Our high school athletes of the season, spring 2023

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-coureir.com

Honors for the Courier’s athletes of the spring 2023 season go to Claremont High School senior boys swim captain Roman Savage, CHS junior track and field runner L’Mio Edwards, Webb freshman single tennis player Morgan Qiu, and Gauls freshman track and field runner Nicole Samson.

CHS boys: Roman Savage

From helping the boys swim team (6-2) secure second place in the Palomares League under a new head coach, to advancing to CIF-State prelims as an individual, Claremont High School’s senior captain Roman Savage had a last dance to remember.

Savage, who competes in the 100-yard butterfly, the 500-yard freestyle, and 4×400 freestyle relay, was named the Palomares League MVP and not surprisingly team MVP. The 18-year-old Claremonter closes out his high school career with the CHS and league record in the 100 butterfly at 49.48. His plaque will be attached to the swim leaderboard that hangs over the school’s pool. He and his teammates also set a new school record for the 200-freestyle relay at 1:29.31 during the CIF-Southern Section Division II finals this month.

Claremont High School senior and boys swim captain Roman Savage. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

His goal this year was to qualify for the May 12 state tournament in the 500 freestyle event, which he did, finishing 32nd at 4:39.19. He also finished 32nd in the 100 butterfly at 50.16.

At league finals in April, Savage was first in the 100 butterfly, and second in the 500 freestyle. Then at the CIF-SS D II finals weeks later, Savage placed second in the 100 butterfly with a new personal best of 49.48, and third in the 500 freestyle at 4:34.38, another personal record.

The pandemic restricted competition in 2020, but as sophomore the following year Savage made it to the CIF-SS D III finals and was 15th in the 100 butterfly (54.33), fifth in the 500 freestyle (4:43.77), and second in the 200-yard medley relay (1:38.24). He broke his arm midway through the 2022 season and could not compete.

Savage will attend Kenyon College in Ohio in the fall where he’ll swim and major in philosophy.


CHS girls: L’Mio Edwards

Claremont High School junior runner L’Mio Edwards, 17, has seen nothing but success since  transferring from Diamond Bar High earlier this year. She competes mainly in the 400- and 800-meter events, but also raced in the 1,600, 4×400 and 4×800 relays.

In her first season with the Wolfpack, L’Mio won 10 of the 17 races in which she competed and inside the top three of 15; placed third in the 800 at the CIF-Southern Section Masters meet with a time of 2:09.82; and helped Claremont finish second in the Palomares League and 12th at the CIF- Southern Section Division I finals. L’Mio was also named to the first team all-Palomares League for the 800 and 1,600 events.

Claremont High School junior track and field runner L’Mio Edwards. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

The junior was also part of two new CHS records: the girls’ sprint medley relay team, 4:06.60 in April; and a 9:07.84 with the 4×800 relay team during a recent first place finish at the Masters.

L’Mio placed first in the 800 at 2:09.45 at the CIF-SS D I finals earlier this month, qualifying her for Masters. She will compete in the girls 800 and the 4×800 relay at the 103rd CIF State Track and Field Championships at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Clovis this weekend. Qualifying events begin Friday with finals on Saturday.

L’Mio hoped to break the 2:10.00 mark for the 800, which she did twice. The junior is looking toward state competition this weekend before pivoting to cross-country in the fall.


Webb boys: Morgan Qiu

Webb freshman Morgan Qiu is humble, and is also great at tennis despite only getting serious about the sport early last year. “I’m just doing this for exercise. Just for my health,” Morgan said.

The 16-year-old from China was the San Joaquin League singles MVP in his first season. On top of that he led the Gauls to a league team championship and an individual title as a singles player.

Webb freshman singles tennis player Morgan Qiu. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

Morgan competed at the CIF-Southern Section Individual Sectional prelims on May 18, where he made it through two rounds before falling to Diamond Bar’s Solon Chi Chit Au, the Hacienda League champion, in the third.

The freshman boasted an 18-5 individual record and his efforts helped Webb finish 12-1 overall — perfect at 6-0 in league play — and make a first round appearance in the CIF-Southern Section Division IV tournament for the first time since 2019-2020. The Gauls fairy tale season ended May 3 when Fullerton dealt the team a 11-7 home loss.

Though just a freshman, Morgan gave much more experienced athletes a run for their money in the postseason.

He will return to Webb next year where he hopes to earn the team captain’s spot. Although he focuses more on academics, Morgan said he’s always up for a set of tennis with friends.


Webb girls: Nicole Samson

Fifteen-year-old Webb freshman Nicole Samson, who competes in the 800-meter race, 1,600, 3,200 and the 4×400 relay, was addicted to winning this season. She won 11 of the 16 races she participated in and finished in the top 10 of 15. On April 8 she set a new school record of 2:14.88 in the 800 at the Arcadia Invitational.

Webb freshman track and field runner Nicole Samson. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

At San Joaquin League finals April 27, both the boys and girls track and field programs were crowned league champions. Nicole helped the Gauls by winning the 800 at 2:19.39 and the 1,600 at 5:18.33. She was also part of the 4×400 relay team that snagged first with a time of 4:20.88.

Nicole’s 800 time qualified her for the CIF-Southern Section Division IV prelims at Moorpark on May 6, where she won again with a time of 2:19.43. Though she won again at the CIF SS finals a week later, at 2:16.13, her time did not qualify her for the CIF State Masters meet.

Nicole’s name is now in Webb’s record books, with school records for the 800, 1,600 (5:09.27), and the 3,200 (11:17.43). She was also on the 4×400 relay team that ran a blistering 4:03.66 at the second San Joaquin cluster in March.

She hopes to improve next season and achieve her goal of 2:10.00 in the 800. She’s also going to prepare to run the 400.


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