Central Section qualifiers for Saturday’s state track finals

CENTRAL SECTION QUALIFIERS for Saturday’s finals of the CIF State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan’s Veterans Memorial Stadium (with their qualifying marks):

Field events begin at 4:30 p.m., track at 6 p.m.

BOYS (24)

400: Joe Herrera, jr., Western, *48.08

800: Ivan Gonzalez, sr., Ridgeview, 1:51.60

1,600: Blake Haney, jr., Stockdale, 4:13.05; Cody Brazeal, Buchanan, 4:14.92

3,200: Blake Haney, sr., Stockdale, 9:09.96; Connor Nolen, jr., Clovis North, 9:19.28; Jose Herrera, sr., Madera South, 9:25.00

400 relay: Edison, 41.65; Central, 42.16

1,600 relay: Clovis, *3:17.62

Long jump: David Booker, sr., Western, 23-0; Scotty Newton, jr., Bakersfield, 23-0; Joey Souza, soph., Kingsburg, 22-11 1/2; Donte McDaniel, sr., Selma, 22-10 1/4

Triple jump: Scotty Newton, jr., Bakersfield, 48-1 3/4; Darius Armstead, sr., Mt. Whitney, 47-9 1/4; Matt Bowen, jr., Buchanan, 47-5

High jump: Taylor Smith, sr., Buchanan, 6-7; L.J. Moore, sr., Central, 6-7; Jonathan Moore, sr., Independence

Pole vault: Brad Beekman, sr., Clovis East, 15-5 3/4

Discus: Colton Foster, jr., Frontier, 172-1; Brad Beekman, sr., Clovis East, 171-9; Matt Smith, soph., Bakersfield Christian, 169-9

GIRLS (18)

100: Jazmen Bunch, jr., Edison, 11.73

400: Hannah Waller, frosh., Buchanan, 55.59

800: Mikaela Smith, soph., Clovis North, *2:10.63

1,600: Ali Teliha, sr., Bullard, 4:57.23

3,200: Hagen Reedy, sr., Buchanan, 10:49.52; Leigh Moffett, jr., Clovis North, 10:50.59; Mikayla Sodersten, frosh., Clovis, 10:53.78

100 high hurdles: Morganne Hill, soph., Liberty-Bak., *14.14

300 low hurdles: Morganne Hill, soph., Liberty-Bak., *42.43

400 relay: Edison, 46.45

1,600 relay: Edison, #*3:44.75; Buchanan, 3:50.65

Long jump: Rhesa Foster, frosh., Clovis North, 18-4 1/2; Maciah Murray, jr., Edison, 17-11

Shot put: Nikki Okwelogu, sr., Clovis West, 45-10 3/4; Amarie Bremel, sr., Kingsburg, 40-9 1/2

Discus: Nikki Okwelogu, sr., Clovis West, *170-6; Rae Blansett, jr., Liberty-Bak., 138-7

# — Central Section record
* — School record

Imminent: Death, taxes and Tony Amundsen hired by Clovis North

Bullard boys basketball coach Tony Amundsen will be approved as Clovis North’s coach Wednesday by the Clovis Unified school board.

Tony Amundsen will be approved as Clovis North’s boys basketball coach Wednesday by the Clovis Unified school board in a high-profile switch that’s become as given as it is comical, really.

Unless, of course, you’re associated with Bullard’s program, which is taking a hit unlike any in school history in regard to coaches.

Consider my exchange Friday night with Clovis North athletic director Eric Swain at the state track and field meet at Buchanan:

Me: “So, Eric, is the Amundsen hire official?”

Swain (smiling): “The forwarded candidate will be approved Wednesday by the board.”

Me (laughing with the most rhetorical question of my 40-year reporting career): “So, who’s the ‘forwarded candidate?’”

Swain (laughing): “Cmon, buddy.”

And away goes Amundsen, who made that intention clear two weeks ago, when he told The Bee he wanted the Clovis North job because of an “overwhelming factor” — his family of five lives in that school’s attendance area. Further, that his oldest child, fifth-grader Cadee, will be on campus with him in the fall of 2014 at the Clovis North Educational Center, which combines Granite Ridge Intermediate and the high school in northeast Fresno at International and Willow Avenues.

What an enormous blow for not only Bullard, but the County/Metro Athletic Conference and Fresno Unified School District as well.

Understand this: A typical tenured teacher/coach in the district makes about $75,000.

Amundsen is worth double that, if not more, considering the following his teams have drawn from home to road to Selland Arena in a 119-38, five-year career with three consecutive Division I titles at the school.

