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Articles by Phillip Brents

The 2013-14 high school wrestling season hit the mat last Saturday as three East County teams competed at the 12th annual Battle by the Beach Invitational at Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach.

West Hills senior Mavrick Mooneyham led the trio of Grossmont Conference mat squads with a gold medal–winning performance in his 113-pound weight class while a pair of Monte Vista grapplers—Giovanni Pagan (106) and Mario Hernandez (126)—each finished second in their respective weight classes.

Runners from the San Diego Section performed quite admirably at last weekend’s high school state cross-country championship meet in Fresno. Torrey Pines senior Tal Braude won the Division I boys individual title while Orange Glen senior Andrew Tellames placed second in the Division II boys race and La Jolla Country Day junior Natalia Laspada finished third in the Division V girls race.

Additionally, La Jolla Country Day placed third among Division V boys’ teams while

Call it a super Saturday as San Diego Section division championships were contested in cross-country, girls’ volleyball, girls’ field hockey and boys’ water polo.

The cross-country championship meet took place at Morley Field. Besides determining which teams would walk off the course with coveted division titles, the meet—which involved all teams in the section—also determined which teams would continue the season with a trip to the state championship meet in Fresno.

Seven Grossmont Conference teams qualified for this year’s San Diego Section boys water polo playoffs. Seeding for the three division single-elimination tournament, which begins this week, was conducted Monday at the section office in Balboa Park.

Each division features 12 teams, with the top four-seeded teams receiving byes in the opening round.

Divisions are currently based on student enrollment level.

Former East County high school standouts continue to make an impact on this year’s San Diego State University football team. Christian High School alumnus Joel Alesi, a junior punter with the Aztecs, recently earned recognition as the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week.

The Grossmont College men’s and women’s water polo teams look to figure prominently in the upcoming Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship tournament, scheduled Nov. 8-9 at Miramar College.

The Griffin women’s team is ranked fourth in the state while the Grossmont men’s team is ranked eighth in the state.

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.