Mustangs jumped and grinded into the NSSL (National Scholastic Skateboarding League) finals this past Wednesday at Vans
Along with schools from all over Orange County competing, Mesa stepped in with confidence to compete in the Bowl and street divisions. Bowl competitors mainly cruised up and down the bowls of the park making impressive jumps and high-flying grinds on the rail ends of the bowls. Street skaters however were more focused on speed, tricks, and smooth grinds on the available ramps. Bowl skaters were preparing themselves for air and smooth cruising along the bowl when Sarah Thompson from the Costa Mesa middle school team fell on her shoulder. This didn’t faze her however as she got up and pumped up for the skate battle that was to begin.
Each skater got three runs that were each 45 seconds long to attempt and land a trick. Franky Villani also a part of the Costa Mesa team went first landing a clean turn and getting points for the Mustangs. Once all bowl competitors had received their chance to shred the bowl and show their skill, street competitors were ready to do the same. Before the street competitors were out on the park’s ramps and rails, they were uplifted and encouraged by the Costa Mesa High School Junior Varsity Cheerleaders who came to cheer them on and prepare them for the longest part of the competition. Street is the longest part of the competition because everyone goes twice, each getting the same amount of time to attempt and land a trick. Once all street competitors had received their chance to represent their team, the individual winners of the contest and the teams that won were announced. The street winners were announced first. Franky Villani from the Costa Mesa High School placed third, Aaron Kim from the Huntington Beach High School placed second, and Chris Chacaria from the Huntington Beach High School Team placed first.
They then announced the Bowl winners. Brandon Burleigh from the El Toro High school team placed 3rd, Tylor Hollenbeck also from El Toro High school team placed 2nd, and Gage Boan from Edison High school team placed 1st. After they announced the individual winners they announced the teams that won. El Toro Team was third, Northwood Team was second and Huntington Beach was first. The Mesa students and skaters showed their skill and landed strong to wrap up the OCSL competition and finals this year, ready and hopeful for what next year will bring.
Photos by Niki Stanborough
With a final score of 14-4, the Mustangs stayed in control for the match.
For Mesa, the starting line-up consisted of Michael Chantos at # 1 singles
, Diego Hernandez at # 2 singles, and Jose Cuevas at # 3 singles. For doubles, there was Tam Le and Max Nguyen at #1, Thuan Truong and Michael Nguyen at #2, and Tony Nguyen and Kevin Nguyen (later subbed in by Preston Trieu at the second set) at # 3. The day before the game, Head Coach Jan Migaki, told the players to be “turbo-charged.” Considering the circumstances, she was right. After the team’s loss to Godinez two weeks ago, it weakened the chances for a CIF Playoff spot. If the Mustangs wanted to make it to CIF, they needed to step up their game.
That meant reducing unforced errors and putting away shots. Throughout the season Coach Migaki has deeply stressed consistency over power and after this win, the strategy definitely paid off. After the return of Michael Chantos to the line-up, the team vastly improved from the two team’s last match-up on March 15. Improving the score from 11-7, singles player Michael Chantos and all three doubles teams were able to sweep Saddleback.
The team’s #1 doubles team, Tam Le and Max Nguyen, remain undefeated with a score of 18-0 for the season so far. Their play style includes Tam attacking the net, while Max controls from the baseline. This strategy has proven effective even against stronger teams such as Estancia and Laguna Beach. Marking down this win, the Mustangs are at a record of 3-3, and are hoping for another win as they play Estancia at the Eagles’ home courts this Friday.
Last week the track saw displays of guts and dedication as injuries and accidents threaten to affect Costa Mesa's runners. Thursday saw Mesa's dual meet against Calvary Chapel and Friday/Saturday saw the esteemed Trabuco Hills Invitational.
Serena Ozonur, a freshman sprinter, has been dealing with a few injuries lately. Naturally, her coaches tell her to keep off her feet, and stay out of races. She pleaded her coaches to let her run and they gave her a decision: to run on Thursday or Friday, not both. But this wasn't good enough for her. She began to sneak into races despite her coaches and did end up running both days. Serena has run since Middle School and the sport has grown on her, as it does to most runners. She showed her true love and dedication for the sport in her actions this past week.
