Newport Harbor Big 3 on CIF Southern Section 100 list

The Bird. Turtle. The Backstroke King.

They are known as three of Newport Harbor High's greatest athletes. Newport Harbor's "Big Three" can also be known as among the best in CIF Southern Section history.

George Yardley (basketball), Misty May-Treanor (volleyball) and Aaron Peirsol (swimming) are featured in the CIF Southern Section's "100 Athletes for 100 years," and represent the inaugural CIF Southern Section Athletes Hall of Fame, it was announced Monday.

Each of the Sailors' athletes hold a special place in Newport Harbor's Long Gray Line, and went on to reach stardom in the NBA for Yardley, and with Olympic gold for May-Treanor and Peirsol.

The list of 100 for the section's 100th anniversary was based on athletes who competed in the CIF Southern Section and ranged from success at all levels (high school, collegiate, Olympic and professional ranks).

"It says a lot about the area and the school itself," Newport Harbor High girls' volleyball coach Dan Glenn said of Newport Harbor having three athletes on the CIF Southern Section list. "It's very impressive."

Glenn has a strong connection with the three stars. He coached May-Treanor. Perisol was a student in his classroom. Glenn also knew Yardley, as well as his children and coached his grandchildren, Kyle and Cody Caldwell at Newport Harbor.

"We're in an area where there are a lot of elite athletes who train here," Glenn said. "The kids are aware of that and they grow up and see that in the area."

May-Treanor made the list as a 1995 grad of Newport Harbor. After leading the Sailors to two CIF State championships she won an NCAA title at Long Beach State, where she was named NCAA Player of the Year. She later became a beach volleyball legend.

She has three Olympic gold medals and one bronze, and has a women's record 112 beach tournament victories during a pro career that began in 1999. Her career winnings were listed at more than $2.1 million.

She teamed up with Kerri Walsh Jennings for the London Olympics this past summer and the duo won their third straight Olympic gold medal.

They defeated a team that featured another Newport Harbor great, April Ross, along with Jennifer Kessy in the gold-medal match.

May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won gold medals at the 2008 Beijing and 2004 Athens Games. They dominated the sport in the Olympics, as the won every match they competed in and lost just one of 43 sets.

May-Treanor's popularity reached celebrity status, as she's made appearances on various TV shows, including, "Dancing With the Stars," and also made it on the Wheaties box.

She went out on top, retiring after the Olympics. She was named USA Volleyball's Athlete of the Year in women's beach volleyball.

"She always made everyone around her better," Glenn said of May-Treanor.

He said he enjoyed the way May-Treanor treated everyone the same and how she remained the same person while gaining popularity in volleyball.

Glenn said Peirsol was the same as a renown swimmer.

"I enjoyed having him in class," Glenn said of Peirsol. "He was very humble. Fantastic student."

Peirsol won five Olympic gold medals in swimming, specializing in the backstroke. He still holds world records in the 100-meter backstroke (51.94) and 200 back (1:51.92) for long course.

He led Newport Harbor to its first CIF Southern Section Division 1 team championship, when he won two individual titles and was on two winning freestyle relays.

He also went on to star for two years at the University of Texas.

Peirsol won three gold medals in the 2004 Olympics, sweeping the 100 and 200 back and contributing to the 400 medley relay victory. He won two gold medals in the 2008 Olympics in the 100 back, which was a world-record swim. He was also a part of the 400 medley relay team that set a world record.

He won 10 long-course world titles as well as six world titles in short-course races.

He started out as a youth competitor for the Harbor View Swim Team where he broke several age-group records.

"When I look back on my career I can smile," Peirsol told The Daily Pilot in February of 2001, after announcing his retirement.

Yardley is revered for his prowess on the hardwood, and later became a fixture in the Newport Beach community. He is in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

The late Yardley, who passed away in the summer of 2004, was known as "The Bird," in his playing days. After starring at Newport Harbor, where he graduated in 1946, he went on to basketball stardom at Stanford and the NBA. The 6-foot-5 forward was named an All-Star six times in seven seasons, playing for the Fort Wayne and Detroit Pistons.

He retired from the NBA at 31 after seven years with a lifetime average of 19.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

He was the first to score as many as 2,000 points in a single season in the NBA, breaking the mark of George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers.

