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The year in review: sports


Last updated 12/27/2007 at Noon

From Major League Baseball and Grade I horse racing stakes to high school and youth competition, Fallbrook and Bonsall athletes excelled in various sporting events throughout 2007.

For the first time ever, a Fallbrook High School graduate played baseball in the major leagues. Although Matt Chico was the first-ever Fallbrook High School graduate to make it to the show when he pitched for the Washington Nationals during the first week of the season, two other Fallbrook High School alumni would also spend part of 2007 in the majors. Pitcher Troy Cate earned a call up to the St. Louis Cardinals while catcher Donny Lucy ended the 2007 season with the Chicago White Sox.

The 2006 quarter horse racing season allowed Vessels Stallion Farm to begin 2007 with the selection of Wave Carver as the American Quarter Horse Association’s 2006 World Champion as well as the AQHA’s Champion Three-Year-Old and Champion Three-Year-Old Colt. During 2007 the Vessels Stallion Farm stakes wins included Governor’s Cup Derby and Go Man Go triumphs by FDD Dynasty and a Super Derby victory by Little Bit of Baja.

San Luis Rey Downs Thoroughbred Training Center horses also had some notable achievements in 2007. River’s Prayer won the Grade I Princess Rooney Handicap at Miami’s Calder track and the Grade III Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar. Thoroughly won the Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes at Hollywood Park while Set Play won the Grade I Del Mar Debutante stakes race at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. San Luis Rey Downs trainer Peter Miller had 11 wins at Del Mar, placing him fifth among all trainers, and Miller was the leading trainer for the meet’s first two weeks.

Tom Aberle set a qualifying record for the Sport Biplane class at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, with an average speed of 251.573 mph, although he had to pull out of the actual races due to melted pistons.

Mike Leake, who now plays baseball at Arizona State University, earned the Most Outstanding Player award for the Tempe regionals and was named to the PAC-10 first team. The 2006 Fallbrook High School graduate was also a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and was on the overall All-American third team.

At the high school level, Bret Hasvold won the CIF Division I individual cross-country championship. The Fallbrook High School girls’ basketball team won the 2006-07 Avocado League championship, and Tiffany Hunter was named as the league’s player of the year.

Colin Featherstone won the North County Conference tournament for boys golf and was named the Avocado League’s player of the year. Fallbrook High School’s girls tennis team won the Avocado League championship and also featured the individual singles (Hailey Johnson) and doubles (Angela Maddock and Jessica Willett) league champions. Kerry Popko was the California Junior Rodeo Association’s year-end Senior division Pole Bending champion.


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