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Alumni Report: Making Time Faster Than Nearly Everyone

Taking a weekly look at the area's athletes who have carried their sports careers to the next levels, including UC Santa Barbara sprinter Ryan Martin from Santa Margarita High.

The summer blockbuster season is here, which means comic book heroes are gracing movie screens nationwide. In an effort that would make DC Comics’ Flash proud, UC Santa Barbara junior Ryan Martin won the 800-meter race at last weekend's Big West Conference track and field championships in a time of 1 minute 45.34 seconds, the 13th fastest time in the world and the third-fastest among current American runners.

Martin (Lake Forest/Santa Margarita High) was named the conference’s co-Male Athlete of the Year, sharing the honor with UC Irvine’s Charles Jock. Martin is one of 10 Gauchos who will compete in the NCAA Championships, beginning June 8 in Des Moines, Iowa. Check next week’s Alumni Report for a full breakdown of the local athletes heading to the Midwest.

Long Beach State's men took top team honors at the Big West championships with 178.50 points. Senior Peter Fourtounis (Fountain Valley/La Quinta High) finished fifth in his flight of the men’s discus throw.

The Road to Oklahoma

For many NCAA softball championship hopefuls, traveling the road to Oklahoma City will be achieved with the help of Orange County products.

The NCAA Regionals began Thursday for the 64 teams hoping to reach OKC, site of the Women’s College Softball World Series.

Florida won its game Friday over Bethune-Cookman, 8-0, and Saturday held off UCLA, 4-2. The Gators need only one win Sunday to advance to the next round, the Super Regionals. Sophomore outfielder Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley/Mater Dei High) had a hit and drove in two runs against Bethune-Cookman and drew a walk against the Bruins. 

Top-seeded Arizona State routed North Dakota State, 10-0 (five-inning mercy rule) on Friday. Senior third base Krista Donnenwirth (Mission Viejo/Capistrano Valley High) had a hit for the Sun Devils. Senior outfielder Elisa Victa (Laguna Hills/Laguna Hills High) had one of North Dakota State's three hits.

East Carolina upset host Maryland in the College Park Regional, and in her NCAA tournament debut, freshman outfielder Jill Jelnick (Laguna Niguel/Aliso Niguel High) scored a run. The Pirates’ fell to 11th-seeded Baylor, 2-0, on Saturday.

Freshman third baseman Kasey Lange (Ladera Ranch/Tesoro High) and sophomore Brittany Lastrapes (Laguna Niguel/Laguna Hills High) connected on base hits for Harvard and Arizona, respectively, during the Wildcats' 10-0 win over the Crimson on Friday.

A few local talents' teams did not reach the field of 64, but the players still turned in impressive performances during the season. Two players were named their conferences' players of the year, and they were Big -- Big West and Big East, to be exact. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo senior Anna Cahn (Los Alamitos) won Big West honors, while Notre Dame senior Heather Johnson (Los Alamitos/Mater Dei High) won Big East accolades.

Cahn joined two-time honoree Alex Holmes (San Juan Capistrano/JSerra) of UC Davis on the All-Big West team. Among the All-Big East selections, along with Johnson, was Georgetown junior Mackensey Carter (Mission Viejo), who was named for the third time.

A Fitting Finish

Annika Dries (Laguna Beach) put the cap on her outstanding 2011 campaign, scoring five goals in last Sunday’s NCAA women’s water polo championship match, leading Stanford to a 9-5 vicctory over California. The Cardinal sophomore two-meter standout and U.S. National Team member notched seven goals total in Stanford’s final three victories over Iona, USC and Cal in Ann Arbor.

Down on the Farm

Right handed pitcher Brett Lorin (Laguna Niguel/Dana Hills High) has a 3.24 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 33.1 innings pitched for the high-A Bradenton Marauders. Lorin’s showing is his strongest since moving up from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Gulf Coast Rookie League team a season ago.

Matt Hauser (Newport Beach/Corona del Mar High) is off to a strong start for the Minnesota Twins’ Class A affiliate, the Beloit Snappers. The right hander has appeared in 15 games and kept batters at bay with a 1.04 ERA, 24 strikeouts and a 3-0 record in 17 1/3 innings of work.

Converted outfielder Scott Beerer (Newport Beach/Newport Harbor High) is flourishing for Colorado's double-A affiliate in Tulsa. The Drillers outfielder has 17 RBI and four stolen bases to go with a .314 batting average. Beerer was drafted into the Rockies organization as a pitcher in 2003, but made the switch to the field while battling injuries after 2006.

Is there a local alum we should know about? Contact Kyle Kensing at  kkensing@gmail.com.

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