JSerra Hires Former Hong Kong National Water Polo Player

*A press release from JSerra Catholic High School 

January 27, 2012—(San Juan Capistrano, CA)—JSerra Catholic announces the hiring of former Hong Kong National water polo player Paul Cruzan as JSerra’s new boys water polo head coach.

“We are excited to have Paul join the JSerra Aquatics program.  He has some innovative ideas about how to boost JSerra in the Trinity League and Division I water polo.  He will bring vibrancy to the program, and his work and educational experiences will help in mentoring the JSerra student athletes beyond the pool and into the real world,” said Julie Swail, JSerra Aquatics Director.

Cruzan is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley with a degree in business administration and a member of the National Cum Laude Society. Graduating number two in his class, Cruzan worked in Mergers & Acquisition at Morgan Stanley for over four years in New York and Hong Kong.

“Having such an accomplished athlete and well educated coach added to our staff, will help develop balanced athletes in and out of the classroom, and we look forward to utilizing Paul’s experience to the fullest,” said Dave Lawn JSerra Athletic Director.

Cruzan has been a member of Cal Berkeley, Hong Kong National, and Annapolis National Junior Olympic gold medalist water polo teams. With over twenty years of experience. Cruzan brings widespread knowledge and experience to the JSerra aquatics program.

“I am extremely excited to become a part of JSerra’s aquatics program and hope to contribute to it’s tradition of excellence. I look forward to sharing my passion for water polo and swimming with JSerra athletes,” said Cruzan. “My goal is to create a fun yet challenging environment in which each of our players can reach their fullest potential, and I can’t wait to get started.”

The news comes after the varsity boys water polo team finished their season with 18-11 placing second in the Trinity League, with seven scholar athletes. 

About JSerra Catholic High School

Just nine years old, JSerra Catholic High School is quickly becoming one of the region’s top university preparatory institutions. Its graduates include National Merit Scholarship winners, Ivy League university students and Division I collegiate athletes. Located in San Juan Capistrano, the school features $110-million facilities, including a state-of-the-art $40 million athletic complex. For more, visit www.jserra.org.


Katie McLaughlin Takes a Dive Towards Olympic Trials

McLaughlin making waves poolside at JSerra

Freshman swimmer Katie McLaughlin (14) didn’t waste any time testing the waters at JSerra, making a splash with her Olympic trials qualification for the summer 2012 Olympic games in London. Taking a quick breather McLaughlin sat down with JSerra Blog to talk about her goals in and out of the pool, along with the pressures of coach and mom Mary’s Olympic success.

What made you choose JSerra?

I really like the fact that it’s a smaller school and the community here. I also shadowed and it felt right, I’m looking forward to going to JSerra, especially swim.

How did you qualify for the Olympic trials?

I had a qualifying meet at Stanford and made it by half a second, which is considered a pretty big deal in swim.

Do you feel any pressure because of all the success your mom has had making it the Olympics in swimming?

(Laughing) Everyone always asks me that, but I don’t feel any pressure. My mom has always been super supportive, if anything I think I put more pressure on myself.

What motivates or inspires you to keep improving in swim?

One of my friends, Jesse (12), was diagnosed with a brain tumor and can no longer swim. She has such a great and positive attitude and although she can’t swim she helps others with tumors, and never asks for anything in return. She has this motto that she lives by that I have adopted as my own, “Never Ever Give Up.”


TV show: Pretty Little Liars

Food: Bagels

Animal: Lion

Disney character: Tigger

Childhood toy: Polly Pocket

Katerine Delaney Wins the 1600 in CIF Finals in Record Time

*Currently running the OC Varsity

JSerra senior Katherine Delaney continued a spectacular season in the 1,600. Holding the lead throughout the race, she won

JSerra's Katherine Delaney leads the pack on the way to winning the 1,600 meters at the CIF-SS Track & Field Division 4 Finals in Cerritos on Saturday.

the Division 4 title with a lifetime best effort of 4:46.82.

That time was the fastest among all four divisions and is the eighth fastest in county history.

“I came into this with a positive mind frame and I pushed myself as far as I could,” said Delaney, who is second in the state this season. “I feel honored and exhilarated that all my hard work is paying off.”

Delaney (2:14.00) also finished second in the Division 4 800 final to qualify for the Master’s meet.

For the full article click CIF.

JSerra Girls’ Cross Country Wins School’s First State Title in Any Sport

The JSerra Girls’ cross country team earned a special place in the school’s history books Saturday morning.

Trinity league, CIF and State Champs

The Running Lions once again outran the competition, this time earning a state title – the first such championship in JSerra’s eight-year history. They are also the school’s first athletic team to win the trifecta of Trinity League, CIF and State titles in a single season.

“Race conditions were brutally cold,” coach Marty Dugard said hours after the victory at Woodward Park in Fresno. “But the girls got the job done. Very very proud of all my girls.”

Senior Katherine Delaney finished with Orange County’s best individual time and was the county’s only runner to finish sub-18 minutes (17:48). But it was the performance of the entire team that led to the victory.

