More State Girls Athletes of the Year

The 2017-18 Division 2 State Girls Athlete of the Year, Haylee Nelson of Newark Memorial, gets ready to serve (left) for her volleyball team. At right, coming off the field after making a field goal, is the D4 Girls Athlete of the Year, Emma Baker of Temecula Rancho Christian. Photos: & Courtesy Baker Family.

Some of those selected to represent CIF divisions from D1 to D5 also were considered to be State Athlete of the Year, including quite rare softball-track standout Kelli Godin of Santa Ana Mater Dei (D1) and barrier-breaking football kicker and multi-sport athlete Emma Baker of Temecula Rancho Christian. Others landing top recognition include Simone Overbeck of Newbury Park (juniors) and 14-year-old golf phenom Zoe Campos of Valencia West Ranch (frosh).

For announcement of the Cal-Hi Sports Girls State Athlete of the Year for 2017-18, CLICK HERE.


Congratulations to the following girls for being selected as a 2017-18 Cal-Hi Sports State Athlete of the Year:

Gracie Figueroa (Selma)

In addition to the rarity of Gracie being a wrestler as her single sport and coming from the CIF Central Section, she’s also not from what anyone would consider a large school. Selma tends to be D3 or D4 in CIF Central Section playoffs. The last seniors of the year and state athletes of the year from small schools have been Aston Purvis (Oakland St. Elizabeth track) in 2010 and Jordan Hasay (San Luis Obispo Mission Prep track) for 2008 and 2009, but both of those girls went to private schools.
Note: For other seniors who would be Athletes of Honor, please check below underneath each CIF division.

Simone Overbeck (Newbury Park) Volleyball, Basketball

Our State Junior of the Year from last year, Megan Faraimo from Cathedral Catholic of San Diego, skipped volleyball for her senior year and only played softball. Overbeck has been an elite player in volleyball and basketball for many years and has been successful making the quick transition from high school volleyball in the fall to high school hoops in the winter. We also didn’t want to get into revisiting the debate among juniors Charisma Osborne (Windward) and Haley Jones (Archbishop Mitty) regarding who should have been Ms. Basketball so on purpose we were looking for a solid multi-sport athlete we could salute. Overbeck, the younger sister of recent all-state basketball standout Kayla Overbeck (who recently transferred from Vanderbilt to USC), filled that role. In volleyball, she piled up 269 kills for the Panthers and reached 26 once and 25 twice as reported match bests. Overbeck also has committed to Arizona and is regarded as a top-notch national recruit. In basketball, Overbeck was a double-double machine. She averaged 12.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game plus 2.3 steals and nearly one block. She had 19 points and 21 rebounds in a CIFSS playoff win vs. La Canada and had 23 points, seven rebounds and five steals in a win vs. Rio Mesa of Oxnard. Last year, Simone had a 26-point, 15-rebound outing as a sophomore on varsity. She doesn’t do track anymore, but in the high jump in 2016 as a freshman she had a p.r. of 5-4.
More Junior Athletes of Honor:
Jocelyn Budwig (Fowler) Basketball, Track
Isabella D’Aquila (JSerra, SJ Capistrano) Soccer
Nina Flynn (Leland, San Jose) Water Polo
Kinzie Hansen (Norco) Softball
Miranda Heckman (Granada, Livermore) Swimming
Haley Jones (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) Basketball
Kendall Kipp (Corona del Mar, Newport Beach) Volleyball
Claudia Lane (Malibu) Cross Country, Track
DeAnna Nowling (Calabasas) Track
Charisma Osborne (Windward, Los Angeles) Basketball
Brooke Seay (Francis Parker, San Diego) Golf
Aliya Spitz (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Swimming
Kennedy Wesley (Valley Christian, Cerritos) Soccer, Track*
*She didn’t play high school soccer this year, but is on USA U17 national team.

