Youth Scene: Mitchell grabs gold

Liv Mitchell of Laguna Beach has captured gold.

Mitchell, who turned 13 on July 21, won the gold medal and became a national champion in the girls' 12-13 platform events (seven meter) at the Age Group Junior Olympics Diving National Championships. The annual summertime competition was held July 31-Aug. 2 at the University of Minnesota.

Mitchell, in her third year with the non-profit diving club, SoCal Divers, was among 326 divers from across the country competing at the national event. In the girls' 12-13 age group division, she placed first among 27 divers after six dives during the division's preliminaries competition. The top 12 divers from the preliminary round advanced to the division final, which she also won.

"I was really excited to win [gold] because I've worked so hard over this past year," Mitchell said. "My coaches did a great job of preparing me and I was really consistent at Nationals."

Mitchell, who previously attended Thurston Middle School in Laguna Beach, will start classes Sept. 10 at Halstrom Academy in Mission Viejo. She attended the Nationals with 15 SoCal Divers teammates, club Head Coach Scott Reich and Assistant Coach Tyce Routson.

Reich is a four-time Olympics diving coach and Routson is a four-time NCAA diving champion at the University of Miami (Fla.). Routson was inducted in 2011 into the school's Sports Hall of Fame.

Mitchell has attended Nationals since age nine but won her first gold medal this year. In 2011, she won a silver medal at Nationals in Tennessee. Last year, she won bronze at the competition in North Carolina.

She trained five days a week during the summer months and worked out six days per week during the past school year.

SoCal Divers is based in Orange County. The club holds workouts at various pool sites with Fullerton Community College serving as the main workout site.

— Mike Sciacca



Cutter Clawson and Kolton Freeman, both of Laguna Beach, are part of the Baseball Performance Academy Demarini Elite 12-and-under travel baseball team that will compete Aug. 22-26 at the sixth annual National Youth Baseball Championships in Memphis, Tenn.

The championships is the top 12U tournament in the country. The Aug. 26 title game will be televised live by CBS Sports Network and streamed on

BPA Demarini Elite, out of San Juan Capistrano, gained a berth to the tournament after competing and finishing in third place last month at the Traveball National Championships in West Covina.

Before heading to Memphis, Clawson and Freeman, both of whom will enter the seventh grade this year at Thurston Middle School in Laguna Beach, left Thursday for Cooperstown, N.Y. to compete in tournament play at Cooperstown Dream Parks. The tournament starts Saturday and runs through Aug. 23.

A left-handed thrower and hitter, Clawson also played on the VFW team during the 2013 Laguna Beach Little League season. He pitched for VFW, which went on to win the Little League District 55 Tournament of Champions Majors division title in June, a first for LBLL. Clawson hit two home runs including a grand slam during the district tournament.

Freeman, a right-handed hitter and thrower who has speed and a strong arm, plays shortstop and is team captain for BPA.

Both Clawson and Freeman played on the third-ranked BPA Team Rawlings Elite team that competed last summer at the Travel Ball Select 11-U National Championships in Marietta, GA.

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