“I reminded the girls that we needed to take charge of the race early,” Dugard told the Orange County Register. “Our No. 2-No.5 runners really picked up the pace in the last mile to help get the win for us.”

Principal Tom Waszak called their accomplishment “the most successful season of any sport in school history.”

“Cross country is a unique blend of individual and team talent,” he said. “Delany (all-state, all-CIF, all league) and Hannah Hunsaker (all-CIF, all league) led the team with the fastest times but the team championship was won by the 3rd through 5th place finishers and their teammates who pushed them at practice every day – Colby Lindholm (all league), Ashley and Caitlin Nilssen, Leah Vitrano, Allison Manning, Jessica McFadden, and Kayla Selinski. “

At last week’s CIF championships, all five scoring runners finished in the top 20. At State, they finished in the top 50.

“We’re all really focused, UC Berkeley-bound senior Delaney told the Orange County Register before the race. “We’ve been preparing for a long time and will do what it takes to get to our goal.”

The Lions were last year’s Division 4 runners-up.

Cross Country First Girls Team in JSerra History to Win CIF; Boys Take 6th

By Martin Dugard

Under soggy, horrid conditions; on a day when sitting in front of a warm fireplace would have seemed more sane than racing for top honors in Southern California cross-country, the JSerra Running Lions once again found a way to get the job done.

The Boys team qualified for next weekend’s State Meet in Fresno with a solid sixth place finish at CIF Championships, while the Girls not only qualified for State, they won the first-ever CIF Championship by a female team in the history of JSerra.

Even better, because we ran on the rain course today, and this version of the rain course has never been used at CIF before, their team time of 98:07 is a course record that will likely stand for many, many years. 
So there’s that. For the first time ever, we have two teams going to the State Meet. There’s a little secret everyone should know now: all of our training is designed to be competitive on the State Meet course.

All of the hills, speed, and intervals we do in practice are specifically designed to produce championship results in Clovis on the last Saturday in November. More greatness is about to happen next weekend. 
For those freshmen, sophomores and juniors out there who didn’t make the State squad, please know that next year this could be you. We’re taking the varsity to New York next October, our Mammoth in experience in August will be even more incredible, and we plan on continuing the JSerra Running Lions’ tradition of excellence at the CIF and State level. All it takes is hard work and a belief in your self. 

To view Orange County Register coverage, click here.

JSerra Swimmer’s Future To Include Berkeley, Maybe Olympics

The following story was published in the current edition of The Capistrano Dispatch:

What does an Olympics-caliber swimmer with a 4.58 GPA do next?

Casey Mims

Sign a letter of intent to swim at the University of California at Berkeley, of course.

JSerra Catholic High School senior Casey Mims is a record-breaking swimmer with big potential, said Mary McLaughlin, JSerra’s swimming coach. She is a “hard worker who younger students look up to and are motivated by,” she said.

Although Mims may be shy outside the water, she is a fierce competitor within her lanes, McLaughlin said.

She recently exhibited her competitive spirit, earning the right to compete for a spot at the 2012 Olympics in London on the U.S. Swim Team.

Mims swims the 100m breaststroke, 200m individual medley (IM), and 100m butterfly. At last year’s league finals, she placed first in the 100m breaststroke and the 100m butterfly – a surprise, McLaughlin said, because McLaughlin “just recently threw her in there because she had great fly form.”

“I was really excited for the opportunity,” Mims said. “I swam butterfly in my IM but not in a race by itself before. I look forward to swimming it this season for school again.”

In May, Mims was named the Orange County Register’s Female Athlete of the Week and qualified for the USA Junior National Team and the All-American team. Her spot on the All-American team gave her a chance to compete in Ireland, which she declined – so she could swim for JSerra at CIF. “The meet in Ireland was only two weeks before CIF,” Mims said. “I wanted to swim for my high school and be part of the team.”       

Not only does Mims have the chance to compete in places around the world, but she also qualified for the US Olympic Trials in Omaha, to determine if she will make the 2012 national team. This will be he second Olympic Trials.

Mims is also a star outside the pool; she’s member of the principal’s honor roll, the National Honors Society, the California Scholarship Federation, and is a four-year USA Academic All-American. And now, she can add future member of Berkeley’s swim team, coached by Teri McKeever, who has coached Olympians such as Natalie Coughlin.

“I’m really excited for the chance to swim at Cal.,” Mims said. “It’s an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait.”

Trinity League champs

In other JSerra sports news, the girls’ cross country team – ranked #1 in the state – won the team’s first ever Trinity League title Friday. The team of Colby Lindholm, Hannah Hunsaker, Caitlin Nilssen, Ashley Nilssen, Leah Vitrano, Michelle Vaday, and Katherine Delaney knocked off defending champions Orange Lutheran, and now advance to CIF postseason competition.

The softball team has a new coach. Frank Rizzo, of San Juan Capistrano. Rizzo’s resume includes more than 300 wins at Concordia University. Also making recent headlines was the football team, which was ranked among the county’s top 10 for the first time in school history.

And finally, baseball coach Brett Kay signed on to coach the Lions for another five years.