There’s no doubt Bullard, a melting pot for basketball talent not only within its attendance area but Fresno Unified (see transfers), will replace Amundsen with a quality coach.

But, as Knights athletic director Doug Finks says, “You can’t bottle lightening.”

And Amundsen brought serious thunder and lightening to a program that not long ago could hosted a card game (one table, 10 players) at its home  games.

Past couple years? Routine turnaway crowds of around 1,500.

“Tony has created a Bullard community phenomenon,” Finks says. “What he’s done transcends basketball.”

Kemp, Labosky, Wheeless land top TRAC baseball honors

Buchanan junior center fielder Trenton Kemp shares the Tri-River Athletic Conference Player of the Year award with Clovis North junior pitcher/third baseman Jack Labosky.

Juniors Trenton Kemp of Buchanan and Jack Labosky of Clovis North shared the Tri-River Athletic Conference Player of the Year honor.

Clovis North’s Jack Labosky powered the Broncos to the Central Section D-I title.

League champion Buchanan also landed top honors with junior Pitcher of the Year Jack Wheeless and Coach of the Year Tom Donald.

Find me another league in the state, by the way, where Clovis’ Jake Gatewood (USC) makes second team and Clovis North’s Christian Rossi (Fullerton) is shut out.

Just sayin.

All-TRAC first team:

Buchanan: Colton Worthington, Connor Loeprich; Clovis: McCarthy Tatum, Logan Poisall, Alan Crowley; Clovis North: Daniel Gardner, Braden Frankfort; Clovis West: Marco Pierce, Christian Funk.

Second team:

Buchanan: Collin Winn, Kody Batesole; Clovis: Jacob Gatewood, R.J. Hartmann; Clovis North: Koby Cummings, Nick Perez; Central: Donovan Failla; Clovis East: Jarrett Kirby, Nathan Case; Clovis West: Jon Schafer.

Will Carlos Salazar pitch in City/County All-Star Baseball Game?

It’s uncertain if Kerman’s Carlos Salazar will pitch in the City/County All-Star Baseball Game June 9 at Chukchansi Park.

What’s the chances Kerman fireballer Carlos Salazar will pitch in the June 9 City/County All-Star Baseball Game a day following the conclusion of the Major League Amateur Draft?

“No way to tell yet,” Lions coach Jay Preuss says Sunday in Atlanta while awaiting the arrival of Salazar, who will have a private workout with Braves officials Tuesday at Turner Park.

Then the 6-foot, 210-pounder with a fastball that’s been clocked at 98 mph will audition for the Giants Friday morning at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

The most common projections have him going late in the first round June 6. First-round signing bonuses in 2012 ranged from $6 million to $1.525 million.

Should Salazar play for the County at Chukchansi Park, he’ll be one of the hottest drawing cards in the history of the game.

His showdown with Clovis’ Jake Gatewood drew a standing-room-only crowd of 2,500 on the Cougars’ field March 27 in the Fresno Easter Classic.

Gatewood pitched a no-hitter in a 1-0 Clovis win. Salazar gave up three hits, striking out 13 in 6 1/3 innings. His fastball touched 97 mph that morning.

City/County All-Star Baseball Game rosters


June 9, Chukchansi Park, 6:30 p.m.

Colton Worthington, Kody Batesole, Garrett Browning, Jeremy Vollberg, Collin Winn, Buchanan; Charles Rocha, Roosevelt; Logan Handzlik, Craig Handzlik, Kyle Hansen, Hoover; A.J. Ferdinandi, Cameron Garver, Christian Merrick, Memorial; Marco Pierce, Joey Gallegos, David Lima, Clovis West; Daniel Gardner, Christian Rossi, C.J. Taggett, Nick Perez, Clovis North; Brett Bausman, Aaron Simms, Jonathan Coleman, Niko Pacheco, Bullard; Victor Avila, Sunnyside; Jorge Alvarado, Brandon Acosta, Leonard Stuckey, Fresno; Jarrett Kirby, Mark Trujillo, Clovis East; Logan Poisall, McKay France, Hugh Awtrey, Clovis; Fernando Martinez, McLane; Deondre Howard, Edison.

