SBART Luncheon: Fans can get workout at a cross country meet

The San Marcos volleyball and cross country contingent at Monday's SBART press luncheon.

The San Marcos volleyball and cross country contingent at Monday’s SBART press luncheon. (Presidio Sports photo)

Cross country meets can provide a good workout and a stress release for fans, according to San Marcos coach Lawrence Stehmeier

“It’s one of those sports where as a spectator you can exercise too,” Stehmeier said at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Café. “I used to run farther than the kids because I’d run for four races (2 JV, 2 varsity) instead of one. If you got a little anxiety built up, you can come and yell and scream. It’s a lot of fun.”

Local fans will have that opportunity on Wednesday at Dos Pueblos, as the Chargers host the first Channel League meet of the season. The event is run on the campus, beginning at 4 p.m.

Stehmeier’s Royals come into the league opener after winning a four-team meet in Lompoc. He cautioned, “It’s a whole different world when you go into league.” The Ventura boys are the defending state champion.

Stehmeier introduced sophomore Kaela Cleary and senior Emma Tracy of the San Marcos girls team and Keaton Shinn and Ethan Clark from the boys squad.

Also in attendance was team member Erica Schroeder, the CIF State Meet 800-meter champion.

Track coach Marilyn Hantgin lauded Schroeder for her physical and mental toughness during her run to the state title.

“She ran from the beginning of May all the way to June in a championship race, which is a lot of stress, a lot of pressure,” said Hantgin. “We’re really excited she’s back for the next couple of years. Everything about her is extremely special.”

Carpinteria: Coach Angel Silva is interested in cooler weather and faster times,” Cooney said. He brought team captains Gabby Fantone and Alondra Campuzano.

Santa Barbara: Coach Bruce Schmitz said his Dons are “going to compete as well as we can” in Wednesday’s Channel League meet at DP. “I hope to surprise some people.”

Schmitz brought team members Will Walters, Alice Upton, Thomas Everest and Alessandra Murphy.

Dos Pueblos: Long-time assistant coach Micks Purnell said the Chargers have two new coaches: Monica Kaplan and Josh Christensen. Both are teachers on campus and endurance athletes. Kaplan recently completed her first Ironman Triathlon and Christensen ran a 50-mile ultra-marathon in Oregon over the summer.

Two-year team captain Nathan Alvarez leads a strong DP boys team. Hunter Clark is another strong runner. Christina Rice leads the girls team. Natalie Hawkins is a quiet leader who is coming off a solid season.


UCSB Women: Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said five of the last six teams the Gauchos have played are regular NCAA Tournament teams.

“We’re in a situation where we really challenged ourselves with our schedule,” said Welch, who praised the play of libero Sydney Bast in UCSB’s Tournament. She had a career-high 17 digs against UCLA on Sunday and passed well all weekend long. She earned all-tournament honors.

“We really competed very well (against UCLA) and we played very well. We have a lot to build from,” Welch said. “We liked that we challenged ourselves to start the season.”

The Gauchos play host to Loyola Marymount on Friday night and San Diego State on Saturday afternoon at the Thunderdome.

San Marcos: Hantgin said senior middle Kamille Williams and senior outside hitter Chloe Allen are the team leaders. On Allen, a UCSB commit: “She’s an amazing volleyball player. If you haven’t watched her play, you should come out and watch. She hits the ball really hard,” said Hantgin.

Bishop Diego: Coach John Sener said he was making his first appearance at the press luncheon since his senior year at Bishop Diego in 1973.

“I’m privileged and honored to be coaching at my alma mater,” said Sener, who got into volleyball coaching 14 years ago at Dos Pueblos.

He said Francesca Engel and Summer Soto have been keys to the Cardinals’ early-season success — they’ve won titles at two tournaments.

“As a new coach, you need all the help you can get. These young ladies have been pivotal in helping make this team what it is today.”

The Cardinals host rival Carpinteria on Tuesday night.

