SBAA rewards track teams for volunteer work

Bishop Diego Athletic Director Dan Peeters accepts a check for his track & field program from SBAA's Jim Sloan at Monday's Luncheon.

Local schools’ track and field programs received a nice surprise Monday at the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon as they were presented checks from the proceeds made from the Santa Barbara Half-Marathon and International Marathon last November.

The Santa Barbara Athletic Association made the presentation.

“With all large races, we need a lot of volunteers,” said Jim Sloan of the SBAA. “We asked all the coaches from the colleges, high schools and junior highs, and every one responded to that call with a lot of people. We had about 500 kids come out for that race.”

The schools shared $16,000.

The numbers are high at the track and field programs at San Marcos and Dos Pueblos.

DP coach Dave Kuderka said his team of 184 athletes strong is not as big as Marilyn Hantgin’s San Marcos team, but he feels blessed with the quality of kids he has on the squad.

“These are nice, good, hardworking kids. I’m really lucky.”

He introduced twin brothers Shen and Waiman from his boys team. Shen is a high jumper and Waiman excels in the long and triple jump.

From the girls side, Kuderka brought two athletes “that will lead the team in years to come:” freshmen Emma Redick and Stamatia Scarvelis. Redick ran a 61.2 split on the distance medley relay team at Ventura and Scarvelis broke DP’s 33-year-old school record in the shot put, going 39-11 in the first outdoor meet of the season.

Hantgin introduced four key members of her track teams: junior distance and middle-distance runner Annie Thwing; Marie Brashears, who was part of a stadium record-setting 4×400 relay team over the weekend in Ventura; sprinter-jumper Dillan Kraus and distance runner Phil David.

“This is my favorite time of year,” an enthused Hantgin said about the start of high school track and field. She quickly added that it’s also the favorite time of year for her basketball coach husband, Chris, referring to college basketball’s March Madness.

Bishop Diego athletic director Dan Peeters gave a shout out to San Marcos for allowing his school’s track team to train there.

“There are so many more kids who getting a positive experience in track,” he said.

SBCC softball was represented by scholar-athletes Joan Cannon, right, and Laura Cannon, left, with head coach Paula Congleton.

Bishop track coach Matt Capritto introduced his “best athlete on the track team,” Nicole Poindexter. She runs the 400, both relays and is a long jumper.

Carpinteria track coach Van Lathan brought his four multi-tasking team captains, twin brothers Wyatt and Gil Craddock, Shelby Dunlap and Kelsey Drain. Besides track and field, the four are involved in several other school activities.

He said the Warriors compete in the toughest small schools league in track with teams like Oak Park, Oaks Christian and La Reina.

Staying on the track, Kuderka announced that the Easter Relays Youth Meet is scheduled for Sunday at SBCC’s La Playa Stadium.

The meet is for kids in grades K through 8th.

“We’d love to have them out there this weekend,” said the DP coach.

On the baseball diamond, long-time Santa Barbara assistant George Rempe expressed his excitement for the start of the Channel League season.

He noted the Dons (3-1) are hoping to win their 10th title in the last 13 years, and they’ll be challenged by San Marcos and Dos Pueblos.

Rempe introduced two key players for the Dons, Spencer Fraker and Cameron Gniadek.

First-year San Marcos coach Tony Vanetti brought three pitchers: Evan Doherty, Zach Colegrove and Ghazaleh Sailors, the female Athlete of the Week.

Vanetti, also brought his father, Pete, who is well known for barbecuing at several social functions in the community.

Vanetti said he is honored to be the varsity coach for the Royals, who open Channel League play Friday at Ventura.

Nate Mendoza of Dos Pueblos said his team was coming off its biggest win of the season, a 4-3 victory at two-time CIF champion Simi Valley.

After starting out 0-2, the Chargers have won three in a row against good competition.

Mendoza brought two team captains, senior shortstop Steven Reveles and junior pitcher Joe Huthsing. Both played on the varsity as freshmen.

Peeters, speaking for coach Dan Yokubaitis, introduced sophomore Jacob Salcedo, who went 7-for-8 over the weekend and is the team leader in RBIs with 12.

Carpinteria coach Pat Cooney said starting pitcher Colton Rubio and first baseman Jose Carrillo are key members of his squad.

SBCC coach Ryan Thompson made his first luncheon appearance in more than 15 years. A Dos Pueblos alum, who played for Scott O’Leary, he introduced sophomore first baseman Daniel Howell and sophomore pitcher Chad Caraccioli as players who helped keep continuity in the program, and make his job easier.

From the diamond to the tennis courts, Liz Frech of Dos Pueblos said she hasn’t had a full team since the season began (due to activities like the robotics team and Mock Trial), “and I think we’re doing pretty well at 2-2.”

She brought her “fearless freshman” doubles team of Mason Cassady and Alex Yang, who showed great maturity in beating a bigger, more experienced team from Arroyo Grande last week.

On the basketball court, the Westmont women’s basketball team is playing its opening game at the NAIA National Tournament on Thursday night. Sports information director Ron Smith said fans can watch the game via the Internet on a pay-per-view basis or listen to a free radio broadcast on the Web. Check the Westmont Web site:

SBCC Scholar-Athletes of the year: Twin sisters Joan and Laura Cannon of the Vaqueros softball team won the award. Both carry 3.84 GPAs and plan to major in exercise biology at UC Davis.

San Marcos' Ghazaleh Sailors

Joan Cannon is the team’s center fielder.

“She plays center and will gun you out from 180 feet without a blink of an eye,” said coach Paula Congleton. Joan is batting .310 with nine stolen bases.

Laura Cannon plays shortstop and is batting .367.

“She’s a huge part of our success in the infield,” said Congleton.

Athletes of the week: Orlando Johnson, who averaged 28 points in UCSB’s three wins en route to its second straight Big West Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament berth, was named the male winner of the award.

The female winner was San Marcos baseball player Ghazaleh Sailors, who won her first game as a varsity pitcher. She didn’t walk a batter and struck out three in five innings of work in a 6-3 win over Grace Brethren on Saturday.

Special Olympics Athlete of the Month: Jeanette Payne is a standout performer in track and field and softball.

Payne works at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, sorting the mail for all the branches.

She’s medaled in the softball throw and the walk race at the Summer Special Olympics Track and Field meet in Long Beach.

Aaron Brown, the sponsor for the Special Olympics Athlete of the Month award, announced that the Special Olympics basketball tournament will take place Sunday at UCSB’s Thunderdome at 9:30 a.m.