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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Sports: 2023-2024 notable athlete achievements

Leo Shetler
Leo Shetler rows at a competition in Boston.

Bryan Wang commits to Colby College for Division III men’s basketball

After being on the school’s varsity basketball team for the past three years and the JV team in his first, senior Bryan Wang won All-Team First League and helped take his team to the CCS semi-finals to finish off the team’s 2023-24 season.

Outside of school, Wang has been part of many different basketball clubs including West Coast Elite, Jalen Green Elite and Team Arsenal. During his time in club basketball, he experienced many challenging games and made numerous memories.

“My favorite memory was when I was in a team called West Coast Elite and we, as a team, scored over 100 points in one game and ended up winning the tournament,” Wang said.

Next year, Wang will play at Colby College, a DIII school in Waterville, Maine. Looking back on his four years of high school basketball, Wang remembers his sophomore and senior years as his strongest seasons. Through many challenges, Wang’s biggest takeaway is to relax while staying focused through the challenging times.

“It’s important to trust the work you put in, because I struggled when I got caught up in the pressure I put on myself,” Wang said. “I would become almost addicted to just putting in more work than anyone — that I would be too tense to actually have the work translate into the game.” 

Norris leads team to win league for the first time in nine years

Senior Eric Norris has been playing volleyball for close to 10 years and recently came in ninth nationally with his club team, MVVC 18-1 Red at U.S. Nationals. This past season, he also won his first league title with the school’s varsity volleyball team.

Norris is going to Purdue University next year and aims to play club volleyball there. But for this upcoming summer, he plans to continue practicing with his MVVC 18’s team and traveling to Orlando to play his final national tournament.

“This 18’s tournament will be especially competitive since it’s the last time everyone can showcase their skills,” Norris said. “Most guys go all out, bringing up their level of intensity, making every game super challenging and tight, which makes it a lot more fun.”

Norris started his first season here during the pandemic, where they only won two games, and in the next season, the Falcons went winless. But for the past two seasons, they have gone second in his junior year and first in their league senior year, which — in Norris’s eyes — has been a really great accomplishment for himself and the team.

“Throughout the past four years, I learned how to be a better leader,” Norris said. “My biggest accomplishment [throughout the past four years] was simply personal growth, and the thing I honestly care most about is becoming a better leader.”

Kelsey Zhang qualifies for Olympic trials following State qualification

Kelsey Zhang, with a power index of 1.60, currently ranks first in California and fourth in the U.S.. At CCS on May 2, she placed first in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 52.14 seconds and first in the 200-yard IM with a time of 1:59.05.

Zhang will be skipping the California State finals in 2024 in order to attend the Olympic Trials in Indianapolis from June 15-23. She qualified for the USA Olympic Team Trials by swimming the 200 meter Fly with a time of 2:12.4. The qualifying time was 2:13.6. 

“This meet is actually very important for me, because this is the meet where the United States chooses the participants for this year’s Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships,” Zhang said. I have to get top two in my event.” 

If Zhang doesn’t end as one of the top two at the meet, she said her other goal is to make the USA National Junior team, which requires her to rank among the top four in the U.S. These swimmers are evaluated by their fastest seasonal times.

Requiring skills of a strong mentality and controlling emotions, Zhang believes the biggest thing she has gained from swimming is toughness and teamwork.

 “Teamwork is very important because the sport gets harder the longer you do it. Without a supportive team, swimming can get very draining and unpleasant,” Zhang said. 

Kate Oberhauser commits to UC San Diego for Division I women’s soccer

This year, senior Kate Oberhauser won Most Valuable Player and Most Inspirational award after competitively playing soccer for nine years. 

“I love the game in its combination of mental and physical demands, and when I am playing soccer, all exterior worries go away,” she said. “I also love the people I have played with and value the friendships I’ve built with teammates over the years.”

Oberhauser will be attending the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Her recruitment process involved continuing her training while networking through highlight videos, sending emails and communicating through phone calls with college coaches. 

After attending many camps and showcases to gain exposure to college coaches, Oberhauser is excited and grateful to continue her soccer journey at UCSD.

“I am looking forward to playing at the next level, experiencing a challenging training environment and joining the soccer family at UCSD,” she said.

Leo Shetler commits to UC Berkeley’s Division I men’s rowing program

Senior Leo Shetler has rowed competitively at the Los Gatos Rowing Club, and in January 2023, he ended up making the U.S. coxswain team. Then, in August at the 2023 World Rowing Under-19 Championship hosted in Paris, his team ended up placing fifth, a crucial outcome that promoted recognition and aided his success in the recruitment process. 

Recently, Shetler competed at regionals from May 1-5 and qualified for Nationals in early June, where he plans to race the quad, aiming for gold. 

“I think rowing is a sport where you can really only expect an outcome that coincides with the input and training that you put in,” Shetler said. “In this way I think that rowing is extremely rewarding, as whatever you achieve, you know you worked for it.”

Shetler committed to rowing at the University of California Berkeley, the top rowing school in the country, allowing him to grow in his skills at the most competitive setting.

“As UC Berkeley is the No. 1 rowing school in the nation, I know that balancing training and academics will be extremely difficult, but I am excited to put in the work and see where it takes me,” Shetler said. 

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