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Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table

Round Table Press Luncheon: Past Presidents Turn Out to Honor Outgoing Leader Cara Gamberdella

Athlete Round Table presidents of the past and the president-elect came to Monday’s final press luncheon to honor outgoing leader Cara Gamberdella. Back row, from left are president-elect Gene Deering, Rick Hanna, Barry Taugher, Joe Howell, Rick Wilson and Dick Mires. In front, from left, Cara Gamberdella, Laurie Leighty and Marc Gamberdella. Click to view larger
Athlete Round Table presidents of the past and the president-elect came to Monday’s final press luncheon to honor outgoing leader Cara Gamberdella. Back row, from left are president-elect Gene Deering, Rick Hanna, Barry Taugher, Joe Howell, Rick Wilson and Dick Mires. In front, from left, Cara Gamberdella, Laurie Leighty and Marc Gamberdella. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk)

It was President’s Day at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon as seven former presidents of the all-volunteer organization were on hand to congratulate out-going leader Cara Gamberdella, who was presiding over the final lunch meeting of her two-year term.

Gamberdella also was given a nice send-off by president-elect Gene Deering. "She's elevated everything that we do and really put us on a great trajectory," he said.

There also was a tribute to the late Larry Crandell, a former president and a longtime board member of the Round Table who served as emcee for many luncheons and other organization events. A new podium was named in his honor. On it is a plaque that bears the name “Larry Crandell Memorial Podium” along with one of his favorite comments after receiving recognition: “Well deserved, long overdue.”


John McGrath, track athlete. Click to view larger
John McGrath, track athlete.
Kyle Simpson, golfer. Click to view larger
Kyle Simpson, golfer.

Two athletes were honored were John McGrath for track & field and Kyle Simpson for golf.

Coach Dan Weiner said McGrath is one of those special athletes that will try anything and has a great attitude. On the track, he does the 100, 200 and anchors the 4x100 relay. He also competes in the shot put.

Coach Kayla Edwards couldn’t thank Simpson enough for his help in golf. “Kyle has been there and has been so encouraging and so helpful,” she said. “He’s always been the one helping and helping others, and is so positive and so encouraging. It makes a difference regardless of your skill level. It makes you a very coachable person, which I always appreciate.”


UCSB: The Gauchos are headed to the NCAA Regionals at Stanford after winning the Big West Championship at Sandpiper Golf Course. It was their first conference title since 1998.

Coach Steve Lass said the team accomplished a lot this season and his looking forward to “taking one more road trip” with his group of players. “That’s what this is really all about. The winning is great. Years from now they’ll remember the five tournaments we won; they’ll remember all the things we accomplished. But what they’ll really remember is being with one another as a team.

“At Stanford, we’re hoping to beat some of the best teams in the country and move on to the national championships for one more road trip.”


San Marcos: At 7-3 in Channel League after sweeping rival Dos Pueblos, the Royals have clinched a CIF playoff berth as a second-place team behind highly ranked Buena.

“We’re in the same division, so we’re going to have to find a way to beat them,” said coach Jeff Swann. All three league losses came against the Bulldogs.

Swann introduced power-hitting junior Hailey Fryklund and freshman Morgan Jensen. Fryklund hit a two-run homer in a win over Dos Pueblos last Tuesday. He said Jensen is a super competitor and nothing gets past her at catcher.

Dos Pueblos: Before introducing his three players, coach Jon Uyesaka gave a shout-out to Hailee Rios of San Marcos, saying she is “really deserving of the league MVP this year, and I hope that happens.”

Uyesaka said junior pitcher Talia Bloxham has made a good adjustment to the varsity level and is starting to know the game well.  Junior Lauren Gerken is a super athlete, pays attention to everything and is starting to become a contact hitter. Junior Nova Sinskul can really make things happen at shortstop and is a team leader. She’s committed to Loyola of Chicago.

