat United Water Polo Club of Los Alamitos 8-1 to put them into the semifinal game against perennial powerhouse, Commerce. This was the fourth game of the day for Laguna that started at 7 p.m., so the girls were exhausted. But they played great defense and won a close game, 7-4.


The finals pitted the top two seeds of the tournament, Laguna and Newport. It started as a defensive game with no score in the first quarter and was close throughout before Laguna ended up on top, 6-5.

“These girls won with great defense and that is all about heart." Beeler said. “Newport is the best team out there but I think they took us a bit lightly because they cruised through the tournament winning most of their games by double digits. On this day, however, we can claim to be the best team in the country."

"” From staff reports

Thirteen locals qualify for SoCal track finals

Thirteen standouts in the City of Laguna Beach Community Service Department’s track and field program have qualified or the Southern California track and field finals, by placing first through fourth in at least one event at the Orange County Municipal Athletic Assn. track meet May 3 at Laguna Hills High

The finals will be held at Warren High in Downey on Sunday, May 31.

Heading the local contingent will be Boys’ Division 2001 (year born) speedster, Koa Todd, who set two new city records. Todd was first in the 50-meter dash at 8.0 seconds, breaking Chris Barwick’s record of 8.01 set in 2001, and a second in the 100 at 15.1, only a tenth of a second off the winning pace. Todd had set the new city record just four weeks earlier at the city meet with a time of 15.9, which broke Aaron Chesley’s 1985 record of 16.7.

Salen Stuart was the second local runner to set new records with a fourth in the 50 of the Boys’ Division 2000. His time of 8.30 seconds broke David Peel’s 1992 record of 8.38. Stuart also finished sixth in the softball throw with a best of 83 feet, 1 inch.


Shanaye Sherman tied the city record in the 200 of the Girls’ Division 1998 (32.3 seconds), which was fifth. She also finished fifth in the 100 at 14.75.

In Boys’ Division 2002, Kyle Plowden qualified in two events, including a first in the softball throw (71-6) and a fourth in the 50 in 9.40 seconds.

Sisters Ava and Brighid Burnes both qualified for the finals. Brighid finished first in the Division 1997 softball throw (137-0) and Ava finished first in Division 1995/94 high jump at 3-10, and second in the 200 in 29.2.

Morgan Van Alphen qualified by finishing first in the Girls’ Division 2002 200-meter dash, with a time of 42.31.

In Girls’ Division 2000, Alexandra McKeown goes to the finals with a second in the 50 (8.16) "” just a hundredth of a second behind the first-place finisher "” and a second in the 100 in 16 seconds flat.

In the Girls’ Division 1999 Emily Lassiter also qualified in two events, as she placed second in the 400 (1:15.70) and third in the 200 (33.10).

Carlee Ressler’s third in the 200 of Girls’ Division 1997 (31.90), as well as fourth in the 100 (15.28), advanced her to the finals.

One of Laguna Beach’s standout long distance runner, Greer Jacobs, finished third in the 800 (Girls Division 1998) with a time of 2:56.


Ryan Smithers picked up a third in the Boys’ Division 2001 200, with a time of 38.30.

Mevil Groscolas finished second in the Boys’ Division 1997 long jump with a best of 12-11. He also finished fifth in the 100 at 15 seconds.

Patrick Sullivan’s 30-3 shot put effort in Boys’ Division 1995/94 was good for fourth and a trip to the finals.

The local team is coached by the husband and wife team of Fred and Isidra Pichay.

"” From staff reports