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Spring Sports Preview

As the weather starts warming up, those interested in being part of the athletic buzz at Palomar College can be off to Spring-fresh start.

Baseball is one Palomar sport that will begin in the Spring 2017 semester. While its schedule has not come up yet, enthusiasts of the sport can already marvel at the Comet’s success thus far.

Some former Comet teammates are now in Major League Baseball. Nick Vincent, Seattle Mariners relief pitcher will be in his sixth season in MLB in 2017.

Tyler Saladino, Chicago White Sox starting second baseman who has played every position for the Sox but pitcher and catcher will be in his third season in MLB in 2017.

James Hoyt, Houston Astros relief pitcher, will be in his second season in MLB in 2017—all men having been associated with the Palomar Comets.

They also won the PCAC title in five consecutive seasons from 2011-2015. In 2016, the Comets finished the 25-13 overall and 18-6 in the conference.

Palomar’s Eric Charles hits a line drive to right field during the fifth inning against the visiting San Diego Padres Scout team Oct. 29. Philip Farry/The Telescope
Palomar’s Eric Charles hits a line drive to right field during the fifth inning against the visiting San Diego Padres Scout team Oct. 29. Philip Farry/The Telescope

Another spring sport coming up is men’s golf. Looking back at the 2016 season, the stakes are high to make 2017 a success.

In a bittersweet milestone, the Comets fell short by only one place to qualify for the CCCAA State Community College Tournament, finishing in fifth place with a 36-hole total of 393 – 388 – 781 on the par 72, 6,410-yard course during their CCCAA Southern California Regional Championship (OEC hos.) game in May of 2016.

Comet golfer Kelley Cannon made news when he made a hole-in-one for the first game of the season.

Not all of the season has been so bright for the team. After one of the matches against Cuyamaca, Coach Mark Halda made note of his team’s weak point in one report. “We started strong as a team but faded on the last six holes,” coach Halda was quoted as saying. “We need to get better at finishing or it will be a long year looking up at two or three teams ahead of us.”

But 2016 was not the season for the Comets, as they did often have to “look up” at the team’s ranking higher in the game throughout most of the season; they only came in first place once, during PCAC Neutral Tournament in March, coming in first out of six teams.

A Spring 2017 sport to keep an eye on is the Palomar softball team. Making news in the 2016 season, three Palomar all-state selections from last season landed Division I offers.

The team also made an impression when they dominated the opening-round first-round best 2-of-3 Southern California Regional series, as well as teammates and the team collectively having won numerous PCAC awards in this past season.

The team finished the season 37-7 overall and a perfect 18-0 record in the conference.

Women’s track and field is also on the rise this upcoming spring. At the CCCAA State Meet in May, the team was placed 21st out of 40 teams.

A star of the team that made constant news with her impressive throws was DeOndra Young, sophomore at Palomar. Her peek record was a throw of 169 meters and 5 inches, gaining her second place in the hammer throw at the CCCAA State Track & Field Championships, her metric mark having been 51.66 meters.

Women’s track and field also achieved a collective victory at the 2016 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship by winning the conference finals hosted by San Bernardino Valley College in April; they had the winning score of 223.5 points.

Men’s and women’s swim also had a fair year. The men’s swim team came in 13th among 30 teams in the men’s meet with 67 points, and the women’s team was 15th out of 33 teams with 90 points at the state meet.

Men’s tennis had an exciting season in 2016, filled with awards. 2016 PCAC Athlete of the Year (Men) went to Peter Trhac, 2016 PCAC Coach of the Year (Men) was won by Ronnie Mancao, and the All Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Team was won by Peter Trhac (Singles & Doubles), Taylor Bryant (Doubles), Dean Vo (Doubles), and Dorian Blanchard (Doubles).The 2016 PCAC Singles Champion was Peter Trhac, and the 2016 PCAC Doubles Champions were Peter Trhac and Taylor Bryant.

The team came in second place among 6 teams total, in 7-3 for the 2016 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Final Men’s Dual Team Standings.

In their 2017 schedule, the team is set to play against: Fullerton, Orange Coast, San Diego Mesa, Imperial Valley, San Diego City, Riverside City, College of the Desert, Mt. San Jacinto, Mt. San Antonio, Grossmont, Saddleback, Santa Barbara City, and Cerrito Norwalk.

The first game of the season will be on Feb. 7, 2017 and a series of games will be held from then until their last scheduled game, which will be on April 29-30 at the State Individual Tournament.

Women’s tennis will also be back in spring. The Palomar women’s tennis team is part of Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).

The team has released the 2017 schedule, and they are set to play against Saddleback, Grossmont, Cuyamaca, Imperial Valley, College of the Desert, Mt. San Jacinto, San Diego Mesa, Riverside City, San Diego City, Mt. San Antonio, Southwestern, and Santa Barbara City.

First game of the season will be on Feb. 3, 2017 and the last of the season will be on April 29-30 at the State Individual Tournament.

Both the men and women’s tennis teams share coach Ronnie Mancao, a former tennis tour player and coach, club director and collegiate coach, who is in his 22nd season as the men’s head tennis coach and in his 17th season as the women’s head tennis coach.

Men’s volleyball will also be making its comeback this spring, hopefully redeeming the record from a poor 2016 season.

The Comets closed the season by losing to San Diego City with a 25-14, 25-19, 25-20 loss in April 2016.

The season had started off strong for the Comets, but the team’s game fizzled out over the course of the rest of the season, having won only a total of two games out of 18.

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