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By Steve Breazeale
Throwers Have Big Day for Boys Track and Field
San Clemente’s Kelsey Benoit continued his impressive throwing season on April 3 against South Coast League rival Dana Hills by unleashing a huge shot put throw of 59 feet, 6 ½ inches, good enough for a first-place finish. Benoit also finished second in the discus (160-feet), behind fellow teammate Rocky Fenton (163 feet, 2 inches).
Benoit’s shot put throw is currently the fourth best mark in the state this season, according to prepcaltrack.com. Fenton holds the fourth best mark in the discus (180 feet, 1 inch) this season, which he set back on March 24.
Jacob Morrison took home the high jump win by clearing the bar at 6 feet, 2 inches.
Senior Corey Cassler posted a time of 15.80 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles and placed first.
The San Clemente girls track and field team also competed against the Dolphins on April 3.
Ally Lynn finished first in the 100-meter dash and was the Tritons lone first-place finisher. She also finished second in the 200-meter.
The Tritons did have several runners place second in their respective meets, including Melissa Eisele (1,600-meter), Brittney Thornton (100-meter hurdles), Amber Eisele (3,200-meter), Haley McCabe (shot put) and Anna Gillis (discus).
Several Tritons girls runners went on to compete in the Irvine Distance Invitational on April 7. Jessica Erickson would go on to win the 800-meter while Briana Lehman finished fourth.
Next Meet: 4/17 vs. Mission Viejo, 2:45 p.m.
Baseball Wins Back to Back Games With Hawks
The baseball games between San Clemente and Laguna Hills have been nothing short of tension filled this season.
In the three games played between the two Sea View League teams, there have been a total of four runs scored between the first and fifth inning. The pitching and defense has been so good that 13 of those 15 innings featured zero runs.
It’s when the two teams face off in the final two innings of ball games when things get interesting.
From the sixth inning on, the Hawks and Tritons have combined to score 11 total runs, which has made for dramatic finishes.
After they won in walk-off fashion on April 9, it was the Tritons (18-3, 6-1 league) turn to withstand a late Hawks (13-8, 2-4) surge on April 10. Laguna Hills was trailing 5-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning but came back to score three and tacked on one more run in the seventh. It was a flurry of runs but the Tritons held on for a close 5-4 victory.
San Clemente went on to pick up their 12th win in a row against San Juan Hills on April 17, which will surely keep them ranked No. 1 in the CIF-SS Division 2 coaches poll.
Senior pitcher Cody Maples has been practically untouchable in his last two starts and cruised through seven innings in a 4-0 Tritons win over the Stallions. Maples gave up five hits, struck out one and didn’t allow a walk, needing only 78 pitches to navigate through the San Juan Hills lineup.
Next Game: 4/19 at San Juan Hills, 3:30 p.m.
Tritons Lacrosse Battles but Loses to Tesoro 16-14
San Clemente’s South Coast League title hopes were dashed on April 16 in a wild 16-14 loss at Tesoro.
The Tritons rallied from an early 6-2 first-quarter hole, tied the game late at 9-9, and then had to rally from 16-11 down to close to 16-14 before time ran out.
The loss drops the Tritons to 9-4 overall on the season. Tesoro improved to 10-1.
The win wrapped up the league title for the Titans, who defeated San Clemente on the road back on March 21.
San Clemente senior attack Robbie Burns put on an all-around performance, posting two goals and five assists to lead the Tritons offense. Collin Zines led all scorers with four goals, while Jack Renard had two goals and three assists. Peyton Garrett had three goals and one assist.
Junior middie Austin Streeter (two goals) led the team with eight ground balls while winning 12 face-offs and forcing two turnovers. Jordan Riggs (one goal) led the team with four clears while defenseman Stone Sims held Tesoro’s top scorer, senior Jacob Douglas, to just one goal. Freshman goalie Austin Boyer had six saves in the second half.
The Tritons will have their senior recognition day during their April 18 home match against Mission Viejo. The event will take place at 5 p.m., half an hour before the scheduled start time.
Next Game: 4/18 vs. Mission Viejo, 5:30 p.m.
Tritons Tennis Three-Peat as League Champs
San Clemente head coach John Stephens has seen other teams throughout the South Coast League mix up their strategy when they take the court against the Tritons boys tennis team. An opponent’s top singles player suddenly switching to doubles in order to better their chances in that format has not been uncommon.
So far the Tritons have responded to every opponent’s lineup change in-league with a win and on April 16, a 15-3 win over El Toro secured the team’s third consecutive South Coast League title.
The Tritons doubles teams took care of business, winning all nine matches against the Chargers for the clean sweep.
El Toro’s No. 1 singles player, senior Jayson Amos, accounted for all three of his team’s points.
The only thing standing between the Tritons and an undefeated season is a match with rival Dana Hills on April 18.
Stephens accredited his team’s depth to their ability to maintain their league win streak.
“We’ve had good balance in singles and doubles. Teams have tried to change their lineups against us in league and it hasn’t worked because our balance is strong enough,” Stephens said. “It’s always nice to be the team that everyone tries to adjust to.”
Next Match: 4/18 vs. Dana Hills, 3 p.m.