Coaches: Jason and Ken Papi, Fresno

Gene Cachu, Adam Rivera, Dinuba; Scott Roberts, Michael Say, Madera; Dallin Cornelious, Kason Fite, Caruthers; Roman Ortiz, Selma; Josh Montelongo, Sanger; Connor Brogden, Anthony Garcia, Liberty-Madera Ranchos; Dalton Irlart, Chris Schrader, Kingsburg; Garrett Martin, Casey Blunt, Sierra; Danny Perez, Juan Garcia, Firebaugh; Erik Pincus, Minarets; Adam Mancillas, Washington; Logan Wynn, Dustin Pfarr, Tim Broaddus Lemoore; Adriano Coronado, Derrick Perez, Madera South; Carlos Salazar, Eric Montero, Adrian Flores, Nick Flores, Kerman; Sean Kinsley, Dustin Gaither, Chowchilla; Matthew Nunes, Fowler; Jason Woodard, Brian Cleland, Kyle Clolkosz, Rene Gutierrez, Central.

Coach: John Hollett, Selma

Sports stampede at Clovis North

They’re ridin’ high in athletics at Clovis North High.

How? Count the ways:

** The Broncos’ baseball team plays for the Central Section Division I title at home Friday against Stockdale at 4:30 p.m.

Tony Amundsen, who has won three consecutive boys section D-I basketball titles at Bullard in one of the most dominant runs in section history, is about to take the whistle at Clovis North.

** The boys basketball program is about to pilfer the hottest coaching ticket in the section — Tony Amundsen — from Bullard.

** Brittany Pierce, a rising star in the girls volleyball coaching fraternity, was recently plucked from Sanger.

** The girls track and field team placed third in the section finals behind fab freshman Rhesa Foster (1st long jump, 2nd 100 HH, 3rd 100), sophomore Mikaela Smith (1st 800, 3rd long jump), Leigh Moffett (2nd 3,200) and Nicole Ballestero (2nd pole vault).

** And the Broncos captured the section D-I title in football.

Four Edison girls headed to college in track and field

Edison High senior Njeri Omawahleh, one of the state’s top performers in track and field this season, was one of four Tiger girls to sign National Letters of Intent Friday.

Four members of Edison High’s girls track and field team signed National Letters of Intent on campus Friday.

Njeri Omawahleh and Nailah Harris-Murillo signed with Fresno State, and twins Tia and Tara Edwards with Fresno Pacific.

Omawahleh has been one of the state’s top performers this season.

She’s contributed legs too Central Section record-breaking 400- (46.04) and 1,600-meter (3:46.04) relays. Both are ranked No. 2 in the state, and the 400 mark is No. 8 nationally.

Omawahleh, called “Jelly” by her teammates, is also ranked No. 2 in the section in the 200 (24.31) and 400 (55.62), and No. 4 in the long jump (18-2).

Harris-Murillo also runs on both relays and is No. 3 in the section in the 400 (56.27) and No. 5 in the 200 (24.91).

Tia Edwards runs on the 1,600 relay and is No. 4 in the section in the 300 low hurdles (45.53) and No. 6 in the 100 high hurdles (15.31).

Tara Edwards has contributed to the relays and is No. 7 in the section in the 400 (58.08).

Edison’s girls finished a close second to Buchanan for the section team title and are expected to be a top-five contender in the CIF State Championships May 31-June 1 at Buchanan’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Prep baseball playoff notes

A shoulder strain has removed Jake Gatewood from Clovis’ pitching rotation — or even bullpen — in the Division I baseball playoffs.

Clovis High junior star pitcher/infielder/center fielder Jake Gatewood, who was just selected for the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game, has a strain in his right (throwing) shoulder, meaning he’s “probably out of the question for the rest of the playoffs,” Cougars coach James Patrick says.

Gatewood, as a result, didn’t even play defense as a designated hitter in Clovis’ 3-2, nine-inning win over Centennial in Friday’s Central Section Division I quarterfinals.

Patrick says junior right-hander McCarthy Tatum (10-2, 2.22 ERA) will pitch Wednesday in the third-seeded Cougars’ semifinal at No. 2 Clovis North at 6:30. The winner will advance to Friday’s championship to play either No. 1 Buchanan or No. 4 Stockdale. The host Bears, the Tri-River Athletic Conference champions, and Mustangs of the Southwest Yosemite League play Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

The Clovis-Clovis North game matches Patrick against his son, Chris. Pops is 3-2 against him since the Clovis Unified programs began playing each other in 2011. That’s when the Broncos graduated their first senior class, and they went 0-3 against the Cougars that year, meaning they’ve gone 4-2 against Clovis the past two seasons.

More on the Patricks: Combined — with James (108-54), Chris (109-48) and brother Kevin (121-40) of Clovis West — they are 338-142 (.705%) since Clovis North began playing varisty baseball in 2009.

