SAN DIEGO—(April 4, 2016)—Ice hockey, basketball, swimming and even fencing standouts were among 14 professional, amateur and high school athletes honored as Stars of the Month for March by the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Norman Powell, who led Lincoln High to the state basketball championship in 2010 and went on to have a quality career at UCLA, adjusted steadily with the Toronto Raptors, averaging 9.3 points and 3.4 rebounds over a 10-game span including a high of 18 points against Oklahoma City.
Joining him in the pro category, the San Diego Gulls’ Nic Kerdiles returned from injury to lead the team, finishing off a nine-game streak in which he scored seven times and had nine assists.
Leading the way for the amateurs was SDSU’s Winston Shepard who recorded the school’s first-ever triple-double when he scored 10 points, collected 10 rebounds and had 12 assists against Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne in helping lift the Aztecs into the NIT semifinals.
The most unique amateur award-winner was UCSD’s Leanne Singleton-Comfort, a freshman who placed third in the National Collegiate Fencing Championships. She posted a 14-9 record with 94 touches.
Fellow Triton Dari Watkins capped her collegiate career by earning five All-American times and an equal number of school records including twice breaking the 2-minute barrier in the 200-yard butterfly, finishing second in the Division II NCAA Championships at 1:58.60.
Ramona High grad Kailey Hill of USD softball, Cal State San Marcos distance runner Raelyn Werley and Point Loma Nazarene University tennis player Martin Blaho were also honored for their performances.
On the high school front, state championship wrestler Trence Gillem of Helix led the way. He was joined by Mount Miguel track standout Laulauga Tausaga, Poway softball player Gabrielle Callaway, La Costa Canyon baseball star Mickey Moniak, Rancho Bernardo baseball outfielder Calvin Mitchell and Coronado’s record-setting swimmer Riley Ferguson.
NIC KERDILES, Ice Hockey, Gulls—A winger, Kerdiles returned from injury with a vengeance. Kerdiles, who missed 18 games with an upper-body injury, recorded a career-high nine-game point streak (7-9 for 16 points). Since Kerdiles returned to the lineup, he led the team with 12 points for the month.
NORMAN POWELL, Basketball, Toronto Raptors, Lincoln High grad—As the season has progressed, the UCLA grad has seen his minutes and performance improve. The rookie averaged 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 24-minutes a game over his last 10 with a high of 18 points against Oklahoma City.
WINSTON SHEPARD, Basketball, SDSU—Recording the school’s first triple double (10 points, 10 rebounds, a career-high 12 assists), Shepard had seven double-figure scoring games including a season-high 20 against Washington in the NIT quarterfinals. He averaged 12.9 points and 6.9 rebounds.
KAILEY HILL, Softball, USD, Ramona High grad—Just a sophomore, Hill hit .313 (20-for-64) while tying for a team-high 13 RBI. Hill, who successfully switched from outfield to first base this year, had six doubles, while posting a slugging percentage of .453 and an on-base percentage of .371.
DARI WATKINS, Swimming, UCSD—Becoming the first Triton woman to break the 2-minute barrier in the 200-yard butterfly (1:58.60 to finish second) helped the senior collect five All-American honors at the NCAA Championships. She also set five school records in leading UCSD to a third-place team finish.
RAELYN WERLEY, Track, CSUSM—Werley posted the fastest time in the CCAA over 10,000-meters when the junior sped to a time of 35:53.99 at the Occidental Distance Carnival. The time was an NCAA Division II Provisional qualifier. She added a fourth place finish in the Aztec Invitational 3,000, running 10:08.80.
MARTIN BLAHO, Tennis, PLNU—The Sea Lions went 8-3 with Blaho leading the way. He posted an identical 8-3 record in singles play, but excelled in doubles with partner James Tenbroeck as the duo went 10-1, which included a 10-match winning streak.
LEANNE SINGLETON-COMFORT, Fencing, UCSD—The freshman made Triton history by tying for third in women’s sabre at the 2016 National Collegiate Fencing Championships. Overall, Singleton-Comfort posted a 14-9 record and a +10 indicator, scoring 94 touches with 84 touches against.
TRENCE GILLEM, Wrestling, Helix—Although he took up wrestling only as a freshman, Gillem proved a fast study as he captured the section 132-pound title before heading up to the state championships in Bakersfield. Gillem was just as successful there, taking home the section’s lone gold medal.
LAULAUGA TAUSAGA, Girls Track, Mount Miguel—A senior, Tausaga got off to a fast start this season as she ranked among the top three in the state in both the shot put and discus throw. Her 156-foot, 9-inch discus throw was a lifetime best and the section record-holder in the shot put (48-3 ½) hit a solid 45-9 ½ in a dual meet.
GABRIELLE CALLAWAY, Softball, Poway—Headed on scholarship to the University of Alabama, the Titans’senior outfielder posted a .429 batting average and through her first 41 at-bats, did not strike out. In a six-game span she went 11-for-19 with 3 doubles, 5 runs and 5 RBI.
MICKEY MONIAK, Baseball, La Costa Canyon—Considered a high first round draft choice, the senior batted an even .500 through the first 10 games with 18 hits—an eye-opening six of them triples. Moniak went 18-for-36, collected 16 RBI and scored 10 times as the Mavericks raced to an 8-2 record.
CALVIN MITCHELL, Baseball, Rancho Bernardo—A junior outfielder, Mitchell’s big bat has led the Broncos to an 8-3 start, handing coach Sam Blalock his 900th career victory along the way. Mitchell batted .355 with a 1.000 slugging average and .512 on-base percentage as he drove in 17 runs.
RILEY FERGUSON, Boys Swimming, Coronado—Although the senior is one of the fastest 50-yard freestylers in the state, he isn’t bad at the 100, either. In the Aqua Sphere Invitational, Ferguson lowered meet records in both events, clocking a 21.13 in the 50 and 46.90 in the 100.