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By Zach Cavanagh

Christian Hosea. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

Co-Male Athlete of the Year

Christian Hosea

Water Polo, Swimming

Christian Hosea’s senior water polo season was simply incredible, with his goal-scoring prowess helping to propel the Tritons to the CIF-SS championship game. In 31 games, Hosea scored 128 goals and added 32 assists for a blow-away team-high of 160 points. Hosea’s goal total was nearly double that of his next-closest teammate at 65. Hosea scored 19 goals in four playoff games, including six of San Clemente’s 12 goals in the Tritons’ heartbreaking loss to Foothill in the final seconds of the CIF-SS title game. Hosea and the Tritons dominated the South Coast League for their third straight league championship and advanced to the CIF-SS championship for the first time since 1991. For his career, Hosea earned eight varsity letters—four each for water polo and swimming. Hosea was named the South Coast League water polo MVP three times, first team All-CIF twice and All-American three times. Hosea will continue his academic and water polo careers at Pepperdine in the fall.

Preston Rex. Photo: Alan Gibby/Zone57

Co-Male Athlete of the Year

Preston Rex

Football, Track

Preston Rex was a leader for the San Clemente football team in a season that ended in the toughest way possible—CIF-SS disqualification.  Rex was the top receiver for the Tritons, with team-highs in receptions (43), receiving yards (445) and receiving touchdowns (7). Rex was also an impact player on the defensive side of the ball with 53 total tackles, 28 solo tackles and two interceptions. Rex’s two interceptions came in the playoffs against Valencia and Rancho Verde. For his football career, Rex was twice named first-team All-South Coast League, was named All-CIF this season and earned a selection to the Polynesian All-American Bowl. In track, Rex was a sprinter and helped the 4×100-meter relay team to third place at last year’s Sea View League Finals. In his one event before the coronavirus shutdown this season, Rex set a personal record in the 100 meters at 11.69 seconds. Rex will continue his academic and football careers at Brigham Young University in the fall.

Hana Catsimanes. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

Co-Female Athlete of the Year

Hana Catsimanes

Cross Country, Track

On the trail and on the track, Hana Catsimanes was a champion. Catsimanes’ senior cross country season was simply golden. Catsimanes won six of her first nine races of the season, including first-place finishes at the prestigious Mt. SAC Invitational, Orange County Championships, Sea View League Finals, CIF-SS preliminaries and CIF-SS Division 1 final. Catsimanes won at Mt. SAC by 33 seconds, at the OC Championships by nine seconds, in the league finals by 20 seconds and at the CIF-SS final by eight seconds. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the track season was canceled before Catsimanes could run an event, but as the defending CIF-SS Division 1 champion in the 3,200 meters, Catsimanes was ready to cap her career in style. Last year, Catsimanes followed her track CIF-SS championship with a second-place finish at the CIF-SS Masters and a 20th-place finish at the state meet. Catsimanes will continue her academic and running careers at Wake Forest in the fall.

Ella Gardiner. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

Co-Female Athlete of the Year

Ella Gardiner

Volleyball, Basketball

Ella Gardiner was a two-sport force for nearly the entirety of her San Clemente High School career. Over the last two years, Gardiner helped the Triton girls volleyball team reclaim league title glory with back-to-back Sea View League championships. San Clemente went undefeated through league in 2018 and split the title in 2019. Gardiner made her impact right at the net with blocks, stuffs and spikes as San Clemente scored playoff wins each of the last two seasons. In basketball, Gardiner made her way up the school’s leaderboards by consistently putting up double-doubles in points and rebounds. Gardiner’s dominating presence around the basket helped lead San Clemente to an historic girls basketball season. San Clemente won its first league title since 2015 and advanced to its first CIF-SS championship game since 2007. The Trirtons earned runner-up honors and went on to the SoCal Regional semifinals. Gardiner will continue her academic and volleyball careers at Fairfield (Conn.) University in the fall.

Zach Cavanagh

Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at

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