McLaughlin Named Swim Coach of the Year

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By Dan Albano, OC Register 

JSerra’s girls swim team faced a daunting, new challenge during its quest for a second consecutive CIF Division 1 title.

Instead of playing the role of surprising upstart that marked their championship season in 2012, the Lions were a hunted team this season.

“I think people are coming after them,” JSerra coach Mary McLaughlin said.

But despite the tag of favorite — which usually brings added pressure — JSerra still found its desired destination.

Thanks to an atmosphere of fun and team unity nurtured by McLaughlin, the Lions captured a second straight Division 1 crown, setting a then-national record in the 400-yard freestyle relay and four Orange County records in the process.

For her efforts, McLaughlin has been selected the Register’s girls coach of the year for 2013.

“I want to make (swimming) as fun as possible for them,” the fourth-year coach said. “I try not to make it a big deal, and let them have a good time, and this has been our result.”

JSerra took Division 1 by storm two seasons ago, leaping from a 22nd-place finish in 2011 to its first CIF title.

To read the complete article click Coach of the Year.

JSerra International Student Arranges Song for Choir’s Farewell Concert

AndrewBy Lauren Shepherd, OC Register 

JSerra Catholic High School’s first graduating international student Seung Hyun (Andrew) Lee, from Seoul, South Korea, has been teaching his fellow chamber singers his own arrangement of a Korean folk song for choir’s Spring Farewell Concert. Four years ago, Lee and his family searched for the right school in Southern California that would give him a unique high school experience.

“When I saw that JSerra was accepting international students I took the opportunity,” Lee said. He started his freshman year of high school at JSerra with a love for music and a prodigal talent that would impress his fellow chamber singers.

“It’s really interesting to know that someone so young can be so musically inclined,” said JSerra sophomore and first-year chamber singer, Ian von Gremp. “It’s nice to know that my friend Andrew arranged it,”

Lee became president of the chamber choir, and with his leadership taught his fellow chamber singers the ancient Korean folk song, “Arirang,” which he arranged to fit his own interpretation of its meaning.

“Andrew has always been our leader,” junior and third year chamber singer, Annie Pfost said. “Choir is like a family and Andrew is like the cool big brother.”

“Arirang,” a song handed down through many generations, was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, in December.

At last year’s Spring Concert, Renée Bondi, Christian inspiration singer and mother to JSerra chamber singer, Daniel Bondi, told Lee about her concert in Korea. She said when she sang “Arirang” for the finale, everyone there began to sing along with her. With that motivation, Lee decided to arrange “Arirang” for his high school choir.

To read the complete article click here.