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Local pro, amateur and high school athletes honored by the San Diego Hall of Champions
SAN DIEGO—(June 1, 2017)—San Diego Padres right-fielder Hunter Renfroe, Funny Car drag race champion Ron Capps and ageless skateboarder Bucky Lasek top the list of 15 Stars of the Month for May as selected by the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Renfroe, who can still be considered for Rookie of the Year honors, batted .264 with a .392 slugging average that included five home runs.
Capps finished the month with a string of four straight victories as he, again, assumed his position as the best Funny Car driver in the world after capturing that title for the first time last year. Lasek showed he is still one of the best on four small wheels and a board as he qualified first for the X-Games this summer in the BMX Vert.
Conference champions San Diego State and UCSD baseball players earned recognition as Amateur Stars of the Month.
UCSD’s Jack Larsen and Troy Cruz, a Bonita Vista High grad, were joined by San Diego State’s Andrew Martinez, who was selected the MVP of the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
Joining those three were Hayden Shenefield, who hurled Grossmont College to the state baseball championship; Riley Adams, the WCC Player of the year in baseball for USD; and San Diego State’s record-setting sprinter Ashley Henderson, who set the Aztec standard in the 100-meter dash (11.05) and the 4x100 relay (42.99).
On the high school front, Sage Creek volleyball standout Christian Janke, University City swimmer Brendan Santana, La Costa Canyon golfer Kento Yamawaki, Coronado tennis ace Ryan Seggerman, Poway gymnast Kelli Lucas and Santana softball sensation Mackenzie Bennett were honored.
HUNTER RENFROE, Baseball, San Diego Padres—Still eligible to be Rookie of the Year, the Padres’ right-fielder batted .264 with a .362 on-base percentage, a .392 slugging average and a .623 OPS. For the month, Renfroe had 24 hits, scored 15 runs, collected nine doubles and five homeers while driving in 17 runs.
RON CAPPS, NHRA, Drag Racing—Although the season started somewhat slowly for the defending Funny Car national champion, the Carlsbad resident used the month to string together four straight victories, the last at the NHRA Heartland Nationals in Topeka, Kan.
BUCKY LASEK, Skateboard—Nailing his signature trick—a cab heelflip—on his final run, the Encinitas resident collected an 88.95 overall score to win the BMX Vert, qualifying for the summer X-Games. The ageless 44-year-old Lasek will try to add to his total of 10 X-Games gold medals.
ASHLEY HENDERSON, Track and Field, SDSU—After winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes while anchoring SDSU's conference-best 4x100-meter relay team, the junior was named the Women's Outstanding Performer of the MWC meet for the third straight time. Henderson had a hand in two school records, running to a program-best time in the 100 meters (11.05), and anchoring the 4x100-meter relay team (42.99).
HAYDEN SHENEFIELD, Baseball, Grossmont College—One of two aces on the Griffins’ state championship team, Shenefield pitched in three of the four playoff games. He closed out the first win with a perfect inning, hurled a complete game 3-0 victory over Santa Rosa scattering six hits and pitched the final two innings in Grossmont’s 10-6 title win over Santa Rosa. On the season he was 8-0 with a 1.56 ERA.
JACK LARSEN, Baseball, UCSD—Larsen led the way as the Tritons won their first West Region title since 2010. The senior right-fielder hit a team-best .456 (31-for-68) and slugged exactly 1.000, with 13 doubles, eight home runs, 29 runs, 30 RBI, 19 walks, and a .580 on-base percentage—all team highs. He fielded all 40 defensive chances cleanly, including three outfield assists. Larsen was chosen to the NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team.
RILEY ADAMS, Baseball, USD, Canyon Crest Academy alumnus—A junior catcher, Adams was recently named the WCC Player of the Year, the fourth Torero to win this award in the past five years. In May, he hit .308 (16-for-52) with two home runs, nine RBI and four doubles to help the Toreros post a 7-4-1 record.
ANDREW MARTINEZ, Baseball, SDSU, Mater Dei Catholic alumnus—In 15 games, Martinez hit .371 (23-for-62) with nine doubles, three home runs, 18 RBI and 11 runs scored. He was named the MVP of the MWC Tournament during which he batted .467 (7-for-15) with two doubles, a home run, and an .800 slugging percentage. His two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning in the title game gave the Aztecs the 5-3 eventual margin of victory.
TROY CRUZ, Baseball, UCSD, Bonita Vista High alumnus—A fifth senior right-hander, Cruz made five appearances with four starts, going 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA, 21 strikeouts and nine walks over a team-high 30.0 innings. His highlight was a complete-game masterpiece on the first night of the West Regional
(one earned run), as No. 4 UC San Diego swept through the tournament. Cruz made the All-Tournament Team of both the CCAA Championship and NCAA West Regional.
KENTO YAMAWAKI, Golf, La Costa Canyon—Holding off his longtime friend Steve Sugimoto wasn’t easy but the Mavericks’ sophomore did just that to win the section title by two strokes. Yamawaki fired a 9-under par 135 in his two days over the Admiral Baker North course.
RYAN SEGGERMAN, Tennis, Coronado—Surviving three match points, the Islanders senior rallied time after time to down Point Loma’s Ivan Thamma to capture the section singles title with a 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-4) victory at the Barnes Tennis Center.
KELLI LUCAS, Gymnastics, Poway—Victories in the final two events helped propel the Titans senior to the section compulsory title. Lucas scored a 9.400 on the vault and came back with a top score of 9.250 on the floor exercise to go along with a third in the beam to score 36.950 points and win by just .650.
BRENDAN SANTANA, Swimming, University City—Saving his best for last, the Centurions senior set the San Diego Section 100-yard butterfly twice en route to finishing third in the state championships. The future Notre Dame swimmer clocked a 47.64-second time in the prelims and then lowered that to 47.57 in the finals. The old mark was 47.78.
CHRISTIAN JANKE, Volleyball, Sage Creek—It was no big surprise that the Bobcats junior stepped up in a big way to lead his team to the Southern California Division III championship. Janke slammed down a match-high 23 kills as Sage Creek swept La Palma Kennedy 25-16, 26-24, 25-23 at Edison High in Huntington Beach.
MACKENZIE BENNETT, Softball, Santana—It was only fitting that the Sultans’ junior crushed a two-run home run to lead Santana to the Division II title. On the season Bennett batted an even .500 with 52 hits, scoring 17 runs and driving in 27. She clubbed nine homers and committed just four errors.