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Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold will head to the Elite 11 finals at the 2014 Opening in July. Photo: Steve Breazeale

By Steve Breazeale

For in-game updates, news and more for all the San Clemente High School prep sports teams, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCsports.

Benoit, Nesbit, Fenton Shine at CIF Track and Field Finals

The San Clemente boys track and field team sent only three athletes to the CIF-SS Division 1 Championships at Cerritos College on May 24. But the three they sent—seniors Kelsey Benoit, Rocky Fenton and Arik Nesbit—put on a show.

The three seniors earned enough points to place the Tritons third overall as a team at the event, tallying 39 total points. All three athletes finished third or better in their respective events.

As they have done all season, Benoit and Fenton excelled in the throws.

Fenton had two fouls in his four-throw finals effort in the discus, but his first throw of 172-09 was good enough to win the event by more than five feet. Benoit’s first discus throw proved to be his best as well, as his toss of 163-11 earned him a third-place finish.

Benoit only had one qualifying throw in the shot put, unleashing a throw of 58-00.5, and finished third in the event. Fenton placed eighth following a throw of 53-11.50.

Nesbit had a pair of second-place finishes in both the triple jump (47-00.50) and the long jump (23-06).

As a team, the Tritons finished behind Great Oak and Long Beach Poly, who placed first and second, respectively.

The girls track and field team was led by senior distance runner Melissa Eisele and junior thrower Madison Chronister.

Eisele raced in the 3,200-meter run and placed third (10:54). Eisele had qualified to compete in the 1,600 but opted out to focus solely on the 3,200.

Chronister placed ninth in the discus, posting a throw of 118-00. Chronister was just the second Tritons thrower to advance to the finals since 1981.

Walkoff Ends Tritons Baseball Playoff Run

After defeating Woodbridge 2-1 in a closely contested wild card round of the CIF-SS Division 2 Championships, the San Clemente baseball team found themselves in yet another tight spot against Chino Hills in the first round on May 22. The Tritons and Chino Hills were scoreless through six frames until the seventh inning, when the Huskies scored the winning run to take a 1-0 victory.

Chino Hills senior Jake Taylor hit a triple and scored the lone run of the game in what turned out to be a pitcher’s duel.

San Clemente (22-11) junior starting pitcher Kolby Allard was sharp over 6 1/3 innings, allowing only one hit while striking out a season-high 14 batters.

Chino Hills starter Bailey Falter matched Allard on the day, throwing seven innings in a two-hit shutout. Falter did not walk a batter and struck out nine.

Several Tritons were recently named to the All-Sea View League first and second teams. Allard, along with senior infielder Kent Burckle, were named to the first team. Burckle batted .484 and held a .578 on base percentage as a senior. Allard, a junior, went 6-2 on the season with a 1.32 ERA.

Catcher Lucas Herbert, third baseman and pitcher Trevor Beard and first baseman and pitcher Will Tribucher were named to the second team.

Tritons Tennis Players Prep for CIF

Freshman singles player Michael Bott and the doubles duo of Matt Greenberg and Billy Whitaker will represent the San Clemente boys tennis team at the CIF-SS Division 1 Individual Championships on May 29 at Corona del Mar High School.

Greenberg and Whitaker were the top point getters for the Tritons in the first two rounds of CIF-SS team play.

Bott, sophomore Jay Yeam and senior Nic Valko were named to the All-South Coast League first team for singles. Greenberg and Whitaker were named to the first team doubles. Kyle Darby earned an honorable mention.

Tritons Football Draws a Crowd

The San Clemente football team held an NCAA Showcase event on May 21, drawing some high-profile collegiate coaches to the sidelines of Thalassa Stadium.

Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren, Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost and Washington defensive coordinator Pete Kowalski were some of the coaches in attendance. Representatives from Utah, UCLA, Wake Forest, Duke, New Mexico and Boise State were also there to catch a glimpse at some of the Tritons football players while they went through a practice with an emphasis on 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 drills.

“It is a great platform for our student-athletes to get exposure for the next level and our kids understand that,” San Clemente head coach Jaime Ortiz said. “The players have done a great job during spring and we are excited about the future.”

Over the last two months, recruiting eyes have been on soon to be senior quarterback Sam Darnold. Darnold has racked up 11 offers in the offseason, most recently garnering an offer from Oregon State on May 19.

Along with the offers, Darnold had been landing invites to elite level training camps. He was invited to compete in the Elite 11 regional in Oakland on May 16 and has since been invited to compete in the event finals at the 2014 Opening from July 7-10.




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