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San Marino Captures 3 Titles, Leads Way in Championships

June 15, 1989|MITCH POLIN | Times Staff Writer

When it comes to producing CIF Southern Section champions, San Marino High may not be the school of the 1980s in the San Gabriel Valley.

But you could certainly call San Marino the school of the late 1980s.

No other school in the valley has won at least two Southern Section championships in each of the last three years. No school in the valley even approached the sports success of the Titans this season.

San Marino was one of seven schools in the Southland to win three or more championships in the 480-member CIF Southern Section during the 1988-89 prep season.

The Titans won the girls Southern Section 3-A tennis title last November, the Division VII football championship last December and the boys 2-A swimming title in May.

That matches the school's championship total of the 1987-88 season when the Titans won in girls and boys tennis and boys swimming. The season before that, San Marino won boys and girls tennis.

San Marino this season also came close to a fourth title, losing in the 2-A baseball finals to El Segundo, 7-4, in the championship game.

Perhaps the most surprising accomplishment for San Marino was winning its first Southern Section championship in football since 1964 with the Division VII title.

The Titans beat top-ranked Santa Maria, 19-11, to finish undefeated with a 12-0-1 record. It was the fourth football title in school history and the second time that San Marino finished undefeated.

San Marino finished undefeated in winning its first title in 1955 and also won in 1957 and 1964.

In the Division VII title game, the Titans were led by senior running back and defensive back Robbie Santos with 69 yards rushing and two interceptions.

Hardly surprising was the success of the girls tennis team, which has made a habit of winning championships in recent years. In defeating Capistrano Valley, 11-7, in the final the Titans captured their sixth title in seven years.

Leading the way were freshman Nicole Hummel in singles and seniors Roxy Protasovicki and Amy Okum in doubles. Hummel, the top-ranked 14-year-old player in Southern California last year, won all three of her sets in singles against Capistrano Valley.

Boys swimming is another sport in which the Titans have developed a championship tradition. San Marino won its second straight 3-A title against Damien, 179-132.

It was the sixth title in the school's history in boys swimming. The Titans were led by the first-place finishes of Jason Sakamoto in the 100-meter breast stroke and Matt Johnson in the 100-meter backstroke.

No other valley team won more than one title during the 1988-89 season, but three schools posted one title.

Muir won the 4-A title in girls track and finished second in 4-A in girls basketball; Pasadena Poly won the 1-A championship in boys tennis and was second in the Eight-Man Large Division in football, and Mayfield captured the 1-A title in girls tennis and was second among Small Schools in girls volleyball.

Muir was the only valley team to win a state title as the girls captured the track championship by 10 points over Rio Mesa. It was the second state title for the Mustangs, who won in 1985.

Muir was paced by junior sprint sensation Inger Miller, who finished second in the 100- and 200-meter runs and anchored Muir's winning 400-meter relay team. Miller posted swift times of 11.46 seconds in the 100 and 23.86 in the 200, and the 400 relay team won in 46.46.

The performance capped an outstanding season for Miller, who won the 100 and 200 in leading the Mustangs to the 4-A title.

To other valley athletes won state championships.

Sophomore Juliana Yendork of Walnut was a double winner, taking the girls long and triple jumps.

Senior Mark Wilson of Charter Oak won the high jump at 7-0.

Tradition-rich Muir almost won in girls basketball. But the Mustangs fell, 54-48, to Katella in the 4-A final before losing to the same team again in the state Division II regional semifinals.

It was a perfect year in boys tennis for Pasadena Poly, which went 22-0 in winning its first title in the 26-year history of the program. The Panthers defeated Brentwood, 13-5, in the championship match behind the play of senior Ryan McKee in singles.

That provided a little revenge for Pasadena Poly's eight-man football team, which had lost to Brentwood (39-20) in the Large Division final last November after entering the game with a 10-0 record.

Like San Marino, Mayfield has established itself as a perennial power in girls tennis. The Cubs won their fourth straight 1-A championship last November with a 14-4 victory over Corona and finished with a 20-2 record.

Mayfield was paced in singles by senior Maura Shea, who won all three of her sets. The Cubs also came close to a title in girls volleyball last November, only to drop a four-game match to Mission Prep in the Small Schools final.

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