Locals shine for Tigers

The following are updates on area athletes at the collegiate level.

Eric Kleinsasser (Crescenta Valley High, 2007) senior, Occidental College cross-country: A three-time reigning Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference cross-country champion, Kleinsasser proved that he is still one of the conference's best.

On Saturday at the SCIAC Multi-Dual Meet in La Mirada, Kleinsasser prevailed in the 8K race in 26 minutes 1 second for his second win of the season at that distance to lead the Tigers to a team victory in the eight-school meet conducted under dual-meet scoring.

Kleinsasser was followed by teammate Colin Smith, who finished second in 26:26.

"It's overwhelmingly satisfying to have someone right up there with me, especially a freshman who's as dedicated and talented right off the bat," Kleinsasser stated on the school's website. "As I've described it to people, 'I've never been this excited to be this concerned.'"

Up next on Oct. 29, Kleinsasser will look to go a perfect four for four, while the Tigers also hope to continue their conference momentum in the SCIAC Championships.

Luke Collis (St. Francis High, 2007) senior, Occidental College football: With just 1:35 to go in Saturday's game at Pomona-Pitzer, Collis found Bobby Phillips, who made a diving catch in the end zone to lead Occidental to a 42-35 win to retain the rivalry "Drum" for the eighth straight season in the SCIAC showdown's 113th meeting.

Trailing, 35-34, the game-winning score came on a 19-yard hookup and was followed by a Collis pass for a two-point conversion. Collis also had touchdown throws of 12, 30 and 35 yards. In all, he completed 26 of 42 passes for 343 yards and four touchdowns to two interceptions.

With the victory, Occidental improved to 3-2 overall, 2-1 in SCIAC.

Through five games, Collis has passed for 1,522 yards, averaging 304.4 yards a game and completing 64.3% of his passes. He's thrown 15 touchdowns to six interceptions.

Collis' 64.8 completion percentage and 1,179 yards in SCIAC competition are both tops in conference, as are his 11 touchdowns.

Collis and Oxy host Redlands in SCIAC play Saturday.

Rosa Del Toro (Glendale Community College, 2010) senior, Long Beach State cross-country: With Del Toro leading the way, the Long Beach State women's cross-country team won the Bronco Invitational in Sunnyvale on Saturday.

Behind Del Toro's fourth-place showing, Long Beach took the top spot with 94 points, finishing ahead of second-place Portland (100).

Del Toro finished the 5K course in 17:09.8, which was a new school record, as well as a personal-best.

Del Toro's effort was backed by another former Glendale Community College standout, as junior Nina Moore took 23rd overall and second for the 49ers in a time of 17:38.8.

Del Toro, Moore and the Niners will be back in action Friday in the Titan Invitational at Cal State Fullerton.

Rian Younker (St. Francis High, 2009) junior, Cal Lutheran football: The former Golden Knights two-way standout and Cal Lu continue to roll, remaining undefeated atop the SCIAC.

Younker had four tackles, including two for a loss, on Saturday afternoon in a 52-17 victory against La Verne in SCIAC play. Another former Golden Knights standout, linebacker Chris Cabrera, had three tackles in the game for Cal Lu.

Younker's performance came on the heels of a sensational game the week before in which he had 4.5 tackles for losses and 2.5 sacks in a 56-0 win against Whittier. For his efforts, Younker was named to the D3Football.com National Team of the Week.

On the season — with the Kingsmen sitting at 4-1, 3-0 in conference — Younker has 23 tackles with team leads in sacks (four) and tackles for loss (eight).

Cal Lutheran will face Pomona-Pitzer on the road at 7 p.m. Saturday in its next game.

Ava Sadeghi (Glendale native) freshman, Vassar College tennis: Sadeghi, a Campbell High product, earned All-American honors with an eighth-place finish at the Intercollegiate Tennis Assn. National Small School Championships in Alabama on Saturday.

Sadeghi lost to Kalla Schaefer of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 6-2, 7-5, in the seventh-place match.

"It was a great experience for Ava to be immersed in top level Division III tennis and see a lot of very effective styles," Vassar Coach Kathy Campbell told the school's website. "This is a great accomplishment for the program and for Ava. "

Sadeghi was the first Vassar player to advance to the singles tournament of the ITA National Small College Championships. It was just her fifth intercollegiate tennis event.

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