Edelman has committed to UCLA. Photo:

Megan Edelman (Monte Vista, Danville) Soccer

She wasn’t the Gatorade National Player of the Year like last year’s State Sophomore Athlete of the Year, but it’s the second year in a row we’ve gone with an elite soccer player in this category. Edelman, who has committed to UCLA, was the leading offensive player for a Monte Vista team that went 25-1-1 and won the first-ever CIF NorCal Division I regional title. Last year’s top sophomore, Kennedy Wesley from Valley Christian of Cerritos, is currently on the USA U-17 national team. Edelman led the Mustangs with 21 goals and added 10 assists. When the Mustangs captured the CIF NorCal D1 championship with a 1-0 victory against Archbishop Mitty of San Jose, she netted the only goal of the match.
More Sophomore Athletes of Honor:
Alexis Bishop (San Marin, Novato) Basketball, Softball
Anieka Delgado (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) Swimming
Bailey Doherty (Atascadero) Softball, Rodeo
Rachel Glen (Wilson, Long Beach) Track (High Jump)
Rowan Hein (Clovis North, Fresno) Basketball
Emily Patneud (Newark Memorial, Newark) Wrestling, Volleyball
Ella Ristic (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) Swimming
Corie Smith (Buchanan, Clovis) Cross Country
Mia Tuaniga (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Volleyball
Sarah Willis (Norco) Softball

Zoe Campos (West Ranch, Valencia) Golf

Winning CIF individual state titles as a ninth grader doesn’t just happen in the light weight classes in wrestling. Campos was able to win one in a sport with no weight classes or no divisions, either. The L.A. Daily News Golfer of the Year won her CIF state crown by shooting a 69 (2 under par) at the Poppy Hills course of Pebble Beach to win the individual state title. The two golfers who were tied for second both shot 73 (2 over par). Zoe also one of the top girls golfers in her age group in the nation, which means she probably won’t be doing high school golf for the duration of her prep career. Last year before she even went to one class at West Ranch, Campos advanced through the Round of 32 at the U.S. Women’s Amateur in Chula Vista. This week, she is playing in the USGA Girls Junior Tourney (also at Poppy Hills) and through the first two rounds was among the leaders.
More Frosh Athletes of Honor:
Cheyenne Bowman (Rowland, Rowland Heights) Wrestling
Jaqueline Duarte (Chino Hills) Club Soccer, Track, Cross Country
Kiki Iriafen (Harvard-Westlake, N. Hollywood) Basketball
Katja Osteen (Chaminade, West Hills) Wrestling
Cydney Sanders (San Marcos) Softball

It’s especially hard to compete in two sports at the same time at a school that is competing at the highest levels of everything. Photo:

Kelli Godin (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Softball, Track

The Orange County Girls Athlete of the Year amazed many this spring as she was leading the Monarchs in softball and was competing in multiple track events at the same time. If we had done three or four finalists for the overall athlete of the year, Kelli would have been one of them. The younger sister of former Monarchs’ track star Curtis Godin (who led the boys to the CIF state team title in 2014) was a menace on the basepaths as a leadoff hitter in softball. She batted .538 for a squad that was nationally-ranked all season and won the rugged Trinity League title. Godin, who will play next at UCLA, also scored 28 runs and had 22 RBI. She was first team all-state, Orange County Register Player of the Year and FloSoftball All-American. On the track, which of course also is a spring sport, Kelli competed in the 100, 200 and long jump. Her top marks were 11.99 in the 100, 24.83 in the 200 and 18-4 in the long jump. At the CIFSS divisional meet, she was fourth in the 100, fourth in the 200 and fifth in the long jump. Her points helped Mater Dei win the D2 team championship. Godin didn’t get to the state meet in any event, but considering she was playing at an All-American level in softball at the same time perhaps that doesn’t matter. She proved her point.
More Division I Athletes of Honor:
(Seniors Only)
Devon Chang (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) Volleyball
Aquira DeCosta (St. Mary’s, Stockton) Basketball
Maddy Denner (Oak Ridge, El Dorado Hills) Cross Country, Track
Haley Herberg (Capistrano Valley, Mission Viejo) Cross Country
Rylee Penn (Centennial, Corona) Cross Country, Soccer, Track
Samantha Shelton (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) Swimming
Sydney Shepherd (Monte Vista, Danville) Soccer
Payton Tidd (San Marcos) Softball

