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2011-12 Hart High Year in Review: A year of progress

Posted: June 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Hart softball player Tracy Chandless.

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As decorated as the Hart High School gym already is, the few banners added during the 2011-12 athletic season aren’t going to take up a whole lot of real estate.

At first glance, this year can be boiled down to just a handful of outstanding performances by some of the school’s top athletes.

Most of them were swimmers, with a few major exceptions, like football/track and field star Tim White and All-CIF softball player Tracy Chandless.

They were both All-CIF selections — White was named to the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division football team as a defensive back and Chandless was placed on the CIF-SS Division I softball team.

In terms of team sports, the top squads were boys track and field and both boys and girls swimming — the only three to claim league championships this year.

Hart finished second in the boys cross country league standings, but advanced to its first CIF State Cross Country Championship since 1994 and finished seventh.

Sam Peckham was Hart’s top finisher on that team, taking 12th place in the state individually.

Kendall Dusenberry put together perhaps Hart’s top individual performance as a female this season.

The senior won the Foothill League MVP with 192 total strokes in league play, edging out teammate Jamie Corr by two strokes.

She was named The Signal’s All-Santa Clarita Valley Girls Golfer of the Year after a stellar playoff run where she made it through the first two stages of the playoffs before missing the cut for the state championship at the WSCGA Foundation Southern California Girls Golf Championship on Nov. 10.

The 2011-12 campaign can’t simply be summarized by the highlights of the champions.

Those who came close should also be noted.

It was a year of redemption for the football team, which finished strong in Foothill League play and was one of only two league teams to win a playoff game this year.

This all came a season after the eight-time CIF champion football program missed the playoffs for the first time in 30 years.

Hart had to win two of its last three regular season games to end up fourth in league and earn an at-large playoff berth.

Hart went on to advance to the second round of the CIF-SS Northern Division playoffs, where it lost to Westlake, one of the state’s top-ranked teams.

Other prominent postseason performances included girls tennis, which snuck into the CIF-Southern Section Division III playoffs as a wild-card team after a third-place finish in league, only to rattle off three straight playoff wins and earn a surprising spot in the quarterfinals.

Even against the eventual division champion St. Margaret’s, Hart narrowly lost 11-7 in the quarterfinal match on Nov. 15.

That team included three-sport athlete Victoria Lionetti, who was a second-team All-Foothill doubles selection with partner Shannon Cholakian.

In addition, Lionetti was a second teamer on the All-SCV and All-Foothill girls basketball teams while also playing on the school’s softball team.

Both the boys and girls soccer teams had their moments as well, each of them finishing as Foothill runners-up.

The girls soccer team experienced its biggest moment on Jan. 31, when it came from behind to beat Saugus 2-1 to end the Centurions’ 20-game league unbeaten streak.

Though the boys basketball team showed glimpses of greatness at times through the course of the season, the team’s general inexperience prevented it from moving beyond the first round of the CIF-SS Div. IIIAAA playoffs.

It was a similar fate for baseball, which was another team full of promising talent, but injuries and youth led to a late-season stumble and an exit in the CIF-SS Div. I wild-card round.

For the most part though, Hart did a lot of damage during the spring season.

In track and field, White and teammate Austin O’Neil made it to the finals in their respective events at the CIF State Track and Field Championships on June 2.

White came closer than any other SCV athlete to winning an individual state title this season, finishing second in the triple jump with a leap of 51 feet, 5 inches.

O’Neil took seventh in the 1,600-meter state final run with a time of 4 minutes, 15.66 seconds.

Both athletes won individual CIF titles a few weeks earlier on May 19. White won two on the same day, taking the CIF-SS Division III crown in the high jump and triple jump, while O’Neil won the 1,600 race.

It capped off a phenomenal athletic season for White.

The springtime triumphs didn’t end there.

As per tradition, girls and boys swim won team league titles and collected several individual accolades on the way.

The girls team won its 30th Foothill crown in the last 31 years while the boys team won its 17th in a row.

The Hart girls team finished 12th at the CIF-SS Div. I Swim finals and the boys team took 18th on May 12.

In league competition, the boys team had the more dominant run, finishing at the league finals on May 3 by taking down victories in eight of the 11 events.

Two brothers, Chris and Cole Cogswell, each won individual events in the 100-yard backstroke and 50-yard freestyle, respectively, while also taking part in multiple relay victories.

Other individual league title collectors included this year’s All-SCV Boys Swimmer of the Year Matt Johnson, who won in the 200 individual medley and 500 free.

Teammate Kris Korth won the 100 breastroke.

On the girls side, freshman Mik Ranslem highlighted Hart’s performance with league titles in the 200 individual medley, the 100 butterfly and took part in a 400 freestyle relay victory with teammates Nicolette Barreiro, Megan Schultz and Emma Osowski.

Johnson was one of nine Hart swimmers — five girls and four boys — to advance to the finals in their events at the CIF-SS Div. I Swim finals.

He took 10th at the CIF-SS Div. I 500 freestyle event shortly before swimming a USA Swim Olympic Team Trials cut time in 1,500-meter freestyle.

Freshman Tamara Santoyo took eighth in the 100 butterfly CIF final, which was the best individual performance for the Indians.

As is typically the case in the spring, the swim teams were the last ones standing for Hart.

And those teams polished off another strong showing for Hart High athletics as a whole.

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