Freshman jumps to state


Luke Finkel, Sam Canter, Andrew Evans, Eric Yee, and Alec Bandler

Cal High was able to produce another championship-caliber high jumper this season when freshman Jennifer Kurtz placed second at the NCS Meet of Champions.

That finish propelled her to the CIF State Championship on Friday and Saturday in Clovis, where she placed 13th and just missed a shot in the finals by two inches.

“It was very nerve racking,” Kurtz said of trying to qualify for state.  “It’s been a lot of fun and a great learning experience.”

The 6-foot-1 Kurtz qualified for state after clearing five feet, six inches in her final jump at the Meet of Champions, held May 24-25 at UC Berkeley. This was only one inch away from being crowned NCS champion.

Noel Frazier, a 2012 Cal High graduate, won the men’s high jump last year.

Junior Madison Ricks also had a great run at NCS, placing fourth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:13. That is a full two seconds faster than her time at  the EBAL Championships.

But Ricks’ time was not fast enough to qualify her for state for the second straight year.

“The field was a lot more competitive this year,” said Ricks, who placed seventh in the state last year.

For the men, senior Karris Johnson earned Cal’s only top 10 finish by placing sixth in the 100 meters. His time of 11.27 seconds was much slower than his 10.73 at EBALs and he failed to advance for the second straight year.

“I didn’t have my best start, so by the time I picked my head up I wasn’t in a good position,” Johnson said.  “Six of the guys in that race I’ve already beaten.”

The Grizzlies had some great performances at EBAL on May 11 at Monte Vista, capped by the women’s league title.

Cal’s lone first place finish was  Ricks in the 800m.  Her time of 2:15 was a full two seconds in front of the next runner-up. Ricks also placed second in the 1600m, finishing just .3 seconds behind the leader.

Another highlight for the ladies was freshman Mata Hingano, who was placed second in the discus throw.  Sophomore runner Tyler Carr also placed second in the 400m.

The guys were not without their success.  Johnson, placed second in the 100m with a blistering time of 10.73  This was unfortunately the guy’s only top three finish this year.


The Cal High softball was bounced from the NCS playoffs after a gut-wrenching 1-0 loss to James Logan in the semifinals on May 29.

This is the second year in a row that Cal has lost to James Logan in the semis.

With an improved team, the Grizzlies (21-5 overall, 13-1 EBAL) had high hopes of winning NCS.  The ladies’ regular season was good enough to earn them the No. 2 seed after sharing the league title with top seed Amador Valley.

After a first round bye, the Grizzlies snuck by No. 7 Heritage 1-0 in the quarterfinals on May 24.  Cal managed seven hits and five walks in the game despite scoring only once.

The Grizzlies wrapped up a share of the EBAL title by beating Carondelet  2-1 on May 16. Cal scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth.

Cal’s record was significantly better than in 2012 when the ladies finished 16-10 overall,  8-6 in league.

Despite only going 8-6 in EBAL, the team went to the NCS semifinals where they lost to James Logan, just like this year.

– Andrew Evans



The Grizzlies had another disappointing finish in the NCS playoffs this year.

After dominating Mission San Jose in its opener, the No. 3 seeded Grizzlies (19-8 overall, 10-4 EBAL) were upset at home by No. 6 James Logan 10-3 in the quarterfinals on May 24.

The Grizzlies’ pitching didn’t get much help from its defense, which committed three errors that led to four unearned runs.

Senior Adam Kimmel gave up seven runs (three earned) in 2.1 innings and he ended up with the loss.  Senior Sean Jenkins came in relief and gave up three earned runs in 4.1 innings.

Senior Nick Truex had three of the team’s six hits and scored a run.  Junior Nick Allman had a hit and two RBIs.

Cal crushed Mission San Jose on May 22 to reach the quarterfinals.  Senior Nate D’emilio got the win and shut down Mission San Jose with five scoreless innings.  Senior Travis Roberts had a hit and scored three times.  Senior Daniel DeFazio hit a two-run home run and junior Cameron Santos added a pair of hits.

