Chivara commits to a high-ranking program … SBVC champion Perez transfers from Sacramento to San Jose … Teran shows up at cross country power Portland.
Aquinas High School’s playoff volleyball run last fall might have played a huge role in the future of Eliana Chavira.
Headed for her senior season at Aquinas, Chavira has committed to Long Beach State, which has been known as a high-powered NCAA Division 1 program with plenty of post-season success.
Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer will start her second season as Long Beach coach, following a 10-19 season, including a 7-9 mark in Big West Conference play.
She followed legendary coach Brian Gimmilaro who retired after 32 seasons. Under Gimmillaro, Long Beach notched three national championships, eight Final Four appearances, 13 NCAA Regional titles and 27 NCAA appearances.
Chavira, who has been listed as an outside hitter and setter, seems headed into a Long Beach State team in transition. She’s coming out of a solid prep program. She is also known as a setter for the Rancho Valley Volleyball Club.
Despite a fifth place finish in the powerful Ambassador League last season, Aquinas netted a Southern Section Division 6 wild-card berth, setting off a rarely-seen playoff trek that sent the Lady Falcons into the semifinals.
It was Aquinas that set the stage for a 2017 post-season run that included a second-round win over No. 1-seeded La Puente Bishop Amat, a three-game sweep in which Chavira had a team-high 14 kills, 19 digs and seemed to be setter Gabby Gobaton’s top target in a 33-assist performance.
Aquinas had opened the playoffs with a three-game sweep over Apple Valley Granite Hills, following the Bishop Amat upset with another three-game sweep against Walnut.
It landed Aquinas in the semifinals against league rival Notre Dame, which eventually lost to another league rival, Loma Linda Academy, in the division championship.
Aquinas’ playoff run got the Lady Falcons into the Southern California Regionals against Point Loma High School, which won in three games.
The Lady Falcons’ top attacker, who had a team-high 267 kills last season, had over 60 kills in the post-season. She was second to sophomore Sara Duran in digs, leading Aquinas with 39 service aces.
COLLEGE TRACK & FIELD
Savanna Perez, the 2017 State junior college 800-meter champion who committed to Sacramento State, will be transferring.
The onetime San Bernardino Valley College star, who attended Rialto Carter High School, has transferred to San Jose State. It was confirmed last week by Jim Ratigan, who is SBVC’s head cross country coach and an assistant track coach.
Throughout the 2017, Perez won six times in the 800.
She won the Vaquero Invitational in April 2017 in 2:17. After postings wins in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference preliminaries and championships, she advanced to win both the prelims and finals at the Southern California Regional Championships, plus the prelims.
It landed Perez in the State championship at Beaver Stadium on American River College campus in Sacremento. Running a lifetime best 2:12.15, she won by over four seconds against runners from West Los Angeles, Mt. San Antonio-Walnut, College of the Sequoias-Visalia, Laney-Oakland, Glendale and El Camino colleges.
She did not race at Sacramento State this past season, choosing instead on a change to San Jose State, where Jeff Petersmeyer is head coach with Brad Wick coaching distance runners.
COLLEGE CROSS COUNTRY
When Michael Teran, a top finisher at the State junior college championships in 2016, turns up at the University of Portland this fall, the San Bernardino Valley College transfer will be suiting up with the NCAA runner-up team from 2017.
Teran landed a full ride scholarship to run for the Pilots based off his brilliant prep career at Fontana Jurupa Hills, plus a memorable season at SBVC.
Teran and SBVC teammate Luis Ortega, who is at Chico State, finished 2-3 at the State cross country championships in Fresno. A series of mishaps of three other teammates caused the Wolverines to miss out winning its sixth California title.
SBVC took sixth that season.
On the track, Teran has posted superb numbers, ranging from a lifetime best 3:51.93 (outdoor) in the 1,500-meter to a 30:15.67 in the 10,000-meter.
Racing at Portland’s NCAA West Region meet in Sacramento this past spring, Teran ran 14:20 in the 5,000-meter, unable to qualify for the NCAA Division 1 finals.
NEXT WEEK - San Bernardino Valley cross country coach Jim Ratigan reflects on Coach of the Year honors.