Seven Aquadarts — Matt Whittle, Jonathan Pun, Kathleen Benjamin, Alex Rieger, Alex LaFreniere, Matt Abernethy, Chris Wiesner — celebrate at the organization's Brady Room after signing National Letters of Intent on Thursday. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo


Aquadart 7 commit; DHS pitcher Trask makes UCLA official

By From page B1 | November 15, 2013

Davis Aquadarts coach Billy Doughty gave me a heads-up this week that some of his swimmers are going on to college careers. He was going to have a little National Letter of Intent-signing gathering Thursday.

Dutifully, The Enterprise assigned a photographer and Doughty gave me some background on each. When I saw the names, I told myself “This can’t be. Not already. It felt like some of these kids were SummerDarts 10 minutes ago.”

Where does the time go? All these young women and men are seniors in high school.

Anyway, congratulations to the seven Aquadarts, most of whom have helped continue the overwhelming run of Davis High pool programs.

Let’s take a quick peek at some impressive résumés …

* Kathleen Benjamin: The daughter of Karen and Karl, she’s headed to UC Santa Barbara. Collegeswimming.com has her ranked as the state’s 38th-best recruit, thanks in part to winning the Sac-Joaquin Section 100 breaststroke title for DHS.

She joins former Blue Devil great Wade Allen down on the coast.

* Alex LaFreniere: Lety and Mark’s daughter is on her way to Cal Poly. A key ingredient in DHS girls swimming success over the years, LaFreniere was a section consolation finalist this spring.

Her older sister Marissa swims for UC Davis.

* Alex Rieger: Daughter of Mark and Amy, she is regarded as a top-10 California swimmer by many area experts. After winning back-to-back Sac-Joaquin 100 freestyle championships, she became a 2013 Junior Nationals finalist in the 50 free.

Rieger is headed to Georgia Tech.

* Matt Abernethy: Laurel and Glenn are his proud parents and the Vacaville High record-holder in the 100 fly and 200 free has committed to Brigham Young University.

Matt’s following the family tradition: Dad swam for the Cougars and mom was a diver in Provo, Utah.

* Jonathan Pun: The son of Elaine and Greg Molotky, Pun is traveling just down the road to Pacific, where he’ll compete for coach Peter Richardson.

Ranked 34th in California by Collegeswimming.com, the Davis High athlete is a USA Senior National qualifier in the 100 breaststroke — an event in which he finished second during last year’s prep sections.

* Matt Whittle: Headed to Cal, he’s the son of Jennifer and Daron.

A multiple Sac-Joaquin medal winner, he is the reigning 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley champion as well as a Junior Nationals finalist. Whittle’s dad attended UC Berkeley. The Golden Bears are ranked No. 2 in the nation.

* Chris Wiesner: He’ll be living in the desert, swimming for No. 10 University of Arizona.

The son of Cathy and Ray, the Jesuit marathon specialist is the Sac-Joaquin Section record holder in the 500 freestyle (winning the region’s title this year). He is a Junior Nationals finalist in the 800 and 1,500 frees.

Again, swimming runs in the family: Dad swam at Georgia.

Doughty said he and his staff were “honored to be able to help these young adults realize the next step in their lives.”

“It is amazing to think that all our hard work has helped them … get scholarships (to) these amazing universities. I look forward to watching them do great things in the pool, in their academics, and in life,” coach adds.

While I Have You Here: Little Matty no more.

It’s official: Davis High pitcher Matt Trask is off to UCLA.

With Blue Devil coach Dan Ariola and DHS Principal Will Brown watching, Trask signed his NLI in the school’s dugout.

I remember this kid’s Little League days on the AAA Mariners. A city championship. An eye-popping sense of the game, even at age 10.

Dad Mike helped coach Matt through junior high age and then turned him over to the Blue Devils.

In the past two seasons at DHS, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Trask has gone 10-5 with a 1.64 ERA. He’s fanned more than 120 hitters in 105 innings.

He was Delta Valley Conference Player of the Year in leading the Devils to a 20-8 record last spring.

Bruin coach John Savage might want to pay attention to now-Big Matty’s bat, too. Trask hit .413 and recorded a couple of dramatic, game-ending hits.

I’m going to drink in Trask’s final season this spring.

Matt’s mom is Michele Marine and his stepmom is Lisa Trask.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-747-8047.

Bruce Gallaudet

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