It’s not been long since the new year began, but there’s already been a lot of noteworthy action that has taken place on the local sports scene during the first few weeks of 2019.
The month of February, a pivotal one for the winter sports season, promises to continue that trend. The postseason fate of numerous local athletes and teams and will be highly dependent on how they perform this month.
High school wrestling
One of the biggest and most prestigious annual prep sporting events in the state will take place on Feb. 21-23, when Bakersfield once again hosts the CIF State Wrestling Championships. This year, for the first time, the tournament will have the girls and boys competitors taking to the mats on the floor of Rabobank Arena simultaneously. Several local wrestlers are in prime position to compete for state medals, including defending 170-pound state champion Trent Tracy. The Frontier senior will compete this year in the 182-pound weight class, where he is ranked No. 1 in the state. Several of his Titans teammates are ranked in the top 10 of their respective weight classes including Cole Reyes (126 pounds), Ryan Morphis (138 pounds) and Max Aguirre (160 pounds). Bakersfield High has five top 10-ranked wrestlers: Andrew Bloemhof (138), Adrian Gonzalez (152), Jared Priest (170), Justin Darter (220) and Josiah Lightner (285).
The CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball team had several of its players receive accolades and/or reach milestones during recent weeks. Senior point guard Rickey Holden was selected as WAC Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 10-16. Holden had 20 points and nine assists as the Roadrunners downed visiting Lamar on Dec. 13. That same game, senior guard Damiyne Durham set new a CSUB record for career 3-pointers made, surpassing Kenny Warren’s previous record of 278. Twenty-three days later against Utah Valley, Durham connected on his 290th career 3-pointer to pass Utah State’s Jaycee Carroll (2004-08) for the WAC record for career 3-pointers. That game ended with CSUB’s Taze Moore grabbing an offensive rebounding and making a buzzer-beater basket to lift the ’Runners to a 73-71 victory. Moore’s heroics were featured on that night’s “SportsCenter” on ESPN, which selected his game-winning shot No. 5 among its Top 10 Plays of the Night.
Even though football season ended several months ago, the awards continue to roll in for members of Bakersfield College’s 2018 gridiron squad. During the holiday break, Renegade sophomore Carson Olivas (punter) and Cam Roberson (punt returner) were named to the JC Athletic Bureau – California Community College Football Coaches Association 2018 All-America Community College Football Team. Three other BC players, Ricky Leung-Wai (defensive lineman), Nathan De Jager (kicker) and Elisha Ortiz (all purpose) were 2018 CCCFCA All-California Team selections.
CSUB freshman Autumn D’Arcy set the school record in the 100-yard butterfly (53.68) during the prelims of the UNLV Invite. She later broke her own record in the finals (53.50). Earlier in the meet, the Redlands East Valley High School product swam the fourth-fastest 50 freestyle in school history (23.28) while leading off the 200 free relay that recorded the fourth-best time in the history of CSUB (1:34.34). She teamed up with fellow freshmen Abigail Abshire (Wasco High School) and Tabea Mose and junior Maddie Cosgrove on the relay. So far this season, she has recorded 11 individual first-place finishes including one in the 100 backstroke, 200 back, 200 free, 50 free, two in the 100 free and five in the 100 fly. ￼