New coach helps CHS girls volleyball to CIF win

Claremont High School girls volleyball had somewhat of a mixed week, losing their head coach, but snapping back to win their first round CIF playoff match against visiting Palm Desert.

The Pack’s celebrated coach Jodi Postlmayr, who was in her first semester leading the girls team, abruptly quit last week to take a full time teaching job. According to school officials, after Ms. Postlmayr accepted the position assuming she would be able to see Claremont through the CIF playoffs, but was ordered by her new employer to sever all ties with CHS immediately. Mark Mina, above, who also leads the junior varsity team, will take over as head coach at least through the end of the playoffs.

The girls showed no signs that Ms. Postlmayr’s abrupt exit would slow down their momentum and easily swept aside Palm Desert 3-0 Tuesday night at CHS. During the first game it seemed as though it would be a short night with several kills from standout Emilee Rohrer resulting in a lopsided 25-16 win for the Wolfpack.

Palm Desert did give Claremont a bit of a scare in the second game nearly tying the score late at 24-23. However, Claremont was able to put together a solid return gaining the last point they needed for the 25-23 win.

The Pack only trailed once all night and only because the Aztecs scored first in the third game. Palm Desert’s lead was short lived as Claremont retook the momentum and did not look back, finishing with a solid 25-18 win.

The girls faced Arcadia Thursday in the second round.

Water polo cruises to win in CIF play

Water polo had a pretty easy go in the first round of the CIF playoffs on Wednesday, defeating visiting Citrus Valley 19-9.

The team’s defense led by star goal keeper Steven Cagle continues to shut down the competition while helping to set up scoring opportunities. Mr. Cagle had nine saves, one steal and two assists against the Blackhawks, which is a typical performance for the six-foot, five-inch senior.

“I was very happy with the way the boys came out. They played hard, they were focused, we look ready.” remarked Coach Kristin Rodriguez about her team’s performance.

Sophomore Bruno Snow was once again the top player on offense with five goals, three steals and two assists. Also scoring five times was junior Johnathon Wong, who also added two assists to his stats.

Contributing to the strong performance were: Thomas Randles with three goals and two assists; Adam Ward with two goals and two assists; Mat Turk with one goal, one steal and two assists; Mitch Heasley with one goal; and Dylan Landi with two assists.

“I thought that everyone looked confident and it showed in our goals and our defense. Our defense looked solid. The guys responded with great communication and didn’t allow them to score too many goals. It was a fun game to coach,” said coach Rodriguez.

Next up, the boys face Webb on Saturday at Webb.

CHS ends season with dominating runs at Mt. SAC

Claremont High School cross country capped a great season with five team wins last Wednesday during the Palomares League finals at Mt. San Antonio College. In addition, Claremont dominated the podium, taking first, second and third in two races and only giving up 3 of 15 top places to rival Ayala. The sweep solidified an undefeated season in league play, and Claremont won both league meets, a feat Coach Rob Lander said was a first at CHS.

The finals started with the boys junior varsity race and a strong showing from Ayala that almost cost Claremont their sweep. The race was so close that the Pack’s cumulative team time was 11 seconds slower than the Bulldogs, but Claremont’s top placings were higher than Ayala’s and the Pack came out on top 24-31. The third-place team was Bonita with 99 points. Claremont’s Sergio Espinoza took first place at 17:00, followed by Ayala’s Sebastian Sanchez at 17:06. Third and fourth went to a pair of Claremont runners, David Alvarado at 17:24 and Joaquin Segura-Mora at 17:27.

The girls junior varsity race, in sharp contrast to the boys JV race, was the most lopsided victory of the day. Claremont took the top 11 places, scoring a meet-low of just 15 points. Top runs came from two freshmen, Alyssa Cantrell at 19:58 and Bess Markley at 20:04. Rounding out the top three was senior Hannah Chaput at 20:10. The top three teams were Claremont 15, Bonita 58 and Ayala 71.

In what looks to be a pattern, two boys in the sophomore-freshman race had faster times than their junior varsity teammates. Sophomore Ryan Renken took first at 16:30, a full 30 seconds faster than the top JV time and sophomore Max McGuire placed second at 16:46, or 14 seconds faster. The pair ran side-by-side for much of the race and Renken crossed the line 51 seconds ahead of the top Ayala runner, Joey Kim, at 17:21. Fourth went to Claremont sophomore Felix Lawson at 17:29. Top team scores were Claremont 25, Ayala 32 and Bonita 72.

The girls varsity race was the only competition of the day in which Claremont did not place first, but they still easily won the team title with 24 points to 57 for Ayala and 83 for Bonita. Ayala junior Sydney Tullai had a great stride and easily won at 17:47, surpassing Claremont freshman Tess Rounds at 18:07, sophomore Annie Boos at 18:24 and senior Julia Cantrell at 18:29.

Boys varsity ran last, with Claremont taking the three top spots, leaving only an eight-second split between first and third place. Senior Adam Johnson crossed the finish line first at 15:23 with teammate senior Michael Lowrie right on his heels at 15:25, followed by senior Jonah Ross at 15:31. The next two positions went to Glendora and Bonita with the top Ayala runner coming in sixth. Top three teams were Claremont at 25 points, Ayala at 62 and Bonita at 83. This race had the tightest competition of the entire day, with just under 12 minutes separating Claremont’s team time of 1:18:12 from sixth-place Diamond Bar’s time of 1:30:06.

—Steven Felschundneff


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