The rest of today’s section baseball playoffs:

Division II: No. 3 Western at No. 2 Madera, No. 5 Redwood at No. 1 Memorial.

Division III: No. 13 Madera South at No. 9 Tehachapi, No. 3 Sanger at No. 2 Golden West.

Division IV: No. 3 Bakersfield Christian at No. 2 Fowler; No. 4 Selma at No. 1 Kerman.

Division V: No. 3 Exeter at No. 2 Firebaugh; No. 4 Immanuel at No. 1 Caruthers.

Division VI: No. 3 Sierra Pacific at No. 1 Minarets (championship).

B’nai B’rith wrapup: Bullard winner Ali Teliha and others honored in 62nd event

Bullard’s Ali Teliha on Monday night became the school’s first B’nai B’rith winner in 25 years. She’ll run cross country and track and field and study medicine at St. Mary’s.

Bullard High’s Alexandra “Ali” Teliha, who likes to surf, rode a wave of emotion unlike any in her 18 years Monday night upon receiving the B’nai B’rith Student-Athlete Award at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building.

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m standing up here,” she gushed to a crowd of 500 after being announced as the winner by Rod Kraft, who received the award in 1973 out of McLane.

Kraft would become a doctor. And that’s the career planned by Teliha, who became Bullard’s first winner since Michele Lewis in 1988 while receiving a $2,500 scholarship in a 62nd annual award judged on athletic ability (65%), academics (25%), school and community activities (5%) and citizenship (5%).

The remaining 15 B’nai B’rith nominees each received $500 scholarships. And they included Clovis West’s Nwanneka “Nikki” Okwelogu (4.32), Buchanan’s Cody Brazeal (4.31) and Clovis’ Hannah Harvey (4.30), who received additional Irving Negin Academic Awards for highest grade-point averages.

Teliha, a school valedictorian, has a 4.27 GPA and combination athletic/academic scholarship to St. Mary’s, where she’ll run cross country and track and field. She was also offered scholarships by Cal Poly and Westmont.

She’s earned 11 varsity letters in cross country (four), track and field (four), tennis (two) and soccer (one), and is the third-fastest 1,600-meter runner in Central Section history (4 minutes, 49.73 seconds).

She placed second in Saturday’s section Masters Championships 1,600 (4:57.44), qualifying her for the CIF State Track and Field Championships May 31-June 1 at Buchanan’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.

“This definitely tops the highlights,” she afterward. “I mean, this isn’t just like winning a race, breaking a record or scoring high on a test; this is a renown award and it tops anything I’ve done. I’ve put in a lot of time and hard work, but I can’t believe I’m getting this award out of all the candidates. I feel extremely honored.”

Other B’nai B’rith nominees recognized: Brian Chongtoua, Clovis East; Alex Fung, Sunnyside; Cesar Garcia, Roosevelt; Brian Gomez, Washington; Jake Harper, Sanger; Connor Kennedy, Clovis North; Emerson Kirk, Memorial; Joshua Martin, Fresno; L.J. Moore, Central; Njeri Omawahleh, Edison; Nick Peterson, Hoover; Carlos Vargas, McLane.

Clovis’ Jake Gatewood headed to Wrigley Field for All-America baseball game in August

Clovis junior has been selected to the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game Aug. 24 at Wrigley Field.

Clovis High junior Jake Gatewood has been selected to the the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game, which will feature 36 of the nation’s best underclassmen Aug. 24 at Wrigley Field.

The 1:30 p.m. (CST) game will be televised nationally on MLB Network.

Players are selected by a committee from the Baseball Factory, which develops programs nationally to help groom baseball players.

Gatewood is a 6-foot-4, 190-pounder shortstop/pitcher/outfielder who has committed to USC.

He’s hitting .320 and is 5-1 with a 2.02 earned-run average for the Cougars (24-8), who will play at Clovis North (25-6) Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in a Central Section Division I semifinal.

The winner will play either Stockdale or Buchanan Friday in the championship.

“Jacob is a tall, athletic infielder who has demonstrated big power at the plate,” said Steve Bernhardt, chairman of the Under Armour All-America Game selection committee. “He has a loose swing with bat speed and leverage, allowing him to drive the ball to all parts of the park. With a knack for making the game look easy, he will be fun to watch at Wrigley Field this summer.”

In the past five years, 118 of the 138 draft eligible players from the Under Armour All-America Game were selected in the MLB Amateur Draft, including 34 first-round picks.