PD Preps Insider: Carrillo swim teams seek to defend titles

Maria Carrillo’s swim squads are seeking to defend North Bay League titles with the finals two weeks away.

Both the Maria Carrillo boys and girls teams were undefeated going into this week’s meets. Ukiah’s boys also had not lost a league meet, and Montgomery was second in the girls competition.

Leading the Maria Carrillo boys — winners of three consecutive NBL titles — are returning All-Empire selections Stefan Keller and Shannon Fong. Kellar has a handful of top five Empire times on the season including bests in the 200 and 500 freestyle, the 100 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley. Fong has three top five times including the best 100 butterfly.

Ukiah’s top swimmer is Alema Fitisemanu with the second-fastest Empire times in the 500 and 100 freestyle. The Wildcats were second to Maria Carrillo last season.

On the girls side, Maria Carrillo — seeking a third straight NBL championship — is paced by returning All-Empire selections Piper Brockley and Victoria Le. Brockley has a handful of top five times including bests in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Le has two top five times on the season.

Montgomery is led by returning All-Empire picks Jenna Bauer and Angelica Nowack. Bauer has the Empire’s best times in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyle, the 100-meter backstroke, and the 200 individual medley. Nowack has a trio of top five times. The Vikings also have the league’s top times in the three relays.

Last season Montgomery was second to Maria Carrillo.

Piner softball on upswing

Piner’s softball program is on the upswing. The Prospectors are not yet threatening perennial SCL leaders Petaluma, Analy and Sonoma Valley, but they are improving

Following Monday’s 20-2 win against Elsie Allen, Piner is 3-3 in league and 3-7 overall. Over the past eight years, the Prospectors have averaged fewer than four wins per season.

“Things in the program are looking up,” coach Darren Kille said. “For the second year in a row, we have enough players for a junior varsity team and we only have two seniors on the varsity this season.

“This year’s team seems to have jelled and we’re playing pretty good ball.”

Junior Cailyn Callison and sophomore Kendra Earley had big games against Elsie Allen. Callison was the winning pitcher and hit a home run while Earley had three hits and three RBIs.

St. Vincent juggernaut

St. Vincent’s baseball team is dominating the NCL II. The Mustangs are 4-0, but the stats are even more impressive. They’ve outscored league foes 74-4 and are hitting .478. Meanwhile, opposing batters are hitting just .108.

Two players are over .400 for the season. Dominic Pedersen is at .429 and Joe Purtell at .419.

Ukiah’s road kings

In a 10-day period ending Friday, Ukiah’s baseball team will have logged 554 miles traveling to Santa Rosa and Petaluma for games.

“I figured it out to the mile,” Wildcats coach Bob Dieffenbach said. “We play three Santa Rosa teams and make one trip to Petaluma to play Casa Grande. It’s about 2½ hours round trip to the Santa Rosa schools and add another hour to that going to Petaluma.”

On April 16, the first of Ukiah’s four journeys down Highway 101, the Wildcats lost to Santa Rosa. On Tuesday, they played Maria Carrillo, and today they visit Cardinal Newman. The final away game is Friday at Casa Grande.

Michael Coit and Howard Senzell contributed to this report.

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