The biggest win for the team during the season came on May 8 when the Grizzlies became the first team this season to beat Granada.  The team won 5-0 behind solid pitching from Kimmel, who threw a complete game, four-hit shutout while striking out six batters.

Truex had a great game at the plate by going two-for-three.

Despite losing in NCS, the team had a successful season by placing second in the EBAL behind Granada, which was upset in the semifinals by eventual NCS champion Amador.

– Alec Bandler


Women’s Lacrosse

The women’s lacrosse team  finished another impressive season with a loss in the NCS semifinals.

Cal (16-7 overall, 12-2 EBAL) earned the No. 4 seed in NCS and reached the semifinals before losing to top seeded Amador 16-3 in the semifinals on May 22. Rachel Lyall and Ari Barry, and junior Shannon Geary all contributed with one goal each.

Cal reached the semifinals by trouncing No. 13 Redwood 17-3 in the opening round on May 15, and beating No. 5 Novato 13-9 in the quarterfinals on May 17. Barry had a huge offensive game against Novato by scoring four goals.

– Eric Yee

Men’s Lacrosse

The men’s lacrosse team concluded their season with a huge win over Livermore, followed by a loss to De La Salle.

The team posted a league record of 1-6, which placed them in seventh place. The disappointing season was a regression from last season’s

But the team saw more success in non-league games. A majority of the team’s nine overall wins came in the beginning of the season during an impressive six-game winning streak.

The team’s only league win came on April 12, when the team beat Livermore, 17-11.

– Eric Yee

Men’s Volleyball

It was a tough year for the team as they struggled to match last year’s NCS run after losing most of their players to graduation.  But they battled all season and finished 6-6 in league.

The team’s biggest win came over De La Salle on April 9.  After losing the first set 25-18, the team came back to win the next three, 27-25, 26-24, 25-22.

The future is bright for the team.  The Grizzlies will have almost all of the team back next year.

– Alec Bandler

Men’s Golf

The men’s golf team displayed a great effort at the NCS Qualifier on May 6, but fell short of the tournament of champions by five strokes.

Cal shot 425 at Deer Ridge Golf Club in Brentwood to just miss claiming one of the top 11 spots needed to advance.

Seniors Reid Souza and Michael Kelly shot a 78 and 79, respectively, to lead the team. which finished 12th.

– Eric Yee

Men’s Tennis 

After an inconsistent season, the tennis team sent one doubles team to NCS.

Sophomore Austin Fan and junior Mitchell Lum earned the No. 3 seed and advanced to the quarterfinals on May 4 before losing a close match to No. 2 Redwood, which later beat Miramonte for the title.

Fan and Lum won their first two matches on May 3 by defeating teams from Eureka and Mission San Jose.

– Eric Yee

Swim and Dive

The swim and dive teams struggled at the EBAL championships last month, but four divers reached the NCS championships.

The men’s swim team placed 6th of out eight teams at EBALs with 236 points, while the women placed 7th out of eight with 186 points.

The dive team fared better. Bouncing back from last year’s disappointing NCS run in which neither of the two divers that went made it past the first round,  three of the four divers that qualified for NCS placed, and the fourth would have placed if he had not suffered an unfortunate disqualification in the final round.

Junior Kirsten Trout placed 12th, senior Dan Hornett finished 15th and junior Ashton Delano came in 27th.

Junior Jake Jernigain would have placed 14th if he had not failed two dives in a row and been disqualified in the final round of competition.

“There were definitely a lot of improvements since last year, and even the beginning of this season,” Trout said.  “We doubled the amount of divers who went to NCS, and are just gaining more recognition in general.”

Several swimmers advanced and fared well at NCS.  Junior Robin Lampron placed 11th in the girls’100- and 200-yard freestyle events, while senior Kali Conlon placed 14th in the 100-yard butterfly.   Junior Drew Downs placed 15th in the boys’ 200-yard freestyle.

– Sam Canter