Haylee Nelson (Newark Memorial, Newark) Volleyball, Basketball, Softball

It may be a cliche to say the three-sport athlete is a dying breed, but it’s true and when we find a real good one there is a tendency to want to honor that boy or girl as a state athlete of the year. Such is the case with Haylee. And she didn’t just play three sports. She was at an all-section level in two of them and close in a third. Basketball would be Nelson’s top sport. She led the Cougars to a 23-6 record and a semifinal appearance in the CIF North Coast Section D2 playoffs with averages of 23.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. She had 44 points in one league game vs. Moreau Catholic of Hayward and also had season bests of 23 and 22 rebounds. Before hoops, Haylee led a 24-10 volleyball team with 573 kills. Then after hoops, Nelson batted .435 with three homers and 20 RBI for Newark Memorial’s softball team. In an NCS playoff game against Petaluma, she hit for the cycle (4 for 4) with five RBI. That’s a lot of numbers and a lot of reasons for Haylee to land this honor.
More Division II Athletes of Honor:
(Seniors Only)
Megan Faraimo (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego) Softball
Izzy Mandema (St. Francis, Mountain View) Water Polo
Serena Starks (Edison, Huntington Beach) Soccer, Basketball
Ashley Trierweiler (Carlmont, Belmont) Basketball, Softball

Gracie Figueroa (Selma)

This is where Selma lands for its division so this also is automatically where Gracie would sit as the athlete of the year for her division. It could be argued that here teammate from Selma, Alleida Martinez, who also won four straight CIF state wrestling titles, would be the runner-up. Another senior who was strongly considered for this division and for overall was Oakland Bishop O’Dowd’s Tierra Robinson-Jones, who became just the fourth girl in the history of the CIF state track and field championships to win both the 200 and 400 meter events.
More Division III Athletes of Honor:
(Seniors Only)
Jordyn Bryant (Miramonte, Orinda) Basketball, Track
Nia Johnson (West Campus, Sacramento) Basketball
Sabrina Iqbal (Pioneer, San Jose) Golf
Alleida Martinez (Selma) Wrestling
Mailee Newman (West, Torrance) Softball
Tierra Robinson-Jones (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland) Track
Charlie Rudy (Novato) Lacrosse
Grace Tehaney (Miramonte, Orinda) Water Polo
Danielle Willson (Corona del Mar, Newport Beach) Tennis

Fackenthal had the nation’s top time this year in the 100 free. Photo: kcra /

Amalie Fackenthal (Sacramento Country Day, Fair Oaks) Swimming

She had such an impressive season of swimming and her times were ranked so high nationally that she’d be a contender for State Swimmer of the Year. At the same time, Sacramento Country Day clearly would be a D5 school so Fackenthal became a solid choice for this honor. At the CIF state finals in Fresno in May, Amalie won the 50-yard freestyle and 100 freestyle events for the second year in a row. Similar to track and wrestling, there’s no divisions so she beat the best from all other CIF sections. Fackenthal also set a CIF state meet record in the 100 free with her time of 48.43 and tied the CIF state meet record in the 50 free at 22.45. For the NICSA All-American teams, the future Stanford Cardinal was first in the state and nation in the 100 free and was first in the state and eighth in the nation in the 50 free.
More Division V Athletes of Honor:
(Seniors Only)
Rylee Bowen (Sonoma Academy, Sonoma) Cross Country, Track
Nye Day (Branson, Ross) Lacrosse, Soccer

Emma Baker (Rancho Christian, Temecula) Football, Volleyball, Soccer

She was last year’s choice as a junior for D5, but Rancho Christian isn’t such a small school anymore (especially in boys basketball) so it has to move up. Regardless, Baker has to be an Athlete of the Year honoree and this year she’s the one for D4. Already selected as the Riverside Press-Enterprise Small Schools Athlete of the Year, Emma didn’t just set a national record for kicking points by a girl in football but broke barriers by making 23 of 31 field goals and 216 PATs in three seasons being on Rancho Christian’s varsity team. She became the first girl to score a point in a CIF state football final as a junior and last season she was second team all-state small schools kicker with 9 of 12 on field goals plus 50 of 53 on PATs. She’s the first girl to ever be named to any all-state team. In volleyball, Baker was one of the top players for a team that went 23-5 and she also continued to play club soccer. We got to interview her in the spring of 2017 for a chapter of our upcoming book, “High School Football in California,” that will be going on sale on August 7.
More Division IV Athletes of Honor:
(Seniors Only)
Kali Hatcher (St. Mary’s, Berkeley) Track
Carly Lucchetti (Linden) Soccer, Softball
Danielle Pasquariello (Pacific Grove) Basketball, Softball

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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