Sellers, Adams win NCAA Division II championship

GLENDALE — The following are updates on area athletes in college.

Nathan Sellers (Crescenta Valley High, 2006) junior, Adams State College cross-country: During his historic run as a Crescenta Valley High senior, Sellers left his mark as an individual qualifying for state. While at Glendale Community College, he was once more the top runner on his squad.

But, Sellers accomplished the greatest feat in his cross-country career on Dec. 4 as one of the supporting members of what has become the best cross-country program in all of NCAA Division II.

Sellers helped the Grizzlies with their third straight and record eighth overall NCAA Division II cross-country championship and, as part of the title-winning team, was bestowed second-team All-American status.

Sellers, who was his team's fourth or fifth runner for most of the season, actually turned in a sub-par performance by his standards on the snow-packed Sawyer State Park 10,000-meter course in Kentucky.

He took 35th overall as his team's No. 7 runner in 31 minutes 37 seconds. Nevertheless, Sellers' finish was still better than every other team's No. 5 runner and all but one team's No. 4 runner, emphasizing just how deep the Grizzlies are and that Sellers' race was an impressive one.

The Grizzlies were led by senior Brandon Birdsong, who took fourth overall in 31:01.

Sellers is one of four of the top-seven runners for Adams that are set to return next season.

Jenna Orlandini (Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 2009) redshirt freshman libero, University of Washington women's volleyball: Orlandini and the Huskies' magic came to an end Saturday in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament in Seattle, falling to California, 25-21, 25-20, 25-14.

The match came just a night after Washington stunned No. 2-seed Nebraska, 25-16, 20-25, 25-21, 29-27.

Orlandini had a match-high 27 digs against the Huskers in the upset win.

In her final match of the season, in addition to running down an errant dig 20 feet into an adjacent tunnel and taking another stinging kill off her collarbone, Orlandini ended her tremendous season once again with a match-best 16 digs.

For the season, Washington went 24-9.

Orlandini supplemented her spot in the starting rotation with a phenomenal freshman campaign.

She finished second in the Pac-10 with 4.82 digs per set, tallying 545 for the season. She had highs of 22 in a three-set match, 27 in a four-set match and 26 in a five-set match.

Orlandini played in all 33 of her team's matches and all 113 sets. She added 66 assists and 20 services aces.

Mason Hawthorne (Crescenta Valley High, 2007) redshirt junior, USC men's water polo: The Trojans won their third consecutive NCAA men's water polo national championship with a thrilling 12-10 overtime win over Pacific-10 Conference rival California on Dec. 5.

Hawthorne, a former standout for Crescenta Valley, had two goals on the season.

He tallied a goal on Nov. 6 against Whittier and on Sept. 24 against Fresno Pacific.

The Trojans finished their season at 28-2.

Ayana Sumiyasu (Flintridge Prep, 2007) senior goalkeeper, Yale University women's soccer: Sumiyasu was recently voted her team's most valuable player at the team's end-of-the-year banquet.

It was another accolade in a phenomenal senior season for Sumiyasu, who was an All-Ivy League selection after leading the league with 77 saves. She started 16 games and garnered an .811 save percentage with a 1.16 goals-against average.

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