Swimming and diving lead Mesa’s sports program

Nick Kanios

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In an academic year in which many of the “major” sports at Mesa struggled, there have been a few gems tucked away and even a state champion.

Men’s baseball, football and basketball all had losing seasons, none made the playoffs, and football head coach Martin Moss resigned.

In the fall/winter, both men’s and women’s water polo teams made the post season, as did the women’s volleyball team.

This spring, Brad Miller was awarded Diver of the year for the state of California. He won the 3-meter platform and finished second in the low board. His performance earned him All-American honors for both events. Eric Paterson was awarded diving coach of the year. The team’s 450 points this year is a new school record.

The softball team improved greatly from the year before. This season they were 27-20 overall and 8-7 in PCC; they were 12-22-1, 6-9 in PCC in 2005. Mesa earned a post-season appearance as the No. 14 seed in Southern California. Losing 6-2 in their first game against Cuesta. They took a 3-0 lead against Santa Barbara but couldn’t hold onto. Santa Barbara won in the bottom of the seventh 4-3.

Lindsey Fleet earned first team All-Conference at first base. She brought explosive power to the middle of the lineup; Fleet finished the season with 16 home runs to lead the team and the conference.

Four players were awarded second team All-Conference awards. Christiana Delaney as a pitcher, Michelle Goff at third and on the mound, Desiree Fisher at short stop, and Brandi Holland at center field.

As of now none of the sophomores have committed to playing at the next level, they currently are weighing their options. Head coach Mary Bongard is returning many key starters and is looking for a strong recruiting class to keep Mesa going in the right direction. Mesa finished second in conference behind undefeated Palomar.

The track and field teams, both men’s and women’s, finished fourth in conference. Three athletes qualified for the post season. Francisco Aguirre finished second in the state in the men’s 1500 with a time of 3:58.58.

On the women’s side, Morgan Bogard finished third in Southern California in the hammer throw with a distance of 158’9″. She also finished fifth in discus with a distance of 144’5″, which was a personal best. The previous week Bogard had broken the school record in the hammer throw with a toss of 161’1″. Bogard was the conference champion in the hammer throw and discus, she also finished second in the shot put and third in javelin.

Currently a few track athletes have made their future plans. Wellington Gorhan is going to Cal State Marcos and Roger Endreson has committed to Adam State. Judy Jimenez is still deciding between UNLV and the University of Colorado. Nick Banks is undecided, but may be leaning toward Cal State San Marcos.

Here are some things to look ahead for in the fall. Matt Kofler, former NFL quarterback and last year’s offensive coordinator, steps in to replace Moss. He looks to bring his experience as an NFL player to turn this team around.

The women’s volleyball team led by coach Kim Lester has been dominating the conference in recent years, and next year looks to make some more noise in the playoffs. This season they had an early exit, but last season they made it to the state championship title game.

Men’s basketball coach Ed Helscher is changing his philosophy after a tough season. He is changing his offense to a more up-tempo style, which will increase the point total and hopefully the win total as well.

After nearly making the playoffs, women’s basketball coach Lorri Sulpizio will have to compensate for the loss of many crucial players. Her young team is going to have to step up if they are going to make the playoffs.

Both water polo teams made the playoffs last year; the women’s side did excellent in the post season, advancing to the semifinals in the Southern California Tournament. Expect more good things to come from them; the men’s team was very young last year and return much of their starting team.

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