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Season lost: Truckee athletes, coaches share favorite memories

Special to the Sierra Sun
Senior Danitza Correa looks to make a play on a ball hit to the outfield.
Courtesy photo

Graduating seniors will not forget spring 2020. Especially those seniors on the spring Truckee High School sports rosters.

These athletes did not get a chance to compete at home or away at games, meets, or invites; no bottom of the ninth dramatics, no bases loaded, forceouts, or strikeouts; no streamline or flipturns; no starting blocks, staggered starts or changeovers — but they still have a finish line to cross as the graduating senior class of 2020.

Some student-athletes earned scholarships in academics as well as in athletics, proving both excellence in the classroom and on the field.

Giving seniors a deserved bell lap, coaches and athletes shared memories near and dear as the 2020-21 school years nears its conclusion.

Track and field

“It was devastating to lose the track and field season for these seniors, as a few of our seniors will have opportunities to continue track and field into their college future,” said Truckee track and field coach Rob McClendon. “I wish the class of 2020 congratulations during these challenging times and hope they will never forget their track and field experience at Truckee High School.”

Senior Montana Montgomery, the fastest distance runner in Truckee history, was awarded both academic and athletic scholarships to attend and compete at Division II Western Colorado University where he will compete in both cross-country and track.

“I was indeed bummed, then I laced up my shoes and went for a run,” said Montgomery.

Senior Isabella Terrazas will attend Stanford University in the fall. Terrazas said her best track and field memory was from her junior year at state, where the girls’ team set the school and state meet Class 3A record for the 4×800 meter relay.

“What disappoints me most about not completing my senior track and field season is the fact that I’ll never run another relay for Truckee,” said Terrazas. “The fact that I won’t get to pass the baton to Deanna (Sunnergren), or any of my other teammates and friends again, is honestly … heartbreaking.”

Terrazas is also a Truckee High School Salutatorian for the class of 2020. She looks forward to continuing her athletic career on Stanford’s running club.

Sunnergren attended The Davidson Academy on the University of Nevada, Reno campus and has received one of the highest academic scholarships given out by Lewis and Clark College. She said her best track and field memory was the 2019 4×800 meter relay state championship. She is committed to run both cross-country and track at Lewis and Clark College.

Senior Hayden Sumner’s best memory was “the 2019 boys’ track team getting fourth at states with only four boys competing.” Sumner will be attending California State University San Marcos.

The track and field team also included seniors George Skaff, Natalie Lang-Ree, Riley Cornette, Robbie Maxim, Steffen Cuneo and Jake Gardner.

Baseball/Softball

“These seniors all have very bright futures. I am sad that the spring did not go as planned, but they have really good opportunities ahead of them,” said Truckee baseball coach Jeff Murphy.

The two-time reigning state champion Truckee baseball team included seniors Connor McMullen, Dayton Broad, Deacon Mehler and Tyler Estabrook.

“To our Lady Wolverines, so, your high school softball career is over, but everything you have learned through playing this sport lives on,” added Truckee softball coaches Ashley Pose and Pat McKechnie. “The teamwork you learned on the field will carry over. The dedication you mastered committing to practices everyday after school and games on Saturdays, will be of benefit. The leadership you gained by organizing your teammates for a spaghetti feed, will pay off. So remember the practices, long bus rides, overnight trips, teammates, and all the laughs. Be a leader, we love you.”

The Truckee softball team had nine seniors this year.

“One of my favorite memories has to be when we stayed at the hotels while traveling,” said senior Ashlyn Christenson. “The nights we got to spend together and just goof off was so much fun and was an awesome experience to get to know some of the players better”.

Christenson said she looks forward to applying to Sierra College in Rocklin.

“My best memory from softball was playing Fernley last year because we were able to play together as a team so we could score runs against one of the best teams,” said senior Tess Anderson, who added that “pitching is my favorite thing to do!!”

Another senior Danitza Correa, who will the University of San Francisco for biology, said her best memory “would have to be any overnight trip because I feel like that is where we most bonded as a team.”

Another of the squad’s seniors, Evelyn Sanchez, said she’ll remember “all of the days I spent with my team I can say where great memories and I wouldn’t trade it for anything”.

Senior Susan Greeno added that her favorite memories included traveling to Yerington every year for tournament play.