UCSB: Assistant coach Julia Tamai said the Gauchos are currently tied for second place in the Big West and play a home series against first-place Cal State Fullerton this weekend. If the Gauchos sweep and finish in second, they have a shot at making the first softball National Invitation Tournament.


San Marcos: Assistant coach Evan Bradford raved about Jason Peterson recovering from an illness he picked up on a mission trip to Mexico and working his way back to repeat as Channel League 800-meter champion His time of 1:59.02 was the second fastest of his career. “It was good thing to see him come back and win the title,” said Bradford.

He said sprinter Owen Bates has learned a lot in his first track season. A soccer player, Bates won the league title in the 100 meters. “He loves learning about the sport. It’s fun to watch him continue to improve,” said Bradford.

After dealing with an Achilles issue early in the season, Erica Schroeder is coming on strong heading into CIF competition. She won her fourth straight 800 league title and third straight in the 1600.

“It’s been really awesome to see her navigate the recovery process and come back and keep her mind focused on the end goal, and be excited with the little things we’re gaining every day,” Bradford said. “Erica’s one of hardest workers I know.”

He added that he’s proud to be part of a team with a lot of talent and a great work ethic.

Bishop Diego: Coach Ron Heller said the boys finished fourth out of eight teams at the Frontier League Championships. Nick Kislow set a personal best and qualified for CIF in the 100 meters and is a member of the second-place 4x100 relay team. Sten Carr qualified in the 100, 200 and long jump and was part of the relay team. 

From the girls team, Laura Henderson is going to the Division 4 meet  in the high jump, long jump, triple jump and the 4x100 relay. Sophomore Natani Earle, a powerful player on the soccer field, is part of the 4x100 relay. “We had to refine her running form because she likes to run with her elbow out, knocking teeth out,” Heller cracked.

Dos Pueblos: Coach Chris Mollkoy said junior Minna Wyttenbach, junior qualified for CIF in the long jump and triple jump and scored valuable points for the team in the pole vault.

Sophomore Josie Morales came out for the team late after playing soccer, but made an impact right away. She is ranked second in the state in the high jump.

“She has springs on the bottom of her feet,” said Mollkoy.

Morales also qualified for CIF in the 800.

Carpinteria: The Warriors will host the CIF-SS Division 4 Prelims on Saturday. Among the standout athletes competing will be Malibu distance-running sensation Claudia Lane. She broke meet records in the 1600 and 3200 at the Tri-Valley League finals and is the national cross country champion.

Latham brought four of his CIF qualifiers: Biola-bound Annalisa DeAlba, the two-time TVL discus champion and a CIF finalist a year ago; Jenna Castillo, a three-time CIF qualifier in the hurdles; Chloe Singer, a first-time qualifier in the pole vault, and sprinter Wyatt Stevenson, who is the first Carpinteria athlete in more than 40 years to repeat as league champion in the 100 meters. He also qualified in the 200

“He’s frustrated his times haven’t dropped, but I’m confident it’s going to happen this week when he faces some of the best sprinters around,” said Latham of Stevenson, who also plays water polo. “He makes an impact on land and in the water.”


San Marcos: Coach Chuckie Roth said senior Amanda Hayes was so sick at the Channel League Championships that he subbed her out of the first event, the medley relay. He felt bad.

“This isn’t the way that anybody wants their senior Channel League Championship to end up,” he said.

As the meet continued, Hayes was able to recover enough to compete in the 100 breaststroke and score points for the team.

“It just shows a lot heart and determination,” he said. “As a senior leader, you showed that,” he said to her.

Roth noted that Hayes was all set to go to UC Davis before receiving a late acceptance to Cal-Berkeley. “She felt that was best of her in her life,” he said of her decision to attend Cal.

Roth also talked about Paige Hauschild, who over the weekend played for the USA Water Polo women’s senior team at the Intercontinental Tournament at UC Davis and earned a silver medal.