Later, Arisa Joi had a challenging moment of her own. Hurtling can be a very demanding event and can also be the most painful. On Thursday Arisa slipped up during her hurdles and took a hard fall. She managed to recover but only for so long, as the momentum she lost caused a second fall. Even the smallest slip-ups can ruin a race, and it can also take its toll on the runner emotionally. Arisa had trouble re-cooping after the race and is still a bit scared for her next race. She's a perfect example of the powerful determination, and will that a runner needs to succeed. Altogether, the team was tired from having consecutive meets.
Originally born and raised in Ecuador CMHS senior Kerlly Castellano is a passionate, athletic, determined student and cheerleader who is March’s Athlete of the Month. With hopes to continue with her cheer career after high school by being part of the United Cheerleaders Association, the biggest cheer camp company in the United States. Although it was “really intimidating” Castellano is confident and moving forward working to spread her passion and skill for this athletic activity.
Castellano has been involved with cheer since she came to CMHS in eighth grade. Her interest and excitement for cheer began with her involvement in gymnastics and dance including Jazz and Ballet since she was six years old. She decided to translate her flexibility, athleticism, and overall talent in both areas to an involvement in cheer with the encouraging word of a close friend, Caitlyn Brock who “convinced her to try out.” She has participated in St. Joseph’s ballet in Anaheim as well as cheer and tumbling classes.
Although she was greatly involved in soccer while a child in her country of origin she did not continue with this interest and familial skill due to the fact she just “couldn’t be part of any other team” then her home team. Castellano continues to have a passion for soccer and follows in the footsteps of her fellow professional Ecuadorian soccer player father and college soccer player mother regardless. “[It is] in my blood, always really fun and I really enjoy it.”
Her goals and aspirations don’t stop with cheer however. She hopes to attend UCLA or Boston University as a pre-med student and impact another part of the world that greatly needs it. Kerlly hopes to continue to showcase her athletic talents after high school as well by becoming certified to be a Pilates teacher, which she admits is “a lot more strenuous than yoga, but in a more subtle and defined way. You definitely use your muscle more.”
Kerlly ironically does agree with the many people that critique Cheer for not really being a sport. “They are kind of right it’s not really a sport. There are no scores, not a winning aspect besides the big [and occasional] competition.” She does highlight however how extremely athletic cheer is due to the strength that must be required to lift fellow cheerleaders into the air and maintaining a tight physique with every motion. “The whole point of cheer is to always be tight. You’re muscles are always very contracted and you use all your muscles at some point.”
Cheer Captain. Yearbook Editor. Member of the past Pink Ribbon Club. Vice President of Human Resources in Virtual Enterprise. Official Athlete of the Month. Kerlly Castellano is a great all around student, athlete, and person who makes CMHS and The Equestrian proud to recognize her many accomplishments.
Kellie Thorsness. Student. Sister. Avid Swimmer. Athlete of the Month.
“She never misses a practice, is just an all around great kid. Anything you can think of she does it. She made CIF in her first week.”
That’s right Thorsness who has never been nominated for anything before “is an extremely hard worker and it has paid off,” comments her coach and nominee. Kellie has qualified for CIF in two events as well as recently( this past Saturday) making a new record for CMHS’s 50 freestyle (2 laps) of 25.05 seconds with a record-breaking 24.96. When I had talked to Thorsness just a few weeks earlier she had displayed just how important that record was to her and showed her determination to break it. “I have worked really hard every day and have almost broken the school record. I’ve gotten a 25.09 relay and the record is 25.05. I’ll get it.”
She has been involved in aquatics since freshman year. Though she was involved in AYSO soccer before high school, once she followed in her older sibling’s footsteps she had no more time for her old passion.
