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Empire Notebook: Tomales wins first tennis title since 1978

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Tomales High won its first tennis title in more than four decades after going 8-0 in Coastal Mountain Conference South competition.

“It’s our first tennis title since 1978,” coach Russ Sartori said.

The 10-member, coed squad is led by junior Isabel Sartori, named MVP of the South division, who went on to win the Coastal Mountain Conference singles title. Calvin Vigean and Andy Azevedo made it to the semifinal of the CMC tournament in doubles and Max Wessner made it to the semifinal of the boys’ singles tournament. The Kelseyville Knights won the CMC Middle and Mendocino won the CMC North titles.

Bear Cubs riding sweep into CCCAA playoffs

The Santa Rosa Junior College Bear Cubs baseball team has won seven of its past eight games to earn the No. 3 seed heading into the California Community College Baseball Regional tournament.

The Bear Cubs are now 31-9 overall and went 18-6 to finish second in the Big 8 after a crucial three-game sweep of Sierra College — including two road contests — last week.

Sophomore pitcher Vinny Riggio, who prepped at Maria Carrillo, got the win in the series opener; freshman Shane O’Malley from Sonoma Valley High got the win in the middle game; and Noah Rennard, a freshman out of Carrillo, got the win in the finale.

Freshman P.J. Raines, who hails from Chicago, leads the team in RBIs with 40. Sophomore Jo Bynum, who played at Maria Carrillo, is hitting .311, has 39 RBIs and leads the squad in triples with six.

The Bear Cubs host Modesto Community College in a playoff series at 2 p.m. Friday and again at 11 a.m. Saturday. A third game, if necessary, is slated to begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 2.

Hannis takes second in China swim meet

Santa Rosa High class of 2010 grad Molly Hannis finished second in the 50-meter breast stroke at the FINA Champions Series meet in Guangzhou, China, on Sunday.

She finished in 30.94 seconds, approximately a half-second off her season best, according to Swimming World magazine. Imogen Clark of Great Britain won the event in 30.71.

Chase for top mark in high jump heating up

The chase for the best high jump performance of the prep track season has gotten tighter. Sonoma Valley junior Luke Sendaydiego had led the pack with his clearance of 6-feet, 4-inches at the Super 7 meet Feb. 23, but Maria Carrillo senior Mason Adams tied that height at the Viking Track Classic on April 20. Montgomery sophomore Gabe Tucker recorded a leap of 6-feet, 2-inches at Viking and after that it’s a logjam of strong leapers, with six athletes all clearing 6-feet at some point this season.

Atkins adds 800M to list of feats on the track

Add another fine performance to Analy High senior Sierra Atkins’s track resume. The UC Davis-bound Atkins posted a personal best in the 800 meters at the Clash of the Titans meet Saturday at Skyline High School in Oakland. The distance is not her favorite — she’s a 1,600-meter specialist — but she finished in 2 minutes, 15 seconds, putting her at 12th all-time in the Redwood Empire.

You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 707-526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield. Podcasting on iTunes and SoundCloud “Overtime with Kerry Benefield.”

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