Gina Jacobson, Athlete of the Week. Click to view larger
Gina Jacobson, Athlete of the Week.

Hauschild was unable to attend Monday because she was taking a math exam. But she’ll be with the Royals when they head to Riverside on Wednesday for the CIF Prelims.

“It’s a very humbling meet,” Roth said of CIF. “You think you’re really good and talented and then you see what everybody else can do and you realize, ‘Wow, there are some really fast people out there.’ 

“We finished fourth last year and if we finish anywhere close to that, I’ll be ecstatic.”

SBCC: Roth was excited about his Vaquero squad holding on to fourth place in the 400 free relay to finish in fourth place in the final team standings. He praised the swims of No. 3 leg Reese Ellestad, who went from seventh to second place, and anchor Alex Humann. Her fourth place enabled SBCC to finish ahead of Las Positas College by one point and Palomar by six.

Roth called diver Gina Jacobson “a true talent” and “the best diver in town.” She broke a nine-year-old record in winning the 1-meter event and finished third on the 3-meter board.

Jacobson was named the Athlete of the Week.


Dos Pueblos: Coach Liz Frech said she appreciated the selflessness and tenacity of players Miles Baldwin, Vincent Villano and brothers Ryan and Christian Hodosy. They helped the Chargers win a share of the league title for the second straight year and qualify for the CIF Playoffs.

DP (11-6) opens the Division 1 playoffs Wednesday with a home match against No. 6-ranked Mira Costa.

She said Baldwin became DP’s first Channel League singles finalist since 2011 and that the Hodosy brothers went 42-11 and upset the No. 1 seeded team from San Marcos in the league quarterfinals.


Bishop Diego: The Cardinals have won four in a row and six of their last eight. 

“We’re playing our best baseball all year,” coach Ralph Molina said. “It takes awhile to get started because we have so many players coming from different sports. It took a while to get the right combination, get the right guys in the right spots.”

Freshman Jackson Haskell has played well in left field. “He has a big arm. He’ll surprise you with his arm,” said Molina.

Daniel Giannini, a freshman second baseman, had a hot bat last week, collecting five hits in two games. Junior right fielder David Gladish has a strong throwing arm and is hitting the ball well.”

“We’re playing good baseball at the right time,” Molina said. “I’m feeling good about where we’re at right now.”

The Cardinals host Santa Clara on Tuesday and finish the regular season at Santa Clara on Thursday.

Dos Pueblos: The Chargers are on a roll with five straight league wins. Coach George Hedricks said their are several scenarios on where they might finish in the league standings. They are finished with league play at 7-4-1. 

“We could end up as co-league champs or in third place, or somewhere in the middle,” said Hedricks.

The Chargers have a big game on Tuesday, hosting Harvard Westlake, the No. 3-ranked team in the L.A. Times Southland Poll.

Hedricks introduced sophomore Nico Martiinez, who has made an impact as a closer and a hitter. “He’s been a huge presence for us,” said the coach.

Junior Chris Abbott was hitting the ball well before he suffered a season-ending knee injury during the Easton Tournament back in March. “When he went down, it was a huge blow for us,” Hedricks said.

Abbott continues to make his presence felt. “He’s one of the biggest ring leaders in our dugout,” Hedricks said. “I’m looking forward to him getting healthy and being back for his senior year, and I know he is too. I’m proud of the way he’s carried himself with an injury like that.”

Hedricks also praised the pitching of Darby Naughton and Dylan Kelley. “I don’t think they’ve given up an earned run in the last 5-6 games.”

Carpinteria: “It’s been a streaky season of peaks and valleys,” Van Latham reported for coach Pat Cooney. “The good news is the Warriors are peaking at the end.” The team has completed Tri-Valley League play and is waiting to see if it has to play a league play-in game for a playoff berth on Friday.

Latham introduced shortstop and No. 2 hitter Dominic Sturdivan and talented catcher Toby Spach.


Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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