Sports Notebook...with Brian Gomez
Losing state record doesn’t diminish lady pole vaulter’s optimism

By Brian Gomez

Corona del Sol High School senior Katie Morgan watched her state pole vaulting record go by the wayside last month, but she’s already looking toward setting a new mark next season.

Morgan’s state record of 12 feet, 10 inches was surpassed in early July when former Lake Havasu pole vaulter April Kubishta leapt 13 feet, ¼ inch at the Junior Olympic regional meet in Glendale. The incoming University of Arizona freshman later finished first in the women’s division of the Junior Olympic national championships by vaulting 12 feet, 7 inches.

“You just have to vault for yourself and for your own goals and not try to compete against anybody else,” said Morgan, who won the Class 5A state pole vaulting championship last spring with a leap of 12 feet, 3 inches.

Morgan has been recruited by several West Coast schools, but she isn’t close to signing. She had considered UA until pole vaulting coach Tom Hays was replaced this month by Eric Boxley.

"I really have to wait to take my (recruiting) visits," Morgan said. "I have an idea of a few schools I might be interested in."

Desert Vista selects Harris

Former Corona boys basketball player and assistant coach Doug Harris was named Desert Vista’s new head coach last month.

Harris replaces Al Merino, who resigned June 30 to pursue career opportunities in publishing. He’ll reportedly teach at Chandler’s Dobson Academy this fall before transferring to Desert Vista next year.

A point guard at Corona, Harris established himself as one of the most decorated players in school history, earning Arizona Player of the Year honors in 1990. He was the backbone of Corona’s 1989 varsity team, which captured the state championship on the strength of an 88-85 win over Glendale Apollo.

Harris later returned to Corona as an assistant under his former coach, Sammy Duane. He spent four years in the same capacity at Cal Poly Pomona, before serving as an assistant last season under former Gilbert Mesquite head coach Sam Duane Jr., Corona’s new head coach.

Volleyball team in bind

Flooding inside Sammy Duane Gymnasium will force Corona’s girls varsity volleyball team to play most of its home games this season at Marcos de Niza.

Corona principal Jim Denton said water from a monsoon seeped through the gym’s doors last month, causing the court to become drenched for several hours. After learning of the incident, Denton helped mop the water out of the gym, but the floor was damaged so severely that it has to be replaced.

There is a giant rise in the court between the lane and the three-point arc on the side nearest the doors where the water entered. Another rise is also beginning to develop around the top of the key on the opposite end.

Maintenance crews can’t lay new flooring until the wood becomes acclimated to the surrounding temperature and humidity, meaning Corona’s volleyball team will have to practice this month in the small gym alongside the varsity badminton squad. Both teams are scheduled to start their seasons in early September.

Construction update

Corona’s new wrestling room and fitness center are expected to be completed by mid-September. Having already laid the foundation for the building, construction crews are finishing its roofing and insulation.

The building is adjoined with Sammy Duane Gymnasium, allowing students easy access from the athletic locker room. There are double doors on its perimeter.

Bleachers removed

One section of upper-deck bleachers inside Sammy Duane Gymnasium was removed last month to make room for nine new classrooms, which were built where Corona’s wrestling room was once located.

The remaining bleachers have been spread out along the upper deck. City fire codes prohibit replacement bleachers from being installed, since they would block entrances and exits to classrooms.

Fall sports tryouts

Corona boys varsity golf tryouts will begin after school Aug. 18 at Ahwatukee Country Club. Students should bring their own clubs and wear collared shirts and golf shorts, not denim shorts. For more information, contact head coach Larry Hughes or assistant coach Robert Beckwith at (480) 752-8888 (Ext. 85262).

Badminton tryouts will run from 2:30-5 p.m. Aug. 18-22 in Corona’s small gym. For more information, contact head coach Jennifer Mendes-Ray at (480) 752-8867.

Freshman football tryouts are scheduled to start after school Aug. 18 at Hascall Henshaw Stadium. For more information, contact head coach Dave Vibber at (480) 752-8888 (Ext. 88885).

Boys and girls freshman tennis tryouts will begin after school Aug. 25 at Corona’s tennis courts. For more information, contact boys head coach Rick Wanta at (480) 752-8888 (Ext. 85059) or girls head coach Carol Sandvig at (480) 752-8888 (Ext. 79022).

All students interested in trying out for fall sports at Corona must turn in a white physical card, a blue emergency card, a birth certificate and a $25 activity fee receipt to the athletics office.

Both cards have to be notarized, meaning they must be signed in front of a notary or a school administrator. Yellow equipment cards may be picked up in the athletics office.

For information regarding physicals, contact Dr. John P. Julius of Desert Canyon Family & Sports Medicine at (480) 820-4305. His office is located in Tempe at 6200 S. McClintock Drive, Suite 9.

Want to play soccer?

Operated through the American Youth Soccer Organization, the Adult Amateur Soccer League will start its second season next month.

Interested players must submit registration information and a $75 payment by Sept. 1. All players receive a jersey and socks. They must purchase their own black shorts, shin guards, soccer shoes and soccer balls.

The 10-game season will run from Sept. 14 through Nov. 23. Games will be held from 6-11 p.m. Sundays at the Tempe Sports Complex. No games are scheduled Oct. 19 in observance of the Kyrene School District’s fall break.

Players from both the men’s competitive division and the coed division can meet their teammates from 5-8 p.m. Sept. 7 during a preseason barbecue at the Tempe Sports Complex. Team photos will be taken at that time.

To register online, visit www.soccerforadults.com. For more information, call (480) 726-3384 or contact Mike Burns at mike@soccerforadults.com.

Reach the reporter at brian.gomez@wranglernews.com or visit him online at http://sundevils.freeyellow.com/briangomez.html.