Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

High Schools

Close-ups

October 14, 2005|LAUREN PETERSON;DAN ARRITT

GIRLS' TENNIS

SARAH GEOCARIS

Jr., Newport Coast Sage Hill

* Then: Tennis is a counterpoint to another passion for Geocaris, a classically trained opera singer and a first soprano in Sage Hill's concert choir. The Lightning's No. 1 singles player the last two years, she was the Academy League singles runner-up as a freshman and a semifinalist last season. She led the Lightning to the Southern Section Division V semifinals both years.

* Now: Geocaris, who is 36-4 in sets, including an 18-0 mark in league play this season, has lost to only Santa Margarita's Molly Scott, Laguna Beach's Claire Rietsch, Santa Ynez's Subi Sundaram and Irvine Northwood's Catherine Yoo over the course of an ambitious schedule for Sage Hill (12-2, 6-0 in Academy League play), which has lost to only Northwood and Laguna Beach and defeated Santa Ana Mater Dei on games Wednesday thanks partly to a three-set sweep by Geocaris. Next up for Geocaris and the Lightning is the prestigious Corona del Mar/All-American tournament, scheduled for today and Saturday at several sites around Orange County.

* Quote: "Anytime I'm out on the court, I feel really relaxed," Geocaris said. "I used to get more stressed out, but after a while, I realized it's a sport and that it's supposed to be fun."

--LAUREN PETERSON

*

BOYS' CROSS-COUNTRY

MANNY MEJIA

Sr., Pico Rivera El Rancho

* Then: As a freshman, Mejia finished 64th overall at the Southern Section Division I final, covering the three-mile course at Mt. San Antonio College in 16 minutes 6 seconds. He emerged as the team's top runner the next season, finishing 19th in the sweepstakes race -- third among sophomores -- at the Irvine Woodbridge Invitational. The Dons failed to advance to the section finals that season, but Mejia ran a personal-best 15:51 in the preliminaries. After breaking a 6-year-old course record at the Del Rio League final, Mejia returned to the Division I final last season, where he finished 22nd in 15:34, but he and the Dons again failed to qualify for the state meet.

* Now: An experienced group anchored by Mejia has led many to believe the Dons have the talent to make their first state-finals appearance. They finished second last month at the Woodbridge Invitational behind Mejia's 14th-place finish in 14:55. After winning the team title Oct. 1 at the Brea Invitational, the Dons, ranked No. 5 in Division I, finished third Saturday at the Clovis Invitational at Woodward Park in Fresno, site of next month's state championships. Mejia finished 14th overall in 15:58.

* Quote: "This is the best team I've ever had," said Ray Elliott, in his eighth season as coach at the school. "We've qualified for the [section] final three of the last four years but never got over that hump and qualified for state."

--DAN ARRITT

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|