Twitter: @SteveVirgen


CIF Southern Section 100 Athletes for 100 years

1905_Walter Johnson, baseball, Fullerton

1915_Earl Thompson, track, Long Beach Poly

1918_Chris Paddock, track, Pasadena

1922_Bud Houser, track, Oxnard

1923_Lillian Copeland, track, Los Angeles

1924_Morley Drury, football, Long Beach Poly

1928_Frank Wykoff, track, Glendale

1930_Arky Vaughn, baseball, Fullerton

1934_Cornelius Johnson, track, Los Angeles

1935_Lou Zamparini, track, Torrance

1936_Ted Williams, baseball, San Diego Hoover

1936_Bobby Riggs, tennis, L.A. Franklin

1937_Jackie Robinson, baseball, Muir

1938_Bob Lemon, baseball, Long Beach Wilson

1938_Frank Albert, football, Glendale

1939_Jack Kramer, tennis, Montebello

1940_Ralph Kiner, baseball, Alhambra

1943_Glenn Davis, football, Bonita

1944_Duke Snider, baseball, Compton

1946_George Yardley, basketball, Newport Harbor

1948_Pat McCormick, swimming, Long Beach Wilson

1949_Eddie Matthews, baseball, Santa Barbara

1949_Billy Casper, golf, Chula Vista

1949_Parry O'Brien, track, Santa Monica

1949_Jack Davis, track, Glendale Hoover

1952_Maureen Connolly, tennis, San Diego Cathedral

1953_Mickey Wright, golf, San Diego Hoover

1955_Charles Dumas, track, Compton Centennial

1956_Ron Mix, football, Hawthorne

1957_Bill Kilmer, football, Citrus

1960_John Huarte, football, Mater Dei

1961_Keith Erickson, basketball, El Segundo

1961_Billie Jean King-Moffitt, tennis, Long Beach Poly

1963_Bob Seagren, track, Pomona

1964_Rollie Fingers, baseball, Upland

1964_Ron Yary, football, Bellflower

1964_Earl McCullouch, football, Long Beach Poly

1964_Gene Washington, football, Long Beach Poly

1964_Stan Smith, tennis, Pasadena

1964_Martha Watson, track, Long Beach Poly

1968_Paul Westphal, basketball, Aviation

1969_Bert Blyleven, baseball, Santiago

1969_Sam Cunningham, football, Santa Barbara

1970_Jamaal Wilkes, basketball, Santa Barbara

1971_George Brett, baseball, El Segundo

1971_Raymond Lewis, basketball, Verbum Dei

1971_Pat Haden, football, Bishop Amat

1972_Gary Carter, baseball, Sunny Hills

1972_Dennis Johnson, basketball, Dominguez

1972_Laura Baugh, golf, Long Beach Wilson

1972_Flo Hyman, volleyball, Morningside

1975_Ann Meyers-Drysdale, basketball, Sonora

1975_Tim Shaw, swimming, Long Beach Wilson

1975_Mark O'Meara, golf, Mission Viejo

1976_Anthony Munoz, football, Chaffey

1977_Ronnie Lott, football, Eisenhower

1977_Brian Goodell, swimming, Mission Viejo

1977_Terry Schroeder, water polo, San Marcos

1978_Tony Gwynn, baseball, Long Beach Poly

1978_Karch Kiraly, volleyball, Santa Barbara

1979_Bruce Matthews, football, Arcadia

1979_Gary Zimmerman, football, Walnut

1979_Jill Sterkel, swimming, HH Wilson

1979_Maureen O'Toole, water polo, Long Beach Wilson

1981_Mike Powell, track, Edgewood

1982_Cheryl Miller, basketball, Riverside Poly

1982_Cynthia Woodhead, swimming, Riverside Poly

1983_Reggie Miller, basketball, Riverside Poly

1983_Natalie Kaaiawaha, track, Fullerton

1985_Dara Torres, swimming, Harvard-Westlake

1986_Joy Fawcett, soccer, Edison

1987_Eric Wynalda, soccer, Westlake

1989_Tracey Murray, basketball, Glendora

1989_Julie Foudy-Sawyers, soccer, Mission Viejo

1989_Lisa Fernandez-Lujan, softball, Lakewood St. Joseph

1989_Janet Evans, swimming, El Dorado

1989_Pete Sampras, tennis, Palos Verdes

1990_Lisa Leslie, basketball, Morningside

1991_Deena Drossin-Kastor, cross country, Agoura

1991_Todd Rogers, volleyball, San Marcos

1991_Leah O'Brien-Amico, softball, Don Lugo

1992_Lindsay Davenport, tennis, Murrieta Valley

1993_Marion Jones, track, Thousand Oaks

1994_Tony Gonzalez, football, Huntington Beach

1994_Tiger Woods, golf, Western

1995_Paul Pierce, basketball, Inglewood

1995_Joanna Hayes, track, North

1995_Misty May-Treanor, volleyball, Newport Harbor

1996_Stacey Nuveman, softball, St. Lucy's

1998_Carson Palmer, football, Santa Margarita

1998_Brenda Villa, water polo, Bell Gardens

1999_Amanda Beard, swimming, Irvine

1999_Tony Azevedo, water polo, Long Beach Wilson

1999_Steven Abas, wrestling, Canyon Springs

2000_Diana Taurasi, basketball, Don Lugo

2000_Landon Donovan, soccer, Redlands East Valley

2001_Matt Leinart, football, Mater Dei

2002_Aaron Peirsol, swimming, Newport Harbor

2003_Allyson Felix, track, L.A. Baptist

2005_Kami Craig, water polo, Santa Barbara

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