The JSerra Running Lions Girls Cross-County team finished second at the State Meet this weekend.
Led by Katie DeYoung’s 18:50, the top five runners all finished within 60 seconds of one another — our pre-race goal. Congrats to Katie, Caitlin Nilssen, Taylor Mujica, Colby Lindholm, Leah Vitrano, Sydney Teske, Michelle Vaday, Andrea Maben, and Ashley Nilssen for an amazing team effort.
As an example of how well they ran, note that the girls ran three minutes faster than the school record for the State meet course, and that all five girls finished faster than our second girl at the 2008 State Meet.
I am thrilled that this group of disparate young ladies came together and formed a solid bond through their shared training and racing. This was a team effort all the way. A special congratulations to our seniors, who have chased this dream of standing on the State Meet podium throughout their high school years.
Second place in Trinity League, second place in CIF, and second place in State. By any measure, theirs was an outstanding season. It should be noted that the girls team time at CIF Finals bested all other schools in San Juan Capistrano, including Capo Valley, making them the unofficial city champion.
JSerra Catholic High School’s girls’ cross country and boys’ water polo teams finished second Saturday in tight battles for CIF titles – and boys’ cross country finished ninth.
“All three teams were determined to win,” said JSerra principal Tom Waszak. “They may not have not reached their ultimate goal but all three teams gave a 100 percent effort. They should be proud of what they achieved. It was not long ago that our ability to compete in the league was questioned. On Saturday, I saw student athletes and coaches who were distraught about finishing second in the CIF championships. We’ve come a long way In a short time!”
The cross country team finished three points behind champion Harvard of Westlake at the CIF meet, which was held at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.
“They ran their hearts out,” Waszak said. “They are determined to win at the state meet.”
The girls compete in Clovis this weekend for the state title.
The boys’ water polo team also finished an outstanding season Saturday, coming up just short against Trinity League rival Mater Dei. They fell 12-8 at William Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine.
About 60 businesspeople gather in Irvine for mass.
So begins a front-page article in this week’s Orange County Business Journal that highlights how faith plays a key role in every aspect of the life of JSerra Catholic High School’s founder, Timothy Busch.
“The mass isn’t at a church, but rather a chapel inside The Busch Firm headed by Busch, a self-described ‘cradle Catholic,’ or someone raised Catholic since birth,” the article, written by Sherri Cruz, continues.
Busch is perhaps best known in Orange County for cofounding JSerra and St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel, the article says. He’s also a lawyer who owns and runs a number of businesses, including five hotels—three in Orange County—a winery and resort in Napa Valley and an upscale grocery chain in Michigan.
“The goal in our business is to recognize there is God,” Busch told the newspaper. “In the past we haven’t fully integrated our faith with our business. There’s been a mindset that business was secular and faith was something you did on Sundays.”
The JSerra Catholic High School boys’ water polo team will play Trinity League rival Servite High School tomorrow for a spot in the CIF Final. The semifinal match is scheduled for 5 p.m. at William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine.
Last week, the Lions beat Long Beach Miliken 16-4 in a second-round playoff game.
The “Pride of Pool” came back on Saturday to defeat El Modena 10-6 in the quarterfinals.
The following column runs in the current edition of the Capistrano Dispatch.
By Tom Waszak
Would it be just another football game?
Few beyond campus thought we had much of a chance leading up our Trinity League opener against cross-town rival Santa Margarita Catholic High School.
Heading into the game, our varsity football program was 0-for-14 in league play.
But we had reason to be optimistic on Oct. 16.
Coach Jim Hartigan had led our Lions to an undefeated preseason. A few sportswriters even said this was our best team yet.
Could this be the night?
Before the game, hundreds of members of the JSerra community gathered for a tailgate party at Saddleback Community College. As we enjoyed barbecue, a few of us reflected upon JSerra’s journey – and how far we’ve come in seven short years.
It wasn’t too long ago when some wondered if JSerra could compete against the powerhouse teams in the Trinity League.
As we teach our students, the ingredients of success include perseverance, a positive attitude, character, and faith.
We are nationally recognized by the Catholic High School Honor Roll – a distinction we’ve earned for three consecutive years. More than 500 JSerra graduates are in college; some attend the nation’s most prestigious universities. Our students dedicate thousands of hours each year to community service at home – and abroad.
Community, sports and faith-based groups hold events regularly on our $110-million campus. And, despite the challenges of the ongoing recession, we’ve maintained enrollment without cutting important extracurricular activities.
As I looked around the parking lot, I saw a growing and robust group we call Lion Nation. There are thousands of us. Moms and dads. Kids and grandparents. Friends and neighbors. The JSerra community is a tight-knit collection of civic-minded people dedicated to God, family and community.
Although the kickoff was an hour away, I already felt a deep sense of victory. Don’t tell that to Coach Hartigan and the team. They put in hard work during the summer and preseason. These young scholar-athletes wanted to make a statement to the regional football world.
Their preparation and character showed. We got off to a quick start, scoring the first touchdown. The Eagles answered. We scored again. It was a thrilling game that came down to the wire.
Late in the fourth quarter, Santa Margarita scored a touchdown. A two-point conversion would tie the score.
Our defense broke up the play – and we secured our first Trinity League win. As the final seconds ticked away, some excited seniors doused Coach Hartiganwith Gatorade. In a wonderful moment of spontaneous jubilation, the JSerra fans stormed the field to congratulate the players and celebrate the historic moment for our young school.