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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Sports briefs: Devils swimmers ride a fantastic freshman quartet

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DHS senior Ben Diamant — shown here in a meet earlier this season — swam a 1:05.72 to win the 100 breaststroke in the Blue Devils' 103-67 win over Laguna Creek on Friday. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

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From page B4 | April 11, 2014 |

The Davis High girls swim team found its version of the Fab Five on Thursday at Wackford Pool in Elk Grove as a quintet of freshmen led the Blue Devils to a 120-50 win over Laguna Creek.

DHS’ boys also got a big victory, topping the Cardinals, 103-67.

“On the girls side, Clarie McElhern, Nikki Adkins, Kyla Leacox, Angelica Tujo and Annie Brennan — all freshmen — were very strong (Thursday),” said Devil coach Tracy Stapleton.

Those five combined to take first place in all eight events, and contributed to the locals’ relay sweep.

Three of the ninth-graders posted double wins, with Adkins touching first in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke, Brennan capturing the 500 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke and Leacox taking top honors in the 50 and 100 free races.

The Davis trio teamed with Colby Stapleton to take first place in the 200 medley relay.

Other individual races won by the freshman phenoms were the 200 free, by McElhern, and the 100 butterfly, by Tujo.

For the Blue Devil boys, senior Garrett Fisk (200 and 100 free) and junior Bradley Nicholson (200 IM and 100 back) led the way as double winners with senior Ben Diamant (100 breast) and sophomore Matt Raabe (500) also earning individual victories.

DHS also captured the 400 free relay, with Fisk and Nicholson joined by Conrad McCarthy and Zach Dahlseng on that squad.

Stapleton also was impressed by the performance of sophomore Ben Hedman, who was second in the 100 fly by just 0.11.

UCD swimming

Fourteen members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion Aggies were named to the league’s All-Academic team on Thursday.

To qualify, each swimmer or diver had to maintain a 3.00 cumulative GPA, be at least a sophomore academically, complete one full academic year at the institution prior to the season for which the award is being received and compete in at least 50 percent of the institution’s competitions.

For the third time in their careers, UCD seniors Sabrina Cochrane, Liliana Alvarez, Sarah Winters and Jen Meyer were honored by the MPSF for their efforts in the classroom, while juniors Shannon Stewart, Samantha Rados and Marilyn Carey, along with senior Maya Sprinsock, each earned their second conference academic award.

First-time honorees were juniors Caroline Weston, Samantha Shellem, Haley Porter and Hilary Hunt, and sophomores Hanna Tears and Cora Stebbins.

UCD men’s soccer

Jason Hotaling has been elevated to the position of assistant head coach and former Aggie standout Christopher Leer has been hired as an assistant as head coach Dwayne Shaffer has finalized his staff for the 2014 season.

“I am happy to bring Chris back into our program,” Shaffer said. “He has always expressed a desire to be a college soccer coach and, being a former Aggie, he should transition into our team very easily. Chris had an excellent work ethic as a player and I’m sure that will translate well into his duties as a coach here at UC Davis.”

Leer returns to his alma mater after spending the past two seasons as an assistant with the women’s soccer program at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minn., aiding in the Auggies’ recruiting efforts while helping the NCAA Division III program to a 10-3-5 overall record and, at one point in 2013, a No. 25 national ranking.

As a four-year letter winner for the Aggies from 2006 to 2009, Leer helped UCD to a pair of NCAA Division I Tournament berths in 2007 and 2008, when he earned All-Big West Honorable Mention honors as a senior. He finished his Aggie career with 13 goals and seven assists (33 points).

DHS boys lacrosse

Blue Devil fans are invited to the DHS boys lacrosse team’s Break the Record Night on Friday when rival Jesuit comes to Brown Stadium.

A color guard will be on hand to perform during the national anthem at this free-admission event, which features a junior varsity game at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity outing at 7:30 p.m.

Outback Steakhouse ribs and salad as well as refreshments from Cenarios Pizza, Jamba Juice and Thai Recipes will be available for purchase, with first-half proceeds going to the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Jiu-Jitsu standout

UCD graduate Cleo Mann of Davis won the women’s blue belt medium heavy division at the American Cup Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament in San Jose on Sunday, then moved on to the women’s blue belt open division, where she also won gold.

Though she was competing as an individual, the performance was good enough to earn her Nova Geração Davis BJJ Academy a second-place trophy.

Mann was the lightest competitor in the medium heavy division, but took advantage of her experience to build a strong point advantage in the first round. The final was a strategic battle in stand-up techniques and Mann grabbed a two-point lead just as time expired to clinch the victory.

Moving on to the open division, she used a bow and arrow choke to win the first round by submission, then adjusted her strategy against a smaller opponent to win on points and reach the final. There, Mann’s conditioning, skill and composure were tested by a talented opponent, but she still earned a close victory.

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