Let’s remind ourselves of a onetime track star from Citrus Valley High, Rian Young-Werner, a triple jumper who was 2016 Freshman of the Year, All-Region in 2017, a second-team NCAA Division II All-American in 2018, capping her career at San Francisco-based Academy of Arts University.
Young-Warner had NCAA indoor qualifying marks in the triple and 60-meter sprints last winter.
Back in 2013, the Citrus Valley senior won the CIF, Division 2 triple jump with a 39-feet, 2 ½ inch effort.
Chart the growth: As a freshman in 2011, she measured off a 30-foot, 3-inch effort in a Mountain Valley League dual meet against Riverside Rubidoux. Four years later, she leaped to a personal best 41-feet to win the Trabuco Hills Invitational.
Her lifetime best, set at AAU, might’ve been that 41-1 ¼ when she won the Pac-West Conference championship back in 2016.
Coaches of this sport can shine the focus on such development. Track might not be for everybody, but there’s an event for someone.
Trust me: Coaches are always on the lookout for a thrower, a hurdler, a sprinter, a distance racer, you name it. P.E. class is a nice place to exhibit those skills.
This is a major sport.
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Ralph Perez, who serves as a media contributor for the L.A. Galaxy with a lifetime of soccer-coaching expertise, is back to coach the University of Redlands. Expectations are always high for a Bulldog squad that’s two victories away from giving Perez his 200th career win at Redlands (198-62-18).
It’s grind away in that SCIAC, where there are very few easy matches.
Just take the Bulldogs final four games of 2018 -- a 2-1 overtime win at La Verne, a 1-0 at Claremont-Mudd, a 2-1 overtime win against visiting California Lutheran, capped by a SCIAC Tournament loss to Occidental, 1-0.
There are no “gimmes” at the Farquhar Field complex, which has become a spotlight of entertaining, hard-nosed soccer play every season since 2000.
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Two retiring athletic trainers -- Mike Sola from San Bernardino Valley College and Redlands East Valley’s Skip Hill, each from Highland, incidentally -- certainly crossed paths with each other.
Said Hill: “There plenty of times I’d fill in for Mike over at Valley.”
These guys hang together, speak the same language, solve the same injuries.
Speaking of Hill: When the story of his “retirement” hit these pages a few weeks ago, I don’t think I’ve received as many social media “hits” on anything I’ve written for this publication -- ever.
The guy’s about as popular as anyone on a high school campus could be -- coach, teacher, principal, counselor, you name it -- and those people favor kids.
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I like to comment on current motion pictures that are sports-related. This being a sports section, we’re sort of obligated to alert readership. Right?
Thumbs up to films like “McFarlane, USA,” “Creed,” “42,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Coach Carter,” “The Wrestler,” “Invictus,” thumbs down to “Moneyball,” “Secretariat” (nowhere close to the real story), “Blind Side” (same complaint) and Seabiscuit, which destroyed Laura Hillenbrand’s marvelous book.
So we have “Overcomer,” which isn’t even based on a true story. That’s ok, isn’t it?
“Overcomer” is currently showing at Harkins in Redlands, much more than a film about a dire situation for a high school cross country team.
We all know that fictional Hannah Scott will somehow rise to win the “state” championship — that’s a given in these types of movies, right? — but the way she goes about pulling it off is pretty enlightening.
Lots of up and down moments, plus a few chuckles. Example:
“Dad, you said cross country wasn’t a real sport.”
Let’s just call it faith-based, PTA type entertainment.
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I hate to break it to anyone in Highland’s readership, but in recent months I’ve taken on a similar task in Redlands. Reactions over there are immense. Plenty of readers. Plenty of tips. Most leading to some pretty neat stories.
All that started in March. There’s never a loss of story ideas and coverage. Across the wash, it’s a matter of cramming lots of good stories into a single issue.
On this side of the wash, it’s hand-wringing time on getting enough story ideas for coverage. I manage to make it work, but I know there’s more. Truthfully, there are some good tipsters around these parts. Not enough, though. I need them from every sport.
This is your newspaper, Highland, not mine. I love to write, cover stories, chat about sports, turn out copy. My goal is to get something on the front page of any issue.
(The Tim Mead story a couple weeks back should’ve been a no-brainer front page story. Right?)
When school starts, there’s usually some automatic stories to cover.
It’s been an eventful summer in these pages, but instinct tells me there’s much more.
There’s sports in Highland, East Highlands, various points of interest on the east end of San Bernardino -- the Highland CN’s coverage footprint -- but it’s almost like people are hiding good stories.
It’s hard to cover a community that doesn’t seem to want coverage. Get it together, readers. I’m waiting. Pen and notebook in hand. Laptop ready to percolate.
Got a sports tip, some rumblings, or just chat about sports? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.