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Articles by Phillip Brents

The high school cross-country season has stepped off with a great deal of success for East County runners.

Steele Canyon junior Josh Paradise posted a sixth-place individual finish in the boys’ varsity Blue Division race at last Friday’s 18th annual Mustang/East Hills Realty Invitational at Rohr Park in Chula Vista.

Paradise, a league champion in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter distances at last spring’s track and field finals, timed 16:35 in the 3.1-mile race to finish among the top one-sixth of the 98 finishers.

A whopping 380 teams competed at this summer’s Amateur Athletic Union/USA Roller Sports Junior Olympic inline hockey championships in Orange County and one East County skater, in particular, made his presence felt on the playing surface.

Who could have imagined it—a trip to the Little League World Series for another team from Chula Vista in the span of just four short years?

Eastlake Little League’s 12-under all-star team indeed found a way, found a way all the way to Sunday’s LLWS championship game against a team from Tokyo, Japan.

The San Diego State University football team will kick off its 2013 season in spectacular fashion Aug. 31 at Qualcomm Stadium by playing host to the KGB SkyShow gala. The Aztecs are hoping to produce some fireworks on the field as well.

SDSU opens the season with a non-conference game against the Eastern Illinois Panthers. Kick-off is 5 p.m., followed by the annual crowd-pleasing fireworks display.

The 2013 high school football season must be right around the corner now that summer passing tournaments have wrapped up.

One of the largest events over the summer took place July 12-13 as 32 teams from around San Diego County—and elsewhere — gathered at Southwestern College to participate in the South County Passing Tournament. 

Six East County teams were present: Christian, Helix, Monte Vista, Mt. Miguel, Steele Canyon and Valhalla.

There were approximately 350 wrestlers who competed at this year’s California State Games championship tournament held July 13 at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista.

It was a large turnout to celebrate the State Games’ 25th anniversary, and a special ending for Scott Ullsperger and his son Jonas.

East County athletes made a huge impact in last Friday’s 23rd annual Alex Spanos All-Star Football Classic — a 41-7 victory by the South team against the North squad.

Santee 11-year-old Jaydin Wenck was among the 75 BMX riders who took part in this year’s Olympic Day festivities held June 29 at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center, an expansive 155-acre facility overlooking Lower Otay Reservoir.

Olympic Day is celebrated in more than 160 countries commemorating the birth of the modern Olympic Games, and is an international effort to promote fitness and well-being besides the Olympic ideals of fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship.

It isn’t every day that a coach gets to compete alongside his students in a major championship race. But that’s exactly what Cuyamaca College cross-country coach Tim Seaman and three of his students accomplished during the 20K men’s race walk final at the recent United States Track and Field outdoor national championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

Seaman, a two-time Olympian, competed alongside Nick Christie, Alejandro Chavez and Michael Nemeth, all of whom he coaches, in the 12-man field.

Steele Canyon High School seniors Monique Van and Brandon Howard appear to have answered the question as to the identity of East County’s best all-around track and field athletes by their performances at the 2013 San Diego Multi-Event Championship, held June 8-9 at Cuyamaca College.

Van captured her third consecutive girls heptathlon championship while Howard finished third overall in the boys decathlon field.

Van, who will attend UCLA this fall, fell just 33 point short of setting a meet record.