College sports are a reckoning for athletes as they discover they’re not in high school anymore and they won’t be dominating every event. Well, except for Riley Scott.
Scott, a true freshman at USC, has pretty much picked up where she left off as a Petaluma High swimmer and North Coast Section champion. Two weekends ago at the Women’s Pac-12 Swimming Championships in Federal Way, Wash., she finished second in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke (setting a personal record in the 200 at 2:08.84) and took eighth in the 200 individual medley. Scott also swam the breaststroke leg on teams that finished third in the 200 and 400 relays.
Our 2014 All-Empire Girls Swimmer of the Year helped the Trojans win their first conference women’s title in swimming.
And Scott isn’t the only Empire product doing big things at Southern Cal. Sophomore Jon Knox, who swam at Analy, was eighth in the 200-yard backstroke at the Men’s Pac-12 championships at the same pool outside of Tacoma, Wash., last weekend. Knox just missed the A final in the 100 back, and his team was fourth in the 200 free relay.
Brockley qualifies for trials
Maria Carrillo and Neptune swimmer Piper Brockley qualified for the 2016 Olympic trials last week during the Arena Pro Series swim meet in Orlando, Fla.
Brockley swam the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:11.08, beating her previous best time by 1.2 seconds. The Olympic trials qualifying time is 1:11.49. Brockley is also working to qualify in the 200 breast.
The trials will be held in Omaha, Neb., in late June.
Brockley, a senior, is the 2015 All-Empire Girls Swimmer of the Year. She will attend USC in the fall.
Smith commits to Pacific
Hance Smith became the fourth Casa Grande baseball player to verbally commit to a Division I university when he announced he intends to play for Pacific next year. Those already having made decisions are Chris Joaquim (Cal), Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) and A.J. Miller (Oregon).
The Gauchos have started the season 3-1 with their only loss coming to crosstown rival Petaluma.
Montgomery back in state
Montgomery’s girls basketball team is in the CIF State Tournament for the second time in four years. The 2013 team was invited and defeated Pleasant Valley (54-42) in the opening round.
Among the players on that team were Claire Donnelly, Ashlee Wilson, Kiana Hawkins and Chantal Evett.
The Vikings will host St. Ignatius tonight and coach Steve Bell is not being misled by the San Francisco school’s record of 13-14.
“They play in the West Catholic League with St. Francis and Serra,” he said. “That’s an extremely tough league and their record is absolutely deceiving.”
The Wildcats have a strong inside-outside game featuring Ayzhiana Basallo and forward Nahris Pierce.
Other keys to success
While the high scorers or the sky-scraping basketball players tend to grab the headlines, several playoff-bound teams have lower-profile players that provide a special component for success.
Tal Webb, a 5-9 sophomore on the Cardinal Newman girls team, is a steady force as one of the team’s starting guards. As a second-year varsity player, Webb averages more than 8 points a game for the No. 1 Cardinals, who have a bye this week in the first round of NorCals Division 4.
The Giants have five players among the top five at their position in National League voting for the All-Star Game set for July 12 at Petco Park in San Diego. Two other Giants, including Hunter Pence, who is out until at least August, are among the top 15 outfielders in the voting. The A’s have no position players in the top five in the infield or top 15 in the outfield for spots on the American League.
Buster Posey is second among catchers with 1,563,800 votes, 5,130 behind leader Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals
Brandon Belt is second among first basemen with 1,233,499 votes, well behind Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs, who has 2,630,049
Joe Panik is third among second basemen with 768,312, trailing former A’s player Ben Zobrist of the Cubs (2,474,852) and Daniel Murphy of the Nationals (2,167,918)
Matt Duffy, on the disabled list and out through the All-Star break, is fourth among third basemen with 665,802 votes
Brandon Crawford is fourth among National League shortstops with 1,0002,201 votes; the Cubs’ Addison Russell leads with 1,741,182 votes
Hunter Pence has had hamstring surgery that will keep him out until at least August, but he is 11th in the voting for outfielders with 764,004 votes; Angel Pagan is 15th among NL outfielders with 561,677 votes