El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Phillip Brents

California District 41 and California District 66 both serve East County’s Little League youth baseball community.

District 41 encompasses 17 leagues: Alpine American, Cajon de Oro, El Cajon National, El Cajon Western, Fletcher Hills, Jamul, Julian, Lakeside American, Lakeside National, Mountain Empire, Rancho San Diego, Rios Canyon, Santee Pioneer American, Santana National, Singing Hills, United Santee and West Hills.

The Christian High School Patriots ended the 2013 prep football season with one of those proverbial once in a lifetime experiences, as the small enrollment East County school knocked off a team with five-times the student enrollment to capture the San Diego Section Division III championship title.

Robin Sanchez has coached water polo at El Capitan High School since 1988. He can be found on the campus pool deck during both the fall boys’ season and the winter girls season.

He can also be found on the pool deck during the summer as high school teams begin their embryotic development toward full-blown preseason training camps.

The San Diego Multi-Event Championships featured a record-breaking field this year. The event caters to the all-around track and field athlete. Recent Steele Canyon High School graduate Cody Rhodes had to be counted among the top contenders.

Cuyamaca College finished with four All-Americans at the recent California Community College Association state track and field championship meet. They included men’s distance runner Ryan Maize, men’s pole-vaulters Shane Hoagland and Xander Law and women’s discus thrower Dana Hosley.

The Santana High School boys volleyball team gave a hint that success might follow in the San Diego Section playoffs after capturing this spring's Grossmont Valley League championship with an unblemished 8-0 record.

The underclassmen-heavy Sultans seemed to find a nice fit in the Division III field as the No. 3 playoff seed; the fit proved even better than expected after they upset the top-seeded Bonita Vista Barons to capture the division championship with a three games to one victory May 23 at Canyon Crest Academy.

The Steele Canyon High School boys track and field team placed runner-up for the San Diego Section Division II championship in 2007, captured the Division I title in 2008 and also the Division II banner in 2009. 

The Cougars look to be pushing for a top spot on the awards podium again this spring, according to coach Gary Stathus.

Santee’s Sean Gaian is no stranger to competing at the elite levels of BMX racing. Last July in Auckland, N.Z., Gaian captured the hearts of a nation by winning the UCI BMX world championship in the Junior Men’s Division. In October 2011, Gaian, then 15, was honored by the city after winning his age division at the UCI world championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The top track and field student-athletes of 2014 have started to emerge through the opening month of the season, and it appears East County will once again figure prominently in qualifying for this year’s state championship meet.

West Hills junior Melissa Mongiovi, a returning state meet medalist, leads Grossmont Conference athletes as the top-ranked runner in the San Diego Section in the 200-meter dash (24.76), 400-meter dash (56.84) and 800-meter run (2:16.99). She also ranks fifth in the 100-meter dash (12.48).

Valhalla High School boys lacrosse coach Jason Balistreri doesn’t mince words when talking about the competition level in the seven-team Grossmont Conference. 

“We have two very good teams in our league, we hope to compete with them and finish in top half of the league,” he said after the Norsemen’s 10-2 non-league victory March 18 at Hilltop.