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Prep Roundup: Clemmer raises the bar

James Clemmer is literally raising the bar as the prep track and field season nears.

The South Tahoe High junior leaped a personal record of 6 feet, 4 inches to win the high jump at the highly competitive Bear Creek Invitational on Saturday in Stockton.

“He keeps getting better each time he steps on the high jump area,” said Viking coach Rick Brown.



Clemmer provided the only Viking victory, but there were various other top 5 performances in the competitive meet, which attracted 40 schools:

— Launa Giordano rewrote her best time in the 800 meters with a clocking of 2 minutes, 30 seconds for second place.




— Dawn Hock equaled her personal best of 5-0 to finish third in the high jump.

— Manuel Lomeli pulled off an impressive double improvement in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. He ran a 4:42 for fifth place in the 1,600 and was fourth in the 3,200 at 10:19.

— Jake Hurwitz, earning a spot among the eight fastest sprinters in the elite 100-meter dash, placed fourth in 11.01 seconds. The winner split the tape in 10.42.

— Matt Arzio led a pack of Vikings in the 800 meters, setting a career-best time of 2:02 for fifth place. Teammates Grant Carter and Jeff Cosmi also came in with season-best times of 2:06 and 2:07, respectively.

— Corey Martin, a senior destined for the University of Wisconsin, placed fifth in the shot put (46-0) and fifth in the discus (131-0).

“We didn’t get home until midnight, but it was well worth the trip, competing against 40 schools from the San Joaquin area, Oakland, South San Francisco and Sacramento,” Brown said. “For these kids to do this against this type of condition was fantastic. Everybody seems to be rounding into prime condition for divisionals.”

The Vikings will compete in the Nevada 4A Division II meet on Saturday in Carson City.

Warrior distance runners took advantage of a rare meet near sea level to better their times Saturday in Stockton, Calif.

Ben Johnson ran personal-best times of 4:59 and 2:10.9 in the 1,600 and 800 meters at the Bear Creek Invitational. Teammate Nathan Porter also crossed out his previous-best times in the 1,600 and 800 with times of 5:16.7 and 2:18.6.

“They were successful partly because of the oxygen-rich air,” said Whittell coach Dan Makley.

Bob Linkul made the discus fly with the third-farthest mark of his career (151-11) to take seventh place in the elite discus. Karin Kaleta took seventh in the high jump (4-10) but didn’t qualify for finals in the triple jump with her mark of 30-8.

Whittell’s younger team members excelled in the frosh-soph division.

Luke Forvilly improved from second to first place on his final attempt to win the long jump at 19-8 3/4. The sophomore also came in fifth place in the elite 100 meters at 11.8 and scooted across the finish line in 24.3 in the 200 meters.

Also, Joel Warnick and Jonathon Nunnally broke personal records in the shot put with heaves of 36-8 and 34-3, respectively; freshman Kendall Meeker let the shot fly 26-6 and discus 70-8; Erin Zaskoda was fourth in her heat in the 300 hurdles at 53.87 and ran a 1:08.4 in the 100 meters; Nunnally also set a personal best in the 200 at 24.9; and Eric VanCleemput closed on the 100-foot barrier in the discus with a toss of 97 feet.

“They came back feeling good about themselves and ready to do something with the rest of the season,” Makley said.

Whittell’s track and field team will compete at Dayton on Saturday.

South Tahoe High’s JV baseball team capped its successful season by keeping the scorekeeper busy.

The Vikings routed Elko 16-7 in their home finale Friday and then were outslugged by McQueen, 11-4 and 16-12, on Saturday in Reno.

Toby O’Brien cracked a three-run homer to jump-start the trouncing of Elko. South Tahoe scored five times in the first and second innings.

“Then I got all my subs in and everybody hit twice,” said a pleased Viking coach Matt Tillson.

Mack Christensen padded the Viking edge with a two-run homer in the fifth inning.

Matt Connelly earned the win, pitching five innings, while Cody Coffman closed the door on the Indians over the final two frames.

Connelly, Carlos Romero and Leo Rodelo stroked two hits, and Mike Tillson pounded a double and drew two walks.

McQueen broke open a 3-3 tie by plating eight runs in the sixth in the opener Saturday.

“The whole game came down to us not scoring with the bases loaded and no outs in the fifth, and they loaded the bases and hit a grand slam in the sixth,” coach Tillson said.

Mike Hennessy socked two doubles, Ryan Cullen belted a triple and Connelly chipped in two singles.

Carlos Romero kept the Lancer bats relatively quiet for five innings.

The tension in game two nearly led to a brawl. But when the teams weren’t exchanging digs, some pretty good baseball was played.

Trailing 12-9, the Lancers scored four runs in the sixth inning and three in the seventh to rally.

Jake Bobman propelled the Vikings to early leads with three-run and solo homers, both of which landed on the school.

Other hitting stars were: O’Brien, a double, single and walk; Romero, double; Connelly, two singles; and Cory Pullen, double and single.

The Vikings finished with a 9-13 record, which included a late-season surge of victories.

“I liked coaching this team. They have great attitudes and definitely are the future,” Tillson said. “The future looks bright for sure. They all have good heads on their shoulders.”

The season ended the way it started for the Viking varsity baseball team – with smoking bats but decipherable pitching.

