The recently completed spring sports season brought more spectacular performances from Trinity League athletes, many of which led directly to their team’s success.
A number of seniors saved their best performances for last, while many athletes in the grades below set the bar high for next year.
A perfect example of a senior who put it all together in his final year of high school eligibility was Mater Dei catcher Blake Hunt, who batted close to .400 with six home runs and 26 RBIs to lead the Monarchs to the CIF-SS Division 1 semifinals. It was a massive improvement over Hunt’s junior season, when he batted .298 with two home runs and 12 runs-batted-in.
Santa Margarita high jumper Liana Edgar saved her lifetime-best performance for the CIF-SS finals. The senior won the Division 3 championship with a personal-best clearance of 5 feet 5 inches, helping the Eagles win their third straight track and field team title.
JSerra boys’ tennis player Dylan Euzarraga led the Lions to their first section final in school history. The Holy Cross-bound singles player finished with an 81-4 record on the season, leading the Lions reached the Division 3 championship match.
Mater Dei boys’ volleyball player Garrett Zolg also put a bow on a stellar high school career by earning a spot on the prestigious AVCA first-team All-American list, as well as the VolleyballMag.com Boys Fab 50, which ranks the nation’s top 50 seniors.
Plenty of juniors had fabulous seasons as well, setting the stage for a potentially remarkable spring of 2018.
Santa Margarita girls’ swimmer Samantha Shelton won two individual events and anchored two winning relays to lead the Eagles to their fourth consecutive Division 1 section championship. She swam the final leg on the 400-yard freestyle relay behind Ella Ristic, Mackenzie Degn and Anicka Delgado, touching the wall in 3:18.26 to break the Division 1 and national private school record.
Servite golfer Jack Rahon was the only player from Orange County to qualify for the state championships as an individual and he shot 2-over-par 73 to tie for 17th at Poppy Hills in Pebble Beach. He led Servite to its fourth consecutive Trinity League title this season and second section championship in the past three years. He qualified for state by shooting a one-under 71 and finishing in a tie for fifth at the SCGA So Cal Regional Championship at Brookside.
Blake Hennesay of Santa Margarita showed his speed and versatility for the Santa Margarita boys’ track and field team, winning Division 3 section titles in the 100 meters and 300 hurdles. He then qualified for state in both events by running personal-best times of 10.54 in the 100 and 36.76 in the 300 hurdles at the Masters Meet.
Paige Vargas was another Santa Margarita junior who distinguished herself this spring. She was the ace pitcher for the Eagles, throwing a no-hitter against Warren of Downey to lead them to the Division 2 quarterfinals.
Orange Lutheran won the Trinity League softball title and it was a sophomore who helped lead the way. Sarah Taylor batted .391 with a team-leading nine home runs and 32 RBIs.
Another incoming junior to keep an eye in the years to come is Mater Dei first baseman Joey Nicolai, who batted .333 as a sophomore last season with two home runs and 21 RBIs.