Her older brother and sister were both active in swim and water polo and since it had already run in the family for a few years Kelly decided to give it a try. Her parents were actually never involved in aquatics, her mother played volleyball while her father played baseball, but the trend caught on with her old sister and continued. With AP classes, and being an honor roll student already on her plate she had no time for anything else and made aquatics her main interest. “I fell in love with it.”
Last swim season as a sophomore, Thorsness got considerably sick suffering from two bad rounds of the flu as well as bronchitis that turned into pneumonia, but she didn’t let this faze her. “I had to catch up in school as well into swim. It was hard to get my grades up and get into swim shape, but I did it!” And she made quite a comeback at that, being recognized first division all league for swim. She was also able to beat Laguna Beach with the help of her team last year, “felt really nice, definitely best moment so far.”
Some influences of Kellie’s include her parents as well as Coach Postiff. “I’ve known him since I was six and he would always be like, ‘so Kellie, when are you joining Water polo’.”
This junior plans to attend Pomona-Pitzer, a college that revolves around its competitive athletic program, and be a part of their Division I Water Polo team. “It is one other challenge, but I plan on continuing.”
Though she admits that the most challenging part about swim and water polo is that it is really physical and “you have to get really strong” she notes that it is all about your mentality going in. “If she [Coach Smith] throws a hard set at us and we think we can’t do it then we can’t. It’s important to go in and think you can do it.”
Kellie Thorsness, a prime example of someone who knows a little bit about success in Water Polo and Swim encourages girls at Mesa to join aquatics. “It seems scary but it’s not that’s bad. If you try you’ll be fine. People should just try it, it’s really fun and we need girls to join.”
This positive and determined attitude is why The Equestrian is proud to honor Kellie Thorsness as the month of March’s Athlete of the Month.
The Lady Mustangs showed just what they can do this past Tuesday when they scored 7 runs against Godinez High School. Although those seven runs weren’t enough to win the game against the Grizzlies 11 runs, this was the second best game the softball players have had so far. Coach JP Hamilton commented on the change in the girls’ effort and overall performance saying, “Welcome to the game ladies.”
The beginning of the game started off as many of the Lady Mustangs games have, with errors and a lack of completely making the necessary plays to step ahead and get runs or complete outs. When the fifth inning came along, however, the Mustangs pulled through with back to back outs, base hits and about two-thirds of their total runs until the last inning.
Pitcher Niki Delgado(#6) had on a face mask for protection, which is demanded by league and was off and on with her pitches. Just as the rest of the team in the first few innings, she couldn’t get the Godinez girls out, with about four walks in one inning. Towards the end, however, she lifted up her hand and threw power pitches, battling the game put until the end with about six strikes total.
Many players were also injured at this game with Alofa Skipps, catcher(#24) and Niki Delgado going in with a few, as well as Dulce Gomez(#5) getting hit by the Godinez pitcher for a walk. Skipps, due to her constant bent stance and coverage of the ball, said she experienced creaking in her knees and needed to ice not only her arm from a fastball, but also two of her fingers due to a tricky catch attempt. Niki Delgado also was experiencing pain, usual for her position, in her arms and back. “My doctor said that I pitch too much, which is why during practice I don’t really do any pitching, just batting.”
This game was the result of the players not only evaluating how they played and doing better, but playing the game with confidence and not worrying too much about losing or winning. “Our best game was probably Oxford Academy [in which Mesa battled with their first double play and an ending score of 7 to 8, shy by one point] but they’re coming around. They’re playing with confidence, playing aggressive, playing like they expect to make plays.”
Nisha Degante (3rd base) commented on how important this game was for her. “Last practice the coaches told us that they would be moving us around to different positions. I would be moving from third to left, but this changed my mind, I needed to prove to them I can still be third [basemen]. This made me realize I can get replaced really easily; I got to try my hardest. I had to prove they can still count on me, I got it!”
Coach Hamilton ended the game as always with an overview of what went well and what could be better, this time sounding a bit different due to the change in the ladies' performance and attitude in the game. “You have to realize you deserve to be here and play at this level. We had three great innings of softball, that’s what we see at practice every day. You need that confidence. Show up with pride.”