Santa Barbara:
Coach John Gannon shared his enthusiasm on the college game in town. “I encourage everyone to get out to a match at Westmont and UCSB this year,” he said.

On his 2-1 Dons, Gannon said the team is playing well. Two reasons are the play of middle Kaitlyn Connolly and outside hitter Jessyca Beksa.

He said Beksa has come into her own and has taken to the leadership role as team captain. “She’s really blossomed as a player.”

Westmont: “We are on fire right now,” coach Patti Cook said about her 9-2 Warriors. They’ve won eight matches in row and 21 straight sets.

Cook cited the play of Jessica McCann (97 kills), Taylor Beckman (98 kills .285 hitting percentage) and 6-3 freshman middle Libby Dahlberg (89 kills .363 average).

“This team is fun to watch,” said Cook.

Athletic director Pat Cooney reported that coach Dino Garcia is excited about the progress of the team. He introduced two-sport athlete Kimmy Methmann and three-sport standout Monique Sanchez.

Providence: The Patriots are off to a 5-2 start behind the solid play of Maddy Niessen. “She’s a strong leader on and off the court,” said athletic director Steve Stokes.


SBCC: With his team leading 21-20 against Hancock and forced to punt late in the fourth quarter, coach Craig Moropoulos told his punter Joel Whitford “to just kill the ball inside the 10. He killed it inside the 1,” said the coach. “He’s a fantastic punter.”

Moropoulos also introduced center Parker Rosenberg, a former San Marcos standout

Santa Barbara: Rather than talk about his team’s last two wins, coach JT Stone said this week is all about Rio Mesa.

“The last two weeks … my kids are playing well,” Stone said. “I’m just going to talk about the big game we have Friday. We have Rio Mesa. They have multiple Division 1 athletes in their program. It’s going to be a test. It’s a game that will go down to the wire.”

Stone introduced quarterback Brent Peus and defensive back Angel Velasquez. Peus threw four TD passes and Velasquez had two interceptions in the 52-7 win over Channel Islands.

Stone said Friday’s game at Peabody Stadium will feature 5-cent popcorn and 500 copies of a Dons football program from 1924, when the stadium opened. In addition, the Model A car club will be there to show off their vintage cars.

San Marcos:
“So we have not got off to the start we had prepared for,” coach Anthony Linebaugh said about the Royals 0-3 start. “It’s really frustrating when the results don’t match the preparation. But, as we talked about on Friday, we have to move forward.”

Linebaugh praised the work and dedication of senior left tackle Anthony Pico and cornerback Mark Carroll

“We’re looking forward to getting on the right track this week against Hueneme,” Linebaugh said. “We’re looking forward to getting things right.”

Assistant coach Rick Candaele said the Warriors “played tremendously better” in the 31-12 loss against Nipomo.

After the 42-0 loss against Santa Ynez in the opener, Candaele said he got a call from his grandson. “He says, ‘Grandpa, maybe you should have stuck to coaching basketball,’” the coach shared. “I come from a rough crowd,” he cracked.

Candaele introduced linebackers Alex Martinez and Mike Arroyo.

Bishop Diego:
Running backs coach Steve Robles is having a good time coaching players like John Harris and Mike Soracco. He said Harris “has the potential to be a dominant player.” On a pair of long touchdown runs in the 29-23 win over La Salle, Robles said Harris showed strength and great balance as he broke several tackles on his way to the end zone.

On Soracco, Robles said he “brings great intensity to practice and games. As a runner, he’s just a cannonball. He runs low and hard.”

The Cardinals play at Cabrillo on Friday.

Dos Pueblos:
Athletic director Dan Feldhaus said middle linebacker Chris Noggle has been a force for the Chargers. In three games, the junior has 48 tackles.

Junior quarterback Kellen Roberts has played well in the first three games. He’s thrown seven touchdown passes and has done a good job running a new offense.

Feldhaus said the schedule gets tougher for DP the next two weeks. The Chargers play at Newbury Park on Friday and at Lompoc next week.