In control 10-1 against Elko in the second inning on Friday, the Vikings had trouble getting anybody out the rest of the way. The Indians erupted for five runs in the third inning, three in the fourth, seven in the fifth, four in the sixth and six in the seventh to pound out a 26-14 victory.

“We fell apart. It was too bad to see because we started out strong,” said Viking coach Doug Russell.

Austin Merritt, Brian Sommerfeldt and Jeff Jensen homered for the Vikings. Merritt also tripled and collected five RBIs.

Joining Merritt with two hits were Jensen, Sommerfeldt, Tim Sprinkles, Chris Hannum, Travis Ealy and Beau Barkley.

McQueen only needed five innings to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader, 15-5 and 17-7 in Reno.

“They had more pitching and were swinging the bats a little better than us,” Russell said.

Tim Sprinkles doubled and Jared Uppendahl added a single for the Vikings, while the Lancers launched three homers in the opener. Driving in runs were Ramsey, Sprinkles and Chris Seals.

Ealy’s grand slam brought the Vikings within 8-6 in the the third inning, but McQueen kept the hits coming.

Sprinkles, Jensen, Hannum and Ealy each delivered two hits.

Despite a 3-21 league record and 3-24 overall mark, Russell, a first-year manager, remains hopeful.

“The kids took awhile to get going. It was a combination of factors: a new coach with a new system, being indoors and trying to implement a new attitude toward baseball,” Russell said. “Once we got outdoors, we showed we could play some pretty good baseball, although the scores didn’t always reflect it. If we can build on that with the younger guys, there’s a future that Tahoe can be proud of.”

With Aurora Terry fanning the Serpents and her teammates supporting her with some of their best defense of the season, Whittell High made Saturday’s softball doubleheader with Hawthorne interesting.

Even though the Serpents won by scores of 5-2 and 8-7 at Lampe Park in Gardnerville, Warriors coach Lindsay Wines feels better about her winless club.

“After committing 25 errors in two games and only committing 10 this week, we’re really coming along on defense,” she said. “If we play defense on Tuesday like we did on Saturday, we’ll be a completely different team than the one Virginia City played last time.”

Terry, a senior, fanned 21 Serpents in 15 innings and complemented her overpowering pitching with six hits in seven at-bats.

Besides Terry’s three hits in the opener, Stephanie Evans delivered two and Erin Silver and Ashley Berns one each.

Terry was extra clutch in game two. After Hawthorne rallied to go ahead 7-6 by pushing across two runs in the top of the seventh inning, Terry led off the bottom of the frame with an inside-the-park homer to send the game into extra innings.

Hawthorne plated the winning run an inning later on a passed ball.

Whittell displayed some power in game two as Silver smashed a triple and Jocelyn Mata poked a double. Also, Georgia Novotny, Meredith Shaw and Ingrid Manzano lined singles.

Whittell (0-10 in division and 0-13 overall) will play its final home game against Virginia City on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Zephyr Cove Park.

After a forgetful 19-4 obliteration at the hands of Elko on Friday, the South Tahoe softball team got down to business in a doubleheader with Fallon on Saturday in South Lake Tahoe.

Improved defense and solid pitching by Missy Johnson and Heather Roderick were noticeable as Fallon struggled for 5-2 and 4-0 victories.

“We played much better than Friday,” said Jan Johnson, who immediately put the 15-walk, eight-error performance out of his mind.

Missy Johnson surrendered five hits and struck out five in the opening loss to Fallon.

Stephanie Terry was a tough out, leading the Vikings’ eight-hit attack by going 3 for 3. Kathryn Baer contributed two hits and both Viking RBIs, while Missy Johnson cracked a double and Tammy Cowen sliced a single.

Fallon’s pitching limited the Vikings to five hits in game two, including a pair by Megan Humphries.

However, coach Johnson felt the Vikings were victims of Fallon’s stellar outfield play, which included flagging down three line drives in the final inning.

“We hit the ball hard all day, but it was just at ’em,” coach Johnson said.

Missy Johnson had three hits, including a double, and two RBIs against Elko on Friday. Kathryn Baer had two hits.

Although the Lady Vikings don’t have much to play for during the final week with a 2-18 league record, they may get their first chance of playing on the Field of Dreams on Wednesday when Wooster comes to town for a makeup doubleheader.

After being trampled 27-3 in the opening game of a doubleheader by Hawthorne on Saturday, one might have presumed that Whittell’s baseball team wasn’t too excited about playing the second game.

Not so.

Motivated by two hits and four RBIs off the bat of Thomas Hunter and consistent pitching from Bryce Schussel, the Warriors nearly upset the Serpents in an 8-7 Division II loss at Lampe Park in Gardnerville.

“They played their hearts out in that second, and we literally missed by inches of tying the game,” said Whittell skipper Doyle Wilson.

Following a seventh-inning double by Brett Schussel, which plated Brandon Lee, Wilson waved Schussel home on his brother, Bryce’s, single. The younger Schussel was tagged out in a close play at the plate for the game’s final out.

Earlier, Whittell pulled off its second triple play of the season. With runners on first and third, Whittell relayed a grounder to short to second and first bases and then caught the runner from third trying to score on the play.

Bryce Schussel allowed nine hits and struck out three and Lee and Hunter had two hits.

Lee had the Warriors’ only two hits in the opening-game loss.

Whittell, 4-12 overall and 1-8 in division play, meets Incline at 3 p.m. today at Lampe.


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