CIF Championship Swimmers Vie for a Spot on the 2012 Olympic Team

pictured: Kaitlyn Albertoli

Three JSerra Catholic aquatics athletes vie for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team, at the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, this month.

“Any school would be blessed to have just one athlete qualify for an opportunity to compete in the Olympic Trials, but to have three is overwhelmingly exciting,” said Mary McLaughlin, JSerra head swim coach.

Among the swimmers attending the Olympic Trials are JSerra alumnus Casey Mims (Cal Berkeley), Katie McLaughlin and Kaitlyn Albertoli, both freshman at JSerra and 2012 CIF Champions. All three swimmers have been named Scholar Athletes at JSerra.

“There are a lot of kids that swim in the country but only .03 percent make the trials. Having three JSerra swimmers part of a very small majority is truly amazing,” said Coach McLaughlin.

“I am very excited to have even qualified. I’ve trained so hard to make it and I always strive to have a healthy disregard for the impossible,” said Albertoli, a JSerra Online student.

Katie McLaughlin, a standout freshman at JSerra, was named the 2012 OC Varsity Fan Female Athlete of the Year.

“I am excited to compete in the Olympic trials, and I want to go and have a great experience,” said Katie McLaughlin.

Recently appointed Interim President Rob Dolan said “Mary runs a great 
program and this is a tremendous accomplishment for her girls Kaitlyn,
Katie and Casey all of whom are incredibly humble and grateful.  I’m
proud and I know the JSerra community is proud of the hard work and
dedication that produced these achievements.”

Also attending the 2012 Olympic games is JSerra Aquatics Director and two-time Olympian Julie Swail-Ertel. Swail-Ertel will be commentating on the water polo and triathlon events for NBC this July.

“JSerra is so proud, and we are all rooting for the girls going to the Olympic trials,” said Swail-Ertel, who has attended the Olympics twice as an athlete and twice as an NBC commentator.


JSerra Catholic High School Names Dave Lawn – who’s coached at Servite, USC – Athletic Director

JSerra issued the following press release today:

June 8, 2011 – (San Juan Capistrano, CA) – JSerra Catholic High School has hired Servite High School coach and “senior formation director” Dave Lawn to head its athletic department, school officials announced today.

New Athletic Director Dave Lawn

Lawn, Servite’s baseball coach since 2007, has also worked as a pitching coach at USC and UC Berkeley, helping develop world-class athletes such as current and former Major League Baseball players Ian Kennedy, Xavier Nady, Jeff Clement and Mark Prior. For the past two years, he also helped run Servite’s heralded student leadership program.

“We are delighted that Lawn has accepted the challenge to take our athletics program to a whole new level of success and achievement,” said Frank Talarico, JSerra’s President and CEO. “In just a few short years, our soccer, baseball, track, lacrosse and cross country teams are already lining our gym with banners. Dave’s leadership will only serve to enhance the quality experience our scholar-athletes enjoy.”

The position opened earlier this year when former Athletic Director Jim Hartigan turned his full-time focus to coaching the football team.

In addition to overseeing the athletic department, Lawn will serve as associate baseball coach. “A Brett Kay-Dave Lawn partnership means we now have arguably the two best high school baseball coaches working side by side for the benefit of our athletes,” Talarico said.

Lawn said he’s excited about the challenge, and will focus the entire coaching staff on developing students’ winning work ethic, attitude and overall character on and off the field.

“This is a unique opportunity to take an athletic department with 22 sports in arguably the best high school conference in America to new, higher levels,” he said. “But as we strive for excellence on the field, JSerra will not lose sight of its commitment to develop the ‘whole’ scholar-athlete.”

Among JSerra’s most recent sports accomplishments:

– Baseball player Austin Hedges (UCLA), who graduated Saturday, was a second-round pick (San Diego Padres) in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft.

– Two JSerra track athletes, Katherine Delaney (UC Berkeley) and Luke Decker, won CIF titles and finished among the best in California at the CIF state championship finals on Saturday.

– JSerra’s boys soccer team won back-to-back Trinity League titles.

– Its 2010-2011 girls cross country team won the CIF state title.

– Lacrosse team welcomes new coach Kyle Harrison, who is regarded as the “Michael Jordan of lacrosse.”

About JSerra Catholic High School
Just eight 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 http://www.jserra.org.

Ninth Baseball Player Scores Division I College Scholarship

JSerra Catholic High School’s 2009 Trinity League championship team posted outstanding numbers on the field.

Junior Clay Williamson will play at Cal State Fullerton
Junior Clay Williamson will play at Cal State Fullerton

It’s also accomplishing remarkable feats off the field.

The Lions are sending nine scholar-athletes to Division I universities with scholarships. And Coach Brett Kay believes three or four offers may be on the way.

That means starters at every position and a few pitchers will likely end up playing college baseball at the highest level.

“I’m ecstatic,” Kay said. “It affirms everything we’re trying to accomplish here.”

The most recent scholarship winner is junior right fielder Clay Williamson, of Laguna Niguel, who will play at Cal State Fullerton after he graduates.

He hit .280 last year with 18 RBIs and two triples.

“He’s a rare player who made the jump from freshman ball to varsity – a big jump for any player. He’s really grown in the past year and emerged as one of the leaders in our program,” Kay said. “He’s a great player and a great kid.”

Williamson isn’t the only college-committed Lion returning next year. Bret Dahlson (Loyola Marymount), of Yorba Linda, junior Austin Hedges (UCLA), of San Juan Capistrano, and senior Grahamm Wiest (Cal State Fullerton), of Orange, hope to lead the Lions to another title.

Graduates from last year’s squad with scholarships are:

Colton Plaia, of Mission Viejo, Loyola Marymount

Quinn Renner, of Laguna Niguel, St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia

Joe Kurrasch, of San Juan Capistrano, UC Berkeley

Matt Paradise, of San Clemente, Santa Clara University

Todd del Toro, of Mission Viejo, Air Force Academy.