“We went to the black bear diner for dinner and they have newspaper menus,” she said. “Starting my freshman year I always made a hat out of it, and the first two years no one participated but once I reached junior year I got all the underclass men to do it”.

Greeno is attending Long Island University for musical theater.

“My best memory of softball is cheering at every game for my teammates when they were out on the field or up to bat,” said senior Daniella Paniagua, who will be attending University of California, Riverside.

“One of my best memories is my junior year, I had three of the best plays of my entire career,” said senior Haley Hames.” A line drive catch, a play at first, and an assisted play at second. I also loved the overnight hotel trips with the teams.”

Other seniors on the team were McKenna Purdy and Zaira Mora.

Golf

The defending state champion Truckee boys’ golf team came into a season with a stacked lineup and eyes on repeating as the best squad in the state.

“It is unfortunate that our seniors missed out on what should have been another undefeated state championship season,” said Coach Marc Smith. “These seniors on the golf team have been on the varsity roster since they were freshmen”

The team had seniors Owen Slusher, Mason Cutler, Lucas Kraatz, Zach Poncelet, and Isaac Cruz.

“My best memory of playing golf is definitely winning the state championship and traveling to Florida to play in the national high school championship,” said Slusher, who will be attending and playing golf for Santa Barbara City College.

The Truckee golf team has been invited to participate in the high school national championship and will be looking to fundraiser and represent the town of Truckee in Pinehurst, North Carolina, on Aug. 3-5.”

Donations can be made to E.J Tegner – Let’s Bet on Youth Golf Foundation, which is a nonprofit.

Swimming

“The 2020 Truckee Swim & Dive team was a short sweet one, we only had two meets,” said coach Jody Burrill. This group of seniors is among the most supportive and enthusiastic group of athletes ever. They are the backbone of the team. Their growth from freshman to senior year was beautiful to witness. They support each other and they look out for the team.

“These seniors have had the team’s interest at heart throughout their years on the team and I think it shows in the huge growth of the swim and dive team. Their team spirit also shows in their favorite memories, which was traveling to Las Vegas with the team — not breaking school records.”

“These seniors reach out and make swimming and diving a fun, supportive team to be a part of. … This group of seniors will be missed and I am deeply sorry we did not get to finish their swim and dive season to the championship meet in Las Vegas. This amazing team of seniors will be going on to do amazing things, as you can see by where they are headed next fall. Go seniors”.

Senior Dylan Cole closed his time on the team as a captain and school record holder in 400-yard freestyle relay. “My favorite team memory was states sophomore year,” said Cole. “I loved the entire trip. I plan on attending UC Davis as a biochem major”.

Senior Aaron Bronstone was also a captain and school record holder in the 200-yard medley relay.

“My favorite team memory was winning and breaking the school record for the 200-yard medley relay at the 2018 State Championships in Vegas,” said Bronstone. “I plan on continuing my education and swimming career at Carleton College in Northfield Minnesota. Go Knights!”

Another team captain, senior Courtney Engberg, holds Truckee’s record holder in the 200 freestyle relay.

“I have to say my favorite team memory would definitely have to be every time we have tried to take a team photo altogether, something always ends up happening,” said Engberg. “I am planning on attending college at Northern Arizona University … to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing.”

Senior Kira Thomas led the diving program as captain and is the school record holder in the sport.

“My favorite team memory is going to states in Vegas my sophomore year” said Thomas, who will dive at University of Texas Permian Basin in the fall.

“My favorite memory from this year was when we took a team photo and all pulled each other into the water,” said senior Michael Daly, who plans on attending California State University, Sacramento in the fall to major in film and editing.

Senior Elena Tebb said her favorite memory was “going to Vegas for states my sophomore year.”

She will be attending University of California, Davis in the fall, majoring in animal science.

“I am not committed to diving but I hope to walk on the team next year,” she said. The swim and dive team also had senior Bode Siebelink.

“The 2020 Truckee High School Swim team will always hold a special place in my heart,” said coach Dan Kates. “Yes, they are an extremely talented group of athletes but the grace with which they handled the disappointment of missing out on a probable championship is inspirational. Their support for one another through thick and thin has always been a hallmark of THS swimming. That’s never been more apparent than this season.”

Source: Truckee High School


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